Advocating for Midwifery: Addressing Systemic Racism Through Policy and Advocacy

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The “Advocating for Midwifery: Addressing Systemic Racism Through Policy and Advocacy” session at ACNM’s 66th Annual Meeting will offer a comprehensive update on ACNM’s policy agenda and advocacy work for the 117th session of Congress. This year, ACNM is advocating for legislation that seeks to expand funding for midwifery education and ethnically and racially diversify the midwifery workforce, improve the culture of black maternal health, and address national-level hospital privileges for midwives. These legislative efforts are crucial to moving midwifery forward in our country and helping address the systems that perpetuate racism for birthing people. At this session, we will provide the following information on:

  1. The ACNM Political Action Committee (Midwives-PAC) and the ACNM National Government Affairs Committee (NGAC)
  2. Demonstrate why it is important to mainstream midwifery,
  3. Share strategies for holding and structuring a meeting with Congressional staff on the legislation we support or oppose, and
  4. Take a deep dive into the Midwives for Maximizing Optimal Maternal Services (MOMS) Act, the Black Maternal Health Momnibus Act, and other maternal health issues pending before Congress.

Advocacy skills and knowledge are crucial to providing better health care and systems for the patients and communities midwives serve. We look forward to seeing you at our session to learn all the information and skills you need to be a midwifery advocate!

Authors:

Claire Harper is chair of the Midwives-PAC, ACNM’s Political Action Committee. She began volunteering for the Midwives PAC as a student midwife and is committed to elevating midwifery voices in Washington, DC. As a Certified Nurse Midwife, she has worked for Federally Qualified Health Centers both in and out of the hospital. Her clinical experience keeps her focused on the changes that our healthcare system needs to prevent burnout among clinicians and to improve outcomes for our patients. She is especially proud of efforts to diversify the midwifery workforce through initiatives like the Midwives for MOMS Act.

Zoe Gutterman (she/her) is a Certified Nurse Midwife with a Masters in Public Health Nursing from Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Shenandoah School of Nursing. She currently lives and works in Washington, D.C. as a midwife at Unity Healthcare. She also serves as the Chair of the D.C. Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives and is the chair of American College of Nurse Midwives Government Affairs Committee (NGAC).

Amy Kohl is ACNM’s Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs. She is responsible for leading the development and implementation of ACNM’s federal and state policy agenda, which includes identifying and maximizing opportunities for integration of midwives and midwifery-led care models.