Julia Lange Kessler, CM, MS, RN, IBCLC
Candidate for Nominating Committee
Question: What is the role of ACNM leadership in implementing the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and Institute of Medicine (IOM) report,The Future of Nursing?
Answer: ACNM, as the professional organization representing certified midwives and certified nurse-midwives, has the honor of advancing and promoting the profession of midwifery. The implementation of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) and the IOM report presents ACNM with an important opportunity to promote midwifery while maintaining its distinct professional identity. This concept is paramount during the implementation of the IOM report. The report acknowledges that nurses need to be “full partners… in redesigning healthcare in the United States.” For midwives, ACNM representation, input, and participation concerning the future design of health care is at hand. Midwives need to be part of this process, actively present and involved.
The implementation of the ACA will also require the presence of midwifery leadership at the table. The ACA encompasses many areas of heath care, but first and foremost our attention should be focused on women’s health and the primary care of women throughout the lifespan. While the importance of caring for pregnant women cannot be overemphasized, care for women throughout the lifespan should not be underemphasized. The geriatric population is the fastest-growing segment of American society. It is vitally important for the 76 million baby boomers (half of whom are women) that midwives be recognized as primary care providers. Midwifery has a unique perspective and will make important contributions to shaping the future delivery of health care services to women of ALL ages. ACNM, through its leadership, is at the forefront as an essential advocate for midwifery and women’s health.