Return to Newsroom & Events > Newsroom > News Releases

For Immediate Release
July 14, 2015

Contact: Damaris Hay
Email:[email protected]
Office: (240) 485-1856

Download PDF here.


ACNM Members Are Awarded for Outstanding Service to Midwifery and Women

Silver Spring, MD – The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) honored a select group of midwives during the 60th Annual Meeting & Exhibition in the Washington, D.C.-area. During the 2015 Awards Dinner, ACNM’s highest honors were announced to recognize members of the College.

The Hattie Hemschemeyer Award, named in honor of ACNM’s first president and a pioneer of the profession, is ACNM’s most prestigious award and is given annually to an ACNM member who has been certified for at least 10 years and has made continuous outstanding and/or historically significant contributions to midwifery, ACNM, and/or maternal child health.

Mary Ellen Stanton, CNM, MSN, FACNM, is the 2015 recipient of the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award. Mary Ellen has been a member of ACNM since her graduation from the University of Illinois nurse-midwifery program in 1975, and has been instrumental in establishing programs to reduce maternal death and improve maternal and newborn health in numerous countries around the world. An exceptional global leader in maternal and newborn health, Mary Ellen’s work has had significant impact on global policy, programs, and research during her career – especially through fostering midwifery by teaching, practicing, and adding needed curricular changes to education programs in the US and in other countries around the world. She has provided numerous congressional briefings on issues related to maternal health/ maternal mortality, new technologies and obstetric fistula during her tenure at United States Agency for International Agency Development (USAID). Mary Ellen’s work on abuse during childbirth has led to landmark publications and research projects to identify interventions to address the problem and a charter on the rights of childbearing women. Most recently, her support and guidance has led the World Health Organization to develop global recommendations and guidance on respectful care and to conduct research on the prevalence of abuse during childbirth. Mary Ellen has also been an engaged and strong supporter of ACNM, having served the College in numerous roles including: Director of Special Projects Section (now Department of Global Health), Board Secretary, and as a member of numerous committees and task forces. Mary Ellen continues to be a pioneer, leader, and champion for midwifery and mothers and babies across the globe.

The Kitty Ernst Award, affectionately known as the “Young Whippersnapper Award,” is named after the College’s fourth and youngest president, and one of its most dynamic living legends. The Kitty Ernst Award was established in 1998 to honor an ACNM member who has been certified for less than 10 years and has demonstrated innovative, creative endeavors in clinical practice, education, administration, or research relating to midwifery and women’s health.

Ebony Roebuck, CNM, MS is the 2015 recipient of the Kitty Ernst Award. Since her graduation from the Philadelphia University Midwifery Institute in 2007 she has made continuous, outstanding contributions to the midwifery profession on a national and local level. As a new graduate, Ebony became one of the dedicated midwives at the Family Health and Birth Center, providing a midwifery-led, group prenatal model of care to the underserved women of the poorest wards in DC. In 2010, Ebony became the Administrative Chief of the Midwives of Medstar in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. In this role, she assisted in leading a group of midwives to provide full scope midwifery care to a diverse patient population. Ebony is a tireless advocate for the underserved and marginalized women of the Washington, DC area. She has been instrumental in improving the birth outcomes of this especially vulnerable group through education, midwifery management, and advocacy. Ebony strives to champion the beliefs and principles that midwives embody, highlighting low-intervention practices at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. In 2014, Ebony received the REAL Award, honoring health workers worldwide who save and improve lives through their care and dedication. Since her time as a student, Ebony has been very active in the local affiliate of ACNM, where she currently serves as co-president. Ebony has recently returned and assumed leadership of the Family Health and Birth Center/Community of Hope, rededicating herself to providing midwifery care in the most underserved populations in DC.

With their most prestigious honor – the Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award – the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc. honors midwifery’s “unsung heroes” who have demonstrated pioneering vision and innovative leadership. Award winners are exceptional CNMs or certified midwives (CMs) who are members of ACNM, have been certified for at least 10 years, and have not previously received the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award.The Lang Award is aptlynamed for Dorothea M. Lang, CNM, MPH, FACNM – past-president of ACNM and the A.C.N.M. Foundation, whose visionary leadership has advanced the profession of midwifery in countless ways.

The Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award for 2015 is presented to all who became midwives during the first 30 years of the ACNM (1955-1985). This year, on the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, the A.C.N.M. Foundation chose to recognize a generation of midwives rather than single out 1 or 2 exemplary pioneers. Each and every one was and is a pioneer midwife in his or her own way. Dorothea's mandate at the inception of the award in 2002 says it all: "Do not try to go where things are already great. Go to places where things are terrible – where the needs of the women are the greatest and the conditions are the worst. That is where you will show what you as a midwife can truly bring to health care and the community."


To learn more about ACNM and the award winners, or to receive a photo for press purposes, please contact Damaris Hay, ACNM Media Relations Specialist at (240) 485-1856 or via e-mail at [email protected].

The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) is the professional association that represents certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) in the United States. With roots dating to 1929, ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries. Our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM reviews research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, and works with organizations, state and federal agencies, and members of Congress to advance the well-being of women and infants through the practice of midwifery. More information about ACNM can be found at

8403 Colesville Road, Ste. 1550, Silver Spring, MD 20910-6374 · Phone: (240) 485-1800 · Fax: (240) 485-1818 ·

The A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to promote excellence in health care for women, infants, and families worldwide through the support of midwifery. All donations to be tax deductible as allowed by law.

A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc., PO Box 380272, Cambridge, Massachusetts 02238-0272 · Phone (240) 485-1850 · Fax: (617) 876-5822 ·


American College of Nurse-Midwives.
8403 Colesville Rd, Suite 1550 | Silver Spring MD 20910
Phone: 240-485-1800 | Fax: 240-485-1818
Follow Us