Stephanie Tillman, CNM, MSN
Candidate for Secretary
See Stephanie’s CV here
Question: What challenges to midwifery practice have you observed/experienced either nationally or in your region, and what solutions would you suggest or implement to eliminate that barrier?
Answer: As a recently graduated midwife, travails of transition from student to clinician are close to my heart and work. New midwives are an incredibly passionate and motivated community seeking mobilization and involvement with ACNM and worldwide efforts. As the number of graduating midwives grows, the College’s intentions to engage this group must be cooperative with those enmeshed in the experience. Social and new media platforms have the potential to further connect this collective, and also unite midwifery work and progress with broader social and political movements. Additionally, collating best practices from midwifery programs whose graduates feel adequately prepared for entry, compared with employers who echo that assessment, would create foundations that educators and preceptors can draw from to support strong midwives from the start of their careers.
Working as a member of the National Health Service Corps in a federally qualified health center, my commitment to midwifery care for underserved populations is daily love and labor. Those who may know nothing of provider options prior to experiencing midwives, are under- or un-insured, or speak languages other than English, deserve equal rights to midwifery care as women capable of advocating for provider choice and reproductive access. Oftentimes, advertisements of midwifery care lack representation from all populations and the midwives privileged to serve them. As the College promotes midwifery as safe and effective women’s health care and frontline primary care, we must advertise the work of midwives with these populations. We must continue to challenge assumptions of midwifery and put faces, names, and stories to midwives working in hospitals and homes, birth centers and abroad.Our midwife community is as diverse and passionate as the women we serve. We must fully engage, support, and represent who we are to give justice to the work to which we dedicate our hearts and minds.