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Joan Slager, CNM, DNP, CPC, FACNM

Candidate for Treasurer

See Joan'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 challenge to midwifery practice?

Answer: While the practice of midwifery is gaining momentum and recognition, I feel that we are still plagued by the lack of full practice autonomy and equitable reimbursement for midwives in all practice settings. We are working more closely and respectfully than ever before with our physician colleagues as we explore interprofessional education and collaborative relationships in order to meet the escalating demands for womens health care providers, yet it is difficult to attract people to midwifery when the cost of education is high and the ability to practice in some areas is fraught with misunderstanding, prejudice, or unreasonable restriction.

The solution is multifaceted and includes education of legislators and administrators so that they may understand who we are and what our legal basis for practice is as well as the value we contribute as members of the health care team. We must continue to market midwifery to women so that they will ask for midwives. We must also work with organizations and insurance companies so that midwives are considered full members with full admitting privileges and prescriptive authority.

As a member of the ACNM Board of Directors, I support initiatives and strategic priorities that will eliminate barriers to practice, educate the womens health care consumer about the value of midwifery care, and support our members in their efforts to do a demanding job well with fewer obstacles.

Candidate Interview with ACNM Student Representative

Tell us in 1-2 sentences why you want to serve on the board.

The ACNM through the years has equipped me to articulate the value of midwifery in my organization and state and assisted me with developing my personal leadership and professional development skill set. Serving on the ACNM BOD is an opportunity to give back to the ACNM.

Why do you think you are a good fit for the role of Treasurer?

I have served as the ACNM Treasurer on the BOD for the last 2 1/2 years. Prior to that I was an appointed member on the ACNM's Finance and Audit Committee. The financial management of a non-profit member association is multifaceted and complex. My history with the committee, dedication to ACNM and it's members and strong business background make me ideally suited for the role of ACNM Treasurer.

How would you describe your leadership style?

I would consider myself a participatory leader - I am a pragmatist and realist, but also would consider myself a visionary "big picture" person. I am willing to listen to various opinions and seek input from others, but am also decisive and willing to make the tough decisions and have the crucial conversations.

Have you been on the ACNM Board before, and/or served as a Treasurer on other Boards? What lessons have you learned?

I am completing my first term on the ACNM BOD. I have learned that despite a strong business background, the financial management of a non-profit member organization is very different than managing a practice. I have also come to appreciate the complexity of serving in this role as the ACNM BOD strives to listen to our members, develop strategy, address regulation and legislative issues, formulate and maintain professional relationships, address practice equity, promote public relations, set standards, create policy, evaluate and articulate positions on key topics, and support organizational capacity that is valuable and responsive to the needs of our members.

Do you anticipate challenges in the role of ACNM Treasurer? What challenges are you looking for in this position – professionally and/or personally?

One of the biggest challenges is balancing the role of volunteer leader with other personal and professional demands. The challenge most specific to the role of treasurer is to work collectively with the national office to carefully manage the finances of the ACNM. Our needs are many, but our resources are limited. We must invest and spend wisely. We must prioritize each goal or strategy so as to get the most value for our money. We must strive to articulate the value of membership in ACNM as there is strength in numbers and collectively we can accomplish so much more than we can individually.

What do you see as ACNM’s greatest current challenge? What strategies would you advocate for ACNM to address this challenge?

ACNM's greatest challenge is our financial resources that limit or dictate our capacity to address all of our strategic priorities. Roughly 2/3 of CNMs and CMs are members of ACNM. We must articulate the value of membership so that we collectively can make a bigger difference in the promotion of midwifery. The financial resources of the organization should not solely be the burden of membership, however. If re-elected, I would like to work on exploring the development of non-dues revenue and domestic grant funding that could contribute to the mission of ACNM.

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