2017 Candidate for Region VII Representative - Ruth Mielke, CNM, PhD, FACNM
CNM, PhD, FACNM
Candidate Statement Related to Office:
Midwives matter! I am inspired to run for ACNM regional representative because the women and families in Region VII need more midwives. This is both a simple and complex issue. Simple in that the excellent outcomes of midwifery care are receiving prominent attention via initiatives to prevent primary cesarean birth; e.g. ACNM’s Healthy Birth Initiative and California Maternal Quality Care Coordination Collaborative. By 2030, the US female population will increase by 17.76% and in certain Region VII states, will increase significantly more – California (22.61%) and Nevada (64.8%). Of the 179 counties in Alaska, California, Nevada, Oregon, and Washington, 66 counties do not have any OB- GYN providers.
Midwives matter; a fact that is agreed upon by our collaborating organization, ACOG. The complexity of “birthing” more midwives is that as the number of student midwives increase, so does the need for clinical experiences. Lack of preceptors and competition from other education programs are often cited as key issues, but site productivity concerns may even supersede other deterrents. Sadly, Region VII still has one state, California, which requires physician supervision for nurse-midwives. This archaic requirement restricts the growth of midwifery businesses in California-, thereby reducing access to women’s health care. As a California midwife, I look forward to learning more about independent midwifery practice in other Region VII states as California’s state affiliate pursues further legislative efforts.
For increasing midwife students, I will encourage efforts to secure state and federal funding to expand clinical placements. I look forward to discussions on how interprofessional precepting occurs in our region in that all students need to learn about the midwifery model of care. As the Region VII Representative, I will be a conduit between state and national levels and, in so doing, hope to be a small part of increasing numbers of midwives in our region.