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2017 Candidate for Region VII Representative - Ruth Mielke, CNM, PhD, FACNM

Ruth Mielke, CNM, PhD, FACNM
Present Position: California Nurse-Midwives Association Southern California Regional Representative
Associate Professor, California State University, Fullerton School of Nursing
Location: Fullerton, California

ACNM Activities:
2015: Fellow of American College of Nurse-Midwives, inducted at the ACNM Annual Meeting in Washington, DC
2014: ACNM Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health, finalist for Best Review Article Award
2013: ACNM Division of Standards and Policy Clinical Practice Section Committee Member
2012: American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Directors of Midwifery Education

2015: Doctorate of Nursing Practice Chair
2013: Nominated for Daisy Award for Teaching Excellence, CSUF School of Nursing
2012: Local Planning Committee Member, 57th ACNM Annual Meeting, Long Beach, CA

2011: Excellence in Teaching Award,  CSUF Women's Health Concentration Students

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.


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