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ACNM Recognizes Exemplary Midwifery Leaders (May 31, 2016)


May 31, 2016

CONTACT: Ashley West

PHONE: 240-485-1856

EMAIL: [email protected]

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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 61st Annual Meeting & Exhibition in Albuquerque, NM. 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.

Holly Powell Kennedy, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN, is the 2016 recipient of the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award. Past-President of ACNM, Holly is an internationally known midwifery researcher and the first person to be appointed as the Varney Professor of Midwifery at Yale in 2009. She came to the position with broad experiences as a clinician, researcher, educator, policymaker, and leader in a variety of settings. Dr. Kennedy received a diploma in nursing from Miami Valley Hospital School of Nursing, Dayton, Ohio, a bachelor's degree from Chaminade University, Honolulu, HI, a master's degree as a family nurse practitioner from the Medical College of Georgia, a certificate of midwifery from the Frontier School of Midwifery & Family Nursing, Hyden, KY and a doctorate in nursing from the University of Rhode Island. She has held academic positions at the University of Rhode Island and the University of California San Francisco. She has held visiting faculty appointments at King's College London and the University of Basel, Switzerland. She is a retired Colonel of the U.S. Army Nurse Corps.

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.

Major Elizabeth Nutter, CNM, DNP, is the 2016 recipient of the Kitty Ernst Award. Elizabeth is the first active duty midwife to receive her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree. Her DNP project reviewed the evidence on waterbirth which has resulted in her becoming a subject matter expert for the Army and ACNM. She has four publications and multiple presentations on waterbirth and is regularly sought out by professional colleagues for her expertise. Elizabeth has partnered with the Women's Health Service Line at the Office of the Surgeon General for the Army consultants to maintain momentum on the MEDCOM hydrotherapy in labor policy. As the Director of the United States Army’s OB/GYN Nursing Course, Elizabeth spearheaded the complete overhaul of the entire nursing course to provide the latest evidence in every aspect of the course requirements. As a result, the course is aligned with the standards for successful completion of the Registered Nurse certification in obstetrics or maternal child health.

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 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 aptly named 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.

Susan A. DeJoy, CNM, MSN, PhD, FACNM, is one of three recipients of the Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award. Susan DeJoy, earned her MSN in Nurse-midwifery from the University of Pennsylvania in 1982, and practiced midwifery at UCLA. In 1986 she joined the Baystate Medical Center midwifery practice in Springfield, Massachusetts, and became practice director within a year. Recognizing that the work of midwives in this large, tertiary setting involved much staff turnover and early burnout, Susan devised a plan to both improve job satisfaction and retain qualified midwives. Her solution was to develop and become first director of the Baystate Medical Center Midwifery Education Program, a thriving education program, more than 25 years later! Susan is currently Baystate’s Director of the Division of Midwifery and Community Health: the only Division head who is not a physician. She has also authored numerous peer reviewed papers, given innumerable presentations, and held several ACNM leadership roles, in Massachusetts and nationally. Indeed, Susan DeJoy has exhibited pioneering vision and leadership to midwives in the local, state and national arenas.

Carol A.L. Howe, CNM, DNSc, FACNM, FAAN, is one of three recipients of the Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award. Carol Howe earned her MSN from Yale University in 1974. Since then she has distinguished herself as a catalyst for health care change through implementation of the midwifery model of care and the advancement of midwifery education. She Oregon’s second midwife, and the first to practice at Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU). Carol’s practice, scholarship and leadership footprints define midwifery at OHSU and in Oregon. For more than 40 years, she has also served in leadership roles at the state and national level. Her leadership and success initiating full scope midwifery makes her highly sought after for advice and consultation. Her work in multiple leadership roles in ACNM and AMCB also tell the story of a leader dedicated to service, particularly in the areas of standard setting, discipline and peer review of nurse-midwives in the US. Carol Howe is truly a pioneer who has changed the face of midwifery in Oregon due to her determination, drive and passion to lift up the profession.

Kay D. Sedler, CNM-ret, MN, FACNM, is one of three recipients of the Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award. Kay Sedler received her midwifery education at Emory University in 1979. Shortly thereafter she accepted a staff midwifery position at the University of New Mexico (UNM) Department of OB-GYN, which is where she spent her entire career. Kay has held numerous leadership roles within ACNM. She also held several offices in the New Mexico Chapter of ACNM, including chair, as well as long-standing member of the Legislative Committee. Kay has also been actively engaged in national leadership, serving on the ACNM Board as Region V Representative; chair of the Education Committee of the Division of Education; chair of the Continuing Education Committee and Nominating Committee; member of the Division of Accreditation Board of Review; and the FACNM Board of Governors. And finally, she has been an active participant in the Service Directors Network, serving at one point as co-chair and she has also served as Secretary and Trustee of The A.C.N.M. Foundation Board. In recognition of her critical leadership in developing midwifery in New Mexico, as well as her state and national activities on behalf of ACNM and the Foundation, we honor Kay with a 2016 Dorothea Lang Pioneer in Midwifery award.


For more information, please contact Ashley West, ACNM media relations & social media specialist 240-485-1856 or via email 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. ACNM promotes excellence in midwifery education, clinical practice, and research. With roots dating to 1929, our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM provides research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, establishes clinical practice standards, and creates liaisons with state and federal agencies and members of Congress to increase the visibility and recognition of midwifery care.

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) nonprofit charitable organization – the philanthropic arm of ACNM – with a mission 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. The 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
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