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HUNDREDS OF MIDWIVES TAKE TO CAPITOL HILL TO RAISE AWARENESS ABOUT MATERNITY CARE PROVIDER SHORTAGES ACROSS THE US
2015 Marks 60th Anniversary of the American College of Nurse-Midwives
Silver Spring, MD – More than 600 midwives will head to Capitol Hill on Tuesday, June 30, to meet with senators from 49 states and House members from 49 states and the District of Columbia to express their support for legislation identifying areas of the country experiencing shortages of maternity care providers – the Improving Access to Maternity Care Act of 2015 (H.R. 1209/S.628). The American College of Nurse-Midwives’ (ACNM) members will also be educating legislators about barriers to increasing the midwifery workforce in order to address these shortages, including the need for support necessary for midwifery education to ensure adequate numbers of maternal care providers in the future.
More than 1500 certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) and certified midwives (CMs) will be gathered at the Gaylord National Resort in National Harbor, Maryland, from June 27-July 1 for ACNM’s 60th Annual Meeting & Exhibition – bringing together the largest group of midwives in the United States.
“I am so excited to join more than 600 midwives participating in ACNM's Lobby Day,” said Emily Yeast, CNM, of Glen Falls, NY. “On June 30, I'll be meeting with my representative on Capitol Hill to ask her to co-sponsor H.R. 1209, so we can better understand what areas of the country don’t have enough maternal care providers to help the women living there.”
For millions of women, shortages of maternity care providers can result in long wait times for appointments and long travel times to prenatal care and/or birthing sites. Prenatal care has an impact on incidence of low-birth weight and premature births, which can have life long repercussions and costs. In 2011, 40 percent of US counties had no certified nurse-midwife, certified midwife, or obstetrician-gynecologist.
“This bipartisan, commonsense bill will go a long way toward providingvital access to maternity care for women and their families,” Rep. Lois Capps (CA-24) said in May. “I am proud to co-author this bill because as a nurse, I know firsthand the critical importance of providing early quality health care to expecting mothers, especially in underserved areas. Specifically, this bill will help ensure that we’re properly identifying maternal health provider shortage areas, and increasing access to high quality providers in those communities.”
“Our ACNM members work in urban and rural areas across the US – including many regions that are underserved by health care providers,” said Ginger Breedlove, CNM, PhD, APRN, FACNM, and president of ACNM. “Championing this bill will help identify areas of the country where women are not able to access the maternity services they need and deserve. It’s about expanding access to maternity care professionals so we can reduce the high costs women in the US face while providing supportive prenatal and delivery services to everyone.”
“We thank these members of Congress for making time to meet with the more than 600 midwives who are lobbying during our 60th anniversary meeting,” she added.
“We are thrilled about the upcoming Lobby Day and the opportunity to speak with legislators' offices on behalf of moms, babies, and midwifery,” said Laura Jenson, CNM, MPH, MS, CPH, of Portland, Oregon, and chair of the Government Affairs Committee. “The commitment to grassroots advocacy from midwives across the country is phenomenal, and it has been an honor to be a part of the planning process. We are grateful to those who have contributed their time and energy to making this ACNM’s most successful Lobby Day ever!”
If you would like to request a press pass to ACNM’s Annual Meeting and/or would like to interview a midwife from a particular state, please contact Damaris Hay, ACNM Media Relations Specialist at (240) 485-1856 or via e-mail at [email protected].
Follow our midwives on the Hill with #MidwivesAdvocate and by live tweeting with @ACNMmidwives!
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. With roots dating to 1929, ACNM sets the standard for excellence in midwifery education and practice in the United States and strengthens the capacity of midwives in developing countries. Our members are primary care providers for women throughout the lifespan, with a special emphasis on pregnancy, childbirth, and gynecologic and reproductive health. ACNM reviews research, administers and promotes continuing education programs, and works with organizations, state and federal agencies, and members of Congress to advance the well-being of women and infants through the practice of midwifery. More information about ACNM can be found at www.midwife.org
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