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My First ACNM: Lobby Day! Tuesday at the Annual Meeting

In case you were wondering what it looks like when about 600 midwives storm the US Capitol, the answer is impressive. I’ve been excited about Lobby Day for most of the Annual Meeting, since it isn’t always held in DC. But as a student who has met with exactly zero politicians ever I wasn’t sure what to expect—who does the talking? What do we say? To whom do we say it?

I met with my fellow Georgia midwives and midwifery students, and we boarded the bus. We had a 3-part plan at the Capitol: Meet with John Isakson, David Perdue, and (in my case—we split into groups based on district for the third meeting) John Lewis. Our talking points included requesting co-sponsorship and support for legislation that would create a HRSA designation for areas with a shortage of maternal health care providers (VERY important for Nurse-Corps or HRSA-funded students) and address quality measures in maternal health care.

What I found, though, was that most of our meetings (which were all with staffers, since, ironically, the politicians we came to see are all in Georgia during the recess) were spent explaining the current role of midwives in Georgia. It was a great learning experience, and highlighted the importance of midwives as advocates. I was very lucky to go with the group I did—we had a healthy representation of students, faculty members, and clinical midwives, and our experiences offered a good range of perspectives related to the utility of each bill.

I’m sad the conference is winding down, but so grateful for the opportunities I’ve had. This conference has been very information-dense, and so validating—there’s so much to know! And so many people to meet! And they’re all so nice!

More than anything, it’s put my place in midwifery into perspective. Many midwives have come before me, many incredible midwives are part of this thriving, vibrant community now, and many future midwives will find themselves in my position—an overwhelmed and excited student, humbled by this amazing profession.

By Shauna O’Neal, SNM, BSN

Posted By Barbra Elenbaas | 7/1/2015 12:16:52 PM



Any opinions expressed in this blog are those of the individual participant(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. ACNM is not responsible for accuracy of any of the information provided by guest bloggers and/or members via the Comments section. We welcome all feedback – including comments, ideas and suggestions. We also welcome civil, friendly debates. However, any and all content that is deemed inflammatory or rude will not be posted.


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