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Four Midwives Receive Highest Honors from American College of Nurse-Midwives

Midwives honored for innovation, creativity, and lifetime contributions to midwifery and women’s health.

For Immediate Release:
June 6, 2012

Contact: Melissa Garvey
Office: (240) 485-1826
Email: [email protected]

Silver Spring, MD – Four midwives took top honors this week at the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) 57th Annual Meeting & Exposition in Long Beach, CA.

Mary Brucker, CNM, PhD, FACNM, a certified nurse-midwife (CNM) from Arlington, Texas, is the recipient of the 2012 Hattie Hemschemeyer Award. A 1973 graduate of the University of Mississippi, Brucker is a leader in midwifery certification and accreditation and an expert in pharmacology and pharmacotherapeutics. She is currently the graduate program director at Baylor University's Louise Herrington School of Nursing.

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.

Amy Romano, CNM, MSN, a certified nurse-midwife from Milford, CT, is the recipient of the 2012 Kitty Ernst Award. A 2004 graduate from Yale University, Romano is a talented writer who has helped translate the value of midwifery care to the public via social media, particularly with her work on Lamaze International’s award-winning blog, “Science and Sensibility.” She is also associate director of programs at Childbirth Connection, where she works to implement the “Blueprint for Action,”a detailed list of actionable strategies to improve maternity care quality and value.

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.

Frances Ganges, CNM, MPH, RM, a certified nurse-midwife from Lanham, MD, and Debrah Lewis, CNM, MS, LM, a certified nurse-midwife from Carenage, Trinidad, are the recipients of the A.C.N.M. Foundation’s 2012 Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award.

Ganges completedher midwifery education in 1986 at the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey and obtained a masters degree in public health from The Johns Hopkins University in 1995. She has worked internationally since 1991, primarily in Uganda, helping train midwifery students and staff and providing clinical and family planning services. She is currently director of technical oversight and support for the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and the North America and the Caribbean regional representative to the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM).

Lewis received her master’s degree in nurse-midwifery from Columbia University in 1986 and moved to Trinidad in 1990, where she set up the first free-standing birth center in the Caribbean.In 2005, she was the first person from the Caribbean to represent the Americas region on the ICM board. She served in this capacity until 2011 when she was elected vice president of ICM. Lewis’s leadership was instrumental in coordinating the first Caribbean Midwifery Initiative meeting and forming the Caribbean Regional Midwifery Association (CRMA).

The Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award honors an exceptional CNM or certified midwife (CM) who is a member of ACNM, has been certified for at least 10 years, has not previously received the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award, and has demonstrated pioneering vision and innovative leadership. Pioneer Award recipients are midwifery’s “unsung heroes.” The Lang Award recipients are chosen by the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc. Board of Trustees.

NOTE TO PHOTO EDITORS: Photos from award presentations are available.


For more information, please contact Melissa Garvey, ACNM communications manager, at (240) 485-1826 or via e-mail 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.


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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