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ACNM and ACOG Announce New Joint Statement of Practice Relations

June 1, 2018
CONTACT: Maura Christopher
[email protected]

Washington, DC - The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) are pleased to announce the release of an updated "Joint Statement of Practice Relations between Obstetrician-Gynecologists and Certified Nurse-Midwives/Certified Midwives." The landmark document "signifies the next era of respectful collaboration between health care providers, which is
essential for the improvement of health care services," said Susan Stone, CNM, DNSc, FACNM, FAAN, newly inducted President of ACNM. The document describes an ongoing commitment to clinicians practicing to the full extent of their education, training, and licensure, Stone added, noting, "It was an honor to serve on the team that developed the statement and that was composed of visionary leaders from both ACNM and ACOG." 

The Joint Statement continues to support the promotion of collaborative practice and team-based care between ob-gyns and CNMs/CMs to optimize women's health care:

"ACOG and ACNM believe health care is most effective when it occurs in a system that facilitates communication across care settings and among clinicians. Ob-gyns and CNMs/CMs are experts in their respective fields of practice and are educated, trained, and licensed independent clinicians who collaborate depending on the needs of their patients."

The statement further clarifies that "quality of care is enhanced by collegial relationships characterized by mutual respect and trust; professional responsibility and accountability; and national uniformity in full
practice authority and licensure across all states."

The document builds on the groundbreaking 2011 Joint Statement in the following

  • By improving definitions and references regarding what is meant by "team-based care," based on the "Collaboration in Practice: Implementing Team-Based Care" document published by ACOG, which ACNM participated in developing, in which collaboration is defined as "as a process involving mutually beneficial active participation between autonomous individuals whose relationships are governed by shared norms and vision."
  • By stating our shared commitment to ensuring access to appropriate levels of care for all women.
  • By outlining our shared commitment to expanding our workforces to address the shortages and maldistribution of maternity care providers including utilizing inter-professional education models.
The document continues to affirm the shared commitment of ACNM and ACOG to promote the highest standards for education, national professional certification, and recertification, and it stresses the importance of options and preferences of women in their health care. "I am very proud of the work our two organizations did together to update the Joint Statement," said Lisa Kane Low, CNM, PhD, FACNM, FAAN, immediate past President of ACNM, who co-chaired the workgroup with Hal C. Lawrence, MD, FACOG, Executive Vice President  and CEO of ACOG. "We had a solid foundation from our 2011 Statement, and we are now able to
offer a stronger vision of how we can work together as clinicians who focus on providing optimal care to those we serve. Instead of creating boundaries around what each of us does, we have centered women and families to ensure the right care is provided, in the right place, by the clinician or clinicians who can best meet the needs at the right time." 

"ACOG is pleased to affirm our strong partnership with ACNM, with a shared commitment to serving our patients," Dr. Lawrence added. "This statement's focus on collaboration ensures that all of our members can fulfill our primary promise: to ensure every woman
has access to safe and timely comprehensive care." 

Representatives from ACNM who participated in the process include the following: Melissa Avery, PhD, RN, CNM, FACNM, FAAN; Lynne Himmelreich, CNM, MPH, FACNM; Deborah Kaiser, CNM, RN-C; Lisa Kane Low, CNM, PhD, FACNM, FAAN (Co-chair); Susan Stone, CNM, DNSc, FACNM, FAAN; Suzanne Wertman, CNM; Amy Kohl, MS, Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs; Kate McHugh, CNM, MSN, FACNM, Interim CEO; Patrick Cooney, ACNM Consultant, Government Affairs.


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