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ACNM CEO, Sesay-Tuffour, Testifies on Support of Policies to Eliminate Racial and Ethnic Bias in Midwifery at Inaugural Black Maternal Health Caucus Summit

July 12, 2019
Contact: ACNM Membership & Communications
240.485.1813; [email protected]

Yesterday, at the House of Representatives’ Black Maternal Health Caucus’ (BMHC) inaugural summit on addressing black maternal health disparities, American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Chief Executive Officer (CEO), Sheri Sesay-Tuffour, PhD, CAE, committed to supporting policies that seek to eliminate racial and ethnic bias in the midwifery profession and end race-based health care disparities.

Launched April 2019 by Representatives Alma Adams (D-NC) and Lauren Underwood (D-IL), the BMHC seeks to raise awareness within Congress to establish black maternal health as a national priority and to improve black maternal health outcomes and help end health disparities, many of which are rooted in racism that disproportionately impact African American communities. The summit provided the diverse group of maternal and women’s health stakeholders in attendance the opportunity to offer recommendations and speak to their organizations’ respective work to address these disparities and end the structural racism in health care and social service delivery that result in black women and individuals receiving lower quality care than their white counterparts.

To address these disparities, ACNM recommended BMHC and congressional support for legislation to strengthen and increase racial and ethnic representation within the midwifery workforce through targeted federal funding for accredited midwifery education programs. Investing in midwifery education would help increase access to quality care in high need rural and urban areas. ACNM has identified direct funding for midwifery education as the number one priority for growing and diversifying the midwifery workforce to meet the urgent needs of the childbearing population, women, and individuals throughout their lifespan. “We can, and must do better. We must work together to address institutionalized racism, end health disparities that disproportionately impact black mothers and other people of color, and create a diverse midwifery workforce,” stated ACNM CEO Sheri Sesay-Tuffour, PhD, CAE.

In her remarks, Sesay-Tuffour also encouraged Senate support for the recently passed House Labor, Health and Human Services, Education, Defense, State, Foreign Operations, and Energy and Water Development Appropriations Act, H.R. 2740, which allocates $2.5 million for accredited midwifery education programs under Title VII of the Public Health Service Act’s Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students Program. “Passage of this important legislation will go far in advancing the midwifery profession and improving maternal health outcomes,” said Sesay-Tuffour.

Click here to watch ACNM CEO Sheri Sesay-Tuffour’s testimony.

Contact Amy Kohl, ACNM Director, Advocacy & Government Affairs, for more information on ACNM’s work to increase federal funding for accredited midwifery education programs.

About ACNM

With 6500 members, 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 education and 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
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