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American College of Nurse-Midwives Honors Its 2019 Award Winners

June 3, 2019
Contact: Maura Christopher
240-485-1822; [email protected]

On Tuesday, May 22, the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) and the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc. honored a total of more than 50 certified nurse-midwives, certified midwives, and other individuals and entities as 2019 award winners. The awards, presented at the 64th ACNM Annual Meeting & Exhibition in National Harbor, Maryland, encompassed the association’s top awards presented for service, leadership, and contributions to the field of midwifery, as well as awards for other categories including Public Policy, Outstanding Preceptor, and Excellence in Teaching. Winners include the following:

Hattie Hemschmeyer Award
Named in honor of ACNM's first president and a pioneer of the profession, the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award is ACNM's most prestigious. It is
given annually to a member who has been certified for at least 10 years and has made continual outstanding or historically significant contributions to midwifery, ACNM, or maternal child health.

Debbie Armbruster, CNM, MPH, FACNM
Debbie Armbruster, a Fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, is recognized internationally for her work in the global public health arena. As Senior Maternal and Newborn Health Advisor at USAID, she has focused intense effort on ensuring the supply of drugs and equipment critically needed for safe maternity services. She has directed the Bill and Melinda Gates-funded Oxytocin Project and led the way in global advocacy for hemorrhage prevention with the USAID-funded Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage Initiative. In Mali, she was responsible, with Bonnie Pedersen, for ACNM’s work on the education of traditional birth attendants, and with Lynn Sibley, for the development of the ACNM Home-Based Life Saving Skills program. As a sought-after global health consultant, she has worked with the International Confederation of Midwives, the International Federation of Gynecologists and Obstetricians, the United Nations, the World Bank, and the World Health Organization, ministries of health, local implementing partners, and schools of midwifery globally. There may be few childbearing women in this world, especially among those in underdeveloped countries, who have not benefited in some way from at least one of her many projects and efforts.

Kitty Ernst Award
Affectionately known as the "Young Whippersnapper Award," this award is named after the college's fourth and youngest president, a dynamic living legend. It honors a member who has been certified for fewer than 10 years and who has demonstrated innovative, creative endeavors in clinical practice, education, administration, or research relating to midwifery and women's health.

Melissa A “Missy” Saftner, CNM, PhD, APRN, FACNM
Missy Saftner is a clinical associate professor with the University of Minnesota School of Nursing whose academic stature has enjoyed a near meteoric rise. She publishes prolifically and serves as an editor or peer reviewer for no fewer than 8 journals. She is a member of the ACNM Clinical Standards and Documents Committee, Vice President of the Minnesota’s ACNM Affiliate, and has served in other ACNM capacities. She is renowned in her state for her policy acumen, is a strong advocate of the certified midwife credential, and has created a study abroad program for her students in Africa that has been described as “life changing.” Additionally, she practices full-scope midwifery at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minnesota.

Dorothea M. Lang Pioneer Award

This award is given by the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc. to an exceptional midwife who has demonstrated vision and leadership, has been certified for 10 years, and represents exceptional “unsung heroines” who have demonstrated pioneering vision and innovative leadership in midwifery.

Ellen Martin, CNM, MS, FACNM
For the better part of the past 2 decades, Ellen Martin has been at the forefront of midwifery at the national level. She has served sequentially as a trustee, treasurer, and president of the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc., where she has guided key initiatives to grow the Foundation to its current position of distributing more than $70,000 annually in awards and scholarships. She has been an outstanding ACNM leader and was elected to the Fellowship of ACNM in 2000, where she serves as the Governing Board Chair. Ellen was also an early chair of the Georgia Chapter of the ACNM, an active member of the Service Directors Network, and served on the ACNM Program Committee and the Financial Advisory Board. Additionally, she has served as ACNM Region III (Southern) Representative to the Board of Directors and as board treasurer.

Alice Bailes, CNM, MSN, FACNM and Marcia Jackson, CNM, MSN, FACNM
In 1987, Alice Bailes and Marcia Jackson co-founded BirthCare and Women’s Heath, the oldest midwife-owned and operated out-of-hospital service in the DC metro area. Encompassing a home birth practice and an accredited birth center, the practice continues to thrive. Alice and Marcia are authors of numerous works including a chapter in Varney’s Midwifery, ACNM’s Handbook on Home Birth Practices, and most recently the resource book, Supporting a Physiologic Approach to Pregnancy and Birth. They have contributed on many ACNM committees and task forces, and they have championed the value of consistently collecting home birth and birth center data, encouraging midwives to demonstrate what evidence-based care really means. As educators, they have taught numerous undergraduate nurses, medical students, and countless community groups. Both received their master’s in midwifery from Georgetown University and both have been honored with the distinction of ACNM Fellow.

Louis M Hellman MD Midwifery Partnership Award

Given jointly by the A.C.N.M. Foundation, Inc., the American College of Nurse-Midwives, and the Midwifery Business Network, this award recognizes an obstetrician-gynecologist who has demonstrated excellence in clinical practice, education, or research, leadership through the collaboration of physicians and midwives, and advocacy for vulnerable or underserved women.

Matthew Hoffman, MD, MPH, FACOG
Matthew Hoffman is the Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Division of Education and Research for Christiana Care Health System in Newark, Delaware. At every step in his career, Dr. Hoffman has shown unceasing leadership in his support of midwifery, introducing midwives to Christiana Care as collaborative providers and as teachers in the OB/GYN residency program in 2007. On the advocacy front, Dr. Hoffman’s leadership to crucial changes to improve the practice environment to foster better access and integration of midwifery care in Delaware and, through his research initiatives, he has worked to improve maternal health outcomes nationally and internationally.

Distinguished Service Award
This award recognizes a CNM/CM for an unusual and exemplary effort in the field of community service, innovation in midwifery practice, education, or research.

Betty J. Jennings, CNM, MSN
Betty Jennings founded a midwifery practice at the University of Colorado Hospital in 1978, which is still thriving and a primary clinical site. She developed the first nurse-midwifery curriculum at the University, helped to organize one of Colorado’s first out-of-hospital birth center, brought prenatal care to Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, and started a midwifery clinic in a mountain community. Betty has been a part of midwifery advocacy, education, and practice in Colorado for more than 40 years. She was instrumental in changing state legislation to pave the way for the practice of nurse-midwifery in Colorado and has been involved in every major advance in midwifery in the state as a pioneer facilitator, mentor and role model.

Richard Jennings, CNM, MSN
Richard Jennings was director of the first hospital midwifery service in the greater Philadelphia area and the founding member of the first midwife-owned practice and first home birth practice in the Delaware Valley. Richard also served as the director of the first in-hospital birth center within a tertiary care enter on the East Coast. He served as preceptor for students from multiple programs, including Penn, Columbia, NYU, SUNY Downstate, and Yale, and has finished his midwifery career as staff and Director of the Yale Faculty Practice. Richard also served on many ACNM committees at the national and state levels and chaired the ACNM Task Force for the implementation the CM credential.

Exemplary Partner Award

March of Dimes

Media Award

Patsy Harmon, CNM, MSN

Public Policy Award

Erin Biscone, CNM, DNP, FACNM

Journal of Midwifery & Women’s Health (JMWH) New Author Award

Brie Thumm, CNM, PhD, MBA
“The Five Attributes of a Supportive Midwifery Practice Climate: A Review of the Literature”

JMWH Best Review Article Award

Kathryn Fay, MD and Lynn Yee, MD, MPH
“Reproductive Coercion and Women’s Health”

JMWH Best Research Article

Laura Attanasio, PhD and Katy B. Kozhimannil, PhD, MPA
“Relationship between Hospital-Level Percentage of Midwife-Attended Births and Obstetric Procedure Utilization”

Outstanding Preceptor Award

Linda M. Abraham, CNM, MSN; Sarah E. Barton, CNM, MSN, C-EFM; Irma Cobian, CNM, MSN; Melissa J. Creighton, CNM, MSN, LM, IBCLC; Patricia Dodge, ARNP-CNM, MSN; Stephanie Hernet, CNM, MSN, APNP; Robi M. Jaspin, CNM, MSN; Christina Kocis, CNM, DNP; Sr. Mary “Kay” Kramer, CNM, DNP, FNP; Danica Denielle-Fischer Loveridge, CNM, DNP, WHNP; Sara Lipkin, AGNP, WHNP, MSN; Kaity Maistros, CNM, APRN; Emily McGahey, CNM, MSN; Christina McPhersson, CNM, MS; Jennifer Hamblett Mohr, CNM, APRN; Brigitte Raahauge, CNM, MSN; Elizabeth Roeske, CNM;
Karen McEvoy Shields, CNM, MSN; Lisa Sisk, CNM, MSN; Susan Skinner, CNM, APRN; Amy Wallace, CNM, MSN; Mara Wendell, MSN, WHNP-BC; Stacey Wilson, CNM; Elizabeth A. Withnall, CNM, MS; Denise Wharton, CNM, MSN

Teaching Excellence Award

Jill Alliman, CNM, DNP, APRN, Frontier University; Becky Bagley, CNM, DNP FACNM, East Carolina University; Heather Bradford, CNM, ARNP, FACNM, Georgetown University; Suzanne Carrington, CNM, DNP, University of Colorado; Erin Johnson Cole, CNM, DNP, WHNP-BC, University of Utah; Yvonne Griffin, CNM, DNP, ARNP, University of Washington; Mamie Guidera, CNM, MSN, FACNM, University of Pennsylvania; Heather Findletar Hines, CNM, DNP, FACNM, Stony Brook University; Kylea L. Liese, CNM, PhD, University of Chicago; Aleida Llanes-Oberstein, CNM, LM, MS, FACNM, SUNY Downstate; Tonia L. Moore-Davis, CNM, FACNM, Vanderbilt University; Erin Morelli, CNM, MSN, CLC, Yale University; Priscilla M. Nodine, CNM, PhD, University of Colorado; Elizabeth Eiederegger, CNM, DNP, University of Cincinnati; Karen Robinson, CNM, PhD, Marquette University; Kate Woeber, CNM, PhD, MPH, Emory University; Rebekah L. Ruppe, CNM, DNP, LM, Columbia University; Cheri Van Hoover, CNM, MS, FACNM, Thomas Jefferson University

Clinical Star Award 
Certified nurse-midwives/certified midwives in practice more than 25 years.

Lynn Rife, CNM; Lori House, CNM, MS, PhD; Mary McGuinness, CNM, MS; Susan Miller, CNM, MS; Elizabeth (Tish) Roeske, CNM, MS; Lisa Scheiman, CNM

A.C.N.M. Foundation Staff Appreciation Award

Anisa Yusuf, ACNM’s Membership and Affiliate Specialist

Exemplary Affiliate Award
Region 1- Connecticut; Region 2- New Jersey; Region 3- Georgia; Region 4- Indiana; Region 5- Iowa; Region 6- Arizona; Region 7- Oregon

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
409 12th St SW, Suite 600, Washington, DC 20024-2188
Phone: 240.485.1800
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