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Congress Introduces Legislation to Grow and Diversify the Nation’s Midwifery Workforce

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2021
Contact: ACNM Membership & Communications
240.485.1813; [email protected]


The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) applauds long-standing midwifery supporters Representatives Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA), and original cosponsors, Katherine Clark (D-MA) and Ashley Hinson (R-IA) and Senators Ben Ray-Lujan (D-NM) and Lisa Murkowski (R-AK) on the introduction of the Midwives for Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services (MOMS) Act. This bipartisan, bicameral legislation seeks to improve maternal health outcomes by increasing access to high-quality, evidence-based midwifery care and nationally certified midwives nationwide.

Introduced in both the House and Senate on May 19, 2021, the Midwives for MOMS Act establishes two new funding streams under Title VII (Health Professions and Training Programs) and Title VIII (Nursing Workforce Development Programs) of the Public Health Service Act specifically for accredited midwifery education programs. The Midwives for MOMS Act aims to increase the number of midwives educated by accredited midwifery programs through a Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) administered grant program that will directly support student midwives, establish and expand midwifery programs, including within Historically Black Colleges and Universities and other Minority Service Institutions, and ensure support for increasing the number of preceptors at clinical sites to mentor students training to become CNMs, CMs or CPMs. The legislation takes deliberate steps to address the health disparities that disproportionately impact Black, Brown and Indigenous mothers and pregnant and birthing people by prioritizing grant funding to midwifery programs that effectively demonstrate a focus on strengthening and increasing racial and ethnic representation with the goal of creating a more diverse and equitable midwifery workforce.

“The American College of Nurse-Midwives thanks members of Congress for recognizing the critical role that midwives can play in providing high-quality maternal health care,” stated ACNM President Cathy Collins Fulea, DNP, CNM, FACNM. “Targeting federal grant funding for accredited midwifery education programs is crucial to growing and improving racial and ethnic representation within our nation’s maternity care workforce. The Midwives for MOMS Act takes important steps to alleviate significant pressures U.S. communities and health systems are experiencing due to the shortage of trained maternal health care providers, particularly in high need rural and urban areas. By improving access to full scope and culturally-appropriate midwifery care provided by CNMs and CMs, we will be able to better address the considerable disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes found in far too many of our communities.

“ACNM commends the champions behind the Midwives for MOMS Act and looks forward to working with House and Senate leaders and the larger maternal health stakeholder community to ensure this critical legislation is signed into law,” said ACNM Chief Executive Officer, Katrina Holland.

Contact Amy Kohl, ACNM Director, Advocacy & Government Affairs, for more information about Certified Nurse-Midwives and Certified Midwives or ACNM’s work to increase federal funding for accredited midwifery education.

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About ACNM

With over 6,500 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. Learn more at midwife.org.
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