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House Introduces Legislation to Increase Federal Funding for Midwifery Education Programs

July 23, 2019
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 Representatives Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Barbara Lee (D-CA), Darren Soto (D-FL), Gwen Moore (D-WI), Katherine Clark (D-MA), and Debra Haaland (D-NM) on the introduction of H.R. 3849, the Midwives for Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services (MOMS) Act. The legislation seeks to improve maternal health outcomes; ensure access to high-quality maternal health services for women, newborns, individuals, and families; and help end crisis level U.S. maternal mortality rates by expanding educational opportunities for Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs), Certified Midwives (CMs), and Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs). The unprecedented, monumental legislation represents the first-time federal policymakers have prioritized investment in accredited midwifery education programs.

Introduced by the House of Representatives on July 18, 2019, H.R. 3849 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. The Midwives for MOMS Act aims to increase the number of midwives educated by U.S. Department of Education-accredited midwifery programs by allocating funds that will support student midwives, establish or expand midwifery programs, and ensure support for increasing the number of preceptors at clinical training sites to mentor students training to become CNMs, CMs or CPMs. Additionally, the legislation takes deliberate steps to address the health disparities that disproportionately impact black mothers and other people of color by prioritizing midwifery programs that demonstrate a focus on strengthening and increasing racial and ethnic representation that will help to create a more diverse 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 Susan Stone, CNM, DNSc, FACNM, FAAN. “Increased federal 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 and women’s health care providers, particularly in high need rural and urban areas. By improving access to full scope midwifery care provided by CNMs and CMs we will be able to better address the significant disparities in maternal and infant health outcomes found in far too many of our communities.”

“ACNM commends the champions behind H.R. 3849 and looks forward to working with House and Senate leaders and the larger maternal and women’s health stakeholder community to get this legislation signed into law,” said ACNM Chief Executive Officer Sheri A. Sesay-Tuffour, PhD, CAE.

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.

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