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American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) Awarded Johnson & Johnson Grants

~ ACNM awarded grants for the ‘Access to Equity in Midwifery Education and Care Project’ and the ‘Midwifery Workforce Study’ ~

April 20, 2022
Contact: ACNM Marketing & Communications | 240-485-1800

SILVER SPRING, Md. – Johnson & Johnson (J&J) has awarded ACNM two grants for research and development projects to increase the diversity of the midwifery workforce and increase access to midwifery education and care. The Access to Equity in Midwifery Education and Care Project is funded by J&J’s Our Race to Health Equity initiative, and is part of $100 million pledged for health equity over the next five years. The Midwifery Workforce Study is supported by the J&J Foundation in partnership with the Center for Health Worker Innovation and will conduct a midwifery workforce analysis and identify policy changes needed to expand the midwifery workforce to optimum capacity.

There are currently no midwifery programs at Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCU), where Black midwifery students could study in the most supportive environments. Through the Access to Equity in Midwifery Education and Care Project, ACNM will partner with HBCUs to develop midwifery education programs to increase the number of Black midwives. The grant also aims to improve the recruitment, retention, and graduation of Black, Indigenous, and Spanish-speaking midwifery students by evaluating current midwifery education programs and providing resources to create a more enabling environment.

The current midwifery workforce does not reflect the people it serves, and research shows care provided by providers who mirror their clients background and experience, also known as race concordant care, improves birth outcomes.[1] ACNM will synergize efforts in identifying and addressing barriers and implementing solutions to the complex landscape of midwifery education, by engaging consumers, students, schools, graduates, and clinical sites at the ground level.

Research already shows that midwifery in the US is underutilized and underfunded,[2] so increasing access and integration of midwives throughout the US can improve equity and outcomes.[3] The goal of the Midwifery Workforce Study is to increase the demand for midwifery care and report accurate data on how many more midwives the US needs to meet that demand. ACNM will use data collected by the American Midwifery Certification Board (AMCB) and the Accreditation Commission for Midwifery Education (ACME), to provide the most accurate evaluation of the current midwifery workforce size, capacity, and growth trajectory. These data will be combined with publicly available data to build a model for an adequate midwifery workforce based on maternal child health outcomes. The project will synthesize this information into products, issue briefs, state information sheets, and state score cards, that can be used to advocate for policies that facilitate an adequate midwifery workforce.

“ACNM appreciates the support of Johnson & Johnson in advancing this important work, scaling up midwifery by bolstering the workforce and increasing access to midwifery education for students of color,” said ACNM President, Cathy Collins-Fulea, DNP, CNM, FACNM. “These projects will help ACNM propel the midwifery profession forward with crucial research and the tools and resources for more equitable education programs.”

“In the fight for health equity and a stronger midwifery workforce, ACNM is thrilled to have been awarded these grants by Johnson & Johnson,” said ACNM Chief Executive Officer, Katrina H. Holland. “ACNM will be able to put their commitment to diversity, equity and inclusion into action and take a strong step forward as an organization and profession.”

For more information about the Access to Equity in Midwifery Education and Care Project and the Midwifery Workforce Study, visit https://www.midwife.org/domestic-projects.


The American College of Nurse-Midwives (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, and works to strengthen the capacity of midwives in the United States and throughout the world. Our members are primary care providers 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 clinical practice standards, and creates liaisons with state and federal agencies and members of Congress to increase the visibility and recognition of midwifery care. To learn more about ACNM, visit www.midwife.org, follow us on Twitter or Instagram @ACNMmidwives, find us on Facebook, or engage with us on LinkedIn.

[1] Greenwood, B. N., Hardeman, R. R., Huang, L., & Sojourner, A. (2020). Physician–patient racial concordance and disparities in birthing mortality for newborns. Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 117(35), 21194-21200.

[2] Sakala, C., Hernández-Cancio, S., Coombs, S., Essoka, N., Mackay, E., (2020, September) Improving our maternity care now. Four models decisionmakers must implement for healthier moms and babies. National Partnership for women and families, https://www.nationalpartnership.org/our-work/resources/health-care/maternity/improving-our-maternity-care-now.pdf.

[3] Vedam, S., Stoll, K., MacDorman, M., Declercq, E., Cheyney, M., Fisher, T., ... & Kennedy, H. P. February 21, 2018. “Mapping of Integration of Midwives Across the United Sates: Impact on Access, Equity, and Outcomes.” 13. PLoS One, 2.

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