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American College of Nurse-Midwives Announces First Black President and New 2022 Board of Directors


~ Continuing strategic priorities in diversity, equity, and inclusion, ACNM announces the appointment of new President and three new board members~

June 28, 2022 - SILVER SPRING, Md. – The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) recently made history on May 25, 2022, as the first Black President, Heather Clarke, DNP, LM, CNM, APRN, FACNM was installed at the 67th Annual Meeting & Exhibition. Clarke has served as an integral part of the Board of Directors for the last year as President-Elect.

“As we look toward the future with Heather at the helm of ACNM, our commitment to diversity, equity, and inclusion is paramount,” said Chief Executive Officer of ACNM, Katrina H. Holland. “We seek to build a more equitable future for all moms and babies who are better served by a system that centers midwives, and culturally congruent care, in the fight to improve health outcomes for black, indigenous, and people of color.”

Heather's midwifery career spans over 40 years and encompasses a rich history of clinical practice, public health, and academia. Heather’s service to her fellow midwives began in the mid-1980s when she served as Treasurer of the New York ACNM chapter when they successfully fought to develop the first state board of midwifery in the United States and paved the way for the development of the LM credential that is equally inclusive of Certified Midwives and Certified Nurse-Midwives.

Heather followed previous pioneers, becoming the chairperson of the Midwives of Color Committee (MOCC) in 2013. Under her leadership, MOCC continued to fundraise for the Watson scholarship for midwifery students of color and developed the Carrington-Hsia-Nieves scholarship to support doctoral education. Her other positions of leadership have included Co-Chair of the ACNM Students and New Midwives Committee and alternate ACNM representative to US-MERA. Heather's active engagement within ACNM has prepared her for leadership at the highest level.

Three new board members were also installed during the 67th ACNM Annual Meeting & Exhibition:

  • Region III Representative: Nikia Grayson, DNP, MPH, MA, CNM, FNP-C | Bartlett, TN
Dr. Nikia Grayson is a Black feminist and Reproductive Justice informed public health activist, anthropologist, and family nurse-midwife who has devoted her life to serving and empowering people in underserved communities. She has more than 15 years experience working in public health and nursing, and has a deep love for midwifery and growing the workforce of midwives and birth workers of colors in the south. Nikia is the Chief Clinical Officer at CHOICES Memphis Center for Reproductive Health, where they have opened the first non-profit comprehensive reproductive health care center in the country and the first birth center in Memphis.

  • Midwives of Color Committee Representative: Jennifer Woo, CNM, PhD, WHNP-BC, MSN | Rockwall, TX
Jennifer Woo, CNM, PhD, WHNP-BC, MSN has been practicing full-scope midwifery care since 2006 and was one of the first CNMs to work at a federally qualified health center in Chicago, IL. In this setting she initiated the development of a robust CenteringPregnancy and CenteringParenting
programs. Her national service includes work on 2012 ACNM core competencies and vice-chair of the Midwives of Color Committee and has served on the Board Composition Task Force. She is currently an Assistant Professor at Texas Woman's University doing health disparities research as it relates to maternal child health and practicing at Parkland Hospital in Dallas, TX.

  • Student Representative: Natalie San Luis, RN | Portland, OR
Natalie (they/them) is a nurse and student midwife at Oregon Health and Science University. Their background is in reproductive justice and abortion access advocacy. Prior to moving to Portland to attend OHSU, Natalie lived in Texas, where they served as the Houston regional coordinator for Pro-Choice Texas and volunteered as an abortion doula and clinic escort. After graduating, Natalie is especially interested in providing gynecological care, family planning support, and perinatal care for queer and trans patients. In their spare time, Natalie loves to hike, make ceramics, and cook food for anyone sitting at their table.

To see the full 2022 Board of Directors, and get more information about ACNM’s volunteer structure, please visit: https://www.midwife.org/volunteer#BOD.


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, engage with us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram @ACNMmidwives or find us on LinkedIn.

American College of Nurse-Midwives
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Phone: 240.485.1800
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