2013 NACPM Board Nominees
Lia Byrnes, MBA, CPM
I am thrilled to be considered for your board, and am likewise happy that there is a force working to facilitate access to midwifery services for all women, hopefully removing some of the legal hurdles to accessibility.
I am biological mother of 2, and am the 'other mother’ to an additional 8 children (and grandmother to 6). My daughter was born in the hospital in 1992 with an epidural in place as well as a parade of strangers coming in to view my process. By the time she was 5, I had completed a BA in Economics and a MBA in Accounting from Clark University. In 2000 I gave birth to my son in a very different setting, in the woods of northern California with midwives.
My study of midwifery and other aspects of alternative health care began following the homebirth of my second child in 2000. I became ALACE certified as a childbirth assistant and began attending births in 2001. I then realized that my calling in this field was deeper than I originally thought. The bulk of my midwifery training was then gained from an apprenticeship with a Certified Nurse Midwife, which started in 2002. I also enjoyed supplementing my home birth training by visiting Casa de Naciemento in 2007. In 2009, I was licensed by the State of Arizona. In 2011 I became a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM).
I have been involved in the arena of social change since early childhood with a strong familial background in direct action. During my time working in public accounting I specialized in working with the various non-profit clients of the firm. I am a point in my life where I can take my communication skills as well as my passion and use it as a vehicle for social change. I feel that the empowerment of women in childbirth and babies born into gentle hands is the greatest service that I can provide.
I dream of a day where every mother can have access to the birth attendant of their choosing in the venue that brings them the most comfort without the barriers of cost, legality or even access/availability. And I will work until that is not just a dream but also a reality.
Jamie A. Eidsath, CPM
Ann Arbor, Michigan
My name is Jamie Eidsath. I am a midwife practicing with two partners at New Moon Midwifery in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I obtained my CPM in 2011 after apprenticing in the same practice and completing the PEP process. I have a bachelor’s degree in English from Wellesley College. I am a member of the Michigan Midwives Association, MANA, and NACPM.
A strength I would bring to NACPM is the ability to communicate effectively. One of the things I do on the state level is to make phone calls to state legislators to make lobbying appointments for the coalition that seeks to license midwives in Michigan. I enjoy teamwork and am reliable at meeting deadlines and accomplishing what I commit to do.
I am running for the board of NACPM because I want to support its mission to expand access to midwifery care through policy work. Insurance coverage, especially Medicaid coverage, is often a deciding factor for families who want to work with CPMs. As a midwife practicing in an unlicensed state, I have an interest in how NACPM can support state licensure movements and how currently unlicensed states are influenced by national policy efforts.
I want to see women who want a physiologic birth to be able to find legal midwives in their communities and to be able to afford our services, regardless of family income. Many of the people we care for might never need to interact with another care provider for pregnancy and birth, but when a consultation or a transfer of care is necessary, we know that outcomes and satisfaction are better in communities where CPMs are able to collaborate with other health care providers.
I want to see people who aspire to be midwives to be able to find high quality education options in their states and to be able to access student loans and financial aid so that we can have midwives from a diverse array of backgrounds and life experiences. CPMs need to be part of mainstream health care if we want to reduce barriers to our services and our profession, and I look forward to helping NACPM work toward that goal.
Illysa Rene Foster, M.Ed., CPM
NACPM is the only national professional organization solely dedicated to the interests of certified professional midwives and the women we serve. In my area of the country, few midwives are involved with NACPM or understand its role. I would like to help connect midwives in my region with their professional organization and assist them in having a national voice. I think that NACPM can help Texas midwives and midwives from other southwestern states build a united identity, organize and advocate both for themselves and for childbearing women and their families. If elected to the board, I would like to assist NACPM in upholding ethical and educational standards in the profession that reflect midwives’ deep commitment to quality maternity care and promote the CPM credential as the standard profession for maternity care.
I am a home birth midwife in Austin. I am co-author of Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice (Jones & Bartlett, 2011), a practical guide to ethics for midwives. I also developed an ethics model for midwives that reflects the Midwives Model of Care and I lecture at local, state and national conferences on midwifery ethics. I am currently studying perinatal psychology, while training to become a licensed psychotherapist for women in the childbearing years. My background includes ten years in higher education, instructing undergraduates in the field of psychology.
Autumn Vergo NHCM, CPM, RN
My name is Autumn Vergo, and I am a New Hampshire Certified Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife. I am the co-owner of The Birth Cottage of Milford, PLLC, a freestanding birth center in Southern New Hampshire. I’m proud to be an apprentice-trained midwife, certified through NARM's Portfolio Evaluation Process. I have been practicing since 2009. I am also adjunct faculty at Birthwise Midwifery School, a MEAC-accredited program in Bridgton, Maine. In addition to my work at the birth center, for the past two years I've served as a member of our region’s multi-hospital quality improvement organization’s Homebirth Taskforce. As a member of the Homebirth Taskforce, I work alongside pediatricians, obstetrician/gynecologists, midwives and nurses on several projects intended to improve communication between hospital-based providers and community midwives. I'm also an elected member of our regional Confidential Review and Improvement Board, which provides confidential case review to member hospitals and midwifery organizations.
In 2012 I became a Registered Nurse, and am currently enrolled in a nurse midwifery master’s program. As an RN, I work as a public health home visitor for at-risk mothers and babies, and have participated in several international medical brigades as a triage and women’s health nurse. Prior to becoming a midwife, I worked for 10 years as a writer and journalist. I live in rural New Hampshire with my husband and two children; we are part of a co-housing community that occupies 90 acres of hills and forest and is governed by consensus. I became interested in midwifery after my own son’s homebirth, and through a chance,shortly thereafter, to testify before the NH House of Representatives as a consumer interested in protecting access to midwifery care. I’ve remained politically active since then, and have worked on several legislative issues related to women’s health including mandated insurance coverage for the services of NH midwives.
I believe CPMs should have a strong voice not only in our “safety zones” of home and birth center birth, but also in multidisciplinary discussions about healthcare policy, public health intervention, and best clinical practice. We must make ourselves a part of these discussions so that they do not pass us by. I believe that CPMs have a unique perspective on patient choice and family-centered care, and that this perspective should be shared with our colleagues in healthcare and policy development. I want to ensure that community midwifery remains a rich and sustainable career path for young people and for experienced midwives. To me, serving on the Board of the NACPM represents an incredible opportunity to promote the visibility, expertise, and sustainability of our profession. I thank you for your consideration, and I especially thank you for your work as midwives.