NACPM is electing two new Board members this summer. If you are a CPM Member of NACPM, you will receive an email with voting instructions. Here are our candidates in their own words:
Jenny Jahn, CPM, LM, CHD from New Mexico states: “The National Association of Certified Professional Midwives was presented to my class when I was in midwifery school. Thereafter, a fellow midwife endorsed NACPM and I decided to look into it. Doing research, NACPM made an impact on me because it promotes women’s heath through the CPM credential and promotes the CPM as a profession. I appreciate how NACPM is its own entity for my profession as a CPM without comparing the CPM to a CNM, MD or ND, etc. I am running for the NACPM Board because I believe in this philosophy of keeping the CPM profession and because I am in a place in life to make the commitment to the requirements listed.
As a Board member of NACPM, I would like to contribute to the good already going on by the current Board as well as bring myself to the table. It is my hope to continue to promote the CPM to, in turn, better women and families during the childbearing years and overall heath thereof. Far too many CPMs are turning to become CNMs because of the lack of trust, support, financial stability and sustainability of practicing as a CPM. We can do better than to change our profession. This minimizes the CPM credential even further. Furthermore, as a member of the LGBTQ community, I feel I can offer this unique perspective.
If I am elected to the NACPM Board, I hope to experience a broader spectrum of being in the healthcare field as a midwife and to expand my midwifery community. I hope to experience midwifery on a national and, dare I hope, international scale.”
April Haugen, MSM, LM, CPM from Washington State shares: “I am excited to be running for a position on the NACPM board. I am passionate about increasing access of CPM’s in the US, establishing standards of care/equality in our communities, and providing culturally sensitive care to the family’s midwives are so passionate about. Being on the board will increase my capacity to make a difference in furthering the advancement of midwifery. I want to be a part in making midwifery sustainable by affecting CMP’s on the State and Federal level.
I have been supporting families as a birth doula since 2000, then went on to obtain my Bachelor’s Degree in Herbal Science from Bastyr University in 2010. In 2014 graduated with Masters in the Science of Midwifery from Bastyr University. I’ve practicing as a Licensed Midwife and CPM since 2014. My solo practice is in Ellensburg, a rural part of Central WA. I provide home birth services. It has been such a unique experience establishing validation as a medical professional and working to create respectful collegiate relationships with the other practitioners in the area. This has opened even greater opportunities as teaching is my other passion. I preceptor student midwives from many different schools and in 2017 became a preceptor for the Community Health Family Resident Physician program. It has been such a joy guiding resident physicians through the midwifery model of care; client led, supporting physiologic birth and providing family center care. These doctors are going out from this community to work with CPM’s around the US and will be open to creating and establishing relationships with them. This will only increase sustainability and acknowledgment of CPM’s.
Outside of clinical work, I spend a lot of time volunteering in many other ways. I was recently nominated for the Midwifery Advisory Committee in WA State starting in 2019, spend time on the DOH-Maternal Mortality Panel, volunteer on the breastfeeding coalition in Ellensburg and volunteer in Search and Rescue of Kittitas County. I am an avid hiker and keep busy raising my two teenagers as a single parent. I am passionate about birth and finding a way to provide the best care possible with sustainability.”
Laura Perez, LM, CPM from California writes: “When I learned that I had a womb, I became a feminist. When I learned that there were people actively trying to control and colonize my womb, I became a reproductive freedom and rights activist. And when I learned what a midwife was, I decided to become one. I suppose I need to be mindful about what I learn about since these things tend to shape my life.
Some of the things I’ve done include being a member of the Women of Color Organizing Project with CARAL, being a co-founder of Exhale, a national multilingual after abortion counseling talk line, and being a regional rep for CAM, the California Association of Midwives.
I’ve taught well over a hundred medical students how to do women-centered and comprehensive breast and pelvic exams as a Gynecological Teaching Associate, using my own aforementioned womb and breasts as teaching tools. I’ve done volunteer and paid doula work on and off for the past 13 years. And I’m an apprentice trained Certified Professional Midwife, a Licensed Midwife, with my own practice, and one of only two midwives of color based in San Francisco.
I’m proud to identify as a working class immigrant of Native and Latin American heritage. My partner and I are also parents to a seventh grader who owns our hearts.
Why I want to run for the NACPM board:
Midwives have the ability to affect significant change in maternity care nationally. I think that NACPM may be a resource for midwives who would like to be a part of that significant change. While I believe these are dire times in the U.S., I also believe that mothers and midwives offer much needed hope for families searching for workable solutions, not just to the maternity health crisis, but also larger community health issues. I would like to offer my perspective to the conversations that NACPM is having regarding the current and future role and goals of midwifery.”
Megan Koontz, MSM, LM, CPM is a midwife, a midwifery educator and is passionate regarding midwifery issues. She currently lives in Anchorage, Alaska having moved in 2016 from Ridgecrest, California, but she is originally from New Zealand.
Megan has worked midwife across a variety of setting including as a home birth, birthing center and hospital midwife. She has attended births in New Zealand, England, Alaska, Utah, and California. The variety of birth place has means that Megan has supported people through a wide range of birthing experiences, from natural home births to hospital births that included epidurals and cesarean sections.
Megan obtained her Bachelor of Midwifery in New Zealand in 2001, and Masters in Midwifery in 2015. She started as faculty with the Midwives College of Utah and currently holds the position of Core Academic Faculty and Academic Dean. Megan is currently completing the Postgraduate certificate in Educational Design and Technology through the University of Memphis.
Megan loves the outdoors including skiing, skating, hiking and biking and is surprising herself by enjoying winter in Alaska almost more than she enjoys summer.
Megan writes: “I am interested in running for the board to support the growth of midwifery in the USA. My midwifery career began in New Zealand where I first trained and spent my early years as a midwife. The experience of working within system where midwifery is fully integrated at a national level is one reason for my enthusiasm for working to advance midwifery. I believe that midwives can be their most effective when they are a respected member of a team the comes together to support birthing people.
I have the daily privilege of working with our upcoming midwives. They constantly challenge me to become the midwife I know I should be. This means working towards a stronger, more equitable system that recognizes midwives for our knowledge, our education and our experience and demands that we examine our role in ensuring quality, appropriate and respectful care for all birthing people. For this to happen we need to eliminate the current systemic racism and remove the existing differences in birth outcomes. If selected I would expect to support the work of NACPM as well as continuing my own personal work in these areas.
My daily work with a school that exists in a web-based environment, as well as my current studies in Educational Technology, ensure that I am fluent in navigating online spaces and communication. As NACPM is a national body, much of the work involved in being part of the board revolves around creating and distributing online content and my work in this area would complement the work the board is already doing.”
Kate Hartwell, CM, CPM is a New Hampshire Certified Midwife, a Certified Professional Midwife, and the owner and operator of Concord Birth Center in Concord, NH. She is also the owner of The River Guild, a holistic health center. Her career in birth work has spanned 11 years and she has attended over 600 births. Kate is a member of the New Hampshire Midwifery Council, where she serves as Secretary. She is also a member of the NH Newborn Screening Advisory Committee. Kate and her colleagues at the Concord Birth Center value informed birth experiences and equal access to midwifery care. She is a mother of two daughters, and in her free time enjoys spending time with them in the beautiful Granite State.
Kate writes “I am running for this board position at NACPM because I feel strongly that this organization is capable of securing accessibility to midwives for the majority of birthing people. I am also impressed by NACPM’s commitment to ending the enormous racial disparities that exist in maternity care in this country.”
Elizabeth Baer, CPM, LDM, from Oregon writes: “Shortly after birthing my first baby in October 2000, I found Ina May’s Spiritual Midwifery at a Barnes & Noble. I’d remembered hearing about midwives in high school history class and was pleased to learn that out of hospital midwives were still a thing. I had always been interested in public health and thought that becoming a midwife would suit my personality and career goals.
At that point, we knew we wanted more children, and I kept putting off midwifery school. I worked for the Baltimore County WIC Program as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor from 2001-2005. In 2010, I trained as a doula and helped found the Central New York Doula Connection. After attending my first Midwifery Today conference in the spring of 2011, I began midwifery school that summer, through the National Midwifery Institute (a MEAC accredited program), and graduated in 2014.
I live and work in Oregon’s rural Mid-Valley region with my husband and five biological children. I am lucky to work in partnership with another midwife, at Midvalley Birthing Services, a home birth practice. I have been a licensed midwife here in Oregon since 2014.
I first heard about NACPM and its work at the 2013 MANA conference in Portland, Oregon, for which I served on the planning committee. I am a member of NACPM and enjoy what they have to offer their members and midwives as a whole. Like NACPM, since before beginning my midwifery practice, I have envisioned a healthcare system where all mothers have access to midwifery care, are able to birth with a midwife in the location that best suits their family, and have an equal chance to being healthy.
From 2014-16, I served on the Linn Local Advisory Committee, a group that advised our local Medicaid management company on delivering services to members and improving health outcomes in our region.
My goals for my own midwifery practice, and for my time of service on the board, are to improve health outcomes for mothers and babies, encourage safe midwifery practice with good screening and referral guidelines for midwives, and to improve access to midwifery care.
Thank you for your consideration.”