NACPM Celebrates CPM Victories!
Today, we celebrate three exciting milestones! NACPM has an abiding commitment to social justice in birth, to eliminating the unconscionable effects of racism on birth outcomes, and to investing in a strong, racially, ethnically and socially representative midwifery workforce. We are honored to partner with community leaders, our midwife colleagues, students, donors and other stakeholders to achieve the goal of justice, health and well-being for all birthing people and their babies. We invite you to celebrate with us a new law to license CPMs in the District of Columbia, the first MEAC school grant applications for federal funding for midwifery education, and NACPM’s newest Bigger Table Fund awardees!
DC Becomes the 34th Jurisdiction to License CPMs!
On Tuesday, March 3rd, the District of Columbia joined the 33 other jurisdictions that now license Certified Professional Midwives by passing, without opposition, the Certified Professional Midwife Act of 2019
We could not be more proud of Aza Nedhari, CPM, MS and her colleagues who pulled off this critical win, an inspiring example of a community-driven solution to the perinatal care crisis in the U.S. The plight of birthing people in the District, already grave, has been made more desperate by hospital closures, provider shortages, and increasing social disparities. As community-based midwives, CPMs are prepared to immediately deploy to care for people in the most-affected communities in the city where the need is most urgent, the outcomes the poorest, and services currently most limited. We are deeply grateful to Osa Imadojemu, JD, MPH, recently Deputy Director for the DC City Council’s Committee on Health, who envisioned the role CPMs could play in serving those most in need in the District, who reached out to CPMs to be part of the solution, and who shepherded this legislation from start to finish. NACPM was honored to provide strategy and technical support to Osa, Aza and the Committee on Health throughout the process. Congratulations to the midwives and birthing people of the District of Columbia!
MEAC Schools Apply for Federal Government Grants for the First Time
NACPM heartily congratulates Birthwise Midwifery School of Maine, the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University outside of Seattle, and the Midwives College of Utah on this week submitting the first-ever MEAC school grant applications for federal funding for midwifery education - a significant step toward the goal of equity in midwifery shared by NACPM, our schools and our profession. NACPM applauds you and we are rooting for your success!
In December 2019, Congress passed the Further Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2020,
whichincluded an allocation of $2,500,000 to educate midwives
within the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students (SDS) Program in Title VII of the Public Health Service Act.
For the first time ever, students enrolled in MEAC-accredited schools and programs have been included in the categories eligible to receive SDS scholarships.
These grants will increase the number of MEAC students from disadvantaged backgrounds, including members of racial and ethnic minority groups, and the number of our MEAC school graduates working in underserved communities. NACPM, MEAC and our schools recognize the undue barriers faced by indigenous and midwifery students of color. We are deeply grateful to Congresswomen Lucille Roybal-Allard (D-CA) and Jamie Herrera Beutler (R-WA) – both of whom are dedicated to federal support for midwifery education becoming part of the normal course of business for the government – for the opportunity to work with them to mitigate these barriers with federal funding for midwifery education.
NACPM is enormously proud of our schools for stepping up to the daunting application process and the less than two month turnaround for submission, as well as for their track record of racial and ethnic diversity within their student populations and of the number of their graduates serving in provider shortage areas – requirements to be eligible for these grants. This new funding will support our schools to include more students of color and indigenous students, and to better support the students from these communities already enrolled in their programs. More of our schools hoped to apply but discovered unexpected and various reasons for why they did not meet all the eligibility requirements. These schools are making plans now, based on all they have learned about eligibility, to be prepared for future grant opportunities.
Anticipating this opportunity, NACPM called together an Educators Task Force late in 2019 to provide support for our schools to ensure their applications would be competitive. NACPM partnered with the participating schools and with MEAC to hire a DC firm – McAllister and Quinn – with deep experience in supporting institutions of higher education to apply for these SDS Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) grants. We made sure to include schools not able to apply this round in some of the services offered by McAllister and Quinn, at no cost to them, to help build expertise among all of our schools. Current applicants anticipate partnering in future rounds with schools new to the process. We have learned a lot about the grant application process and how to prepare for future opportunities; we plan to share these learnings about our schools and our profession in the near future.
NACPM continues to work towards the passage of H.R. 3849, the Midwives for Maximizing Optimal Maternal Outcomes (MOMS) Act, which will establish new federal funding streams for midwifery education, including $15 million that MEAC schools to will be able to apply to. On Wednesday, March 11th, Mary Lawlor, NACPM’s executive director, will join Amy Kohl, ACNM Director of Advocacy and Government Affairs, to lobby Congress in support of this important legislation. Please contact your Congress members to ask for their support of this
NACPM Congratulates the First 2020 Bigger Table Fund Awardees
It is with great pleasure that NACPM congratulates the first 2020 Bigger Table Fund awardees: Chelsea Jahn’s award towards state licensing fees, and Tamara Trinidad-Gonzalez,Elizabeth Merbitz and Davonia Greenslade who were awarded funding to take the NARM examination. Congratulations! We look forward to the many contributions you will make to improve the lives and health of childbearing people in our country!
Aligning with requests and recommendations from the community, The Bigger Table Fund
provides scholarships for student midwives of color, indigenous and/or LGBTQIA2S+ student midwives for the initial NARM examination fee, the fee for retaking the NARM examination when needed, and state licensure fees for those who are already CPMs. Since its inception in the final quarter of 2018, twenty-six Bigger Table Fund scholarships have been awarded.
The goal of the fund is to remove some of the significant financial barriers that student midwives of color, indigenous and/or LGBTQIA2S+ students and midwives face when entering the CPM profession. Funds are distributed quarterly, according to a lottery system, with $3000 available per cycle. The maximum individual award is $1000.
Eligible candidates may apply through this form
by April 15.