Policy Update: Exciting Federal Opportunities for CPMs on the Horizon
Historic 116th Congress
A vibrant new energy is palpable in the halls of this 116 th Congress, the most racially, ethnically and socially diverse in history, and exciting new federal opportunities for CPMs are on the horizon. A new commitment among our nation’s leaders has emerged to address the unconscionable rates of mortality, preterm birth and severe complications of pregnancy suffered by birthing people in our country, and especially and disproportionally by Black and Native American childbearing people – along with a critical recognition that midwifery care is key to improving outcomes while lowering costs. Two bills to support the education of midwives are on or will soon be on the docket this session, supporting the growth of and urgently needed racial diversity in the midwifery profession.
Two Bills: First-Ever Federal Legislation to Fund the Education of CPMs
Funding for Midwifery Education included in the House 2020 Appropriations Bill
On June 19th, the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 2740, the Departments of Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education Appropriations Act of 2020. NACPM and ACNM were invited to work with Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s office to include $2,500,000 in this legislation to be allocated to educate midwives within the Scholarships for Disadvantaged Students program in Title VII of the Public Health Service Act. MEAC and ACME-accredited schools and programs will be able to apply for grants for direct support for CPM, CM and CNM students of color and Native American students. This funding will help address the critical national shortage of birth care providers, and specifically address the urgent lack of adequate racial representation in the birth care workforce . The Senate is currently at work on their version of the 2020 appropriations bill, after which the House and Senate bills will be reconciled to produce the final Congressional appropriations legislation for 2020. NACPM will continue to work with Congresswoman Roybal-Allard and Congress to advance this exciting and important legislation through these next steps and will keep you up to date.
Midwives for Maximizing Optimal Maternity Services (Midwives for MOMS) Act of 2019
NACPM has been privileged, along with ACNM, to assist in the development of legislation with Congresswoman Roybal-Allard’s (D-CA-40) office that has the potential to revolutionize progress for the Certified Professional Midwife profession and access to care for childbearing people in our country.
This legislation will authorize the first-ever federal funding program that will support the education of CPMs. Soon to be introduced, the bill will authorize a funding stream of $15,000,000 for fiscal years 2021-2025 in Title VII of the Public Health Service Act. This funding will apply to CPM and Certified Midwife (CM) schools that are accredited by MEAC or ACME. (The Act authorizes a corresponding $20,000,000 for nurse-midwifery education in Title VIII.) Grants from this funding can be used for these purposes:
Special consideration will be given to schools that prioritize students planning to practice in health professional shortage areas and that demonstrate a focus on increasing racial and ethnic minority representation in midwifery education.
Once the Midwives for MOMS Act is introduced, NACPM will reach out for your help securing your legislators’ support for this exciting and important legislation. We at NACPM are thrilled with this opportunity and its potential to transform our profession.