NACPM Offers Training and Support for Health Care Reform Participation

Becky Martin points out that in Canada the midwives were not organized as their country’s health care reform unfolded. It took another 20 years for midwives in Canada to secure a position for their services in the new system! As part of the NACPM strategy to ensure that CPMs are at the table as health care reform unfolds, the Board has been educating itself about the current state of health care delivery in the US, the efforts underway to reform it, and how CPMs and midwives can effectively participate.

To launch this participation, NACPM is sponsoring a day-long pre-conference workshop on October 18th at MANA 2007 in Clearwater, Florida: Midwives and the “Health Care for All” Movement: Let’s Seize the Opportunity to Transform Maternity Care for ALL Women, presented and facilitated by Becky Martin and Jo Anne Myers-Ciecko. This workshop will be the kick-off event to generate a group of midwives and consumers who will be provided with tools and ongoing education and support for bringing the perspective of CPMs to state and federal health care reform initiatives.

This one-day workshop will be full of information and ideas, exciting examples, useful materials, and skill-building activities to help you be a more effective advocate for midwifery. You will get hands-on experience examining specific state and national legislation that could impact women’s access to midwifery care and/or your ability to work as a midwife. You will learn how to participate in “health care for all” coalitions and strengthen your own organization to promote midwifery and health care reform. You will hear what policy-makers are saying about midwifery and how you can influence their decisions!

The presenters of this workshop are Becky Martin and Jo Anne Myers-Ciecko, whom many of you know. Becky is Education and Outreach Coordinator for the Universal Health Care Action Network ( She is an expert in networking and coalition-building among diverse health care activists, trade unions, business leaders, community organizations and health care professionals. Her national work builds on 20 years of experience as a grassroots activist that began when she organized Florida Friends of Midwives in 1987 to advocate for midwifery legislation. Jo Anne Myers-Ciecko has taught courses and workshops in professional midwifery issues for more than 25 years. Her first act as a midwifery advocate was to organize a Washington State Friends of Midwifery in 1981. In the 1990’s, when comprehensive health reform was attempted in her state, she identified threats and opportunities in the legislation, trained activists, and masterminded a coordinated response that led to an increase in access to midwifery care.

After a board training with Jo Anne and Becky, one of the NACPM board member’s responses was: “Wow! I got preview of this workshop and in just one hour with Becky and Jo Anne, I learned so much more about how I can get involved in health care reform – and I’ve been a midwifery advocate for over 25 years! I can’t wait to get together with other activists in this forum where we can share ideas and develop a national strategy for midwifery action.”

If you believe that all childbearing women should have access to midwifery care, that midwives should be fairly compensated for their services, if you want to get the latest information on national health care reform and what it could mean for midwifery, plan to attend this workshop. If you are ready to join a network of midwifery activists who are organized, well-informed, and engaged in state and national action to achieve these goals, plan to attend this workshop.

Even if you cannot attend but would like to participate in other virtual and conference-call trainings and support, send us an email or call us at 866-704-9844! To register for the workshop, and for conference details, visit the MANA web site.