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The Value of a Unified Voice for Certified Professional Midwives

Why form an NACPM Pilot Chapter?
The promise of a National Association of Certified Professional Midwives is the creation of a unified voice for the profession, the model of care, and the benefits that accrue to women, babies and families from CPM care. A powerful unified CPM voice enhances our national influence to improve the maternity care system in the U.S., promote and protect the profession, and support increased access for all women to the high-quality, high-value care of CPMs. A unified national voice is an effective vehicle for including CPMs as primary maternity care providers in the rapidly evolving and reforming health care system in the U.S., supporting licensing for CPMs in all 50 states, significantly increasing and diversifying the CPM workforce, addressing reimbursement and improved reimbursement rates, and developing support for clinical practice and quality improvement.

A Missing Piece in the Direct-Entry Midwifery Movement
While there are many shining examples among the states of well-organized and effective state associations, a unified voice for direct-entry midwifery and certified professional midwifery is decidedly lacking. A structure for relationships among the states, and between the states and a national professional association, is a significant missing piece in the development of direct-entry midwifery in the United States.

How the NACPM Chapter Pilot Project Can Help
An NACPM chapters system will:

  • Combine the voices of midwives in states across the country for increasingly effective advocacy to organize, mobilize, promote and defend CPM midwifery;

  • Develop a direct relationship between NACPM and midwives in states across the nation, to enable NACPM to provide support, gather and disseminate data about the national picture of CPM midwifery, and share critical national information with the states;

  • Create a an avenue for midwives in the states to inform and contribute to the direction of NACPM, reflecting the needs of the various states;

  • Provide a vehicle for the states to learn from each other and contribute to national strategy solutions that have been prototyped in the states

While state level action by midwives and advocates to license, reimburse and support CPMs locally is critical, CPM midwifery is inevitably impacted by national legislation and policy. In the federal/state governing system in the United States:

  • States have authority over licensing of CPMs, developing rules of practice, limiting or expanding scope of practice, what type of regulatory body will govern CPMs and how much voice CPMs have over their practice;

  • Federal government and agencies (Congress, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, U.S. Health and Human Services, etc.) develop laws, policies, regulations and guidance that have significant influence on national and state level health care systems and delivery, access to care, reimbursement, and innovation in health care delivery.

States need the support of each other and a national professional association. A strategy and structure to effectively promote the development of Certified Professional Midwifery must reflect the federal/state reality and provide for a working relationship between midwives in the states and the national voice of the professional association.

Why a Pilot Project?
There is wide variation among the states regarding legal recognition of midwives; relationships between the state midwifery associations and state legislatures, regulatory agencies and boards; reimbursement; legal recognition for birth centers; the relationship between the CPM credential and state licensing mechanisms; unity of the midwifery voice within a state; and capacity, strength and influence of the state midwifery associations. A Pilot Project takes this variation into account by developing a Chapter structure for NACPM in collaboration with the states.

NACPM invites states to collaborate with NACPM in the re-launch of the Pilot Chapters Project over a two-year period (January 2014 through December 2015) to immediately begin to address national and state needs of CPMs and to develop a creative and effective NACPM Chapter system to serve this function over the long term. NACPM is accepting Pilot Chapter applications now. Contact admin@nacpm.org to get started today on your state pilot chapter!

During the pilot project, the Pilot Chapters will have a close working relationship with the NACPM board, but there will be no legal chapter structure, no financial relationship between the Pilot Chapters and NACPM, and Pilot Chapters will not have access to sharing the NACPM corporate status until the completion of the pilot project.

Collection of relevant data and state experience, and research on possible Chapters structures, will be on-going throughout the two years of the Pilot Project. A report of this data and research will be provided to Pilot Chapters and NACPM membership at the end of the first year of the project, as well as at the completion of the project. The NACPM Board of Directors will take these reports under advisement, propose an NACPM Chapters structure and By-Law change in early 2016, and put these to a vote of NACPM members early in 2016.

Please join NACPM in creating an effective national voice for NACPM!

Download the NACPM Chapter Pilot Description

Download the NACPM Chapter Pilot Policy

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