Letter from the President

Dear NACPM Members and Friends,

A national conversation about health care reform has finally begun! This conversation, as well as the upcoming congressional and presidential elections, presents an important opportunity for Certified Professional Midwives to radically increase women’s access to midwifery care in the United States. To accomplish this increased access to care, support for state licensure of CPMs and federal recognition of the CPM are essential. NACPM is fashioning bold strategies to achieve these goals, which the Board is excited to present in this newsletter.

Preserving, Protecting and Increasing Access to the Midwives Model of Care™
To radically increase women’s access to midwifery care, both state licensure and federal recognition of the CPM are essential. NACPM is therefore fashioning bold strategies to achieve these goals.

All states currently attempting legislation are proposing to license midwives holding the CPM credential. This credential preserves the Midwives Model of Care™ by defining the knowledge and skills necessary for entry to midwifery practice. The role and value of the NACPM Standards of Practice in state licensing is to protect the Midwives Model of Care™ by defining midwifery practice itself. This protection is accomplished when legislation refers directly to the Standards, requiring state regulators to use them in the development of rules of practice. Wisconsin and Virginia both referred to the Standards in their statutes, causing them to become an essential guide in the regulation of midwifery in their states. (See article in this newsletter by Leslie Payne, CPM, from Virginia, and Edie Wells, CPM from Wisconsin.) Federal recognition of the CPM would dramatically increase access to the Midwives Model of Care™ by supporting reimbursement for CPM services.

This combination of preservation, protection and increased access to the model of care strengthens midwifery as an autonomous profession and insures CPMs a place in the health care system that will emerge from the health care reform process as it unfolds over the next several years.

Promoting the Work of CPMs
NACPM has solicited input from CPMs through a variety of means, including discussions at Annual Membership Meetings at the MANA Conferences and a survey distributed at MANA 2005. CPMs have expressed the desire for an NACPM focus on removing barriers to practice, including support for state licensing and improving reimbursement for CPM services. The Board has spent the past two years doing the investigative work needed and laying the groundwork to respond thoughtfully and powerfully to this direction from CPMs. Also, we have examined the essential work that is being done by the other midwifery organizations, in order to identify and clarify NACPM’s unique role in advancing midwifery in the 21st century. It is in this context that the Board has identified the NACPM Strategy for Increased Access to Midwifery Care. We are excited to describe this strategy for you in this newsletter in the following articles: Health Care Reform Presents an Opportunity and an Imperative for CPMs, NACPM’s Legislative Agenda to Increase Access to Care, and NACPM Offers Training and Support for Health Care Reform Participation.

CPMs: Statistics and Research
Two articles in this newsletter by Peggy Garland, CNM, MPH, illuminate ways to extend the impact of the Midwives Model of Care™ to the wider community, beyond the scope of clinical midwifery practice.

Peggy’s article, “Widening the Impact of CPMs and the Midwives Model of Care,” challenges us to think about another aspect of widening the reach of our profession: encouraging CPMs to pursue graduate education and research to affect the development of health care policy and the overall health care system in the United States and even abroad.

Peggy’s second article, “Data Collection for All of Us”, describes MANA’s ground-breaking web-based data collection project, as well as the power of midwifery data to affect policy and practice. You need only speak to the midwives in Virginia and Wisconsin about the role the CPM 2000 study played in the success of their legislative efforts, to realize the importance of every CPM entering her practice data into this data base. NACPM encourages all CPMs to participate in the MANA data collection project, which can be directly linked from the NACPM website.

The NACPM Board believes that these are exciting times for midwifery, and that the health care reform movement presents a unique opportunity to bring the dream of a midwife for every mother closer to reality than ever before. We believe that Certified Professional Midwifery is poised to take its rightful place in our health care system and in the lives of the women and families in our states and our country. We welcome your ideas and your participation in this work of NACPM.

Please write to us at executivedirector@nacpm.org or call us at 866-704-9844! We look forward to seeing many of you at the MANA 2007 Conference in October on the beach in beautiful Clearwater, Florida and at the Midwives and the “Health Care for All” Movement workshop! Click here for a pdf of the workshop flyer.

Best wishes,

Mary Lawlor, CPM, LM, MA
President, NACPM

For a pdf version of this newsletter, click here.