Every fall midwives and birth workers gather together from all over the U.S. and beyond for three days of learning, celebration and renewal at the MANA (Midwives Alliance of North America) annual conference. This year we convened at the Albuquerque Hotel in Old Town, NM.
Abby Luca, AME’s Administrative Coordinator, shared our accomplishments and plans at the Allied Midwifery Organizations meeting on Wednesday October 14th.
On Thursday we hosted the Educators Day pre-conference. This intimate, interactive day-long event, approved by MEAC for 8 CE hours, explored three topics in depth:
- Adult learning theory presented by Kim J. Cox, PhD, CNM, FACNM, Assistant Professor of Midwifery at the University of New Mexico College of Nursing.
- Student assessment and evaluation. Sharon DeJoy, PhD, MPH, CPH, CPM, filled in for our scheduled presenter who was delayed in Hong Kong, Peter G. Johnson, PhD, CNM, FACNM, Director of the Global Learning Office, Jhpiego, an affiliate of Johns Hopkins University.
- Ethics and Social Justice in midwifery education, presented by Wendy Gordon, CPM, LM, MPH, Assistant Professor at Bastyr University’s Department of Midwifery.
For those of you who were unable to attend MANA, we plan to make recordings available through Digital Chalk, our online platform for continuing education and professional development for midwifery educators.
On Sunday, AME hosted our annual member meeting gathered around a lunch table. I gave an overview of AME, a “year in review” highlighting accomplishments and future projects. Mary Yglesia walked us through AME’s revised website. We ended with participants sharing thoughts, concerns and ideas about how to improve midwifery education.
In addition to our table in the exhibit hall, AME presented two sessions:
- Breakout session “AME Presents: Forgotten Midwives – A Better Look at the History of Midwifery.”
Neva Gerke, LM, CPM, MSM and Eve German, LM, CPM, MSM told stories of Native American, African American, and Japanese American midwives in Washington State that showed how race, class, and privilege contributed to midwifery’s mid-century disappearance from the U.S. healthcare system, not only as the result of a choice to uphold the rising medical field and extinguish traditional healthcare systems, but also due to social and racial discrimination.
- Plenary session “Direct Assessment and what it means to the CPM credential.” I, along with Mary Lawlor, NACPM Executive Director; Sandra Stewart, MEAC Executive Director; and Ida Darragh, NARM Testing Director, gave an overview of Direct Assessment and Competency Based Education, a report on the US MERA Direct Assessment Task Force meeting in August at Shenandoah University, VA, implications for accreditation, a report on the Midwifery Bridge Certificate, and how this could be leveraged by CPMs in states which do not yet have licensure.
JoAnne Myers-Ciecko and Eve German
From the left: Wendy Gordon, Abby Luca, Sharon Dejoy (above), Mary Yglesia (below), Justine Clegg
On the days following the MANA conference, we met with members of the NACPM Board to discuss plans for the 2016 Symposium, and held our annual in-person Board meeting to review our strategic initiatives and brainstorm about ways to support midwifery educators.
And that’s where you come into this picture. We welcome your comments and ideas. Did you attend the MANA conference this year? What did you learn? What special, unforgettable memories will you carry back home with you? I will treasure the chance to hug and catch up with midwives I’ve known for years, the connections I’ve made and the knowledge I’ve gained. We invite you to use this space to share your thoughts and ideas and to help us support midwifery educators. Together we can grow the future of midwifery for our children and grandchildren.