Projects Funded

The Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery has proudly awarded the following grants of an average of $4,000 to each project with typical grants ranging from $1,000 to $15,000.

2016

We’re pleased to announce our grantees for 2016 as selected by the Birth Trustees. Show them some love and share your well wishes on our Facebook Page.

Public Education Projects

Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA)

Project: Increasing Research Informed Policy and Practice through Social Media and Education      

The MANA Statistics Project (MANA Stats) has resulted in transformative research that has the capacity to inform consumer decision-making, midwifery care, and policy discussions. MANA Stats data demonstrates what we in the midwifery community already know: that midwifery care has long been meeting the goals of the triple aim of improved maternity care outcomes, lower costs, and improved patient experiences. MANA has developed a plan to translate research findings into easy-to-consume content including webinars, fact sheets, and social-media outreach.

Birth Equity Projects

Changing Woman Initiative

Project: Weaving Many Voices for Cultural and Community Wellness

The Changing Woman Initiative is a Native American–centered women’s health collective focused on developing a culturally centered birth center. Our mission in doing this, is to renew cultural birth knowledge to empower and reclaim indigenous sovereignty of women’s medicine and life way teachings to promote reproductive wellness, healing through holistic approaches and to strengthen women’s bonds with family and community. The goal of this community engagement project is to create founding principles through an indigenous frame-work to guide our planning process.

Midwives Alliance of North America, Division of Access and Equity

Project: Launching the MANA Division of Access and Equity

MANA is thrilled to be launching the Access and Equity Division to address a two-fold problem of racial disparities and legislative struggles that MANA has identified to be the same issue – lack of access to the midwifery profession. MANA has embraced these issues as strategic directions. We have laid the groundwork for the last 5 years by actively engaging in partnerships and training, and we feel ready to fully launch the Division of Access and Equity. We have outlined an in-person meeting with key stakeholders to form the foundation and structure of this Division as well as prepare for the work of the division for the coming year. Indra Lusero, of Elephant Circle, MANA President Marinah Farrell, and MANA Director of Events are the key volunteers for this division as we get started.

Home Birth Summit Consumer Task Force

Project: Giving Voice to Mothers

The Giving Voice to Mothers study is underway. This study assesses how planned place of birth, race and ethnicity interact with the experience of maternity care in the U.S. Following extensive community consultations we created a survey to help women of colors (Non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and Native) and women who planned to give birth at home or in a birth center to tell their stories. We are asking FAM to support the participation of consumers who are underrepresented in research studies and/or who do not have access to computers/internet, and to help us to support community team members’ participation in interpreting the findings. Together we will create a broad dissemination plan that will tell policy makers and clinicians the truth about person-centered maternity care.

Public Policy Projects

Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC)

Project: Expanding Access to Midwifery School Accreditation through Peer-to-Peer Institutional Mentoring

There are simply not enough accredited midwifery schools and programs to meet the current and projected trajectory of workforce demands.  Among numerous systemic barriers and potential solutions identified in previous FAM-supported MEAC research, a real need for technical assistance and peer to peer institutional mentoring for midwifery bodies pursuing accreditation was identified as a key priority.  With continued FAM support, MEAC and AME will provide a virtual mentoring network that will contribute both to student opportunities for high-quality midwifery education, and will expand consumer access to midwives who utilize best practices in the provision of maternal care and out-of-hospital birthing services to diverse populations. Since institutional accreditation enables midwifery schools to participate in Title IV financial aid programs which can significantly increase the number and diversity of midwifery students and their entry into the profession, providing a mentoring service that encourages more schools to seek accreditation will help meet the need to rapidly increase the number and cultural diversity of midwives, while maintaining the highest quality of education.

Home Birth Summit Research and Data Task Force

Project: Mapping Access to High Quality Birth Care across Birth Settings

The U.S, Birth Place Mapping Study is the first large scale study to describe the status of integration of midwives (CNMs, CPMs, CMs) in each state. Using this information, we will produce a Midwifery Integration and Access Report Card. An easily understood graphic representation of the data, using color-coded U.S. maps. We will highlight “model states” (i.e., those with the highest rates of effective integration of midwives across birth settings) and link the integration scores to outcomes. This study presents an unprecedented opportunity to help policy makers understand if reduced cesareans, improved maternal newborn health and rising rates of home births can be linked to greater access to licensed midwives. Last year’s grant helped us to collect and verify the data from all 50 states. In 2016 a FAM grant will support the team to turn the results into data maps, and tell the story across the nation!

The Big Push for Midwives Campaign

Project: Progressing the Push Nation

The Big Push for Midwives Campaign is advancing its public education and public policy project, “Progressing the PushNation,” which will result in an effective and efficient unification to improve, move along, and otherwise assist the grassroots network of advocates that includes midwives groups, consumer groups, and state and regional coalitions of those groups through a comprehensive and unified online advocacy platform. The brand platform and its rich content and resources will enable participating PushStates of the “PushNation” to garner more attention on online media platforms, and to gain more access to information, and to the leveraging power of partnering creatively with strategic alliances and key players in the sector to improve the state of midwifery practice both nationally and in every state and territory. FAM’s support is requested in the next phase of this strategy, which is part of the ongoing work of the Big Push for Midwives Campaign.

Research Projects

Midwives Alliance of North America, Division of Research (MANA DOR)

Project: Support of Operations of MANA Statistics Project (MANA Stats)

These funds will be used to keep the MANA Stats web system online, well maintained, and securely available for use by all United States midwives collecting at present about 1500 completed research ready birth records each month. Funding will continue to cover the ongoing operations of MANA Stats data collection, including contributor support, new enrollments, preparation of the 2015 data for research work with state organizations, web hosting, etc.  However, this year one issue of critical importance, which is that of finding a new programmer to take over from our beloved Ellen and Eric Harris Braun, because Ellen’s health prevents their continuing to do the maintenance and enhancements of the excellent web software they have created for MANA since 2004. Several opportunities for prospective research studies and collaborations have been on hold for some time and this year we must integrate a new programmer into our team.

Midwives Alliance of North America

Project: Maternity Care Data Alliance

The Maternity Care Data Alliance (MCDA) is a coalition representing four of the organizations providing patient-centered maternity care in the U.S.: The American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM), the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC), the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA), and the CenteringHealth Institute (CHI). The working mission of the MCDA is to demonstrate, through collaboration the impact of client-centered maternity care relative to the Triple Aim (better heath, better healthcare, lower costs); to facilitate the replication and dissemination of evidence-based maternity care options; and to ensure that every woman engages with a model of care that supports the best possible maternity experience for her and her newborn/s. The MCDA’s current objective is to design and create a unified data collection tool that will combine MANA Stats, the AABC’s Perinatal Data Registry, ACNM’s benchmarking project, and CHI’s site specific data collection onto one common platform. This toll will capture an estimated 11% of US births creating robust data that can be used by clinicians, clients/patients, researchers and policy makers.

2015

We are pleased to announce our grantees for 2015 as selected by the Birth Trustees:

Ancient Song Doula Services
The Pregnancy Kitchen 
The Pregnancy Kitchen is a nutrition education, prenatal care and postpartum program for low-income minority women in Brooklyn and Bronx, New York. By providing holistic, culturally relevant, and budget conscious nutrition education, our objective is to improve the nutritional status of high-risk women by decreasing the life-threatening conditions associated with poor maternal nutrition and childhood obesity, offering extended Postpartum Nutrition up to year one to decrease childhood obesity rates among low-income families, and increasing breastfeeding rates in communities of color.

Homebirth Summit
Research and Data Task Force
Mapping Access to High-Quality Maternity Care Across Birth Settings
The US Birth Place Mapping study will link rates of home birth in each state to regulatory conditions for midwifery practice, access to midwifery-led home birth, and key outcomes. Researchers, clinicians, and legal experts from two multi-disciplinary Summit work groups will analyze and link data from 3 sources (the Regulation and Licensure Database, the CDC databank on actual place of birth and perinatal outcomes, and the US Birth Certificate Comparison database) to describe the landscape of planned home birth in the US. We will produce a Midwifery Integration and Access Report Card, an easily understood graphic representation of the data, using a color-coded US map. This study provides an unprecedented opportunity to help policy makers understand if the rising rates of reported home births are linked to greater access to licensed midwives, and if the status of integration of those midwives can be linked to optimal maternal-newborn health.

Midwifery Education Accreditation Council
Addressing identified barriers to accreditation of midwifery schools MEAC research into the barriers to accreditation, has uncovered a number of exciting opportunities for programming development, additional research, and other methods of supporting institutions and programs. Continued support from FAM will allow midwifery stakeholders to reduce the barriers to accreditation, and increase the number of accredited institutions able to serve midwifery students.

Midwives Alliance of North America
Division of Research
Moving beyond the data collection silo: accelerating MANA Stats data analysis and publication
Now that MANA Stats data collection is firmly established, we are requesting funding for a Master’s-level research assistant who will assist with selected post- data collection activities (e.g., data analysis, preparing manuscripts for peer-reviewed publication). This will enable the MANA Division of Research (DOR) to more efficiently and effectively use the data that have been collected. A more rapid dissemination of results into the peer-reviewed literature will result.

Uzazi Village
Uzazi Academie 
Uzazi Village was founded on a mission; to eliminate perinatal health disparities in communities of color. Founded by women of color to serve communities of color, we are driven to restore our community midwives. We will do this by founding a school of midwifery (Uzazi Academie) to assist those least able to access midwifery education. Our model is culturally specific and community based, created to address our unique challenges. Once our school is established, we will assist other communities with similar challenges to create midwifery programs for themselves. We believe that the best and lasting change comes from within. We ask for assistance in helping us help ourselves.

Midwives Alliance of North America
Division of Research
Archive Critical Documents and Record History of the MANA DOR
During the last ten years the MANA Division of Research has learned much, and many excellent documents have been developed reflecting carefully discussed decisions. Much of the rich information we have gained exists on personal computers, or in databases, a software bug-tracking system, SPSS scripts, or in some cases is in the heads of our busy Coordinating Council members. In the interest of sustainability and continuity of the DOR’s work we will organize our critical information to be accessible to all present and future CC members; complete a written history of the Division of Research to insure that institutional memory is not lost; and complete a number of analyses of the data collection system’s performance and cost. Bruce Ackerman will be the project lead.

Homebirth Summit
Consumer Engagement & Research and Data Task Forces
Supporting the Participation of Women in Two New Surveys: Listening to Home Birth Mothers and Listening to Mothers of Color
In the Listening to Mothers III study, women who delivered in hospitals reported feeling discriminated against when they declined interventions and/or as a result of their race or ethnicity. Members of the HBS Research and Data and Consumer Engagement Task Forces have proposed a Listening to Mothers of Colors study. This study will assess how planned place of birth, race and ethnicity interact with women’s maternity care experience and preferences. Building on community consultations and input from Summit delegates, we have adapted questions from the well-known LTM III study for women of colors (Non-Hispanic Black, Hispanic, and Native). We are asking FAM to support the participation of consumers through community-based focus groups so that ordinarily marginalized women can provide expert input into the relevance, clarity and content of the proposed survey, and to tell their own stories in their own way.

National Association of Certified Professional Midwives
The MAMA Campaign: Policy Support 
Every day in the U.S., women and babies suffer, even die, from the inherent irrationality and harmful practices of our current medical management approach to birth in the U.S. Women and babies of color suffer these consequences at many times the rate of the general population. Certified Professional Midwife care is proven to make a difference in the lives of childbearing women, improving quality, safety, and women’s experience of care, all the while saving significant health care dollars. The Access to Certified Professional Midwives Act, soon to be re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2015, will open doors to full access to CPM care for all women, including low-income women insured by Medicaid. FAM grant funds will support the advancement of this important piece of legislation and increasing access to quality care for all childbearing women and babies.

Midwives Alliance of North America
Public Education for Greater Collaborative Engagement
Midwives Alliance is using strategic communications to elevate the discourse beyond “Is home birth safe?” to “How do we ensure safety by effectively integrating midwifery into the US healthcare system?”Our strategy includes: training and nurturing a community of social media ambassadors for midwifery and the CPM; ensuring that the critical work of the Division of Research and MANA stats is disseminated to midwives and the broader community; building deeper connections between midwives — who often work in isolation or small practices — through communications tools, including a twice- monthly newsletter, virtual town hall meetings, and webinars.

Apart from the Birth Trust, we offered a “Favorite Award” for the grantee that could garner the most votes for their project through social media platforms:

Improving Birth 
We respectfully request funding to develop curriculum for a Community Advocacy Training Program. The Curriculum will be used to offer virtual training sessions to prescreened community advocates delivering a evidence-based maternity care including—but not limited to: consumer representative training; health care policy development; education of health care providers; and media training to foster the development of sustainable community advocacy bases across the country.

2014

We are pleased to announce our grantees for 2013 as selected by the Birth Trustees:

  • Ancient Song Doula Services
    The Pregnancy Kitchen is a six-week nutrition education and prenatal care program for low- income minority women in Brooklyn, New York. By providing holistic, culturally relevant, and budget conscious nutrition education, our objective is to improve the nutritional status of high- risk women thereby decreasing the life-threatening conditions associated with poor maternal nutrition.
  • Birthing Hands of DC
    The Grand Challenge, is a call to all midwives, birth workers, organizations, the birthing community, and institutions to “be the change” in addressing racial disparities in maternal and infant health and alleviating these outcome disparities. Our goal is to increase the number of midwives and other birth workers of color who are uniquely qualified to serve the women and families of their communities.
  • Commonsense Childbirth
    The JJ Way® is a midwifery model of care which has successfully reduced the incidence of low birth weight and premature babies among African-American and other minority women who are at greater risk for adverse perinatal outcomes and who lack access to care. Community Outreach Perinatal Education, or COPE – The JJ Way®, is a 48-hour, peer-level training that leads to the Certified Perinatal Educator (CPE) credential to expand prenatal care to Spanish-speaking populations by educating Spanish-speaking community birth workers.
  • Homebirth Summit Regulation & Licensure Task Force
    Our Best Practice Toolkit for Midwifery Regulation and Licensure will be a user-friendly and audience-targeted web site repository of documents on midwifery education, competencies, scope of practice, and systems for patient safety, quality assurance, and accountability that midwives routinely integrate into practice. Existing statutes on licensure, samples of model legislation, and a rating system by state will be included.
  • Homebirth Summit Collaboration Task Force
    After extensive review of literature and precedents, the multi-disciplinary HBS Collaboration Task Force from the Home Birth Summit (HBS) has developed model guidelines for coordination among providers to reduce risk for women and families. Adoption by maternity care providers and hospitals has great potential for facilitating the integration of care across birth settings. We are requesting support for a comprehensive dissemination plan for these guidelines.
  • Mamatoto Village
    Mamatoto Village seeks to improve perinatal health outcomes for underserved and high-risk women and babies in the National Capital Region through continuation and extension of the Community Birthworker Program (CBP) and implementation of the Village Expansion Project which utilizes a Train-the-Trainer model. The Community Birthworker Program (CBP) serves as an educational and outreach initiative, designed to cultivate highly skilled and culturally competent birth workers of color.
  • Midwifery Education Accreditation Council                                           
    MEAC accreditation for CPM educational programs is integral to commitments defined in the US-MERA April 2014 meeting report. MEAC accreditation enables midwifery schools to participate in federal financial aid programs, increasing the number and diversity of midwifery students to serve growing consumer demand. What are the barriers to increasing the number of accredited midwifery schools in the US?  Funds provided by FAM would allow MEAC and AME to collaborate in conducting much needed field research culminating in both a better understanding of the answer to this critical question.
  • Midwives Alliance of North America
    MANA believes that to best serve the needs of consumers, midwives and particularly those without equal access to education, information, or legislation, we must strengthen our communications team and respond to the challenge of expanding and evolving technology. Engaging social media for organizational development, innovative marketing, productivity and communication will enable MANA to expand and promote projects in a low-risk, lower-cost way. MANA maintains its commitment to a midwife for every community and to that end, we maintain that heightened access through increased use of social networks contribute to social change.
  • Midwives Alliance of North America, Division of Research
     Capacity building is essential for the success of a future CPM study, which would triple the size of the MANA Statistics Project. Capacity- building projects include increased support staff (Data Doulas) to help midwives stay current with data submission and essential software work to allow the staff to handle the continually increasing flow of data. Funding from FAM would cover a portion of this work.
  • Midwives Alliance of North America, Division of Research
    The MANA Division of Research is currently moving towards a model of Annual Reporting of birth outcomes—in other words, our vision is that every year a paper would be published in the peer-reviewed literature, detailing outcomes for MANA Stats births during the previous year. To accomplish this goal, we need to validate our current (4.0) data form. This validation project is currently underway with partial funding from other sources. We are requesting funding from FAM to provide the remaining portion of the funding for this crucial step in our research process.
  • National Association of Certified Professional Midwives/
    The MAMA Campaign
    H.R. 1976 (originally H.R. 1054), the Access to Certified Professional Midwives Act, recently re-introduced in the U.S. House of Representatives in May 2013, will open doors to full access to CPM care for all women, including low-income women insured by Medicaid.  FAM grant funds will support the advancement of this important piece of legislation and increasing access to quality care for all childbearing women and babies.

 

NCAMposter

2013

We are pleased to announce our grantees for 2013 as selected by the Birth Trustees:

2012

We are pleased to announce our eight grantees for 2012 as selected by the Birth Trustees:

2011

  • Feasibility Study for Annual Reporting of Midwifery Care Statistics
  • Someday for College Women
  • Midwifery 2.0:  Engaging Digital Natives
  • MamaBaby Haiti 24 hour access to emergency transportation, power and water project
  • Home Birth Consensus Summit
  • MEAC Virtual Office Development
  • Grassroots Activism for the MAMA Campaign
  • Closing The Gap The JJ Way® – A Training Program for Midwives
  • To increase access to the Midwives Model of Care in the Highlands of Chiapas (also winner of the Floradix Favorite Award)

2010

  • The Midwives Alliance National Public Education Campaign
  • Global Pediatric Alliance
  • Midwives and Mothers in Action Campaign
  • The North American Registry of Midwives
  • The Birth Circle
  • The Midwives Alliance Stats Project
  • Commonsense Childbirth

2009

  • Friends of the Birth Center, New Space for Women’s Health
  • Global Pediatric Alliance
  • International Cesarean Awareness Network
  • MANA Division of Research
  • MANA Midwives of Color
  • MANA Sapling Award
  • University of California, SF
  • National Advocates for Pregnant Women

2008

  • Sage Femme Award
  • Citizens for Midwifery
  • Coalition for Improving Maternity Services
  • MANA Division of Research
  • Midwifery Education Accreditation Council
  • MANA Public Education Initiative
  • MANA Sapling Award
  • Maternal Wellness Center
  • Rite of Passage

2007

  • MANA Public Education Initiative
  • MANA Sapling Award
  • Maternal Wellness Center
  • Tewa Women United
  • University of British Columbia Division of Midwifery

2006

  • Sage Femme Award
  • Ken Johnson & Betty Anne Davis
  • Midwives Alliance of North America
  • MANA Division of Research
  • MANA Public Education Initiative
  • MANA Sapling Award

2005

  • Citizens for Midwifery
  • MANA
  • Midwifery Education Accreditation Council
  • MANA Public Education Initiative

2004

  • Holy Family Services Birth Center Paloma Project
  • Joint Board Collaborative Effort Development
  • Ken Johnson & Betty Anne Davis
  • Midwives Alliance of North America
  • MANA Division of Research
  • Midwifery Education Accreditation Council

2003

  • Ken Johnson & Betty Anne Davis