THE CALIFORNIA NURSE-MIDWIVES FOUNDATION
A Registered California Non-Profit Foundation
The vision of the California Nurse-Midwives Foundation is to revolutionize health care delivery in California by ensuring access to high-quality, high-value maternity care for every person, whenever they need it, wherever they are.
The mission of the California Nurse-Midwives Foundation (CNMF) is to improve maternal health in California and reduce disparities in outcomes by working to ensure all women and
individuals have access to the midwifery model of care powered by a diverse midwifery workforce. The Foundation will support efforts to further this mission in various ways, including advocacy, policy-making, research, legislative efforts, and direct financial support of pilot projects in alignment with our goals.
The CNMF believes that all endeavors addressing maternal health issues in California must lead with health equity. Because most midwifery care in California is provided in urban and suburban hospitals, the California Nurse-Midwives Foundation will focus on supporting models that improve the distribution of midwifery care into “maternity deserts,” including very rural areas and urban areas with maternity care provider shortages. The removal of barriers to the practice of nurse-midwifery is key to scaling up nurse-midwifery practices and encouraging CNMs to go where the need is greatest. CNMs have always cared for marginalized individuals, and removing regulatory barriers will enable CNMs to continue that tradition in rural California.
The CNMF strives to promote integration of the midwifery model of care with a seamless interface between the midwifery and medical models of care, where true team-based care is a reality, and women and birthing people have the options they desire and need. In addition, this integration will improve outcomes based on the inherent benefits of midwifery care (which are documented in numerous resources), such as lower rates of unnecessary medical intervention and cesarean, lower rates of preterm birth and low birth weight babies, increased rates of breastfeeding and improved satisfaction. It is noteworthy that this high-quality care by midwives also comes at lower overall costs.
Substantial unacceptable disparities exist in outcomes and mortality for Black individuals and individuals from other marginalized communities. These individuals often have chronic stressors that contribute to the complexity of their overall health care needs. Because midwifery care centers around active listening, respecting self-determination and is based on a framework of shared decision-making in a holistic model of care, midwifery is the ideal model for addressing disparities and improving well-being for marginalized communities. Nurse-midwifery care is especially valuable in addressing birth equity and maternal mental health issues. Lead organizations seeking to improve maternity care have called for the removal of barriers to midwifery in an attempt to address the growing maternal healthcare crisis and disparities in outcomes. Critical to this effort is a focus on workforce diversity, including recruiting, retaining and supporting the career development of midwives who reflect the diverse population of California.
+Diversification of the nurse-midwifery workforce. This is critical to addressing health care inequities that exist for black individuals and individuals from other marginalized communities.
Recruit students of color to our profession
Support those students throughout their midwifery education
Highlight the importance of hiring nurse-midwives of color into the maternal workforce by educating leaders and administrators
+Support the decentralization of midwifery by supporting alternative and
innovative midwifery practice models
Work with community based organizations and agencies to determine highest need areas, specifically “maternity deserts” e.g. very rural and very urban areas or designated health provider shortage areas
Support innovative practice models such as birth centers and/or midwifery-led clinics in these areas
Support education and dissemination planning of the nurse-midwifery workforce e.g. through development of a ‘how to’ toolkit for the start-up of independent models after removal of supervision.
+Identify and support needed areas of research, such as but not limited to:
Public knowledge on the benefits of midwifery care
Nurse-midwifery outcomes specific to California
Successful health care system integration models in California
A “midwifery utilization” measure to guide quality improvement in team-based care
Direct consumer and workforce recruitment campaigns highlighting the benefits of midwifery both as a care model and a profession
Legislative guidance and advocacy
Through partnership with CNMs and other professional and community-based organizations that are working in these areas, the work of the CNMF will seek to amplify and support efforts already underway with humility, following the guidance of the people already doing the work in their communities.
"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does"
CONTACT THE CALIFORNIA NURSE-MIDWIVES FOUNDATION
60 29th Street, #321
San Francisco, CA 94110