THE CALIFORNIA NURSE-MIDWIVES FOUNDATION

A Registered California Non-Profit Foundation

 

OUR VISION

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.

 

OUR MISSION

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.

 

OUR GOALS

+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 


+Public Education

  • 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.

 

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MEET OUR BOARD

 

President

Kathleen Belzer has been a midwife for over twenty years in the greater Bay Area.  She has worked in a variety of settings, including an out of hospital midwifery-owned birth center, private collaborative practices with obstetricians and midwives, and community health clinics. She has also worked in an academic setting at UCSF, teaching medical students and residents.  Currently, she works at Kaiser, Napa Solano with an integrated practice of family practice MDs, Obstetricians, and nurse-midwives. She is committed to teaching residents and nurse midwifery students in her clinical practice, and is dedicated to continually expanding her knowledge in the area of maternal health.  She is the Lead of a Physiologic Birth & Reducing Cesareans workgroup in her current position. She is passionate about providing the best woman-centered care to her patients. She is acutely aware of how important it is to listen to each woman and provide sensitive, individualized care. Currently, she is the President of the California Nurse Midwives Association Board of Directors, Prior to being the President, she served as the Secretary.
On a personal level, she is married with three children.  Two have successfully been launched and one is currently in high school. Some of the extra curricular activities she enjoys are hiking, dancing, biking, paddle boarding, reading, and escaping to the mountains

CONTACT THE CALIFORNIA NURSE-MIDWIVES FOUNDATION

60 29th Street, #321 
San Francisco, CA 94110

 

"Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does"

William James

 
 

©2019 by The California Nurse-Midwives Foundation