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2019 Diversity & Inclusion Scholarships

Eva's Story

Eva is a recipient of a 2018 Diversity & inclusion Scholarship

 

I live in Ohio, which does not have a single CABC accredited freestanding birth center.  I have dreamed of opening a birth center here for more than twenty years but continue to be stifled by having restrictive practice for nurse midwives in our state, which means that a midwife must rely on a physician champion in order to start a business and it is increasingly difficult to find physicians who are not employees of one of the few large health systems in the state.  Before the Birth Institute, I was feeling discouraged and considering moving out of state to pursue birth center work, but that would do nothing to address the needs of birthing families in Ohio.


At the Birth Institute, I learned more about the advocacy side of the birth center movement and decided to stay in Ohio and start by working to eliminate the standard care agreement in Ohio which requires a written agreement with a physician for a nurse midwife to practice.  I joined the board of the Ohio Affiliate of The American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the State Government Action Committee of The ACNM, and the Ohio Association of Advanced Practice Nurses (OAAPN).  I took a training program on legislative advocacy through OAAPN and am working to reinvigorate the advocacy task force of the state’s nurse-midwives by championing our partnership with the ACNM national office and the OAAPN.

In addition to my new volunteer work in advocacy, I am active on many other committees in my professional organizations, many of which are currently focused on issues of diversity, equity, and inclusion.  I can honestly say that AABC is doing this work better than any other organization I’m involved with.  The AABC leadership is open, listening, reflective, and not attached to any particular way of conducting business simply because “that is the way it has always been done.”  This organization is at the forefront of shifting the perception of midwifery care and birth center care.  AABC also does more to unite Certified Nurse-Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives in the United States than any other midwifery organization.  This has the inevitable result of improving access to safe, family-centered care around pregnancy and birth.  As a result of receiving a scholarship to last year’s Birth Institute, I have also joined the AABC Diversity and Inclusion Committee. 

Finally, and perhaps most importantly, I want to acknowledge the role of mentorship in the AABC Diversity & Inclusion scholarships.  As a scholarship recipient, I was matched with a conference mentor.  My mentor met with me over the phone prior to the Birth Institute to find out what my goals were and to guide me in having the best possible experience.  I immediately felt welcome and seen and heard.  My mentor continued to engage with me during the Birth Institute to check in, and met with me again by phone to debrief as I waited at the airport to go home.  My mentor encouraged me to join an AABC committee when the opportunity arose and even cheered me on through a recent job search.  The experience of receiving a Diversity & Inclusion scholarship to the AABC Birth Institute has significantly contributed to my personal and professional growth and I am eager to continue to give back to improve maternity care outcomes for as many families as possible.

Thank you again for your generous contributions!

 

- Eva Fried, DNP, WHNP, CNM  


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