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November 2019 | CNMA Newsletter

California Nurse-Midwives Association

NOVEMBER 2019 | Newsletter

CNMs as Change Agents

We want to offer our heartfelt appreciation to the members of the BRN Advanced Practice Committee and all who worked so hard to advocate for change!!

Danielle Bloom and Hilary Reyes, our CNM representatives to the BRN Advanced Practice Committee, stepped into action as advocates for CNM practice and presented arguments against a proposal to create new regulations for first assisting. Our goal was to prevent imposing cumbersome, costly, and redundant regulation on our ability to first assist. In preparation for the BRN meeting in Sacramento at the Department of Consumer Affairs, CNMA Health Policy Chair Holly Smith, CNMA President Kathleen Belzer, and numerous other CNMA Board members provided excellent resources and talking points. Fortunately, through our collective efforts the proposal was voted down! Special mention to Paris Maloof-Bury who attends all the meetings and Holly Smith who called in and did behind the scenes advocacy. Also, MANY thanks to Danielle Bloom who took the lead in organizing this effort and preparing our arguments.

California initiated an Agenda item for the ACNM BOD meeting at Midwifery Works. The Final Push Campaign: The Time to End Physician “Supervision” is Now

This Agenda item is intended to encourage ACNM to offer logistical and financial support for the removal of physician ‘supervision’ (truly 'physician permission to practice') and to make this a priority as our National organization. ACNM has been clear that reducing inequities in care is one of their top priorities. We see improving diversity in our workforce as a top priority but also removing barriers to Nurse-Midwifery care as one of the main ways to accomplish this. Suzanne Wertman was working with California on this initiative and suggested that all four states that still function under physician supervision sign onto the letter and support this agenda item (Nebraska, North Carolina, Florida and CA). We assume nothing will change in the short-term, but we hope ACNM will take this proposal seriously and under consideration. They agreed to study the fiscal impact of specific action items as they prepare their budget for next year. Please see the attached letter that was submitted. Two of CNMA Board members were in attendance at the ACNM meeting.

Kathleen Belzer, CNMA President

Maribeth Clausen: Our New Central California Representative who has just stepped up!!

Maribeth currently lives in Santa Barbara with her husband and three boys. A former NICU nurse, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania in 2011 and completed a fellowship at the holy family birth center in Weslaco, Texas. She then moved to Los Angeles where she worked in private practice and later joined the staff at Eisner Pediatric and Family Medical Center. Maribeth currently works in private practice in Santa Barbara where she has privileges at Cottage Hospital. She is excited to join CNMA and represent the beautiful California central and coastal communities.

Evelynn Dronberger: Our New Student Rep chosen among CSUF Students

Evelynn Dronberger is a first year midwifery/women’s health NP student at California State University, Fullerton. They have worked as a Labor and Delivery RN in California and Oregon since 2015 and as a labor and postpartum doula since 2012. Evelynn has a special affinity for the LGBTQIA community and hopes to provide full-spectrum care to those often forgotten and mistreated by the current medical system. Evelynn also parents an incredibly funny and smart 11 year old named Finn and is always happy to show you pictures of their cat Millie.

Annual Meeting Recap

If you missed our Annual Meeting, you missed a wonderful gathering with incredible presentations!! It was great to see so many engaged and inspiring CNMs. The speakers were excellent and their topics were SO important and well-received. The presentations were recorded and I am hoping we can upload them and offer them to members for viewing. If this is possible and you have the opportunity to listen to some of the talks, it will be well worth your time!! The student presentation about immigrant people’s healthcare and how we can protect individuals from ICE should be viewed by EVERYONE in health care, not just CNMs. I am so proud and inspired by UCSF students Meagan Morse, Caranina Palomino, and Karen Lopez-Acero for giving such a powerful presentation. Brenda Jackson gave a great overview of how CNMs can be leaders and change agents; Angie Magaña gave a very informative presentation on sexual and gender minority health; and Dr Karen A Scott spoke to 'Choosing Courage over Comfort: Using Reproductive Justice to Move us from Bias and Blame to Accountability and Autonomy.' This presentation could have been a full day by itself. It was powerful and we are so grateful for Dr Scott's courage, openness, and ongoing advocacy. It was truly transformative. Adrienne Almada spoke to the research project re: the accuracy of birth certificates she has been working on with CSUF. She highlighted the inaccuracies that exist within the system. It was a real call to action for all of us to ensure CNMs are correctly given credit for the births they attend.

Thank you to all our speakers and attendees for making it a fantastic day!!

Kathleen Belzer, CNMA President.

We honored Royda Ballard, CNM, at our Annual Meeting for her legacy as a midwife offering services to individuals and families of California for decades.

Please see her message below:

"I cannot say Thank YOU enough, Monica (Vierra), for such SPECIAL recognition!!!!..........surely was a big surprise for me and MOST generous, too! We do enjoy Tommy Bahama's ever-so-much!!

I think I mentioned??.......mine was a wonderful career and I could easily make the decision to return if only it were the right thing to do. Yeah, I know.......TOO many darned birthdays for me!!!

I urge all my colleagues to hang on to the opportunities that come down the road that allow us to be a great service to women, men, and babies and to be grateful for the progress of midwifery in California since 1983 when I came on board. We have sure enough been given a super/super opportunity to enjoy a tremendous career - really like NO other."

From Stephanie Teleki of the California Health Care Foundation:

Calling your attention to this webinar CHCF is hosting, and hoping you can share word of it with your networks. It should be an interesting panel—helpful to CA as we think on this approach. Follow CHCF on Twitter and Facebook


The Nurse-Midwives of Zuckerberg San Francisco General are seeking to hire a per diem CNM. In affiliation with UCSF and the SF Department of Public Health, we have been providing prenatal, intrapartum, and postpartum care to underserved communities for more than 40 years. In addition, we play a key role in nurse-midwifery education as the primary clinical site for the UCSF program. The CNM who fills this position will work primarily in the Birth Center, covering mostly nights and weekends. Hours are variable depending on vacation and sick leave coverage needs but will generally range between 12-48 hrs/month.

In addition to the minimum qualifications (see linked job posting below), desired qualifications include:

1. Clinical Proficiency in Spanish

2. Knowledge and skill in mitigating the impact of implicit bias and promoting health equity

3. Strong communication and interdisciplinary team-work skills

4. Skill in clinical preception of student nurse-midwives

5. Experience as a facilitator of CenteringPregnancy

You can access the posting and submit an application on the SFDPH website at:

Questions? News? Want to get involved?

Email us at

That's all for this month's issue. Catch you next time!


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