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California Nurse-Midwives Association

OCTOBER 2020 | Newsletter

Table of Contents:


National Midwifery Week

October 4-10th

Thank you to all the midwives and student midwives for your hard work and commitment to supporting birthing persons! We hope that you take time during this week to celebrate yourself and your colleagues.

During National Midwifery Week, CNMA would like to take this opportunity to acknowledge the huge contribution of our Licensed Midwife colleagues in their important role in maternal health in California. We appreciate the incredible dedication and steadfast commitment Licensed Midwives give every day to birthing individuals and their families!


Recap of 9/26 Annual Meeting And A Farewell!!

For those of you who attended the zoom meeting on 9/26, feel free to skip this portion of the newsletter! For those of you who were not in attendance, I wanted to provide a short recap and send a farewell to all of you!

We had approximately 175 individuals register for the meeting and approximately 126 joined. This was the largest Annual meeting we've ever had! If you attended please follow this link to complete the Continuing Education Evaluation, please keep in mind that this evaluation needs to be completed by October 5th to receive your CE certificate. All certificates will be sent out after the October 5th deadline.

If you were unable to make it, you can view the recording of the meeting here. The meeting agenda can be found here. You can still receive CEs for listening to the educational portion of the meeting as long as you complete the Continuing Education Evaluation

by October 5th.

Every CNM in the state should take the time to watch the educational portion by Ana Delgado and the panelists. You can find just Ana's presentation and the panel here. CNMA thanks them for sharing their incredible knowledge and personal stories.

The Meeting was a time for celebration but we began with reflection over the past year. It was important for us to collectively acknowledge the challenges and devastation that the year 2020 has been. These challenges include a pandemic, fire storms raging, police brutality, killing of innocent individuals, ongoing intolerable injustices to black people and communities of color, a toxic political environment, and individuals living in perpetual fear.

We took time to acknowledge some very recent and devastating but not unexpected events. We've witnessed the unwillingness of the Grand Jury to indict the individuals responsible for the murder of Breonna Taylor; we've witnessed the strength and courage of Nurse Dawn Wooten, the ICE whistleblower; and we acknowledged the devastating reality of Ruth Bader Ginsburg’s passing. A moment of silence was shared.

While acknowledging these events, we also recognized the ongoing collective strength & resilience that we have always seen and will continue to see from communities that are most impacted by this ongoing oppression. We thanked the midwives of color who have engaged with CNMA and we will continue to work to earn their trust and listen to their voices. Going forward, if we fail at this in any way, please reach out to one of us.

For all that 2020 has been, it will also always remain the year that we succeeded in removing the grinding and unrelenting weight of physician permission to practice. This is a monumental and unprecedented time for all nurse-midwives, aspiring midwives, & the communities we serve. In this process, given all these difficulties, we have seen the best our team and all of you have had to offer. We also see this in our country with the loud outcries, the calls to action, the protests, and the outrage. This gives me some faith that we have the ability to rise above many of these seemingly unsurmountable challenges; and for that, I am grateful.

Speaking from my perspective as your outgoing President, I could not be more proud of the work we have collectively accomplished. In saying this, I am speaking for ALL the individuals who have fought for change in our organization and their communities for decades. As Holly said, this Board is privileged to be here at this celebratory moment, but this is because of the work of so many who have come before us. I want to take this opportunity to thank all of them.

The Transition of the Board of Directors:

Individuals leaving the Board:

Rebecca Garrett-Brown: So Cal Rep

Ana Rapaport: Nor Cal Rep

Evelynn Dronberger: Student Rep CSUF

Kathleen Belzer: President to Immediate Past President

Individuals joining the Board:

Maria Ramos: Board Representative

Brittany Edwards: Board Representative

Mayra Lizzette Yniguez and Elena Gutierrez: Student Representative (Shared UCSF role)

This will be a voting position going forward

Paris Maloof Bury: Incoming President transitioning to President

Current & Ongoing Board Members:

Jyesha Wren: Reproductive Justice/Anti-Racism Advisory Committee Chair and voting Board member

Ali Young: Secretary

Elizabeth Smith: Treasurer (2nd term)

Jillian Cauley: Nor Cal Rep/Annual meeting planning Chair

Betsy Jenkins: So Cal Rep

Maribeth Claassen: Central Cal Rep

Committee Chairs:

Holly Smith: HP Chair

Liz Donnelly: Vice HP Chair

Emily Carter: Membership

Jyesha Wren: Reproductive Justice/Anti-Racism Advisory Committee Chair

Ana Delgado: Reproductive Justice/Anti-Racism Advisory Committee Vice Chair

Ana Rapoport: SM Chair (Newsletter & Email blasts)

Elizabeth Kicko: Webmaster (CNMA and California Nurse-Midwives Foundation).

Kathy Heilig: Bylaws Chair

I am grateful to our team of talented & brilliant individuals that I have learned so much from. For me personally, the work of CNMA has been my ‘baby’ for the last few years. This work included

the passing of SB 1237, starting our new Foundation and funding essential projects, the birth of the Reproductive Justice/Anti-Racism Advisory Committee, and rewriting our bylaws to begin to address the racism that exists. This work has been my reason to forge on and get out of bed every day through this unprecedented time.

As I transition from this role, it is impossible to express my feelings. It has been an honor and a pleasure; I thank you for this opportunity to serve. This team is the most dedicated and hardworking group of volunteers I have ever encountered and each individual has contributed in such meaningful and impactful ways. I have gained SO much from each of you. I especially GIVE thanks to Holly Smith who has been my ‘CNMA wife’ of the last two years!

I am thrilled to hand over the reigns to Paris who brings such passion, vision, and determination to this role. Your new Board is a much more diverse Board than we have ever seen. In fulfilling our revised Bylaws, we now have three positions that are filled by historically underrepresented groups. It is with great pleasure that I welcome these new Board members. They will bring

diverse voices and perspectives. We will not only LISTEN to their important voices, but we will CENTER our work going forward around their perspectives and guidance.

With Gratitude,

Kathleen Belzer (your CNMA Immediate Past President as of today!!)


Support Sarah Davis, LM for CA State Assembly, District 78

CNMA has officially endorsed Sarah Davis for Assembly District 78 (includes La Jolla, Del Mar, Torrey Pines, San Diego, Coronado, etc). What better way to support National Midwifery Week than to support a Licensed Midwife running for the California Legislature? You don’t have to be from this district to attend – all of California will benefit from Sarah’s expertise and leadership in Sacramento. Join our Virtual Fundraiser and Conversation with Sarah Davis, LM.

When : Thursday, October 8 @ 6:30pm

More Info and Registration Here


SB 1237 - What’s Next?

SB 1237 – the Dignity & Equity in Maternity Care Act – was signed into law by Governor Newsom on September 18! California is no longer a supervision state for CNMs!

Additionally, AB 890 (AKA the “Nurse Practitioner Bill”) was also signed this week. It has truly been the “Year of the Nurse and the Midwife.”

So now what? Well, we have work to do! The law takes effect January 1, 2021. No time can be wasted – everyone must understand what the new law entails in order to operationalize how their practice, hospital, and/or system will ultimately come into compliance. CNMA will be hosting various webinars and meetings, as well as “office hours” to give personalized technical assistance to solo CNMs, medical groups, birth centers, hospitals/systems as needed. Look for upcoming messages regarding dates/times of these events in October, November, and December. In the meantime, you can view the annual meeting here, for a quick primer on the bill; or go here for a short Q&A to serve as your “Quick Start Guide.” This document will be continually updated. If you have questions you would like added to this document, please contact



Now that SB1237 has passed, it is time for us to take the next step toward full practice autonomy in this state--and across the country! While SB1237 allows us to practice without physician supervision (permission), it does not guarantee that hospitals will grant us privileges, or that we'll have a seat at the table when decisions are made about policies that affect us. It is time for midwives to be full partners in maternity care in U.S. hospitals.

The National Government Affairs Committee's Subcommittee on Privileging is actively working to seek legislative sponsors to introduce a bill that will mandate full medical staff privileges for qualified certified nurse-midwives in every hospital that receives Medicare reimbursement. This is power! This is a seat at the table! But this means we need your help.

Please use this link to write to your representatives TODAY! Tell them that we're here, we're ready to care for women and families, we just need a guaranteed seat at the table. And while you're at it, ask your family, friends, and other healthcare colleagues to do the same. Let's keep this momentum going!


Attention lapsed or new members! Flash sale Oct 5th to Oct 8th!

We have joined ACNM in offering a 30% discount on dues for joining or renewing from October 5th to October 8th. This means that you will get 30% off both ACNM membership AND CNMA membership! To take advantage of this offer, go to ACNMs website and use discount code NWM30 at checkout. But this offer will only be available from Oct 5th and will expire on Oct 8th, so don’t delay!

Additionally, we are still offering FREE California affiliate dues for midwives of color through December 2020 with discount code CA2020. You may use both discounts by entering the first code and clicking apply, then entering the second code and clicking apply. If you have any issues, please reach out to ACNM directly.


CNMA Stands with the Black Lives Matter Movement - Justice for Breonna Taylor

A grand jury indicted a former Louisville police officer on Wednesday for wanton endangerment for his actions that killed Breonna Taylor, a Black medical worker who was shot and killed by police officers in March during a botched raid on her apartment. No charges were announced against the other two officers who fired shots, and no one was charged for causing Ms. Taylor’s death. (See NYT coverage here or listen to the podcast of their reporting here. Read Tressie Cottom's gut wrenching response here.)

We oppose this grand jury’s decision and stand with Breonna Taylor and the Black Lives Matter Movement in demanding justice be served for the killing of an innocent woman. We recognize this ruling causes further pain and trauma for the black community. We encourage you to support the foundation in Breonna’s honor supporting police reform, black youth engagement, scholarships for black youth seeking medical careers and support for black women business owners.


CNMA stands with whistleblower Dawn Wooten and condemns forced sterilizations

In early September whistleblower Dawn Wooten revealed people held by ICE in the Irwin County Detention Center, privately owned and operated by LaSalle Corrections, in Ocilla, Georgia were subject to forced hysterectomies. CNMA condemns this horrific human rights violation. We recognize reproductive control as a tool of white supremacy and that eugenic practices such as forced sterilizations, and coercive birth control policies and practices have a long history that extends into current day practices. We recognize that this legacy and the current incarnations cause continued harm to our BIPOC clients, colleagues and community members. We encourage our members to: sign the Sister Song Statement, Uplift and support organizing work by Georgia reproductive justice and imigration justice organizations


Spotlight on Antiracism

CNMA is working towards becoming an antiracist organization. In 2019 new bylaws were approved that recognize CNMA’s responsibility to actively address racism and the resulting health inequalities suffered by communities of color. Importantly, we must actively support efforts to increase racial diversity in our profession while engaging actively in self-education. “Spotlight on Antiracism” is a new section of the newsletter where you will find a monthly educational offering. We encourage our membership to check it out and share widely in your workplaces.

So far we have explored white privilege with the classic, White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack, by Peggy McIntosh, and last month we recommended our members go deeper by exploring the tenants of white supremacy culture and their antidotes in Tema Okun’s work: white supremacy culture. This month we are looking to explore how white supremacy culture has harmed people of color and created intergenerational trauma.


Midwives in the News

Check out incoming CNMA Board Member, María Ramos Bracmontes’ feature in Quickening!


ACOG DIstrict IX Antiracism Webinar Series

Sponsored by Section 2. Kameelah Phillips, MD, FACOG, IBCLC will be presenting a talk titled "History of Racism in Gynecology: What You Wish You Learned in Residency" on Thursday, October 8, 2020 from 6-7 pm PDT.

Guest speaker Dr. Kameelah Phillips is the founder of Calla Women's Health in Manhattan, New York. Her interests include Minority Women's Health and health care disparities, lactation, sexual and menopause medicine. Dr. Phillips is leading the way to bring attention to the racist roots of gynecology and why we should rename the Sims instrument as "Lucy."

You can follow her on Instagram @drkameelahsays

Please register for this Zoom webinar at the following link:

After registering, you will receive a confirmation email containing information about joining the meeting.


Wisdom of A Midwife Docu-Series

California Homebirth Midwife Yelena Kolodji has a collection of interviews with midwives sharing their perspective on the role and importance of midwifery care. Check out these inspiring interviews here. One features CNMA Health Policy member and CNMF (Foundation) member, Kavita Noble!


Maternal Mental Health

Do you ever want expert advice when counseling your patients in their mental health needs? You can get Free Perinatal Psychiatric Consultation Services from Dr Miriam Schultz. See HERE.

There is also a Free Zoom Support Meeting offered to your patients and clients.

For Spanish speaking clients: Tuesdays at 1-1:45. See Flyer HERE

For English speaking clients: Tuesdays at 2-2:45. See Flyer HERE.

The services below are provided by Common Spirit Health/Dignity Health


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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