Wednesday, March 4, 2009

President (Elect) of ACNM

Holly Powell Kennedy, CNM, PhD, FACNM, FAAN

Candidate Statement Related to Office:I am a midwife passionately committed to the profession and the women it serves. If chosen as ACNM President (Elect) I will use my passion and leadership to place midwifery as a forerunner of women’s health care. Early in my career I discovered change comes from solution-based action – and to effect change I had to work “with” people to achieve collective agreement about the road forward. This has shaped my collaboration with all stakeholders in clinical practice, teaching, research, and leadership. The philosophy has served me as a midwife, family nurse practitioner, educator, scientist/researcher, military officer, policymaker/administrator, and leader. It has helped me be successful in numerous settings – tertiary, community, and military hospitals, health maintenance organizations, urban and rural heath centers, professional organizations, and US/European academic institutions. This breadth of experience has given me an exceptional skill set to work with people from diverse backgrounds, but who hold common goals with midwifery – the health of women and their families.

My career has heightened my awareness of the importance of local grassroots activism to assure legal mandates to support the profession and women’s health. Membership on local, national, and international committees and the RI Board of Midwifery has helped me understand the daunting obstacles midwives face. My commitment to local advocacy for midwifery and women’s health was recognized by the ACNM Regional Award of Excellence – an honor I hold dear because it came from my colleagues in the trenches with me.

One of my most important professional contributions is my research, which articulates and links the work of midwives to healthcare outcomes. As Chair of the ACNM Division of Research I helped forge a partnership with MANA to establish scientific evidence supportive of our work. As a 2008 Fulbright Distinguished Scholar I conducted research on England’s national commitment to normal birth. Those powerful lessons will be instrumental in my future leadership, teaching, practice, and research to address the challenges we face in the US.

As President (Elect) of the ACNM I will work on our proposed “Future Focus” goals with the ACNM Board and ask each ACNM member to join me in that effort: (a) create strategic communication detailing the value of midwifery care in the US and globally – we must systematically reverse the US culture of fear and ignorance to build public and political support of midwifery; (b) attend 20% of all births by 2020 – visibility through birth attendance is key to professional and economic survival; (c) full autonomy for CNMs/CMs in practice and equitable reimbursement – we must work together on local and national levels to change policy and laws; (d) 1000 new CNMs/CMs annually – every one of us must commit to our students. None of the goals are possible without a critical mass of midwives. The road forward requires political and personal savvy, enlistment of expertise and resources, and leadership. I believe I am prepared for the challenges I will face and through the spirit of cooperation we will have the momentum to assure women’s right to health care excellence led by midwives. I am honored to be a candidate for President (Elect) of the ACNM.

Now that is "change we can believe in"!