Sunday, May 26, 2013

On the Horizon for Safer Midwifery for Michigan

While spring has firmly settled in, there is much up and coming for Safer Midwifery for Michigan.  We figured it's time for an update post for our readers.  Baby Snyder is anxiously anticipated to make her arrival next week!!  It's a bit surreal, and as long as everyone comes home alive, we'll be tremendously happy. 

We have many important projects in the works that will continue moving forward thanks to leadership within our advocacy group.  The blog will continue as well, but may slow just a bit while we adjust to a new little one in our family.  We have several guest posts in the works that will help along the way, and look forward to sharing thoughts on everything from VBACS to the CM Credential, and more.   Below you'll find a brief update for our biggest projects...

Thanks to a great deal of generous support, our website initiative is well under way.  Our initial ideas are being fleshed out with a designer who has started a prototype.  After we have worked through the design process, the implementation will begin.  It's a long, thoughtful process to do this job well, and we're grateful for so many collaborators on this project.  We don't have a project completion date, but are happy to share we've officially started in the right direction.  We'll be working hard on researching, and drafting content this summer.  

Data Team
With the help of an amazing epidemiologist and the cooperation from the State of Michigan, we have assembled a data team who will be carefully analyzing data on perinatal outcomes, (both deaths and injuries) in the state of Michigan.  We'll be looking at out-of-hospital data for deaths and injuries as well as in-hospital data, and considering comparisons by care provider type.  At this project's completion, we hope to have a thorough report to share with the public so they can be better informed, and we hope this project will simultaneously inform any legislation regarding midwifery in the near future.  Transparency matters a great deal when it comes to safety, and Michigan families deserve to have data to support them in the decision making process.  Safer Midwifery for Michigan has assembled a team to look at the data the state has collected, and further analyze it in order to promote transparency. 

Collaborative Care Initiative
If you live in or around the Lansing, MI area, you are likely well aware of the lacking options when it comes to the type of care providers in the birth world.   We have one CNM who delivers part time at McClaren Hospital, and none at Sparrow.  We have worked hard to express to Sparrow Hospital the need  for a Collaborative Care Model that includes CNMs as a care provider option in the same facility that houses our area's only RNICU.  Sparrow has adopted the Baby Friendly initiative in recent years, is working hard on a more concrete plan for a Collaborative Care Model, and a further develop a plan for facilities that support a focus on natural childbirth.  We appreciate the progress this project has made, and look forward to hearing more soon about a potential timeline for how things will proceed.  

We've also worked hard to revise SB 1208, and submit detailed suggestions for change.  The two biggest changes we hope to see include altering the language so that it would eliminate restrictions on CNMs practicing in MI, and changing the minimum standard for education to be in line with International Standards.  We're hoping for reintroduction in coming months on the legislative front that would offer higher standards for education, a defined scope of practice for midwives practicing OOH in MI, and measures of accountability.  We'll be sure to keep you up to date at this project develops, and share ways you can support the effort as they become available.  
Stay tuned for more in coming weeks, and as always, thank you for caring about the important issues we discuss here.  

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