Thursday, May 2, 2013

Willow Tree Family Center Board Replies to our Open Letter

Last week Safer Midwifery wrote an Open Letter to the Willow Tree Family Center Board, stating concerns about potential staffing and/or affiliations with dangerous care providers in the Greater Lansing Area. 

We thought it was important to share their reply, and leave it open to your own interpretation:


"Dear Safer Midwifery for Michigan,

Thank you for your recent email to our center and for sharing your
suggestions and concerns.  It is very important to us that we have
integrity in our endeavors, and we share many of your goals.  Your primary
goal of making people fully informed about their care providers and health
choices is of utmost importance to us as well.  We agree that providers
should be transparent with their statistics, and we want to empower
families to ask their care providers the right questions in order to be
fully informed.  We are interested in supporting and working with causes
such as The Birth Survey, whose goal it is to make maternity care
transparent.  Statistics ranging from intervention rates to maternal and
infant mortality rates should be public information for all OBs,
hospitals, and midwives.

It sounds as though you have heard various speculations about the services
we hope to provide at our center.  As far as plans for staff, we do not
have plans or funds to be hiring any staff anytime in the near future.  We
are hoping to have a community center space available soon, however, and
we are in the process of developing policies for rental and use of the
center.  We agree that it is important to have legal and safe regulations
regarding rental of the space, and we are currently in touch with a lawyer
who is helping us to develop these policies and procedures.

In the meantime, we are putting feelers out into the community to receive
input from people as far as their aspirations for a new center and hopes
for potential use.  At this point in the process, we are being as open as
possible to all ideas and suggestions, and later in the process we will
work on narrowing down the concepts presented during this brainstorming
stage.  Right now, we are working to make the initial development process
as inclusive as possible to find value in all perspectives. Because we
value all family perspectives and experiences, we have made sure to create
a Board of Directors diverse in backgrounds (teachers, doctors, business
owners, SAHMs) and even in birth experiences (among us we have a variety
of them - from c-sections to home births and everything in between).

Again, we do care very much about being as objective and forthright as
possible as we advocate for improved care options in Lansing.  We are
excited to work together with programs and activities such as yours that
will empower families and make quality care available to all people.

Thank you again for you valuable input!"

Safer Midwifery for Michigan will keep you posted as we see how the Willow Tree Family Center project develops.  We appreciate that the board has been open to hearing our concerns, and we further hope they are able to build a resource that is safe and reliable for the community they serve.  

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