Friday, December 18, 2009

Grassroots Network: “2009 – A great year for CPMs and Mothers!”

Dear Friends,

Below is the latest from the MAMA Campaign. Of particular note: a recording of the webinar from December 3 is now available on-line!

Susan Hodges “gatekeeper”


From the MAMA Campaign 12/9/09:
2009 – A great year for CPMs and Mothers!
As the U.S. Congress keeps working on health care reform all the way up to the Christmas holiday, the MAMA Campaign is going to keep working right along with them to get Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs) included in the health care reform bill!

As we keep up the effort to include CPMs, (we’re on the Hill today, the 15th, as we write this to you!), the turn of the year is also a time to take pride in the high points and accomplishments of 2009.

2009: What a Year for CPMs!
Midwives and Mothers in Action (MAMA) was “birthed” by the partner organizations on the International Day of the Midwife in Washington, D.C. in May. Since then, MAMA:

  • Hired a national health policy and lobbying firm to guide our advocacy work in DC
  • Held a “fly-in” of more than twenty MAMA activists to DC in June to meet with over 30 key congress members
  • Traveled to DC nearly every week throughout the summer and fall to build support in the House Energy & Commerce Committee and the Senate Finance Committee, which have jurisdiction over Medicaid issues
  • Prepared a cost-analysis based on Medicaid data from a health policy study in Washington State that was submitted to the Congressional Budget Office on our behalf by Chairman Waxman’s office
  • Met with 8 top Medicaid officials at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid (CMS), a very unusual opportunity for a provider group new to Capitol Hill
  • Achieved a significant partial victory: Senator Cantwell’s provision in the Senate bill that will have the effect of requiring Medicaid to pay the provider fee, in addition to the facility fee, to CPMs attending births in birth centers
  • Has raised over $140,000 towards our goal since mid-July in the most successful fundraising effort for midwives ever!
  • Is still on the Hill for CPMs as we move into January, working to include CPMs in the final health care bill that will be signed by the President!

Thanks to all of you MAMA supporters and your letters, faxes, calls and in-district visits to your legislators, all of the key Senate and House offices now are aware of the benefits that CPMs bring to women and families in quality of care and cost-savings to the system! A huge thank-you to all of you! As we head into the New Year for CPMs, we take with us what our lobbyist, Billy Wynne, has told us: that, in just a few short months, we have achieved Congressional attention and support for our cause that often takes 3 to 4 years! Thank you for your dedication and support!

MAMA Was So Happy to See You!
Thanks to all of you who joined us last week for our Campaign Webinar: MAMA Has Good News to Share! We had a great time and, from your comments, so did you! For those of you who were not able to join us live, a recording of the Webinar is now available at:

Why Including CPMs in Medicaid Will Improve the Lives of Women
As we take stock at the end of this year, we never forget who we’re working for: women who need the choice of a CPM but won’t be able to afford one unless CPMs are included in Medicaid.

We are reminded of the work of CPMs Constance Frey, LM, CPM, and Carolee Hall, LM, CPM. Frey and Hall have a thriving midwifery practice in Olympia, Washington, which attends to 10 20% teenage clients.

Midwifery care, which offers these young women choices and gives them the opportunity to birth unhindered by medication, can allow these girls and young women to be authorities over their own bodies. Direct entry midwifery care provides for one-on-one counseling between midwife and client, and focuses on educating the client, making her a partner in her own healthcare.

They gain confidence to birth their own babies without pain medication and surrounded by love,” says Frey. “Oftentimes teens are the population that needs more of the individual attention that a midwifery practice can offer them.” Frey and Hall have had great success with teens who come to their clinic with difficult histories, including drug abuse, and who are able to change their lives to become more responsible and healthier. “Many, many of these teens end up having natural, unmedicated childbirth and breastfeeding their babies.”
Like most midwives in Washington State, Frey and Hall’s practice is comprised in large part of women on Medicaid. “We are committed to working as much as possible with those whom we can support as they step into that transition into education and empowerment.”

MAMA Reaches Down Deep to Fund the Campaign!
The end of the year is almost here! Donations continue to flow in, providing MAMA with the fuel she needs to reach the finish line! State midwifery and consumer organizations from New England to California and Michigan to Texas have been stepping up to help. The breadth and commitment of our donors continues to amaze us! Can you help MAMA send out the year with a bang? Help MAMA get a great start on 2010 ... donate today!
Go to to donate to MAMA!

MAMA Is Blogging Health Care Reform
Tune into the Grapevine at: , MAMA’s source for keeping you up-to-date on health care reform. And check in today to hear about the BBC interview with Alena Ciecko, daughter of our own Campaign Steering Committee member, Jo Anne Myers-Ciecko, and her experience of being pregnant in the US.

See You Next Year!
This is the last scheduled MAMA Campaign Eblast of 2009. The MAMA Campaign Eblast-writing crew is taking the holidays off to enjoy with our families. Then, come January, we’ll be back at work to let you know everything that happened over those two weeks…and so much more. Please look for us in the New Year!

If you have any questions, concerns or comments please contact the campaign at

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