Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Trail-Blazing for Midwives: An Unexpected Encounter

by Michelle Grandy, CNM, MN, President, Washington ACNM State Affiliate

Pictured in center: Michelle Grandy, CNM, and Congressman Jay Inslee

You never know where opportunities will arise to support midwifery. My most recent unexpected opportunity happened as I was backpacking with my daughter in the great outdoors of Washington State.

We heard a few men down the trail talking about taking a group photo. One voice was particularly boisterous in the otherwise quiet wilderness. As we rounded the corner, the group said, "Great! Here is someone who may be willing to take our photo."

I replied, "For you, I could do that."

After snapping their photo with a magnificent mountain range in the background, one of the men made a comment about "My chief of staff…"

"What do you do?"

"Well, I'm a congressman,” he answered.

"What is your name?"

"I'm Jay Inslee."

I jumped into gear and began talking about our recent ACNM Annual Meeting in Washington, DC, and how we'd missed talking with him personally but met Megan, his health legislative assistant. I asked if he'd heard of the MOMS 21 bill. He stated that he had not. I kicked it up a notch and began discussing the bill, using personal references to my practice at the University of Washington. I mentioned that one component of the bill would support certified nurse-midwives (CNMs) billing while supervising residents in medical schools.

A week later, I sent a follow-up e-mail that included a photo and a copy of the MOMS 21 bill to Congressman Inslee and Megan. Shortly after, I was notified that he signed as a cosponsor for the bill!

Interested in learning more about MOMS 21? Visit the ACNM website or contact Kathryn Kravetz Carr at


Amy Romano said...

That's awesome!!! I've often had random encounters where I got to talk about midwifery and maternity care reform and found allies in the most unexpected places, but this one takes the cake!

Kathryn Kravetz Carr said...

Love this! Way to go, Michelle!