Vicki Penwell has been providing evidence-based midwifery care, rooted in respect and kindness, to women and their babies since 1983. A Certified Professional Midwife, she also holds a Masters of Science in Midwifery and a Masters of Arts in Intercultural Studies. Vicki and her husband Scott have lived and served poor populations in Alaska, Mexico, and the Philippines; they have set up birth centers and trained local midwives in all three locations.
In the Philippines, they founded Mercy in Action, an organization that runs the non-profit Mercy Midwives Birthing Center, that provides free care to the poorest families in the region. Its newborn outcomes rank four times better than the national average; the maternal outcomes rank eight times better! The birth center also provides skills training for local midwives, and education and apprenticeship opportunities for local student midwives.
In the United States, the Penwells founded the Mercy in Action Midwifery School in order to train future CPMs. Vicki is an outspoken voice in the midwifery community for increasing access for women of color and indigenous populations, both to midwifery care and to training in midwifery. She furthers this goal at Mercy in Action Midwifery School by offering scholarships to women of color. For more information about Vicki Penwell and her organization, visit www.mercyinaction.com.
This Midwife of the Week post was written by Emile Van Meter. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!