Midwife of the Week: Mary Carol Akers

marycarolakersMary Carol Akers, CNM, PhD, practices in Elizabethtown, KY. In the course of her career she has midwifed more than 6,000 babies, while also serving as a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and Certified Lactation Consultant. Akers was inducted as a Fellow of the American College of Nurse Midwives in 2013. In 2009 she began a quest to open Kentucky’s first free-standing birth center, The Visitation Birth and Family Wellness Center. During a Certificate of Need hearing, required by Kentucky law, three local hospitals objected to the opening of the center, claiming they already offered the same services that the center would provide. The hearing officer denied the Certificate of Need, but last month a Franklin County Circuit Court judge reversed the hearing officer’s decision on appeal. His grounds? The hospitals did not have the right to object, because the proposed birth center’s services were considerably different from those offered by hospitals. To read read more about the case, visit http://birthmonopoly.com/kentuckybirthcenters/.

This Midwife of the Week post was written by Valerie Meharg. It originated on FoMM’s Facebook page and is archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!

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Midwife of the Week: Mary Breckinridge

breckinridge1After losing her two children to early death, Mary Breckinridge channeled her energies into nursing in hopes of raising “the status of childhood everywhere.” She served as a nurse in France during WWI and believed the model of midwifery she found there could greatly assist the women of her home state of Kentucky, many of whom birthed with no access to health care, and only the help of their neighbors and families. In 1925 she founded the Frontier Nursing Service, a program centered in Eastern Kentucky with outposts throughout the state.

breckinridge2FNS now houses the Frontier Nursing University, which provides nurse-midwifery education focused on serving its students’ communities. FNS also houses the Courier Program, established by Breckinridge in 1928. Originally, women in this program provided safe transport for patients from remote areas to birthing centers and clinics. Though they’ve traded their horses for cars, the interns in this program continue to facilitate services between these clinics and the patients they serve. Current couriers share their experiences at http://www.khakiandwhite.blogspot.com/

Midwife of the Week posts, written by Sirene-Rose Lipschutz, originate on FoMM’s Facebook page and are archived here on our website for your continued enjoyment!