Tuesday, January 17, 2012

More on the UW midwifery program

Seattle columnist advises you never to get between a midwife and a birthing baby:

Last month, the faculty there recommended eliminating the UW's 19-year-old midwife training program.

That isn't surprising on its own. Just about everything is on the chopping block these days.

It was their reasoning. It has angered midwives all over the region. Not to mention thousands of moms.

The nurse-midwife program was judged not to meet a "societal need." In fact, maternal and newborn health were not even on the list of societal needs drawn up by a UW committee looking to cull programs.

Surprisingly, this isn't directly about money. The students in the program pay more in fees than it costs to educate them. Plus midwives are a force that drives down birth-related health costs. ...

The UW hooked me up with Carol Landis, a professor in the nursing school who helped draft the recommendation. She said it was not an "arbitrary devaluing of midwives." Driven by state budget cuts, the School of Nursing is reducing the number of areas in which it is teaching- and training-focused (regrettably to her), she said. The emphasis is on high-level research, the kind that brings in grant money.

And Shari, a midwifery student at UW, commented with the following clarification to my last post:

I would like to clarify and issue with this proposal to cut our program. It is not because of the budget per se, as the Midwifery program is funded entirely from student funds. We are one of the only programs operating in the black. This is politcal decision that must be reversed! Please stand with us and sign the petition! Research dollars do not trump the health and welfare of women and children

The petition already has almost 2500 signatures - with a goal of 10,000!

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