A trio of Frontier Nursing University (FNU) nurse-midwife graduates recently participated in a documentary screening and panel discussion on maternal mortality during National Midwifery Week.
FNU Alumni Frances Fullwood Harris, CNM, Tasha Parker, CNM and Tamara Rolan, CNM attended the event and led the panel discussion that took place on September 29. Hosted by the Idaho Doula Associates (IDA), the goal of the documentary screening and panel was to highlight maternal mortality in the black community.
Statistics show that black women are three times as likely to die in childbirth than their white counterparts. Attendees screened the film “Death By Delivery,” a documentary following the maternal hardships and cost of racism in black communities in America.
The subsequent panel discussion addressed “the current state of maternal mortality and what we can do to bring about change in our own communities,” according to IDA’s post on the Facebook event. IDA member Paige Jackson hosted the panel, while Frances, Tasha and Tamara led the discussion.
“I loved doing this panel because it allowed us to speak about racism as we see it to an audience that might not otherwise hear a real world perspective from women of color living in their community,” said Tamara.
In the discussion, Tamara and her counterparts talked about actionable items and concrete ideas that all midwives could implement to combat the growing epidemic of racism in maternal care.
The event drew nearly 30 attendees who were eager to learn about the strength, grief, pain and hope it takes to be a midwife of color. Attendees listened intently as Frances, Tasha and Tamara discussed their “why’s,” fears for their own children, and the weight of microaggressions in the medical community.
“I have begun to despair about racism and disparities,” said Frances. “However, speaking my truth may bring a greater realization and prayerfully lasting changed hearts.”
“Women are the nucleus of the family and the world,” she said. “They can demand more and deserve more.”
See more about this event on the Idaho Doula Association Facebook post.
Frontier’s leadership has spearheaded efforts to decrease maternal mortality and improve maternity care in the U.S. Explore more on the maternal mortality crisis and possible solutions with these resources:
- Blog: FNU President Susan Stone Discusses Maternal Mortality on Nursecast Podcast
- Video: “Building a Diverse Midwifery Workforce in the United States to Improve Maternity Care Outcomes,” presented by FNU President, Dr. Susan Stone as part of the 2018 National Midwifery Week Virtual Event
Thank you to our fantastic alumni for continuing to shed light on this important issue!