FSTM Now Offering Online Continuing Education

FSTM is excited to announce that we are now offering online CEUs! Two courses are available so far, and we're looking forward to creating more CE opportunities in the future.

Right now, you can take the following courses on Udemy by clicking the links below:

Upon completion of the course, FSTM will automatically upload your CEUs to your CE Broker account. This is done weekly on Tuesdays. You do not need to contact FSTM unless you don't see the CE in your account after one week. For questions about our CEUs, please email info@midwiferyschool.org.

If you have time, please leave a review of our courses on Udemy after you've completed them. Feedback helps us constantly improve our course offerings.

Thank you for supporting FSTM!

Are LMs Paying Attention? We Should Be!

By Amanda Mann, LM

Wandering mapless through the Legislation Land can be intimidating.  It can be confusing.  It's hard to know exactly what you should be doing at any given moment and you think, as many of us have, "What exactly am I supposed to be doing here?"  
 
So, I'll be very frank:  What all of us should be doing is two-fold-- pay close attention and pay our lobbyists
 
While for us in Florida, the legislative conversation has popped up after many years (decades, almost) of relative quiet, the national conversation about the LM/CPM "problem" has not really touched us. This is despite the presence of the 2014 ACOG CPM Toolkit which suggests legislative activity related to LMs/CPMs to include such things as: 

  • "Consider requiring home birth patients to preregister at the nearest hospital and have a transfer agreement."
  • "Require midwives to keep and file client summary reports; consider quarterly, biannual or yearly filing requirements."*
  • "Require midwives to report, within a specified time period, any death or morbidity including stillbirths."*
  • "Require midwives to file with the state a notice of intent to home deliver." (ACOG Toolkit)  

While we, as autonomous health care providers, deeply value the safety of all clients/patients, and we do support the reporting of adverse events (starred above), we must be part of this legislative activity. 
 
Why? Because we understand the landscape of out-of-hospital birth; we understand the challenges and successes.  We are the experts in what's working with our law and rule and what's not. 
 
We ABSOLUTELY MUST show up and stay present when these changes happen.  Which is right now with SB 510 and the House Bill (as yet un-filed).  
 
I will not sugarcoat this for you, reader.  The conversation about LM practice has been an ongoing one.  The language that follows was sent to legislators as suggestions to the "LM Problem."  This is quoted directly from a correspondence from a Florida-based OB to ACOG regarding the practice of LMs: 
 
"There are many issues that need to be addressed by the state. 

1.  Training requirements need to be reviewed if the state is going to continue to sanction and recognize this group as providers of health care. 
2.  Licensed Midwives should be required to have physician supervision.  That physician should be required to accept their patients for treatment at a hospital when needed.  Finding a physician, one with hospital privileges will be very difficult. 
3.  The scope of practice of this group needs to be closely scrutinized and reviewed on a regular basis." 


So, Midwives of Florida, there actually is a map for Legislative Land. It's a map that takes us through dangerous territory, and it's a map that was written by ACOG in 2014
 
And, it's a map that we may not wish to just willingly follow blindly, without being an integral part of the conversations.  We need to agree to forge ahead together, work hard to meet in the middle with ACOG when possible, and have supporters who know the landscape to make sure that we know where we're going to land.  
 
Those supporters and advocates are our lobbyists, Ron Watson and Louis Rotundo.  The Legislative Committee also is working hard for all licensed midwives throughout the state.  
 
But we CANNOT DO IT WITHOUT YOUR SUPPORT.  If each midwife with a an active license paid $155/year our lobbyists fees of $30,000 would be paid for immediately.  
 
We have about a $3500 deficit at the moment with December 1 payment to the lobbyists (that's about 22 of you!). 

  • For those of you who have paid the Foundation or Midwives Association of Florida, thank you a million times over.
  • For those who haven't but can, please do so soon.   
  • For those who can't pay the full amount, sign up for recurring $20 payments because those add up.   
  • For those who can't pay $20/month, fundraise with your clients.  The average number of births per midwife (according to our annual report) is 14.26 deliveries per year.  If each of your clients who delivered donated $11, you'd raise your $155.  

Please help today.  You can donate to the Crowdfunding campaign or give directly to the Foundation here.
 
You can also give directly to Midwives Association of Florida by donating through their PayPal, MAFloridaTreasurer@gmail.com.  
 
Please join the cause and help protect licensed midwifery by donating to fund the lobbyist today!  

Link to original article: https://www.flmidwifefoundation.org/single-post/2017/10/29/Are-LMs-Paying-Attention-We-Should-Be

Welcome, New Student Midwives!

Fall term has officially begun! Monday and Tuesday are Orientation days for the new Sage (freshman) cohort, and we are so excited to have them on campus! Their first day of class is tomorrow, when they will officially begin their first semester as midwifery students. This term, they'll be taking Anatomy and Physiology I, Healthcare Skills I, Research and Public Health, Cultural Competency and Midwifery History Law and Rule.

There are 26 students in the Sage cohort and 3 new students who will be joining the Turquoise (Junior) cohort. Yesterday, during Orientation, they did a team-building exercise on the front lawn with Amy Vaknin, Core Instructor and FSTM Counselor. Check out photos of their "web of support" below.

Welcome to all of our new student midwives!

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20th Graduating Class Celebration

Last weekend, the day before the Violet class graduation, FSTM threw a party at the Wooly event hall to celebrate graduating our 20th class of licensed midwives! We just got the photos back and wanted to share them. It was a fun evening of drinks, food, games and friends. Thank you to everyone who turned out to celebrate with us!

Graduation Day - Violet Class of 2017

Our senior class, the Violets, graduated yesterday! The day began with brunch and Birth Circle on campus at 10:00 AM. The graduates shared birth stories and created flower crowns to wear for Graduation. The ceremony was held at the beautiful Alachua County Library on University Avenue at 1:30 PM. 

We are so thrilled to see the culmination of their journey through midwifery school! We will miss having them on campus, but we are so excited to watch them enter this new chapter of their lives as Florida Licensed Midwives.

WE LOVE YOU VIOLETS!

Last Day of Summer Classes!

It's the last day of Summer classes here at FSTM. Students have just finished their final exams and couldn't be more relieved! Our Turquoise cohort completed their final projects for Reproductive Anatomy & Physiology with Dr. Lori Scott, and the results are truly stunning.

The project was to construct a labeled drawing/or drawings showing the passage of the fetal head in relation to the female boney pelvis at five stages of descent from early labor to birth, starting with an LOA presentation. Included will be: 1) the cardinal movements, 2) pelvic station, 3) an inferior view of the pelvis showing the baby’s head, 4) cervical dilation with sutures. 

Check out some of their beautiful projects below:

International Midwifery Day Cocktail Party and Silent Auction

On Friday, May 5, 2017 the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery hosted a Cocktail Party and Silent Auction to raise money for the restoration and preservation of the Historic Howard Kelly House, which was built in 1883 and has been the home of FSTM since 2004.

This occasion was also an opportunity to celebrate the contribution of Jennifer Wollheim-Devine to the cause of midwifery and FSTM. Jennifer Wollheim Devine was a Gainesville midwife, activist, daughter, wife and mother who passed away in 2007. The Jennifer Wollheim Devine Scholarship was created in her memory by her family and her mother Marilyn Magnet. Through their support and the support of other scholarship donors, over $30,000 has been distributed since 2007 to enable students to complete midwifery school. Recognizing that school is expensive, many students commute long distances to attend, and family obligations must also be met, the Scholarship covers unexpected expenses that, if unmet, would jeopardize the student’s academic career or family well-being. Without this support, many students would be unable to fulfill their dreams of becoming licensed midwives. Click here to contribute to the Jennifer Wollheim-Devine Scholarship Fund.

During the event, FSTM Board Chair Jane Houston received The Jana Borino Community Builder Award for Outstanding Dedication to the Future of Midwifery. Jane began her career in Scotland where she became a registered general nurse with a Bachelor’s degree, and completed her diploma in midwifery in 1992 to become a Registered Midwife (RM). She entered graduate school at University of Florida in 2001 and completed her MSN studies so she would be able to provide midwifery care in Gainesville, Florida. Jane was in the first DNP class at University of Florida, graduating in 2009. She continued her career in education becoming Director of Midwifery there in 2011-2015. She recently became clinical director for midwifery and women’s health at the historic Frontier Nursing University in Kentucky. She has always felt called to the profession of midwifery, and has delivered over 2,000 babies on 4 continents.