50th Anniversary of Midwifery Education Symposium Information

Sunday, October 8, 2023, 11:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Join us for a hybrid (virtual and in-person) half-day symposium including three podium presentations and CEs.

Check-in and Welcome

11:30 a.m.

Check-in begins.

12:00 – 12:15 p.m.

Welcome remarks from Melicia Escobar, DNP, CNM, WHNP-BC, FACNM, Program Director, NM/WHNP Program


Katie DePalms

12:15 – 1:15 p.m.

“Complex Case Studies: Reframing Clinical Care Through a Health Equity Lens”
Presenter: Katie DePalma, DNP, CNM, WHNP-BC, FACNM
Summary: Using a health equity lens, two fictional case studies (based on real clients) with complex pregnancy and gynecologic conditions that resulted in poor outcomes will be discussed. The outcomes and morbidity will be examined through an interactive group learning experience, exploring sources of systemic and implicit bias that adversely impacted the clients’ health outcomes.

Noelene K. Jeffers

1:45 – 2:45 p.m.

“Racism, Resistance, and Re-envisioning: Perspectives of Midwifery Students, Faculty, and Preceptors”
Presenter: Noelene K. Jeffers, PhD, CNM, IBCLC
Summary: In 2022, the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) conducted a midwifery landscape analysis to understand the barriers, challenges, needs, and resources available to Black, Indigenous, and other Students of Color enrolled in midwifery education programs in the United States. This landscape analysis included a mixed methods research study that incorporated surveys and focus groups of midwifery students, recent graduates, faculty, and preceptors. Dr. Jeffers will share study findings related to the lived experiences of racism of students, faculty, and preceptors; the strategies used to resist racism; and a vision for transforming midwifery education. Faculty, preceptors, and midwifery education program leadership can use these findings to guide their efforts to cultivate safe, nurturing, and equitable spaces that help Black, Indigenous, and other Midwifery Students of Color thrive.

Signey Olson

Signey Olson, DNP, CNM, WHNP-BC, FACNM

Heather Bradford

Heather Bradford, PhD, CNM, FACNM

3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

“Weight Bias in Healthcare: We Can Do Better”
Presenters: Heather Bradford, PhD, CNM, FACNM, and Signey Olson, DNP, CNM, WHNP-BC, FACNM
Summary: Conversations that occur in healthcare settings call on the clinician’s effective communication skills, empathy, professionalism and moral obligation to recognize the unconditional value of patients as persons. However, these clinical conversations (specifically those that address diet, exercise, weight and weight gain recommendations) have the potential to be harmful to the client if not conducted in an intentional way. Weight bias, defined as the societal devaluation of people in larger bodies, is prevalent among clinicians, and can have deleterious effects on the utilization of care, the clinician-client relationship and health outcomes. However, by learning to thoughtfully construct this conversation with a focus on health and not weight, clinicians can be change agents in advancing health and equity. Through self-reflection of implicit and explicit weight bias, anti-racist perspectives, intentional language, a respectful, step-wise, common ground approach and use of the Health at Every Size® model, clinicians can reframe the clinical conversation regarding their client’s health. By understanding their own biases and critically reflecting on the research, clinicians can improve client outcomes and enhance shared decision-making.

Attend Virtually or In Person at this Location:

Healey Family Student Center
3700 Tondorf Road at Georgetown University