Tracy Martin: Birthing on Country (7:00AM EST)

Birthing on country for an Aboriginal woman is giving birth in one’s own birth land and country which is culturally significant for the future of the baby and their belonging to that country.  It is not considered to be a home birth as understood in western midwifery terms.  The philosophy of Birthing on Country ensures a spiritual connection to the land of that community for the mother and her baby. Birthing on Country is an identified health priority in the National Maternity Services Plan (Department of Health and Ageing, 2011), with work being undertaken nationally in 2012 to develop and trial specific maternity service delivery Birthing on Country models by the Maternity Services Inter Jurisdictional Committee (MSIJC) for the Australian Health Ministers Advisory Council (AHMAC ) (Kildea and van Wagner, 2012).  However, there is an unfortunate paucity of knowledge in the literature on the cultural birthing needs of Aboriginal women in an urban context.

Tracy Martin is the Principal Midwifery Advisor for the Health Department of Western Australia. She provides experienced, high level advice and leadership on all matters pertaining to the midwifery and child and family health aspects of the Nursing and Midwifery Office. Tracy leads state wide midwifery (maternal and infant health) projects and has recently been appointed as an Adjunct Senior Lecturer at Edith Cowan University.

Yolanda Ogbolu, Ph.D.: Improving In-Patient Newborn Survival: The Role of Nursing & Midwifery (9:00AM EST)

Yolanda Ogbolu, Ph.D., is an Assistant Professor, Deputy Director of the Office of Global Health (OGH) at University of Maryland School of Nursing (UMSON) and a neonatal nurse practitioner with over 25 years of clinical experience.  Her research and programs focus on expanding nurse capacity in resource constrained settings, improving newborn survival locally and globally, building cultural competency in health professionals and organizations, and supporting the translation of evidence based practices and policy with dissemination and implementation science.  She is an advisor for the Council of International Neonatal Nurses (COINN) has served as nurse consultant for the World Health Organization. Currently in the Office of Global Health at UMSON, she leads the school’s programs in West Africa and develops, manages, and sustains partnerships with West African nursing universities.

Deborah Armbruster, CNM, MPH:  Post Partum Hemorrhage (11:00AM EST)

Deborah Armbruster is a Senior Program Officer at PATH and the Director of the USAID-funded Prevention of Postpartum Hemorrhage Initiative (POPPHI) Project. She has over 25 years of experience in safe motherhood programs in over 15 countries. She has served as a consultant to a number of organizations, including the Department of Health and Human Services, American College of Nurse-Midwives, Academy for Educational Development, Family Care International, Save the Children, John Snow, Inc., University Research Corporation, and has worked with the World Health Organization, the International Confederation of Midwives, the Inter-Agency for Safe Motherhood, and Partnership for Maternal and Newborn Health. She also is a founding member of the White Ribbon Alliance for Safe Motherhood and has worked on committees or served on the Board of Directors for the life of the WRA.

Maggie Alexander, ND, MS, PMHNP: Home Based Life Saving Skills (1:00PM EST)

Maggie has lived and worked abroad including Europe, Central Asia, Latin America and Africa.  She received her Doctor of Nursing from Case Western Reserve University and then her midwifery education from the University of Colorado in 1987.  She founded four midwifery practices in Boulder Colorado.  In 2002 she worked in Senegal W. Africa for two years conducting independent research on programs addressing Maternal Mortality issues.  She returned to the US in 2004 to become the Clinical Director of the DC Birth Center and then moved to Portland Oregon in 2006.  She worked as a nurse-midwife at OHSU and mother baby nurse until 2013.  In 2012 she obtained a master in Psychiatric Nursing and opened a private practice in 2013.

In 2008, Maggie helped found Safe Passage to Motherhood,  a small nonprofit organization whose mission is “…to improve the health and childbirth survival for mothers and newborns in low resource settings by providing health education and lifesaving skills in a culturally sustainable manner.”  This impactful work is currently being carried out in Kenya, East Africa.  Safe Passage to Motherhood will be sending a team of consultants to Kenya in January of 2014 for a follow-up visit.


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