UW Health Nurse Midwives Celebrate 25 Years, Win National Award

Madison, Wisconsin - Since UW Health Nurse Midwivery Service began 25 years ago, they’ve “caught” about 8,760 newborn babies, a number roughly equal to the population of the Dane County village of DeForest.


The service will celebrate its anniversary and receive a national award at an event scheduled for 3 to 4 p.m. Sunday Oct. 5 at the Meriter Hospital cafeteria, 202 South Park St., Madison. There, Ginger Breedlove, president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, will present the UW Health group with the “With Women for a Lifetime Commendation.”


Jodi Wagner, the certified nurse midwife who manages the UW Health group, says the award recognizes both longevity and innovation. For example, the nurse midwives were instrumental in getting the water birthing program started at Meriter about three years ago and also pioneered group medical appointments for expectant mothers.


In addition, Wagner says that the group has a cesarean section rate of about 10.5 percent, compared with 12.5 percent for midwives nationally and about 33 percent for all births nationally. The UW Health nurse midwives also did better than the national average in preventing preterm and low birth weight births.


The service began in 1989 with one nurse midwife and has grown to include eight nurse midwives who see patients at three UW Health clinics as well as two federally-funded Access Community Health Center clinics. They catch more than 500 newborns a year at Meriter Hospital, or about 15 percent of the babies born there.

Date Published: 10/01/2014

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