The Home Birth Consensus Summits bring a cross-section of the maternity care system together to discuss improved integration of services for all women and families in the United States. Progress in this area requires stakeholders with historically opposing views to collaborate throughout the development and implementation of innovative strategies for interprofessional communication and consultation. Organizers and delegates are a diverse multidisciplinary group of leaders with a passion for quality in maternity care and a commitment to work together to improve safety for women and babies across birth sites.
During the planning stages, prior to the Summits, the following 9 groups were identified as stakeholders in maternity care.
- Home Birth Consumers (parents and potential parents considering this option)
- Consumer Representatives (including doulas, childbirth educators, childbirth and women’s health care reform and information agencies)
- Home Birth Midwives (CPM, CNM, LM, CM, traditional, etc.)
- Maternal-Child Health Collaborating Providers (including paediatrics, labor and delivery nurses, neonatal care providers, CNMs who facilitate access for hospital admission or consultation)
- Obstetricians and OB Family Practice Physicians
- Leaders with expertise in Health Care Models, Systems, and Hospital Administration
- Insurance (liability and payors)
- Health Policy, Legislators, Regulators, and Ethicists
- Public Health, Research, and Education
Summit delegates were chosen to represent each of the stakeholder groups. Delegates may belong to more than one of the groups, and had the opportunity to contribute their perspective from any they choose. At the 2014 Summit, stakeholder representatives explored achievements and opportunities since the previous Summits in 2011 and 2013.
Many thanks to all of the individuals and organizations who have shown their support for this initiative through contributions of time, expertise, endorsements, and/or financial resources.
Significant grant funding for planning meetings and the Summits has been provided by Transforming Birth Fund and the Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery. The American College of Nurse-Midwives Foundation, Groundworks Initiatives, and the University of British Columbia acted as fiscal agents for this project.
The following organizations supported the planning process, the dissemination of information, and the recruitment and attendance of delegates:
- American Academy of Family Physicians
- American Academy of Pediatrics
- American Association of Birth Centers
- American College of Nurse Midwives
- American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
- American Hospital Association
- Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses
- Bastyr University
- Childbirth Connection
- International Center for Traditional Childbearing
- Lamaze International
- Midwives Alliance of North America
- National Association of Certified Professional Midwives
- Our Bodies Ourselves
- Division of Midwifery, University of British Columbia
We are grateful for the significant investment of time and expertise that the following individuals donated to numerous meetings, conference calls and online discussions as part of steering and planning committees in order to make this event happen: Richard Aronson, Cathy Collins-Fulea, Leslie Cragin, Phil Darney, Diane Holzer, Maria Iorillo, and Naomi Stotland.
Success of this complex multidisciplinary process would not have been possible without environments that facilitated open, confidential and serious intellectural discourse. The University of California at San Francisco hosted the initial planning meeting and Airlie Center in Warrenton, VA, a well-known venue for think tanks, was the site of the 2011 & 2013 Summits.
Finally, thank you to the numerous unnamed members of the national community of consumers, students, and providers that have donated both time and precious funds to because they support and believe in this opportunity.