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Inaugural Miles for Midwives 5K a Success!

The Kentucky Affiliate of ACNM hosted the first of what it hopes to be an annual fundraising event on Saturday, September 2, 2023, at beautiful Coldstream Park in Lexington, Ky.

The run/walk/stroll event was organized to raise awareness for midwifery in Kentucky, to unite supporters of midwives, and to generate funds to be used by the affiliate in the coming months and year.

Proceeds from the Miles for Midwives 5K will remain in Kentucky and be used to promote midwifery, advocate for issues impacting midwifery, and assist in the operational costs of the affiliate. Additionally, the fundraising event creates scholarship support for student midwives in Kentucky and provides educational opportunities for CNMs and midwifery students.

"We have to make more midwives to serve Kentuckians," says Dr. Dee Polito, Certified Nurse Midwife and President of the Kentucky Affiliate of ACNM. "I am passionate about women's health and maternal care in Kentucky, and I know that increasing the number of midwives in our state is a necessity. We need more midwives to provide safe, personalized maternal care, which ultimately will lead to better birth outcomes. Every woman and family in Kentucky should have easy access to the great care that midwives provide, and this event is a step in that direction."

Certified Nurse Midwife and board member for the Kentucky Affiliate of ACNM, Dr. Alisha Morgan, says midwives are primary care providers, not only birth providers. “Some people hear midwife and think, ‘oh you only deliver babies,’ but we do so much more than that. We take care of women from adolescents through end of life, providing all of their healthcare needs anywhere in between,” said Morgan.

Not only are there limited settings for women and families to give birth in Kentucky, there’s also a shortage of maternity care resources, including midwives, across the Commonwealth. “If we look at areas like Louisville, central Kentucky, around Lexington, those areas are where most of the maternal care is. But when you get to the southern part of the state, eastern parts of the state, far western parts of the state, we’re really lacking in maternity care providers,” said Morgan.

Polito also adds, "Kentucky is one of only eight states in the country that doesn't have a birth center, a home-like facility for low-risk birth to occur. Home and hospital birth are the only options families have right now. If a woman desires birth center care, she would have to travel to Indiana, Ohio, West Virginia, or Tennessee." Funds from the Miles for Midwives 5K event will also be used to support efforts to eliminate barriers to the development of birth center care in Kentucky.

“It’s a little bit personal to me because my aunt is actually a midwife who studied at Frontier Nursing University, so I’m really proud to be running for her today,” said 12-year-old 'fastest kid' winner Luke Skidmore. Frontier Nursing University (FNU) was the premier sponsor of the 5K and also supports endeavors to promote midwifery in Kentucky and nationally. Graduate programs at FNU, located in Versailles, Kentucky, currently have an enrollment of 2,500 students. Nearly 9,000 midwives nationally and internationally have graduated FNU, with 35% of all CNMs in the country being alumni of FNU.

The Kentucky Affiliate of ACNM looks forward to hosting the event again on Labor Day weekend in 2024. Follow the Affiliate on Facebook to stay connected to upcoming events.

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