From The Big Push for Midwives Campaign
CONTACT: Steff Hedenkamp, (816) 506-4630, firstname.lastname@example.org
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Friday, December 19, 2008
Sen. Daschle welcomed to Heartland Maternity Care Community Meeting
New HHS Secretary invited to hear the stories of doctors and midwives, mothers, families, and others on the affordability and quality of maternity care in Missouri and Kansas
New HHS Secretary Sen. Tom Daschle is graciously open to attending one or more Health Care Reform Community Meetings 1 as outlined at Change.gov. The window of opportunity for him to attend is for meetings held in homes and neighborhoods between Dec. 15 and 31. We are planning a meeting "Maternity Care Community Discussion in the Heartland,” and we have invited Sen. Daschle to join us.
The conversation will explore the national maternity care crisis, which sits atop the two crumbling pillars of affordability and birth outcomes. The recent “D” and “F” grades that Kansas and Missouri received respectively from the March of Dimes for pre-term birth rates will be examined. Further, the need for our community, our state, our nation, to immediately shift its ingrained belief “that more medical intervention, regardless of cost, is better—even when the evidence doesn’t support such a claim” will be explored, specifically as it relates to mother and child health. We’ll take a look at states like Washington that have saved millions of dollars by integrating licensed midwives into the maternity care systems of their states.
Sen. Daschle, Sen. Claire McCaskill and Congressman Emanuel Cleaver, and their key staff, have been invited. We have also reached out to key state and local legislators here in the area. Attendees include leadership from the March of Dimes, Swope Health Services, Truman Medical Center-Lakewood, as well as doctors, midwives, constituents, and maternal and child health professionals, educators and doulas from across the region.
Sen. Daschle can hear the stories from families like Joe and Jen Wright of Lee's Summit , MO , where their struggle as a one-income household has been to pay all of the out-of-pockets expenses associated with the midwives’ care they have sought out for their family of five. Or from young pregnant moms like Shawna Couture of Overland Park, Kansas, who can tell him about the many obstacles within her Medicaid coverage as she tries to access the affordable care of midwives when she gives birth to her baby in May 2009. And he can hear from mothers in the military from Whitman Air Force Base in MO, about their problems with Tricare coverage of maternity costs, as well as outcomes.
509 SE Miller Street, Lees Summit , Missouri , 64063
2 p.m. CST on Saturday, December 20
I will be attending this meeting today, prior to heading to the Holy Land retreat centre for a time of quiet and contemplation and a Winter Solstice celebration with my good friend Morningstar. I'm hoping for a productive meeting and a chance to have face time with other local activists.