Summer 2018

Welcome to the summer installment of the Foundation Communication, where we report all things Foundation!  In our feature, you’ll find all of the latest news regarding AABC Foundation scholarships, grants, awardees, fundraising campaigns, and more.


Congratulations to Tree of Life Family Birth Center who have been awarded an Accreditation Support Grant!  The Tree of Life Family Birth Center is located in Jeffersonville, IN and will be opening later this year.  Tree of Life will be the only birth center serving the “Kentuckiana” area, where they’ve been providing full-scope midwifery care for the last 20 years.  When asked why they want to become CABC accredited, Elizabeth Quinkert, RN, CNM, and founder of the birth center said “we strive to become accredited in order to assure our community that we are providing the highest level of care, to be accountable for our practice, and to ensure that we are providing the best care possible to our clients.”  Well said, Elizabeth!  Interested in accrediting your birth center, or need some financial assistance to renew your accreditation?  Visit the website to see if you’re eligible and apply.

Five birth centers were recently awarded Membership Grants.  Congratulations to Luna Women’s Wellness and Birth Center (Brainerd, MN), Palms Birth House (Delray Beach, FL), Magnolia Birth House (North Miami Beach, FL), Pure Births (Valencia, CA), and Rosemary Birthing Home (Sarasota, FL)!  Palms Birth House, Magnolia Birth House, and Pure Births are first-time members that opened their doors in the last few years.  Tamara Taitt, the Administrative Director of Magnolia Birth House, shared that “we believe that membership in AABC will provide us with the tools to meet our mission [to reduce local Black infant mortality rates] in a way that is sustainable, not only by ensuring that our facility meets the highest standards, but also by connecting us to other facilities who have successfully implemented the model over the last 30 years.”  Inspiring words, Tamara!  AABC will do all they can to help you reach your goals and succeed in your vital mission.  Learn more about Membership Support Grants on the website.

 In February, the Foundation Board awarded Research Grants to three exciting projects, and we’d like to congratulate them and wish them success in their research!  

  • Carrie Neerland, MS, APRN, CNM, FACNM is conducting research on “Confidence for Physiologic Birth in the Birth Center Model of Care” as part of her studies at the University of Minnesota.
  • Mary Ann Faucher, PhD, MPH, CNM, FACNM and Holly Powell Kennedy, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN are working on “The Use of Video-calls in Early Labor Care: Exploring Postpartum Women's Views of the Potential Benefits and Challenges” at Baylor University.
  • Sarah Sanders, BA is working on “Understanding of Risk and Safety in Out-of-Hospital Birth” using Concept Mapping as part of her studies as a Master of Public Health candidate at the University of Pittsburgh and her work at The Midwife Center for Birth and Women’s Health.


March for Moms

The AABC Foundation was a partner level sponsor of the March for Moms 2018.  The event, held on May 6th, included a national rally in Washington, DC and more than 50 sister marches around the country to bring attention to the essential need for significant focus and funding on maternal health issues.  Maternal Mortality rates in the U.S. surpass those of any other industrialized nation with women of color dying at 4 times the rate of white women.  One in every three Americans is born through major surgery--twice as many as are medically necessary.  At the same time, we have the lowest birth weights, the widest disparities, ad the worst paid family leave policies in the developed world.  The AABC Foundation and AABC attended the national event where we promoted the birth center model as a solution to our maternity care crisis.  

 Fran Schwartz, Barbara Norton, Amber Allen, Jessica Illuzzi, Jackie Griggs, Jill Alliman, and Amy Johnson-Grass display their signs at the rally.

Fran Schwartz, Barbara Norton, Amber Allen, Jessica Illuzzi, Jackie Griggs, Jill Alliman, and Amy Johnson-Grass display their signs at the rally.

 The U.S. Capitol served as a backdrop for the rally's center stage.

The U.S. Capitol served as a backdrop for the rally's center stage.


The AABC Foundation also awarded a total of five Amy Polk Memorial Scholarships.  The Amy Polk Scholarship is awarded in the form of a tuition grant to attend the AABC How to Start a Birth Center Workshop, either online or in-person.  Congratulations to Melissa Agro (Yarmouth, ME), Jennifer Hayes (Louisville, KY), Angela Montoya (Eden Prairie, MN), Quatia Osorio (Providence, RI), and Gina Dacosta-Rivera (Morovis, Puerto Rico) on receiving an Amy Polk Scholarship!  Each of the applicants is striving to serve women, reduce disparities, and open a birth center in a city, region, state, or territory where there currently are no other birth centers.  We eagerly look forward to your success!  The AABC Foundation will be accepting applications for the 2019 Amy Polk Scholarship in early 2019.

Currently, the AABC Foundation is accepting applications for the Lisa Ross Memorial Scholarship.  The Lisa Ross Memorial Scholarship, named in honor of Lisa Ross, an early pioneer in the development of birth centers, covers the registration fee for the AABC Birth Institute, the annual convention of the American Association of Birth Centers, and includes a ticket to the AABC Foundation Gala and a $500 travel stipend.  Since 2004, the AABC Foundation has awarded the scholarship to midwives practicing in birth centers and full-time midwifery students with the desire to work in a birth center.  Over the years, the scholarship has helped promising midwives and students find their place and grow in the world of birth centers.  The deadline to apply is July 1st, 2018, so visit the website to learn more and apply!


Did you know?

Did you know that you can set up an automatic recurring donation?  Make giving easy.  Just pick the amount, how often you want to donate, and if you want your recurring donation to end after a period of time.   Click on the Donate button to set up your recurring donation today!


AABC Strong Start Data Promotion Project

The AABC Foundation's campaign to support the promotion of the AABC Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns data raised $32,763!  Thank you for answering our call to help fund the promotion of these excellent outcomes to advance the birth center model of care as a solution to our maternal health crisis, raise awareness and visibility of birth centers, and help more women have access to this effective care for women of all economic backgrounds and education.  

The AABC Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns Initiative was a multi-year federal grant awarded to the American Association of Birth Centers in 2013.  It studied the birth center model of care as a means to reduce the rate of preterm birth for vulnerable populations.  Outcomes have been overwhelmingly positive including lower cesarean rates, higher rates of breastfeeding and higher rates of satisfaction with their care. 

In April, the AABC Foundation awarded AABC a grant for $42,763 to use the Strong Start Data to promote the birth center model of care as a solution for health disparities in the U.S.


Fundraising Gala

We cordially invite you to the 2018 Gala to Grow Birth Centers – “Boots & Bling”!  This year, the gala will be held at the Worthington Renaissance Hotel in Fort Worth, Texas on October 6th.  The gala is a fun and exciting night filled with live music, delicious food, and numerous opportunities to support the AABC Foundation through our silent auction, live auction, and more.  You can purchase tickets on the AABC Foundation website or by typing into your browser.  This event is held in conjunction with the annual AABC Birth Institute; learn more about the conference by visiting 

2018 Gala - Boots-n-Bling.png

Not only can you support the Foundation by attending the Gala, we also seek sponsors for the gala each year; so support the AABC Foundation and shine bright like a Diamond! Or a Ruby, Emerald, Sapphire, or Turquoise! Your sponsorship will speak volumes about your commitment to the leading edge of women's maternity care, and help the AABC Foundation's efforts to benefit women and families.  Or maybe you have a beautiful vacation home, guest house, or AirBnB that you could donate to our live auction, or a valuable item that you’d like to donate to the silent auction; there are so many ways to support the Foundation and be involved!  Just email to learn more!

The best part? All proceeds benefit the AABC Foundation, supporting research and encouraging the growth of birth centers across the country. The AABC Foundation is the only organization working to further the birth center model of care across America.

Winter 2018

Welcome to the Foundation Communication where we report all things Foundation!  In our feature, you’ll find all of the latest news regarding AABC Foundation scholarships and grants, awardees, fundraising campaigns, and more.

 Rebecca Simmons

Rebecca Simmons

 Denise Barrett

Denise Barrett

We kick off this installment by giving a warm welcome to the AABC Foundation’s two newest Board of Trustees members: Rebecca Simmons, BA and Denise Barrett, MBA. 

Rebecca is the owner of lifestyle blog, previously served on the board of directors of the Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center, and was a journalist for more than ten years. 

Denise is currently employed as the Director of Development and Alumni Relations at Frontier Nursing University, and has 15 years of grant writing under her belt.  Denise’s grant experience and Rebecca’s writing experience will be a great help to the Foundation and its work.



2-Midwife Gala -7.jpg

The AABC Foundation gives a grand thank you to all who supported the Foundation at the 2017 Gala to Grow Birth Centers held October 7, 2017 at the Hotel Captain Cook in Anchorage, Alaska.  With the generosity of our donors, the gala raised more than $60,000.  These funds will be used in 2018 to provide accreditation support grants, scholarships to the Birth Institute, grants to fund birth center research, and more.  Isn’t it gratifying to know that your donations have a direct impact on birth centers and midwives in the United States?  We think it is!

The AABC Foundation is currently running a campaign to support the AABC Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns results.  Click here to learn more about the campaign and find out how to contribute.

We will be launching a spring peer-to-peer fundraising campaign in April, so look for more information to come.  Do you want to learn more now, like what ‘peer-to-peer' means or how you or your birth center can be more involved in our fundraising efforts?  Send me an email at

Grants & Scholarships

Congratulations to Bella Vie Gentle Birth Center who was awarded an Accreditation Support Grant!  Bella Vie Gentle Birth Center is located in Salem, Oregon and is co-owned by Desiree LeFave and Petra Prostrednik.  The center is well on its way to accreditation, so congratulations on taking this critical step to make your birth center the best it can be for you and your clients.  Are you interested in accrediting your birth center but need some financial assistance?  Applications for the Accreditation Support Grant are accepted year-round.  Visit our Birth Center Accreditation Support Grant page to learn more and apply.

Congratulations are also in order for Wasatch Midwifery and Wellness, LLC in Holladay, UT and In Due Season in Zephyrhills, FL!  They have been awarded Membership Grants and are now first-time AABC Established Birth Center Members.  Wasatch Midwifery and Wellness was opened in 2017 and is owned and operated by Adrienne Brown, CPM, LDEM.  Adrienne was eager to make her birth center an AABC member, and the Foundation Membership Grant helped her reach that goal.  In Due Season also opened in 2017 and was founded by Lucie Bryant, LC, CBE, who will soon be a CPM.  Lucie believes there is power in numbers, and by joining AABC with the Foundation Membership Grant and moving towards CABC accreditation, she makes the voices of all birth centers in the U.S. louder.  Know a birth center who wants to become an AABC member but aren’t sure about dues?  Has your own birth center been experiencing some financial difficulties?  Visit the Membership Support Grant page to learn more.

 Cecilia Jevitt at the Normal Labour & Birth Conference

Cecilia Jevitt at the Normal Labour & Birth Conference

The AABC Foundation is currently reviewing applications for our Research Grants.  We accepted letters of intent last fall, selected those projects that most closely met the goal and mission of the Foundation, and invited them to submit a complete application for consideration.  By awarding research grants, the Foundation seeks to contribute to the birth center evidence base, and help develop programs and methods that can be applied to birth centers everywhere.  For example, the AABC Research Committee was awarded a Research Grant that resulted in the recently completed Birth Center Survey Report.  In addition, in October of 2017, with their research titled “Birth Outcomes of Women with Pregravid BMIs > 30 Enrolled for Care at AABC Birth Centers,” Cecilia Jevitt, Susan Stapleton, and their fellow investigators won Best Research Poster at the International Normal Labour and Birth Conference.  Did you know that this research was partially funded with a $5,000 AABC Foundation Research Grant?  The AABC Foundation is proud to have supported their research and congratulates them on their success! 

Last but not least, the Foundation is accepting applications for the Amy Ellen Polk Scholarship.  The application form went live on January 15, 2018 and will be open until February 25th.  This scholarship is awarded annually in the form of a tuition grant to attend the How to Start a Birth Center Workshop, whether in-person or online.  To be eligible for this scholarship, the applicant must be actively working on the development of a freestanding birth center in their community and demonstrate financial need.  Does this sound like you?  Then consider applying by visiting our Amy Ellen Polk Memorial Scholarship page.

That’s all for this installment of the Foundation Communication!  Check back later this year for the Summer 2018 edition to learn about the projects that will be awarded a 2018 Research Grant, the individuals and organizations that were awarded an Amy Ellen Polk Scholarship, and to find out if we reached our goal of raising $20,000 to support the AABC Strong Start for Mothers and Newborns results!

Donation Received in Honor of 3 Birth Centers Attaining CABC Accreditation

Southern Cross Insurance Solutions donated $1500 to the AABC Foundation in recognition of three birth centers earning their first-time accreditation from the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers (CABC).  Congratulation to these birth centers:

Bloomington-Normal Birthing Center received an accreditation support grant from the AABC Foundation.  Learn more about our grants to support birth centers.

The CABC is the only national accrediting body dedicated exclusively to the safety and quality of the operation and services of birth centers.  Learn more about CABC accreditation