Fall 2018

Welcome to the fall 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.

Birth Center Grants

Congratulations to Monterey Birth & Wellness Center (Monterey, CA) and Pure Births (Valencia, CA) who have recently each been awarded an Accreditation Support Grant!  Monterey Birth & Wellness Center opened earlier this year through the efforts of Licensed Midwives and Certified Professional Midwives Caroline Cusenza, Jacqueline Little, and Heather Schwarz, and they’re off to a great start by getting accredited with the Commission for the Accreditation of Birth Centers.  Pure Births has been operating as a birth center in their community for two years now, and has offered childbirth education and support for more than ten.  When asked why Pure Births is seeking accreditation, Owner Tiffany Gallo stated “the accreditation process will allow Pure Births to operate at its highest potential and offer a higher level of care.”  We feel that way too, Tiffany!  Interested in accrediting your birth center, or need some financial assistance to renew your accreditation?  Applications for the Accreditation Support Grant are accepted year-round.  Click here to learn more and apply.

The AABC Foundation awarded four Membership Support Grants in July and one in November!  Congratulations to My Family Birth Center (Ogden, UT); Arcadia Birth Center (Arcadia, CA); Our Birthing Center (Morristown, NJ); The Birth Center, A Nursing Corporation (Sacramento, CA); and Andaluz Birth Center (Portland, OR).  My Family Birth Center and Arcadia Birth Center are brand new members that have opened in the last two years and see AABC membership as an important step in sustainability.  As Loretta Shupe, CPM, RN, BSN, LDEM, Owner and Founder of My Family Birth Center shared, “being a member of a Best Practice organization will benefit us and others…We want to be a member of the national team.”  We at the AABC Foundation want you to be a part of the national team too!  Learn more about Membership Support Grants by clicking here.

Research Grants 

The AABC Foundation received a number of exciting Letters of Intent to be considered for a 2019 Research Grant.  After review, the AABC Foundation has invited 8 qualified projects to submit a grant application due on January 10th, 2019 with the Research Grants to be awarded in February.  Visit our Research Grants page to learn more about this great opportunity, and stay tuned for the 2019 Research Grant awardees.


Hearty congratulations to Shannon Biesterfeld, RNC-OB, IBCLC, SNM; Loretta Shupe, CPM, RN, BSN, LDEM; Molly Stropko, RNC-EFM, SNM; Shannan Healy, BSN, RN, SNM; and Danielle Lugrand, AdvCD, AdvPCD(DONA), CLC, LCCE!  They were awarded Lisa Ross Memorial Scholarships, which covered the registration fee for the 2018 AABC Birth Institute, a ticket to the AABC Foundation Gala, and a $500 travel stipend.  This scholarship is named in honor of Lisa Ross, an early pioneer in the development of birth centers.  Since 2004, the AABC Foundation has awarded the scholarship to midwives practicing in birth centers and full-time midwifery students desiring to work in a birth center to aid them on their path to becoming new birth center pioneers.  The 2019 Lisa Ross Memorial Scholarship application period will begin in May. 

Are you aching to open your own birth center, but don’t know where to start?  The AABC Foundation will begin accepting applications for the Amy Ellen Polk Memorial Scholarship in early January of 2019.  This scholarship was developed in memory of Amy Ellen Polk, a devoted wife, dedicated mother of two, talented transportation engineer, and passionate and outspoken advocate for a Takoma Park, Maryland-based birthing center.  The annual scholarship is awarded in the form of a tuition grant to attend a How to Start a Birth Center Workshop.  An additional $500 is awarded for travel expenses if the recipient is attending an in-person workshop. The workshop is offered in two formats: a two-day, hands-on workshop in a major US city; or as an online course that you can complete at your own pace, in your own home.  Learn more about the AABC How to Start a Birth Center Workshops, including 2019 dates and locations at www.BirthCenters.org

That’s all for this installment of the Foundation Communication!  Check back in early 2019 for the Winter 2019 edition to learn about the projects that will be awarded a 2019 Research Grant, more Birth Center Grant awardees, and our exciting new Spring Fundraising Campaign!