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 the Birth Center Tour & Dinner, and a $500 travel stipend. Scholarship awardees are also introduced to a conference mentor, and are invited to attend the Scholarship Reception at the Birth Institute.

Note: The Lisa Ross Memorial Scholarship award does not include registration to the How to Start a Birth Center Workshop.

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.

About Lisa

Lisa Dahin Ross was the Director of Midwifery Services at the Lisa Ross Birth & Women's Center (formerly the Maternity Center of East Tennessee) from 1994-1998.

A native of Clarksville, TN, Lisa was a nurse-practitioner and a nurse-midwife who helped establish the first freestanding birth center in Tennessee.

She was a huge proponent for licensure and accreditation for birth centers and worked to ensure quality services were delivered to patients. Lisa caught more than 1,000 babies in her career.

In 1998, she received the AABC Professional Achievement Award in recognition of her exemplary practice as a birth center midwife and her continuing contributions to the field.

Scholarship Criteria

To be eligible for the scholarship an individual must:

  • Be clinical or administrative staff employed in a birth center, be clinical or administrative staff of an AABC Developing Birth Center Member, or be a full-time student midwife wanting to work in a birth center

  • Demonstrate financial need

  • Special consideration will be given to those attending the Birth Institute for the first time

Individuals wishing to apply for consideration may complete an online application form addressing the following questions:

  1. What is your experience with birth centers?

  2. Why do you need financial assistance to attend the AABC Birth Institute?

  3. If you are a practicing midwife in a birth center: How would attending the AABC Birth Institute benefit you, your practice, and the birth center where you work?

  4. If you are student midwife, How would attending the AABC Birth Institute benefit you, and your plan to establish or work in a birth center?

What makes a strong application?

Each year, the AABC Foundation awards multiple Lisa Ross Memorial Scholarships, but we always receive more applicants than we have scholarships.  If you want your application to stand out, follow our tips below.

  • The open-ended questions on the application have a maximum word limit ranging from 150-300 words, depending on the question. We won't be impressed by an answer that is only 15 words long! Your computer's word processor will typically have a Word Count button to make sure you don't exceed or fall far short of the word limit.

  • Start working on your answers a day or two in advance (either in a word processor or old-fashioned pen and paper) so that you can sleep on it, mull over the question, and compose your best response, along with editing and proofreading, before you submit your final application.

  • Lastly, the more you can comfortably share with us, the more informed we will be in deciding which applications are the most compelling. For example, if you're a birth center midwife, explain why the birth center can't provide financial support at this time. If you're a student midwife, let us know how getting the Lisa Ross Scholarship and attending the 2018 Birth Institute falls into your 5-year, 10-year, or whatever-year plan to open a birth center. The more details the better!


The 2019 application period ran from March 28th to Saturday, June 1, 2019. The next application period will be announced in early 2020.

2019 applicants will be notified of the scholarship results at the end of June. All qualified applicants are guaranteed Early Bird Pricing, whether they receive a scholarship or not.

 Questions? Contact Linda Baysore: email or call 215-234-8068

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