Saturday, June 16, 2012

A Week of Meetings

Its been a somewhat eventful week.  I met with a local retired physician who gave me some good advice and feedback on the new website.  I met with a contact person in a Medicaid HMO and pitched my idea for peridoulas.   I looked at a building that might be suitable for a birthcenter that will become available next Spring.  I spoke to a local LLL leader's group about the Uzazi Village vision.  I made more contacts, and touched base with my liutenents.  Through student clinicals I got a glimpse of midwifery at both ends of the spectrum- midwives caring for a middle-class clientele, and those caring for a low resource population.  Viewing midwifery practices up close and personal and been valuable and enlightening.  I am excited for the shape that the work is taking.  I have more appointments set up over the next few weeks- a local birth center, a health advocacy group for African-Americans, a local pediatrician.  I'm also trying to get on the agendas for several organizational meetings.  I'm currently on the lookout for commercial space that I can use as a small office/clinic and meeting space.  I need something with a large meeting room, a small office, an exam room, a bathroom, and a small kitchenett.  It needs to be in the city, near midtown or downtown.  Once I secure a space, I will begin hosting the Chocolate Milk Cafe- a breastfeeding support group for African-American moms.  I hope its up and going by August if not sooner.  In the meantime, I'm hitting the road to Connecticut and Rhode Island to present my educator workshops.  I'll return next week and jump back into the thick of things.

Oh, and one other 'meeting' worth mentioning.  I visited a relative living in the urban core, and overheard a cousin berating an uncle for not 'investing' in his business.  His business happens to be selling dope.  Yeah, that's what I'm up against.

Monday, June 11, 2012

What it is, What it isn't

This blog is not about my experiences as a student midwife.  While I might feel compelled to journal about some of those experiences, this is not a student midwife blog.  This is a visionary's blog.  This blog is about manifesting an impossible dream: community-centered care for an outcast population.  These women and babies have been thrown away by our society- left to scavenge the crumbs of the healthcare system.  No one really cares about what happens to them- except to the extent that they can be exploited for profit.  This blog is about creating a model of care that truly cares.  I don't consider myself gifted for this task, but I do feel I am called to it.  I extend an open hand to those who would join me in the work.  It is no small undertaking.  It will take all of us.  Consider this your engraved invitation to the revolution.

Saturday, June 9, 2012

Count Down

The countdown has begun.  Exactly one year from now I will have completed my midwifery program (Lord willing and the creek don't rise!) and will be taking my boards and hopefully, my clinic will be ready for operation.  From this vantage point, this seems nearly impossible, but then so is improving our dismal perinatal measures in the urban core.  The entire idea is highly implausible, so I may well just talk about what I intend to do, possible, plausible, or otherwise. 

I am very involved right now in making connections in the community.  I have an entire page of people listed that I intend to visit and share the dream with them.  Some have been easy to get in to see, others put up a lot of barriers.  No matter, I intend to see them all.  Some will become partners, others just interested onlookers.  I intend to sort through the entire community until I have the support and resources I need to carry out the work.  I have a separate list for the philanthropic community, and hope to begin raising funds to start the Sister Doula program.

Today will be spent finishing the curriculum and making a marketing plan for getting the word out.  I'm hoping to get at least five good candidates who want to become doulas who make it through the training.  I meet with a Medicaid HMO next week, whom I'm hoping will partner with us and allow us to pair our Sister Doulas with their clients.  Once that is in place, I will secure funding for stipends with some of the local health foundations.

In the meantime, I am still scouting out locations for the Chocolate Milk Club to meet.  Hopefully something will open up soon.   It is the simplest of my intitiatives and I'd like to get it up and going.

Friday, June 8, 2012


Welcome to my new blog, which will follow me on my adventure of midwifery school and setting up a new practice and clinic over the next year.  I am a student in a CNM program in the midwestern United States.  I will be sharing the process of becoming a new midwife, and ministering in the urban core.