2017 ACNM Region 1 Meeting

NYSALM is thrilled to be hosting this year’s ACNM Region 1 Meeting! The meeting will take place on October 14 in Kingston, NY. We are planning a robust program and hope you will join us for a day of learning, discussion, and fun!

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Location, Getting There, and Where to Stay


Things to Do in the Area


Complete speakers list, official presentation titles and full descriptions to come!

7:30 Registration/Continental Breakfast
8:00 Welcome to NY, NYSALM President Karen Jefferson
8:15 Region 1 Update, Kathryn Carr
8:30 CAMP Update, Karen Jefferson
8:45 Keynote Presentation: Ethics with Paul Burcher MD
10:00 Break for socialization and visiting sponsor tables
10:15 Midwifery at the End of Life with Martha Roth LM
11:00 Global Health Panel – Opportunities and Challenges, Maggie Carpenter MD (GoDocGo), Martine Jean-Baptiste LM (Foundation for Advancement of Haitian Midwives), Laura Zeidenstein, LM, DNP, FACNM, (Clinical Project with Gonoshasthaya Kendra, People’s Health Center, Bangladesh), Ellen Biggers MD (work in India and Peru)
12:15 Catered Lunch, Interest Group Tables
1:00 Sponsor Introductions
1:15 Long Term OCP Use and Resulting Sexual Pain, Kathy Herron LM
2:15 Midwives of Color Panel with Betty Watts Carrington, CNM, EDD, FACNM, Heather Reynolds, CNM, FACNM, and Susan Hernandez, CNM, MSN
3:30 ACNM Opioid Study, Nicole Rouhana PhD, LM, FACNM
4:30 Break for treats, socialization, sponsor visits
4:50 Challenges and Rewards of Precepting, Anne Gibeau and Susanrachel Condon
5:30 Cocktail & Hors d’oeuvres Party sponsored by Bioreference Laboratories

Location, Getting There, and Where to Stay

The meeting will be held at the Best Western Plus Hotel and Conference Center, located at 503 Washington Avenue, Kingston, NY, 12401, in historic uptown Kingston.

It is about 5 minutes off the NY State Thruway (I-87) exit 19.  When exiting the Thruway, take the Washington Avenue exit (second exit) at the roundabout. The hotel is on the right about a quarter of a mile down the road. The Trailways of NY bus station is about a 10 minute walk away. It is a one hour drive from the Albany NY airport and a 45 minute drive from Stewart airport in New Windsor, NY.  Amtrak trains run to the station in Rhinecliff, NY, a 20 minute drive away.

We have a block of rooms reserved at the Best Western on Friday and Saturday. The rate is $149 for Friday night and $199 for Saturday night. There are numerous other hotels in the Kingston area in addition to Bed and Breakfasts and Airbnb options. We are offering a small number of student midwives the option of free indoor campout-style lodging at the Hudson Valley Midwifery Center, about a 10-minute walk from the hotel. Contact susanrachel.condon@gmail.com after registering if you are a student and are interested in this option.  We recommend arranging lodging as soon as possible because mid-October is a very popular tourist season for the Hudson Valley!


More biographies soon to come!

Paul Burcher, MD, PhD is the Associate Director of the Alden March Bioethics Institute and an Associate Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology. He is the Program Director for Obstetrics and Gynecology at Albany Medical College, and teaches ethics to third and fourth year medical students. He is the chair of the Clinical Ethics Review Committee at Albany Medical Center. He is the Principal Investigator for ongoing research on periviable decision making and a prospective trial seeking to reduce cesarean section regret and dissatisfaction through pre-operative counseling. Dr. Burcher graduated AOA from University of Arizona College of Medicine in 1991. He completed a PhD in philosophy from University of Oregon in 2011 with a dissertation describing a new responsive model of the patient-doctor relationship. He was a Clinical Ethics Fellow at University of Chicago College of Medicine 2014-2015. His publications have been both conceptual and empirical and include work on the patient-doctor relationship, clinical empathy, birth plans, cesarean birth on maternal request, and home birth.

Over the last 25 years, Nicole Rouhana (PhD, LM, FACNM) has cared for women and their families, both domestically and internationally. In 2013, she joined the Decker School of Nursing as director of graduate programs. She began her career as a pediatric registered nurse in rural northern Saudi Arabia, where she quickly discovered her passion for nurse-midwifery. Upon returning to the United States in 1981, she completed a post-baccalaureate certificate in nurse-midwifery at the University of Medicine and Dentistry in New Jersey. She then returned to caring for patients living in rural communities, and for 10 years she was the only obstetrical provider in Tioga County, N.Y. Rouhana cares for women and children living in rural counties in New York and Pennsylvania and has attended to more than 2,000 births. She completed a master’s degree in nursing from Binghamton University in 1996. To provide more comprehensive care for the families she cared for, she completed a post-masters certificate as a family nurse practitioner at Stony Brook University in 1999 and has been continuously certified. Throughout her career Rouhana has demonstrated her commitment to women’s and children’s health by continually seeking to enhance her knowledge to provide exceptional evidence-based care to her patients. For 18 years, Rouhana was a clinical assistant professor and director of the Nurse-Midwifery and Perinatal Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program at the State University of New York at Stony Brook. Her decision to return to school to pursue her doctorate studies at Binghamton University’s Decker School of Nursing, demonstrates Rouhana’s determination to advance public health and improve maternal child health outcomes. Her doctoral research focused on exploring parents’ attitudes regarding the immunization of their male children against the human papillomavirus (HPV) vaccine in two of the most rural counties in New York state, which have a higher incidence of cervical cancer than the rest of the state. Rouhana is active in the American College of Nurse Midwives Division of Education, serving as the section chair of the Online Continuing Education Committee and the American College of Nurse Midwives Division of Research. She is a member of several professional associations including the American Nurse Association, Zeta Iota chapter of Sigma Theta Tau, International; the National Rural Health Association (where she completed an NRHA Fellows Program); and the Rural Nurse Organization (where she acts as the chair of Membership Committee). She is a member of New York State Association of Licensed Midwives.

Kathy Herron, CNM, MS, LM has been a midwife since 1986. Most of her career has been in full-scope practice, working in a variety of hospital, clinic, and office settings. In 2000, she created her area’s only independent, midwife-owned, private practice with hospital admitting privileges. Kathy is now full-time faculty at the Midwifery Institute at Jefferson, where she is using her expertise and experience to nurture the next generation of midwives. To accommodate this work, she has retired from the demands (and the joys!) of caring for women during pregnancy and birth. She maintains a gynecology practice, specializing in helping women who struggle with pelvic or sexual pain and dysfunction. Together with her colleague, a pelvic-floor physical therapist, they take a holistic and caring approach to the diagnosis and treatment of the many conditions that can contribute to this issue.

Betty Watts Carrington BSN/RN, MS/CNM (ret), EDD, FACNM received her BSN in nursing from the University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, with Highest Distinction in 1958 and her MS in Maternity Nursing and Nurse-Midwifery, from the Columbia University School of Nursing and EDD in Education Administration from Teachers College, Columbia University in New York City. She has had an extensive career in both nursing and midwifery, having served as a clinician, administrator, educator and researcher. She was employed by the New York City Department of Health as a public health nurse for five years. Most of her hospital experience was as a certified nurse-midwife from 1971 in New York City and included the Maternal-Infant Care Project (MIC) at Brookdale Hospital in Brownsville, Brooklyn; Kings County in Flatbush, Brooklyn as a faculty member with SUNY Downstate; and Harlem Hospital and New York Presbyterian in Manhattan, as Director of the Graduate Program in Midwifery at the Columbia University School of Nursing. She has also held responsible positions in the American College of Nurse-Midwives, as national Vice President, Regional Representative and Director of Accreditation of all education programs. She was the Director of Accreditation from 1999 to 2004 where she had the responsibility of preparing documents for the federal Department of Education as a requirement for the American College of Nurse-Midwives to continue to have its own specialized accrediting agency. In 2001, she was awarded the Hattie Hemschemeyer Award, the highest award in the profession.

Heather Reynolds, CNM, FACNM is a Lecturer in nursing in the Nurse-Midwifery Specialty program and the Minority Student Coordinator at Yale School of Nursing. She first entered Yale’s door as a nursing student with a degree from Boston University in psychology and a background in Child development and social work. She graduated with her Masters in Nursing from Yale in 1980. She practiced in the Women’s Center at Yale New Haven Hospital for over 30 years, where she provided a broad spectrum of ambulatory services to the women there. Heather started her career as a nurse educator when she joined the faculty at the University of Colorado Nurse-Midwifery Program in 1983. She returned to Yale in 1986. From 1988-2002 she served as director of the nurse-midwifery practice at Yale-New Haven. In addition, she has carried the flag in matters of health service planning and policy development. She has served as a Nurse Consultant in the Health Resources and Services Administration, Division of Nursing. There she speaks with the wisdom gained from her role as a midwife caring for (count them) two generations of young women having their babies at Yale-New Haven Hospital. They love to see her too, and are willing to wait for hours for a visit when her schedule is double and triple booked with patients who refuse to see anyone else. Her contribution and leadership has been recognized by many: she has received a Kellogg Foundation Student Fellowship, and was a Primary Care Policy Fellow of the U.S. Public Health Service. Her other awards include being a Yale School of Nursing Distinguished Alumna and she is a Fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, Nursing Educator Award, Southern CT Black Nurses Association, Inc., 2002, and The Ruth SteinKraus-Cohen Memorial-Outstanding Women of CT Award, 2003.

Susan Hernandez, CNM, MSN writes: I have been a Certified Nurse-Midwife since graduating from University of Pennsylvania in 1999 (feels like yesterday!)The majority of my clinical practice and professional career has been devoted to community health care and providing midwifery care to mostly underserved urban populations. As a bilingual midwife I’ve been lucky to have the opportunity to work with predominately Spanish speaking women. Throughout my career I have worked in a variety of community health centers with goal of empowering women and families to have access to care that they need and deserve. In addition, as the Associate Director of the midwifery practice at Massachusetts General Hospital for the last 7yrs, I have contributed developing practice guidelines, clinical protocols and clinical initiatives that have moved the practice of midwifery forward within the institution. As the Nurse Manager at our Chelsea Health Center OB unit, I have advocated for innovative approaches to providing care for our high risk patients, as well as lobbying for midwifery led contraceptive session, to decrease the wait time for patients to get timely contraceptive care. Throughout my time at Massachusetts General Hospital I have been involved in the teaching of midwifery, medical and OB residents.

Dr. Ellen Biggers has wanted to be a doctor since early in her childhood; by the time she was nine years old, she was already carrying around a stethoscope. She pursued this passion for medicine first as a candy striper starting at age 14 at Westchester Medical Center and later as a student at Albany Medical College. But it wasn’t until she delivered her first baby (she remembers the date: March 17, 1986) that Dr. Biggers knew she’d found her calling. She went on to graduate from medical school, complete a residency in obstetrics and gynecology (OB/GYN) at Albany Medical Center Hospital and earn OB/GYN board certification. Currently, Dr. Biggers is president of Burdett Birth Center and GYN department chair at Samaritan Hospital and proud of what she’s able to create through these roles. Dr. Biggers says, “I am glad to be part of developing a family center model of care that values the support of women and their partners.” An important part of that model – and one of Dr. Biggers’ interests within her specialty – is collaboration with midwives. In fact, she has been a fellow with the New York State Board of Midwifery since 1998 and recipient of a New York State Association of Licensed Midwives Service Award. Additional professional interests include work on the hospital’s IT Committee and involvement with the Safe Motherhood Initiative, a statewide effort aimed at improving maternal health outcomes for women. She has also participated in a medical mission as a Primary Care Team Leader. Even though medicine is a passion Dr. Biggers has followed throughout her life, it’s not her only passion. She also enjoys traveling and seeking adventure, and she loves being a wife, step mother, grandmother and dog trainer. Her hobbies include yoga, theatre, genealogy, fundraising and guided visualization – a meditation process that uses imagination to relax mind and body.

Laura Zeidenstein, CNM, DNP, FACNM, is a seasoned midwifery educator and clinical midwife. Laura earned her MSN from Yale in 1988 and DNP from Columbia in 2005. She was awarded Fellowship in ACNM (FACNM) in 2015. Laura is currently an Associate Professor at Columbia University School of Nursing, Graduate Midwifery and has been the Program Director since 2002. She has practiced with Midwifery of Manhattan since it opened in 2003 and has worked in full scope midwifery service in New York City throughout her midwifery career. She has worked in out of hospital birth centers, public health service and private practice including at Woodhull, Downstate, Nurse-Midwifery Associates, MCA Childbearing Center, and Elizabeth Seton Childbirth Center. She is a former editor of the Journal of Nurse-Midwifery (currently the Journal of Midwifery and Women’s Health) and has published extensively. Laura’s global health work includes Project Director of a collaborative MCH project between Columbia University School of Nursing and a NGO public health system in Bangladesh. In 2015 she produced an educational video: “Filling the Gap: Safe and Effective Training for Traditional Birth Attendants (TBAs) in Low Resource Countries”.

Martine Jean-Baptiste LM has been involved in women’s health since 1986 after graduating with her bachelors of science in nursing from the College of Mount Saint Vincent. She has worked with women and their families throughout the lifecycle in a variety of settings. Professional roles include registered nurse at St Luke’s Roosevelt Hospital, Allen Pavilion, Elizabeth Seton Childbearing Center (a free-standing/out-of-hospital birth center) and the Center for Community Alternatives. She started a solo private practice childbirth education and professional labor support (doula) service. Ms Jean-Baptiste graduated from State University of New York, Downstate with an MS in midwifery in 2000. As a licensed midwife, she worked at St Barnabas Hospital as well as Elizabeth Seton Childbearing Center. In June 2002, Ms Jean-Baptiste and her business partner, Karen Jefferson, started their home birth practice, JJB Midwifery. They provide preconceptual counseling, well woman gynecology, contraception and home birth  in New York City. Ms Jean-Baptiste strongly believes in women’s innate ability to care for themselves and their families. She believes in “supporting women’s right to safe, supportive, and informed healthcare throughout the lifecycle.” She is a founding board member and president of FAHM.

Dr. Maggie Carpenter practiced in Kansas, New Zealand, Brooklyn and Ulster County prior to starting Nightingale Medical, which provides palliative care in the Hudson Valley Region. She got her BA in Russian Studies from Brown University before graduating summa cum laude from SUNY-Downstate Medical School. Maggie continues to teach young doctors at the Mid-Hudson Family Practice Residency on a part-time basis. She also founded and runs a not for profit organization, Go Doc Go, sending volunteer doctors to the developing world. She is committed to improving our current health system by offering innovative solutions and believes that stronger, personalized primary care emphasizing prevention and lifestyle modifications is essential.

Things to Do in the Area

Kingston is the historic first capital of New York. There are several sights to see within walking distance of the hotel. Uptown Kingston is home to many restaurants, independent shops, and notable buildings. Recommended sights include the Senate House, the Old Dutch Church, and the Fred J Johnston Museum. The Rondout District offers charming shopping, sightseeing cruises along the Hudson,  and beautiful walks by the waterfront.

The meeting is planned for when leaves in the Hudson Valley are usually peaking. There are many beautiful hiking trails in the area, including the nearby Bluestone Wild Forest and the famous Mohonk Preserve in New Paltz, about a 30 minute drive.

The Hudson Valley also offers several unique outdoor art experiences for those willing to travel a bit further afield or for those who are looking to stop on their way back home on Sunday. Storm King Art Center, an outdoor sculpture park surrounded by beautiful mountains, is about a 45 minute drive south and well worth the trip. Opus 40 is an old quarry transformed into an unparalleled outdoor experience by one man’s passion, and is just a 20 minute drive north.