The Georgia Affiliate of the American College of Nurse-Midwives is our state’s professional organization for Certified Nurse-Midwives (CNMs). Founded as a state chapter of ACNM with national roots dating back to 1929, GA ACNM sets the standard for midwifery excellence in Georgia. Our members care for women throughout their lifetimes, from contraceptive needs through pregnancy and into menopause. Our affiliate also sponsors regular continuing education programs and works with state and national agencies to advance the well-being of women and their families through the practice of evidence-based midwifery care.
There are approximately 420 certified nurse-midwives living in the state of GA and approximately 189 nurse-midwifery practices scattered around the state. CNMs work in hospitals, birthing centers, university medical centers, private practice, health departments, and home birth practices. Georgia’ CNMs attended 20,062 births in 2012, or approximately 15.3% of the total babies born in the state during that year.
The GA Affiliate of the ACNM was incorporated in 2011. We strive to serve as a resource and advocate for our members across the state.
The Affiliate serves as a central point for public policy action to protect our role as health care providers for women and their families within Georgia. Affiliate meetings provide information on issues facing CNMs including hospital privileges, prescription writing, professional liability insurance, patient and midwifery rights.
Affiliate meetings allow for the exchange of opinions when decisions are made regarding the future of CNMs in our state. Meetings also provide a forum where the concerns of individual midwives might be discussed, and practices are promoted. We also welcome students to our Affiliate meetings who wish to learn more about nurse-midwives in the state of GA.
Georgia Affiliate officers receive information from the national ACNM organization about issues affecting CNMs as a whole and works to keep state midwives in the loop.
You automatically become a member of the GA ACNM affiliate once you pass your national certification exam and obtain membership in the American College of Nurse Midwives. What you will do with your membership is really up to you! There are many opportunities to get involved by attending affiliate meetings, serving on affiliate committees, and working on affiliate projects with various state agencies. We also have social meetings on a regular schedule, where midwives can meet others from around the state.
Eileen Thrower, PhD, CNM; President
Eileen Thrower graduated from the midwifery program at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University in 1991. She completed her Ph.D. in nursing at Georgia Baptist College of Nursing of Mercer University in 2016. Her dissertation research involved oral histories of Georgia’s pioneer nurse-midwives. She is an instructor at Frontier Nursing University, teaching in the Doctor of Nursing Practice program there. She practiced full scope midwifery in Georgia for 25 years prior to transitioning into an academic role. Eileen is a member of the Sigma Theta Tau International Honor Society, the American Association for the History of Nursing, and the Oral History Association.
Eileen and her husband have a large family which includes nine adult children and four grandchildren. When she isn’t working, she enjoys camping, water skiing, crocheting, crossword puzzles, jigsaw puzzles, and spending time with her family.
Alexis “Lexi” Dunn, PhD; CNM; Vice President
Alexis B. Dunn, PhD, CNM is a research assistant professor at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing, where she conducts research investigating the relationships between health behaviors, inflammatory mechanisms, and adverse pregnancy outcomes among high risk populations. She is a certified nurse midwife who works in a variety of professional roles within the academic, hospital, and outpatient clinical setting. She currently serves in both a research and teaching capacity within the school of nursing, through which she is able to share her passion for clinical excellence as it relates to primary care, perinatal, and postpartum care of women. Dr. Dunn is actively involved as the current Vice President of the GA Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives, in which she actively participates on several committees focused on improving the health of women and families in Georgia.
Kaprice Welsh, CNM, MPH; Treasurer
Kaprice Simone Welsh has been in women’s health for over 20 years. She attended Syracuse University for her BSN in Nursing. She then obtained her certificate in Midwifery and a Masters of Public Health at Columbia University. She started her career at New York Presbyterian Hospital where she worked for over 11 years. In 2000, she joined a High-Risk Perinatology practice, in Stamford Connecticut as a CNM. Also, she worked as a CNM at one of New York’s first birthing centers, Morris Heights Birthing Center in the Bronx. Since coming to Atlanta in 2004, she has worked at Northside Hospital (NSH) as an RN and CNM with a busy OB practice. In 2009, she joined the Georgia Department of Community Health (DCH) as the Perinatal Nurse Manager, managing programs to improve infant mortality statewide. In 2010, she was promoted to the Division of Medicaid as the Director of Women’s Services, in the Performance Quality and Outcomes unit. In 2011to the present she has been serving as the Clinical Liaison with the Georgia Obstetrical and Gynecological Society providing outreach education and support to OBGyn’s statewide. In 2012, she joined Georgia State University as clinical faculty for their BSN nursing program. “I am dedicated and committed to working with stakeholders and community partners to improving birth outcomes for mothers and their babies. I am happy to be able to do this work by engaging, collaborating with and supporting those that share in this vision. I serve on numerous committees’ with community partners and stakeholders throughout the state (e.g. MOD, United Way, CMO’s, GHA) as we strive to make this vision a reality.”
Vanessa Treaster, DNP, CNM; Secretary
Vanessa is an Atlanta native who grew up knowing she was called to help others. At a young age, she recognized her desire to be a midwife and began working tirelessly towards her goal to help women obtain the healthcare they desire, while striving to improve maternal and neonatal outcomes.
She completed her undergraduate nursing degree at Mercer University in 2012 and began working as a labor and delivery nurse at Atlanta Medical Center. During that time, she completed her Masters degree as a Nurse-Midwife at Frontier Nursing University in 2015. She had the opportunity to train with the midwives of Intown Midwifery, including Anjli Hinman and Gloria Glidewell. Vanessa recently completed her Doctorate of Nursing Practice at Frontier Nursing University in January, 2017. Her project focused on the use of intermittent auscultation (intermittent fetal monitoring) in order to promote physiologic birth and decrease the cesarean birth rate.
Vanessa is a highly motivated, compassionate, and dedicated midwife who has truly found her life’s calling. She has worked in a busy private practice on the south side of Atlanta providing full-scope midwifery care and recently transitioned to be a part of the team at Atlanta Birth Center to serve women of Atlanta in this long awaited opportunity. She enjoys yoga, being outdoors, and spending time with friends. She and her husband Corey are excitedly expecting their first child this November!
Jenny Foster, PhD, CNM; Region III Representative to ACNM Board of Directors
Jenny Foster is Clinical Professor of Nursing and interim Director of the Nurse-Midwifery Education Program at the Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing at Emory University. She is associate faculty in the Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health, and the Department of Anthropology at Emory also. She currently serves as the representative to Region III (the southeast) to the Board of Directors at the American College of Nurse-Midwives. After 20 years of clinical practice, Jenny’s focus is teaching global health and conducting research in Latin America and the Caribbean. She served as a Fulbright Scholar within the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center for Midwifery in the Americas at the University of Chile in 2015.
Yvonne Green, CNM; Chair of the Diversity and Inclusion Committee
Bio to come!
Anna Cherry, CNM, WHNP-BC; Legislative Committee Chair
Anna grew up in a small town in central Illinois, the second of five children. After receiving a Bachelor’s of Arts in sociology from the University of Illinois, Anna worked for nearly a decade as a community organizer on various non-profit and political campaigns. In 2004 she moved to Atlanta to work for the Sierra Club, where she met her husband while organizing public outreach and legislative efforts to help create the Atlanta Beltline. She then went to work for US Congressman John Lewis for several years before going back to school to pursue her dream of becoming a midwife. She completed her Bachelor’s of Science in nursing at Georgia State University and worked as a labor and delivery nurse at South Fulton Medical Center before birthing her own (10lb 10oz!!) son, Max, with midwives in 2012. After receiving her Master’s of Science in nursing from Georgetown University, Anna was hired by the Atlanta Birth Center as Project Manager, where she helped to establish Atlanta’s only freestanding birth center. She has practiced full-scope midwifery with Intown Midwifery at Atlanta Medical Center, Providence Women’s Healthcare at North Fulton Hospital, and currently works full-time for Emory School of Medicine at Grady Hospital.
She is excited about the opportunity to combine her political background with her knowledge and experience as a clinician to help further the work of Georgia ACNM.
Christine Higgins began her nursing career five years ago in New York working with newborn babies who required acute care in the same Neonatal ICU that she herself needed after birth. Her clinical experience with both critically ill infants, and later children in the
Pediatric ICU, demonstrated to her the importance of family-centered therapy and excellent prenatal care. At the beginning of 2016 she took her nursing knowledge abroad and worked for UNICEF Australia to facilitate increased public awareness of international health crises impacting children. With the goal to improve care within the maternal-child health sector, particularly for adolescent mothers, Christine enrolled at Emory University studying on the dual-degree Family Nurse Practitioner and Certified Nurse Midwife track.
While completing her graduate education, Christine is serving as the Student Intern to the American College of Nurse-Midwives – Georgia Affiliate and the Vice President of Nursing Students for Sexual and Reproductive Health – Emory Chapter.
Christine is a weekly volunteer with Friends of Refugees in Clarkston, Georgia for the Family Literacy Program to provide refugees mothers with English language skills and their children with early childhood development education.