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. CNMs work in hospitals, birthing centers, university medical centers, private practice, health departments, and home birth practices. 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.
Updated stats for this year: 554 CNMs live in the state of GA (as of 2018). There are 189 nurse-midwifery practices scattered throughout GA. Out of 131,404 births (vaginal and C/S), Georgia’s CNMs attended about 12% of these (in 2015). Of these total births, 87,116 were vaginal births and CNMs attended 16,161 of those, about 20%!
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.
Meet Your Board Members
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.
Kate Woeber, PhD, CNM, MPH: President-Elect
Kate has been a practicing midwife since graduating from Emory’s Nell Hodgson Woodruff School of Nursing in 1999. After catching many babies over several years of busy full-time hospital practice, Kate began her faculty role at Emory in 2004. She taught undergraduate maternity for several years, and has been teaching in the midwifery program for the past 5 years. Having completed her PhD dissertation on the topic of midwifery education and workforce, she is interested in building the primary care workforce, not only to address provider shortages and maldistributions, but also to make the midwifery model of care a standard, available to all women. She continues her clinical practice at Northside Hospital, and serves on the Advisory Council of Embrace Refugee Birth Support, and as a reviewer for Journal of Perinatal and Neonatal Nursing.
Kate grew up in Buffalo, and now lives in Smyrna with her husband, 2 sweet kids, and several furry friends. She is honored to serve as president-elect, and is looking forward to a very productive term!
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.
Lori Powers, CNM: Treasurer
Bio to come!
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. Since graduation, Vanessa has been working in a busy private practice on the south side of Atlanta providing full-scope midwifery care. 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 enjoys yoga, being outdoors, and spending time with friends. She and her husband Corey just recently welcomed their first child Harper this past October.
Sabrina Fernandez, CNM, FNP-BC: New Advancing Board Member
Sabrina always knew that she wanted to work in healthcare, but it was not until working abroad in remote parts of East Africa that her desire to focus on women’s health was kindled. Spending time in this part of the world opened her eyes to a simple truth: that women were the bedrock of strong families and communities. Today, as a midwife and family nurse practitioner, she strives to embody the strength and grace of the women who inspired her. As a graduate of Emory University’s CNM/FNP dual program in 2016, she is passionate about building relationships, patient advocacy, and education. She is excited to serve as on the GA Affiliate board as the new advancing board member. She currently works in private practice delivery at Dekalb Medical and enjoys spending time with her 3yo son and husband.
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.
Jenny Foster, PhD, CNM: Region III Representative to ACNM Board of Directors
Jenny Foster is a Clinical Professor of Nursing at Emory University. She is associate faculty in the Department of Global Health at the Rollins School of Public Health as well as in the Department of Anthropology at Emory. She currently serves as the representative to Region III (southeast U.S.) to the Board of Directors for ACNM. 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 and the University of Chile in 2015.
Meet our Student Interns:
Christine Higgins, BSN, RN: Student Board Member (Emory University)
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.
Kimberly Spence-Jensen, BSN, RN, IBCLC: Student Board Member (Emory University)
Kimberly is originally from Winston-Salem, North Carolina where she studied Human Biology and lactation consulting. She then worked at UNC Womens’ Hospital for several years supporting women as they met their breastfeeding goals and worked with infants in NICU as they grew and learned to eat. In order to expand her ability to serve women at this unique time in their lives, she moved to Atlanta with her husband Lee in order to attend Emory University for nurse midwifery. It is an immense honor for her to witness women bringing their babies into the world. Ultimately, she strives to honor physiologic birth, reduce maternal mortality and walk with women from preconception through breastfeeding and beyond. She’s grateful for the opportunity to serve as an ACNM GA Affiliate Intern this year!
Shoshanah Blaiss, BSN, RN: Student Board Member (Frontier Nursing University)
Bio to come!
Jenna Hernan, BSN, RN: Student Board Member (Emory University)
Bio to come!
Marcella Marzett, BSN, RN: Student Board Member (Georgetown University)
Growing up in Georgia, Marcella knew from an early age that she wanted to help women during birth. In her labor and delivery undergrad clinical at Valdosta State University she knew that women’s health was her calling. Following her experience in med/surg and geriatrics, Marcella found her calling by assisting in bringing new life in this world as a labor and delivery nurse. Being passionate with her role in labor and delivery led her to enroll in Georgetown University’s dual Certified Nurse Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner program. Her goal is to support women through all aspect of life: menarche, pregnancy, birth and menopause, all while being a face for diversity. She is excited about her role as an ACNM intern and looks forward to the experiences she will gain this year.