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It elevates us all: Carle midwives honored for excellence

It elevates us all: Carle midwives honored for excellence
Elizabeth “Liz” Muñoz, DNP, CNM, didn’t expect to be selected as a fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (FACNM) organization.

To be considered for the role, a candidate must be able to demonstrate significant accomplishments in the areas of leadership, clinical excellence, scholarship and professional achievement. As she’d only been a practicing midwife for nine years, Muñoz wasn’t sure if her contributions to the midwifery profession would satisfy their criteria. But her peers encouraged her to apply and once she felt she’d met the leadership component, Muñoz submitted her application. When she received the news that both she and fellow Carle midwife Ellen Solis, DNP, CNM, would be inducted into FACNM in the May 2022 ceremony, she was delighted.

“This tells me I’ve arrived – I’m here and I’m making a difference,” Muñoz said. “The bigger piece of that is a sense of responsibility to make changes within the organization. I have the recognition to be a voice.”

Since she joined Carle in 2020, Muñoz has been finding ways to improve how care is delivered. One effort she was particularly proud of was in reevaluating when a patient would need to be transferred from a midwife to a physician for care.

“Initially, I couldn’t keep low-risk patients in care if their BMI is over 40,” Muñoz said. “However, research shows their outcomes are as good for midwives as they are for physicians. By advocating, we were able to change the transfer guidelines so midwives can continue to care for such patients, thereby expanding midwifery care at Carle.”

Lisa Siegwald MSN, RNC-OB, Women’s Health Services patient care manager sees the value Muñoz and Solis bring to Carle.

“We are truly fortunate to have two members of our midwifery team receive this recognition,” Siegwald said.

“Both Liz and Ellen have demonstrated true commitment to excellent patient care, research and advancing the practice of midwives.” 

This recognition comes as a capstone in Solis’ career at Carle. 

“Fellowship in ACNM is an honor that recognizes the work I’ve done over the past 15 years as a nurse-midwife,” Solis said. “I’ve been fortunate to work with supportive midwifery colleagues, collaborating physicians and administrators and we have made changes in practice that benefit the patients we care for at Carle. This July is my last month as a Carle midwife, but I will be forever grateful to have "grown-up" as a midwife at Carle.”

While Solis will soon be leaving to practice and teach in Washington, Siegwald applauded her for the tremendous contributions she’s made to the organization’s midwife practice during her time here.

The fact that not one, but two Carle midwives were recognized with this honor speaks volumes of the incredible team at Carle.

“Carle has an amazing midwifery presence – we currently have eight nurse midwives here,” Muñoz said. “And this inspires others to go for the fellowship as well. It elevates us all.”

While being a fellow of this organization serves to highlight the importance of the midwifery profession and brings with it additional credibility and trust in the field, Muñoz noted that midwives can find value in simply becoming members of the ACNM.

“Not all midwives are members, but the more nurse midwives we have, the more we’re seen as leaders,” Muñoz said. “We can’t get there if we don’t have people joining and working alongside us.”

Congratulations to Muñoz and Solis on this recognition and their efforts to further improve patient care.

Categories: Culture of Quality, Community

Tags: having a baby, labor and delivery, obstetrics