The University of Florida College of Medicine, Gainesville, Fla., established the Florida Midwifery Resource Center to increase the availability and accessibility of midwifery services throughout the state.
The Florida Midwifery Resource Center was established with an advisory committee that represented major maternal and child health organizations in Florida.
The Florida Midwifery Resource Center secured state funding to support its activities, which include:
- Coordinating distance education programs through a Community-Based Nurse-Midwifery Education Program.
- Ongoing efforts to reduce barriers to midwifery practice in hospitals and among public and private insurers.
- Providing information on the education and practice of midwives in birth centers and other settings.
There was an 82 percent increase in the total number of nurse-midwifery graduates in Florida since the initiation of the grant, and scholarships were provided by the state to students agreeing to serve medically needy families or in underserved areas.
The project facilitated improved nurse-midwifery practice situations in hospitals, promoted the inclusion of nurse-midwives and birth centers in managed care networks, and helped birth centers with accreditation and marketing.
There was a 37 percent increase in the number of practices with certified nurse-midwives (from 112 to 154) during the grant.