A huge thank you to everyone who made our Family Fun Day in Lake Norden on April 30th such a success. It was a wonderful time to visit with friends and to meet new ones while enjoying the amazing food provided by our Hamlin County families. And it turned out to be the perfect place to raise some money for our Midwife Regulatory Fund!
We have been meeting with the SD Board of Nursing and Department of Health about how to best draft next year’s midwife bill. They both recommend that we set up an independent Board of Midwives. While we totally agree with this, we recognize that this is going to create some fiscal challenges. In South Dakota each board needs to be self-funded. While a board is allowed to operate in the red for a year or two while they are getting rules written and approved, they must prove that they can raise the money, usually via licensure fees, to cover their expenses. Since we are not expecting to license a large number of midwives in the first few years, we are going to have to find another source of income for the board.
As we proposed during this year’s legislative session, we believe the families of South Dakota Birth Matters are willing and able to come up with the money necessary to get this board started. While this type of grassroots funding for a board is unprecedented in South Dakota, there is nothing in the law that says a board cannot accept gifts or grants from individuals or organizations.
Our goal is to raise at least $20,000 by the start of the 2017 legislative session. We are looking to Wyoming as a model. They were in a similar situation in 2010, with no Certified Professional Midwives in the state ready to be licensed when their bill passed. Their legislature gave them an appropriation of $20,000 to get started. They enlisted the help of CPMs in neighboring states to sit on their board, and develop their rules and subsequently get licensed in the state. They now have 12 CPMs licensed in the state – 7 of them that live in the state.
I have spoken with the Chair of the Wyoming Midwifery Board and she assures me that since the initial appropriation they have been able to operate their board without a deficit. One of the key components of their law which helps them to do this is a per birth fee, which helps generate revenue to fund the board’s operating expenses. We plan to incorporate a similar fee schedule in our bill.
Now we need to raise $20,000, and we have an amazing start. We have already secured $6,450 for our Midwife Regulatory Fund from the amazing sponsors listed below…and we are just getting started. Can you help us reach our goal by becoming a sponsor yourself or asking someone else to be a sponsor? Any sponsor who gets their logo to us by May 14th will be included on the back of our new Birth Matters T-shirt. So please don’t delay.
Please click the Sponsor Letter below to learn how easy it is to become a sponsor.