A pioneering midwifery education program is fighting for survival


(You can help - see addresses at the end of this posting)
The Midwifery Program at Miami Dade College had a sudden, unexpected and significant increase in the cost of student liability insurance late this summer so the students who were due to start classes in August had very little notice to get the additional funds together.
The college extended the deadline for registration and payment, and although we had a full class, most but not all of the students were able to come up with the funds by the deadline. So administration's decision was not to start a new class this fall. As of today, I don't know whether we will be starting a new class in January or whether we will wait until next fall. We will soon be meeting with
administration and I expect to have something more definite to report in the next week or so about our future plans.
Although the Midwifery program is not closing, we are facing, along with the midwifery community as a whole, the crisis of escalating costs for malpractice insurance - for students, schools, midwives and birth centers. Once again our profession is facing a major threat to our survival. Practicing midwives are faced with the ever increasing cost of malpractice insurance. I personally believe this is a national crisis for all health care professions, not just ours, and
is likely to get worse over the next few years, especially with all the money the insurance industry will have to pay out to the victims of the 4 hurricanes which have devastated Florida in the past 6 weeks. Because it affects all the health care professions, eventually I think it will be solved, if we midwives can hang in that long.

We who wrote the midwifery law back in the early 1990's made sure that licensed midwives were included in the FMMJUA - even though back then malpractice insurance was optional, we realized the day would inevitably come when it was mandatory and access to insurance would be necessary for our survival. Students are not covered by the FMMJUA, and finding student liability insurance for midwifery programs is getting more and more difficult. The college's risk manager spent a great deal of time and energy this summer researching sources and speaking with midwifery programs and insurance companies all over the country. We were lucky to get what we have, even though the cost is high. Small proprietary schools can decide to let their
students go without liability insurance but our college is part of the state educational system and we don't have that choice.

Letters of support for the Midwifery Program are always welcome, and would be most appreciated. A strong show of support will help the administration know how much the community values this program.
Letters can be sent to:

Dr. Susan Kah, Dean of Academic Affairs
Miami Dade College Medical Center Campus
950 N.W. 20th Street
Miami, FL 33127-4693

Dr. Castell Bryant, President
Miami Dade College Medical Center Campus
950 N.W. 20th Street
Miami, FL 33127-4693

Dr. Eduardo Padrón, President
Miami Dade College
300 N.E. Second Avenue
Miami, FL 33132-2296

and please send a copy to me.

Thank you all in advance for your thoughts, prayers, concerns and support. I am so proud of our graduates and hope to be able to continue offering our midwifery program at the college for many years to come.

Justine Clegg, MS, LM, CPM
Midwifery Program Coordinator
Miami Dade College
Medical Center Campus
950 N.W. 20 Street Room 2352
Miami, FL 33127
305-237-4234 - phone
305-237-4119 - fax

February 2013

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About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by alicia published on September 30, 2004 2:05 PM.

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