CAM’s Annual General Meetings of members will now take place in June of every year to report back to you, our members, more promptly after the end of every financial year. This change allows us to align our annual reporting with our financial statements to ultimately give you, CAM members, a better sense of what we have accomplished with our funding from January to December of every year.
This year’s annual report may repeat some of the activities shared with you in October 2021 to start a new reporting cycle of a full calendar (also financial) year.
As we shared in the last annual report, CAM’s new Theory of Change was launched in early 2021 and replaces our previous strategic plan. This exciting outcome-focused vision for our work is centered on our desired ultimate impact: equitable access to excellent sexual, reproductive, and newborn midwifery services for everyone. Equity, Responsibility, Respect, and Integrity are now the values that guide our work and our decision-making processes.
One of the strategic actions outlined in the Theory of Change is governance reform. The goal of this reform is to ensure our Board of Directors is equipped to realize our intended impact and to align our governance structure with our values and commitment to anti-racism, anti-settler colonialism, and anti-oppression. We want to ensure there is a diversity of voices of the table, and that independent national Networks/Councils/Caucuses which represent equity deserving groups, e.g., the Queer Caucus and Racialized Caucus of Midwives, are appropriately supported and bilateral relationships not currently represented on the CAM Board are developed and maintained. To this end, we will be scheduling Focus Groups with members and other identified stakeholders from June to October 2022 to better understand your vision for CAM’s Board moving forward. The Governance Committee and Board will then work with a consultant to review your feedback, develop and recommend a new structure and bylaws amendments which will be shared with members in the form of a special resolution in April 2023 in preparation for a vote at the June 2023 AGM. I look forward with the opportunity to connect with many of you through these Focus Groups.
Here are some of the highlights of what we have accomplished in 2021:
We continue to advocate for renewed and increased funding for Indigenous Midwifery, federal occupational classification, and the inclusion of midwives in Canada’s student loan forgiveness program. We were thrilled to see the Liberal party commit to expanding access to the Federal Student Loan Forgiveness Program to include midwives and to increasing the loan forgiveness thresholds. Student loan forgiveness was included in the 2022 Federal budget, but midwives were not explicitly mentioned. We are working with several Federal departments to ensure we are included. In 2021 we also presented to the Federal Standing Committee on the Status of Women, to Global Affairs Canada, and advocated for a new northern and bilingual home for the Laurentian University Midwifery Education Program.
After successful completion and publication of an evidence-informed framework on strengthening midwifery After successful completion and publication of an evidence-informed framework on strengthening midwifery associations (thank you to Kirsty Bourret and Cristina Mattison for the research and policy brief!), we secured additional funding to continue a phase two of this research to see how the framework can be applied with our provincial, territorial and member associations here in Canada. We have initiated case studies in Alberta, Nova Scotia, Newfoundland & Labrador, and we continue the research with the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Puntland Association of Midwives. Globally, we continue to work with the midwifery associations in South Sudan, Somalia, Haiti, and a new global midwifery project led by CAM and funded by Global Affairs Canada has begun with our long-term partners in the Democratic Republic of Congo and South Sudan.
In addition to organizing and hosting a the second successful Knovember virtual conference in 2021, we launched CAM Learns, a platform that offers year-round learning opportunities and workshops on a variety of topics such as anti-racism and vaccine hesitancy. We developed a free continuing education course on Midwifery Immunization Communication which is available through UBC Continuing Professional Development. In partnership with McMaster University, we are designing professional development courses to build midwives capacity to address gender-based violence. Please note that when the omicron variant first emerged, we made the difficult decision to defer our in-person conference in Ottawa to October 2023. We all have fingers crossed for a joyous reunion then. In the meantime, this Fall we hope you will join us virtually for Knovember 3.0 from November 1 to 3, 2022!
Alix Bacon, RM