Yale School of Nursing, Yale University's Graduate Nursing Programs

Holly Powell Kennedy Part of Global Collaboration to Improve Mother and Newborn Health

July 11, 2012

Holly KennedyYSN Professor Holly Powell Kennedy, CNM, PhD, FACNM, FAAN, will be one of the lead authors working with an Executive Group for the Lancet Special Series on Midwifery, a new global project aimed to improve the quality of midwifery care and reduce maternal, newborn, and infant mortality.

This global collaboration, supported by the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, is examining key areas of reproductive, maternal, and newborn care that are within the scope of midwifery services. The aim is to collate and disseminate global evidence to assist national decision making and improve midwifery services.

The work will involve an international team of 35 researchers and in partnership with "The Lancet" will culminate in a special series on midwifery in 2013.

The program will be steered the Executive Group that includes the University of York, the Norwegian Agnecy for Development Cooperation (NORAD), the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA), the White Ribbon Alliance, ICS Integrare, the University of Southampton, Yale University, and the University of Technology, Sydney. Evidence will be collected worldwide to develop recommendations on the key issues that need to be addressed to enable safe and effective midwifery. The analysis of midwifery interventions, particularly among low to middle income countries, will be featured in "The Lancet".

The final papers will be incorporated into the UN Secretary-General’s Strategy for Women and Children, which will contribute to the human resources component by addressing key issues in the maternal, newborn and child health continuum of care.

There are plans for at least five papers, which include case studies and commentaries to focus on specific countries. Topics include: Midwifery as a complex intervention, The impact of midwifery, Developing midwifery services at scale: building the systems, The importance of respect, tackling disrespect and abuse in childbirth, and Professor Kennedy’s paper, Midwifery leadership for appropriate research.  The work in Professor Kennedy’s paper describes and identifies the impact of midwifery research leadership within the context of multidisciplinary, mainstream research. The paper builds on the conceptual foundation of midwifery as a complex intervention that promotes the health and wellbeing of mothers, babies, and families and will explore the impact of this knowledge development on clinical practice public policy and global health indicators.