Michelle Telfer, DNP, MPH, CNM, FACNM

Associate Professor of Nursing and Interim Nurse-Midwifery Specialty Co-Director

email: michelle.telfer@yale.edu
phone: 203-737-5609 


Dr. Telfer is an Associate Professor in the Midwifery and Women’s Health NP Specialty, Interim Nurse-Midwifery Specialty Co-Director,  and a member of the Yale Midwifery Faculty Practice. She is also faculty in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology & Reproductive Sciences Yale School of Medicine and Yale Institute of Global Health. 

She has been at Yale for over a decade and enjoys teaching and precepting the next generation of midwives. Dr. Telfer created a partnership with Makerere University in Kampala Uganda and Mother Health International in Atiak, Uganda to provide midwives, residents, and midwifery students from Uganda, Rwanda and Yale to experience the midwifery model of care and physiologic birth in the clinical setting and the opportunity for collaborative midwifery model of care. She is the past Vice President of the CT Affiliate of ACNM and is a member of the ACNM Division of Global Health Engagement Education Committee and a member of the QMNC Research Alliance, part of the Midwifery Knowledge-to-Action @ Yale (https://www.qmnc.org/)

Dr. Telfer received her BA in Philosophy from the University of California at Berkeley in Philosophy and a MPH in Global Health from Tulane University School of Public Health and Tropical Medicine. She went on to earn a BSN and MSN in Midwifery from Columbia University after serving two years in the US Peace Corps working in maternal and child health. After more than 15 years in clincal practice she earned a Doctorate in Nursing Practice from Frontier Nursing University.

Dr. Telfer has been providing full-scope (well care/gyn, family planning, prenatal care, labor & birth and postpartum care) for nearly two decades in New York City and the greater New Haven area. She came to midwifery after working in global public health in The Gambia, West Africa where she experienced the importance of access to safe midwifery care in low-resource settings. She is passionate about partnering with pregnant people and their families to help them achieve their best health, pregnancy, and birth experiences. All people deserve compassionate, culturally sensitive, and skilled care throughout their lives. She is privileged to be a part of the Yale Midwifery group that strives to provide this care and attends births at Yale New Haven Hospital, New Haven, CT.

When not working, she enjoys hiking and exploring Connecticut with her husband, two children and two dogs.

Research Interests

Areas of research and interest include reducing unnecessary primary cesarean sections though promoting physiologic birth and avoiding early labor admissions. She is also passionate about promoting quality global maternal and newborn care. Currently, as a Plank Global Fellow, she is working with colleagues in the school of medicine and nursing at Yale and at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda to support advanced midwifery education, clinical excellence and the midwifery model of care to improve maternal and newborn health outcomes. Another area of research interest is in exercise and pregnancy, especially looking at models of group exercise that build community and support to improve outcomes. 

She is the co-creator of a Coursera Course, Global Quality Maternal and Newborn Care with Dr. Joan Combellick. This course is based on the Lancet Series on Midwifery’s QMNC Framework and has over 6,000 learners enrolled.  https://www.coursera.org/teach/global-quality-maternal-and-newborn-care/course/overview

Selected Publications/Presentations


Telfer, M., Illuzzi, J., Jolles, D. (2021) Engaging Families to Reduce Cesarean Birth, A Quality Improvement Initiative. Journal of Doctoral Nursing Practice. September , 2021. 

Sibindi, C., Hong, S. I., Kakembo, N., Penny, N., Telfer, M., & Ozgediz, D. E. (2019). Community Identification and Referral of Surgical Congenital Anomalies: A Pilot Assessment in Uganda. Journal of the American College of Surgeons229(4), e133. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.jamcollsurg.2019.08.1086

Illuzzi, J., Telfer, M., & Rubin, P. (2018). Nitrous oxide’s revival in childbirth. Contemporary OB/GYN64(5), 7-11. Available at http://www.contemporaryobgyn.net/sites/default/files/legacy/mm/digital/media/obgyn0518_ezine.pdf

Bickler, S., Telfer, M., Sanno-Duanda, B. (2003). Need for paediatric surgery care in an urban area of The Gambia. Tropical Doctor, 33(2), 91-94. 

Telfer, M., Rowley J., Walraven G. (2002). Experiences of mothers with antenatal, delivery, and postpartum care in rural Gambia. The African Journal of Reproductive Health, 6(1), 74-83.

Walraven, G., Telfer, M., Rowley, J., & Ronsmans, C. (2000). Maternal mortality in rural Gambia: Levels, causes and contributing factors. Bulletin of the World Health Organization78(5), 603–613.


Telfer, M. (5/2021) Nitrous Oxide’s Revival in Childbirth. New Mexico Association of Nurse Anesthetists (NMANA) Spring Conference. 

Kennedy, H. & Telfer, M. (3/2021Beyond Do No Harm ‘Do No Harm’ The Salutogenic Capacity of Childbirth. University of Miami School of Medicine Department of OB/Gyn Grand Rounds. Virtual. 

Telfer, M. & Combellick, J. (5/2020) Implementing the Midwifery Model of Care: Disseminating Knowledge to Improve Outcomes via a Massive Open Online Course. Virtual International Day of the Midwife, 2020. 

Zaslow, R., Spencer, S., Telfer, M., Morelli, E. (2/2020) Advanced Doula Training:  Working Together to Reduce Racial Disparities in Health Outcomes in Connecticut. Three day workshop for 42 doulas of color in conjunction with Healthy Start New Haven. 

Telfer, M., Kennedy, H., Zaslow, R.(11/2019) Podium Presentation:  “Ot Nywal Me Kuc” A Demonstration of Respectful Midwifery Care in Northern Uganda. Yale New Haven Health & Yale University School of Nursing: Evolving Trends in Perinatal Nursing Conference, Orange, CT.

Telfer, M., Kennedy, H., Zaslow, R.(11/2019) Presentation:  “Ot Nywal Me Kuc” A Demonstration of Respectful Midwifery Care in Northern Uganda. Yale School of Nursing.

Sibindi,C., Hong, S. I., Kekembo, N., Telfer, M., Norgrove, P., Sekabira, J., Ozgediz, D. (10/2019) Community identification and referral of surgical congenital anomalies: A pilot assessment in Uganda. Poster Presentation at the American College of Surgeons Clinical Congress, San Francisco, CA.

Zaslow, R., Mbalinda Nalugo, S., Chalo Nabirye, R., Telfer, M. (9/2019) Podium Presentation: Scaling Up Community-based Midwifery Model of Care: A Collaboration of Makerere University, Yale University & Mother Health International. International Confederation of Midwives, Africa Regional Conference, Windhoek, Namibia

Telfer, M. (7/2019) How to build a simulation: introduction to a simulation template. Presented at a simulation workshop for the Health Professional Education Partnership Initiative, Makerere University, Kampala, Uganda.

Telfer, M. (11/2019) Podium Presentation & Panel Discussion: Establishing Partnerships between Universities, Hospitals, & NGOs to Strengthen Nursing & Midwifery: Makerere, Yale & Uganda Birth House Collaboration. Global Nursing Caucus Annual Meeting, Boston MA. 

Telfer, M. (5/2019) Panelist: “Think Global, Act Local: Learning from Health Systems Abroad to Serve Diverse Populations at Home”. Yale Healthcare Conference. New Haven, CT  

Telfer, M. (5/2019) Podium Presentation: “Fostering Collaboration Between OB/GYNs & Midwives to Improve Perinatal Outcomes in Uganda”. Yale Global Surgery Symposium, New Haven CT, (International)

Telfer, M., Jolles, D., Morelli, E. , Illuzzi, J. (5/2019) Roundtable Discussion: “Implementing a Quality Improvement Practice Bundle to Reduce Early Labor Admissions and Primary Cesareans”. ACNM National Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Zaslow, R., Telfer, M. Kennedy, H. (5/2019): Podium presentation: “Ot Nywal Me Kuc: A Demonstration of Respectful Midwifery Care in Northern Uganda”, ACNM National Meeting, Washington, D.C.

Telfer, M., Jolles, D., Illuzzi, J.(5/2019): Round Table Presentation: “Implementing a Quality Improvement Practice Bundle to Reduce Early Labor Admissions and Primary Cesareans”. ACNM National Meeting, Washington, DC. 

Telfer M. (2018, May). Establishment of a midwifery partnership with Yale School of Nursing, the Uganda Birth House, and Makerere University. Presented at the Yale School of Nursing Global Health Symposium, Orange, CT. 

Morelli, E., Telfer, M., Ackerman, C., Brady, K., Shaw, S., & Illuzzi, J. (2018, May). Transition to a collaborative practice model:  The Yale Vidone Birthing Center story. Poster presented at the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM) 63rd Annual Meeting & Exhibition, Savannah, GA.

Telfer, M., Jolles, D., & Illuzzi, J. (2017, October). Reducing early labor admissions and supporting physiologic birth through evidence-based bundles. Presented at the 12th International Normal Labour and Birth Research Conference. Grange Over Sands, Cumbria UK.