CIMS’ Grassroots Advocates Committee
In the spring of 2006, more than 50 grassroots activists attending CIMS’ annual Mother-Friendly Childbirth Forum in Boston, Mass., participated in a breakout session entitled “It Takes a Village.” Included in this group were birth activists from all across the United States and around the world. The activists met for a total of six hours over the course of the weekend and came out of their meetings with a new CIMS committee, the Grassroots Advocates Committee (GAC). Its intent was to develop a collaborative project to be called Transparency in Maternity Care. Sandra Bitonti Stewart and Élan McAllister volunteered to co-lead the GAC. A Steering Committee of five was quickly formed to help guide the Transparency in Maternity Care Project to fruition. Today, the GAC is helping CIMS to make Mother-Friendly care a reality by:
Currently, the “Transparency in Maternity Care Project: The Birth Survey” is the primary focus of the GAC’s work. To learn more about this project visit www.thebirthsurvey.com. Future projects include the “Grassroots Grapevine,” where individual activists and organizations across the country can share their experiences, templates, how-to’s and enlist support for their maternity care improvement work.
- being a home within CIMS for grassroots maternity care improvement organizations and activists;
- providing grassroots maternity care improvement organizations and activists with tools, resources and networking opportunities that facilitate effective grassroots activism around the MFCI;
- fostering national collaborative projects between grassroots maternity care improvement organizations and activists;
- collaborating with other CIMS committees as well as with outside stakeholders;
- functioning as a financially sustainable body within CIMS;
- increasing public awareness of and desire for evidence-based, high-quality Mother-Friendly Care;
- providing maternity care consumers with tools and resources that help them find and evaluate providers and institutions in relation to the MFCI and other quality measures; and
- working toward improving the quality and transparency of today’s maternity care system.
The Transparency in Maternity Care Project:
The Birth Survey
The goal of this project is to provide women with insight into maternity care practices in their community. At the heart of the project is an on-going online consumer survey that asks womento provide feedback about their specific birth experiences with their practitioners and their birth environments. Responses will be made available online to other women in their communities who are deciding where and with whom to birth. Paired with this experiential data will be official statistics from state departments of health listing obstetrical intervention rates at the facility level.
If you would like to volunteer your time and talents with either the “Transparency in Maternity Care Project: The Birth Survey” or the “Grassroots Grapevine” please e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
Be part of the GAC!
- Become a Marketing Ambassador. Help us market the availability of The Birth Survey so that thousands of new mothers will complete the online survey by disseminating marketing materials locally and online!
- We also need bloggers, creative writers and marketing/advertising minds to help us keep the campaign materials fresh.
- If you are knowledgeable about databases or if you are an attorney who is willing to share your valuable time, we'd love your expertise!
- Become a GACSTATS Ambassador and join our national effort to acquire data from your state health department. We need activists in every state! Training and technical assistance are available.
- Please help support The Birth Survey Project with a financial contribution.