Alabama State Board of Midwifery Board
The Alabama State Board of Midwifery met on Friday, June 23, 2023, to conduct business. Board members present included (1) Ms. Noel Leithart (Chair), (2) Mr. Chris Megginson (member), (3) Ms. Christine Litas (member), (4) Ms. Laura Reeder (member), (5) Ms. Layla Brown (member). Dr. Joyce Loyd-Davis (member) and Ms. Stephanie Armstead (member) were absent. Brad Chynoweth, Board Attorney and Dr. Sharon Porterfield, administrative assistant were present.
The members of the public in attendance were Rebekah Myrick, LM, Nancy Megginson, LM, Regina Woodley, LM, Jake Miller, ALBME and Matt Hart (attorney for BME).
The Board meeting had been advertised on the Secretary of State’s website, in accordance with the Alabama Open Meetings Act. With a quorum of board members present, Ms. Leithart called the meeting to order at 10:01am.
Ms. Leithart welcomed the guests. Next, she presented the minutes from the March 17 and April 6, 2023 board meeting. Mr. Megginson moved to accept the minutes. It was seconded by Ms. Reeder and approved unanimously by the board.
Dr. Porterfield reported on her activities as administrative assistant. She presented applications for renewal of licenses. There were eight (8) midwives up for renewal. Dr Porterfield assured everyone that all applications were complete. A motion was made by Mr. Megginson and seconded by Ms. Litas to approve the license renewal of LM#10, 11, 12, 13, 14 LM#16, LM#21 and LM#22. All in favor. None opposed. The motion passed unanimously.
In Mr. Chynoweth’s legal report, he clarified that the Board may impose fines on midwives who are late in reporting their annual statistics. First the Board would actually file a complaint against the midwife, and if found non-compliant, the midwife potentially would have a fine.
Ms. Leithart reported on the birth center rules that ADPH is proposing. She mentioned her emails asking to be a part of the discussion, as ADPH was reformulating the rules they withdrew last year. Ms. Leithart was not included in the discussion. She was given a copy of the potential rules that she returned with objections, but no discussion ensued. Ms. Leithart asked permission to speak on behalf of the Board at the public hearing on July 13 regarding the newly proposed rules. Ms. Brown made the motion to have Ms. Leithart represent the Board. Ms. Reeder seconded. The motion was approved without objection.
Ms. Leithart brought up Dr. Porterfield’s contract renewal. Due to executive order from the Governor, her contract must be approved by the Governor. Ms. Reeder made the motion to extend the contract for another year of service from Dr. Porterfield. Ms. Brown seconded. All voted in favor of renewing.
Ms. Leithart reported on the proposal made in the legislature for a Board of Licensure and how that would impact the Board.
Ms. Leithart brought forward an application for a new midwife. Ms. Reeder moved that the board go to executive session for 10 minutes to discuss the good name and character of the applicant. Ms. Litas, aye; Ms. Reeder, aye; Ms. Brown, aye; Mr. Megginson, aye. Motion carries, and the Board moves into executive session at 10:26am. The Board returned to general session at 10:36am. Ms. Brown moved that LM-0026 be approved for licensure. Ms. Reeder seconded. All were in favor. Ms. Leithart congratulated Susan Cook, LM-0026.
Comments from the public were from Nancy Megginson, LM, CPM, RN concerning ADPH Proposed Birthing center rule. Ms. Megginson stated that ADPH proposed Birthing center Rules state ”420-5-13-.03 Medical Staff.(1) Organization. There shall be an organized medical staff consisting of a minimum of one staff physician or consultant physician, and CNMs and RNs. CPMs may also provide assistive care to the medical birthing center.”
“CPMs (as ADPH defined, not LMs, as ASBM has already defined in statute) are not included as part of the medical staff (MDs, CNMs, or RNs), but only a RN as authority over the LM. As I am also an AL RN I can testify this license and role is not a provider and does not required nationally or by AL statute to have physician oversight or collaborative agreements. A LM does not take order further infringing on the existing statute rights of LM independent practice.
In addition to the board already discussing today “Ala.Code 1975; Section 34-19-16 (a); a licensed midwife may provide rules against the very first page of our statute, “Ala.Code 1975; Section 34 -19-11;
The following words and phrases shall have the following meanings, unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
- BOARD. The State Board of Midwifery.
- LICENSED MIDWIFE. A PRACTITIONER who holds a certified professional midwife credential and is licensed by
- MIDWIFERY. The provision of primary maternity care during the ANTEPARTUM, intrapartum, and postpartum period
ADPH proposed rules go beyond their authority for facility and is restricting provider practice and making/changing law
I wanted to address this illegal infringement by ADPH with my board first, who governs me, so they can take any and all public hearing of Birthing Center proposed rules on July 13, 2023.”
With no further business to discuss and no further comments or questions from the public, Ms. Brown made a motion to adjourn. Ms. Reeder. seconded the motion. It passed unanimously. Ms. Leithart adjourned the meeting at 10:45 am.
Noel Leithart, Chair