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MEAC Schools

Our Mission and Purpose

The Midwifery Education Accreditation Council's mission is to promote excellence in midwifery education through accreditation. It creates standards and criteria for the education of midwives. MEAC standards incorporate the nationally recognized core competencies and guiding principles set by the Midwives Alliance of North America and the requirements for national certification of the North American Registry of Midwives.

The purpose of MEAC is to establish standards for the education of competent midwives, and to provide a process for self-evaluation and peer evaluation for diverse educational programs. MEAC is a non-profit organization approved by the U.S. Secretary of Education as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

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Philosophy Statement

Philosophy Statement

As an accrediting body for direct-entry midwifery educational programs, the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council plays an essential role in the development and support of the profession by requiring educators to follow a path of continual growth and improvement in the delivery of midwifery education. This is achieved by supporting the development and accountability of high-quality educational programs built on evidence-based and current best-practice research. MEAC views accountability as a necessary and positive component of professional midwifery, and we embrace our role as accreditors in this process.

MEAC sets standards for midwifery education while encouraging heterogeneity in the educational models used and the individuals served. The tension between upholding objective standards and maintaining a rich variety of options for students is a challenge we gratefully accept.

We uphold the principles of inclusivity, non-discrimination, and diversity with regard to gender identity, race, marital status, ethnic origin, creed, age, sexual orientation, or disability in our board composition and in our support of varied educational models. MEAC standards for accreditation encourage broad student and faculty recruitment among our member schools.

MEAC values competency-based educational programs that train midwives to serve culturally, socially, and economically diverse women and families inclusive of gender identity, race, marital status, ethnic origin, creed, age, sexual orientation, and disability. We believe the following to be integral to that goal:

 Mastery of core competencies is not defined by the length of time spent in the educational process but should meet an international standard of midwifery education.

 Mastery of core competencies can be accomplished through various educational routes including conventional classroom format, distance learning, and clinical placement.

We believe in the Midwives Model of Care, not only as the form of care provided by midwives to their clients but also as a standard for our work of accreditation. This value leads us to strive toward respectful, fair, individualized, responsive and transparent interactions among those with whom we work.

We aspire to be a source of positive influence in healthcare by collaborating with midwifery and other professional organizations. We believe in the midwifery educator’s ability to effect change in the maternity care system by making the Midwives Model of Care more accessible to all women through the training of skilled midwives and their integration as primary providers in women’s health.

Adopted on January 13, 2013

To learn more about the Midwives Model of Care, follow this link

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ASPA Membership

The MEAC Board of Directors are very pleased to announce that in August 2009 MEAC was granted, membership to the Association of Specialized and Professional Accreditors (ASPA).

The goals of ASPA are:

* to promote quality and integrity in accreditation;

* to address accrediting issues in educational, governmental, and public policy contexts;

* to facilitate collaboration among programs and institutions; and

* to enhance the relationship among the respective accrediting organizations through scholarly thought, dialogue and activities to promote a climate of improvement of educational quality, service, rigor, efficiency, and fairness in accreditation.

ASPA member agencies subscribe to the widely referenced ASPA Code of Good Practice. A major focus of interest both to ASPA members and to the regional agencies is in enhancing the value of the accrediting process to the programs and institutions served, as well as to the public.

ASPA members include agencies whose history goes back to the very earliest years of accreditation, and whose accrued body of knowledge about assessing education quality provides a useful resource for accreditors serving the spectrum of educational programs and bodies, as well as for the institutions served by the accreditation processes.

ASPA believes the support of higher education should be viewed expansively, bringing into the universe of recipient institutions those which, through accreditation, demonstrate that they offer programs of quality, designed to help students acquire the skills and knowledge needed to become productive members of society.

To read the ASPA Code of Good Practice, click here

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ACCAHC Membership

The MEAC Board of Directors is very pleased to announce that we are now members of the Academic Consortium for Complementary and Alternative Health Care (ACCAHC).

ACCAHC envisions a health care system that is multidisciplinary and enhances competence, mutual respect and collaboration across all complementary and alternative medicine and conventional health care disciplines. This system will deliver effective care that is patient centered, focused on health creation and healing, and is readily accessible to all populations.

The values of ACCAHC are:

• the diversity and traditions that exist in federally accredited complementary and alternative medicine institutions as well as recognized emerging complementary and alternative medicine fields that wish to become federally accredited CAM institutions.

• the Institute of Medicine statement that “the goal of integrating care should be the provision of comprehensive care that is safe and effective care, that is collaborative and interdisciplinary, and care that respects and joins effective interventions from all sources.”

• public accountability and standards of practice, which emphasize patient-centered care, patient safety, practice competencies, professionalism and a rigorous code of ethics.

• the complementary and alternative medicine paradigms and their academic and clinical applications, which recognize the intimate relationship between health, mind, body, spirit and environment, and emphasize health promotion, healing, prevention and wellness.

• the importance of insuring that complementary and alternative medicine academic health care institutions have direct and equitable access to all public and private support systems.

Furthermore, ACCAHC supports evolving complementary and alternative medicine academic health centers and institutions as they emerge through the benchmarking processes of establishing high standards and developing academic curriculum, research, clinical training, future leaders and policy action that will affect the transformation of our health care system.

To see the ACCAHC Desk Reference, click here

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What Others Are Saying About MEAC

Dear Jo Anne,

Thank you for the glorious news! And more especially, thank you for your thoughtful, care-filled process with Nizhoni. Pursuing MEAC accreditation has made a significant difference in the structure and process of our school, and we are so thankful for your assistance. We look forward to working with you as a ****pre-accredited school**** (those are July fireworks!) and I especially would like to thank you for letting me know by email so that we could find out the happy news right away.

Again, we are so grateful for all your guidance and assistance and for helping to make this dream come true!


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MEAC Board and Staff

MEAC Board and Staff

Board Members:

Kristi Ridd-Young, M.S., ICCE ( President) Alpine, UT
Education: Bachelor of Science in Public Health Administration, ICCE (International Childbirth Certified Educator) CD(DONA), DONA-approved doula trainer
Professional Activities:
President, Midwives College of Utah;. Founder of Utah Doula Association; Salt Lake Community College Adjunct Professor; Doula trainer; Birth preparation counselor for survivors of sexual abuse; Conference speaker and facilitator on childbearing issues for several international and local conferences; Committee member for Utah Breastfeeding Coalition workplace task force; Former midwife; Former board member of DONA and ICEA. Former Director of Curriculum Development for The Childbearing Year; Owner of The Nurturing Place—an educational and product resource for childbearing families; Product developer of a natural skin care line; Mother of six children, seven step-children and five grandchildren.

Mary B. Yglesia (Treasurer) Seattle, WA
Education: State of Washington, Licensed Midwife 1996. Brevard College, Titusville, FL., Seattle Midwifery School, Seattle, WA, Graduated in 1996 with Certificate of Midwifery.
Professional Activities:
Executive Director and Midwifery Education Program Director, Seattle Midwifery School. Board Chair of Association of Midwifery Educators, Vice President Board of Directors for Seattle Girls Choir. Former Administrative Coordinator, Seattle Cancer Care Alliance. Former Clinical Director, Seattle Midwifery School. Former Clinic Manager, Program Coordinator, and Maternity Support Services Provider, Family Health Centers, Okanogan, WA. Former Chair of the Okanogan County Breastfeeding Coalition and Administrator of Breast and Cervical Health Program for Family Health Centers. Former Licensed Midwife. Proud mother of Tyla, Paloma and Celeste and grandmother to Ella.

Nichole Reding, LDM, CPM, MA Canby, Oregon
Education: 2012 Bacheor of Science in Midwifery, Birthingway College of Midwifery; 1999 Master of Arts in American History, University of Oregon; 1995 Bachelor of Arts in History and Political Science, Gonzaga University.
Professional Activities: Academic Coordinator and Faculty Member, Birthingway College of Midwifery; Former Midwifery Program and Specialized Programs Coordinator, Birthingway College of Midwifery; Communications Coordinator, Oregon Midwifery Council; Member NACPM; Currently licensed midwife in Oregon; former Childbirth Educator (both Bradley Method and Independent) and Labor Doula; mama to two amazing young women born into the hands of midwives.

Jeanne Madrid, CPM Tulsa, OK
Education: South Florida School of Midwifery graduate, 1987 Apprentice with Carol Nelson, CPM, LM
Professional Activities:
CPM practicing in OK; Member of NACPM, OK Chapter of NACPM, MANA, MANA Stats, CfM; Preceptor for students of MEAC and non-MEAC midwifery programs; QE for NARM; ARC Instructor and former Health and Safety Specialist; Former FL Licensed Midwife 1987-2009, TN-CPM 2004-2007; Former Member of FL Council of LM 2003-2009, co-chair and chair; Former Member of FL Governor Chile's Healthy Start Initiative Steering Committee, Fetal and Infant Mortality Review Team, Teen Pregnancy Prevention, TN Midwives Association, The Farm Midwifery Center Midwife Team, and the Midwives Association of FL as vice pres. and legislative committee contributing to the passage of Fl Midwifery Practice Act in 1992 and FL Medicaid Reimbursement for Homebirth Bill in 1997; Employed by the NARM App. Office 2004-2007; Member of the Hollywood FL Seminole Reservation for more than a decade; Outreach Rep. for the Seminole Tribal Empowerment Program 1992; Developed a study project for Seminole Mothers and Babies which the United South and Eastern Tribes Epidemiology Center in TN formulated into The Seminole Birth Study Findings and Analysis Report 2006. Jeanne and her husband have 4 children and 9 grandchildren.

Heidi Fillmore, CPM, NHCM, BS (Vice President) Bridgton, Maine
Education: 1987 Womancare Birth Center, Monett, MO. Internship with Diane Barnes, midwife. 1986 Certificate of Graduation, Midwifery Training Institute, Albuquerque, NM. 1982, BS Architecture, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL.
Professional Activities:
Founder, Executive Director, and Faculty member of Birthwise Midwifery School; Practicing Midwife in a private Home Birth Practice, Birthwise Midwifery Service; Community Midwifery Educator; Member of New Hampshire Midwives Association; Member of Midwives Alliance of North America, Member, Midwives of Maine; and Member, National Association of Certified Professional Midwives.

Kathryn Montgomery, PhD (Public Member) Chicago, IL
Education: Newcomb College, Tulane University; University of California, Berkeley; Emory University.
Professional Activities:
Professor of Medical Humanities and Bioethics and of Medicine. She is also the Director of the Medical Humanities and Bioethics Program at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine. As such, she has “experienced accreditation from the other side”, and is both interested and eager to become involved with MEAC. She has extensive Board experience with the Society for Health and Human Values, the American Society for Bioethics and Humanities and the Chicago Health Connection now Health Connect One.

Henci Goer ( Public Member) 408-245-1098
Education: Bachelor of Arts from Brandeis University with a major in biology.
Professional activities:
Professional activities: Author of Obstetric Myths Versus Research Realities and co-author of its successor Optimal Care in Childbirth: The Case for a Physiologic Approach for professionals and author of The Thinking Woman's Guide to a Better Birth for the public. Author of consumer education pamphlets and articles for trade, consumer, and academic periodicals. Project director and Expert Work Group member on the document, "Evidence Basis for the Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care," commissioned by the Coalition for Improvement in Maternity Services. Resident expert on Lamaze International’s website where she moderates the “Ask Henci” forum and appears as a regular guest blogger on Science and Sensibility. Recipient of the BOLD Atlanta Lifetime Achievement Award, the Klaus & Kennell Research Award for “Evidence Basis for the Ten Steps of Mother-Friendly Care” from DONA International, and the Media Award from the National Association of Childbearing Centers (now the American Association of Birth Centers). Optimal Care in Childbirth has received the American College of Nurse-Midwives "Best Book of the Year" award.

Sheila Simms Watson, LM, CPM Miami, FL
Education: 2001 AS in Midwifery, Miami Dade Community College.
Professional Activities:
1985 Certified Childbirth Educator; 2000 elected to Miami Dade College Midwifery Program Advisory Board; 2003 elected to Board of Directors of Midwives Alliance of North America.

Andrea Ferroni, LM, CPM Sonora, CA
Education: 2001 Birthingway College of Midwifery.
Professional Activities:
California Association of Midwives Board Member; Midwifery Advisory Council (Medical Board of California); MANA; NACPM; Birth Alliance of Central California.

Staff Members:

Sandra Bitonti Stewart (Executive Director) Ann Arbor, MI (360) 466-2080
Education: Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice, University of Minnesota; BA, International Relations, Michigan State University's James Madison College.
Professional Activities:
Prior to joining the MEAC staff, Sandra worked as a health care lobbyist in the State of Michigan, as a grant-maker for the Michigan Women's Foundation and as a fundraiser for a US Senate Campaign. As a proud consumer advocate for improving maternity care, Sandra is co-founder of Birth Network National and the CIMS' Birth Survey (Transparency in Maternity Care) project. She recently completed a graduate certificate in Public Health Practice with an emphasis on Maternal and Child Health. Sandra lives in Ann Arbor, MI with her husband Doug and her two children, Juliano and Melanie.

Jessica Kelly-Shaieb, JD (Training & Accreditation Coordinator) Ann Arbor, MI (360) 466-2080
Education:2000 B.A. Honors Anthropology and Women’s Studies, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI; 2005 J.D. Cum Laude Wayne State University Law School, Detroit, MI.
Professional Activities:
2008-2011 Client Educator, The Little Seedling; 2003-2011 Board Member and President, BirthNetwork National; 2003 Research Assistant for course "Sex, Procreation & Reproductive Technology", Wayne State University Law School; 2000-2002 Law Clerk and Assistant; author of several published and unpublished papers on legal and ethical issues surrounding reproduction, midwifery, and circumcision.

Karin L. Borgerson, MBA (Accreditation Coordinator), Seattle , WA (360) 466-2080
Education: 2006, MBA in Sustainable Business, Bainbridge Graduate Institute; 2003-2004, graduate study in Science, Health, and Environmental Journalism, New York University; 1998, BA, Biology and Anthropology, Oberlin College (Phi Beta Kappa).
Professional Activities:
Karin is a DONA-trained (but not yet certified) birth doula. She has been a consultant to MANA and the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development. As a member of the board of trustees of Bainbridge Graduate Institute since 2005, she helped guide the school through its accreditation process. She has been a senior associate in the climate and energy program at World Resources Institute (WRI), a leading environmental think tank and the program director for climate and business development at an NGO focusing on consumption and institutional purchasing issues. Karin has also worked in project management and client relations in several software companies.

Anana Integre, THP, MI (CEU Coordinator) La Conner, WA
Education: University of Nebraska, Lincoln, BA in journalism; THiNK Institute, Certified Medical Intuitive.
Professional Activities: Certified ThetaHealing Practitioner and Instructor; Centers of Spiritual Living, Licensed Practitioner Emeritus. Anana brings to MEAC more than twenty years of University of California, Santa Cruz executive management experience, as well as a thirty year career in teaching. She is mother to midwife-caught, home-birthed daughter CarrieAnn; and great-granddaughter of the first recorded midwife in Nebraska, Lena Schimmer-Scheel.

Jo Anne Myers-Ciecko, MPH (Advisor/Special Projects) Mt. Vernon, Washington
Education: 1994-1998 Masters Degree in Public Health, University of Washington. 1967-1970 Journalism and American Studies, Honors College, Oregon State University.
Professional Activities:
Consultant, National Association of Certified Professional Midwives and Midwives Association of Washington State; Former Executive Director, Seattle Midwifery School; Chair, Health Alliance International; Washington Office of Insurance Commissioner, Work Group on Integration of Complementary Medicine; Washington Higher Education Coordinating Board, Health Professional Scholarship Committee; UCSF Center for the Health Professions, Task Force on Midwifery.

Trixi Packmohr (Administrative Assistant) Ann Arbor, Michigan (360) 466 2082
Education: 1989 Masters of Science Degree , Philipps Universitaet Marburg, Germany, 1990 – 1993 University of Stony Brook, NY, Research and Teaching Assistant, Doctoral Program
Professional Activities: Manager of Consulting Department at Environmental Consulting Firm, NY. 18 years of project management experience. Conducts administrative, financial and business transactions associated with the day to day operations of her own consulting firm since 2001. Organizes and coordinates logistic for events and business meetings. She volunteers as PTO president at her youngest son’s elementary school and volunteers in several other local organizations.

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The Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) was established as a non profit corporation in 1991 by the National Coalition of Midwifery Educators.

MEAC's standards for accreditation were developed by expert midwifery educators from a variety of midwifery education programs and institutions in the United States.

The US Department of Education originally approved MEAC in 2001 as a federally recognized accrediting agency.

In December 2002, the National Advisory Committee on Institutional Quality and Integrity recommended that the Secretary of Education renew the recognition of MEAC as a nationally recognized accrediting agency.

Accreditation by MEAC is a required element in enabling its accredited certificate and degree-conferring institutions to establish eligibility to participate in federal programs administered by the Department of Education under the Higher Education Act (HEA) of 1965, as amended.

In May 2003 the Secretary of Education granted continued recognition, for a period of five years, to MEAC as a nationally recognized accrediting agency for the accreditation and pre-accreditation throughout the United States of direct-entry midwifery educational institutions and programs conferring degrees and certificates, including the accreditation of such programs offered via distance education.

In February 2011, MEAC was notified by the USDE Assistant Secretary that the USDE continued the recognition of MEAC with a report due in March 2012.

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Volunteer Opportunities

Seeking Continuing Education Reviewers

The MEAC receives approximately 40-50 continuing education applications per year. We currently have a team of three volunteers who review these applications and we want to expand the team. The applications come in electronic format and follow very specific guidelines. MEAC CEU reviewers receive an electronic copy (email attachment or thumb drive or CD) of the application and a review form to complete; evaluation results are to be sent back to MEAC within 30 days. CEU Reviewers are asked to access approximately 2-3 applications per month. Some of the applications can be evaluated in an hour, while a large conference could take 5 or more hours. Our reviewers are midwives who maintain an active practice, stay abreast with current best practices, and are interested in the quality of midwifery education. Please contact MEAC via email,, if you are attracted to becoming a MEAC CEU reviewer or have questions.

Seeking Accreditation Review Committee Members

MEAC is currently expanding our pool of volunteers who serve as peer evaluators. Qualified volunteers are selected from this pool to form the Accreditation Review Committees (ARC) for each school being considered for accreditation or re-accreditation. The ARC is responsible for the detailed review of the applicant’s Self-Evaluation Report (SER) and related documentation. This review generally takes six to eight hours to complete. The ARC also conducts a two-day site visit to verify the information provided in the SER. Travel and lodging expenses related to site visits are paid by MEAC. The ARC then sends a report of their findings to the MEAC Board of Directors, which makes all final decisions regarding accreditation.

ARC members must adhere to the ethics policy of MEAC, which includes revealing any potential conflicts of interest and maintaining confidentiality.

Participating in the accreditation process requires a commitment of time as well as objectivity, accuracy, and attention to detail. When invited to join our pool of volunteers, you will receive training in the application of MEAC Standards for Accreditation and the accreditation process.

For more information about upcoming training opportunities, Click here

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Contact MEAC Midwifery Education Accreditation Council
1935 Pauline Blvd., Ste. 100B
Ann Arbor, MI 48103
Phone: (360) 466-2080
Fax: (480) 907-2936
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