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Dr Holly Powell Kennedy Lecture

Midwifery Department

Friday, 15 May 2015 from 16:30 to 18:00 (BST)

Dr Holly Powell Kennedy Lecture

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Collaboration: Crossing Boundaries to Improve Maternal and Newborn Health


Holly Powell Kennedy, PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN

Executive Deputy Dean and Helen Varney Professor of Midwifery Yale School of Nursing at Yale University

Visiting Professor, King’s College London


May 15, 2015


This talk will present several case studies to describe creative strategies to enhance collaboration across and within disciplines to address gaps and improve outcomes in maternal and newborn health. These will include several initiatives in the United States and will also draw upon 2014 Lancet Series on Midwifery.


Introduction & Background: The evidence for collaboration


The American College of Nurse-Midwives and the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists

  • Practice relationship initiative


US Midwifery

  • Healthy Physiologic Birth Consensus Statement

  • US MERA – Principles of Model Midwifery Legislation & Regulation


The Lancet Series on Midwifery

  • Case studies

  • Research prioritization


Dr Holly Powell Kennedy is the first person to be appointed as the Varney Professor of Midwifery at Yale in 2009. She came to the position with broad experiences as a clinician, researcher, educator, policymaker and leader in a variety of settings. Collectively these experiences have shaped her current vision of academic and clinical scholarship in US maternal-child health care.

She is Past-President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the professional association representing Certified Nurse-Midwives and Certified Midwives in the US.


Professor Kennedy's program of research is rooted in her clinical and educational experiences during which she was challenged by a prevailing lack of trust in and fear of childbirth. Her research is committed to understand the links between "how" care is provided during pregnancy and birth with clinical and social outcomes. Part of her work has culminated in a conceptual framework of midwifery care reflecting (a) the relationship between the woman and the midwife, (b) orchestration of an environment of care by the midwife to meet the woman's needs, and (c) life journeys, or outcomes for both, that go beyond usual perinatal measures. She has employed mixed methods to examine the provision of care in complex settings and with various models. She has been instrumental in developing the concept of "optimality" in maternity care which strives to achieve the maximal outcome with minimal intervention in the context of the woman's obstetrical, medical, and social background. Her future work will examine cultural issues in applying evidence supporting low-interventive care in complex birth settings and shared decision-making among women and clinicians about birth care. 

Do you have questions about Dr Holly Powell Kennedy Lecture? Contact Midwifery Department

When & Where

Stamford Street Lecture Theatre (Waterloo)

Friday, 15 May 2015 from 16:30 to 18:00 (BST)

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