Association of Ontario Midwives 2016 annual report

Message from the President

Elizabeth Brandeis, RM, AOM President

Welcome to the AOM's Annual Report, covering the highlights of the AOM's achievements in 2016.

When I took the torch from outgoing president Lisa M. Weston at our 2016 Annual General Meeting, I knew that the year was unfolding as a pivotal one for midwives. In June, two and a half years after initially filing our pay equity application, hearings into our case began at the Human Rights Tribunal of Ontario (HRTO). This historic legal action, which midwives have backed both literally and figuratively every step of the way, has unfolded brilliantly under the exceptional stewardship of our lawyer, Mary Cornish. The case is slated to wrap up in just a few short weeks—testament to the persistence and deep commitment of midwives.

Another aspect that made 2016 so pivotal—and so memorable—was the almost entirely concurrent negotiations process that we engaged in with the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care (MOHLTC). Out of HRTO settlement discussions in early 2016, we secured the use of an external facilitator to strengthen this current process. Negotiations began last June and, as members know, concluded in 2017 with a robust, three-year contract.

Finally, 2016 was also the year that the AOM Board began to engage in a strategic planning process that would support both the needs of midwives and growth of the profession through to the end of 2019. We know the profession itself is at a critical point in terms of the care we provide and who we are as midwives, and I’m pleased we produced a strategic plan to leverage this beautifully.

Stemming from these three developments, I see a future for midwives that we can all be proud of. Thank you to my fellow board members and the midwives who have brought us to this point. It is an honour and a privilege to serve as your president.


Elizabeth Brandeis, RM

President, Association of Ontario Midwives

Message from the Executive Director

Kelly Stadelbauer, Executive Director

In some respects, 2016 was the year that many people were happy to leave behind. But in our corner of the world, 2016 resulted in a number of important achievements—for the AOM, for midwives and for human rights.

As you’ll see as you scroll through this Annual Report, 2016 was a year when AOM made advancements in many areas that benefited midwifery care and options in Ontario. It was about supporting excellent clinical care, for example, in the form of our largest number of educational offerings ever, and materials like the Choice of Birthplace Guideline, developed by our Expert Advisory Panel. It was about working with government to secure funding for Aboriginal midwives working under the exemption to the Midwifery Act who’ve never had their work provincially funded. It was about supporting safety and quality, which included developing a raft of resources on infection prevention and control (IPAC). And of course, we continued to press for midwives’ human rights at the HRTO and for a solid funding agreement in our negotiations process with the MOHLTC.

2016 was also about the AOM providing innovative, mobile-first member services. This year, you’re receiving this Annual Report in advance of an online-only Annual General Meeting as a way of encouraging midwives to attend the International Confederation of Midwives conference in Toronto in June 2017. We’re doubling down on our online efforts by releasing our 2016 Annual Report to you in a digital format, itself a reflection of the work the AOM has been focused on to better serve you, our members. Making our materials more mobile friendly is one more new initiative in 2016 (along with a new website—coming soon this summer!).

The successes of 2016 wouldn't be possible without your highly committed Board of Directors, an extensive network of AOM committee members, and the highly talented and passionate staff at the AOM. Every day I feel privileged and honoured to work with such incredible people. Together, we are moving mountains. 

Let us know what you think! As always, I welcome your feedback.


Kelly Stadelbauer, RN, BScN, MBA

Executive Director, Association of Ontario Midwives

AOM Mission, Vision & Values


Advancing the clinical and professional practice of Indigenous/Aboriginal and Registered Midwives in Ontario.


Midwives leading pregnancy, birth and newborn care across Ontario.


The AOM Board, staff, and volunteers:

  • Consider Indigenous issues and social justice in all decision-making.
  • Provide courageous, compassionate and principled leadership.
  • Promote and support the restoration and renewal of Indigenous midwifery.
  • Promote, safeguard, and support normal birth.
  • Advocate for members’ rights that promote long-term career satisfaction.
  • Create systems and tools that uphold equity within the midwifery profession, in relationship to clients, and within the health-care system.
  • Respect client dignity, autonomy, cultural safety and experience as central to decision making in midwifery care.
  • Establish accessible, high-quality and responsive services that meet the needs of the membership.
  • Enhance the potential of midwifery to contribute to the well-being of society.

Midwives by the numbers: 2016

830 midwife members of the AOM (as of December 31, 2016)

75 new midwife members joined

47 new student members joined

89 practices; of those, 2 were newly approved

19 satellite clinics; of those, 2 opened in 2016

1,000 midwives predicted to be AOM members by 2020

AOM by the numbers: 2016

Support services offered

34% of active AOM members contacted our 24-hour support line (formerly called the PLEASE Line, now called AOM On Call) to access expert advice

35 midwives supported with hospital integration issues

19 phone calls fielded by AOM staff from midwives seeking assistance preparing proposals for new practices or satellites

30 rural and remote and 3 Far North locums were funded in 2015-2016

293 days of locum relief (in total) were provided to rural and remote midwives by 11 locum midwives

674 (or 86% of eligible) midwives applied for and received reimbursement funding for intubation and umbilical vein catheterization equipment

Midwives from several practices received media coaching support to speak on issues relating to HRTO and other local issues

20% of members signed up for newly-added preauthorized payment option for membership fees

Began the development process for a new AOM website and database

Christine Sternberg, winner of the 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award, receives a standing ovation from colleagues at the annual conference.

AOM Education & Events

15 ESWs offered

376 midwives recertified through AOM ESWs

168 more midwives recertified through AOM ESWs in 2016 than in 2011

24 webinars offered

896 members participated in webinars

14 live educational events held

6 regional meetings held in the spring

308 midwives attended the annual conference

3 AOM awards presented at the conference: Lifetime Achievement, Media and Hospital Integration

218 unique visitors to EventMobi conference app (77.6% adoption rate), plus 25,683 separate page views

Human Rights Tribunal Application

26 witnesses on the stand

33 days of hearings

2,651 documents submitted to the HRTO by the AOM and our legal team

17,000+ viewings of "A Brief History of Ontario Midwives' Pay (In)Equity" (see below!)

Dozens of midwives mobilized to attend 14 meetings of Ontario's Changing Workplaces Review wage gap consultations

2 written submissions and 1 oral submission presented by the AOM to the Changing Workplaces wage gap consultations

Support for Renewing and Restoring Aboriginal Midwifery

  • Provided dozens of hours of support to Indigenous midwives writing practice proposals
  • Reviewed proposals with an eye to risk management, quality assurance & liability insurance
  • Met in person with Indigenous midwives in Kenora, Akewesasne & Tyendinaga
  • Liaised with National Aboriginal Council of Midwives, Six Nations, HIROC, Chiefs of Ontario and MOHLTC officials
  • Provided recommendations to the Ontario Midwifery Program regarding development of Aboriginal Midwifery Program
  • Won an Award of Distinction from the Canadian Society of Association Executives in the association leadership category for our government relations campaign to advocate for expanded funding for Aboriginal midwifery

Clinic Promotion

Infection Prevention & Control

  • Launched IPAC section of AOM website
  • Developed and distributed 2 hand hygiene posters, hand hygiene tip sheet, and hand hygiene stickers
  • Held 3 webinars on reprocessing
  • Provided member support to individual practices
  • Liaised with suppliers of midwifery equipment to ensure consistency of messaging and that needed products were in stock
  • Shared sample reprocessing protocols
  • Developed template reprocessing checklist, log book, equipment list, and autoclave maintenance log
  • Created and shared YouTube playlist on infection control
  • Conference presentations and booth highlighting infection control, hand hygiene and reprocessing
  • Monitored public health messages regarding potential outbreaks and communicated needed information to members (e.g., Zika, MERS)

Midwifery Services Contract Negotiations with Government

  • 20 negotiations meetings
  • 97 hours of discussions
  • 6-month period
  • 1 external facilitator (Elaine Todres)

Health Equity

  • Participated in Health Network on Uninsured Clients, coordinated by the Wellesley Institute
  • Organized midwife volunteers for the West End Non-Insured Walk-In Clinic
  • Negotiated an expansion of insurance coverage for claims outside of Canada and funding for this coverage
  • Provided risk management support to midwives providing care for uninsured and undocumented clients
  • Attended Health Care for All rally outside the MOHLTC
  • Worked jointly with Ontario Midwifery Program to address barriers to access for uninsured funding
  • Created gender inclusion implementation plan for the AOM
  • Struck the Gender Diversity Task Force to guide the implementation of the gender inclusion strategy
  • Participated in weekly stakeholder teleconferences with the Ministry of Health’s Emergency Operations Centre to receive updates regarding the settlement and provision of health services for incoming Syrian refugees
  • Set-up and regularly updated the AOM’s Syrian Refugee listserv
  • Letters about how midwives can support refugee clients were sent to 94 immigration and settlement agencies
  • Focus groups held with midwives with disabilities to identify barriers and solutions
  • All AOM policies updated to reflective gender inclusive language
  • Updated Diversity, Equity and Inclusion policy and statement on Gender Inclusivity and Human Rights

Stakeholder Work

AOM staff and board members sat on:

  • Ontario Midwifery Strategic Council
  • Canadian Institute for Health Information Expert Advisory Group (EAG) for the Hospital Harm Indicator project
  • Ontario Public Health Association Reproductive Health Working Group
  • Infection Prevention and Control Canada, Community Health Interest Group, Reprocessing Interest Group and Midwifery Sub-Group
  • SOGC Medico-legal Committee
  • Ontario Antenatal Record Working Group
  • Ontario Prenatal Screening Strategy Task Group
  • Coalition of Regulated Health Professional Associations

And engaged with other stakeholders on a variety of projects:

  • Infection Prevention and Control Canada, Community Health Interest Group, Reprocessing Interest Group and Midwifery Sub-Group
  • Clinic Regulation Working Group on a proposed framework to regulate health clinics
  • Ontario Hospital Association, Ontario Medical Association, Ontario Midwifery Program and College of Midwives of Ontario at MOHLTC Midwifery Hospital Integration Work Group
  • HealthQualityOntario on their VBAC Quality Standard
  • BORN Midwifery Advisory Committee
  • Ontario Base Hospitals Group for the AOM to provide a Managing Out of Hospital Birth: Paramedic Emergency Skills Program and a Train the Trainer: Managing Out of Hospital Birth program
  • Submission to the MOHLTC Patients First legislation
  • Equal Pay Coalition to engage the public around Equal Pay Day...including producing our #1 most-viewed video ever (with over 22,000 viewings), "Midwives Read Things The Ontario Government Has Said About Pay Equity." (see below!)


  • Liaised with BORN and MOHLTC e-Health Strategy and Investment Branch regarding the EMR initiative
  • Provided extensive input to BORN regarding the development of a proposal
  • Facilitated a consultation with members by Ministry consultants, MD+A, on midwifery state of readiness
  • Launched OLIS and the Diagnostic Imaging Common Service with Ontario midwives
  • Negotiated terms of BORN’s Data Share Agreements
AOM Board of Directors: Back row from left to right: Tracy Franklin (Secretary), Genia Stephen, Anne Wilson, Esther Willms, Elizabeth Brandeis (President), Nicole Roach, Rebecca Carson (Vice President). Front row: Disha Alam, Sarilyn Zimmerman, Kelly Graff, Jasmin Tecson (Treasurer). Not pictured: Andrea Cassidy.

AOM Governance

5 Board of Directors meetings and 1 strategic planning retreat held

47 board motions passed

5 of 6 resolutions passed at the 2016 AGM

1 submission to the MOHLTC Patients First legislation

1 new strategic plan developed

1 budget written

56 midwives and 5 midwifery students sat on the following AOM work groups, committees and task forces:

Audit Committee

Leadership Development Committee

Negotiations Committee

Quality, Insurance and Risk Management Committee

Work Life Balance Committee

Clinical and Professional Development Work Group

Emergency Skills Work Group

Hyperbilirubinemia Work Group

Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Work Group

Midwifery Research Work Group

Gender Diversity Task Force

Expert Advisory Panel, Choice of Birthplace


Created with images by mkhmarketing - "Growing Social Media" • sathyatripodi - "brothers family siblings"

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