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Experts Corner

Pregnancy / Childbirth / Women's Health

Nancy Sullivan, CNM, MS, FACNM
Certified Nurse-Midwife

Nancy SullivanNancy Sullivan has been a midwife for twenty years. Her early education was in American Literature; she holds a BA from the University of Pennsylvania and a MA from the University of Texas at Austin. She taught middle school and worked as a Peace Corps volunteer in Morocco before becoming pregnant with her first children, twins. She became interested in midwifery while living in France, where she had another child and was assisted by a midwife. On returning to the United States in 1975, she pursued an education in midwifery, obtaining a nursing degree from Cornell University and a MS in midwifery from Columbia University. She worked for several years as a midwife in Brooklyn, New York, before moving to Portland, Oregon in 1985. In Portland, she has worked for many years at Oregon Health Sciences University, teaching and practicing midwifery. From 1990-1993, she was the clinical director of Healthy Start, Inc., a maternity care program for indigent and uninsured women in Washington County, Oregon. This program was a model midwifery service, with midwives providing all the prenatal, labor and birth, and postpartum care to a group of women who would have otherwise not had care available.

Ms. Sullivan has been active in the American College of Nurse-Midwives, serving in many capacities including two terms on the Board of Directors, most recently as secretary. She is currently a member of the ACNM/MANA Liaison Group. She was also appointed to the Oregon State Board of Direct-Entry Midwifery when legislation was passed forming that entity, and served for three years as a member. She has written several articles for the Journal of Midwifery and Women's Health, most recently an article about the role of midwives as primary care providers.

Ms. Sullivan believes strongly in the right of women to have the option of midwifery care. Because of concern about the relative lack of public knowledge about the excellent outcomes associated with midwifery, she started a website dedicated to the following mission:

  • to disseminate information and provide resources to midwives, aspiring midwives, midwifery students and midwifery consumers;
  • to provide a forum for dialogue and strengthening of ties among all midwives;
  • to increase visibility of the midwifery profession;
  • and to inform the public about the excellent outcomes associated with midwifery care.

Ms. Sullivan plans to retire from her present position as an Assistant Professor at Oregon Health Sciences University in June, 2001, in order to devote more time to the development of her website and to explore other activities related to the promotion of midwifery. Her daughter, Megan Sullivan, will complete her studies in midwifery at OHSU in June 2001. Nancy is the founder and editor of

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