Monday, September 20, 2010

Fireside Chat with Cindy Hunter on Haiti

In celebration of National Midwifery Week 2010, the Lane County Friends of the Birth Center invites you to join us on Tuesday, October 5th at 7 pm at the PeaceHealth Nurse Midwifery Birth Center for a Fireside Chat with Cindy Hunter, a former midwife with the Birth Center who is now based at Sacred Heart Medical Center. Cindy will share her experience working at a clinic in Haiti for a week in May 2010 as part of team organized by Midwives for Haiti. Midwives for Haiti is an organization dedicated to educating midwives in Haiti and providing health care teams to help keep women and their babies as safe as possible in Haiti’s difficult situation. (See our earlier post discussing Cindy's trip to Haiti here.)

The January 12th earthquake in Haiti killed more than 200,000 Haitians and left over 1.5 million people living in temporary camps. As reported by NOW on PBS in a documentary on saving Haiti’s mothers, challenges in transportation, education, and quality health care contribute to Haiti having the highest maternal mortality rate in the Western Hemisphere, a national crisis even before the earthquake struck. Worldwide, over 500,000 women die each year during pregnancy. The United Nations Population Fund, which trains midwives to share life-saving birth techniques and serve in rural communities, says that with proper funding, public support, and wider application of simple but scarce innovations, such deaths could be reduced by nearly 70 percent.

“The reproductive health needs of the population are often forgotten in the aftermath of a disaster,” said UNFPA Representative in Haiti, Igor Bosc.

Women and families remain in desperate need of pre- and post-natal care. During Cindy's visit to Haiti in May 2010, her group, which consisted of three midwives and four nurses, saw 600 patients in just one week.  Through donations, Lane County Friends of the Birth Center assembled and sent 14 new mother kits with Cindy. These kits included blankets, cloth diapers, vitamins, and other items new mothers and their babies need.

On October 5, Cindy will share her experiences in the first Fireside Chat hosted by the Lane County Friends of the Birth Center. Members of the Eugene and Lane County community are welcome to attend. Refreshments will be provided.  For questions, contact

When: Tuesday, October 5, 2010 at 7 pm
Where: Nurse Midwifery Birthing Services, 353 Deadmond Ferry Road, Springfield OR 97477 

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