March for Moms Annual Report 2016/17

In October of 2016, Ginger Breedlove approached a small group of diverse stakeholders to consider forming a coalition with a single goal, to gather on the DC Mall with as large of numbers as possible to raise awareness of the worsening health and outcomes of mothers and babies in the US. Dr.’s John Jennings and Neel Shah, OB/GYNs who engaged in this brainstorming in May 2016 over dinner drinks strongly agreed not only was the idea of raising awareness of high importance, but also agreed to participate and support formation of as large a diverse coalition that could be gathered.

A guiding template was following the evolution of public awareness about the opioid epidemic, spearheaded by the FedUp Coalition & Rally on the DC Mall launched in 2012. In 4 short years the FedUp coalition gathered several organizations, consumers and interest groups to join forces, share concern and raise awareness of how the federal government was failing to address issues related to use of opioids.

What was our crises? Seven key issues were identified as contributing to poor maternal-child health in the US.

  1. A surge in the rate of premature births, unmatched in the past eight years
  2. Serious healthcare inequities and disparities in African-American and other marginalized populations
  3. A profound lack of early, universal access to healthcare, including prenatal care
  4. A rising maternal mortality worse than any other developed nation
  5. Increasing evidence of a maternity care provider workforce shortage
  6. An epidemic of maternal workplace stress and depression before, during and after pregnancy
  7. Lack of addressing need for parental leave

The Board of Directors was formed by Ginger Breedlove inviting 4 influential maternal health leaders with diverse nation-wide networks. The first formal Board of Directors meeting was held Nov. 21, 2016 and the board was established.

Board Officers and Members

Ginger Breedlove, President
13608 W 54th Street
Shawnee, KS 66216

Neel Shah, Vice-President
c/o Ariadne Labs Harvard University
401 Park Drive
Boston, MA 02215

Lesley Rathbun, Secretary
c/o Charleston Birth Place
9133 State Rd S-10-1224
North Charleston, SC 29406

Ebony Marcelle, Member
c/o DC Family Health and Birth Center
801 17th Street
NE Washington, D.C. 20009

Dawn Thompson, Member
c/o ImprovingBirth
270 N. El Camino Real #F434
Encinitas, CA 92024

Bylaws and Articles of Incorporation were drafted by Joseph Booth (in-house counsel) and Ginger Breedlove, and approved at the Nov 21st meeting.

In late November 2016, Joseph Booth filed KS Articles of Incorporation and Bylaws, followed by filing IRS 501(c)(3) application forms to organize as a non-profit/public charity entity. March for Moms Association works under Tax ED EIN #81-4352543. Acknowledgement of March for Moms Association non-exempt status was received on February 14, 2017. A bank account ‘dba’ March for Moms was opened in Shawnee, KS at Commerce Bank.

Founding Working Committee & Advisory Members to the Board was formed in January 2017 to include stakeholders that could assist in reaching multiple professional societies to join with united voice advocating for similar mission/vision. Founding Committee members included:
Joseph Booth
Lewis Booth
Reed Haynes
Cara Osborne
John Jennings
Judie Wika
Anayah Sangodele Ayoka
Cathy Ruhl
Kim Pekin
Kathleen Rice Simpson
Yuliya Labko
Rachelle Hansen
Carrie Murphy
Hermine Hayes-Klein
Amy Johnson-Grass
Jenny Joseph (Advisor)
Nicolle Gonzales (Advisor)
Christy Turlington Burns (Advisor)
Chanel Porchia-Albert (Advisor)

Monthly and semi-monthly meetings were held leading up to the Rally at the Thomas Jefferson Memorial. A website was designed via professional services, a 3-minute professional video launched the announcement to gain momentum, and a March for Moms Facebook page with over 2,000 Followers served as primary source of social media distribution and marketing.

Financial Support:

A Generosity account was established with contributions deposited directly into the Commerce Bank account. Total contributions from Generosity = $19,229.00 (minus $619.17 in Generosity Fees). Contributing Organizations and Associations provided financial support totaling $23,750.00. Total income for event funding, $42,979.00.

Partner Level (3-$5,000)
Frontier Nursing University
Baby + Co
DONA, Intl

Friends Level ($1,000 and in-kind work)
Every Mother Counts
Improving Birth
Lamaze Intl
March of Dimes
Square Roots
2020 Mom
National Coalition Maternal Mental Health
National Partnership for Women & Families
Moms Rising
National Birth Equity Collaborative
Black Mamas Matter
Our Bodies Ourselves
Center for Breastfeeding
National Advocates for Pregnant Women

Event Day Speakers included:
Ginger Breedlove, PhD, CNM, March for Moms (MFM), Board President
Dr. John Jennings, 65th President, ACOG (MFM Committee)
Jennie Joseph, CPM, Ex Dir Commonsense Childbirth Inc., MFM Advisor
Arica McKinnon – Family, sponsored by March of Dimes
Christy Turlington Burns, Every Mother Counts, Founder & CEO, MFM Advisor
Nicolle Gonzales, CNM, Ex Dir/Founder Changing Woman Initiative, MFM Advisor
Eugene Declercq, PhD, Boston University School of Public Health
Music – Lea Morris (guitar/vocals) Xaq Rothman (bass) Mairi Rothman (backup vocals)
Lesley Rathbun, CNM, President AABC, MFM Board Secretary
Chanel Porchia-Albert, CD, CLC, Founder Ancient Song Doula Services, MFM Advisor
Dawn Thompson, President/Founder Improving Birth, MFM Board Member
Lisa Kane Low, PhD, CNM, President American College of Nurse-Midwives
Jamie Mueller – Family sponsored by Lamaze Intl
Ebony Marcelle, CNM, Community of Hope DC Birth Center, MFM Board Member
Dr. Haywood Brown, 68th President of the ACOG
Music – Zoe Alexandratos (lead vocals) Lea Morris, Xaq Rothman (backup vocals)
Dr. Neel Shah, OB/GYN, Harvard Professor, Founder Costs of Care, March for Moms VP
Elizabeth Dawes Gay, MPH, Black Mamas Matter Alliance
Emily Drake, PhD, RN, President AWHONN
S. Nadia Hussain, Maternal Justice Campaign Director, MomsRising
David Monteith –UK Actor, Sponsored by Frontier Nursing University
WomenSpirit Singers, Mairi Breen Rothman, CNM, Director

The Friday before and Monday after Mother’s Day were designated as advocacy days. Visits were arranged with gratis assistance by Patrick Cooney, Principal of The Federalist Group. Over 100 individuals visited Hill offices over two days, advocating for five key legislative initiatives:

H.R.315 – Improving Access to Maternity Care Act
H.R.1174 – Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act of 2017
H.R.1318 – Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017
S.337 – FAMILY Act
S.25 – Right Start Child Care and Education Act of 2017

A Congressional Briefing sponsored by DONA Intl was held Monday afternoon to highlight critical issues facing moms, babies and families. Speakers included:

Yuliya Labko, Policy and Advocacy Dir, March for Moms
Ginger Breedlove, President, March for Moms
Cindy Pellegrini, March of Dimes
Jamie Belsito, National Maternal Mental Health Coalition
Vicki Shabo, National Partnership for Women and Families
Timoria McQueen Saba, Postpartum Support International (speaking on PPH)

The first March for Moms rally events concluded with various indicators of success. The NPS Police monitoring the Rally on the Jefferson Memorial estimated over 2,000 people engaged during the three-hour event. A live Facebook stream was broadcast to over 2,500 people. Several news outlets picked up the event including TV coverage from Florida, People magazine and ProPublica.

Legislative updates as of September 2017 include:

H.R.1628 – American Health Care Act of 2017
Awaiting vote in Senate-

H.R.315 – Improving Access to Maternity Care Act
Referred to Energy and Commerce in House prior to passing
Referred to Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions in Senate

H.R.1318 – Preventing Maternal Deaths Act of 2017 R
Referred to Energy and Commerce in House

S.337/H.R. 947 – FAMILY Act
Referred to Finance Committee in Senate
Referred to Ways and Means in House
*Has 27 co-sponsors in the Senate and 133 in the House who are all Democrat; needs Republican co-sponsors*

S.25 – Right Start Child Care and Education Act of 2017
Referred to Finance Committee in Senate
*Has two co-sponsors, both Democrat; needs Republican co-sponsor*

H.R.1174 – Fairness for Breastfeeding Mothers Act of 2017
Referred to Transportation and Infrastructure in House prior to passing
Referred to Environment and Public Works in Senate

Expenses associated with 2017 Rally $31,765.00
Balance after expenses paid in full $15,899.00

What’s Next?

The Board and key leadership debriefed and unanimously decided to plan a second rally in DC, the weekend before Mother’s Day, 2018. The National Park Service was contacted, and a permit was secured for May 6, 2018 on the main area of the National Mall, at 7th and Madison. The week from May 6th to Mother’s Day will be declared Maternal Health Awareness Week with a variety of events including the Rally, sister-city rallies with state specific advocacy recommendations, lobbying, a Congressional briefing, and engagement with businesses and employers to support mother’s during this week.

Ginger Breedlove, March for Moms Association, President
Approved by BOD 1/11/2018