International Connections Among Midwives


  • Joyce E. Thompson cnm, drph, faan, facnm

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    • Dr. Joyce Beebe Thompson began her midwifery career as a missionary in southern Chile. She has practiced and taught midwifery for over three decades, working in Latin America, Africa, and the United States. Educated in nursing, midwifery, public health, and ethics, Dr. Thompson combines these interests in advocating for the basic human rights for women and childbearing families throughout the world, including the right to safe, competent, high quality, compassionate health care. She was president of the ACNM from 1989–1993, deputy director of the International Confederation of Midwives (ICM) from 1993–1999, and currently is the director of the ICM Board of Management (1999–2001). In Fall 2000, Dr. Thompson was named as one of two representatives from the Americas to the World Health Organization's Global Advisory Group on Nursing and Midwifery to the Secretary General of WHO, Geneva. She currently is a Professor at the University of Pennsylvania School of Nursing and Associate Dean for Graduate Studies and Professional Development, Director of the Health Leadership MSN program, Director of the WHO/PAHO Collaborating Center for Nursing & Midwifery Leadership, and Director of the Women's Health Projects in Malawi and Uganda, East Africa.

University of Pennsylvania, School of Nursing, Philadelphia, PA 19104-6096.


Women's health throughout the world is adversely affected by low status and literacy, poor nutrition, environmental toxins, violence, and other social, cultural, and economic factors. The majority of maternal deaths and disability occur in the developing nations of the world, such as Africa, where being born female is often a tragedy. The International Confederation of Midwives and the American College of Nurse-Midwives have nearly a century of commitment to making pregnancies and births safer and women's lives better. The shared vision of women as persons who are due full human rights guides the efforts of nurses and midwives in their global efforts of working with women and childbearing families and promoting health for all.