Saftner receives premier award from American College of Nurse-Midwives

May 30, 2019

Clinical Assistant Professor Melissa SaftnerClinical Assistant Professor Melissa Saftner, PhD, APRN, CNM, FACNM, was awarded the Kitty Ernst Award by the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). The premier award, known as the Whippersnapper Award, honors an exceptional nurse-midwife who has been certified for less than 10 years and who has demonstrated innovative, creative endeavors in midwifery and/or women’s health clinical practice, education, administration or research.

“Midwives, faculty colleagues and students turn to her because she is trusted, compassionate and does the right thing no matter the situation,” said Clinical Associate Professor Debbie Ringdahl, DNP, CNM, RN. “She demonstrates honesty, integrity, intelligence and clarity in her interactions with others, which promotes trust among her colleagues and students. Her work ethic, commitment to the nurse-midwifery profession and leadership skills are exemplar.”

In addition to being a clinical associate professor, Saftner is a certified nurse-midwife at Essentia Health in Duluth, Minnesota. She was the first nurse-midwife to be hired by one of the two large health systems in Duluth. She is a member of the ACNM Clinical Standards and Documents committee and is vice-president of the Minnesota's Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives.

Saftner’s research focus in on adolescent health issues and physiologic birth, and she is peer reviewer for five professional journals. She has been a champion for certified midwives in Minnesota, working with midwives and physicians to promote the certified midwives credential in the state. 

“Her knowledge of policy, scope of practice and ability to advocate for midwives makes her the perfect person to represent our profession,” said Ringdahl.

“Missy sincerely believes that every woman deserves a midwife and I firmly believe that our state will be better able to care for women because of Missy’s advocacy.”

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