Letter Template, Talking Points

Here is a letter template you can print and post or copy/paste into your email client and send to the following addresses. Feel free to add, subtract, multiply, and divide any of the points to your liking! Thanks for your support

We are not getting response from either of the contacts we have access to, and have been informed that they are not required to give out information on how to appeal to their Board of Directors. Our option for navigating this for now is to send letters through Jana Waterman and David Butler addressed for the Board specifically until we can gather more information.

E-mail correspondence
Board of Directors at McKenzie Willamette Medical Center
C/O dbutler@qhcus.com CEO
C/O jwaterman@qhcus.com Marketing Director

Post correspondence

Board of Directors at MWMC
McKenzie Willamette Medical Center
1460 G St
Springfield, OR 97477

Dear Board Members,  

I am writing in regards to the abrupt announcement to shutter McKenzie Willamette Midwifery and Lactation Services. This Midwifery service has been operable for just three years and has provided valuable services to the community since its inception. They are a unique practice that is unrivaled in Eugene-Springfield and which has brought positive attention to MWMC within the birthing community.  

The McKenzie Midwives are one of only two in-hospital midwifery service providing 24/7 coverage in Eugene-Springfield. They provide in and out-patient lactation services for their patients and the broader community, as well as contraceptive care, well-woman care, comprehensive postpartum care and medical termination services. These attributes combined with their attentive patient care has no comparable alternative in he community. In addition, McKenzie Midwives were the only practice to sign an agreement to care for clients of the Lane County Public Health Charnelton Prenatal Clinic when they closed in 2021.  

This closure is in direct opposition to all recommendations from the CDC, the WHO, the White House, and the UN, all of whom recognize midwives as integral to a high quality maternity care system. In fact, the evidence shows that better integration of midwives into health systems is fundamental to reducing primary and maternity care shortages and to addressing racial, ethnic and  geographic health inequalities (Edmonds, 2020. Annals of Global Health). If you are unaware, we are currently facing a maternal mortality crisis, with maternal mortality rates well above that of every other high income country, and our black, Latina and Indigenous women suffer even higher rates on average than whites. Midwifery care is associated with improved quality of care and rapid and sustained reductions in maternal mortality and infant mortality (WHO).  

By accepting low-income vulnerable patients from the Charnelton Clinic (something none of the  group OB/Gyn practices were willing to do) regardless of ability to pay, the McKenzie Midwives filled an immediate public health gap that may have left these families at risk of receiving no prenatal/newborn care. The McKenzie Midwives have demonstrated a commitment to providing equitable care to our community and working to reduce disparities in access to care.  

Furthermore, owing to the work of McKenzie Midwives, nursing leadership and Dr. Jess Versage, MWMC L&D became the first hospital to join the Oregon Perinatal Collaborative’s Oregon Community Birth Transfer Partnership (OCBTP). The OCBTP is a joint partnership between area hospitals and community birth providers practicing at home and in free-standing birth centers.  The  aim is to improve the transfer experience from community to hospital based care for the patients and all providers. One year into this partnership, a systematic evaluation of survey data demonstrates overwhelmingly positive patient experiences transferring to the McKenzie Midwives. Midwife to midwife transfers provide the highest degree of safety and satisfaction for community members choosing to birth out of hospital.  

Oregon is a pro-choice state and this is more critical than ever. The McKenzie Midwives offered safe, respectful access to medical abortion and contraceptive care. The ability to choose when and if to give birth is critical to the health and well-being of women and families. Those most vulnerable families found access to these services in a trusted environment.  

By closing this practice you are turning away from what is best for the health of women and babies in this community, ignoring inequitable maternal mortality rates, and disregarding public demand for the ability to choose midwifery care on a continuum. There is not an alternative in this community. Currently two free-standing birth centers staffed by CNMs exist in Springfield, however they are not privileged at MWMC and could not possibly absorb the volume of patients that will be abandoned when McKenzie Midwifery closes, even IF all of them were candidates for out of hospital birth.   

Profit is not, nor has it ever been, what makes a hospital successful. Rather, reputation, built on providing person-centered, respectful, safe, equitable and individualized care breeds success. I urge you to put patients and our community before profits and reinstate the McKenzie Midwifery and Lactation Services immediately.   


Talking points to consider adding:

When a birthing person has a good experience in a hospital, they will talk about it within the community. The positive experience impacts the bottom line, and benefits the hospital financially.  [Financial gain is important to talk about!]

Access to hospital midwifery care is essential to the health of our birthing communities. Reducing options for pregnant people in our community, due to short-term profit, is devastating. 

McKenzie Midwives are a team of kind, compassionate midwives who offer midwifery care in a hospital setting, the best of both worlds. They provide women and birthing people options supportive to achieving a low intervention births, such as access to water birth and more. 

This will negatively impact the patient transfer process from home or birth center community midwives to hospital care. Women and pregnant people who plan a home birth with a CPM will no longer be able to access CNM co-care through the McKenzie Midwives, which is devastating for those who need medication, or other forms of medical care outside of the CPM scope. Those families will have to find an OB for co-care, one who is supportive to home birth, who will not shame, judge or dismiss the home birth community. The OBs in our community are already filled to the brim. 

There are two birth centers in town with CNMs, but those birth centers can only take so many patients, they only support low risk people, and they do not offer the same kind of medical care one can receive from a hospital setting.

To support the health of our birthing community, prenatal, childbirth, and postpartum care options must be abundant, therefor this decision is an attack on the community.

please spread the news

Save Our Midwives! Contact Mckenzie-Willamette Med Center to help our voices be heard.

Brand new CEO David Butler : dbutler@qhcus.com 541 726 4402

Jana Waterman VPbuisness development/marketing : jwaterman@qhcus.com 541 744 6167 and 541 912 6659

note that messages are to be forwarded / are intended for the mwmc board of directors

Area Mayors to Contact >>> Lucy Vinis lvinis@eugene-or.gov and Sean Vangordon svangordon@springfield-or.gov