The Association of Ontario Midwives

The Association of Ontario Midwives

Association of Ontario Midwives honours those who enrich and champion the profession of midwifery

TORONTO, April 15, 2016 – The Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM) is very pleased to announce the award winners who will be honoured at their 32nd Annual General Meeting and Conference being held at the White Oaks Resort in Niagara-on-the-Lake from May 16-18.

This year’s awards are being presented in three categories: Lifetime Achievement, Media and Hospital Integration.

Toronto midwife Christine Sternberg is the winner of the AOM’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Sternberg has been a teaching midwife and clinical educator for more than 35 years. She is one of the founders and a senior practice partner of Riverdale Community Midwives, was an instructor in the Midwifery Education Program (MEP) at Ryerson University, and was an early innovator of evidence-based medicine and client-centred care.

In particular, she pushed forward the evidence on the safety of vaginal birth after caesarean section (VBAC), leading the way in VBAC practice in Ontario. She was an early champion of midwifery-led birth centres, and organized a program that provided midwifery care for incarcerated women.

“I feel really privileged to have found work that I am passionate about and that feels like important work to be doing.  I am very pleased and humbled to have been chosen for this award and am reminded of the unique and varied contributions of every single midwife in our amazing community and of all of those who, in various ways, support the work we do,” says Sternberg.

An Aboriginal Peoples Television Network (APTN) Chaos and Courage episode about the resurgence of Aboriginal midwifery and the importance of bringing birth back to Indigenous communities has won the Media Award. The episode was directed by Ava Karvonen and written by Tihemme Gagnon.

“There’s a resurgence of moving birth back into communities in the north because for so long women have been going down south and leaving all that ritual that’s associated with birth and not having the support of family. So it was really important to tell that part of the story about bringing birth back to communities with the support of midwifery,” says Karvonen.

Michael Garron Hospital (previously Toronto East General Hospital) has been selected for the Hospital Integration Award. This award is presented to an Ontario hospital that demonstrates excellence in successfully integrating midwives into its organization. Michael Garron Hospital has a Department of Midwifery (which includes a voting seat on the Medical Advisory Committee) and midwives who have privileges at the hospital are actively involved in decision-making and policy development and work to their full scope of practice.

“We are honoured and thrilled to receive this award for 2016.  At MGH we support innovative and collaborative ways of delivering care that support patient choice and involvement in decision making.  We know that high quality maternal and newborn care is the foundation for a healthy beginning for babies and their families. And we are truly delighted to have the midwifery team as partners in ensuring service excellence to our community,” says Linda Young, Director of Maternal Newborn Child, Mental Health, Interprofessional Practice and Organizational Learning at Michael Garron Hospital.

To set up interviews with award winners or to attend conference sessions, please contact:

Jill-Marie Burke
Communications Officer, Association of Ontario Midwives
416-425-9974 x2257 or jill-marie.burke@aom.on.ca