Elsie Cressman Award

The Elsie Cressman Award is about annually recognizing an Ontario midwife or group of midwives who have successfully initiated an innovative and client-centred local or group midwifery project in the past five years.

Named after Elsie Cressman, Order of Ontario winner and groundbreaking midwife, the award honours Elsie's spirit of always exploring the possible. Born in 1923, graduating with a degree in science from Goshen Mennonite College in the 1940s, Elsie worked in Tanzania as a nurse in a leprosarium. At the age of 40, Cressman went to London, England to train as a midwife. She returned to Canada to practice for more than 20 years, attending thousands of births in St. Jacobs. In the '80s Elsie worked as a nurse in hospital while acting as a home birth midwife for the families in her community. When asked why she was willing to practice in this tenuous legal environment, she replied, “the women made me." That spirit of dedication to client-centred care makes Ms. Cressman the ideal namesake for this award.

Click here to see a list of previous winners.


Nominees for this award should have:

  • Initiated a midwifery project (may be local or global) within the past five years that enhances client-centred care and is responsive to community needs. Specifically, the project should further at least one of the principles of Ontario midwifery of informed choice, continuity of care and choice of birthplace.
  • Used innovation in delivery of midwifery care with this project.
  • Succeeded in achieving objectives of their project which have resulted in benefits to the community.

Current AOM members in good standing can submit nominations for this award, including self-nominations. Current AOM Board members and AOM employees are ineligible.

Nomination Criteria

Nominations for this award will be reviewed based on the following criteria. Please provide as much information as you can about each of the four criteria, including concrete examples. Each nomination will be scored out of 100.

  1. Project has been developed with a focus on providing client-centred midwifery care. Explain how this project demonstrates a focus on providing client-centred midwifery care. (Weight: 25 marks)
  2. Project demonstrates innovation in delivery of client-centred midwifery care. Describe the innovation in practice, model, organization, technology, process or service used within the project to enhance the delivery of client centred midwifery care. (Weight: 25 marks)
  3. Project has been successful in meeting stated objectives. Outline the stated objectives of the project as well as the tools that were used to measure whether or not the objectives were achieved. Provide results related to the outcomes related to the measures that were monitored to identify if the stated objectives were achieved. (Weight: 25 marks)
  4. Project has had a positive impact on the community. Explain how this project has had a positive impact on the community. (Weight: 25 marks)

Nomination Process

Nominations must be received by the AOM by 5:00 p.m. on Monday, January 11, 2021. The AOM Awards Task Force will review nominations and recommend an award recipient to the Board of Directors, which will make the final selection. Awards will be presented at the Ontario Midwifery Conference in April 2021.

To be considered, each section of the nomination form must be completed, including:

  • Nominee information
  • Nominator & seconder information
  • Explanation of how the individual meets the criteria for this award

Nominations can be completed online or emailed to Diana MacNab.