MANA Stats Update

November 2, 2020


Dear MANA Members and the Midwifery Community,

The mission of the Midwives Alliance of North America is “to unite, strengthen, support and advocate for the midwifery community and to promote educational, economic, and cultural sustainability of the midwifery profession”.  The MANA Board wants to take this opportunity to address recent statements from the MANA Stats Director of Data Collection, the former interim MANA Stats project manager, and other signed parties regarding events of the past year to give the midwifery community a broader understanding of the issues involved.

We know that everyone involved wants what is best for the MANA organization, the MANA Statistics project and what will best support the sustainability of the midwifery profession.  Specifically, we want to approach this dilemma with a belief that we hold the shared values of transparency and collaboration.

We would like to address the allegations made in the open letters received October 27/28, 2020, from the MANA Stats Director of Data Collection and former interim project manager.  Over the past year, the MANA Board has done due diligence in seeking clear communication and a transparent transition plan for the MANA Statistics project.  The board has interviewed volunteers and potential staff members who were interested in moving the project forward and has given all information in complete transparency to the interim project manager.  The Director of Data Collection met, by request, with the board in mid-May to discuss the ongoing transition plan.  That meeting appeared to be collaborative and no major concerns were identified nor proposals given.  Multiple attempts to communicate with them after that meeting were met with no response.  By the end of July, a continued lack of response from the MANA Stats interim project manager to our requests for a transition plan resulted in a board decision, by consensus, to remove them from the position as interim project manager.

During this period of time, the board continued to receive communications from the midwives needing to start new accounts or update existing accounts and all of them expressed concern that they were not able to get anyone from the MANA Stats support team to respond to them despite multiple attempts.  These communications were always forwarded to the interim project manager prior to their removal who gave the board assurance that they were being addressed, regardless of the reality of what the midwives were telling us they were experiencing.

The MANA Statistics project belongs to the Midwives Alliance of North America and as such, the board is considering options that serve the midwifery community and ultimately, the birthing families we serve. Information is being gathered from a multitude of experts on the future of data, how to protect contributors, and how to extend the reach of the project beyond the midwifery community.

The MANA Board welcomes input from the midwifery community related to the next phase of the MANA Stats project.  We feel an urgency to develop a transparent plan with a clear governance structure and collaborative access to the database. We are taking action towards these goals and to establish direct communication with the MANA Statistics Director of Data Collection.

Towards Unity,

The MANA Board
Sarita Bennett, President
Tomasina Oliver, Vice President
Renata Hillman, Secretary
Deb Sahlstom, Treasurer
Wendi Cleckner, Director of Advocacy 
Sarah Foster, Director of Organizational Development
Yesenia Guzman, Director of Professional Development
Lori Gibson, Director of Events


Click here for PDF version of this letter.


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