TORONTO, May 16, 2012 /CNW/ - As a working midwife with more than 30 years of involvement in the childbirth and midwifery community, Lisa Weston brings valuable experience and leadership to her new role as 10th president of the Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM). One of her first goals is to continue to bring attention to the growing pay equity gap between midwifery compensation (a female profession caring for women) and comparable providers.
"Midwives earn between $80,000 and $104,000, falling well below the average salary for a physician in a community health centre, despite the fact that midwives provide primary care and are on-call 24-7. The wage parity gap between midwives and comparable professions jeopardizes the ability of Ontario to retain every midwife trained in the province," says Lisa Weston, incoming President of the Association of Ontario Midwives (AOM). "Midwives didn't get a pay increase for eleven years, from 1994 to 2005, and have never caught up with the increases given to other comparable health care professionals."
A founding partner of Sages-Femmes Rouge Valley Midwives, Weston has worked as a registered midwife since 2003. Prior to becoming a midwife, Weston worked as both a childbirth educator and a doula and was involved in the provincial Healthy Babies, Healthy Children program. Her interest in midwifery began through her own experience as a client - two of Weston's four children were born at home with midwives.
Weston will commence her term as AOM president at this year's Annual General Meeting and Conference, held May 15-17 in Toronto.
About Midwifery in Ontario
There are more than 550 registered midwives in Ontario, serving communities in 85 clinics across the province. Midwives have privileges at most Ontario hospitals. Since midwifery became a regulated health profession in 1994, almost 130,000 babies have been born under midwifery care, including more than almost 30,000 births at home.
A midwife is a registered health care professional who provides primary care to women with low-risk pregnancies. Midwives provide care throughout pregnancy, labour and birth and provide care to both mother and baby during the first six weeks following the birth.
The Association of Ontario Midwives is the professional organization representing midwives and the profession of midwifery in Ontario.
Image with caption: "Midwife Lisa Weston is the incoming president of the Association of Ontario Midwives. Here she cradles baby Isaac Francisco at Sages-Femmes Rouge Valley Midwives, the Scarborough midwifery practice she helped found. Weston will commence her term at the association's Annual General Meeting and Conference being held in Toronto this week. (CNW Group/Association of Ontario Midwives)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120516_C7884_PHOTO_EN_13767.jpg
For further information:
Joanna Zuk, Communications Manager
Association of Ontario Midwives