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Col. Robin Neumeier, who serves as deputy commander of nurses at Martin Army Community Hospital has been honored by the American College of Nurse-Midwives as one of its newest fellows. The achievement was announced during the organization's 61st meeting May 26, in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The fellowship is an honor bestowed upon those midwives whose demonstrated leadership, clinical excellence, outstanding scholarship, and professional achievement have merited special recognition both within and outside of the midwifery profession, according to the ACNM official program, which recognizes Neumeier and other inducted fellows.
Neumeier said her selection came after being nominated and reviewed by a board at ACNM.
"You have to have certain qualities and things that you've done, both within your profession of being a midwife and things you've done to further the profession, such as educational contributions," Neumeier explained.
She said she was honored to be selected to the prestigious, yet rare honor.
"It's a very high honor. I was very privileged," she said. "Only about 10 percent of all the midwives are fellows. It's kind of like the Army's (Order of Military Medical Merit), but only for midwives."
Being selected as a fellow distinguishes Neumeier from many of her midwifery peers.
"A limited number of midwives are selected for this highly coveted distinction and are inducted as fellows during the ACNM Annual Meeting & Exhibition each year. Once inducted, a fellow is able to add "FACNM" to their credentials," the ACNM article explained.
Neumeier said her responsibility along with the other fellows, is to ensure that the college is going the way that they want it to go, thus ensuring that others are well educated on the ins and outs of midwifery.
"We participate on a lot of the board activities to make sure that when we continue to grow other midwives, that we have a vision and all of our goals are lining up with that vision, as well," she explained. "We also look at the packets of anyone coming into this field and review the packets to see if they're meeting the qualities of a midwife that we want to recognize as fellows.
"For the military, I try to break it down so that the people who are non-military board members can understand and I translate the military terms in relation to the civilian terms. The majority of the board members are not military and a lot of times they may not understand something related to the military, so they may just skip over it because they had no clue," Neumeier continued.
She said they may look at the military acronyms and say, "that's a lot of letters and that's cute," without fully understanding what they mean. She added that the reviewing of the packets is really for the midwives who are prospective fellows.
"My other job within the ACNM is that I sit on American Certification Midwifery Board. Within the AMBC, I am on the exam committee that writes the test, so we write the test questions to make sure that people are able to pass the test. It sets the standards for them. It's a high-stakes exam," Neumeier said.
She pointed out that twice a year, she travels to Maryland to sit with 13 other midwives from across the country and they collectively write test questions for three consecutive days. She also added that a statistician is on board to ensure that the questions are valid.
Neumeier said her vision for the Nurse-Midwifery field includes progress and growth.
"So, we continue to grow and we desire to always provide outstanding care to all women and children," she said. "We're really pushing to make sure that we have that same respect and collaboration with our obstetrician, because our ultimate goal is providing outstanding obstetric care. We do a good job and we have a great relationship here at Martin Army.
Neumeier pointed out that, without including herself, there is a midwifery service at the hospital that includes a three active-duty service members and one civilian employee.
"Midwives rock," she said.