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Image 9 of Frontier Nursing Service, Vol. 81, No. 1, Summer/September 2005

Part of Frontier Nursing Service Quarterly Bulletins

QUARTERLY BULLETIN 7 l T FNS 80th Year Celebration Update - Contd V The Early Years and Where We Are Today by Jane Leigh Powell, Chairman of Board of Governors The following are excerpts from a presentation by Jane Leigh l Powell at the June 13, 2005 80th Celebration Reception held r at the Renaissance Mayflower Hotel in Washington, D. C. Parts of this presentation were taken jrom FNS Quarterly Bulletins. l Welcome to the celebration honoring the 80th anniversary of an extraordinary organization. In gathering my thoughts on what to say, l was drawn to the very beginning of the FNS and how it is that were here 80 years later. l "Notwithstanding the advanced public health work done in many parts ofthe United States, which has resulted in the prolongation of human life and greatly decreased mortality from preventable disease, statistics show that our mortality from childbirth is higher than in any other civilized country. The sixteen other countries that have lower death rates have no better medical and nursing l service than ours, but they all have what we conspicuously lack, a } large body of qualified midwives, trained and supervised. Although we also use midwives for about thirty percent of our confine- ments, we have not brought them abreast ofthe times except in one or two ofthe large cities. So that while we could not conceive of eighteenth century surgery for our young soldiers, we continue to supply eighteenth century obstetrics to our young mothers and have lost more women in childbirth in our history as a nation than men on the field of battle, and over a hundred thousand of our youngest and most defenseless citizens pass annually from one k dark cradle to another with hardly a gap between. t The same system that has effected such marked reductions in the _ maternal and infant death rate in other countries, viz: that of sub- stituting trained and supervised midwives for untrained ones, could effectively be used in meeting the needs in our isolated rural ar- i eas, especially as carried out in Great Britain with its similar lan- guage and traditions.

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