Group Health Cooperative board approves the hiring of 10 midwives on April 27, 1983.

  • By HistoryLink Staff
  • Posted 12/14/2005
  • Essay 7574
On April 27, 1983, the Group Health Cooperative Board of Trustees approves the hiring of 10 midwives on a permanent basis. The Group Health Women's Caucus first proposed the use of natural childbirth and trained midwives as a form of alternative care in 1977. In August of that year, 270 babies were born in Group Health's delivery rooms.

In response to the Women's Caucus proposal, the Board of Trustees authorized a Midwifery Task Force, which began work in early 1978. In July 1978, the board authorized the Midwifery Project, a two-year pilot program coordinated by Cathy Carr at Eastside Hospital.

In April 1983, the board evaluated the pilot program, found it effective, and approved the permanent hiring of midwives.

Sources: Walt Crowley, To Serve the Greatest Number: A History of Group Health Cooperative of Puget Sound (Seattle: UW Press/Group Health, 1996), 156, 178.

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