Archived Messages from AWHONN on COVID-19

UPDATE: April 8, 2020 – Coronavirus Mortality Rates Higher for African Americans

Health officials are now citing evidence that the coronavirus is resulting in higher mortality rates in the African American community. We already know that maternal mortality rates are also disproportionately higher as well for this community. We hope that this data begins a new era of awareness of healthcare inequities  and that proper solutions can be identified and addressed.  Please share what you are seeing in the field and post any thoughts you have about what you feel are the best solutions.

UPDATE: March 12, 2020 

Notice about cancelation of AWHONN on Capitol Hill 2020

AWHONN HQ staff were looking forward to seeing nearly 100 AWHONN members at our annual advocacy day on March 29-31, 2020 in Washington, DC.  Due to the many responses received from members concerning their employers restricting travel, a decision has been made to convert the event this year to a Virtual Hill Day. In addition, House and Senate offices are declining requests for appointments due to concern about COVID-19.

All of those who registered will be issued a refund within 30 days.  We encourage you to contact the Phoenix Park Hotel at (202) 638-6900 to cancel your lodging reservations, and to contact your individual airline to cancel air travel.

We know you are committed to caring for women and babies and acknowledge you need to stay close to home to answer the call. All appointments with your elected officials will be converted to virtual (phone) meetings. Please stay tuned in the upcoming weeks for news about this virtual event and feel free to email staff at with any questions.

On behalf of Becky Cypher, MSN, PNNP, President, the Board of Directors and staff, please accept our sincere thank you for your commitment and dedication to AWHONN.

UPDATE: March 11, 2020 

AWHONN’s Position on Doulas with Patients During COVID-19

AWHONN recognizes that doula services contribute to the woman’s preparation for and support during childbirth and opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula during a woman’s active labor.

“Doulas are not visitors and should not be blocked from caring for patients in the antepartum, intrapartum and postpartum period.  Most doulas have been contracted by patients weeks to months ahead of time and have established provider relationships.  They are recognized by AWHONN and ACOG as essential personnel and part of the maternity care team,” said AWHONN member Nancy Travis, MS, BSN, RN, BC, CPN, CBC, Florida Section Chair.

AWHONN supports doulas as partners in care and acknowledges their ability to provide physical, emotional, and partner support to women.  AWHONN opposes hospital policies that restrict the presence of a doula in the inpatient setting during an infectious disease outbreak.  Read more about AWHONN’s position on continuous labor support for every woman here.

UPDATE: March 10, 2020 

AWHONN on Capitol Hill COVID‐19 Statement

AWHONN headquarters is concerned by the COVID‐19 situation and are monitoring updates closely. With less than 3 weeks to go until our annual Hill Day event, we hope that the situation can be managed. At this point we do not plan to postpone or cancel the event. The only travel advisories issued thus far involve international travel, and the CDC’s prevention information only recommends avoiding travel if you are ill.

We understand that some participants have had to cancel due to travel restrictions enacted by their employer.  If you have registered to attend and are now unable, please let us know by emailing staff at We appreciate your patience and continued commitment to the event.  We vow to continue to monitor and evaluate the situation and have set Thursday, March 12 as the next status review date. In the meantime, we continue our work to make the 2020 AWHONN on Capitol Hill a great experience for all.

UPDATE: March 9, 2020 

The coronavirus (COVID-19) is creating a fair amount of uncertainty regarding the everyday health and travel practices for members, families, and the patients we care for daily. We want our members to remain vigilant, well-informed, and healthy. Therefore we recommend members closely monitor updates and advisories from the Centers for Disease Control, the World Health Organization and state health departments. Our colleagues at the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists have written a practice advisory related to caring for our obstetric patients and we encourage our members to access this free resource. At this time, in-person meetings, such as our annual convention and AWHONN on Capitol Hill, are not being canceled. As the situation continues to evolve, AWHONN will continue to keep members updated via our website, Member Central, and Facebook. We encourage you to check back often for updates as we work through this very difficult situation.”

Rebecca Cypher, MSN, PNNP, President

  • 2021 Convention Program Committee Meeting – POSTPONED
  • AWHONN Board of Directors March Meeting – VIRTUAL
  • AWHONN on Capitol Hill – CANCELED and will be rescheduled as virtual event. Please see our message below.
  • Fetal Heart Monitoring Task Force – POSTPONED
  • Colorado Section Conference – CANCELED
  • Kansas Section Conference – CANCELED
  • Michigan Section Conference – CANCELED
  • Minnesota Section Conference – CANCELED
  • North Carolina Section Conference – CANCELED
  • Oklahoma Section Conference – CANCELED
  • Rhode Island Section Conference – POSTPONED; rescheduled to May 21, 2020
  • Santa Barbara/Ventura Counties & LA Valley AWHONN Chapter Conference – POSTPONED
  • Southern Arizona Chapter Conference – CANCELED
  • Syracuse Chapter Conference – POSTPONED; rescheduled to April 22, 2021
  • Tennessee, Alabama and Mississippi Sections Joint Regional Conference – CANCELED
  • Utah Section Conference – POSTPONED; rescheduled to September 24-25, 2020
  • West Virginia Section Conference – CANCELED