Oral History | Closing out WHO’s 2020 Year of the Nurse and the Midwife

Of 2020’s many unanticipated events, that the World Health Organization’s declared this year as the Year of the Nurse and the Midwife is striking for it’s poignancy and importance. Nurses and healthcare workers are more than “essential.”

Enfermera con Rolos” by NYC-based artist Tony Peralta was issued as a t-shirt to raise funds for COVID relief and featured in color on the Manhattan Times. The line drawing can be downloaded as a coloring page for kids and adults.

The Oral History Archives at Columbia (OHAC) has a number of interviews related to nursing and midwifery:

Ruth Watson Lubic was born in 1927 in Bristol, Pennsylvania. She received a degree in nursing from the University of Pennsylvania and received a midwifery certificate from the Maternity Center Association’s School of Nurse Midwifery in 1962. Working with the Maternity Center Association, Lubic helped open the Childbearing Center (CBC) in Manhattan in 1975. At the time, this dedicated center, staffed by nurse midwives was seen as a radical departure from the prevailing practice of in-hospital births. To better aid communities underserved by the healthcare system, a second center was opened in the South Bronx in 1988. In 1993, Lubic received a MacArthur Fellowship or “Genius Grant.” She used the award to establish the Developing Families Center in Washington, DC. The organization strives to provide healthcare and social services to underserved mothers and children.

Midwives and nurses, we salute you, we support you and we are grateful for your service to communities across the globe.