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10th District lawmaker is long-standing member of House Health Care and Wellness Committee

A bill sponsored by Rep. Barbara Bailey that will remove barriers in the state’s health care system and empower midwives and nurses was signed into law yesterday. Bailey joined the governor for the signing of House Bill 2186 (pictured below).

Licensed midwives provide medical care to women during prenatal, intrapartum and post-partum stages. House Bill 2186 will allow registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to perform certain tasks at the direction of a licensed midwife. For example, registered nurses and licensed practical nurses will be allowed to execute medical regimens, including administering medications, treatments, tests, and inoculations.

“This bill is about removing barriers in our health care system and empowering midwives and nurses in their professions. It will allow registered nurses and licensed practical nurses to perform tasks directed by licensed midwives,” said Bailey, and a long-standing member of House Health Care and Wellness Committee. “This ultimately comes down to what is best for the patient. I believe this bill will increase access to quality and affordable maternity care – especially in rural areas.”

“This bill is a terrific development,” said Audrey Levine, a licensed midwife in Olympia and president of the Midwives Association of Washington State. “It increases options for childbearing families and creates opportunities for greater professional collaboration between midwives and nurses.”

Bailey credits a constituent with bringing the idea to her attention and introducing the concept to the legislative process.

“I have always said that the best ideas come from constituents – and this is a shining example,” said Bailey, R-Oak Harbor. “Cynthia Jaffe deserves the credit. She came to me with a great idea, we worked on it throughout the summer, and I was honored to help usher it through the Legislature.”  

House Bill 2186 passed the House of Representatives on a 95-0 vote, and passed the Senate on a 49-0 vote. 

The 2012 legislative session is scheduled to adjourn today, March 8.


EHB 2186

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Contact: John Handy, Deputy Communications Director, (360) 786-5758