Heather Clarke, CNM, APRN, DNP, FACNM
Heather Clarke earned her undergraduate degree from State University of New York, Downstate. She obtained a Masters in Nursing with a specialty in Midwifery from Columbia University and a Doctor of Nursing Practice degree from Frontier Nursing University. For most of her career, Dr. Clarke has combined her love of clinical practice with that of teaching nurse-midwifery students. In the past, she has worked as an assistant professor in the nurse-midwifery educational programs at Columbia University and SUNY Downstate. She joined the faculty of Frontier Nursing University in 2012 and now serves as the course coordinator for the professional role of the nurse-midwife.
Over the years, Dr. Clarke has seen the scope of practice for nurse-midwives expand to include more prevention. She believes that the opportunities for new graduates to become actively engaged in policy change, advocacy and legislation continue to grow, making this an exciting time to enter the profession. Despite her positive outlook, Dr. Clarke remains disturbed at the persistent racial, ethnic and economic disparities that place the most vulnerable members of the population at risk for poor maternal and child outcomes. Her specialty is in preconception health combined with pre and perinatal psychology and trauma. Dr. Clarke views these practice models as a means to increase providers understanding of how a life cycle of stress and trauma beginning in utero can assist women and families to combat these persistent health disparities. Dr. Clarke’s DNP capstone project focused on the development of an intergenerational preconception curriculum to help at-risk women learn how to overcome and build resiliency to the social and racial stressors that increase their risk for poor birth outcomes. She is proud to serves as the ACNM representative on the Center for Disease Control Preconception Clinical Workgroup. Dr. Clarke believes that the area of preconception is largely uncharted territory which CNMs and other APRNs are well suited to be experts leading the way to improve poor birth outcomes.
In addition to her academic responsibilities, Dr. Clarke has served on a number of ACNM committees including a past chairperson of the midwives of color committee, co-chair of the student and new graduate committee and a member the US MERA steering committee. She currently serves as a board member of the Association to Advance Black Birth (NAABB) and the Association of Pre and Perinatal Psychology and Health (APPPAH) where she hopes to create a model of care that will address pre and perinatal trauma and experiences that can impact birth outcomes and the development of fetal origins of physical and psychological disease.