Colleen Donovan-Batson is an Army veteran, widow of an Army veteran, and mother to an Air Force captain. Colleen has two other grown children and three grandchildren, and comes from a long line of service members, including her grandfather who served in WWI shortly after immigrating to the US from Budapest.
Colleen was in one of the last units of the Women’s Army Corps, and served during the Cold War era as a helicopter mechanic at Ft Campbell Ky from 1978-1981. Upon her honorable discharge, she married and started a family before pursuing a nursing degree at California State University Sacramento, followed by training as a nurse practitioner and certified nurse midwife at San Jose State University, also in CA. She later received a master’s degree in midwifery from Philadelphia University.
Early in her career, Colleen developed an educational track for nurses to train as midwives in order to decrease the high pre-term birth and teen pregnancy rates in Kern county, CA. She has served on the faculty of both direct entry and nurse midwifery programs, and as a preceptor for nurse midwifery distance learning midwifery programs. Colleen is active in state and national midwifery organizations, promoting unity in the midwifery profession. She currently serves as the director of the Midwives Alliance of North America’s Division of Health Policy and Advocacy, and is a council member of the International Confederation of Midwives.
Colleen is a service connected disabled veteran, and advocates for veteran survivors of Military Sexual Trauma (MST) with various organizations, including VetWow, Protect Our Defenders, and has lobbied Capitol Hill with Service Women’s Action Network. She is a Greyshirt with Team Rubicon, and a member of their international medical team.
The number of women veterans with a history of MST is growing, and the majority are of childbearing age. A good deal of literature supports the observation that women with trauma histories achieve better outcomes at birth when attended by midwives. Colleen aims to increase access to community midwifery care for both servicemembers and veterans.