Thank you! Thank you for choosing us. Thank you for trusting us. Thank you for sharing your births, your families, your most precious tiny babies and your most spectacular moments with us. Thank you for giving to us and for coming back to us. We are truly humbled by our amazing and generous community.
“I will never forget our first appointment back after our delivery at UNMH… [Tracy] said to us, “Welcome home!” I’ll never forget it, because after returning from the hospital, Dar a Luz was home for us.”
Dar a Luz Birth & Health Center has been fortunate to serve this community for over 12 years. We have joyfully attended nearly 1,500 births at the center and have cared for nearly 3,000 families! During this time, we have seen very minimal increases to our insurance reimbursements while, along with 15% inflation of equipment, supplies, medication, and general overhead, everything is more expensive.
For calendar year 2023, we are facing a financial deficit of $300,000. Because of this, Dar a Luz is in jeopardy and at risk of closing at the end of 2024. But we have time, we are careful financial stewards, and we are doing multiple incredible support offerings to stay in business! In addition to current insurance contract re-negotiations and future addition of new, much needed services, we are reaching out to you, our community, for support and assistance. We need you as part of our winning team to make this a reality. We can’t shut our doors to future beautiful families like yours. Please read this request in its entirety and be one of our heroes.
- Every year more labor and delivery units in smaller hospitals shut down across the nation.
- Severe maternity care provider shortages have resulted in “maternal health deserts”.
- Six hospitals in NM alone have closed their maternity units in the last decade.
- US maternal death rates have soared above any other industrialized nation where midwifery care is often the standard of care.
- Here in Albuquerque, all three large hospitals still offer maternity services, but they all provide similar medical-based maternity care. Dar a Luz is different!
Dar a Luz offers a true midwifery model to this community. That means holding space for each family’s unique journey, the miracle of birth, and the sacredness of being born, while delivering the highest quality evidence-based care. We focus on personalized education, advocacy, and true informed decision-making. This holistic approach has been shown in many studies, not just in the US but worldwide, to reduce maternal and newborn morbidity and mortality, unnecessary interventions, and cesarean sections while having much higher rates of satisfaction. It is a fundamentally different approach compared to traditional hospital care. But we are a small nonprofit birth center working in a big for-profit healthcare system. Your contributions will give us the time to create new revenue streams that will benefit families while ensuring our future for clients like the one below:
“I don’t even know where to begin. You all are phenomenal. This was my second birth at Dar a Luz, and the care I received with both births was amazing. All the midwives I met with…were compassionate, provided me with evidence-based information, empowered me to make well- informed decisions, demonstrated high-quality skills, and supported me. I’ve always felt very secure and at peace at Dar a Luz. And the nurses I worked with…were also incredibly knowledgeable, skilled, and caring…And front-desk staff…were always wonderful. Always made me feel welcome. I recommend Dar a Luz to anyone who’ll listen.”
Here are our plans for our new revenue streams supporting our families as we move into our next phase and business model which will sustain Dar a Luz:
- Ultrasound: our very own midwives will soon be able to do certain kinds of maternity and gynecologic ultrasound on site. These include “Level I” ultrasounds such as IUD placement in gynecologic clients, 1st trimester viability and dating checks, and third trimester fetal surveillance scans. This saves our clients and the system time and money.
- Behavioral health: we are planning to offer multi-specialty behavioral health services for postpartum people with depression, anxiety, and PTSD as an adjunct to their current therapy and for those whose current therapies are not working.
- Increased and fair insurance contract rates: we are renegotiating payment reimbursements with all of our private insurance payers. These higher rates also offset the lower Medicaid reimbursement rates that haven’t seen any significant increase in nearly two decades in New Mexico. Dar a Luz does not limit the number of Medicaid clients because this option is important for all pregnant people; about 30-35% of our clients have Medicaid which reimburses about 50% of the commercial payers.
With our careful budgeting, we believe all of these changes can create a new trajectory towards a more sustainable business model. However, these efforts require Dar a Luz to invest time, training, and equipment above and beyond our current service level. And as ambitious as we are, this won’t be enough. Even with the addition of these revenue-generating services, we still need your help. We invite you to step up and launch us into this next chapter! This is the first time since our inception that we have been in this position and have had to fundraise on this scale. And so it is the first time we have called upon and invited our community’s participation at this level. We need you to step up with us to propel us forward to launch these programs for birthing people, babies, and families in 2024. This is what we are needing and asking for:
First and foremost, we need to offset our operating losses to buy us time to train and implement services. Our first push is to raise $50,000 by August 31st and $300,000 by year-end as well as pledges for 2024-2025. By making monetary donations towards our general operating expenses, it helps us to build a foundation for this next big phase of growth for our birth center.
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We know that our client base and community have an incredible wealth of talents and resources. In the next few weeks and months, we will be sending you updates and invitations for donations, volunteer, and in-kind support through email, text, and social media. Please give generously to help us continue our mission for this community we all love so much. We can’t move forward without you and your investment.
“Despite being told my history of recurring miscarriages or fertility treatments made me high risk, warranted a hospital birth, or even early induction, we chose to explore and educate ourselves on all our options. And luckily, that’s when we found Dar a Luz. We felt validated, supported, educated, and empowered in making our long overdue pregnancy and birth what we wanted it to be, while also knowing we were being cared for safely and with the utter most personalized, individualized, and meticulous care possible. We feel so fortunate to have been able to safely give birth to two babies with Dar a Luz now and we know that we could never replace the level of care we received in the 6 years we’ve been fortunate enough to be clients…While 10 years of infertility has surely left a mark, the healing our family has found from our experience and care from the women at Dar a Luz is monumental and surely will last us a lifetime longer than our years of struggle.”
Again, thank you for all you have done over the past 12 years to make Dar a Luz what it is today. Thank you for giving us the opportunity to care for you and for giving generously in the past in many ways. We believe that Dar a Luz offers incredibly important maternal, newborn, and gynecology services to Albuquerque and its surrounding communities. We believe in delivering integrated care to birthing people and their babies. We believe that there are many more families that desire and deserve our services in the future—our work here is not done! We are fighting hard to continue to hold a sacred space for our community and clients. We hope that you will join us in any capacity that you are able!
We look forward to thanking you for your contributions in the coming weeks and being in touch about your participation in propelling this exciting new business model forward while embracing what’s made Dar a Luz so special to all of you in the past and future.
With Love and Gratitude,
Founders Abigail Lanin Eaves, CNM, and Alisa Henning, CNM