Haffner Award


Announcement from the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG):


The 2017 Haffner Award


Ursula Knoki-Wilson, CNM, MSN, MPH, will be the 2017 recipient of the ACOG Outstanding AI/AN Women’s Healthcare Clinician Award, also known as the William H.J. Haffner AI/AN Women’s Health Award. 

On Monday, May 8, 2017, in San Diego, CA, Ms. Ursula Knoki-Wilson, CNM will be recognized at the Annual Clinical and Scientific Meeting of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) for her more than four decades of service to advancing women’s health care and cultural awareness for American Indian and Alaska Native women.  Ms. Knoki-Wilson has been based primarily in Chinle, Arizona on the Navajo Nation. She has provided extensive clinical care as a Certified Nurse Midwife at Chinle Comprehensive Health Care Facility while providing superb leadership to Advanced Practice Nurses, including Certified Nurse Midwives in her role as the Indian Health Service (IHS) Chief Clinical Consultant nationally.  She served in a highly effective liaison role on the ACOG Committee for American Indian and Alaska Native Women’s Health for more than 13 years, actively contributing both clinical and cultural insights to the deliberations of the Committee.  Notably, she spearheaded modifications to the labor and delivery unit at Chinle to safely and yet more effectively adapt to traditional birthing practices.  She was instrumental in the establishment of the Office of Native Medicine Services at Chinle and at several other facilities across the Navajo Nation.  Ms. Knoki-Wilson is recognized as an expert on Navajo traditional birth practices and women’s health issues and has lectured regionally, nationally, and internationally on these topics.  She has provided a truly exceptional bridge between western medicine and traditional native healing practices and strong advocacy for Indigenous Women’s Health throughout her career.  We are honored to present this prestigious award to Ms. Knoki-Wilson.


Congratulations Ursula Knoki-Wilson! 


Previous recipients of this prestigious award include:

  • 2016       Amanda Leib, MD, Obstetrician-Gynecologist

  • 2015       Marilyn Pierce-Bulger, Certified Nurse Midwife

  • 2014       John S. Condojani, DO, Family Practitioner

  • 2013       Ann Glasheen, Family Nurse Practitioner

  • 2012       Judith Thierry, DO, Pediatrician

  • 2011       Nigel Wappett, MD, Obstetrician-Gynecologist


Nominations for recipients of this annual ACOG award for 2018 will be solicited throughout the Indian Health system in a few months.  In advance, please consider a provider who demonstrates the outstanding caliber of those already recognized when the nominations are opened for the next award cycle.  Clinicians could be, but do not need to be, obstetricians and gynecologists.  Any health care professional such as a family physician, physician assistant, registered nurse, certified nurse midwife, or nurse practitioner can be nominated for this award.  Nominees must clearly demonstrate sustained commitment and dedication to providing exceptional care to AI/AN women, and they must be currently working within an IHS or Tribal position or be recently retired from such a position.  The chair of the ACOG AI/AN Committee on Women’s Health also serves as the chair of the awards committee.  The IHS Chief Clinical Consultant for Obstetrics and Gynecology serves as a non-voting resource to the awards committee.  An endowed fund raised by contributions from friends of ACOG and its Indian women’s health initiatives are matched by the College’s overall endowment to support the cost of sustaining this annual award process.




Yvonne Malloy
Native American Health Programs


American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists
409 12th Street SW, Washington, DC  20024-2188 | Mailing Address: PO Box 70620, Washington, DC 20024-9998