Meet the MANA Board!
The MANA Board of Directors is comprised of 13 members: 5 executive council members; 6 regional representatives; and 2 section chairs. please feel free to contact any one of them at the email addresses posted here.
MANA Board of Directors Biographies
Jill Breen, CPM
Jill has been serving women, babies and families for 33 years as a homebirth midwife and natural family health consultant. She has six home born children and six grandchildren, all born into the hands of midwives including her own. Jill has been a MANA member since 1984, is a past Regional Representative, and former 2nd Vice President, most recently 1st Vice President and has served on several working committees. She is a founding member of Midwives of Maine, having served in every office over the past 30 years, and is a member of MACPM and NACPM. She was appointed to the Maine Governor’s Advisory Committee on Rulemaking regarding certified midwives. Jill writes, speaks, mentors and teaches, including as a guest lecturer at University of Maine and Birthwise Midwifery School. She lives on an organic farm and is the proprietor of Dragonfly Hollow Herbals, specializing in pregnancy, birth and family health.
Marinah Valenzuela Farrell, LM, CPM
Marinah’s favorite formative memories are political inquiry from a very young age and walks with her grandfather and mother looking for healing plants. Politics and traditional medicine is what led Marinah to midwifery, and she continues in her commitment to both political activism and birth work. Marinah has been the president of various non-profit boards, has worked in waterbirth centers and medical facilities doing international non-profit work, and has been the owner of long standing homebirth practices. Marinah is currently working with the Midwives Alliance of North America as the 1st Vice-President with a special focus on social justice. In addition, she also works with various local grassroots organizations in Arizona such as the Phoenix Allies for Community Health, serving as a board member with Phoenix Allies for Community Health, a free clinic in downtown Phoenix, assists in collective endeavors with other grassroots groups on the issue of immigration, and is active as a medic during political protests. Marinah is focused on the issue of lack of access to midwives and the profession of midwifery in communities where health disparities are overwhelming. Marinah also continues to work with traditional midwives outside of the U.S and bridges traditional Mexican medicine/healing with western science.
Christy Tashjian, RN, BSN, CPM
Christy graduated from The University of Texas School of Nursing in May 1994. She immediately began studying midwifery and started a home birth apprenticeship. While apprenticing, Christy worked as a nurse in the mother/baby realm of healthcare. She received her Certified Professional Midwife certification in 1998 and started attending births as a primary homebirth midwife in November 2002. Since then, Christy’s practice has grown as she continues to support women in birthing their babies in the environment of their choice. Currently she is working on her Women's Health Nurse Practitioner Degree.
Sarita Bennett, DO, Midwife
Sarita trained and studied midwifery nearly 30 years via apprenticeship and self-study. Over a decade ago, she completed a family medicine residency, after graduating from the West Virginia School of Osteopathic Medicine (WVSOM). She has experienced birth in many settings, and inherently trusts both birth and the abilities of women’s bodies. She currently serves her community as a family practice physician and provides midwifery care as well, serving women in homebirth. She is a clinical instructor at WVSOM and a co-founder and core instructor at Sacred Mountain Midwifery School. She is also an instructor for the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics course. She is an active member of the Midwives Alliance of West Virginia and the West Virgina Birth Policy Coalition. She strives to support the education of more midwives as well as the legalization of CPMs.
Vicki Hedley, CPM, CM
Vicki is the mother to five children and one grandchild, born into her hands in October of 2012. She has been attending births since 1996, first as a doula, doula trainer, and childbirth educator and since 2008 as a CPM when she graduated from the National College of Midwifery. In 2010 she also became a CM. Her learning occurred through the apprenticeship model in many different settings with beautiful and wise midwives who taught the art of midwifery through their example. She continues the tradition of mentoring others through study groups and apprenticeship. Before becoming a midwife, Vicki had a private accounting practice for sixteen years, midwifing her clients through the stresses of finances and taxes.
Regional Representatives and Section Chairs
Adrian Feldhusen, CPM, NHCM
Adrian is a New Hampshire Certified Midwife and a Certified Professional Midwife. She is currently the Chair of the NH Midwifery Council and owns a freestanding birth center in Milford, NH, which serves approximately 100 families annually in the center and at home from surrounding communities. Adrian is adjunct faculty of Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgton, ME and is a clinical preceptor for midwifery students. Adrian is an item writer and qualified evaluator for the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM). She is a licensed EMT-Intermediate and volunteer firefighter for her community. Adrian lives with her husband and 4 children in Southern New Hampshire.
Linda McHale, CPM, EMT
Linda has been involved with childbirth since 1975. She has been a homebirth midwife since 1982 and got her CPM in 1995. Linda is currently the MANA region 2 representative and a member of the ACNM/MANA Liaison Committee. She is a preceptor for aspiring midwives and has spoken at regional and national conferences. She has also written articles for midwifery magazines and newsletters and is a contributing author to "Into These Hands, Wisdom From Midwives". Linda has been a volunteer on the Rescue Squad as an EMT and is a master level Reiki practitioner.
Tamara Taitt, DEM, MS, MFTI, PhDc
Tamara is a midwife and marriage and family therapist. Tamara has been working in Maternal, Infant and Child Health for the last five years focusing on perinatal health disparities and perinatal bereavement. Tamara has a keen interest in birth politics and advocacy, the sustainability of the midwifery profession and woman's reproductive health issues. Tamara is currently project manager of the Midwives Alliance Public Education Campaign.
Colleen Donovan-Batson, CNM, MS
Colleen is a woman’s healthcare provider, educator, and midwifery activist with 25 years of maternal-child healthcare experience in home, hospital, and birth center settings, both nationally and internationally. Colleen developed an educational track for nurses to train as midwives in order to decrease high pre-term birth and teen pregnancy rates in Kern county, CA. She has served on the faculty of the USC Nurse Midwifery Program, as a preceptor for both the Frontier and EPA distance learning midwifery programs, is currently adjunct faculty in the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University. Colleen is active in state and national midwifery organizations, advocating harmony and accord amongst all midwives.
Midwives of Color Section Chair
Student Section Chair