Speakers

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Silke Akerson, CPM, LDM, is a midwife, herbalist, and mother with a passion for connecting people with plants and with their own self-knowledge for healing.  She thinks that beneficial bacteria are some of the most fascinating creatures in the world.
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Aisha Al Hajjar, AMANI, is an American Midwifery Student living in Saudi Arabia.  She travels globally providing workshops and lectures for birth workers and trains AMANI Birth Teachers and Doulas, as well as working with expectant parents preparing for natural birth. She authored AMANI Birth: Assisting Mothers for Active Natural Instinctive Birth, and AMANI Birth, Quick Guide for Fathers, which provide a natural birthing reference for Muslim families.  She advocates for birthing rights via articles on Saudi Life and Arab News and represents Saudi Arabia for Midwifery Today.  Her work is being translated into several foreign languages. For more details visit: www.amanibirth.com www.saudilife.net/motherhood.
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Marina Alzugaray, MS, midwife, has over 30 years of midwifery experience in hospitals, birth centers and with home birth families. Born and raised in Cuba she uses her creativity to communicate.   She first created the Birth Dance to illustrate, with her body, birth movements and sounds for midwives in Japan.  Intrigued by the positions she observed during homebirths, she began to track associated birth outcomes. Her Birth Dance theses, a research on birth positions won her the UCSF Chancellor’s Award and a Masters of Science degree in Nurse Midwifery Leadership.  During the following decades Marina has shared her Birth Dance in national and international conferences, and now she is offering a new version for moms who are due. 
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Valerie Armendariz is a seven year veteran in the field of maternal and child health. She started her career as a Bradley Birth Method instructor and doula and then ventured forward to complete her M.S. in Epidemiology specializing in Maternal and Child Health.  Valerie has influenced the epidemiological world through her work as a researcher for the “Project Babies” longitudinal study on bacterial vaginosis (BV) and preterm labor, as an Influenza Incidence Surveillance Specialist for the Philadelphia Department of Public Health, and currently is a Senior Research Associate at Temple Medical School examining postpartum sleep duration and its influence on adiposty and cardiometabolic risk factors in low income women.
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Lynn Arnold, CPM, LM, is a midwife and midwifery educator who has been practicing and teaching since 1975. In that time, she has delivered more than 3,000 babies, has been the supervising midwife at over 5,000 births, and as the founder and director of Casa de Nacimiento, has been responsible for over 13,000 deliveries. Since 1985, Lynn has taught clinical, and didactic midwifery to more than 800 students from around the world. She has a gift for simplifying even the most complex topics, and her dynamic teaching style engages the student, and provides a common sense approach to everything that she teaches.
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Jacquelyn Aurora is a student midwife, entering the birth world after a decade in the entertainment industry.  She is native Alaskan, of Aleut descent, and has danced since childhood.  She has performed all over the world, and taught children as well as adults.  She holds a BA in History and Psychology from the University of Alaska – Anchorage, is an MBA honors graduate of Aspen University, and will graduate from National Midwifery Institute this year.  Jacquelyn has been working with Marina Alzugaray since 2011, and is proud to call her mentor.
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Karin Borgerson recently joined MEAC as an Accreditation Coordinator.  Additionally, Karin is a DONA-trained birth doula. She has been a consultant to MANA and the U.S. Business Council for Sustainable Development. As a member of the board of trustees of Bainbridge Graduate Institute since 2005, she helped guide the school through its accreditation process. She has been a senior associate in the climate and energy program at World Resources Institute (WRI) and the program director for climate and business development at an NGO focusing on consumption and institutional purchasing issues. Karin has also worked in project management and client relations in several software companies.
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Marit L. Bovbjerg, PhD, MS, is a reproductive epidemiologist and health services researcher at Oregon State University, and a home birth mom. She is the Director of Data Quality for the MANA Division of Research, and has been teaching research methods to clinicians for nearly a decade.
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Arika Makena Bridgeman-Bunyoli, MPH, is a Masters of Public Health candidate at Oregon State University (OSU). She is in the International Health Track, and her focus is on the planning, implementation, and evaluation of culturally just maternal and child health (MCH) programs. Her research at OSU has focused on the problems of low birth weight and prematurity among African-American infants, and MCH in Kenya, East Africa. She is a Health Educator at the Community Capacitation Center, a program of the Multnomah County Health Department, where she has co-developed training curriculum for Community Health Workers on children's exposure to violence, and is currently working on a project to develop curriculum for African and African-American Community Health Workers. She received her Bachelor's Degree from Antioch College in Intercultural Studies. She also has been certified as a Breastfeeding Peer Counselor by the Nursing Mothers Counsel. 
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Jill Breen, CPM, has been serving women, babies and families for 35 years as a homebirth midwife and natural family health consultant. She has six home born children and seven 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 and a FAM Birth Trustee. 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. Jill has been serving as MANA President since June 1, 2012.
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Liz Bruno, Madison, WI is a white woman uncovering her heart in the search for true healing. She believes true healthcare must address our basic needs; needs to be fed and sheltered, to know love and freedom, and to connect with the places we inhabit. Liz is thankful to the strength of her mother and the vulnerability of her father, which have given her great tools for life. Liz has facilitated many trainings as a member of the Groundwork Anti-Racism Collective, including a September 2012 workshop for midwives in Wisconsin.
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Paul Burcher, MD, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Alden March Bioethics Institute at Albany Medical College in Albany, New York, USA. Dr. Burcher is a certified MD by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and specializes in general obstetrics and gynecology and women's health. He received his doctorate in philosophy from University of Oregon in 2009, and as an ethicist, he has a particular interest in the doctor/patient relationship and physician empathy.
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Katherine Camacho Carr, PhD, ARNP, CNM, FACNM is a Professor, Coordinator of the Midwifery Education Program and the N. Jean Bushman Endowed Chair at Seattle University College of Nursing, teaching midwifery and nurse practitioners in the graduate program and providing faculty development.  Her academic duties have focused on curriculum development, program development, accreditation and grant writing, as well as classroom and clinical teaching.  In addition, Dr. Carr has provided midwifery clinical care for nearly four decades and currently works per diem with the Midwives at Valley Medical Center. In 2012, she was appointed to the National Advisory Committee on Nurse Education and Practice by the U.S. Secretary of Health & Human Services, Kathleen Sebelius. In 2009, she received the Hattie Hemschemeyer Lifetime Achievement Award from the American College of Nurse-Midwives. Dr Carr served as President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives from 2004-7 and Vice President from 1996-9. Dr. Carr is trained as an international consultant in Life Saving Skills (LSS) and Home-Based Life Savings Skills (HBLSS), programs developed and tested by the American College of Nurse-Midwives to reduce maternal and infant mortality in the developing world by improving the pathway to survival - preventing, planning for, providing timely recognition and intervention for maternal and/or infant complications during pregnancy, labor, birth and the immediate post delivery period. She is also experienced in utilizing simulation strategies to teach emergency obstetrical care.  Dr. Carr has provided consultation and/or training for midwives, nurses, physicians and/or traditional birth attendants in Uganda, Rwanda, Vietnam, and Laos.  She maintains a strong commitment to serving women especially the underserved through midwifery practice, education, research, consultation and policy analysis.
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Sheila Capestany has over twenty years of experience in bringing multiculturalism and anti-oppression work into systems and organizations. She holds a Master of Public Health and a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington, and is a certified doula with PALS Doulas. She is Executive Director of Open Arms Perinatal Services, a nonprofit whose purpose is to provide community-based support to pregnant women and their families. Sheila dreamed of becoming a midwife when she was a child but is satisfied today advocating for access to midwifery care for all. Sheila and her husband have three children – she gave birth to her two birth children out of hospital with her fabulous midwives in attendance.
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Jackson Carr is a student midwife at Birthwise Midwifery School and transgender. He has first-hand experience in how difficult it can be to receive respectful and sensitive basic health care when you are gender non-conforming, rooting him in his commitment to the midwifery model of care and addressing health care inequities. When he isn’t learning the art of midwifery, he loves to cook meals with family and friends and romp in the woods with his partner and their muppet dragon dog. When Jackson is ready to have a baby, he hopes he is able to find midwives who offer trans-inclusive care. 
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Aaron B. Caughey, is Professor and Chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Associate Dean for Women’s Health Research and Policy at Oregon Health and Science University in Portland, OR. His medical training was at Harvard Medical School and he also earned a MPP from the Kennedy School of Government, and both an MPH in Epidemiology and a PhD in Health Economics at the University of California, Berkeley. His research is focused on utilizing epidemiologic, biostatistical, and decision analytic methods to examine clinical questions related to complications of term and preterm pregnancies, gestational diabetes, and prenatal diagnosis and has led to more than 250 peer-reviewed publications. As a singer, he sang with the San Francisco Symphony Chorus, earning two Grammy Awards. He lives with his wife, an MFM-geneticist, and their four energetic children in Portland.
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Wicanhpi Iyotan Win Autumn Cavender-Wilson, BA,  is a Dakota community activist and language instructor from Pezihutazizi, daughter of prominent Dakota historian Waziyatawin, brought up in the oral tradition of both the Dakota Nation and anti-colonial theory.   She has co-taught courses and lectured extensively on Indigenous liberation and radical settler identity.  She served as both curriculum developer and youth program coordinator for the decolonization-oriented Akicita Teca language program.  She also worked briefly as a consultant for the prenatal program at DIW, and has been a doula and student midwife for the past 5 years, framing birth in the context of Indigenous liberation.
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Melissa Cheyney, PhD, CPM, LDM is an Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology and the Director of the Reproductive Health Laboratory at Oregon State University. She received her doctorate from the University of Oregon in 2005, where her research examined the U.S. Homebirth Movement. Dr. Cheyney is a Certified Professional Midwife, Chair of the Board of Direct-entry Midwifery for the State of Oregon, Chair of the Division of Research for the Midwives Alliance and the author of the recent ethnography, Born at Home (2010, Wadsworth Press). Dr. Cheyney also directs the MANA Statistics Project -- the only existing data repository for planned homebirth in the U.S.
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Justine Clegg, MS, LM, CPM is Association of Midwifery Educators Board President.  A Florida Licensed Midwife since 1987, she is Academic Director and Faculty for Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery since 2009, and Miami-Dade Community College Midwifery Director/faculty emeritus (1993-2008).  Former Florida Council of Licensed Midwifery Chair (1993-2001) and Miami FIMR committee chair (2004-2009), she is also a licensed Mental Health Counselor and Certified Lactation Counselor. She graduated from the South Florida School of Midwifery and earned her MS from Florida International University. She served on the MEAC and NACPM Boards. Justine lives in Asheville, NC and Miami, FL.
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Augustine Colebrook, CPM, LM,attended her first birth as a child, and immediately felt the call of midwifery.  Today, after more than a decade of midwifery practice, she works toward her vision of creating a network of integrated holistic health and birth centers in Southern Oregon.  She recently opened the second location of her Trillium Waterbirth Center in Grants Pass.
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Cathy Collins-Fulea, MSN, CNM, FACNM, is currently the Vice President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and is the ACNM representative to the US-MERA steering committee.  Cathy completed her basic nursing and midwifery education in England, then obtained her BSN at Mercy College of Detroit and her MSN at Oakland University.  She is in full scope clinical practice as Midwifery Division Head at the Henry Ford Health System in Detroit Michigan. Cathy has spoken national and internationally on various clinical and business topics such as Vitamin D deficiency, Preterm labor, benchmarking, Quality Improvement and Patient Safety, Collaborative practice with Residents.
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Ellie Daniels, CPM, founded Morningstar Midwifery in 1983, and then opened The Green Store, “a general store for the 21st century”, in 1993. Ellie is on the faculty at Birthwise Midwifery School. She served on the Board for the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council for 12 years. In 2008, she helped start MACPM to achieve licensure for CPMs in Maine, and has worked actively on the federal MAMA Campaign since 2009. She was recently elected to the NACPM Board in 2012. Through her practice, her teaching, and her Board work, she weaves together her passions for midwifery, business, and organizational sustainability.

Ida Darragh, CPM, is a member of the NARM Board, currently acting as chairman and director of testing.  She has been a midwife in Little Rock, Arkansas, since 1980.  She travels to many states teaching workshops related to midwifery practice and the politics of midwifery, and represents NARM when speaking to state and national legislators and policy makers. On the local level, she has served on the Midwifery Advisory Board of the Arkansas Dept of Health and in various roles in the Arkansas Association of Midwives.
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Wendy Davis, PhD, is a counselor and consultant specializing in pregnancy, birth, post-loss, and postpartum mental health and recovery. She is the Executive Director of Postpartum Support International (PSI) www.postpartum.net , a non-profit organization dedicated to helping women and families suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, and coordinates PSI programs and 200 International PSI Support Volunteers. She is Founding Director of Oregon’s Baby Blues Connection www.babybluesconnection.org, and serves as their clinical advisor.  She provides training and consultation in governmental, clinical, and community settings, and enjoys working with diverse communities around the world to develop sustainable perinatal mental health networks.
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Kelly Dean, MPT, is a licensed Physical Therapist with over 15 yrs experience in functional rehabilitation and neuro-muscular re-education.  Kelly has been trained in the Tupler Technique and is the continuing education provider for Tupler Technique Licensees.  Kelly is the founder and owner of The Tummy Team, a non—traditional physical therapy practice that specializes in Core Rehabilitation and diastasis rehabilitation.  Kelly is a dynamic speaker and has been educating medical professionals for many years.  She is extremely passionate about helping prevent diastasis recti and helping women experience healthy pregnancies, safe deliveries and the strength for the challenges of motherhood.
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Eugene Declercq, PhD is Professor of Community Health Sciences and Assistant Dean for DrPH Education at the Boston University School of Public. He has served as lead author of national reports on women’s experiences in childbirth entitled Listening to Mothers I, II & III.  He developed and presented the short film, Birth by the Numbers and a companion website of the same name (www.birthbythenumbers.org). He is one of the Principal Investigators for the Massachusetts Outcomes Study of Assisted Reproductive Technologies (MOSART) an NIH funded study of infant and maternal outcomes associated with assisted reproductive technologies.
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Brielle Epstein, LM, CPM has been attending births as a doula and midwife since 2003. She currently has a small home birth practice in Austin, TX where she also homeschools her two children and spends as much time outdoors as possible. Brielle is the Chapter Leader of ICAN of Austin, a chapter of the International Cesarean Awareness Network and the Legislative Chair of the Association of Texas Midwives. She is also the former Director of Federal Advocacy for the Big Push for Midwives. After several years working in the environmental justice movement, inspired by the birth of her first child, Brielle became passionate about birth as a social justice issue. She sees access to the midwifery model of care and VBAC as central to the fight to eliminate maternity care disparities.
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Kristen Ethier, MA, is a full spectrum doula, yoga teacher, academic and aspiring midwife who is a Chicago transplant from the East Coast. She is the owner of Kaleidoscope Doula Care, a Chicago full spectrum doula practice in which she provides support to people of all genders and people experiencing diverse pregnancy outcomes.  She earned an MA in Sociology from DePaul University in 2013. In addition, she has over a decade of experience supporting the LGBTQ and teen parent communities, and work in the areas of domestic violence, sexual assault, abortion care, community organizing, and feminist and reproductive justice politics.
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Courtney Everson, MA, PhDc, is the Director of Research Education for the MANA Division of Research and a biocultural medical anthropology doctoral candidate at Oregon State University (OSU) with research specializations in maternal-infant health, adolescent pregnancy, mixed methodology research, vulnerable populations and health disparities. She is also the Graduate Coordinator of the Reproductive Health Laboratory at OSU, Faculty for the undergraduate and graduate programs at the Midwives College of Utah (MCU), and Chair of the MCU Ethical Review Board. Courtney is also a practicing DONA International birth doula.
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Illysa Foster, M.Ed, CPM, LM is a homebirth midwife and mother of two daughters, ages 16 and 21. She co-authored Professional Ethics in Midwifery Practice with her spouse, Jon Lasser.  Illysa writes about midwifery ethics and perinatal psychology and provides midwifery ethics training on a myriad of topics at state and national conferences. She lives in Austin, Texas and operates Sisters Midwifery, where she serves a diverse clientele, organizes local peer review and trains midwifery students.
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The Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery (FAM) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to increasing access to midwifery in North America through education, research and public policy. FAM was formed in 1998 with the original purpose of providing a 501(c) 3 organization for interested individuals to donate to projects of The Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA). Very quickly, however, FAM developed its own identity as an organization with a broad vision of what is needed to advance midwifery in the United States. In 2010, FAM joined the Women’s Funding Network, a consortium of global women’s funds to identify larger partnerships within women’s philanthropy for improving childbirth for women.
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Anne Frye, CPM, BA has been midwifing, teaching, writing textbooks and offering consultations to midwives from around the world since 1979.  Her writings include Holistic Midwifery, Understanding Diagnostic Tests and Healing Passage.  Some of her most recent work includes creating a 3D graphics program to help students and practitioners better understand pelvic soft tissue anatomy.  She lives in Portland, OR.
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Candice Garrett, ERYT, RPYT, is the director and founder of Nine Moons Prenatal® Yoga. She is considered one of the top experts in her field on both prenatal yoga and female pelvic health and has been a guest specialist for the Flagstaff Yoga Festival, Leslie Howard's Awakening the Female Pelvis Teacher Training and the 2012 Hypnobirthing® Conclave. She is author of a book on prenatal yoga and a teacher for the LILY program at UCSF, a program studying the efficacy of yoga on improving continence in women.
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Wendy Gordon, CPM, LDM, LM, MPH is a licensed midwife, currently practicing in Washington State.  She is an assistant professor at Bastyr University’s Department of Midwifery, where she developed and facilitates courses on Undoing Racism and Cultural Versatility in Midwifery Practice, as well as co-teaches the core midwifery theory courses.  Wendy is also a Coordinating Council member of MANA's Division of Research and a board member of the Association of Midwifery Educators.
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Philomène Gracius, a traditional Haitian matwòn, has attended over a thousand births in her thirty-plus years as a midwife. For the past two decades she has served women in an urban slum with high rates of malnutrition and infectious disease, including HIV, advocating for their need to access health care. Philomène is also a leader in the Matwòn Association of Northern Haiti, a newly formed professional organization of traditional midwives, founded in 2012. The association seeks greater government recognition for the work of matwòns, who attend over 75% of all births in Haiti, as well as connections to the international community that will support their profession and help to improve the lives of all Haitian women. Philomène’s involvement in women’s health and grassroots organizing offers valuable perspective on the ways Haitian women face tremendous challenges with specific personal and cultural resources.
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Ellen Harris-Braun, CPM, is the Database Development Coordinator for the MANA Division of Research, and is half of Harris-Braun Enterprises, an experienced  Web- development team that wrote the software for the MANA Statistics Web site. Ellen is also a practicing midwife, MANA Stats contributor, certified doula and lactation counselor, and childbirth teacher, involved with birth since 1999 and with MANA since 2002.  She lives in rural New York State in an intentional community with her family.
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Holly Horan, MA, is a doctoral student in Oregon State University’s Applied Anthropology program. Her research focuses on improving maternal-child health through increased understanding of the power of midwifery models of care and how biology and culture intersect to impact women’s reproductive lives. Her shared research interests with Susanna Snyder have led them to become involved with the MANA Stats project as student researchers and have provided them with the opportunity to explore the history, impact and potential for MANA Stats.
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Hermine Hayes-Klein, JD, is a lawyer, Director of the Bynkershoek Institute Research Center for Reproductive Rights in The Hague, and is Founder and Program Director of Human Rights in Childbirth. Hermine lived for 5 years in The Netherlands where both of her children were born at home with a Dutch midwife.
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Kristin Kali, LM CPM is owner of MAIA Midwifery and Fertility Services, an internationally renowned midwifery practice that is dedicated to serving lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer and heterosexual families with a midwifery model approach to fertility, infertility and preconception care.  Her special understanding of the issues that are unique to queer and transgender pregnancy make her a valuable resource to other professionals in learning how to provide sensitive and affirming care.  Merging a love of birth with a propensity for travel, her interest in midwifery volunteerism in underserved areas has led her to question issues of privilege, race, and power inherent in such endeavors.
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Jessica Kelly-Shaieb is an Accreditation and Volunteer Training Coordinator for the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council.  She has worked for MEAC since February 2012.  Prior to joining MEAC, Jessica worked as a consumer advocate in the realms of maternity and midwifery care, circumcision,  breastfeeding, and child passenger safety.  Jessica has a small number of published and unpublished works related to those topics.
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Tami Kent, MSPT, known for her pioneering approach to women’s health with Holistic Pelvic Care, is a Women's Health Physical Therapist, mother of three sons, and author. With advanced training in multiple bodywork techniques and the ability to read energetic patterns of the body, Tami provides a bridge between the realms of modern medicine and traditional women's wisdom. She shares her ground-breaking work with women in her books, Wild Feminine: Finding Power, Spirit & Joy in the Root of the Female Body and Mothering from Your Center: Tapping Your Body’s Natural Energy for Pregnancy, Birth, and Parenting. www.wildfeminine.com.
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Celeste Kersey, CPM, LM, has been a primary midwife since 1999.  She began teaching Non Violent Communication eight years ago at Birthingway College of Midwifery in Portland, OR and currently facilitates outside workshops and private sessions. Celeste enriches her NVC work by incorporating the brain and its amazing capacity for healing.
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April Kline. CPM, MSM, began working with mothers and babies while pregnant and in massage therapy school. Shortly after, she became a doula and began apprenticing with a homebirth midwife. While earning her masters in midwifery from the Midwives College of Utah and her CPM certification, she continued deepening her bodywork practice with Craniosacral Therapy certification and workshops in somato-emotional release, myofascial release and mind-body medicine, as well as becoming a Reiki Master. She now enjoys working individually with mothers and babies as well as midwifing student midwives as a faculty member at MCU.
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Christine Larsen-Romney is a Certified Medical Biller and President/CEO of Larsen Billing Service, LLC, the nation's leading billing service for midwives and birth centers.  Christine is passionate about educating midwives and birth center owners regarding the business aspects of their practice.  She has been billing for and consulting with midwives for over a decade.
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Audrey Levine, LM, CPM, has been a practicing midwife in Washington State since 2001.  She was President of the Midwives' Association of WA State (MAWS) from 2008-2012 and currently serves on the Board of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM).  Audrey was a delegate to the Homebirth Summit and a participant in the recently held Midwifery Education, Regulation, and Association (US MERA) meeting.  She is committed to making the midwifery model of care available to all women in all birth settings and believes that licensure of CPMs in every state is the surest path to achieving this goal.  
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Ninotte Lubin began her midwifery journey shortly after the earthquake in 2010. Working as a translator at a newly established birth center, she quickly began to learn about birth and midwifery care by observing volunteer midwives from around the world. Motivated by this experience, Ninotte set her goal to become a midwife herself. Ninotte believes that by changing birth in Haiti, midwives can help women survive with dignity and help Haiti build a stronger society. Ninotte recently sat for the NARM exam and is hoping to become Haiti’s first CPM. 
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Judith Eve-Marie Luce, LM, CPM, MA Judy, mother of three and grandmother of three homeborn grand daughters, a homebirth midwife for 38 years, a CPM since 1994, and a CA licensed midwife since2006, has engaged in political activism around birth since the homebirth of her daughter in 1974. She holds an interdisciplinary MA from VT College/Union Institute in Midwifery and Cultural Studies (2001) with a thesis: “Midwives at the Margins of Life:  Homebirth and Home Dying.” In 1999 she began work with Maya midwives and helped in the construction of a birth and midwifery education center in Guatemala. She sees herself as a philosopher of birth.
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Mika Maniwa, facilitator in Compassionate Communication from Vancouver, Canada.  Mika has worked with parent support groups, immigrant associations, and aboriginal organizations. She is passionate about the potential for empathy and compassion to transform the effects of internalized racism and expand our capacity to enter into dialogue with others.
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Becky Martin is a seasoned community organizer and a long-time advocate for quality, affordable health care for all and women’s reproductive rights.  She helped lead efforts to reopen licensing opportunities for direct-entry midwives in Florida and was one of the founding directors of the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery.  She served as MANA Public Education Committee Chair and was the Universal Health Care Action Network Outreach and Education Coordinator.   Becky is currently the Project Manager at the National Physicians Alliance overseeing operations related to NPA’s Secure Health Care for All Campaign, Good Steward in Medicine Project, and the Partnership to Advance Conflict Free Medical Education.
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Annie Menzel, CPM, PhC is a CPM who trained in Austin and El Paso, and a PhD Candidate in political science at the University of Washington. Her dissertation focuses on the politics of African American infant mortality and survival in the US from 1890 to the present, including official explanations and state interventions; Southern African American midwives’ everyday politics of resistance, 1920-1960; the political implications of contemporary public health and epigenetics hypotheses linking racism with disproportionate infant mortality; and the writings of W.E.B. Du Bois and Audre Lorde on black infant death and survival. Not currently practicing midwifery, her current work in the midwifery world is participating in anti-racism and anti-oppression efforts, and working toward understanding the deep history of midwifery in North America. She is a member of Groundwork Anti-Racism Collective.
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Laura McNeill, is mother to Luke and Levi, ages 8 and 6. She lives in Madison, WI with her partner Scott and enjoys facilitating yoga classes, racial justice and writing workshops for all ages, from kids to grandmas. She is a founding member of the Groundwork anti-racist collective. Groundwork is a white anti-racism collective working to dismantle white supremacy and achieve racial justice in our communities. Since 2004, Laura has developed curriculum and facilitated five eight-week long anti-racism workshop series focused on primarily white social justice activists in Madison, WI. In addition, Laura has carried out dozens of racial justice workshops in partnership with community organizations and institutions, including the Wisconsin Network for Peace and Justice, Sherman Middle School, Madison Community Cooperative, YWCA, and the Midwives Guild of Wisconsin. Laura has also worked in partnership with multiple racial and economic justice campaigns in Madison and the state of Wisconsin, including initiatives around homelessness, immigrant rights, and closing the school to prison pipeline in Madison public schools. Laura co-facilitated the September 2012 anti-racism workshop for midwives in Wisconsin.
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Janneli F. Miller, PhD, LM, CPM has been a midwife and homebirth activist since the late 70’s.  She began her work as an applied reproductive health professor and researcher in the early 90’s.  She lived and worked with indigenous Tarahumara people in N. Mexico for several years, and is in the process of writing a book on her work there.  Currently she lives in rural SW Colorado, where she practices the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy in addition to continuing her research and writing on solitary and unassisted birth, as well as other reproductive health care topics.
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Maria Milton is a licensed midwife who practices in the state of Florida.  She holds a B.S. in Biology/Pre-Med. from Florida A & M University in Tallahassee, Florida.  Maria also graduated from the North Florida School of Midwifery in Gainesville, Florida.  During her midwifery training and early career, Maria worked with (and was mentored by) her mother, the famed midwife, Gladys Milton.  Maria is currently the owner/operator of Milton Memorial Birthing Center, a facility founded by her mother in 1976.
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Jeanette McCulloch, IBCLC, is the co-founder of BirthSwell, improving infant and maternal health by helping birth and breastfeeding professionals use digital skills and new media. Jeanette has been combining communications work and women’s health advocacy for more than twenty years. Jeanette will help you learn the theory and the practical how to’s for using new media and social media tools to build your business, change policy, and spread your birth (and breastfeeding and maternal/infant health) genius. Learn more about her work at www.birthswell.com.
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Heather Morrow-Almeida, MPH, works in the Center for Prevention and Health Promotion in Oregon. She is currently the interim Early Hearing Detection and Intervention Coordinator, and works on child health projects related to obesity and injury prevention. Prior to joining the Division of Public Health in Oregon, she completed the Public Health Prevention Service Fellowship with the CDC. During her career in public health to date, she has worked in infectious disease, sexual health, the built environment, chronic disease prevention, and maternal and child health.   Heather completed her Master in Public Health at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Will have 3-4 speakers on the panel.
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Suzy Myers, CPM, LM, MPH, has over 30 years experience as a midwife, midwifery educator and advocate. She co-founded Seattle Midwifery School in 1978, developed curriculum and taught core courses.  The home/birth center practice she co-established served over 2000 families and is a clinical training site. In 1988 she earned her MPH from University of Washington’s MCH Program.  She was a founder of the Midwives’ Association of Washington State, has been on NACPM’s Board since 2002, currently as President, she is Bastyr University Midwifery Department Chair (students earn a Master’s degree in Midwifery) and is actively involved in assisting graduate level research projects.
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Yeshi Neumann, CNM, MPH, MA, IBCLC, has been  a midwife in both home and hospital settings since 1970 . She has been on the front lines of social justice work in her work as a midwife. Since 1988 she has facilitated hundreds of workshop on racism, white privilege and other social oppressions, women’s leadership, cross-cultural communication, conflict resolution, mindfulness and healing. For the last several years Yeshi has taught the Art of Leadership for Rockwood Leadership Institute to leaders of non-profit social change organizations, as well as Mindfulness Based Childbirth and Parenting to pregnant families and parents.
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Dr. Caroline Peterson, LDM, DC, PhD, MPH, is a midwife, chiropractic physician, and mixed-methodology researcher. She practices midwifery and natural family medicine in Portland, Oregon. Her research focuses on peri-conception through infancy. She has written numerous articles published in peer reviewed journals, and has been an invited lecturer at national and international conferences.
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Sarah Peyton, CNVC,  offers workshops focused on depth work and self-compassion that integrate Interpersonal Neurobiology with resonant empathy. She is on the faculty of Birthingway College of Midwifery, studies with Bonnie Badenoch and Allan Schore, and is a regular contributor on IPNB and NVC in the GAINS Journal.
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Brynne Potter, CPM, is a Certified Professional Midwife. She has worked in the field of midwifery since 1991 and has attended home births as a primary midwife for over 10 years. She is also a member of the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) Board of Directors and most recently co-founded Private Practice, makers of electronic charting software for midwives. Brynne frequently speaks on multiple topics, and writes on her company and personal blogs.
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Kristi Ridd-Young Anyone who knows Kristi Ridd-Young would say that one of her passions in life is helping others have freedom of choice based on the understanding of all available alternatives. Since beginning her perinatal education career over 29 years ago, Kristi has dedicated herself to educating midwives, doulas, and childbirth educators to become technical experts while developing professional excellence and personal greatness. Kristi has a degree in public health administration, previously practiced as a midwife, is a certified childbirth educator and DONA-approved birth doula trainer. She is currently the president of Midwives College of Utah and the president of MEAC (Midwifery Education Accreditation Council).
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Roanna Rosewood is the author of Cut, Stapled and Mended: A VBAC Story, (White Cloud Press, March 2013) the co-founder and host of BirthPlan Radio, the executive action chair of Human Rights in Childbirth, and, thanks to an incredible midwife, a home-birth-after-two-cesarean-mother. “If a midwife hadn’t nurtured me and took a stand for my right to a trial of labor, I wouldn’t be who I am today. Birth transformed me. Now it is my turn to serve midwifery, both in gratitude and to preserve the opportunity for every woman to experience physiological birth.”
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Bonnie Ruder, MPH, MA, CPM, is a researcher for the MANA Division of Research. She received her master in public health and master in biocultural medical anthropology in 2012 from Oregon State University. Her research examined the cause and possible prevention strategies for obstetric fistulas from the perspective of obstetric fistula survivors in eastern Uganda. She also examined traditional birth attendants’ understanding of obstetric fistula and the impact of international policies on local maternity care.  Bonnie is a Certified Professional Midwife and has attended births in Oregon since 1997. She has also had the opportunity to live and work internationally, with a women’s organization in Zimbabwe, a birth center in Haiti six months post-earthquake, and in the maternity ward of a referral hospital in Soroti, Uganda. 
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Lisa Sanderson-Fox, CPM, LM, is a health educator and herbalist who has taught women’s health to community health providers in rural Mexico. She was a BCC (Breast and Cervical Cancer Prevention) provider in the state of New Mexico. She has used her training and licensure as a midwife to provide comprehensive Well Woman Care to communities with the least access to health care. She currently lives in rural Oregon.
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Geradine Simkins, CNM, MSN is an activist, midwife and author. She began as a direct-entry homebirth midwife in 1976 and became a nurse-midwife twenty years later. For over thirty years she has provided health care for women, infants and families in a variety of settings, including attendance at births in the home, a freestanding birth center, and hospitals. Geradine’s work with migrant farmworkers and American Indian tribes focuses on addressing healthcare disparities and engendering a more equitable maternity care system for all women and infants.  Geradine is currently the Executive Director of Midwives Alliance and works passionately at sustaining the midwifery profession, advocating for healthcare reform, mentoring the next generation of midwives, and collaborating with key partners and stakeholders.  She is the editor of the recently published book entitled Into These Hands: Wisdom from Midwives, an anthology of the life stories of 25 remarkable women who have dedicated their lives and careers to the path of midwifery and social change.
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Teresa Stire, PhDc, MA,  is a psychotherapist and an apprentice midwife, with a passion for birth and birthing women, VBAC women in particular.  She is a doctoral candidate in counseling psychology, with a research emphasis in birth trauma.  She works two days a week as a therapist in a university counseling center, as well as working in private practice with women who have experienced birth-related trauma.  She has been involved in birth work for 14 years in various capacities: as a doula, childbirth educator, counselor, researcher, and most recently as an apprentice midwife.  She lives in Morgantown, West Virginia with her husband and four children, the first three of whom were surgical deliveries, and the youngest, a triumphant homebirth after three Cesareans (HBA3C).
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Maryl Smith CPM, LDM has attended birth in Portland Oregon since 1984.  Her practice evolved into a specialty environment for women recovering from trauma while she was facilitating women’s groups for a non-profit counseling center.  Maryl is adjunct staff for Birthingway College of Midwifery,  a writer and conference speaker for Midwifery Today, and has filled multiple leadership roles for the Oregon Midwifery Council.  She and her husband run an International non-profit, working to preserve spiritual expression with traditional instruments within contemporary settings.  Maryl is a citizen of the Cherokee Nation and serves on the council of her local Cherokee community.
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Susanna Snyder, MA, CD(DONA) is a doctoral student in Oregon State University’s Applied Anthropology program. Her research focuses on improving maternal-child health through increased understanding of the power of midwifery models of care and how biology and culture intersect to impact women’s reproductive lives. Her shared research interests with Holly Haran have led them to become involved with the MANA Stats project as student researchers and have provided them with the opportunity to explore the history, impact and potential for MANA Stats.
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Gretchen Spicer, LM, CPM Gretchen has been serving the home birth community for more than three decades. Her professional dedication reaches beyond, to include instructing the Waupaca Area Ambulance-Paramedic Unit, the Davenport College of Business EMS Program, and the Southwest Technical College Midwifery Program. In 2007 Gretchen co-authored Plain Talk About Babies, a Perinatal Education Booklet for Plainclothes Families with support from the Waisman Center. Gretchen is currently on the faculty of Midwest Maternal Child Health Institute and works for the state of Wisconsin as an employee of Wisconsin

Sound Beginnings to promote hearing and blood screening in out of hospital deliveries.

Gretchen’s professional accomplishments are many, but she counts the following among the top. She was the Wisconsin Guild of Midwives’ first Vice President and helped with the successful legislative effort for CPM licensure in Wisconsin. After helping to found the Community Connections Free Clinic in Dodgeville WI, Gretchen stayed on and just retired from a three year term as the president of the board. She is a member of the Wisconsin Maternal Mortality Review Board, responsible for reviewing and making recommendations regarding Maternal and Infant Mortality in Wisconsin. Gretchen is also active on a national level, serving as Co-Chair for the MANA Region 4 Conference and is a retired Board Member for the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives.
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Sandra Bitonti Stewart, CPH, MEAC executive director, has a Graduate Certificate in Public Health Practice, University of Minnesota; BA, International Relations, Michigan State University's James Madison College. Professional Activities: Prior to joining the MEAC staff, Sandra worked as a health care lobbyist in the State of Michigan, as a grant-maker for the Michigan Women's Foundation and as a fundraiser for a US Senate Campaign. As a proud consumer advocate for improving maternity care, Sandra is co-founder of Birth Network National and the CIMS' Birth Survey (Transparency in Maternity Care) project. She recently completed a graduate certificate in Public Health Practice with an emphasis on Maternal and Child Health. Sandra lives in Ann Arbor, MI with her husband Doug and her two children, Juliano and Melanie.
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Christy Tashjian, RN, CPM, LM has been helping families welcome babies in Austin, TX and the surrounding communities as a homebirth midwife since 1998. Having had an intended homebirth turned hospital transport and subsequent c/section with her first baby and a powerful vaginal homebirth with her second baby, Christy is an avid proponent of VBAC.  Christy also serves as 2nd VP on the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) board and on the Scientific Program Committee of the International Confederation of Midwives 30th Triennial Congress. She lives with her two children and partner on a farmette where wrangling animals and cooking fresh meals occur daily. 
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Marijke van Roojen, LM, CPM, President of the Wisconsin Guild of Midwives, has dedicated her professional life to two disciplines: perinatal health care, health access advocacy and midwifery education world-wide, and community-based mediation, restorative justice and the field of Alternative Dispute Resolution. She currently resides near Green Bay, Wisconsin, is on staff at BirthWise Health and Birth Center in northeastern Wisconsin, and is an MPH in Maternal Child Health candidate at the University of Minnesota with concentrations in Global Reproductive Health and Health Outcome Disparities.

As a License Midwife with over 25 years of experience in private midwifery practice,
Ms. van Roojen has served on numerous oversight committees and boards, representing direct-entry midwifery at the local, state and national levels. She also has a long-term commitment to competency-based midwifery education and to providing technical assistance and consultation to post-conflict, resource-poor localities throughout the world.

Ms. van Roojen is also a practiced conflict resolution and meeting facilitation specialist with over 30 years of experience. She has served as a senior mediator, consultant, trainer and large group facilitator for several dispute resolution centers, superior courts, non-profits, state agencies, the armed forces, cooperatives and professional associations, and has been instrumental in designing and implementing adult and youth mediation and conflict resolution programs.
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Saraswathi Vedam, RM, FACNM, MSN, Sci D (h.c) is Associate Professor of Midwifery at University of British Columbia. She serves as Senior Advisor to the MANA Division of Research, and Executive Board Member, Canadian Association of Midwifery Educators. Professor Vedam has been active in setting national and international policy on home birth and midwifery education and regulation, providing expert consultations in Mexico, Hungary, Chile, China, Canada, and the United States. As Chair of the historic  Home Birth Consensus Summit Steering Council, she twice convened 68 multi-disciplinary leaders to develop and address a common ground agenda for ensuring access and safety across birth settings in the US.  Her scholarly work includes critical appraisal of the literature on planned home birth, evaluations of provider attitudes, and a community-based participatory action research project to explore shared decision making in maternity care. She has authored several national clinical practice guidelines and articles on evidence-based midwifery practice in low resource settings, and was a member of the Midwifery Task Force that led a Delphi process to draft the 2012 Joint Statement on Physiologic Labour and Birth.
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Krystel  Viehmann, CPM, LM, graduated from Birthwise Midwifery School in 2012. She identifies as butch and queer and is passionate about reproductive justice and anti-oppression activism. Krystel spends her spare time creating community with home-cooked food and engaging conversation. She currently lives in Long Beach, California with her girlfriend and their ragtag puppy.
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Caity Wheaton, LM, MSM, went to the Seattle Midwifery School and graduated from Bastyr University with Master’s of Science in Midwifery degrees.  She practices midwifery in Seattle, Washington.  Caity likes running, ultimate Frisbee, weightlifting and hanging out with her partner, their dog, and their two cats.
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Nicole Wocelka, CPM has been self-employed for over ten years as a consultant in a variety of fields.  With her degree in management, career in education, and experience as a birth assistant, Nicole is thrilled to bring these seemingly divergent skills together to serve midwives and their clients.
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Megan Wood, LM, MSM, went to the Seattle Midwifery School and graduated from Bastyr University with Master’s of Science in Midwifery degrees.  She practices midwifery in Seattle, Washington.  Megan likes spending time with friends and family, cooking, jogging, yoga, and reading with her daughter. 
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