NACPM Co-President Tanya Khemet Taiwo, CPM, MPH, considers herself blessed to be the mother of three beautiful girls who were all born into the hands of midwives. She lives in Sacramento, CA where she has practiced in community clinic settings for 16 years. After serving as clinic administrator and staff midwife of The Birthing Project Clinic for eight years, she became one of the founding mothers of Birth and Family Health Center, women’s health clinics housed in community health centers located in medically underserved areas of Sacramento. These community health centers provide primary care, pediatrics, dental care and behavioral health; serving women who would otherwise have little or no prenatal care or reproductive health services. Women’s health services are enhanced with health education, nutrition and social services. She currently works in a Federally Qualified Health Center, continuing to care for low-income families in a multi-disciplinary setting. She comes from a family tradition of midwives, was trained at Seattle Midwifery School, and apprenticed with midwives in Seattle, Senegal and Jamaica. She joined the NACPM Board of Directors in the fall of 2012 because of her commitment to bringing the midwifery model of care to the medically underserved and those at risk of poor birth outcomes. Before being elected as Co-President of NACPM in October 2016, she served as the organization’s Secretary for four years. She has participated in all of the US MERA meetings and was a member of the Steering Committee for the Home Birth Summit. An adjunct professor in the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA, Tanya is also currently enrolled in a PhD program in Epidemiology at the University of California, Davis.
NACPM Co -President Audrey Levine, LM CPM (Retired) lives in Olympia, WA where she practiced as a home birth midwife for 15 years. In August 2015, she closed her midwifery practice to devote her energy full-time to midwifery policy and advocacy work. Before being elected as Co-President of NACPM in October 2016, she served as the organization’s Vice-President for four years. Prior to that, Audrey was President of the Midwives’ Association of WA State (MAWS) from 2008 – 2012 and she continues to serve on the MAWS Board as Chair of the Legislative and Policy Committee and as a member of the Data and Research Committee. As co-Chair of the Washington State Department of Health’s MD-LM Workgroup, Audrey helped develop the Smooth Transitions Quality Improvement Project to enhance the safety of hospital transfers from planned community-based births and served as the Smooth Transitions Project Coordinator from July 2014 – July 2016. She has participated in the historic US MERA gatherings and is a member of the coalition’s Equity Task Force. She was also a delegate for all three Home Birth Summits and remains actively involved in the work of the Collaboration Task Force. In November 2016, Audrey received a certificate from the Northwest Public Health Leadership Institute at the University of Washington. The intensive 6-month institute gave her an opportunity to deepen her knowledge and commitment to promoting equity, especially in the area of maternal-child health.
NACPM Treasurer Jamie A. Eidsath, CPM, joined the board in 2013. Her particular interests are opposing racism in midwifery and supporting CPM inclusion in state and national legislation. She practices in Ann Arbor, Michigan. Photo courtesy of Michelle Massey Barnes
NACPM Secretary Keisha Goode, PhD, joined the Board as the first appointed Public Member. She is currently a Visiting Assistant Professor of Sociology at The State University of New York College. Her primary research area is Medical Sociology with specific attention to the medicalization of childbirth and the historical and contemporary complexities of black midwifery in the United States. She is completing a book proposal for the publication of her dissertation research, Birthing, Blackness and The Body: Black Midwives and Experiential Continuities of Institutional Racism.
Khailylah, “Kiki” Jordan, LM, CPM, is the Birth Center Director & Midwife at Marin Family Birth Center and practices as a Midwife at The Golden Belly. She studied midwifery through the apprenticeship model in home and birth center settings. She attended the International School of Midwifery (Miami, FL), and obtained a license to practice out-of-hospital midwifery care in the state of California in 2005. She has attended over 300 births and is proud to have served as a midwife in freestanding birth centers completely owned and operated by licensed midwives. She is passionate about preserving the out-of-hospital option for all women. Kiki states that “for me, being a midwife is a statement about our commitment to respecting and protecting women’s bodies, respecting and protecting women’s emotions and respecting and protecting the very significant role that women play in ushering in the future. When I think about the future of Certified Professional Midwifery, I consider the hard work that has been done to move us closer to federal recognition and integration into community health care systems. For us to truly impact the maternal health crises in America we must start to see ourselves as the essential primary maternity care providers that we are. Being a CPM means expanded midwifery access. It allows me to be a part of a national movement of direct entry midwives, who mirror the face, cultures and experiences of everyday women.”
Megan Koontz, MSM, LM, CPM is a midwife, a midwifery educator and is passionate regarding midwifery issues. She currently lives in Anchorage, Alaska having moved in 2016 from Ridgecrest, California, but she is originally from New Zealand. Megan has worked across a variety of settings including as a home birth, birthing center and hospital midwife. She has attended births in New Zealand, England, Alaska, Utah, and California. The variety of birth place means that Megan has supported people through a wide range of birthing experiences, from natural home births to hospital births that included epidurals and cesarean sections. Megan obtained her Bachelor of Midwifery in New Zealand in 2001, and Masters in Midwifery in 2015. She started as faculty with the Midwives College of Utah and currently holds the position of Core Academic Faculty and Academic Dean. Megan is currently completing the Postgraduate certificate in Educational Design and Technology through the University of Memphis. Megan loves the outdoors including skiing, skating, hiking and biking and is surprising herself by enjoying winter in Alaska almost more than she enjoys summer.
Aza Nedhari, MS-FFT is a Midwife, a Family Counselor and the Founding Executive Director of Mamatoto Village, a perinatal family support organization in Washington, DC that has been successful in securing Medicaid Managed Care reimbursement for nonclinical perinatal support services. Aza has also designed a comprehensive Perinatal Health Worker training utilizing the community health worker model as a blueprint designed to create pathways for women of color in the Human Services and Maternal Health profession. Aza is currently pursuing her Doctorate in Human Services with a concentration in Organizational Leadership and Management with an eye towards cultivating innovative models of perinatal care delivery in high needs communities. Aza is currently working on legalizing Certified Professional Midwives in the District of Columbia.
Laura Perez, LM, CPM from California writes: “When I learned that I had a womb, I became a feminist. When I learned that there were people actively trying to control and colonize my womb, I became a reproductive freedom and rights activist. And when I learned what a midwife was, I decided to become one. I suppose I need to be mindful about what I learn about since these things tend to shape my life. Some of the things I’ve done include being a member of the Women of Color Organizing Project with CARAL, being a co-founder of Exhale, a national multilingual after abortion counseling talk line, and being a regional rep for CAM, the California Association of Midwives. I’ve taught well over a hundred medical students how to do women-centered and comprehensive breast and pelvic exams as a Gynecological Teaching Associate, using my own aforementioned womb and breasts as teaching tools. I’ve done volunteer and paid doula work on and off for the past 13 years. And I’m an apprentice trained Certified Professional Midwife, a Licensed Midwife, with my own practice, and one of only two midwives of color based in San Francisco. I’m proud to identify as a working class immigrant of Native and Latin American heritage. My partner and I are also parents to a seventh grader who owns our hearts.
Camille Sealy, M.Ed, MPH, joined NACPM in the winter of 2017 as a Public Member of the Board. She currently serves as a Senior Advisor in the Office of Legislation at the Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) where she provides strategic direction and leads legislative efforts for the agency around various issues including health workforce, maternal and child health, and primary care. She previously served as a health Legislative Aide to congressional members in both chambers. During her time on Capitol Hill, Camille co-drafted the Ryan White HIV/AIDS Treatment Extension Act of 2009 and also drafted provisions within the health reform law pertaining to maternal and child health, prevention and wellness and disparities. In her free time, Camille runs, gardens, and volunteers at the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture.