Heidi Fillmore, CPM, NHCM

Executive Director

Newborn Complications, Overview of the Human Body, Prenatal Complications, Professional Midwifery 4, Whole Foods Nutrition

Heidi is the founder of Birthwise, where she serves as Clinical Director, and The Birth House, where she works as a staff midwife. She has also been practicing midwifery in Maine and New Hampshire since 1988.

Active in the professional midwifery community, Heidi is a member of the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council Board of Directors, the Midwives Alliance of North America, Midwives of Maine, and the National Association for Certified Professional Midwives and is acting chair of the Maine Association of Certified Professional Midwives.

Melissa Mayo

Business Manager


Melissa manages day-to-day business for Birthwise Midwifery School, the Birth House, and Midwifery Matters. She also handles finances, billing, and advertising. In 2018, she was elected Midwifery Education Accreditation Council (MEAC) treasurer. As approachable as she is knowledgable, Melissa is often a point of contact for Birthwise students.

Melissa holds a BA in Cultural Anthropology from Umass Darmouth and a graduate certification in Accounting from Kaplan University.  She is also a Certified Bookkeeper and a Notary Public. She lives in Norway, ME with her two young sons, daughter, and wonderful husband.

Elizabeth McKinnon

Financial Aid Officer


Elizabeth has a B.S. in Applied Economics from the University of Maine at Orono. She helps students navigate the financial aid process and obtain the federal student aid they are eligible for while attending Birthwise and coordinates faculty contracts.

She is also a Student Exchange and Visitor Program Designated School Official (DSO) and, in that capacity, helps international students obtain student visas.

Beth Bongiolatti CPM, NHCM

Academic Director


Beth (‘13) holds a master’s degree in Sustainable International Development from the SIT Graduate Institute, where she completed a dissertation on the role of birth and midwifery in communities experiencing civil conflict.

She came to Birthwise (first as a student, then later as clinical director and midwife at the Birth House) via Bali, where she worked alongside midwives from all over the world at the Yayasan Bumi Sehat midwifery clinic, and then via Southern New Hampshire, where she worked in a large, free-standing birth center.

Abby Luca, CPM

Midwifery Assistant Program Director

Childbirth Preparation Methods, Labwork for Midwives, Professional Midwifery 1, Professional Midwifery 2, Writing Workshops

Abby received a B.A. in English and Religious Studies from the University of Alabama in 2006 and went on a received her M.A. in English from the University of Alabama in 2010.

She had her first experience teaching while a graduate student at the University of Alabama.

Robin Illian, CPM

Clinical Director

Complications of Labor and Birth, Normal Labor and Birth, Prenatal Complications

Robin (’05) has been a Certified Professional Midwife practicing in Maine since 2005.

She has a BS in Anthropology and Biology from James Madison University, where she also completed a pre-med concentration with the original intention of going to naturopathic medical school.

Her interest in holistic women’s health, as well as working as a hospital-based doula in Berkeley, CA led Robin to midwifery.

She worked in homebirth practices in California and Colorado before returning to Maine (and Birthwise faculty) in 2005. She became Clinical Director in 2018.

Eliza Alder

Office Manager


Eliza holds a BS in Biology from University of Southern Maine. She is the Office Manager and oversees the ongoing maintenance of the Birthwise facility. She lives in Windham, ME with her husband, her two young daughters, and her dog, Bailey.

Kelsey Scherer, CPM

Program Assistant


Kelsey (‘17) has a B.A. in Gender & Women’s Studies, International Studies, and Global Health and a certification in Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages, all from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. A native Wisconsinite, her interest in holistic healthcare has spanned since her younger years, with midwifery becoming her passion during her time as an undergraduate doing work in international development. She graduated from Birthwise in 2017 after completing her preceptorship at a busy birth center in Concord, New Hampshire. She moved back to Maine to join the Academic Program staff in 2018.