Katie Krebs, MPH
Katie Krebs holds a BA in Molecular, Cellular and Developmental Biology from the University of Colorado at Boulder, and a MPH in Maternal and Child Health and Epidemiology from the Boston University School of Public Health. Katie was a childbirth educator for over 6 years, and has completed the Evidence Based Birth Instructor Training. Katie taught childbirth education, fertility awareness, newborn care, lactation, and prenatal nutrition and wellness courses for Baby and Co, was a contributor to the Birth by the Numbers website, and is the author of The Business of Being Born: Classroom Edition for both high school and college level students.
Katie has spent the last 10 years working in the world of academia, supporting clinical research in the areas of lung disease, cancer, and pediatric surgery, most recently serving as the Program Manager of a research group. Katie has also volunteered for her local community as the president of a non-profit serving new parents, helping with a needs assessment of comprehensive sexuality education programs in Colorado, and teaching comprehensive sexuality education to 7th-9th graders.
Katie has long been passionate about the topics of reproduction and reproductive justice, and finds birth to be the most amazing intersection of biological processes, emotional transformation and growth for individuals and families, and the impact of systems and structures on access to healthcare. Midwives are special people, and Katie is excited to work with and for them.
Melissa Mayo, CMA
Melissa Mayo 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 and a MS in Accounting. She is a Certified Management Accountant, Certified Bookkeeper, and a Notary Public. She lives in Norway, ME with her two young sons, daughter, and wonderful husband.
Financial Aid Officer
Elizabeth McKinnon 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 Dean of Students
Courses:Newborn Complications, Normal Prenatal, Postpartum
Beth Bongiolatti is a Birthwise graduate who began practicing as a midwife in New Hampshire & Maine in early 2013. She is a core faculty member, and supports students through their academic path at Birthwise as the Academic Dean of Students. Beth holds a B.A. in English & Political Science from the University of New England (’05), and a M.A. in Sustainable Development (’10) (with an emphasis on international perinatal health) from the SIT Graduate Institute.
Beth loves to travel, to camp in the mountains, and to learn new skills. She lives in Waterford, Maine with her partner, their rambunctious dog, & ever-plotting cat.
Abby Luca, CPM
Academic Dean of Faculty
Courses:Childbirth Preparation Methods, Labwork for Midwives, Overview of the Human Body, Writing Workshops
Abby Luca has been practicing midwifery in Maine and New Hampshire since 2016. She is a core faculty member and Director of the Midwifery Assistant Program at Birthwise Midwifery School.
Before her training as a midwife, Abby was a college English instructor at the University of Alabama. She 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 and Women’s Studies from the University of Alabama in 2010. Abby also has a background in herbal medicine, training with Phyllis Light at the Appalachian Center for Natural Health.
Abby is an avid hiker and herbal medicine-maker, and she lives in a rambling old farmhouse with her husband Stephen in Fryeburg, Maine.
Robin Illian, CPM
Courses:Complications of Labor and Birth, Normal Labor and Birth, Prenatal Complications
Robin Illian, a Birthwise graduate, 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, California 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.
Program Assistant Acadia Gantz is from the small dairy-farming town of Richmond, UT. Before she began her studies at Birthwise Midwifery School, she worked as a ski patroller and an EMT. Accustomed to helping people in crisis situations, she was drawn to midwifery because she wanted to help people find their power during one of the most important events in their lives.
Acadia is, currently, a student midwife at Birthwise. Before she began her studies, she completed doula training with influential midwife Kristi Ridd-Young in Utah. She also completed two clinical rotations (where she attended a total of nine births), plus a five-month preceptorship at a midwifery practice in Idaho. When Acadia isn’t catching babies, she’s busy trail running or skiing with her two dogs.
Admissions and Recruitment Coordinator
Meg Terwilliger coordinates the admissions process, recruiting prospective students and helping them apply, enroll and pursue their midwifery education at Birthwise. She holds a BA in studio art from St. Olaf College.
Meg lives in New Gloucester, Maine with her husband and two sons.
Janessa Thomas is the Office Manager and Registrar. She is in charge of registering all of the courses and students as well as overseeing the ongoing maintenance of the Birthwise facility. She lives in Limington, ME with her husband, where she maintains her hobby farm and practices massage in her personal studio.
Heidi Fillmore, CPM, NHCM
Editor of Midwifery Matters, Staff Midwife
Courses:Overview of the Human Body, Prenatal Complications, Professional Midwifery 3, Whole Foods Nutrition
Heidi Fillmore founded Birthwise Midwifery School in 1994 and worked as Executive Director and faculty for 25 years. She has been attending home and birth center births in Maine and New Hampshire since 1987. In that time, she has safely delivered over 1,000 babies.
Heidi studied midwifery at the Midwifery Training Institute in Albuquerque, New Mexico. She is a certified professional midwife (CPM) with a license to practice in New Hampshire and soon in Maine. Heidi has held leadership positions in the state midwifery associations and the Midwifery Education Accreditation Council and helped craft legislation, which passed in 2017, to license midwives in Maine.
Heidi is a member of the National Association for CPMs (NACPM) and of the Maine Association of CPMs (NACPM).