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Ariel Bernstein, CPM, LM, CLEC

Faculty

Courses:
Placenta Medicine
Bio:

Ariel Bernstein (Birthwise ’16) is a midwife and lactation educator and the owner of Saco River Midwifery.  She is a graduate of Birthwise Midwifery School and holds a bachelor’s degree in Linguistics. She lives in Saco, Maine on a small homestead with her husband, her two free-spirited daughters, 2 cats, and too many chickens. When she is not caring for her clients and homeschooling her daughters she can be found working on restoring her Victorian farmhouse, growing food, and enjoying the natural beauty of Maine.  She is passionate about advocating for healthcare access, disability rights, and racial justice.  She loves coffee, being barefoot, and road trips.  She has plans to complete her MPH some day so that she can work on healthcare policy and ensuring that all people have access to the healthcare that they need.

Beth Bongiolatti Gray MA, CPM, NHCM

Academic Dean of Students

Courses:
Histories of Midwifery, Newborn Complications, Normal Prenatal, Orientation, Postpartum
Bio:

Beth Bongiolatt (Birthwise ’13) 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.

Emily Bowler, CPM

Faculty

Courses:
Normal Newborn
Bio:

Emily Bowler (Birthwise ’15) was a teacher for eight years in New York before her official entry into the world of birth. As a health educator, she loved researching and teaching about pregnancy and birth the most. She’s been a doula and childbirth educator, attending births in the Greater Boston area since 2013. Early on, she knew she wanted to have a clinical role in birth, and chose Birthwise for her education. She’s opened her own practice in 2016 and is a member of the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance.

Tara Campbell, CD (DONA), BDT, LCCE

Doula Training

Bio:

Tara is a DONA certified Birth Doula and Birth Doula Trainer who teaches doula training workshops at Birthwise. She trained with Doulas of North America (DONA) co-founder Penny Simkin before founding the Birthing Gently practice in 2001.

Tara believes that each birth is as individual, unpredictable and meaningful as each one of us and, therefore, supports a mother’s choice to birth her child in whatever way is most comfortable to her. Tara teaches that doulas must provide women with the unbiased tools needed to make informed and evidence based decisions regarding the care they are receiving.

Tiffany Carter Skillings, CPM, CLC

Faculty

Courses:
BLS for Health Care Providers, Homeopathy, Skills Practice 1, Skills Practice 3
Bio:

Tiffany Carter Skillings (Birthwise ’13) is a CPM with a home birth practice in Yarmouth Maine and provides prenatal care, lactation counseling, Well body care, routine GYN services, pre-conception counseling, and nutrition.

She received a B.A. in Sociology from Bates College in 2004 and graduated from Birthwise in 2013.

Gretchen Davidson, MSW

Faculty

Courses:
Counseling Skills & Group Process, Counseling & Mental Health
Bio:

Gretchen Davidson has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Smith College. Gretchen wrote her master’s thesis on survivors of sexual trauma and their experiences in the childbearing year.

When she is not teaching here at Birthwise, she works as a school-based therapist in the Fryeburg school system. Gretchen has also had writing published in Taproot Magazine and on The Feminist Wire.

She lives on a farm with her large, extended family in the Mount Washington Valley of New Hampshire.

Susi Delaney, MA, CPM

Faculty

Courses:
Pharmacology, Research Methods, Suturing Workshop
Bio:

Susi Delaney (Birthwise ’07) runs Red Tent Midwifery, a private home birth practice based in New Gloucester, ME. She founded the practice in 2007, after she graduated from Birthwise.

Active in the professional midwifery community, Susi is a member of the Maine Association of Certified Professional Midwives, Midwives of Maine, and the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives.

Jacqueline Dubord, MPH, CPM, NHCM

Faculty

Courses:
Introduction to Lactation, Normal Prenatal, Public Health Issues for Midwives, Skills Practice 2, Skills Practice 3, Skills Practice 4
Bio:

Jacqueline Dubord (Birthwise ’11) is a practicing homebirth midwife and practitioner of the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy based in Vienna, ME.

Jacqueline graduated from the University of California at Davis in 2005 and went on to receive a Master’s in Public Health with a specialty in Maternal and Child Health from Boston University School of Public Health. Jacqueline followed her calling to become a midwife (and teacher) at Birthwise. While a student, she worked with CPMs in Maine and Washington, attending both home and birth center births.

Jacqueline served as the Clinical Director at Birthwise from 2012-2015, and enjoys maintaining her connection with the school and its students as a faculty member and student advisor.

Heidi Fillmore, CPM, NHCM

Founder, Faculty, Midwifery Matters Editor, Owner and Midwife at The Birth House

Courses:
Overview of the Human Body, Prenatal Complications, Professional Midwifery 3, Whole Foods Nutrition
Bio:

Heidi Fillmore founded Birthwise Midwifery School in 1994 and worked as the Executive Director and has been on 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 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).

Lauren Fox, FNP, BC, CCH

Faculty

Courses:
Homeopathy for Midwives, Physical Assessment
Bio:

Lauren Fox has been a board certified family nurse practitioner, specializing in Classical Homeopathy for families and midwifery both in solo practice and part of integrative health centers, for 45 years.   She earned a BSN and a minor in Women’s Studies from Boston College and MSN from Northeastern University and is certified by the Council for Homeopathic Certification.  She learned midwifery through the apprentice model and attended births for 22 years.

Lauren is also an educator and clinical director for Homeopaths Without Borders of North America, a non-profit service organization, for the last 10 years.  She developed two curricula  for learning  the fundamentals of Homeopathy, one for family practitioners and the other for midwives.

Acadia Gantz, CPM

Academic Program Assistant/Registrar

Courses:
BLS for Health Care Providers, Childbirth Preparation Methods
Bio:

 Acadia Gantz (Birthwise ’20) is originally from Utah and moved to the lakes region of Maine to attend Birthwise Midwifery School in 2015. A trained EMT, Acadia felt drawn to the path of midwifery to be part of a normal life process instead of trauma and disease.  She believes that midwifery care is a crucial step in empowering parents to raise empowered children who will change the course of history. Acadia graduated from Birthwise in January of 2020 after precepting with midwives in Maine, New Hampshire and Idaho. Acadia has been working at Birthwise since August of 2018.  When she’s not at Birthwise or catching babies, Acadia can be found trail running, skiing, or relaxing in her canvas tent with her partner and two Labrador retrievers.

Molly Geisler, CPM, CD(DONA), CLC, BS

Faculty

Courses:
Therapeutic Nutrition & Supplementation
Bio:

Molly Geisler started her career working in the non-profit sector, and as she progressed through various organizations and jobs, her passion for holistic health, nutrition, food justice, and reproductive rights became clearer and clearer. When she learned about the roles of midwives and doulas, she jumped into the birth world and hasn’t looked back.

Molly founded Down to Earth Birth and provides midwifery, nutrition support and doula services. She holds a BS in Psychology and Anthropology from Santa Clara University and in her free times loves cooking, outdoor activities and writing.

Caitlin Goodwin, MSN, RN, CNM

Faculty

Courses:
Pharmacology for Midwives, Well Body Care
Bio:

Caitlin Goodwin (she/her) graduated with an MSN in Midwifery from Frontier Nursing  University, where she is also pursuing her Doctorate of Nursing Practice. Caitlin is a Board Certified Nurse-Midwife who has supported birth for more than ten years.  She has caught babies in both birth center and hospital settings.

Kelley Halter, MA

Faculty

Bio:

Kelley Halter has 10+ years of experience supporting Resilience and has spent hundreds of hours in post graduate training, research, and education centered around resilience. Her mission is to reflect everyone’s own light, strength, and resilience, and reflect their power to the point that people know they are capable of moving peacefully through whatever their future holds.

Kelley teaches the Thriving Midwifery elective at Birthwise.

Kate Hartwell, CPM, NHCM

Faculty

Courses:
Birth Center Seminar
Bio:

Kate Hartwell’s training was almost exclusively apprentice-model care, which is a valuable, traditional path to licensure where the student is immersed in hands-on practice under senior midwives. She has been attending births since 2007 and she has attended many births in diverse settings – home, birth center and hospital – working with various NH, ME and VT midwives.

Cathy Heffernan, BS, MSN, CNM

Faculty

Courses:
Hospital Birth Seminar
Bio:

Cathy Heffernan is currently a midwife at Maine General Health in the Lewiston/Augusta area, and has caught babies in birth center and hospital settings. She has also served as the president of the Maine Affiliate of ACNM.

Robin Illian, CPM

Faculty

Courses:
Complications of Labor and Birth, Normal Labor and Birth, Prenatal Complications
Bio:

Robin Illian (Birthwise ’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, 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.

Sarafina Kennedy, CPM

Faculty

Courses:
Skills Practice 1
Bio:
Sarafina Kennedy (Birthwise ’10) is a Boston-based  midwife, birth doula and childbirth educator. She has been practicing for the past 7 years as a midwife and the past 10 as a doula.  She trained with midwives in the Boston area and attended Birthwise in the flagship community class. She has a masters degree in medical sociology from Brandeis University that has helped her understand how women’s birth experiences have the potential to be sources of great empowerment in all avenues of their lives. Sarafina believes that every woman has the right to make informed decisions regarding the management of her birth and works hard to provide a balanced approach to childbirth education and midwifery care.

Katie Krebs, MPH

Executive Director

Courses:
Independent Research, Midwifery & Social Justice 2, Research Methods
Bio:

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 has taught childbirth education, fertility awareness, newborn care, lactation, prenatal nutrition and wellness, elementary school biology and science fairs, middle school sexuality education, and college level genetics, cell biology, laboratory science, and public health genomics.

Katie has long been passionate about reproduction and reproductive justice, and finds birth to be the most amazing intersection of biology, emotional transformation and growth, and the impact of systems and structures on access to healthcare.

She lives in Gorham, Maine with her partner, two goofy/nerdy kiddos and their dog, Freckles.

 

Abby Luca, MA, CPM, NHCM

Academic Dean of Faculty

Courses:
Childbirth Preparation Methods, Overview of the Human Body, Skills Practice 1, Skills Practice 2, Skills Practice 3, Skills Practice 4, Skills Practice 5, Waterbirth, Writing for Midwives
Bio:

Abby Luca (Birthwise ’15) has been practicing midwifery in Maine and New Hampshire since 2016, through her practice Red Roots Midwifery.  She is a core faculty member and Academic Dean of Faculty.

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.

Judith Josiah Martin, MSW, LMSW-CC, ACSW

Faculty

Courses:
Midwifery & Social Justice 1
Bio:

Judith Josiah Martin is a Faculty and Field Placement Supervisor at the University of Maine and Research Advisor at Smith College. An experienced clinician, educator, and administrator, Judith brings an extensive knowledge of programs and interventions that have been effective in assisting health care, mental health and hospitality workers in enhancing diversity in the workplace.

Holly Arends Murphy, CPM

Faculty

Courses:
Normal Newborn, Professional Midwifery 1, Professional Midwifery 2, Professional Midwifery 3, Professional Midwifery 4, VBAC/Cesarean Seminar, Waterbirth
Bio:

Holly Arends Murphy (Birthwise ’05) is a licensed CPM as well as an IBCLC and has been in private practice in Maine since 2005. Prior to midwifery Holly graduated Saint Mary’s College with a degree in Religion, Philosophy, and Justice Education and spend three years living in a L’Arche community in Washington State.

She is an active member of several professional organizations and has served on the boards of the Maine Association of Certified Professional Midwives (MACPM) and the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM). Holly is committed to being an advocate for pregnant people, babies, and reformation of the perinatal care system by supporting local and national efforts.

Mell Pulsifer, CPM

Faculty

Courses:
Professional Midwifery 1, Professional Midwifery 2, Professional Midwifery 4, Professional Midwifery 5
Bio:

Mell Pulsifer (Birthwise ’16) was born and raised in Maine and currently lives in Harpswell with her husband, daughter, and their animals.

She attended undergraduate at the University of Maine in Orono and earned a BS in Biology. During her time there she focused on Marine Science and Aquaculture. The first birth she ever attended was a male seahorse birthing hundreds of wispy little babies in the Aquaculture Research Center at UMaine.

Following her undergraduate degree she went on to pursue midwifery education at Birthwise Midwifery School where I graduated in 2016. Since graduating she has begun teaching at Birthwise Midwifery School. It is a great joy and inspiration to work with the next generation of midwives. Mell strives to learn with her students by providing them with up to date evidence, discussing topics surrounding social justice, and hearing their midwifery and health related experiences from their own communities.

Mischa Schuler

Faculty

Courses:
Botanicals
Bio:

Mischa Schuler is a clinical herbalist, CranioSacral therapist, and herbal teacher living and practicing in Portland, Maine as Wild Carrot Herbs. She specializes in anxiety support for adults & adolescents; menstrual, thyroid & reproductive health; fertility, pregnancy & post-partum care; and children’s digestive, respiratory & skin health. Mischa formulates herbal protocols specific to individual needs and offers CranioSacral sessions to more deeply integrate emotional & physical changes. She runs Wild Moon Herb School.

Brenda Surabian, CPM

Faculty

Courses:
Hospital Birth Seminar
Bio:

Brenda Surabian has over 20 years experience as a Certified Professional Midwife and has attended over 600 births. Prior to becoming a midwife, Brenda served her community as an advanced EMT for 25 years. In 1994, Brenda started Sacopee Valley Birthing Services.

She loves an adventure and enjoys time with her many friends and family.

Nell Tharpe, MS, CNM, CRNFA

Faculty

Courses:
Neonatal Resuscitation
Bio:

Nell Tharpe graduated from the SUNY Downstate certificate program in Nurse-Midwifery in1986. She has over 17 years’ experience in full-scope independent clinical practice caring for women from 12-87 in her community in coastal Maine. In addition to basic midwifery and women’s health care, Nell’s diverse practice included colposcopy, well child clinics, the development of the local school health center, adolescent outreach education, provision of hospital employee health, and surgical first assistant services.

Autumn Vergo, CNM, CPM, NHCM

Faculty

Courses:
Physical Assessment
Bio:

Autumn Vergo worked at The Birth Cottage, a freestanding birth center as midwife. Her scope of practice included prenatal, intrapartum and postpartum care, as well as nutritional and preconception counseling, and limited well-woman services. She also did political and administrative work related to the running of the outpatient facility.

Bethany Witten, CPM, NHCM

Faculty

Courses:
Overview of the Human Body
Bio:

Bethany Witten (Birthwise ’15) is a Certified Professional Midwife, New Hampshire Certified Midwife, and Vermont Licensed Midwife who was born and raised in southern Ontario, Canada and lives in a tiny house in Alstead, NH. Bethany’s primary goal as a midwife is to provide families with everything they need to make confident decisions and feel respected and cared for in their experience of pregnancy, birth, and parenting a newborn.

When not teaching or midwifing, Bethany can be found knitting, brewing herbal salves and remedies, growing organic vegetables, hiking mountains, and caring for her small flock of ducks and her two young children.

Sarah Ackerly, ND, CPM

Faculty

Courses:
Vaccination Debate
Bio:

Sarah Ackerly is a Naturopathic Doctor and Certified Professional Midwife with a naturopathic family practice.  Sarah attends births at home and at The Birth Center at Northern Sun in Topsham, Maine.

Sarah graduated from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado and received her doctorate from National College of Naturopathic Medicine in Portland, Oregon in 1993. She has been on the faculty at Birthwise since 1996.