The People Who Planned the Summit: The Vision Team

Senior members from the following maternity care and health organizations have been working together since 2009 as a Vision Team to plan and organize the Home Birth Consensus Summits: AABC, AAFP, AAP, ACNM, ACOG, AWHONN, Childbirth Connection, ICTC, Lamaze, MANA, NACPM, Our Bodies Ourselves. The following individuals, in alphabetical order, currently form a Steering Council for the Summits.

Convener and Chair

Saraswathi Vedam RM FACNM MSN Sci D(hc), ACNM Division of Standards and Practice, Home Birth Section; Senior Consultant, MANA Division of Research Coordinating Council; Associate Professor, Division of Midwifery, Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia

Saraswathi Vedam

Saraswathi Vedam is Associate Professor at the Division of Midwifery in the Faculty of Medicine, University of British Columbia, and founder of the UBC Midwifery Faculty Practice, Birth & Beyond. Over the last 30 years, she has cared for families in the USA, the Netherlands, India, and Canada in a variety of private and public health care settings. She serves as Senior Advisor to the MANA Division of Research, and is on the Interim Executive Board, Canadian Association of Midwifery Educators, and Founding Chair of the historic multi-disciplinary Home Birth Consensus Summits. Professor Vedam has also enjoyed teaching midwifery, medical, and nursing students in universities across North America.

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, the US, and India. She has given expert testimony for State legislative hearings on nurse-midwifery practice, compensation, and regulation and education in New York, California, Indiana and Connecticut. While Director of the UBC Division of Midwifery from 2007-2012, she was responsible for achieving support from the BC Ministries of Health and Advanced Education to support the expansion and revision of midwifery education.

Professor Vedam’s scholarly work includes critical appraisal of the literature on planned home birth, evaluations of innovative models for fetal assessment, and development of the first US registry of home birth perinatal data. In 2010, she chaired the highly acclaimed 5th International Normal Labour and Birth Research conference in Vancouver, and she is currently on the Steering Council for sessions in China and Brazil. 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. Supported by funding from the Canadian Institute for Health Research, Professor Vedam conducted a national, mix-methods study on factors leading to divergent attitudes among maternity care providers’ regarding planned home birth. She is currently principal investigator on a provincial community based participatory study on women’s preferences for model of care and decision-making during pregnancy.

Steering Council

Ocean Berg RN MSN CNS, Perinatal CNS, San Francisco General Hospital (2011)
Ocean Berg received her BA in Sociology at University of California Santa Cruz, her MSN in Community Public Health/Clinical Nurse Specialist in Perinatal from San Francisco State University in 1998 and 2003 respectively. She is currently the Perinatal Clinical Nurse Specialist at San Francisco General Hospital. Ocean thrives in multidisciplinary work and strives to promote normalcy in high risk birth. Currently Ocean is representing AWHONN with MD Nancy Lowe in a Home Birth Consensus Summit. She has lectured throughout California for AWHONN on the subjects of Baby Friendly and Normalizing Childbirth. She has written an article for JPNN on the topic of Baby Friendly and for Maternal Child Nursing on the topic of Skin to Skin in the Operating Room. She is going to work with the CMQCC Preeclampsia Taskforce. Ocean lives in San Francisco with her two home birthed daughters, extreme sport engrossed husband and two calico cats. Non professional pursuits include outdoor sports of all sorts and enjoying her extended family of friends.

Ginger Breedlove CNM PhD APRN FACNM, President, ACNM (2013-14)
Ginger Breedlove is known and respected by many for her work in advancing women’s reproductive health and nurse-midwifery in both Kansas and Missouri. Some highlights of her career include: 1979, co-founding the Birth and Women’s Center in Topeka, the first freestanding birth center in Kansas; 1994, establishing the first hospital-based certified nurse-midwifery (CNM) service in the Greater Kansas City area at St. Luke’s Hospital; 1998, joining the University of Kansas School of Nursing in establishing the Kansas Collaborative Bi-state Nurse-Midwifery Education Program, to prepare the next generation of nurse midwives; and 2001, completing her PhD in nursing and publishing the book, co-authored with Rachel Abramson, The Community-Based Doula: Supporting Families Before, During, and After Childbirth. Ginger has served in numerous ACNM leadership roles, including 6 years as Secretary of the ACNM Board of Directors.

Melissa Cheyney PhD CPM LDM, Chair, MANA Division of Research (2011-14)

MMelissa Cheyney is Associate Professor of Clinical Medical Anthropology and Reproductive Biology at Oregon State University (OSU) with additional appointments in Public Health and Women’s Studies. She received her doctorate in Biocultural Anthropology from the University of Oregon in 2005, where her research examined the U.S. Home Birth Movement. Dr. Cheyney is also a Certified Professional Midwife in active practice, the Chair of the Governor-appointed Board of Direct-entry Midwifery for the State of Oregon, and the Chair of the Division of Research for the Midwives Alliance of North America where she directs the MANA Statistics Project — the only existing data repository for planned homebirth in the United States. She is the author of the recent ethnography, Born at Home (2010, Wadsworth Press) along with several, peer-reviewed journal articles that examine the cultural beliefs and clinical outcomes associated with midwife-led birth at home and in birth centers. Her most recent publication explores the contested space of intrapartum home-to-hospital transfers.

Dr. Cheyney currently directs the International Reproductive Health Laboratory at Oregon State University where she has developed an academic learning community comprised of five undergraduate research assistants, 12 graduate students and one postdoctoral fellow whose research agendas are focused on identifying culturally appropriate ways to improve access to high quality midwifery care as a means of reducing health inequalities for mothers and babies in the U.S and abroad. She currently serves as the PI on 21 maternal and infant health-related research projects in Uganda, Haiti, Ethiopia, Puerto Rico, India, the Dominican Republic, Ireland, Sierra Leone and in the United States. She is an award-winning teacher and was recently nominated for Oregon State University’s prestigious Outstanding Student Mentorship Award for her work in the International Reproductive Health Laboratory. She is the mother of a daughter born at home on International Day of the Midwife in 2009.

Linda Cole MSN CNM, President, American Association of Birth Centers (2011-13)
Linda Cole is a graduate of the Medical University of Carolina for her Masters degree in nurse-midwifery and Frontier Nursing University for her doctorate in nursing practice. She is currently serving as President of the American Association of Birth Centers. She has worked at the Lisa Ross Birth and Women’s Center in Knoxville, Tennessee since 1994 and was the Executive Director of the center from 2000-2011. She has been involved in the clinical education of midwifery students for her entire career and is currently working as a Regional Clinical Faculty for Frontier Nursing University, as well as practicing full-scope midwifery. She has been interested in demonstrating cost outcomes of birth center care, and is currently involved in research in this area.

John Kattwinkel MD, AAP, Professor of Neonatology, University of Virginia (2011)
John Kattwinkel is a pioneer in the field of sudden infant death syndrome and was one of the lead authors of the landmark 1992 American Academy of Pediatrics policy statement that urged parents to put infants to sleep on their backs to prevent SIDS. Perinatal Continuing Education Program, an educational program for physicians, nurses, nurse midwives and practitioners, respiratory therapists and all others who care for pregnant women or newborn babies, has been used by more than 150,000 health care professionals across the United States as well as by caregivers in Canada, Bosnia, Poland, Mexico and China.

Dr. Kattwinkel attended the Summit at the request of the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP), where over the past 25 years he has been very active in the development and distribution of the Neonatal Resuscitation Program (NRP).

Holly Powell Kennedy CNM PhD FACNM FAAN, Past President, ACNM, Professor of Midwifery, Yale School of Nursing (2011-13)
Holly Powell Kennedy is the inaugural Helen Varney Professor of Midwifery at Yale University and Past President of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM). She is on the faculty of King’s College London where she was a Fulbright Distinguished Scholar during 2008. She served for a number of years as the co-chair if the International Confederation of Midwives Standing Research Committee.

She has practiced in numerous settings including rural health, community and tertiary hospitals, and in academic practices and has educated midwives since 1993. Her research includes numerous qualitative studies exploring the work of midwives and its relationship to health outcomes. One focus of her work is on “optimality” in perinatal care and the appropriate use of interventions in low risk women during childbirth. She has also completed a clinical trial of Centering Pregnancy, a group model of prenatal care, in two military settings. She speaks internationally on strategies to normalize birth care and her numerous research studies.

She is a graduate of the Frontier School of Midwifery & Family Nursing, her master’s degree from the Medical College of Georgia as a family nurse practitioner, and her doctoral degree from the University of Rhode Island. Her awards include Fellowship in the American College of Nurse-Midwives and the American Academy of Nursing, the Lamaze International Research Award to the ACNM Optimality Working Group, the Margretta Madden Styles Award for Excellence in Nursing, the Rhode Island State Nurses Association President’s Award for Service to Nursing, a Governor’s Citation for Service to the State of Rhode Island, and the Irving Harris Visiting Professorship at the University of Illinois-Chicago.

Tanya Khemet LM, Birthing Project, International Center for Traditional Childbearing (2011)
Tanya Khemet leads home birth advocacy for the International Center for Traditional Childbearing and is a member of the Home Birth Summit steering committee. She is co-founder of Birth and Family Health Center in Sacramento, California, an innovative multidisciplinary women’s health center. After receiving her midwifery training in Seattle, Washington at the Seattle School of Midwifery, she furthered her skills and life experience with apprenticeships in Senegal and Jamaica, where she learned another dimension of homebirth from an international lens. Prior to her work with Birth and Family Health Center, Tanya spent eight years coordinating obstetric, psychosocial and health education service delivery as a midwife and clinic administrator at the Birthing Project Clinic in Sacramento which serves low-income high risk women and teens. Tanya is the mother of three terrific daughters who were all born at home.

Mary Lawlor CPM LM MA, Executive Director, NACPM (2011-14)
Mary Lawlor has worked in maternity care since 1981, and is a clinician, birth center owner, policy advisor and organizational leader. She earned a BS from Georgetown University, her Associate in Midwifery in 1981 at The Maternity Center in El Paso, and an MA in Counseling from Lesley University in Boston in 1986. In addition to her homebirth practice of over 30 years, she is the owner and director of the Monadnock Birth Center in Swanzey, NH. She was active in successful legislative efforts to license midwives in both Vermont and New Hampshire, and has served as a Midwife Advisor to the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation since 2003, helping to oversee the practice of midwifery in the state.

A founding board member, Mary served as President of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM) from 2003 until 2012, and currently is the Executive Director of NACPM. She serves as Policy Analyst to the Midwives and Mothers in Action (MAMA) Campaign, a national coalition of six midwifery-related organizations advocating in the U.S. Congress for increased access for women across the country to Certified Professional Midwife services and high-quality, high-value maternity care.

Hal C. Lawrence III MD, Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, ACOG (2011-14)
Hal Lawrence started at ACOG in fall 2007 as the Vice President for Practice Activities. Dr. Lawrence’s undergraduate work was completed at Vanderbilt University, and he attended medical school at Indiana University. Following residency training at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, Dr. Lawrence joined a private practice in Asheville, North Carolina. In January 1991, he rejoined the University of North Carolina faculty and worked with the Mountain Area Health Education Center in Asheville to establish an ACGME-approved ob-gyn residency training program in 1992. Dr. Lawrence chaired that department and program until coming to ACOG. He is active in many medical organizations, included the Robert A. Ross Society, North Carolina Ob-Gyn Society, Southern Ob-Gyn Seminar, South Atlantic Association of Obstetricians and Gynecologists and the Residency Review Committee for Obstetrics and Gynecology. He has served as an examiner for the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Inc, as well as a reviewer for the journal, Obstetrics & Gynecology.

Lawrence Leeman MD MPH , Professor, Family and Community Medicine, Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of New Mexico (2013-14)
leeman_lLarry Leeman MD, MPH is Professor of Family and Community Medicine, and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. He is the director of UNM Family Medicine Maternal Child Health clinical service, co-medical director of University Hospital Mother Baby Unit and Level Two Nursery, and Medical Director for the Milagro Perinatal Substance Abuse program. He is the medical consultant for the Dar a Luz Birth Center in Albuquerque. As a faculty member at UNM he has worked for fifteen years as a consultant for home birth and birth center midwives and helped care for their clients who have required hospital transport. He was the physician member of the New Mexico State Licensed midwifery advisory board from 1993-1998. He has presented grand rounds for the UNM Ob/Gyn and Family Medicine Departments on Home Birth with a focus on facilitating improved collaboration from home to hospital.

He was in rural practice with the Zuni Indian Ramah Indian Health Service from 1992-1998 where he was the Director of Maternity Care at a facility using a birth center model. He authored two articles addressing the safety of the birth center model and low cesarean rate achieved. He continues to work with Native American communities in New Mexico through providing clinical care and consultation services at the Cuba PMS clinic in Northwestern New Mexico and at the First Nations Urban Indian clinic in Albuquerque. He is the Managing Editor of the Advanced Life Support in Obstetrics course. He teaches ALSO each year on the Navajo reservation and helped with the introduction of ALSO into Ecuador, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, and China He received his medical degree from the University of California, San Francisco and an MPH in epidemiology from the University of California, Berkeley. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at the University of New Mexico and fellowship in Family Medicine Obstetrics at the University of Rochester. His research interests include maternal and neonatal outcomes of childbirth, rural maternity care, and family planning.

Judith Lothian RN PhD LCCE FACCE, Lamaze International, Associate Professor, Seton Hall University, College of Nursing (2011-14)
Judith Lothian is an internationally respected childbirth educator and advocate for safe, healthy birth and breastfeeding. She is an associate professor in the College of Nursing at Seton Hall University in South Orange, New Jersey.

She currently chairs the Certification Council for Lamaze International that is responsible for developing the international certification examination for Lamaze certified childbirth educators. She is also the Associate Editor of the Journal of Perinatal Education and writes a regular column for the JPE. Her advocacy work includes national leadership positions in Lamaze International and national work with Childbirth Connection, the American College of Nurse Midwives, and the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services.

Co-author of The Official Lamaze Guide: Giving Birth with Confidence and a blog about normal birth at Research interests are breastfeeding and childbirth and she is currently completing a qualitative research study of the experience of home birth for women and their midwives.

Nancy K. Lowe CNM PhD FACNM FAAN, Professor, University of Colorado, AWHONN (2011)
Nancy Lowe is Editor, Journal of Obstetric, Gynecologic & Neonatal Nursing (JOGNN) and Professor & Chair, Division of Women, Children, & Family Health, University of Colorado Denver, College of Nursing.

Dr. Lowe’s research is focused on maximizing health and well-being of childbearing women, their newborns, and their families. To maximize positive outcomes and minimize unnecessary costly medical intervention, pregnancy/birth/parenting must be viewed within a holistic, health-promotion framework, a framework that is best constructed by nurse-midwives. Dr. Lowe’s primary research foci are (a) biobehavioral aspects of the childbearing experience and its processes, (b) care during labor, and (c) postpartum outcomes of healthy, nulliparous women.

Shafia Monroe President & CEO, International Center for Traditional Childbearing (2011-14)


Shafia M. Monroe, LM became a homebirth midwife in 1978, after learning of the high infant mortality rate in her hometown, Boston, MA. Since then she has worked to eliminate the high infant mortality rate for babies of color, through advocacy and policy. In 1991, she founded the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC), the first international non-profit to address the needs of black midwives, and increase the number of midwives, doulas and healers of color, to empower families to reduce infant and maternal mortality.

In 2002, she witnessed the shortage of doulas of color, and developed a culturally specific doula training program built on the midwifery model of care and has trained over 1,500 doulas, with one-third continuing on to become midwives. Shafia created the International Black Midwives and Healers Conference, to meet the distinctive needs of midwives of color, to improve birth outcomes, support home birth, and build the profession. Her advocacy work includes the OR HB2666 committee for postpartum depression service, and the national Coalition for Quality Maternity Care. In 2011, she originated the legislative concept for OR HB3311, to investigate the use of doulas for vulnerable populations, resulting in Oregon being the first state for doula Medicaid reimbursement. A champion for public health, Shafia received her Master of Public Health in 2012, from Walden University. She has self-published and co-authored numerous papers and articles including, HB3311 (2011) Doula Report, presentation to the Health Committee of the Oregon Legislature, Reclaiming Childbirth, Sojourners Magazine and Into These Hands, Wisdom of Midwives.

In 2014, she opened Shafia Monroe Consulting, a business to provide cultural competency training for health care providers and doulas who work with diverse populations in maternal and child health to improve pregnancy outcomes. Shafia’s work is recognized internationally, with the recent Life Time Achievement Award, Service in Community Health, 2014, Unsung Hero Award, Keeping the Dream Alive, 2013 and the Midwife Heroes Award, Midwives of Color/ACNM, 2012. Shafia is a wife, a mother of seven and a nana of ten; and she mentors hundreds of individual’s aspiring to midwifery and public health. Shafia loves to garden, write, ride horses and cook for family and friends.

Suzy Myers LM CPM MPH, Chair, Department of Midwifery, Bastyr University (2011-14)

Suzy MyersSuzy Myers has been a midwife for more than 30 years, is one of the co-founders of Seattle Midwifery School and is currently the chair for the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University in Seattle, Washington. Active in the midwifery profession since the mid-70’s Suzy has helped train more than 200 midwives; and, with her midwifery partner, she has assisted nearly 2,000 families in their home and birth center practice – Seattle Home Maternity Service.

In the early 1980’s she was active in legislative reform of Washington’s Midwifery Act and served on the first Midwifery Advisory Committee, writing rules and developing the licensing examination. In 1983 she helped to launch the Midwives Association of Washington State and served as its first president from 1983-1985. In 1988 she earned a Master’s degree in Public Health from the University of Washington’s Maternal and Child Health Program. She co-authored the first study of outcomes of licensed midwife-attended births in Washington, published in Birth in 1994.

Suzy has continued to be involved on many fronts in support of the development of professional midwifery, locally and nationally. From 1994-2008 she served on the Board of Directors of a Joint Underwriting Association created by the Washington State legislature to provide medical malpractice insurance to midwives providing out-of-hospital birth services. She is now actively involved in national midwifery advocacy, serving on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM) as well as chairing the new Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University, the first regionally accredited, articulated (may earn BS and MS) direct entry program in the U.S. to grant a Masters Degree in Midwifery.

Judy Norsigian Executive Director, Our Bodies Ourselves (2011-14)
Judy Norsigian speaks and writes on a wide range of women’s health concerns, most recently emphasizing reproductive health and justice, human biotechnologies, women and health care reform, and midwifery advocacy. She has appeared on numerous national television and radio programs, including Oprah, the Today show, Good Morning America, The Early Show and NBC Nightly News with Tom Brokaw.

Since 1971, Ms. Norsigian has been part of the Boston Women’s Health Book Collective, now doing business as Our Bodies Ourselves (OBOS). She is the Executive Director and the primary spokesperson for this nonprofit women’s health education, advocacy, and consulting organization. Ms Norsigian also serves as a board member of Public Responsibility in Medicine and Research and on numerous other advisory and editorial boards. Her personal recognitions include: the Public Service Award from the Massachusetts Public Health Association; Radcliffe College Alumnae Association Annual Recognition Award; Boston YWCA’s Academy of Women Achievers; the Massachusetts Health Council Award; and an honorary doctorate degree from Boston University. She was selected by Women’s eNews as one of the “21 Leaders for the 21st Century.”

Catherine Ruhl MS CNM, Director, Women's Health Programs, AWHONN (2013-14)

Cathy RuhlCatherine Ruhl is Director of Women’s Health Programs at the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses (AWHONN) in Washington, DC. Catherine has 30 years of experience in maternal health as a clinician, manager and educator. She coordinates professional nursing education programming at AWHONN and represents AWHONN to a variety of national organizations including the National Maternal Health Initiative, the Center for Disease Control’s Select Panel on Preconception Care, and the HHS Maternal Immunization Working Group. Catherine’s portfolio at AWHONN includes work on diabetes in pregnancy, perinatal nurse staffing, obstetric triage, vaccination issues, and consumer education through AWHONN’s Healthy Mom & Baby consumer media. She obtained her Bachelors in Nursing from the University of Kansas and her Masters in Nursing from the University of Illinois at Chicago. Catherine has been a certified nurse-midwife for 25 years and currently practices at Providence Hospital in Washington, DC. She is clinical adjunct faculty for the Georgetown University nurse-midwifery program.

Geradine Simkins CNM MSN, Executive Director, MANA (2011-14)
Geradine Simkins is an activist, midwife, and author. She began as a direct-entry home birth midwife in 1976 and became a nurse-midwife twenty years later. She has owned and operated Birthways Midwifery, Inc. for over 30 years, and is currently the CEO of Birthways Consulting. In 2003 she co-founded a freestanding birth center. Geradine is keenly interested in public health midwifery, particularly strategies for overcoming healthcare disparities and engendering a more equitable maternity care system for all women and infants. To this end she worked in a bilingual clinic for Hispanic migrant farmworkers for 7 years, she was a women’s health consultant for American Indian organizations co-managing maternal and child healthcare programs for 14 years, and she has worked for the past 10 years as a project consultant for the National Institutes of Health initiative called Healthy Native Babies.

Geradine is a former President and currently the Executive Director of Midwives Alliance of North America, a professional organization that promotes excellence in midwifery and is dedicated to unifying and strengthening the profession, thereby increasing access to quality healthcare and improving outcomes for women, babies and their families. As a leader in the U.S. midwifery movement Geradine works passionately to sustain the midwifery profession, advocate for healthcare reform, mentor the next generation of midwives, and collaborate with key partners and stakeholders. She is the editor of the recently published book entitledInto 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.

Richard N. Waldman MD FACOG, ACOG Past President (2012-13)
Richard Waldman is chair of the ob-gyn department and medical director of performance improvement at St. Joseph’s Hospital Health Center in Syracuse, NY. He is a Past President of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG).

He is also president of the Associates for Women’s Medicine and clinical associate professor of ob-gyn at Upstate Medical Center, the State University of New York. An ACOG Fellow since 1981, Dr. Waldman has been involved in a number of ACOG activities. He has served as a member of the ACOG Executive Board and chaired the Council of District Chairs. He has been a member of the committees on Finance, Nominations, and Patient Safety and Quality Improvement and on the task forces on Safety in Residency Training, and District and Section Donation Policy. Dr. Waldman has also been a member of the Collaborative Practice Advisory Group and was team leader for the Voluntary Review of Quality of Care program. He has served as the Junior Fellow College Advisory Council advisor and the ACOG representative to Practicing Physicians Advisory Council National Committee for Quality Assurance.

Dr. Waldman has held a variety of regional leadership positions, including chair and vice chair of ACOG District II and the Syracuse-Utica Section. He has served as District II Scientific Program and Nominating Committee chairs and the Quality Assurance Committee co-chair. He was a member of the District II Primary Care Committee and Practice Management Committee and is a recipient of ACOG’s Outstanding District Service Award and Outstanding Section Service Award. Dr. Waldman is a past president of the Central New York Obstetrics and Gynecology Society and a former consultant to the International Childbirth Education Association.

He has been active in advocating for improvements in women’s health for many years and established the first hospital-based midwifery practice in Central New York. Dr Waldman has served on several New York State task forces working with the Commissioner of Health and the Superintendent of Insurance. Dr. Waldman received his medical degree from the New Jersey College of Medicine and Dentistry and completed his residency at Upstate Medical University, the State University of New York.

Kristi Watterberg MD, AAP Professor of Neonatology, University of New Mexico (2012-14)
WatterbergKristi Watterberg is a Professor of Pediatrics and former Chief of the Division of Neonatology at the University of New Mexico School of Medicine. She has also served as faculty at the Hershey Medical Center at Penn State University. Her primary research interests are adrenal function in the fetus and newborn infant and the pathogenesis and prevention of bronchopulmonary dysplasia. She has received NIH and other national funding for her studies in these areas, and is an internationally recognized expert in this field. Currently, Dr. Watterberg is the Principal Investigator at New Mexico for the NICHD Neonatal Research Network, which has multiple ongoing observational and interventional studies in the NICU. She is a member of the Committee on Fetus and Newborn of the American Academy of Pediatrics and was lead author for the committee statement on the use of postnatal steroids to prevent or treat bronchopulmonary dysplasia. In addition, Dr. Watterberg serves on NIH peer review panels and is a member of the American Pediatric Society.

Project Management

  • Angela Moore MBA, Project Manager
  • Melissa Nightingale, Project Assistant
  • Jade Bowman, Project Assistant


Grant Facilitation

  • Laura Schummers, PhD Candidate, Harvard School of Public Health
  • Karen Gelb, Research Manager, University of British Columbia

Meeting Facilitation

Sheila Capestany MPH MSW (2014)

Sheila CapestanySheila Capestany holds a Master of Public Health and a Master of Social Work from the University of Washington. She has almost 25 years of experience in providing consultation and training to address issues of equity, oppression, multiculturalism and cross-cultural communication.Sheila has extensive experience in facilitating and leading groups and processes on important social and health issues. She has worked with interprofessional groups in health care and is very familiar with the maternity care landscape. Sheila has a proven track record of successfully helping groups to achieve lasting and transformative change.

Sheila is the Executive Director of Open Arms Perinatal Services, a community-based organization that provides support to low income pregnant women and families. In addition to providing services, Open Arms is a well-known advocate for equity and a multicultural approach in maternity and health care. As a consultant, she has worked with a diversity of organizations and institutions, including numerous nonprofit organizations, the University of Washington, the City of Bellevue, Washington, and Swedish Medical Center in Seattle.

Prior to her current position at Open Arms, she served as Strategic Adviser in Policy, Planning and Evaluation for the City of Seattle Human Services Department. Within this role she led and facilitated the Race and Social Justice Initiative for the department and helped develop tools and an equity policy lens that city employees could use in their work. In addition, as a Legislative Aide for the Seattle City Council, she facilitated and led several task forces that were made up of stakeholders with explicit and implicit power differentials, and very different views and strong opinions about social, policy and legislative issues. These meetings were always passionate and often contentious, and Sheila was responsible for creating a space where all opinions could be heard and bringing those opinions together to form new legislation.



Powered by WordPress. Designed by WooThemes