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2014 MAWS Board of Directors

Louisa Wales

Sarah Ambrose LM CPM MSM moved to Seattle from the east coast to pursue her midwifery education and graduated from Bastyr University in 2012. She currently practices midwifery at Ground Floor Health in Seattle in a group practice providing home birth and birth center births. In her first year of practice she has much gratitude for the support and guidance she's received from local midwives and hopes to provide the same for new midwives in the community. She feels passionate about fostering midwifery education and broadening access to midwifery care on a local and national level. "I would be thrilled to be a part of the MAWS board of directors and work within our community to continue to improve the midwifery profession."

Kat Barron is a recently licensed midwife. For the past year she has focused her energy on doing work to open the doors for Washington licensure through various educational routes. She currently is busy working with Eastside Birth Center in Bellevue, as well as raising two young rambunctious boys. "I feel very blessed to get to continue to serve this community of midwives and other birth professionals and I look forward to a long future of doing this work."

Kristin Effland, LM, CPM attends home and birth center births with a group practice, Wenatchee Midwife Service & Childbirth Center, located in central Washington. Kristin began working with the MAWS Board in 2006 as the student representative for Seattle Midwifery School (SMS) and has been Vice President for the past 4 years since graduation. She is the chair of the MAWS Public Education and Public Relations Committee and helps to write the MAWS eBulletin. She is “grateful that women in WA state, including low income women, have access to midwifery care and looks forward to continuing to improve access to midwifery care and to expanding public education about the midwifery model of care.".

Taylor Hamill LM CPM is a licensed midwife in her first year of practice in West Seattle. She strives to nourish the midwifery community and those new up and coming midwives. "I chose to practice in Seattle, Washington because of the amazing community of midwives and look forward to fostering  & advocating for the community in whatever way possible."

Louisa Wales

Oesa Hauch is the owner of Amazing Mama Birth Services, based in Bothell, WA. She is a certified birth doula and childbirth mentor, trained in the Birthing From Within® (BFW) approach. She is also an advisor for BFW, assisting new mentors around the country as they become certified. Oesa has over five years of direct experience serving birthing families in the greater Seattle area, as a doula and mentor. With a background in the non-profit sector and graduate degrees in Public Affairs and International Studies from the University of Washington, Oesa is well-equipped to serve on the MAWS board. She herself has been a consumer of midwifery care during the births of her own children and she has had the honor of attending many births with midwives in her role as a birth doula. Additionally, Oesa has already been involved in helping to ensure that all families have access to midwifery care as a community organizer and liaison with the Support Evergreen Midwifery group. "I am thrilled to have the opportunity to become part of the MAWS board and actively contribute towards to supporting midwives and midwifery in Washington state."

Andrea Henderson LM, CPM, IBCLC graduated from Seattle Midwifery School in 2007 and has been practicing midwifery on the eastside of King county since then. Andrea is currently practicing as a midwife and lactation consultant at Northshore Midwives and Lactation Consulting in Bothell. “It is a privilege to be involved with MAWS to learn as well as contribute all that I can.”

Audrey Levine LM CPM has served on the MAWS Board since 2002, as legislative liaison for 7 years and has served as president since November 2008. In 2012, Audrey was voted onto the board of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM). Audrey is an at-large member and as NACPM liaison. "I am looking forward to continuing the exciting work that MAWS has been engaged in to enhance the safety of out-of-hospital birth and increase access to midwifery care at both the state and national level." Audrey practices out of her purple home in Olympia, WA.

elias kass

Elias Kass ND LM is a naturopathic physician and licensed midwife and graduated from Bastyr University in June 2010. He is currently practicing at One Sky Wellness offering full-family naturopathic care, including out-of-hospital birth and pediatric care. Elias is the treasurer of the MAWS board, and is excited to continue his work with the board and take on new projects, including improving reimbursement for midwives.

Louisa Wales

Laura Kuhs LM CPM has been a CPM since 2010, and recently moved from the Philadelphia suburbs to the Kitsap Peninsula. Laura has previously served on the governing boards of the Midwives Alliance of Pennsylvania and the Delaware Midwifery Guild, where she gained legislative and lobbying experience in a particularly midwife-hostile region of the country. She is particularly interested in learning more about how Washington has come to have such a successful midwifery licensure program and helping to increase access to midwifery care in other parts of the country.

Louisa Wales

Meghann McNiff is a graduate of the Air Force Academy with over 10 years of experience in public health management and organizational development. She holds a Master of Arts in Critical and Creative Thinking from the University of Massachusetts Boston and a Masters of Public Health in International, Maternal and Child Health from Boston University. Meghann has supported professional associations as a management consultant in Malawi, Kenya and Afghanistan and has been honored to support the Afghan Midwives Association since 2010. Having served as a student representative to the MAWS board, "I am thrilled to continue supporting the important work of MAWS in creating a model for modern maternity care."

valerie sasson

Valerie Sasson LM CPM is from New Jersey and a graduate of Brown University (’86) and relocated to Seattle in 1989 to attend the Seattle Midwifery School. She is one of the owners of the Puget Sound Birth Center and practices with Ali Toperosky LM CPM and Sunita Iyer, ND LM. "In recent years, my official function on the MAWS Board has been as liaison between MAWS and the JUA. As a Board Member at large, I love being in the conversation and participating in the momentum of this forward thinking group of professional midwives."

emily stephans

Emily Stephens is a midwifery consumer who is passionate about improving birth alternatives for women and expanding midwifery in our state. Both of her daughters were born through midwifery care, the first in the hospital and the second at home. "Each of these experiences was transformative in its own way, and I feel very grateful to have received the level of care and attention that I did. I believe strongly that expanding the rights and reach of midwives is vital to improving the health of women, babies, and families.” Since 2011, Emily has worked with MAWS to achieve this goal. She currently serves as the Vice President of the board, and works to improve the quality and effectiveness of midwifery data. She believes that these numbers will change the practice of maternity care!

Peggy Thurston LM has been practicing midwifery in Kitsap County since 1997. She served on the MAWS board from 1999 to 2005 and has been a member of the MAWS QMP Committee since its inception. "After a five year hiatus, I rejoined the MAWS board and have been proud to serve my midwifery community in this capacity."

Tina Tsiakalis LM CPM is from Boston and a graduate of Harvard. She relocated to Seattle after college and worked in the tech world for several years. Tina volunteered on the board of directors of a Seattle nonprofit that offered childbirth education classes (Childbirth Education Association of Seattle/Great Starts Birth & Family Education). Tina is a graduate of the Seattle Midwifery School and owner of the Center for Birth, a birth center near South Lake Union. "I look forward to contributing to the varied work MAWS does."

Louisa Wales is a licensed midwife in her third year of solo practice on Bainbridge Island. "I'm passionate about improving access to care and inter-professional relations and continuing to be an advocate for VBAC in our communities. As one only of five practicing LM's in the greater Kitsap and Olympic peninsula I'm keen to represent the voices of midwives in more geographically diverse areas of the state."

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