WELCOME TANYA SMITH-JOHNSON!!
GRAND STRATEGIST (2019-Present)
OUTREACH, EDUCATION and ADVOCACY DIRECTOR (2019-Present)
Expertise as a connector of the dots between big picture and grassroots, and in helping educate and inform how CPMs can be implemented in local, county, state systems, institutions and organizational frameworks.
Tanya Smith-Johnson, CPM, is a mother of six, homeschooler, veteran, birth worker and advocate for the midwifery model of care, reproductive justice, birth equity and the improvement of birth outcomes for black, brown and indigenous people.
She is a fierce leader, strategist and creative thinker. She brings new life and energy to any project or organization she is a part of. She is a critical thinker, researcher and writer. She brings expertise in grassroots strategizing and outreach, consumer education and legislative advocacy in two states.
Tanya is the former vice-president of Californians for the Advancement of Midwifery where she worked tirelessly promoting the need for more Midwives, especially Midwives of color and those who care for under-served marginalized communities. She was instrumental in the transformation of the board and the creative force behind program creation and shifting of focus and priorities to a more equitable lens. She acted as co-chair of the Birth Disparities and Equity Team from 2017 to 2019. She helped create and develop a program for student Midwives of color to help them prepare for the NARM exam. She acted as lead program developer, creating, writing and building the curriculum and program framework.
Tanya has extensive experience in bringing the consumer voice to birth advocacy and policy. As the former president of California Families for Access to Midwives, she worked with California stakeholders and legislators to help the passage of key legislation to increase access to licensed midwives. Tanya currently serves on the board of directors of the Midwives Alliance of Hawaii serving as the Oahu representative. She is on the Board of Directors of the Birth Future Foundation.
Tanya is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and holds a Bachelor’s of Science in Biology and Masters of Science in Medical Science from Hampton University. She received her didactic midwifery education from the Midwives College of Utah. She currently resides in Honolulu with her husband of 21 years and six children.
GRAND STRATEGIST (2014-Present)
CAMPAIGN MANAGER (2007-Present)
Expertise in community organizing, marketing and networking, advocacy and understanding the political landscape.
Katherine Hemple, PhD, has more than 20 years of experience in community organizing, activism and teaching. A consultant, press liaison and advocate for organizations developing legislation to license Certified Professional Midwives (CPMs), Katherine has served as the Campaign Manager of the Big Push for Midwives Campaign since 2007. As Legislative Chair for the Wisconsin Guild of Midwives, Katherine drafted legislation to license Certified Professional Midwives in Wisconsin and co-led a statewide, bi-partisan grassroots advocacy campaign to successfully pass the bill into law in 2006. In support of that effort, she founded Wisconsin Birth Options, a statewide grassroots network devoted to maternity care reform in Wisconsin. In 2006 she received the Citizens for Midwifery Susan F. Hodges Award for Outstanding Leadership in Midwifery Advocacy.
Katherine also founded and continues to moderate a number of national e-lists focused on maternity care reform in other states, which have a combined membership of more than 1,000 individuals. In addition, she serves as a consultant to national and state midwifery and consumer organizations working on a range of maternity care issues, from increasing access to midwives to decreasing the rate of cesarean sections. In support of these efforts, Katherine has successfully organized and launched public relations campaigns and large-scale rallies in Richmond, VA, Washington, D.C., Chicago and Pittsburgh, which have drawn local and national media attention to the issues surrounding the legal status of midwives in the United States.
In her capacity as the Advocacy Director of the International Cesarean Awareness Network, Katherine researched and developed a white paper on the legal status of the rights of women seeking vaginal births after cesarean (VBAC) called “Protecting and Enforcing the Rights of Women Seeking Vaginal Birth after Cesarean: A Primer.” She was also a contributing author to From Calling to Courtroom: A Survival Guide for Midwives, and she works with Conscious Woman, Inc. to provide continuing education workshops for midwives, attorneys and other professionals on the legal issues surrounding VBAC bans and on midwifery law.
A former professor of English and Women’s Studies at the College of William and Mary, Katherine developed and taught courses on women and reproductive technologies, women and medicine, women’s fiction and women writers of the South. She is the author of the book Revising Flannery O’Connor: Southern Literary Culture and the Problem of Female Authorship, a project that was one of the first recipients of the National Endowment for the Humanities Dissertation grants. Katherine’s articles and book reviews have appeared in academic journals, in online magazines and on Web sites devoted to birth activism. She earned a B.A. from Grinnell College (1985) and an M.A. (1988) and Ph.D. (1993) from The College of William and Mary.
LEGAL COUNSEL (2007-Present)
Expertise in health care law with emphasis on legal issues affecting professional midwives and birth centers.
Susan M. Jenkins, is a partner in The Sanchez Law Firm, which is headquartered in Washington, D.C. She has practiced in the areas of health care law and administrative law for more than 30 years, and serves as Legal Counsel for the Big Push for Midwives Campaign.
She worked for several years as a staff attorney with the Federal Trade Commission, a national antitrust enforcement agency. She has also served as General Counsel of the American College of Nurse-Midwives (ACNM), the national professional association of certified nurse-midwives. Susan returned to private law practice in 1995, with a particular emphasis on legal issues affecting certified nurse-midwives, licensed midwives, and birth centers, including such issues as insurance law, professional regulation, licensure, certification and accreditation, clinical privileges, practice-related contract and business issues, and birth center operation. She also serves as a consultant to other attorneys and law firms on health law, and legislative and regulatory issues throughout the United States.
Susan has published several articles, including “The Myth of Vicarious Liability: Impact on Barriers to CNM Practice,” Journal of Nurse-Midwifery, Vol. 39, No. 2 (March–April 1994). She was the primary author of Nurse-Midwifery Today: A Handbook of State Legislation (1995 edition, published by ACNM).
Susan is a member of the advisory board of the District of Columbia Developing Families Center, a large freestanding birth center in the D.C. inner-city, and a former member of the Council on Standards of the National Association of Childbearing Centers. She has lectured extensively on legal issues that affect midwives, birth centers, and other health professionals and providers. She has served as a guest lecturer at Georgetown University School of Nursing (Nurse-Midwifery Graduate program), Catholic University of America (Nurse Practitioner Graduate program), the University of New Mexico (Nurse-Midwifery Graduate program), and the International School of Midwifery.
ADVOCACY TRAINER (2007-Present)
Expertise in advocacy, facilitation, and state-level practice guidelines.
Jane Crawford Peterson, CPM, LM, has more than 30 years experience as a leader in midwifery education and advocacy. During the course of her career as a midwife, she has delivered more than 1330 babies. Her clinical experience as a midwife became the basis for her advocacy on behalf of the creation of a statewide set of practice guidelines in Wisconsin, which were later incorporated into the national midwifery credentialing and practice standards that form the basis of the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential and the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM) Standards of Practice.
Jane is the Advocacy Trainer and Professional Facilitator for the Big Push for Midwives Campaign. A founding member of the Wisconsin Center for Midwifery Studies, Jane was instrumental in coordinating and implementing programs among public health departments, midwives, the Bureau of Vital Statistics, and the State Laboratory for Hygiene to facilitate the implementation of newborn screening programs targeting underserved populations throughout the state. Together, these programs have resulted in a 70 percent increase in newborn screening compliance among at-risk populations for the early detection of metabolic diseases that, if left untreated, can cause severe illness, brain damage or death.
In her capacity as President of the Wisconsin Guild of Midwives, the professional organization for midwives providing community birth maternity care in the state since 1975, Jane co-led the statewide, bipartisan grassroots organizing effort to successfully pass Act 292, which authorizes Certified Professional Midwives in Wisconsin to become licensed and regulated healthcare providers.
The March of Dimes and the Waisman Center awarded Jane grants in recognition of her longstanding outreach among Wisconsin’s plainclothes (Amish and Mennonite) communities. These grants are in support of her work to establish library and printed resources for plainclothes families about prenatal care and childbirth and to co-author Plain Talk about Babies, an educational pamphlet designed to raise awareness among both providers and the families they care for about the genetic conditions specific to plainclothes populations, as well as the prenatal and pregnancy-related maternity care protocols appropriate to those populations.
Jane has a BS in General Science and Education from the University of Wisconsin, Steven’s Point and is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credentialed by the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM), as well as a Licensed Midwife in the State of Wisconsin. She has also completed midwifery course requirements from the American Childbirth Institute and the American Academy of Midwifery and Family Centered Maternity Care.
COMMUNICATIONS DIRECTOR (2007-Present)
Expertise in Editing, Writing, PR, Materials, Communications, Advocacy, Engagement, and Operations.
Editor, writer, strategist, facilitator, innovator, connector, independent thinker, multiple points of view perceiver, information synthesizer, and public affairs expert, Steff Hedenkamp provides top-notch professional communications services, valuable creativity, and critical insight to help her clients actualize goals and objectives, communicate key messages, and manifest new success.
Steff is an entrepreneurial communications and public affairs professional. She brings more than 20 years of experience in communications strategy, messaging, community engagement and stakeholder involvement efforts. She specializes in special-project and inflection-point initiatives. She guides public- and private-sector clients to plan and implement actionable approaches to reach target audiences.
She is a successful strategist with significant experience. She clearly communicates complex ideas and programs, precisely crafting the “words and design” of creative and effective communications and public affairs tools. She is highly skilled at researching, writing, and editing compelling ghostwritten content, key messages, talking points and speeches, backgrounders, award submissions, reports, plans, presentations, proposals, and other internal and external work product.
Steff is a creative catalyst. She works collaboratively to increase awareness, promote understanding, extend and enhance internal and external dialogue, and foster consensus and results. She serves to not only advance communications efforts, but also strengthen overall organizational mission, objectives, and brand reputation.
She brings great value to bear for her clients. She has served a wide variety of clientele, including private-sector firms in the architectural design and construction engineering sector; international and domestic nonprofit organizations; government entities; community development agencies; and consulting companies.
Steff founded Red Quill Communications, Inc. in 2000. She extends to her clients the benefits of having their messages spoken with a clear, authentic, and imaginative voice. The firm specializes in helping businesses, governments, and organizations actualize communications and public affairs goals, and manifest their intended success. All of her excellent clients are repeat customers or word-of-mouth referrals.
GRASSROOTS COORDINATOR (2014-Present)
Expertise in Community Organizing, Grassroots Advocacy, Communications, and Networking.
Chloe Raum was raised in Huntsville, Alabama and attended the University of Alabama-Huntsville where she completed a Bachelor’s degree in Electrical Engineering. After several years in the software development field, her first child was born and she began her journey into motherhood and midwifery. Chloe and her husband have been married since 1997 and have four children who were all born at home in the states of Alabama, Tennessee, and Hawaii. She is currently licensed to practice in the state of Alabama and Tennessee as a CPM.
GRAND STRATEGIST (2007-2019)
Expertise in public education, public policy, and navigating the political landscape.
Pamela Maurath was a home birth advocate and legislative strategist for more than 40 years. She worked tirelessly on many of the seminal projects of the home birth movement including development of the Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) certification, initial organizing of Citizens for Midwives, promotion and implementation of the CPM 2000 research project, and early support of state legislative efforts. Pam was instrumental in organizing a public relations materials project for MANA, MEAC, NARM and CfM and more recently as a member of the Big Push for Midwives Steering Committee where she served as a Grand Strategist until she passed away on January 4, 2019. Please read Pam's obituary here.
Pam’s historical knowledge of key players and pivotal events were often key to the development of effective strategy. In one of her spare moments Pam also helped arrange book tours for Ina May Gaskin to assist with the promotion of her book, Ina May’s Guide to Childbirth. Pam, you will be greatly missed. Rest In Peace.