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2013 MAWS Board of Directors

Kat Barron recently completed her basic midwifery studies and sat for the NARM exam in September to become a CPM. Upon passing the exam, she will be applying for a Washington midwifery license. She is also pursuing a Master's degree through Midwives College of Utah while awaiting licensure. She has served as a doula in this community since 2007 and is committed to serving this birthing community while a midwife. "I am excited and hopeful about joining the MAWS board! I feel I have much to offer and would love the opportunity to serve our community and look forward to helping midwifery in this area."

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."

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.”

Melissa Hughes LM CPM is an SMS graduate and has been licensed since 2009. Since beginning midwifery training, she has attended births in King, Pierce, Kittitas, Snohomish, Skagit, Island, and Whatcom Counties and currently resides in Snohomish, WA. She has been a MAWS board member since January 2011, and currently holds the position of Secretary. Melissa also serves as Project Coordinator of the Washington State Perinatal Collaborative quality improvement initiative Smooth Transitions: Enhancing Safety of Planned Out-of-Hospital Birth Transports. "I believe midwives have the opportunity to lay the foundation for healthy families and strong communities by building pathways for professional partnerships and providing families with the knowledge and skills necessary for a solid beginning. I am enthusiastic to continue to dedicate myself, my experience, skills and interests to the MAWS board."

Elias Kass, ND, LM is a naturopathic physician and licensed midwife and graduated from Bastyr University in June 2010. He is currently starting a solo practice in Capitol Hill offering full-family naturopathic care, including out-of-hospital birth and pediatric care. Having served as a student representative to the MAWS board, Elias is excited to continue his work with the board and take on new projects, including improving reimbursement for midwives.

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. She has recently been voted onto the board of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM). Audrey will step down from the presidency at the end of this year but hopes to continue on the Board as 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.

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 Stephens is a midwifery consumer who is passionate about improving birth alternatives for women and expanding midwifery in our state. Both of her daughters (4-1/2 and 1-1/2 years) 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. With young children, I am on a temporary hiatus from my professional life (social work and counseling) and seeking to use my brain and strengths to effect positive change. I enjoy contributing my time and energy to MAWS!"

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 second 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."