Board of Directors and Advisory Committee
Promoting Happy Mamas and Healthy Babies
Focusing on the intersection of public health and midwifery to address healthcare disparities and to engender a more equitable maternity care system for all women and infants, we are building a community network to create happy, healthy mothers and newborns. We are a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization, public charity 509 (a) (2).
We currently have several openings for Board Members. The term is two-years and is volunteer. If interested, please send in the Volunteer Application along with your CV/Resume and a letter of interest.
About Our Board of Directors & Advisory Committee
Our Board of Directors and Advisory Committee are professionals from various fields including midwifery, public health, social services, education, medical anthropology, public administration, non-profit management, medical law, etc, who are willing to dedicate time, talent to ensure that our mission is realized. We also have consumers of midwifery or doula care on our advisory committee. If you believe in our vision and mission and are interested in joining our Board of Directors or Advisory Committee, please contact us.
Experience and Education — any combination of the following:
1. Experience, education and/or training as a Midwife, Physician, Mental Health Practitioner (Psychologist, Social Worker or Therapist specializing in perinatal psychology), Registered Nurse, public health professional, childbirth educator, doula or lactation consultant, educator or counselor, or student pursuing career in Medicine, Midwifery, Public Health, Nursing, Labor and/or Lactation Support, or Psychology.
2. Personal experience as a recipient of midwifery and/or doula care and/or philosophical belief in the 4 principles outlined by the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services: autonomy, responsibility, empowerment and do no harm and in the principles of Informed Consent and Refusal in maternity care;
3. Knowledge or experience with issues related to health equity and ethnic perinatal health disparities, quality of life issues impacting perinatal health upon disadvantaged families;
4. Knowledge of maternal-child health, obstetrics, gynecology, midwifery, lactation and pediatrics;
5. Work experience in maternal child health care environment; knowledge of California and Los Angeles health care and social service delivery systems;
6. Knowledge of and respect for cultural and community-based health beliefs and practices;
7. Grant writing, program planning and evaluation, policy development, and fundraising experience;
8. Experience with non-profit management, including fiscal management, accounting processes and reporting requirements;
9. African-American, Hispanic/Latino or Asian ethnicity with linguistic capabilities in Spanish or Asian languages highly desirable.
We promote evidence-based, Mother-Baby Friendly maternity care. We believe the philosophical cornerstones of Mother-Friendly care to be as outlined by Coalition for Improving Maternity Services in the The Mother-Friendly Childbirth Initiative (MFCI).
PRESIDENT/CHAIR OF THE BOARD
Cordelia S. Hanna-Cheruiyot, MPH, CHES, ICCE, CLE, CBA
Phone: (626) 388-2191 ext. 1
Cordelia Hanna-Cheruiyot is the founder and Executive Director of The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health. She obtained her Masters in Public Health (MPH) in Health Education and Promotion/Maternal-Child Health from Loma Linda University and is a Certified Health Education Specialist (NCHEC). Cordelia is currently pursuing her doctorate in Health Education and Promotion/Global Health at Walden University. Cordelia obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance from Indiana University, Bloomington.
Cordelia coordinates all of the health education and support services for expectant parents receiving services from AWMNH, and is the curriculum developer and principal course leader for our professional trainings.
She has worked for twenty-seven years as a childbirth activist, childbirth educator, primary midwife under supervision, doula, monitrice, and lactation educator in public health, clinic, community, and hospital settings. Cordelia has focused her work on the intersection of public health and midwifery to address health disparities and to engender a more equitable maternity care system for all women and infants. Cordelia is passionate about improving birth outcomes and providing training opportunities for women of color to become birth workers and community perinatal health promoters.
Cordelia has a Maternity Concierge practice in Los Angeles, providing expectant and new parents services as a Certified Childbirth Educator (ICEA), Certified Birth Assistant (ALACE), Certified Lactation Educator (CAPPA), and Postpartum Doula.
Cordelia was the Co-Chair of the Los Angeles Best Babies Collaborative for SPA 3 (San Gabriel Valley) from 2003-2007 and the Co-Chair of The Evidence in Action Committee of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) from 2007-2008. She was also a delegate and volunteer at the first Women Deliver Conference in London in 2007, a global forum focused on maternal mortality, women’s rights and gender equality.
Additionally, since 1978, Cordelia has participated in many Landmark Education personal development courses in Leadership, Team Building, Project Managment, Communication, and Self-Expression.
Cordelia is a mother of a daughter and son who were home-born, family-bedded, breastfed and attachment-parented, and who are now bright and capable young adults.
Melissa Ryan O’Keefe, BS, CLE
Phone: (626) 388-2191 ext.2
Melissa Ryan O’Keefe, Vice-President, oversees our fundraising strategic plan and assists with program administration. She has been with our organization since 2o12. Melissa trained as a special education teacher and received her BS in Education from St. Mary-of-the-Woods College in Indiana. She is currently attending Pacific Oaks College pursuing a Masters in Marriage, Child and Family Therapy. She is also a Certified Lactation Educator and has been a Le Leche League Leader for 20 years. She is also co-leading our trainings on lactation. She is married and has four daughters, which include twins, born naturally and vaginally.
Debbie Paeff Benton, ICCE, CEHC, CLEC, CD, CNHC, C. RP
Phone: (626) 388-2191 ext. 2
BOARD MEMBERS EMERITUS
Dr. Sayida Peprah, PSY.D, CD, Former Board Director
Dr. Sayida Peprah, Psy.D., C.D., Has a Doctorate of Psychology in Clinical Psychology, with a Multicultural Clinical-Community Emphasis, from the California School of Professional Psychology at Alliant International University. She is also a Certified Doula with Doulas of North America and offers services through Conscious Surrender Birthing.
Dr. Peprah completed her undergraduate studies in Psychology and Religion at Spelman College. Dr. Peprah’s background, both academically and in the field, afford her unique competence in instructing courses, counseling and consulting, from a multicultural perspective. She is interested in cross-cultural mental health approaches, indigenous culture and local spiritual traditions. Professionally, Dr. Peprah is both an Educator, Clinician and Consultant. As a clinician, she has worked with a diverse client population and in a variety of clinical settings.
Currently, she works as a psychologist inside a prison. In this position, she supervises and provides a full spectrum of psychology services for incarcerated men and women. Prior to this, she has worked for several community mental health agencies, providing child, family and adult therapy. As an educator, Dr. Peprah has taught for over 5 years, at the graduate and undergraduate level. Additionally, Dr. Peprah has guest-lectured at numerous colleges, on topics of clinical considerations for working with special ethnic populations including Native Americans, African Americans and Muslim Americans.
Sayida is also a Birth Doula, who has worked with women of diverse backgrounds, and is a Board Member and Co-Instructor with The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health, teaching cultural awareness, cross-cultural communication and perinatal mood disorder content for the organization’s trainings, and is a Psychological Consultant for the organization’s clients both individual and corporate. Sayida is married and is the mother of two young daughters, both naturally with midwives, one in the hospital and one at home in a birth pool.
Dr. Regina Edmond, MD, FACOG, Former Board Director
Dr. Regina Edmond, MD, FACOG has been a Board-Certified Obstetrician-Gynecologist, American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) since 2012. From her very early years, Regina Edmond knew she wanted to be a doctor. As she matured, she felt a strong inclination towards helping women and decided to focus on the fields of Obstetrics and Gynecology, as well as Infertility and Women’s Health issues.
Dr. Edmond attended Michigan State University, College of Human Medicine in East Lansing, Michigan where she received a Doctorate of Medicine. She also attended University of California at San Diego School of Medicine, in San Diego, California, Post-Baccalaureate Program. From 2002-2007, she did her residency at Martin Luther King/Drew Medical Center, Los Angeles, California in Obstetrics and Gynecology in which she gained expertise in labor management of high risk obstetrical patients, major and minor gynecologic surgical procedures, and trained and worked with with Nurse-Midwives. She graduated from Spelman College in Atlanta Georgia in 1997 with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. She has admitting privileges at Cedars Sinai Medical Center in West Los Angeles, California. Dr. Edmond is in private practice in West Los Angeles, where she practices holistic approaches to women’s health care and mother-centered maternity care. She is also a mother of one daughter.
Stephanie Dawn, Former Board Director
Stephanie Dawn is a mother, educator, mentor and activist. She worked in the corporate and non-profit world in finance, PR, fundraising and various forms of non-violent civil disobedient activism for many years. She has been a student and practitioner of health, metaphysics and healing for the past 30 years. In 2001 she received California state counseling license through Spiritual Practitioner Studies at the Agape International Spiritual Center located in Culver City, California. From 2004 to 2010 Stephanie Offered Sacred Birth Workshops for mothers and couples, teaching prayer, meditation, affirmations, excellent self-care, confidence and pleasure in birth, planning a conscious postpartum experience and offering support around creating a Sacred Birth Team. From 2010 to the present she has been working as a Spiritual Business Coach in the Sacred Birth Mentor Program which she founded. Stephanie teaches spiritual philosophy and practice, excellent self-care, pleasure and birth, conscious conception and fertility, spiritual counseling techniques and conscious business practices.
Naveen Sangwan, MPH, MBA, Former Board Director
Naveen Sangwan, MPH, MBA, holds a Masters in Public Health and a Masters in Business Administration (Marketing). Naveen is also a Certified Life and Leadership Coach, specializing in individual and organizational change. She is the Chief Consultant for Dreams2 Reality Coaching and Consulting, focusing on organizational and leadership development and personal and professional coaching. She is a health consultant who has worked in international development, program planning and evaluation and fundraising in her native India and the United States. She worked for 1o years for PAC/LAC as Program and Policy Director where she oversaw their programs and funding. She is also a wife and mother of two sons.
Dr. Mark McDowell, MD, Former Board Director
Dr. Mark McDowell is a Family Practice Physician currently working for USC Eisner Pediatric Family Medical Center in downtown Los Angeles where he supervises residents. Dr. McDowell graduated from University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine in 2007. He completed his residency in Family Medicine at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in NYC and is a Fellow of the American Board of Family Medicine. Dr. McDowell is a classically trained Family Medicine physician, who practices evidenced based, progressive-minded medical care, blending training from Midwives, Obstetricians, Pediatricians and Family Physicians to obtain healthy outcomes.
Frank Igwealor, JD, CPA, MBA, CMA, CFM, Former CFO/Treasurer
Frank Igwealor is an American businessman with vast experience and expertise in all aspects of finance and non-profit fiscal accounting and non-profit management. An MBA, CPA, Attorney and certified financial manager, Frank has held various positions of responsibilities and excelled at leading change, stabilizing chaotic situations, transforming non-performing programs or businesses, and propelling the organizations into stratospherical growth in assets and profitability. Previously, Mr. Igwealor served as our CFO/Treasurer and company accountant.
Dr. Kevin Justus, MD, MFMS, FACOG, Obstetrician-Gynecologist and Perinatologist
Dr. David Ghozland, MD, FACOG, Obstetrician-Gynecologist
Dr. Kimberly Gregory, MD, MPH, MFMS, FACOG, Obstetrician -Gynecologist & Perinatologist
Dr. Phil Harrington, MD, Medical Doctor, Musician & Entrapeneuer
Vanessa Nicolas, CNM, MSN, Certified Nurse-Midwife & Nursing Instructor
Luz Chacon, MPH, CLE, Program Director, Maternal Child Health Access Welcome Baby! Program, Maternal Child Health Educator, Certified Lactation Educator
John Kotick, JD, Attorney & Public Health Consultant
Khefri Riley, Prenatal and Postpartum Yoga Teacher and Certified Doula
Jennifer Baez, MPH, CLE, ICCE, Maternal Child Health Educator, Certified Lactation Educator
Nell Levin, BS, Non-profit consultant
Wendy Silvers, Certified Hypnotherapist, Licensed Spiritual Practitioner, Founder, Million Mamas Movement
Cheryl Baker, CCE, CLE, CD, Certified Childbirth Educator, Certified Lactation Educator, Certified Doula, Chief Operating Officer, Los Angeles Birth Partners