Become A Member
The California Association of Midwives Foundation (CAM) is honored to announce our newest Board of Directors.
Please join us in thanking them for committing their time, energies, and considerable talents to making CAM’s goal a reality: ensuring that California families have access to a licensed midwife for their care in pregnancy and birth.
To learn more about CAM or to get involved, visit www.californiamidwives.org.
Debbie’s pursuit of natural birth, education, and choice for women was inspired by her own birth experiences. After a hospital birth that included unnecessary interventions, she found it difficult to find an alternative. Her second and third children were born at home surrounded by family and friends and under the care of a midwife. After 17 years as a doula, Debbie studied midwifery in California, Utah, and Florida. She now serves families in the greater Los Angeles area at Tribe Midwifery.
Strongly committed to improving birth outcomes, Debbie’s mission at Tribe Midwifery is to offer respectful prenatal care and contribute to reducing birth disparities caused by racism. She is committed to educating all families about birth statistics and choices that will afford them the best possible birth outcome. Debbie is also a member of the CAM Birth Disparities & Equity Team.
Rosanna was a midwife 20 plus years in the making. She attended her first childbirth at The Birth Place in 1981 and felt "the call" to midwifery. She subsequently attended a year long childbirth assistant training at the Birth Place and taught childbirth education classes. However, she put her strong call to midwifery on the back burner, because she felt the risk of being arrested for providing care during the 1980s and 1990s too great a stress and risk for her family to weather. While waiting for the California licensed midwifery practice act and midwifery schools to be approved by the Medical Board of California, she worked as an electrical engineer. Eventually, Rosanna graduated from National Midwifery Institute and secured her midwifery license in 2004. Rosanna’s midwife mentors were Donna Driscoll and Faith Gibson. Birthing From Within informs much of her work with clients (cultural preparation, physiological birth education and neuro-linguistic programming). She is the creator of Prenatal Village Care™, a prenatal group care experience for small midwifery practices.
Rosanna never pictured herself in a leadership role in midwifery, but, having been asked and elected to the California Association of Midwives (CAM) board in 2013, she’s felt a strong sense of responsibility to help protect and forward midwifery, while in a leadership role with CAM and CALM. Having avoided politics for most of her life, she’s felt it necessary to learn and grow political skills so that CALM can be effective at legislative advocacy. She’s applied logistical and visionary skills creating CALM's organizational foundation for sustainability and in preparation for bringing in strong leaders to carry midwifery forward in the coming years.
Rosanna loves midwives; she knows how passionate and hardworking they are. She sees and experiences the disheartening ways that midwives and their clients are sometimes misunderstood and mistreated. She’s hopeful for the future of midwifery in California, having discovered that a professional association is a powerful tool in creating positive policy and cultural change.
Jocelyn Dugan, an accountant by trade, is a home-birth-after-cesarean (HBAC) parent who was introduced to CAM by her midwives at Birthstream in Sacramento. Homebirther turned advocate, she’s been the Treasurer of CAM since 2011 and was appointed to the Midwifery Advisory Council in June of 2016. Jocelyn experienced the transformation that can occur with the midwifery model of care and since then has been a passionate voice for educating families about safe, evidence-based options for one of the most fundamental moments in their life. Jocelyn is passionate about improving birth outcomes among the most vulnerable people in our society. Jocelyn is part of CAM’s Birth Disparities and Equity Team, who’s goal is to eliminate birth disparities caused by systemic racism.
Cynthia’s interest in midwifery and childbirth stems from her personal experiences with birth and her graduate studies. Much of her graduate work has focused on enslaved African American women in the Antebellum South and infanticide, which has informed her awareness that motherhood and childbirth have been experienced differently by women of color throughout American history. This academic knowledge in conjunction with her own birth experiences has led her to spending her last year of graduate studies researching midwives and birth workers of color.
Both of Cynthia’s births were hospitalized and neither went the way she wanted. She realized that her experience is not unique, and that many women/people of color have far worse experiences. Cynthia believes everyone should have equal access to quality care regardless of race, gender or sexuality.
Cynthia is a full time graduate student and a mother of two. She works on campus for the McNair Scholars Program which services low-income first generation underrepresented junior and senior undergraduate students.
Jen Kamel helps birth professionals, and cesarean parents, achieve clarity on vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) through her educational courses, training programs, and consulting services. As the Founder of VBAC Facts®, a VBAC Strategist and nationally recognized consumer advocate, her mission is to increase VBAC access through education, legislation, and amplifying the consumer voice.
She has presented Grand Rounds at a hospital educating obstetricians, maternal fetal medicine specialists, midwives, residents, and midwifery students on the latest VBAC evidence. She has traveled the country as a California Board of Registered Nursing Continuing Education Provider presenting her signature program "The Truth About VBAC" to hundreds of professionals and highly motivated parents. She speaks at national conferences and has worked as a legislative consultant in several states focusing on midwifery legislation and regulations that threaten VBAC access. Over the years she has testified multiple times in front of the California Medical Board and legislative committees on the importance of VBAC access, met with legislators in regards to individual pieces of legislation, and has served as an expert witness in a legal proceeding. She envisions a time when every pregnant person seeking VBAC has access to unbiased information, respectful providers, and community support so they can plan the birth of their choosing in the setting they desire.
There is a picture of Jerred that thrills his colleagues and business partners. It’s one of him, as a small child in a stroller, being pushed by his mother at a rally for homebirth. In his small hands is a sign that says, “The Real Crime is a Forced Hospital Birth!” Two years earlier Jerred’s mom had birthed him at home in Santa Cruz and his midwife was jailed. Jerred’s experience created a deep connection to birth and an unwavering commitment to protecting a family’s right to choose their birth provider. When Jerred met the kind hearted and successful homebirth midwife Caitlin, he found himself wanting to make an impact on the world of birthing. He started attending midwifery conferences and realized that supporting relationship-based midwifery care was a passion of his.
As an investor, Jerred’s aim is to support the midwifery community with financial and business expertise to accelerate the growth of birth centers. Access to high quality midwifery care and shifting the paradigm of thought towards community birth is important to Jerred. As a founder of Thrive Birth Center, working with the birthing community has proven to be some of the most rewarding work Jerred has ever done.
Racha Tahani Lawler
Racha Tahani Lawler is a California licensed midwife, skilled in the midwifery traditions of her Southern U.S. and South African ancestors. She is the descendant of midwives, dating back four generations. Racha obtained her formal education in hospitals as a nursing student and at the historically accredited midwifery school Maternidad La Luz. She ultimately chose traditional midwifery and obtained her license to practice midwifery in 2004 after the home waterbirth of her firstborn son.
In 2011, she opened The Community Birth Center, where she served hundreds of families in Southern California promoting the “Free Friday” program, inspired by Florida licensed midwife, mentor and friend, Jennie Joseph. After five years and an overwhelming desire to reclaim traditional South African midwifery practices, Racha closed The Community Birth Center.
Always fighting to improve birth outcomes for African-Americans who rank the highest in maternal and infant mortality and morbidity, Racha attends families in home birth, water birth, and occasionally labor support in hospital. She has traveled continents to provide midwifery services for clients. Firmly committed to providing midwifery care regardless of race, socioeconomic status or gender, she is blessed to have attended well over 1,200 births in the United States and abroad.
Racha is the recipient of both California Congressional and Senate awards for her work as a community midwife. She is acknowledged by the City of Los Angeles and her local counsel member, who awarded her for her community health work. In 2013 she was privileged to receive the “Midwife of the Year” award from the Doulas Association of Southern California. In March of 2015, she received the Lillian Mobley Community Service Award for her commitment to serving the community, and missed her presentation while midwifing at a birth!
Haize Hawke Rosen
Reverend Haize Hawke is currently a student midwife of color with NCM. Haize believes in living an emotionally intelligent life and uses meditation, dance, prayer, Reiki, and emotional work to create harmony and balance in her life. She takes her clients through a journey of self-discovery as they learn how to walk in their power.
Haize has experience as a traveler, educator, circle facilitator, as a leader of Sister Circles, Coming of Age Circles and Rites of Passage, and as a mother. Haize is a Priestess, advanced doula, facilitator of Red Tent ceremonies, and a healer with over 17 years of training and experience. She is proud to be mentoring girls and women to be activated, in tune, strong, loving, grounded, and powerful beings.
Tanya Smith-Johnson is Navy veteran and military spouse, mother of six, home-birther, and homeschooler. She is passionate about racial and birth disparities, health policy and reproductive justice and is the Co-Chair of CAM’s Birth Disparities and Equity Team. Tanya holds a BS in Biology and MS in Medical Science from Hampton University and is currently in her last year of midwifery school at Midwives College of Utah.