Our 2019 Executive Committee!
MEAC Board President
Cassaundra Jah, President
Cassaundra earned her Bachelor’s (Embry Riddle Aeronautical University) and Master’s of Science (University of Colorado at Boulder) in Aerospace Engineer the degree in which she began her professional career, returning to school to become a Certified Professional Midwife in 2010 after receiving the call to the service of midwifery during her second pregnancy. She is currently licensed in New Mexico where she has an active practice and works as the Chief Development Officer of the National College of Midwifery and sits on the New Mexico Midwifery Licensing Board. She and her partner of 17 years have two beautiful children, ages 14 and 11, with a new wee one born on December 29, 2016.
MEAC Board Treasurer
Melissa Mayo, Treasurer
While growing up in the Boston, MA area, Melissa worked as a bookkeeper and secretary for a small automotive garage starting at the age of 16. After graduating from high school, she attended the University of Mass, Dartmouth and earned a BA in Cultural Anthropology in 2007. Melissa then worked as a benefits coordinator for a Social Security Disability law firm until 2009, when she moved to New Hampshire with her soon to be husband, Michael. While living in New Hampshire, Melissa started her career in higher ED, working for a small college in Manchester as a Financial Aid Coordinator. Here she started her MBA work, completing the first year of the program before switching to a MA in Accounting. Melissa graduated with a graduate certification in Accounting before moving to Maine so her husband could pursue a career in farming.
While moving to the 100-acre farm, Melissa and her partner found they were pregnant with their first child and Birthwise Midwifery School was their home-birth option of choice. Shortly after the successful home-birth of their son, Charlie, Melissa came to work for Birthwise as their bookkeeper and office manager. Over the next few years, Melissa had two other children at home with the midwives and students of Birthwise, Russell and Hannah. She earned a certified bookkeeper designation through the American Institute of Certified Bookkeepers, become a notary public, and expanded her position at Birthwise. She is currently studying for the Certified Management Accountant designation and plans to take the first of two extensive exams in January 2018.
MEAC Board Secretary
Rachel Hargy, Secretary
Rachel has been on staff at the Florida School for Traditional Midwifery for two years, and
currently serves as Director of Financial Aid and Regulatory Compliance. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Health Services Management from Daytona State College, an AS degree in Accounting Technology from Santa Fe College, and certifications in Health Information Management and Project Management. Her
previous work experience includes the Santa Fe College Health IT Workforce Training Program and the University of Florida College of Medicine. An expert in higher education regulatory compliance, Rachel has worked on numerous certification, re-certification, accreditation, and licensure projects during her career, as well as routine regulatory reports, audits, along with compliance policy and procedure development. FSTM was founded in 1994 and became MEAC-accredited in 2000. With an active, involved, and distinguished Board of Directors as well as an experienced and dedicated staff, Rachel brings to MEAC real-world skills and experience and a strong and well-developed support system.
Vice President Accreditation
Heidi Fillmore, Vice President Accreditation
Heidi is a CPM who has been practicing for 30 years in the state of Maine. She has two daughters who are now 23 and 26 years old. Along with practicing midwifery, she was the founder and the current executive director of Birthwise Midwifery School in Bridgton, Maine. Her interests. outside of developing our midwifery profession and related social justice issues, often revolve around food, from growing, storing, cooking, and eating good food. She has been on the MEAC Board for 12 years and is currently the Vice-president of Accreditation.
MEAC Board Vice President Outreach and Development
Kristi Ridd-Young, Vice President Outreach
Anyone who knows Kristi Ridd-Young would say that one of her passions in life is helping others have freedom of choice based on the understanding of all available alternatives. Since beginning her perinatal career over 29 years ago, Kristi has dedicated herself to educating midwives, doulas, childbirth educators and families to develop the skills and the inner strength to support or experience a positive, self-directed birth. Kristi has a degree in public health administration, previously practiced as a midwife, is a certified childbirth educator and doula, founder of the Utah Doula Association and is a DONA-approved birth doula trainer. She is currently the president of Midwives College of Utah, past president of MEAC (Midwifery Education Accreditation Council) and current vice-president of outreach.
Kristi has been mentored by many of the leading experts in the field, but, most of all, she credits her own experience as a mother of six children, seven stepchildren and 14 grandchildren for much of the wisdom and knowledge she shares. When she is busy with family or birth work, she is likely traveling across the country on a Harley.
WELCOME NEW BOARD MEMBERS!!
Dr. Aimee Eden
Dr. Aimee Eden
Dr. Eden is a medical anthropologist who leads the qualitative research efforts at the American Board of Family Medicine (ABFM). Since joining ABFM in 2013, she has designed and implemented qualitative and mixed methods projects related to family medicine scope, comprehensiveness, accreditation, training, physician Maintenance of Certification experience, and professionalism. Her research has focused on issues of maternal and child health, maternity care, breastfeeding, the health care workforce, and education. Dr. Eden currently serves on the Board of Directors of the Monetary Investment for Lactation Consultant Certification (MILCC) and on the editorial review board of the Journal of Human Lactation. She previously served as a member of board of the International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners (IBLCE) from 2010-2016. She has published book chapters and articles in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Human Lactation, Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions, Family Medicine, and the Anthropology of Work. She is a returned Peace Corps volunteer (public health, Kazakhstan 2000-2002).
Mariana Cerqueira worked for 4 years as an occupational health MD as she was studying to become a Clinical Psychologist. Since 2009, she focused on Pre- and Perinatal and Early Childhood Psychology. For her Masters in Clinical Psychology, she conducted a study in Fetal Psychology at a teaching hospital in Lisbon and practiced Psychology at an Early Childhood Mental Health Facility. She moved to the US in 2014. Here she saw the opportunity to become a midwife as helping her continue her goal of gaining the best education and training to help bring healthier babies into the world. She studied midwifery at Maternidad La Luz in El Paso Texas for two years. She became licensed in Arizona in 2017 as a CPM and has a midwifery practice in South Phoenix. Along with this she also operates a coaching practice working with Pre-, Perinatal, and Early childhood related trauma and other issues, (e.g. birth trauma, postpartum mood support, miscarriage support, etc.). Mariana is very active in her community, being part of the board of the Arizona Association of Midwives as well volunteering with local Phoenix area disadvantaged community organizations oriented around birth education and doula services.
Andrea Maya Johnson
Andrea Maya Johnson
Maya is primarily a licensed midwife practicing in Washington State. She practices at Sprout Birth Center and Ranier Valley Community Clinic serving South Snohomish and King counties. In addition to clinical practice, Maya serves as Teacher Assistant at Bastyr University for the Midwifery School. She also serves the Department of Access and Equity (DAE) from the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) and she is part of the HealthConnect One Birth Equity Leadership Academy (BELA) as Faculty. In addition, Maya has been a member of Midwives Association of Washington State (MAWS) and National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM).