FACULTY

School of Midwifery Staff

Jennie Joseph

LM, CPM

Founder and Instructor, Commonsense Childbirth Inc.

Profile

Jennie Joseph, a British-trained midwife and women’s health advocate, moved to the United States in 1989 and began a journey that has culminated in the formation of an innovative maternal child health care system, The JJ Way®.

Jennie has worked extensively in European hospitals, American birth centers, clinics, and home birth environments. Jennie has been instrumental in the regulation of Florida midwives since the 1990s and has been involved in midwifery education since 1995. She is a former Chair of Florida’s State Council of Licensed Midwives. Currently, she owns a Florida licensed midwifery school attached to her nationally-renowned birth center and maternity medical home in Winter Garden, Florida. She also developed and administers perinatal professional training and certification programs to address the health care provider shortage, diversify the maternal child health (MCH) workforce, and address persistent racial and class disparities in birth outcomes.

Due to the high prematurity rates experienced by low income and uninsured women, Jennie established an outreach clinic for pregnant women, who are at risk of not receiving prenatal care. Her ‘Easy Access’ Prenatal Care Clinics offer quality maternity care for all, regardless of their choice of delivery site or ability to pay and has successfully reduced both maternal and infant morbidity and mortality in Central Florida. There are both quantitative and qualitative studies underway regarding Jennie’s work as well as continuous reviews of the impact of her clinical and educational programs.

Jennie’s model of healthcare, The JJ Way®, provides an evidence-based system to deliver MCH services, which improve health, reduce costs, and produce better outcomes all round. As Founder and Executive Director of her own non-profit corporation, Commonsense Childbirth Inc., Jennie firmly believes that, “Everyone wants a healthy baby and every birthing person deserves one.”

Credentials

DIPLOMA IN NURSERY NURSING 1978

National Nursery Examination Board, UK

Harrow College of Technology and Art, London, England

DIPLOMA IN MIDWIFERY 1981

Central Midwives Board, UK

Barnett College of Nursing and Midwifery, London, England

CERTIFICATE IN MIDWIFERY 1994

School of Complementary Medicine, Oviedo, Florida

CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIFE 1995

North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)

Tara Dalles

MS, BS, CPCS, CCC (CCSM)

Dean, School of Midwifery

Profile

Tara Dalles is a native Floridian with a Master’s degree in Health Service Administration, which she utilized for 8 years at Orlando Health.

After the birth of her 2 daughters, she was inspired to leave her successful career to pursue her passion for birth work.

Tara became certified as a Childbirth Consultant through the Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery and has been practicing as a doula and educator for over 2 years. Currently, Tara works as the Program Director for Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery.

In her roles, she seeks to use her organization skills and mentor mentality to help our community thrive.

Credentials

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN HEALTH SERVICE ADMINISTRATION | University of Central Florida

CERTIFIED PROVIDER CREDENTIALING SPECIALIST | National Association of Medical Staff Services

CERTIFIED CHILDBIRTH CONSULTANT | Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery

Nicole Lawrence

BS

Program Coordinator, Direct-Entry Programs

Profile

Nicole Lawrence is an Emerson College graduate with a degree in Writing and Communications. With 4 years of writing and tutoring experience, she is passionate about providing quality educational support, interpersonal connections, and fostering community wherever she goes.

Nicole has been involved in reproductive justice advocation for the past 5 years and recently gained certification as a Community Outreach Perinatal Educator to further support her efforts as a full spectrum reproductive rights activist. She is currently working towards a certification in herbalism, so she may further serve her community.

At CCSM, Nicole works closely with students in all aspects of their educational experience from the admissions process to being a Teacher’s Assistant. Through her work with CCSM, Nicole strives to further build upon the proactive and revolutionary environment at CCSM so that students gain the access, connections, knowledge, and empowerment they need to be successful midwives.

Credentials

CERTIFIED JJWAY PROVIDER | Commonsense Childbirth Institute

CERTIFIED PERINATAL EDUCATOR | Commonsense Childbirth Institute

BACHELORS DEGREE IN CREATIVE WRITING | Emerson College

Faculty Instructors

Takiya Ballard

MS, CNM

Instructor and Mentor, Direct-Entry Programs

Profile

Takiya is an experienced practitioner and educator with over 20 years of experience in obstetrical care and 14 years of teaching experience in both the didactic and clinical classrooms. Coupled with her attendance at over 1000 births in the hospital, birth center, and home, she has a vast knowledge and understanding of the nature and culture of birth in all healthcare settings. At the very center of her midwifery work was the ability to honor the birthing person and their right to be fully informed agents of their body. 

Her educational experiences have allowed her to lead in curriculum development and instruction. Using a unique approach to pedagogy, her style of instruction resonates with students from varied learner preferences. She has a special interest in increasing workforce diversity and graduation rates of minority populations, overall student success, and helping students apply their knowledge to their clinical practice.

She has an incredible passion for mentorship and loves seeing students grow in knowledge and confidence and have their “aha” moment when it all comes together and finally makes sense. Delivering powerful and meaningful learning experiences for students and guiding them to professional and personal success is at the center of her work and how she “pays it forward” every day.

Credentials
  • Takiya Sakina Ballard is a Certified Nurse Midwife who partners with birthing families to inspire them to become savvy birthers. 
  • She’s spent nearly two decades as a midwife with 1000 births in the hospital, birth center, and home.
  • She has her Bachelor of Nursing from Syracuse University (1998) and her Master of Arts in Midwifery from New York University (2003). She is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. 
  • Takiya is the voice of the new podcast “The Savvy Black Birther” and a consultant to BIPOC birthing families seeking advocacy support and education.
  • She is also a mentor to aspiring healthcare professionals through her mentorship program via Sakina Health, a virtual health service.

Carmen Mojica

CPM, BS

Clinical Coordinator and Instructor, Direct-Entry Programs

Profile

Carmen Mojica is an Afro-Dominicana, born and raised in the Bronx. She is a certified professional midwife, educator, writer, and reproductive justice activist with a particular focus on birth justice. She utilizes her experience as a midwife to raise awareness on maternal and infant health, highlighting the disparities in the healthcare system in the United States for Afro-descendant people. Carmen is one of the co-creators of Bronx (Re)Birth and Progress Collective, a group of Black mothers, doulas, and organizers who aim to build alternate solutions outside of the system that protect and honor birthing people in the Bronx and their families.

In August 2010 through a fellowship with Hudson Perinatal Consortium, Carmen became a certified birth doula. Graduating from Maternidad La Luz, a midwifery school and birth clinic in El Paso, Texas, Carmen attended over 90 births and provided prenatal and postpartum care in Spanish to mothers. As a doula, she has provided  mental, emotional, and spiritual support for women during and after the course of the pregnancy as well as providing additional support to the women’s family and friends.

Credentials

Justine Clegg

MS, LM, CPM, LMHC, BA, CLC

Academic Coordinator and Instructor, Licensure by Endorsement Program

Profile

Justine Clegg has been active in maternal and child health since 1974 when she became a La Leche League Leader, then a childbirth educator, labor coach, and birth assistant.

She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Communications from the University of Miami, a 3-year Diploma from the South Florida School of Midwifery, and a Masters in Science degree in Counseling from Florida International University.

Justine is a home birth midwife licensed in Florida since 1986.

She is a Certified Professional Midwife through North American Registry of Midwives since 1993.

She is a Florida Licensed Mental Health Counselor since 1993. 

She became a Certified Lactation Counselor, Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice, since 2008.

She was Midwifery Program Director at Miami Dade Community College, Medical Center Campus,1994-2008, and received an Endowed Chair, 2003-2006.  

Credentials

MASTERS OF SCIENCE IN EDUCATIONALCOUNSELING

Florida International University, Miami, Florida

CERTIFICATE IN MIDWIFERY

South Florida School of Midwifery, Miami, Florida

CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIFE

North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN COMMUNICATIONS AND MARKETINGUniversity of Miami, Miami, Florida

CERTIFIED LACTATION COUNSELOR Academy of Lactation Policy and Practice

David Carter-Plake

BSM, CPM, LM

Instructor

Profile

David grew up in the Midwest and always felt that he had a calling to serve as a birth worker.  He attended his first birth as a hospital volunteer at the age of fourteen and has been involved in maternal-child healthcare ever since.  During high school, David worked as an OB Tech at the local university hospital and continued there during and after graduating nursing school as a labor and delivery nurse.  While David served as a travel nurse across the U.S. and Caribbean in the early 2000s, he was able to experience different cultures and traditions in birth which he still carries with him today.  In 2005 after Hurricane Katrina and in 2010 after the Haitian earthquake, David volunteered for disaster relief assisting in caring for birthing persons stricken by the disasters.

 

After years of working in states that were unregulated or illegal for midwives, David attended Midwives College of Utah for his theoretical education while moving to the great state of Texas for his formal clinical training.  David currently is the Clinical Director for Maternidad La Luz and has a small homebirth practice in El Paso, TX.  He is on the Board of Directors of the Association of Texas Midwives and serves as the Education Chair.  David believes strongly in educating future generations of midwives to bring midwifery to every community, so he shares his knowledge and skills wherever he is called in midwifery education.  In his free time, David enjoys travelling domestically and internationally, reading, and spending time with family, friends and Henry his Yorkshire Terrier.

Credentials

Master of Education Candidate (MEd)

Strayer University-Washington, D.C.

 

Bachelor of Science in Midwifery (BSM)

Midwives College of Utah-Salt Lake City Utah

 

Licensed Midwife (LM)

Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation

New Mexico Department of Health

Arizona Department of Health

 

Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)

North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)

 

Associate of Science in Midwifery (ASM)

Midwives College of Utah-Salt Lake City Utah

 

Certificate in Nursing

Ivy Tech State College-Lafayette, Indiana

Guest Lecturers

Kathy Bradley

AA, IBCLC, ICCE, CCA

Instructor

Profile

Spanning a 25-year career in the maternal health field, Kathy is the visionary behind Childbirth Concierge. She is strongly motivated to support women no matter how they choose to birth or feed their babies.

As a mother of 5, she truly understands the challenges families face preparing for birth and caring for their newborns. A born educator, she is in her element teaching new parents and health professionals. She worked for 14 years in Maternal Health at Winnie Palmer Hospital in Orlando, FL.

Kathy has been involved with perinatal education and health care since 1989. Her focus over the years has been providing education and support to individuals of all income levels.

As the founder and executive director of the former Childbirth Enhancement Foundation, she developed partnerships and training programs for community-based doula programs with 14 hospitals. She managed a $350,000 grant to provide low-income individuals childbirth education, doula and lactation support services in Santa Fe, NM.

Credentials

ASSOCIATE OF ARTS IN GENERAL EDUCATION | BrevardCommunity College, Cocoa, Florida

INTERNATIONAL BOARD CERTIFIED LACTATION CONSULTANT(IBCLC) | International Board of Lactation Consultant Examiners

INTERNATIONAL CERTIFIED CHILDBIRTH EDUCATOR (ICCE) |International Childbirth Education Association

CERTIFIED CHILDBIRTH ASSISTANT (CCA) | Childbirth Enhancement Foundation

Michelle Hannah

LM, BA

Skills Instructor, Preceptor

Profile

Michelle Hannah discovered a passion for midwifery during her first pregnancy over 15 years ago. The varying experiences of her 4 births brought her to a desire to pursue midwifery as a career. 

Michelle holds a Bachelor’s degree in Psychology from Southeastern University in Lakeland, FL.

She earned her Certificate of Midwifery from Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery in 2015, and practices as a midwife at Celebrate Birth in Lakeland, FL. 

She has a passion for teaching and training student midwives in the art of midwifery. 

Credentials

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN PSYCHOLOGY | Southeastern University 

CERTIFICATE OF MIDWIFERY |Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery

CERTIFIED BREASTFEEDING SPECIALIST | Lactation Education Resources

OUR GROWING TEAM

At CCSM, we are actively growing and diversifying our faculty and staff. We look forward to welcoming more midwifery experts and educators to our team. You can visit our job listings on ZipRecruiter to see currently available positions.  

Please continue to check back to discover the newest additions to our team.

Share your interest in joining the faculty

Interested in joining our team of midwifery educators? If you have experience and interest, we want to hear from you! Fill out our faculty interest form today!

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