STAFF & FACULTY

School of Midwifery Staff

Jennie Joseph

LM, CPM

Founder and President, 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)

Zulgeil Ruiz-Gines

BA, LM, CPM

Dean of Midwifery Program and Operations

Profile
Zul Ruiz Ginés, LM, CPM

Zul is a midwife, educator, and advocate for culturally safe midwifery care. She holds licenses as a Midwife in the states of California and Florida. Born and raised on the magical island of Puerto Rico, she earned her BA degree in Humanities from the University of Puerto Rico. Zul‘s journey into midwifery education began in Temixco, Mexico, where she spent nine months learning from an indigenous midwife who opened her vision, spirit, and heart to the world of midwifery. She graduated from the National College of Midwifery and obtained her license in California through the Medical Board. Additionally, she earned her license in Florida through the Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery.

Zul is deeply committed to the education and training of new midwives and the future of midwifery. Her dedication has led her to various roles, including Professor, DIE Coordinator, Midwifery Program Strategist, and involvement in legislative efforts in Puerto Rico

Credentials

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN HUMANITIES

  University of Puerto Rico  

DIRECT ENTRY MIDWIFERY PROGRAM DEGREE  

  National College of Midwifery  

  DIRECT ENTRY MIDWIFERY PROGRAM DEGREE  

  Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery

 

LICENSED MIDWIFE, State of Florida  

  CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIFE  

  North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)

Andrea Herrada

BA

Admissions Coordinator and Student Services

Profile

Andrea Herrada is a Western Governors University graduate with a focus on Education. Andrea has spent 10+ years in the field of education: teaching, developing and implementing curriculum. She has also implemented various technologies into the learning environment to support various styles of learners, especially after being an online college graduate herself. As a bilingual educator born in Florida with Puerto Rican and Mexican descent, she has been able to help provide the Latino/a community with receiving quality opportunities for higher learning and advocating for reproductive justice. 

For her, being a part of CCSM allows the opportunity to assist future midwives begin their educational journey while providing the safe space during the uncertainty of enrollment and throughout their educational experience. Outside of her passion for education, Andrea enjoys spending time with her three daughters and traveling. Andrea is continuing her educational development by studying for her Masters of Arts and learning project management.

Credentials

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN INTERDISCIPLINARY STUDIES  

Western Governors University  

PROFESSIONAL EDUCATOR CERTIFICATE  

Florida Department of Education 

Dayna Hernandez

BA, CPM

Clinical Mentor Coordinator and Student Services

Profile

Dayna Hernandez is a Certified Professional Midwife, birth assistant, birth & postpartum support person and lactation support counselor who traverses between worlds; the Womb and the Earth; the spiritual and the physical; Spanish & English. At a certain point into her first pregnancy she realized that her life would be forever changed after the birth of her son, for reasons apart from the obvious transformation from individual person to the mom-baby dyad. She was beginning to hear the echoes of her calling and gradually became receptive to the “spiritual healer” within. 

She is spiritually motivated to serve families and to be with them during a most transcendent and transformational moment of their lives. Her mom would often say to her, “nosotros somos gente humilde.” It means, “we are humble people.” And for her, part of that humility meant that every person deserves safety, care and respect in the pregnancy and birth continuum. Currently I work Full-Time at Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery as a Clinical Mentor Coordinator and Student Services Administrator at CCSM.

Credentials

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN ART HISTORY

The City College of New York  

 

MIDWIFERY DEGREE

Southwest Wisconsin Technical College 

 

CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIFE  

North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)

Tara Gallagher

BA, MS

Academic Coordinator, Direct Entry Midwifery Program

Profile

Tara Gallagher is the Academic Coordinator for the Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery. Originally from Kansas, Tara went to the University of Kansas as an undergraduate and completed a bachelor’s degrees for Theatre & Film, Anthropology, and Molecular Biosciences. After working in scientific research for two years, she moved to Milwaukee, WI in 2013 to pursue a master’s degree in medical Anthropology at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. While attending her graduate program, Tara taught several sections of Anatomy and Physiology as a Teaching Assistant. She also went on to teach high school science for two years at the Étude High School in Sheboygan, WI while finishing her thesis titled Practical Problems and Moral Discourses: An Ethnography of Breastfeeding. Tara was trained as a Maternal Child Health Specialist at the Midwest Maternal Child Institute and is a Certified Lactation Counselor, a Certified Doula, and a student midwife attending the Direct Entry Midwife program at the Southwest Wisconsin Technical College. 

 

Prior to joining CCSM, Tara’s professional work includes Birth Outcomes Made Better (BOMB) Doula for the Milwaukee Health Department as well as Clinical Case Manager and Community Action Network (CAN) Coordinator for SGA Youth & Family Services Midwest Healthy Start Initiative in Chicago, IL.

Credentials

BACHELOR OF ARTS IN THEATRE & FILM, ANTHROPOLOGY, MOLECULAR SCIENCE  

University of Kansas 

 

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN MEDICAL ANTHROPOLOGY

University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee

 

MATERNAL CHILD HEALTH SPECIALIST

Midwest Maternal Child Institute

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

Instructors

Courtney Smith

MSM, LM, CPM

Instructor

Profile

My name is Courtney Smith, I am a Licensed Midwife practicing in Washington State.  I am excited to have the opportunity to empower the next generation of midwives by creating an inclusive environment.  Our work as students and midwives is important and life-changing for families who encounter us.  

I was born in the panhandle of Idaho and have resided in Washington state for the last 28 years. I began my family very early in life and have been blessed with three outstanding children. In 2014, I graduated from Washington State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Social Science. My medical experience started in 2008 when I began working as a medical assistant with the University of Washington’s Department of Family Medicine. This work exposed me to a wide variety of people and their needs. I wanted to expand my scope of practice and was drawn to midwifery after attending my neighbor’s birth and the birth of my nephew. I was lucky enough to find obstetric training in my own backyard and completed my Master of Science in Midwifery with a Botanical Medicine focus at Bastyr University.

Thank you for inspiring me to do this work.

Courtney

Credentials

Kimberly Haines

LM, CPM

Clinical Mentor Coordinator and Instructor

Profile
Kimberly Haines is a second generation midwife with a passion for student education. She began attending births in 2004 and quickly recognized the vast shortcomings in women’s healthcare. She graduated from the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery in 2012 with a goal to offer a more empowering approach to prenatal,antenatal and postpartum care in her community. Kimberly began attending births as a Licensed Midwife in Virginia in 2014. She has since been dedicated to raising the community standard of out-of-hospital care while precepting student midwives to provide exceptional birth options to low risk families. Kim has also thrived in the chaos of raising five amazing kids with her equally passionate partner of 23years..
Credentials
DIRECT ENTRY MIDWIFERY PROGRAM DEGREE
Florida School of Traditional Midwifery

LICENSED MIDWIFE
State of Virginia

CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIFE
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)

Tamara Trinidad

BS, MSM, CPM

Instructor

Profile
Tamara Trinidad is a community partera/midwife, perinatal educator, EBB Instructor and herbalist, born and raised in Puerto Rico. She is a mother of two children who were born at home with midwives and has been actively involved in childbirth professions for over 10 years. She has a background in Biology and holds a Master of Science in Midwifery (MSM) with foundations in Botanical Medicine from Bastyr University and is a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). She owns a midwifery and herbal practice called Semilla Creciente LLC and is actively involved in her community as the president of the Puerto Rico Midwifery Association (APPR). She is also an member of the National Association for Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM) and recently joined as an Instructor at Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery. Besides being active in the clinical and educational roles of midwifery, Tamara is also highly committed to the equity, social justice and political aspects of the midwifery profession
Credentials
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN GENERAL BIOLOGY
The University of Puerto Rico

MASTER OF SCIENCE IN MIDWIFERY
Bastyr University

CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIFE
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)

Debbie Allen

LM, CPM

Instructor

Profile
Debbie Allen is a Midwife, Childbirth Educator, Maternal Health Advocate, founder of Tribe Midwifery, and Co-Founder of the Well-Being Alliance in Los Angeles, California. Debbie has supported families in their reproductive health choices throughout the last 29 years . Debbie was the Co-Director and Chief Financial Officer of The Community Birth Center, first black owned birth center in Los Angeles. Debbie is the Co-Creator and Co-Director responsible for the implementation of a full spectrum Group Prenatal Program for BMHCE and Charles Drew University of Science and Medicine.
Credentials
MIDWIFERY CERTIFICATE
National Midwifery Institute

LICENSED MIDWIFE
State of California

CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIFE
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)

Amariee Collins

BA, MA, LM, CPM

Instructor

Profile
Amariee (she/hers, non-gender role confirming) is a Certified Professional Midwife and has earned a Bachelors of Midwifery from Midwives College of Utah October 2023. Amariee is a Registered Sonographer with American Registry for Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ARDMS) in Abdomen/General, Obstetric/Gynecology (RDMS-Ab/Ob/Gyn) and Vascular (RVT) from San Jacinto College with an Associates of Applied Science in Diagnostic Medical Sonography. Amariee has also worked in the clinical setting at an Endocrinologist office, at Baylor, Scott & White hospital, Children’s Health and Outpatient Centers. Her experience is vast with procedures, inpatient/outpatient/OR/ER, protocols and standards set by Joint Commission Accreditation of Healthcare Organizations.
As she entered midwifery school and networked with the birth community, there was an expressed need for mobile ultrasound technologists. She decided to expand her ability to work outside of the medical industrial complex by starting her mobile sonography business. The exams are ordered by licensed professionals and read by a teleradiology group contracted with Amariee. This has allowed for many families to be served in a greater capacity with the restrictions of COVID-19 in the hospitals and outpatient centers. Many midwives that have multiple needs for learning how to use their Point-Of-Care US (POCUS) transducers and decoding diagnostic ultrasound reports have contacted Amariee for training. She has identified a great need to train midwives in the basics of sonography, for safety of all parties involved.
Amariee currently advises the Black Students, Veteran’s Students, and Students Residing Overseas at Midwives College of Utah. She has just became a NARM preceptor and plans on changing the way the Black student midwives are precepted ensuring safe spaces with many educational opportunities to guarantee learning and hands-on opportunities to become well rounded and grounded midwives. In her other endeavors, Amariee is a veteran of the United States Air Force, holds a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Health and Human Performance and Masters of Public Administration. A few positions she has held are budget analyst with the U.S. Department of the Treasury, Secondary Science educator at Houston Independent School District and an AmeriCorps VISTA/VISTA Leader for Texas Impact. Amariee is a community member and builder no matter her location and has a passion for equity for all in the world which keeps her busy as she resides in Ontario, Canada.
Credentials
BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN BIOLOGY AND HEALTH
University of Houston

MASTER OF ARTS IN PUBLIC ADMINISTRATION
Texas Southern University

BACHELOR OF SCIENCE IN MIDWIFERY
Midwives College of Utag

LICENSED MIDWIFE, State of Texas

CERTIFIED PROFESSIONAL MIDWIFE
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)

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. Please email our HR department for more information – HR@commonsensechildbirth.org.

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!

Share you interest in becoming a preceptor

Interested in hosting student midwives at your practice? If you have the experience and interest, we want to hear from you! Fill out our preceptor interest form today!