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 passionate about coaching and supporting others to become the best versions of themselves. After receiving a Master’s degree in Health Service Administration from the University of Central Florida, she was able to use this passion at a local hospital system for 8 years where she refined her operational and regulatory skill set. 

After the birth of her each of her daughters, Tara was inspired to dive deeper into the birth community first by becoming a Certified Childbirth Consultant and ultimately to leave her career in the hospital system to pursue her passion for birth work.

This led Tara to work for Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery, initially as a contractor brought on to help the school attain its MEAC accreditation. Now as the Dean of the school, Tara seeks to use her organizational skills and mentor mentality to help our community thrive.

 

Credentials
  • MASTER OF SCIENCE IN HEALTH SERVICE ADMINISTRATION | University of Central Florida
  • CERTIFIED CHILDBIRTH CONSULTANT | Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery
  • EVIDENCE BASED BIRTH INSTRUCTOR | Evidence Based Birth®

Nicole Lawrence

BFA

Program Coordinator, Direct-Entry Program

 

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

Carmen Mojica

BS, LM, CPM

Clinical Coordinator and Instructor, Direct-Entry Program

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
  • Bachelor of Arts in Black Studies & TV/Radio Productions | State University of New York at New Paltz
  • Diploma in Midwifery | Maternidad La Luz

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, MEd

Program Director of Direct Entry Program

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

Bethany Branch-Erby

CBA,CBS,CHD

Administrative Assistant

Profile

Bethany Branch-Erby is a certified home birth and postpartum doula, lactation specialist, and award-winning international  birth, newborn, birth worker branding photographer, and a proud mother of 3 dynamic humans of her own (and a dog!)

With more than a decade of experience in professional photography, her work has been featured in Rangefinder, Toffee & Honey, Valdosta Times, Feorce Magazine, featured on Tampa Birth Photographer’s Top 15 in DFW, ranked 8 in 2017 in The Portrait Masters Awards and various featured blogs. 

With more than a decade in birth, breastfeeding, and herbal work, Branch-Erby has championed outstanding doula and lactation work in such countries as Italy, London, and Japan.

As an international birth and breastfeeding consultant, Branch-Erby’s experience also includes new parent transition assistance (with a historical focus on women and teens of color), infusing traditional practices of herbal support, and creating a culture of divine feminine energy love and acceptance while empowering and giving back to under-served populations.  Bethany’s extensive training and skills have given her insight into the backend of birth work and is overjoyed to use those skills in supporting CCSM in supporting future midwives.  It’s Bethany Branch-Erby’s honor, and joy to work with Commonsense School of Midwifery! 

Credentials

Instructors

Sarah Hinton

MS, CPM

Instructor

Profile

Ensuring that families are treated with respect, dignity, and kindness during some of life’s most vulnerable moments is my passion, my purpose, and my greatest joy. Midwifery captured my heart and my mind in 2010 and I have been attending births ever since. The journey has taken me to places I never dreamed, and I currently work in my home state of Kansas as well as internationally in midwifery education, research, and clinical practice. My purpose as a midwife is to nurture women and families during the incredible journey of bringing new life into the world and I am deeply honored each and every time I have the opportunity to walk with families though this intimate season of their lives. My desire is to support women through their journey physically, emotionally, and spiritually and provide a space where peaceful, empowering, and uninterrupted birth can unfold as it has for countless generations.

Credentials
  • Certified Professional Midwife licensed in New Mexico
  • Master’s degree in midwifery – Midwives’ College of Utah.

Aly Salas

MS, BS, LM, CPM

Instructor, TA

Profile

Aly’s passion for pregnancy and birth was born from her own pregnancies and experiences. As a military spouse, she often found herself in new cities every few years with little to no family close by. She especially felt the lack of support in the postpartum, which led her to begin studying as a postpartum doula and placenta encapsulation specialist in 2012. She continued to support postpartum families while growing her own, and feeling the pull to midwifery grow. Her births left more to be desired. More compassion, more education, and more trust. She hadn’t found a provider that she truly connected with or who she felt genuinely listened to her questions and concerns. She wanted to be that provider. After landing back in her hometown of El Paso, Texas, she began studying midwifery at Maternidad La Luz Midwifery and Birth Center in 2017. It was here at this high volume birth center on the border of Texas and Mexico where she honed the skills and craft of midwifery. She saw how empowering women/birthing people and the education of physiologic birth contributed to a safe and beautiful birth experience that everyone enjoyed. She is currently located in the Knoxville, TN area, where she practices in the homebirth setting with two other midwives. She strives to provide safe care and informed consent to families, empowering them with the knowledge to make the decisions that are best suited for them.

Credentials
  • Master of Science in Healthcare Administration
  • Texas Tech University Bachelor of Science in Health Sciences 
  • Arizona State University Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) 
  • North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) NARM Registered Preceptor 
  • North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)
  • Licenced Midwife (TN) Tennessee Department of Health

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

Janell Moore

MPH, LM, CPM

Instructor

Profile

Janell Moore (she/her) is a California Medical Board Licensed Midwife (LM) and a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM). She holds a Masters in Public Health (MPH) with a concentration in community health sciences. Her career in sexual and reproductive health spans over 16 year – from working as a medical assistant in free and low-cost community clinics to managing federally funded research and doctoral training programs. After earning her masters, Janell dedicated her career to working in epidemiology in HIV research and prevention, specifically among BIPOC and LGBTQI communities. She has worked with HIV-positive pregnant and lactating people in Uganda and the DR Congo as well as coordinated HIV research projects in Cambodia and the US. In 2018, she took a leave from academic research to attend the direct-entry midwifery program at Maternidad La Luz in El Paso, Texas. She is in now a home birth midwife in private practice in Los Angeles where she provides body positive, gender-affirming, trauma informed holistic care. As an instructor, Janell draws from the varied experiences of her students to encourage agency and communal ways of knowing in hopes of dismantling the divide between academia and the public. She is fluent in Spanish and enjoys traveling, reading, yoga and (novice) surfing.

Credentials
Master of Public Health (MPH)
University of California, Los Angeles
Licensed Midwife (LM)
Medical Board of California
Certified Professional Midwife (CPM)
North American Registry of Midwives (NARM)
Bachelor of Arts (BA) Anthropology
University of California, Berkeley

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.

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