GOLD Learning Speakers

United States

Birth Summit Panel 1

  • Speaker Type: Birth Summit
  • Country: United States
Biography:

Saraswathi Vedam

Saraswathi Vedam is Lead Investigator of the Birth Place Lab and Professor of Midwifery in the Faculty of Medicine at University of British Columbia. Over the past 34 years, she has served as clinician, educator, researcher, and mother to four remarkable women. Professor Vedam has coordinated several transdisciplinary and community-led research projects. In the US, she led the Access and Integration Maternity care Mapping (AIMM) Study examing the impact of integration of midwives on maternal-newborn outcomes, and the Giving Voice to Mothers Study that explored experiences of respect, discrimination, and mistreatment among communities of color in the US. In Canada, she led the Canadian Birth Place Study examining attitudes to place of birth among maternity care providers; and Changing Childbirth in BC, a provincial, participatory study of women’s experiences of maternity care. She is currently PI of a CIHR-funded national research study to evaluate respectful maternity care across Canada. She and her team have developed pragmatic tools that improve person-centered care, including patient-designed quality measures: Mothers’ Autonomy in Decision Making (MADM) scale and the Mothers on Respect (MORi) index, which received the 2017 National Quality Forum Innovation Prize. She was selected as one of the inaugural Michael Smith Health Research Institute Health Professional Investigators.

Professor Vedam has been active in setting national and international policy on place of birth, and midwifery education and regulation. She has provided expert consultations to policy makers, public health agencies, and legislators in Mexico, Hungary, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Canada, the US, and India. She was Convener and Chair of 3 national Home Birth Summits. At these historic summits a multi-stakeholder group of leaders (clinicians, consumers, policymakers, legislators, researchers, ethicists, and administrators) crafted a common agenda to address equitable access to high quality care across birth settings in the United States.


Monica McLemore

Monica McLemore, RN, MPH, PhD, is on faculty at the University of California, San Francisco School of Nursing. She is in high demand as an expert on inequities in health services, research, and as a policy advisor nationally. She has received numerous awards for her groundbreaking scholarship and excellence in service, including Person of the Year, Abortion Care Network, 2018, Agent - Provocateur of the Year Award, The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health, 2017, Amazing Women in Reproductive Health, Association for Reproductive Health Professionals, 2017. Hellman Family Award for Early Career Faculty, 2015-2017, and she was Speaking Race to Power Fellow, CoreAlign, from 2015-2016. Her research is focused on understanding the factors that influence the health, wellbeing and livelihood of low-income and women of color who she serves clinically at Zuckerberg San Francisco General. Using the intersectional human rights middle range theory called reproductive Justice (RJ), enables her to design rigorous studies that answer novel and complex research questions because RJ is simultaneously a theory, practice and a strategy that is grounded in four principles. Simply put, RJ posits that every person has the right to decide if and when to become pregnant and to determine the conditions under which they will birth. Next, every person has the right to decide they will not become pregnant or have a baby and options for preventing or ending pregnancy are accessible and available. Third, individuals have the right parent children they already have with dignity and has the necessary social supports in safe environments and health communities without fear of violence from individuals or the government. Finally, individuals have the right to disassociate sex from reproduction and that health sexuality and pleasure are essential components to whole and full human life.


Kimberly Gregory

Dr. Kimberly Gregory is Vice Chair of Women’s Healthcare Quality and Performance Improvement, Department of Obstetrics & Gynecology, and Director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. Board certified in Ob/Gyn and Maternal-Fetal Medicine, she is a Professor at Cedars with a joint appointment at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA and the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health. She has received federal and foundation funding to support her research interests, which include developing maternal quality indicators, patient safety, obstetrical healthcare utilization, variation and appropriateness of cesarean delivery, and complications of childbirth. She has developed algorithms for determining indications for cesarean delivery, cesarean after labor, and elective (no labor) cesarean delivery using hospital administrative data, demonstrating wide variation in cesarean rate by hospital. Additionally, she developed framework and proposed indicators for monitoring quality of care during pregnancy and childbirth. She is currently working on patient reported outcomes and measures of patient reported satisfaction with childbirth services. Dr. Gregory has served in various leadership positions including the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force, the Institute of Medicine Committee on Preventive Services for Women, the Board of Directors for the Society of Maternal Fetal Medicine, regional Section Chair for American College Obstetrics & Gynecology (ACOG), and numerous health and public policy committees at both the state and national levels.


Melissa Cheyney

Melissa Cheyney PhD CPM LDM is Associate Professor of Clinical Medical Anthropology at Oregon State University (OSU) with appointments in Public Health and Women Gender and Sexuality Studies. She is also a Licensed Midwife in active, community practice, and the Chair of the Division of Research for the Midwives Alliance of North America. She is the author of an ethnography entitled Born at Home, co-author and editor of Birth in Eight Cultures, and of more than 50 peer-reviewed articles that examine the cultural beliefs and clinical outcomes associated with midwife-led birth in the United States. In 2014, Dr. Cheyney was selected for Oregon State University’s prestigious Scholarship Impact Award for the prolific and highly relevant research outputs of her International Reproductive Health Laboratory and with the MANA Statistics Project. Her research projects span topics from reproductive biology to cultural anthropology, epidemiology and clinical outcomes associated with patient experience, health equity, interprofessional relationships, and place of birth. She is currently the PI on an NIH-funded study examining the outcomes of care for culturally and socially matched doulas serving Medicaid priority populations in Oregon. Dr. Cheyney serves as an expert consultant on numerous interdisciplinary research institutes including the ACOG ReVitalize Task Force, the Home Birth Summit Research and Data Task Force, the Oregon Health Evidence Review Commission, the International Quality Maternal and Newborn Care Research Alliance, and the National Academies of Medicine Committee on Birth Setting. She is Vice-Chair of Oregon State University’s (OSU) Human Subjects Research Institutional Review Board and the Graduate Program Director for OSU’s Applied Anthropology Program. She is a beloved and award-winning teacher, a highly sought mentor and doctoral advisor, and is known for her intentional approach to creating a culturally safe environment for her research team and mentees. Dr. Cheyney is the mother of a daughter born at home on International Day of the Midwife in 2009.


Michele Goodwin

Michele Bratcher Goodwin is a Chancellor’s Professor at the University of California, Irvine and founding director of the Center for Biotechnology and Global Health Policy. She is also faculty in the Stem Cell Research Center; Gender and Sexuality Studies Department; Program in Public Health; and the Department of Criminology, Law, & Society. She is an elected member of the American Law Institute as well as an elected Fellow of the American Bar Foundation and the Hastings Center. A nationally recognized advocate for civil liberties and civil rights, Professor Goodwin serves on the executive committee and national board of the American Civil Liberties Union. She has advised policymakers and chaired several sections of the Association of American Law Schools, served as a trustee of the United States Law and Society Association, and was elected secretary general of the International Academy of Law & Mental Health as the first woman. Gov. Paul Patton of Kentucky commissioned her as a colonel, the state’s highest title of honor. In 2018 she was bestowed the Sandra Day O’Connor Legacy Award by the Women’s Journey Foundation. Professor Goodwin’s scholarship is hailed as “exceptional” in the New England Journal of Medicine. A prolific author, her publications include five books and over 80 articles, essays and book chapters.


Indra Wood Lusero

Indra Lusero, Esq., is the President and founder of the Birth Rights Bar Association and the director of Elephant Circle, where they work as an organizer, trainer, and lawyer practicing family formation and regulatory law. Indra’s law review articles "Challenging Hospital VBAC Bans Through Tort Liability" and "Making the Midwife Impossible: How the Structure of Maternity Care Harms the Practice of Home Birth Midwifery" are published in the William and Mary Journal of Women and the Law and the Women’s Rights Law Reporter respectively. Indra is honored to have been named "All Around Reproductive Justice Champion" in 2013 by the Colorado Organization for Latina Opportunity and Reproductive Rights. She is the recipient of numerous reproductive justice awards including the Most Audacious Award, Honoring a childbirth professional who has shown remarkable courage and boldness to change childbirth or maternity care, from The Association for Wholistic Maternal & Newborn Health and Human Rights in Childbirth, May 2016. Indra is a genderqueer Latin@ parent with a diverse family of people from all over the world.

CE Library Presentation(s) Available Online:
Watch Today!
View Lecture
Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures
Addressing Quality in Childbearing Care - Webcast (With CME Credits)
This is a fully interactive, structured meeting following the internationally acclaimed Future Search process for transdisciplinary dialogue when addressing "wicked problems". The Future Search model for co-creation requires narrowing the focus on the goals of the meeting when identifying stakeholder groups, and when nominating delegates. In this case the goals are to "address our shared responsibility to equity, safety, and respect". The Planning team nominated delegates from 12 stakeholder perspectives: consumers, community health, service providers, consumer advocates, innovative models of care, national health systems, human rights/law, professional/regulatory associations, payment reform, health professional educators, health systems administration, and quality and safety improvement, as well as key partners to effect implementation: including funders, legislators, and researchers. Confirmed delegates include leaders from the major maternity care organizations; community health leaders; innovative practice models from around the country; researchers, legislators, public health, hospital administration as well as consumers and educators – in short decision makers and service users across the "whole system". We are offering this exciting opportunity to join the delegates on Monday, April 1, as they learn from their colleagues about the realities of the lived experience of care, new findings from person-centered research, policy implications, and models for service delivery that are transforming quality of care across the country….
Hours / CE Credits: 1 (details)  |  Categories:
Watch Today!
View Lecture
Note: Currently only available through a bundled series of lectures
Addressing Quality in Childbearing Care - Webcast (Without CME Credits)
This is a fully interactive, structured meeting following the internationally acclaimed Future Search process for transdisciplinary dialogue when addressing "wicked problems". The Future Search model for co-creation requires narrowing the focus on the goals of the meeting when identifying stakeholder groups, and when nominating delegates. In this case the goals are to "address our shared responsibility to equity, safety, and respect". The Planning team nominated delegates from 12 stakeholder perspectives: consumers, community health, service providers, consumer advocates, innovative models of care, national health systems, human rights/law, professional/regulatory associations, payment reform, health professional educators, health systems administration, and quality and safety improvement, as well as key partners to effect implementation: including funders, legislators, and researchers. Confirmed delegates include leaders from the major maternity care organizations; community health leaders; innovative practice models from around the country; researchers, legislators, public health, hospital administration as well as consumers and educators – in short decision makers and service users across the "whole system". We are offering this exciting opportunity to join the delegates on Monday, April 1, as they learn from their colleagues about the realities of the lived experience of care, new findings from person-centered research, policy implications, and models for service delivery that are transforming quality of care across the country….
Hours / CE Credits: (details)  |  Categories: