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MEET OUR FOUNDERS

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Char'ly Snow, CNM

Char'ly Snow, CNM, is a Detroit native and proud alumna of the University of Michigan and Wayne State University.  She joined the Henry Ford team in 2006 and has been spreading her wings ever since. In 2012, after having served diligently as a bedside nurse, nurse educator, and assistant nurse manager in the Cardiovascular ICU and Surgical ICU departments, she decided to pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM).  She has been a member of the Henry Ford Midwifery Team since 2015.  She is not only a full-time CNM at Henry Ford Health System, but she is also the founder Metro Detroit Midwives of Color (MDMOC). MDMOC is a non-profit professional organization, inclusive of all minority midwives that serve women in the Metro Detroit area.  Ultimately all of their efforts will serve to reduce the prevalence of health disparities among ethnic minorities.

 

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Nicole Marie White, CPM

Nicole Marie White is a Licensed Midwife (LM), Certified Professional Midwife (CPM), and birth advocate with a public health degree from Wayne State University. She is a Co-founder and the Policy Director of Birth Detroit. Birth Detroit is a collective of birth workers and public health advocates committed to building a more just place to birth in Detroit and beyond while embracing a community organizing approach to birth center development rooted in deep equity and meaningful partnership. Nicole has been attending births for 20 years and has been a national and state midwifery policy leader. She received a fellowship to work on public policy to address maternal-infant health disparities in Michigan, served on the inaugural Board of Licensed Midwifery for the State of Michigan, and led the opening of Birth Detroit's first prenatal and postpartum clinic, and facilitated the development of Birth Detroits Birth Justice agenda. Nicole believes that increasing access to human rights-centered midwifery care rooted in racial and gender justice is critical to addressing high maternal and infant mortality rates locally and globally.

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Leseliey Welch, MPH, MBA

Leseliey Welch is a public health leader with a business mind and a visionary heart, holding love as a guiding value, a way of being, an action and a politic. She is Co-founder of Birth Detroit and Birth Center Equity, a mom and a tireless advocate for work that makes communities stronger, healthier and more free. Leseliey leads a team of birth workers, birth advocates and community leaders planning Detroit’s first freestanding community birth center Birth Detroit, and is proud of the launch of Birth Center Equity to grow and sustain birth centers led by Black, Indigenous and people of color across the country. She has nearly two decades of leadership experience in city, state and national health organizations. She served as interim executive director of Birthing Project USA, Deputy Director of Public Health for the City of Detroit, and consulted in the development of Michigan’s first comprehensive LGBTQ health center. Leseliey has taught at the university level for over fifteen years, contributing to the development of Wayne State University’s Bachelor’s in Public Health Program and creating courses on numerous health equity topics for undergraduate and master’s level public health students, medical students and medical residents. Leseliey currently lectures in the Women’s and Gender Studies Department at the University of Michigan. She earned her undergraduate degree in Women’s Studies, Masters in Public Health with a certificate in Women’s and Reproductive Health, and Masters in Business Administration from the University of Michigan. 

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Elon Geffrard

BS, ICCE, CLC, CD (DONA)

Elon Geffrard has been a birth doula since 2016, she came to doula work "accidentally" after being a home visitor for a local health department. While maintaining a private and community based doula practice, Elon has served as project coordinator, statewide speaker and consultant with a number of public health projects but finds her greatest joys in serving women as they transition into motherhood and fostering shifts in attitudes, policy, and practice around pregnancy, labor and birth- at the system’s level. She is a certified parent educator (Effective Black Parenting), certified childbirth educator (ICEA), trained in Lamaze childbirth education and is a certified lactation consultant (ALPP).  She brings to the Birth Detroit team a passion for nurturing expectant families and enhancing the quality of women health services.