At this time, there are two (2) nominees for two (2) open at-large director positions on the Lamaze Board of Directors. Director terms are four (4) years. The candidates are listed below in alphabetical order.
Rachelle has been a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator for over 39 years and has prepared more than 4000 couples for birth. She is also a Lamaze-accredited childbirth educator trainer. As an advocate for normal birth, she has organized and hosted five childbirth conferences with high profile international presenters. She is a certified Yoga and Pilates instructor and a Mindful Birthing instructor. She is an ACE (American Council on Exercise) certified fitness professional specializing in pre/postnatal fitness and has presented at conferences around the world. She lives in Israel with her husband. They have 3 sons, 3 daughters-in-law and 5 grandchildren.
I would like to play a part in ensuring that Lamaze remains relevant to this generation of pregnant women and to incorporate tools that are currently popular, e.g. mindfulness and social media. Lamaze should hire a content creator for social media so that LCCEs can use this content in their own social media accounts. In this way, the messaging of Lamaze Int. can be consistent and shared widely. I would also like to examine the gap that exists between graduates of Lamaze training seminars and those sitting for the exam and starting to teach classes. From my understanding (including from information shared in a webinar with program directors) because most seminars focus on ‘how to teach’, many program graduates lack the confidence to a) take the exam and b) start teaching. I think it’s important to add the element of ‘what to teach’ in the seminar and not rely solely on the Learning Guide. I would like to use my experience of organizing and hosting international conferences for Lamaze’s benefit.
I would like to continue my efforts of several years to have the exam and learning materials translated into Arabic and would be happy to help fundraise for this project. For many years I have had Arabic-speaking women in my seminar and, so far, only one of these women has passed the exam, because of the language. In addition to enabling Arabic-speaking pregnant people in Israel to have access to high quality childbirth education, this could be a big opportunity for Lamaze to expand its international footprint in the many Arabic-speaking countries around the world.
Katie Rohs, born and raised in Seattle, WA, has been supporting families for over 12 years as a successful birth doula, actively supporting over 300 families through childbirth. Katie is also a Lamaze certified childbirth educator, philanthropist, and tireless advocate. You can also find Katie’s work as the co-author of the 5th edition of “The Birth Partner” with Penny Simkin. Katie has served on many boards, including as founding member & past president of PATTCh - Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth, and REACHE - planning childbirth education conferences for the Pacific Northwest region, and the education committee for Great Starts, an independent program of Parent Trust for Washington Children, providing childbirth and new parenting education. Katie is also the proud owner of YourDoulaBag, a small e-commerce website offering tools and fun items for childbirth professionals.
I believe families are formed in many ways and am radically inclusive of birthing people from all races, religions, family structures, genders, and body sizes. I would love to see Lamaze continue addressing the maternal & infant health outcomes crisis. I hope to advocate for passage of the Momnibus Act at the federal level, as well as supporting efforts on the state level to create local policies addressing health outcome disparities. Increasing access to historically marginalized communities with culturally congruent care and education can help bridge the gap in outcomes and reduce maternal mortality rates. Childbirth education alone won't solve this crisis. I would love to see Lamaze continue building relationships with proven programs such as the Nurse-Family Partnership to provide high-quality education to birthing families.
I have a high value around Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion, and specifically in expanding access to culturally relevant material for LGBTQIA+ families. I hope to continue adding relevant research and information to Lamaze resources for all family structures, including increasing the use of gender-neutral language, and developing materials that include diverse representation.
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