2013-2014 NACPM Board Members
Ellie Daniels Jamie A. Eidsath Illysa Rene Foster Kaye Kanne
Tanya Khemet Audrey Levine Autumn Vergo
Tanya Khemet, CPM
How I appear to the world: I am a Licensed Midwife/Certified Professional Midwife, an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant with a Masters in Public Health. I count myself blessed as being the mother of three beautiful girls who were all born at home. I spend my days working in a Federally Qualified Health Center in Sacramento that is committed to the compassionate care of low-income families in a multi-disciplinary setting. I provide women’s health services to women and teens under the protocols of the Comprehensive Perinatal Services Program, in which we weave prenatal care with health education, nutrition and psychosocial services. I serve as the Secretary of the Board of Directors of the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives.
I come from a family tradition of midwives, stretching back at least three generations. My grandmother and her aunties were midwives practicing in rural Jamaica. My mother, aunts and uncles remember their mother and great aunts travelling along country roads on dark nights accompanied only by the all-seeing owls. I was trained at Seattle Midwifery School, and apprenticed with midwives in Seattle, Senegal and Jamaica. I am committed to the revitalization of the tradition of midwifery within the African American community, and the eradication of the ethnic disparities in perinatal health outcomes. It is my interest in preventative and complementary health, especially maternal and child health, and my desire to work with the medically underserved, that compelled me to become a midwife.
I served as the clinic administrator and staff midwife of The Birthing Project Clinic for eight years, and was able to develop systems that streamlined the delivery of comprehensive care and captured the information that documented both the outcomes and the quality of that care. I also facilitated the creation of our childbirth education classes and centering program. I then became one of the founding mothers (hermanas de la luz) of Birth and Family Health Center of The Effort, which are women’s health clinics housed in community health centers located in medically underserved areas of Sacramento. These community centers provide primary care, pediatrics, dental care and behavioral health. Birth and Family Health Centers primarily serve women who would otherwise have little or no prenatal care or reproductive health services, and does active outreach to women with substance abuse issues, the homeless and recently incarcerated women. The patients receive comprehensive care that weaves midwifery care with health education and social services, and increases access to many programs that address their multi-faceted needs including substance abuse treatment and prevention, counseling and programs designed to prevent abuse and foster family cohesiveness.
It is my commitment to the care of the medically underserved that has propelled me to join the NACPM board. I strongly believe that the midwifery model can have a positive impact on the health of mothers, particularly those who are most at risk for poor birth outcomes. I would like to be involved in the work of increasing access to quality maternity care by supporting the work of Certified Professional Midwives. I also believe that midwives have historically been advocates in their communities and we must continue that tradition by organizing ourselves to work to preserve physiologic birth, promote the sustainability of our profession and fight for national standards that preserve the autonomy of childbearing women. For us to remain relevant we must address the barriers to practice, licensure and reimbursement, and support each other with clinical resources.