Advisory Board

  Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH, CPH, LCCE | Louisville, KY   Robin Elise Weiss, Ph.D., MPH, CLC, AdvCD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, is the author of multiple books and websites on pregnancy and parenting for consumers. In addition, Robin lectures on pregnancy, childbirth and related topics to doctors, midwives, nurses, childbirth educators, doulas (professional pregnancy/labor coaches) and consumers across the country. She is the winner of Lamaze International’s prestigious Elisabeth Bing Award for outstanding contribution to childbirth on a national level and the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) Forum Award and the Lamaze International’s President’s Award for her work with The Birth Survey. She is also a member of the Birth Care Network Board of Directors that was honored with the Normal Birth Advocate Award by Lamaze.  Dr. Weiss teaches maternal child health, health equity, and human resources in the public health setting as an assistant professor adjunct and has been nominated as a faculty favorite.

Robin Elise Weiss, PhD, MPH, CPH, LCCE | Louisville, KY

Robin Elise Weiss, Ph.D., MPH, CLC, AdvCD(DONA), LCCE, FACCE, is the author of multiple books and websites on pregnancy and parenting for consumers. In addition, Robin lectures on pregnancy, childbirth and related topics to doctors, midwives, nurses, childbirth educators, doulas (professional pregnancy/labor coaches) and consumers across the
country. She is the winner of Lamaze International’s prestigious
Elisabeth Bing Award for outstanding contribution to childbirth on a national level and the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) Forum Award and the Lamaze International’s President’s Award for her work with The Birth Survey. She is also a member of the Birth Care Network Board of Directors that was honored with the Normal Birth Advocate Award by Lamaze.

Dr. Weiss teaches maternal child health, health equity, and human resources in the public health setting as an assistant professor adjunct and has been nominated as a faculty favorite.

  Lakeisha Dennis, MTS, LCCE, CLC, CD | New Haven, CT   Lakeisha is an experienced and certified labor doula, perinatal educator, lactation counselor, former ICAN Chapter Leader and community birth advocate from Newark, New Jersey. She currently serves as President of the ICAN Board of Directors, following a successful 2-year term as Chapter Director and Board Member at Large. She is currently working on her MSN at the Yale School of Nursing.  A theologian and Air Force veteran, her diverse background and work as a community doula informs her understanding that expectant families need care, education and support during the perinatal period that is relevant, and culturally competent and sensitive. She advocates the use of the midwifery model of care as a system for reducing disparities for families of color in New Jersey. Lakeisha also teaches comfort measures and labor support to nursing students at a local university and now mentors new birth advocates and professionals.

Lakeisha Dennis, MTS, LCCE, CLC, CD | New Haven, CT

Lakeisha is an experienced and certified labor doula, perinatal educator, lactation counselor, former ICAN Chapter Leader and community birth advocate from Newark, New Jersey. She currently serves as President of the ICAN Board of Directors, following a successful 2-year term as Chapter Director and Board Member at Large. She is currently working on her MSN at the Yale School of Nursing.

A theologian and Air Force veteran, her diverse background and work as a community doula informs her understanding that expectant families need care, education and support during the perinatal period that is relevant, and culturally competent and sensitive. She advocates the use of the midwifery model of care as a system for reducing disparities for families of color in New Jersey. Lakeisha also teaches comfort measures and labor support to nursing students at a local university and now mentors new birth advocates and professionals.

  Kisha Semenuk, MSN, RN | San Diego, CA   Kisha is a Maternal Child Service Line Nurse Quality Coordinator in the Southern California Region and a Perinatal RN with over a decade of frontline nursing care experience in both community and academic birth facilities in the DC metro area. In 2015, she became the founding Program Manager for the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) Program at the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (ACOG) in Washington, DC. As the AIM Program Manager, she managed an 8 State/2 Health System Cohort and facilitated the growth of a diverse and dynamic public-private stakeholder maternal safety and quality improvement network across the U.S.  Kisha is also a Healthcare Upstreamist, connector, and active nurse advocate for maternal health and maternal mental health and volunteers for organizations including Patient Safety Movement Foundation, March for Moms, American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the Motherhood Design Team.

Kisha Semenuk, MSN, RN | San Diego, CA

Kisha is a Maternal Child Service Line Nurse Quality Coordinator in the Southern California Region and a Perinatal RN with over a decade of frontline nursing care experience in both community and academic birth facilities in the DC metro area. In 2015, she became the founding Program Manager for the Alliance for Innovation on Maternal Health (AIM) Program at the American College of Obstetrician and Gynecologists (ACOG) in Washington, DC. As the AIM Program Manager, she managed an 8 State/2 Health System Cohort and facilitated the growth of a diverse and dynamic public-private stakeholder maternal safety and quality improvement network across the U.S.

Kisha is also a Healthcare Upstreamist, connector, and active nurse advocate for maternal health and maternal mental health and volunteers for organizations including Patient Safety Movement Foundation, March for Moms, American Board of Medical Specialties (ABMS) and the Motherhood Design Team.

 
  Susan Perez, PhD, MPH | Davis, CA   Susan Perez’s research focuses on understanding consumers’ decision-making processes in order to inform healthcare policies, information, and resources to promote high value healthcare. Dr. Perez has conducted studies that classified approaches to processing Internet health information among vulnerable populations; addressed statewide overuse of healthcare services; identified approaches for patients and providers to discuss the cost of care; developed a statewide campaign to address variation in C-section rates by working with both patients and hospitals; and illuminated consumers’ views of cost sharing, quality and network choice. Prior to her appointment as an assistant professor at California State University, Sacramento, Dr. Perez completed a postdoctoral fellowship in quality, safety, and comparative effectiveness research and earned a doctorate in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership program at the University of California, Davis.

Susan Perez, PhD, MPH | Davis, CA

Susan Perez’s research focuses on understanding consumers’ decision-making processes in order to inform healthcare policies, information, and resources to promote high value healthcare. Dr. Perez has conducted studies that classified approaches to processing Internet health information among vulnerable populations; addressed statewide overuse of healthcare services; identified approaches for patients and providers to discuss the cost of care; developed a statewide campaign to address variation in C-section rates by working with both patients and hospitals; and illuminated consumers’ views of cost sharing, quality and network choice. Prior to her appointment as an assistant professor at California State University, Sacramento, Dr. Perez completed a postdoctoral fellowship in quality, safety, and comparative effectiveness research and earned a doctorate in Nursing Science and Health-Care Leadership program at the University of California, Davis.

  Erin Gildner | Little Rock, AR   Erin has spent almost ten years working in state government or university environments handling grant management and contracts administration. She was responsible for activities related to the state's Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Disability and Health program for three years and is currently involved in several public health efforts aimed at preventing infant and maternal mortality and morbidity. She is passionate about regionalization of perinatal care as a mother of two twins born prematurely at 25 weeks, one of whom did not survive.  In addition to years of volunteer work in advocating for inclusive public spaces for Arkansans with disabilities, Erin spent six years as a speaker for Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission’s Split Second Decision Program. She founded and currently serves as the Vice President of the Arkansas Chapter of the United Spinal Association, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Disability Coalition. Erin also managed a Tier II Quality of Life grant from the Craig H. Nielsen Foundation on behalf of the Arkansas Spinal Cord Foundation to improve the health of rural Arkansans with Spinal Cord Injuries.

Erin Gildner | Little Rock, AR

Erin has spent almost ten years working in state government or university environments handling grant management and contracts administration. She was responsible for activities related to the state's Center for Disease Control's (CDC) Disability and Health program for three years and is currently involved in several public health efforts aimed at preventing infant and maternal mortality and morbidity. She is passionate about regionalization of perinatal care as a mother of two twins born prematurely at 25 weeks, one of whom did not survive.

In addition to years of volunteer work in advocating for inclusive public spaces for Arkansans with disabilities, Erin spent six years as a speaker for Arkansas Spinal Cord Commission’s Split Second Decision Program. She founded and currently serves as the Vice President of the Arkansas Chapter of the United Spinal Association, and is a member of the Board of Directors of the Arkansas Disability Coalition. Erin also managed a Tier II Quality of Life grant from the Craig H. Nielsen Foundation on behalf of the Arkansas Spinal Cord Foundation to improve the health of rural Arkansans with Spinal Cord Injuries.

  Molly Firth, MPH | Seattle, WA   Molly Belozer Firth is the owner of MCG Consulting, a health policy consulting firm in Seattle, where she works part-time for clients on health policy research, communications, strategy and fundraising. She is also a clinical instructor at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health (Health Services Department). Prior to striking out on her own, Molly was the Director of Public Policy at the Community Health Network of Washington, a network of community-based health clinics across the state, and Community Health Plan of Washington, the state’s only safety net health plan. She advocated for Washington State’s community health centers for over ten years and is committed to improving access to health care for uninsured and underserved individuals and families. Her efforts focus on strategic public policy development, policy research and analysis, coalition building and health care reform implementation. Molly has served on the boards of WithinReach and the Ballard Preschool Cooperative and is currently a trustee of Bloodworks Northwest.

Molly Firth, MPH | Seattle, WA

Molly Belozer Firth is the owner of MCG Consulting, a health policy consulting firm in Seattle, where she works part-time for clients on health policy research, communications, strategy and fundraising. She is also a clinical instructor at the University of Washington’s School of Public Health (Health Services Department). Prior to striking out on her own, Molly was the Director of Public Policy at the Community Health Network of Washington, a network of community-based health clinics across the state, and Community Health Plan of Washington, the state’s only safety net health plan. She advocated for Washington State’s community health centers for over ten years and is committed to improving access to health care for uninsured and underserved individuals and families. Her efforts focus on strategic public policy development, policy research and analysis, coalition building and health care reform implementation. Molly has served on the boards of WithinReach and the Ballard Preschool Cooperative and is currently a trustee of Bloodworks Northwest.