During the pandemic, we have taken extra precautions to keep you safe, with fewer providers and staff in the clinic and visits scheduled in-person, through telemedicine, and home visits. Please come to your appointments alone and bring a mask.
If you don't have one, we are happy to give you one!
Loving, skilled, equitable healthcare
designed just for you.
We are proud to be the recipient of the time, passion, commitment, and resourcefulness of so many individuals.
Amelia Carmona-Fesili (she/her/they)
Medical Assistant, Office Asssistant
Amelia is from Seattle, WA and has indigenous Filipino and Puerto Rican roots. She believes it is vital that she take part in supporting the clients at Rainier Valley Midwives. Amelia has been serving the community for over 5 years in the medical field, working with expectant mothers, foster children, and underserved communities. She is a certified indigenous breastfeeding peer counselor and a Certified Medical Assistant, and she also serves on the board of Kinship Connection, being that she is a relative-caregiver to one of her three children.
Amelia was called to birth work after the birth of her most recent child. Being surrounded by a team of midwives and a doula, and receiving on-going lactation support, sparked something in her, and she wants to serve, empower and connect with birthing persons and families. She believes in helping families make informed decisions and supporting them in ways that work for them. To Amelia, self-care isn’t enough and we need community care, too, because it takes a village. To quote Kanahus Manuel, “Birth is the ultimate act of decolonization and resistance.”
Amelia welcomes us all as we come in the clinic, keeps our admin and midwives running on time, and provides support for all of our systems. She helps clients and their families navigate the healthcare experience and can help you get set up in care, make new appointments, and access resources.
Jenn Linstad, MSM, LM CPM (she/her)
How grateful I am that my path brought me to your service!
I have been supporting families for over 10 years through the childbearing year. I am filled with humility in the face of the strength of those I serve and the wisdom of babies, and I come to this profession with experience, knowledge, skill and a deep love of what I am called to do.
As a midwife, providing you with non-judgmental, unequivocally excellent care is what I strive for every day. My mission is to provide this care to all families, including competency in caring for folks single parenting by choice, LGBT+ identified individuals. I am also body positive, and believe in health at every size. I will create a safe space for you to be exactly who you are.
Having a midwife changed my life, and gave me the confidence and power to discover my potential. My deepest desire is to give you the space and care so that you too, might discover all the power and beauty you have inside. I am grateful for the opportunity to serve you and your family. As your midwife I bring to you experience, compassion, knowledge, wisdom, and love.
My home is filled with my two kids, our ever evolving menagerie of pets, our beloved garden, and what seems like millions of incorrigible blackberry brambles. I have lived in Kent since 2006, choosing this community specifically to serve.
Laura Marie MacPherson (she/her)
MSN, ARNP, CNM, IBCLC
Laura is a Certified Nurse Midwife/Nurse Practitioner who is thrilled to be joining the RVCC community! She offers family planning (including birth control of all kinds), gynecology care, well-woman visits, group prenatal care, and support for our clients and midwives. She brings a wealth of experience in group prenatal care, breastfeeding medicine, and all things midwifery. She is a highly regarded clinical educator and is known for her kindness and compassion.
Laura lives and plays a few minutes from the RVCC in South Seattle with her two kids and one pesky rabbit.
Latonia Westerfield (she/her)
Lead Student Midwife
Like Rainier Valley Midwives, I envision a world where all pregnant people and birthing families have access to care that is safe, equitable, and culturally congruent with the client’s community. I especially want to provide this care for communities that have been historically marginalized and under-served by the mainstream healthcare system.
Working with RVM means that I can be a part of addressing health disparity outcomes ]in under-served communities. Being a student at RVM gives me an opportunity to learn from and work with midwives of color—a rare experience for student midwives of color. I want to be a student with RVM because RVM is reducing barriers to midwifery care and creating capacity for midwives of color, who represent Seattle’s diverse communities, to be a part of creating and sustaining healthy communities. I truly believe that making compassionate, culturally appropriate midwifery care accessible during the childbearing year leads to healthier outcomes for the client and baby, their families, and their communities.
We are incredibly lucky to have Latonia as part of our Leadership Team here at RVCC.
As lead student midwife Latonia participates in a leadership training fellowship while she completes her midwifery training. This gives her access to learn about and participate in community engagement, public health programs, and grant programs alongside the administrative team. She plays an integral role in client advocacy and co-creating models for problem-solving in our practice and community.
Ceci Duncan (she/her)
Academic Placement Student Midwife
Cecilia has worked with young children and families in a professional capacity since 2000. Her long-standing career has offered her the opportunity to provide care in a wide variety of settings. Over the last 20 years, Cecilia has worked as an infant classroom assistant teacher, lead preschool teacher, kindergarten teacher, nanny, house manager, and executive private chef. Cecilia’s diverse experiences working with infants, young children and families laid the foundation for her ever-growing interest in broadening her understanding of human development from preconception to postpartum.
Therefore, Cecilia became a DONA trained Birth doula (2009), ICEA trained childbirth educator (2017), CAPPA trained postpartum doula (2019), Newborn Care Academy trained newborn care specialist (2020), and a Nationally Certified Child Passenger Safety Technician (2020).
In order to serve pregnant people and families in a more meaningful way, in 2017 Cecilia chose to pursue her passion for midwifery and midwifery education. As a student midwife, she is ready to rise to new challenges, problem solve complex and time-sensitive issues and communicate with people from varied backgrounds. Her attention to detail keeps her up to date and able to carry many tasks at once. She is excited to work at Rainier Valley Community Clinic as a student midwife and bring her unique flair to the Southeast Seattle community.
In her free time Ceci enjoys running, hiking, glamor camping, and history documentaries/history research. Her pandemic hobbies include fermenting, pickling, and canning.
Ceci joins us for our 2020 Student Academic Preceptorship pilot program. We are hoping to prove our model of ongoing support for the academic portion of midwifery school and involvement with mentors and community helps more students of color cross the graduation stage and launch into long happy careers in their chosen field. Our clinical director, midwives, and Lead Student provide mentorship, support, and learning opportunities while Ceci joins us for programs, weekly collaborative Rounds, and will be developing our Car Seat check program.
Deziree Lindsey (she/her)
Certified Lactation Consultant
Deziree has been working in the birth world since 2011. She fell in love with community work while working as a doula and a home visitor, and she has had the privilege of being able to serve families in many different capacities since then. She provides lactation visits and assessments and works with our midwives to suport families to meet their lactation goals. Deziree is available for zoom visits during the pandemic and in-person as needed.
She is a mother, plant lover, bodyworker and birth worker. Deziree joined Rainier Valley Midwives in January 2020 as the Birth Bundle Administrative Assistant and is thrilled to be part of such an innovative project.
Deborah Stanley (she/her)
I have 25 years of working in public health in the greater Seattle area. I feel honored to provide services required for those who have been less fortunate because of systematic barriers or lack of access. At Rainier Valley Midwives, I serve as the health educator and I host our pregnancy support groups. My goal is to provide clients with peace of mind when it comes to feeling supported and getting your needs met (and exceeded) during the special period of pregnancy.
And personally (which I think is more important that my work history): I am the daughter of the most amazing woman to ever walk this earth; she was brilliant, resourceful, kind, loving, alive, giving, creative, strong, determined, fashionable, happy, protective, loyal and so much more. She was all the things you would want in a mother, sister, daughter, aunt, niece, or friend. I am all that she was and am inspired to share all those qualities with you and my team.
I am also the mother of four amazing children: three girls and one boy. I used to wonder “Will I love my second child as much as the first?” and I want to tell you the answer is “Yes!” It is incredible how much LOVE is in a woman to LOVE these little gifts, each one with their own personality, so deeply.
When I was younger, I thought I would have a life in theater as an actress, writer, producer, or costume designer. So, while you may be giving a physical “push” during your delivery, I am working on my artistic birth and hope to one day invite you and your new family to see one of my productions. I guess inviting you means that I must finish that goal, so thank you in advance for being my “push” to do so!
I look forward to meeting you and your beautiful families and supporting you throughout your pregnancy. We are here for you!
Ellen French (she/her )
I am a Doctorate of Nursing Practice (DNP) student in the Certified Nurse Midwifery (CNM) track at Seattle University. Though I’m originally from Seattle, I received a B.A. from Hampshire College in Native American identity politics and a Five-College Certificate of Native American Studies from the University of Massachusetts, Amherst in 2011. At Seattle University, I’m a member of Nurses for Sexual and Reproductive Health and I’m the student chair of the Washington State ACNM’s Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee.
My DNP research works on building the strength and resilience of community doula programs. I want to support birth workers through difficult experiences and to keep birth worker histories, traditions, and culture through narrative and shared space.
I had a wide range of experiences before returning to school, from dairy farming to serving tables; from teaching rock climbing to multicultural feminist publishing. My entry to midwifery came from a desire to serve my community in a vocational way. I wanted to work with my mind, my heart, and my hands. I trained as a doula at Bastyr and volunteered with Open Arms. As I learned the rhythms of birth work, I knew I was on the right path.
I see midwifery as a way to care for and heal communities at the margins of society, and I hope to advocate especially for queer and Native/indigenous communities. My philosophy of midwifery is to see the whole of each birthing parent, taking into account their context and community, and to work with them in a way that promotes agency and respect. In other words, to practice love.
Patanjali de la Rocha MSW, MPHc (they/them)
Patanjali is an Indigenous mother, herbalist, full-spectrum doula and health equity consultant. They specialize in anti-oppressive organizational healing, and decolonizing research by reclaiming evaluation and data through community-engaged practice. They are the founder of Birth Beyond Bars, a community-based reproductive justice 501c3 organization working with carcerally-involved pregnant people. Patanjali has worked with RVCC as a doula and lactation consultant in the past. They are proud to currently be supporting the Birth Bundle Project with research evaluation and assessment. They are from the ancestral lands of the Tongva peoples' (Los Angeles), and have been living in Duwamish Territory (Seattle) since 2013.
Our administrative team is dedicated to creating a supportive environment for lifting and centering the work of serving our community. We work from an abundance mindset, and promote a spirit of co-collaboration in our departments and with each other. Our Executive Director challenges the team every day to consider options for innovation and excellence. We lead with love for the community and the families in our care, the providers, doulas, educators, allies, and partners we get to work with every day.
Tara Lawal MSM, RN (she/her)
Tara is a native of Seattle, with roots from Hawaii and India. Her parents had nine children and taught her that birth should be family-centered, and promote feelings of safety and confidence. As a trained midwife, she values those principles and values women as the ultimate decision makers about their care.
Tara graduated with her Masters of Science in Midwifery from Bastyr University and is a Registered Nurse. Tara served for 3 years on the Board of Directors for the Midwives Association of WA state, and is now an active member of the Pacific Islander Health Board.
Tara is a co-founder of the South Seattle Women’s Health Foundation and the current Executive Director of the Rainier Valley Community Clinic. She loves going on adventures with her son, 13 nieces and nephews, and traveling the world with her husband.
Libby Brockman MPH (she/her)
Libby Brockman is a nonprofit professional with more than 10 years of experience working in public health. She is a passionate people-person with a demonstrated history of building and leading safe, effective, and collaborative programs that address the needs of their communities. She is an operations guru with strategic leadership experience and loves building things that matter.
Most recently she co-founded Camp Promise, a nonprofit program for individuals with neuromuscular diseases, and after 10 years, she successfully transitioned the camp to new leadership. With a background in public health and clinical research, she appreciates a mix of evidence-based and performance-based approaches to delivering an Impactful program.
Libby grew up in South Seattle, has an MPH from the University of Washington, collects tutus and peoples’ stories, and loves a good brainstorm.
Jodilyn Owen, LM, CPM (she/her)
Jodilyn is a Licensed Midwife and co-founder of this organization. She was born and raised in Seattle and raised her own family in South Seattle, working as a doula and parenting educator for many years before becoming a midwife. Jodilyn loves teaching and learning from the families she serves and her colleagues and students. She is passionate about community-based work and increasing capacity within the midwifery community to serve from a public health stance. A born collaborator, she is happiest working in a team innovating programs and services that delight healthcare consumers and the providers who serve them.
Jodilyn is focused on provider infrastructure for the Rainier Valley Midwives, leading collaborative rounds, supporting student midwives, and developing unique avenues of education and skill development for the team and our colleagues. She is passionate about innovating at the intersection of love and justice and healthcare.
Jodilyn currently lives in Memphis, TN where she worked with underserved families before joining the RVCC team. She has mastered the art of Zoom Communications and is most often found in the clinic on the computer screen meeting, collaborating, learning, and planning! She comes to Seattle regularly for RVCC intensives and wakes up excited every day to be lucky enough to be a part of the team.