Wendy Gordon, DM, MPH, CPM, LM, is an associate professor and Chair of the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr University in Kenmore, WA. She is also in active practice as a licensed midwife at Center for Birth Midwives in Seattle. Dr. Gordon's teaching and research interests include the provision of midwifery care in home and birth center settings; the role of racism in perinatal health disparities; and the ability to translate and evaluate research. Dr. Gordon serves as the president of the board of directors of the Association of Midwifery Educators (AME), is active in the Midwives Association of Washington State (MAWS) as a member of the Data Committee, and is also a member of the Practice Committee Workgroup for the National Association of Certified Professional Midwives (NACPM). Dr. Gordon holds a BS in Chemical Engineering, an MPH from Oregon Health & Sciences University with a focus in health disparities, and a Doctorate in Midwifery from Jefferson University in Philadelphia.
Marian F. MacDorman
Marian F. MacDorman, PhD, is a research professor at the Maryland Population Research Center, University of Maryland, College Park. She is also editor-in-chief of the journal Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care. Her research focuses on reproductive health issues, including maternal, fetal, infant and perinatal morbidity and mortality, preterm birth, out-of-hospital births, and cesarean deliveries. Prior to joining MPRC, she had a 27-year career at the National Center for Health Statistics, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, doing research and producing national data sets on reproductive and child health issues. Dr. MacDorman received her Ph.D. in Demography Australian National University.
M. K. Menard
M. Kathryn Menard, MD, MPH, is UpJohn Distinguished Professor of Obstetrics and Gynecology, vice chair for obstetrics and director of the Division of Maternal Fetal Medicine at the University of North Carolina's School of Medicine. She was the first obgyn at the University of North Carolina’s School of Medicine to be selected as a Robert Wood Johnson Clinical Scholar. After completing fellowship training, she served on faculty at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Dr. Menard was an active clinician educator and shared her skill in epidemiology by developing an evidence based medicine and research curriculum for the MUSC residents. She was also a consultant to the SC Department of Health and was instrumental in strengthening the system for perinatal regionalization in the state, to ensure risk appropriate care for mothers and neonates. Dr. Menard's interest in health systems and service efficiency led her to serve for four years as MUSC's chief medical officer and associate dean for faculty practice prior to returning to UNC. She recently served as president of the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine. She provides the clinical leadership for development and implementation of North Carolina's Pregnancy Medical Home initiative. She is a co-lead for Maternal Child Health Bureau's Collaborative Innovation Network (COIN) to reduce infant mortality through strengthening regionalization, including an emphasis on risk appropriate maternal care. She is also co–chair of the ACOG 's ReVITALize initiative to develop and help gain adoption of standardized clinical data definitions in obstetrics. She completed her residency training in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania before pursuing fellowship at the University of North Carolina (UNC). Dr. Menard received her M.S. in public health with a concentration in clinical epidemiology, preconception health and fetal and infant mortality.
Karen Milgate, MPP, is a health care policy executive with a deep knowledge of Medicare and Medicaid policies, programs, operations, and data. Most recently, she was the deputy director of the Center for Strategic Planning within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) and has directed agency analysis and strategic planning efforts to improve these programs. In both Republican and Democrat administrations, Ms. Milgate has led strategic planning efforts, helped build analytical tools, coordinated inter-agency initiatives, directed and written numerous analyses, and helped build the data infrastructure to help CMS manage and direct the future of its programs. Her specialties include quality and utilization patterns in the Medicare program and of Medicare and Medicaid data sources. Ms. Milgate is the former research director for the Medicare Payment Advisory Commission and senior associate director for Policy Development for the American Hospital Association. In addition to her professional research and policy career, Ms. Milgate trained to become a midwife in the 1980s. Her preceptor was an African-American midwife and Ms. Milgate attended and supported a variety of births for Latino, African-American and White families. She also was the executive director for a non-profit focused on education around women’s reproductive health and supported the Health Care Payment Learning and Action Network in developing their proposal around bundled payment for maternity care. She has bachelor’s degrees in economics and international studies from American University and a master’s degree in public policy from the University of Maryland.
Jochen Profit, MD, MPH, is the chief quality officer at the California Perinatal Quality Care Collaborative and an associate professor of pediatrics at Stanford University. From 2005 to 2013, Dr. Profit served as assistant professor of pediatrics at Baylor College of Medicine. In 2013, he joined the faculty at Stanford University School of Medicine, where he continues his research and practices as a neonatologist. Dr. Profit’s research, which has received federal and intramural support, concentrates on measuring and improving the quality of neonatal and pediatric health care delivery, with a focus on enhancing organizational effectiveness. Dr. Profit has developed a composite indicator quality of care provided to very low-birth-weight infants in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU), the Baby-MONITOR. This tool has been used to benchmark quality of care delivery in California NICUs. In addition, his research has focused on organizational determinants of excellence, including patient safety culture, high reliability, and caregiver resilience. Dr. Profit has served as an advisor to a variety of national quality of care and safety organizations and is a standing scientific reviewer for the NIH. Dr. Profit is a frequent invited lecturer at national and international scientific meetings. Dr. Profit received his medical degree from the Albert-Ludwigs-University, Freiburg, Germany. He completed pediatric residency training at Tufts University, and fellowships in neonatal-perinatal medicine and health services research at Harvard.
Carol Sakala, PhD, leads maternal health and maternity care programming at the National Partnership for Women & Families where she joined forces with the National Partnership to integrate maternity care policy and quality into the National Partnership’s program portfolio. She is a long-time maternity care advocate, educator, researcher, author and policy analyst, with a continuous focus on meeting the needs and interests of childbearing women and their families. Dr. Sakala sits on advisory bodies and work groups focusing on payment reform, performance measurement and other ways to improve the quality of maternity care. She has been an investigator on all national Listening to Mothers surveys and was principal investigator of the most recent Listening to Mothers in California Survey. She helps create or commission foundational resources for the field on such topics as the cost of having a baby, maternity care and liability, evidence-based maternity care, effectiveness of labor support, hormonal physiology of childbearing and performance of the nation’s maternity care system. She led the National Partnership’s recent convening and collaboration of 17 national leaders resulting in the consensus report, Blueprint for Advancing High-Value Maternity Care Through Physiologic Childbearing. Through her guidance, the National Partnership maintains www.childbirthconnection.org, which features results of systematic reviews to support childbearing women in informed maternity care decision making and helps them navigate the maternity care system. Before coming to the National Partnership, Dr. Sakala worked to advance evidence-based maternity care for 14 years as director of programs at Childbirth Connection. She was a Pew Health Policy fellow at Boston University, where she received her Ph.D. in health policy through the University Professors Program, and has her M.A. from the University of Utah and the University of Chicago.
Neel Shah, MD, is an assistant professor of obstetrics, gynecology, and reproductive biology at Harvard Medical School and director of the Delivery Decisions Initiative at Ariadne Labs. He also holds appointments in Health Policy and Management at the Harvard Chan School of Public Health and in Health Law Policy at Harvard Law School. In his academic work, he designs and tests health system innovations that aim to improve the wellbeing of mothers in the United States and globally. In collaboration with professional colleagues in obstetrics, midwifery, and nursing, he has published extensively on the design of maternal health systems in leading journals, including the New England Journal of Medicine and JAMA. He has served as a contributing author of reports on the maternal health system by the National Partnership for Women and Families, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Health Research Services Administration, and the Lancet Commission on Maternal Health. As an obstetrician-gynecologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston, Dr. Shah cares for patients at critical life moments that range from childbirth to primary care to surgery. As a scientist and social entrepreneur, he is a globally recognized expert in designing, testing, and spreading solutions that improve healthcare. Prior to joining the Harvard faculty, Dr. Shah founded Costs of Care, a global NGO that curates insights from clinicians to help delivery systems provide better care. In 2017, Dr. Shah co-founded the March for Moms Association, a coalition of 40 leading organizations, to increase public and private investment in the well being of mothers. Dr. Shah received his M.D. from Brown Medical School.
Kathleen Simpson, PhD, RNC, FAAN, is a perinatal clinical nurse specialist in St. Louis, MO. Dr. Simpson is the editor-in-chief of MCN The American Journal of Maternal Child Nursing and the co-editor of AWHONN'S Perinatal Nursing. As principal investigator, she has conducted research on topics such as fetal wellbeing during labor, uterine activity during labor, fetal monitoring, labor induction, and nurse staffing, among others. She is the author of numerous peer reviewed journal articles and textbook chapters focusing on safe care during labor and birth. Dr. Simpson also provides consultation to hospitals and healthcare systems to promote safe care for mothers and babies. Dr. Simpson was the principal investigator of the Michigan Hospital Association's Keystone OB Patient Safety Project and has been an advisor to the Washington State Hospital Association's Safe Deliveries Roadmap Project. She has been a volunteer member of the March of Dimes National Advisory Committee for over 20 years and currently serves as chair. Dr. Simpson has been a member of the Joint Commission Perinatal Technical Advisory Panel, National Quality Forum Steering Committee on National Voluntary Consensus Standards for the Perinatal Care, the National Priorities Partnership Maternity Action Team of the National Quality Forum, and the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development Expert Panel for Electronic Fetal Heart Rate Monitoring. Dr. Simpson received her nursing degree from Loyola University Chicago and PhD in nursing from Saint Louis University.
Ruth E. Zambrana
Ruth Enid Zambrana, PhD, is a professor in the Department of Women’s Studies, director of the Consortium on Race, Gender and Ethnicity at the University of Maryland, College Park and adjunct professor of family medicine at the University of Maryland, Baltimore, School of Medicine. Her work focuses on the intersections of gender, race/ethnicity, socioeconomic status and other contextual variables in disparities in the provision of public health, human services, and education with an emphasis on Latino women, children, and youth. She has published extensively and serves on many social science and public health journal editorial boards. Her recent work includes an anthology with Sylvia Hurtado, The Magic Key: The Educational Journey of Mexican Americans From K-12 College and Beyond (UT Press, 2015); an edited volume with Virginia Brennan and Shiriki Kumanyika, entitled Obesity Interventions in Underserved U.S. Communities: Evidence and Directions (Johns Hopkins University Press, 2014); Latinos in American Society: Families and Communities in Transition (Cornell University Press, 2011). Awards include the 2013 American Public Health Association Latino Caucus, Founding Member Award for Vision and Leadership, 2013 University of Maryland Outstanding Woman of Color Award for her lifetime achievements, and the 2011 Julian Samora Distinguished Career Award by the American Sociological Association, Sociology of Latinos/as Section for her contributions to the sociology of Latinos and immigrant studies, teaching and mentoring. She was Principal Investigator of a study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation on Understanding the Relationship between Work Stress at U.S. Research Institutions’ Failure to Retain Underrepresented Minority (URM) Faculty and is currently completing a book on these data. The most recent award from the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Expanding the Bench program initiative, aims to translate these new findings on URM faculty barriers and challenges into higher education policies to enhance retention and promotion. Dr. Zambrana received her Ph.D. from Boston University.