Helena A. Grant MS, CNM, LM, CICP, FACNM (she/her)
President | Term 2023-2025
Helena A. Grant is the Director of Midwifery at New York University Langone Hospitals/NYC Health and Hospital Woodhull Affiliate Division’s Obstetric and Gynecological service. As a Certified Nurse Midwife, she has cared for and empowered the lives of women and families for over 25 years and has had thousands of new souls birthed into her hands. Helena is an immediate past Co-Chair of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee. She is also the Co-Chair of the Brooklyn Borough President’s Taskforce to End Maternal Mortality and Morbidity, and a member of the NYS Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Advisory Committee, Birth Equity Improvement Project, and Abortion Taskforce. Helena also served as a member of the NYS Covid-19 Maternity Taskforce. Helena is a sought-after presenter and panelist for her ability to synergistically apply an ethnographic and epigenetic lens to clinical data. Helena was featured as a midwifery herstorian in the Documentary Aftershock at the 2022 Sundance Film Festival, now on Hulu.
Helena was recognized in 2018 by the Dominican Community of NYC as an “Adopted Dominican” and honored with a Citation by the Brooklyn Borough President for her work and dedication to women and families in the field of Maternal Child Health. In 2019, the American College of Nurse-Midwives, Midwives of Color Committee honored Helena with the Distinguished Service Award as an educator and role model for safe, respectful maternity care. In 2022, the American College of Nurse-Midwives awarded Helena the Distinguished Service Award for her unusual and exemplary effort in community service, innovation in midwifery practice, education, and research.
Helena shared her calling in a teaching capacity as a Professor of Nursing at Concordia College, where she co-created the Spiritual and Cultural Concepts of Nursing course and was the lead Professor for Women’s Health and Obstetrics. She is the Founder of Birth-In-Your Soul, an exclusive Life Coaching Service and the purveyor of Conscious Conversations in Midwifery and Obstetrics ™. As a firm believer in holistic wellness, she finds herself charged and inspired to teach the next generation of healers in professional, virtual, and nonvirtual community-based spheres, hoping to help bridge the gap to a true understanding of the education needed to return birth and life to a space that ensures women, people, and families are cared for in ways that provide them with empowerment and generational healing. Helena is also an active researcher of ancient spiritual arts, focusing on matriarchy and female/feminine sex rites and rituals. This depth of understanding has enriched and harmonized her ability as a modern clinician and healer to continue her life’s work cultivating women’s physical, mental, spiritual, and soulful wellness as a means of community restoration and renewal.
Helena received a Bachelor of Science in Nursing with a minor in Theology from Georgetown University, her Master’s degree in Midwifery Education from the State University of New York at Downstate, and an Integrative Professional Coaching Certification from the Ford Institute. Helena is a Fellow of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, where she served on the Board Composition, and Truth and Reconciliation Task Forces. She currently serves as the Vice-Chair of the Black Caucus and is a member of the Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Belonging, and the Racism in Midwifery Education Committees. Helena is also a member of the Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated. The most significant way Helena continues to give birth to herself is by committing to days of conscious stillness as self-care, and by mothering her children. Helena lives in Mount Vernon, New York.
Sherrie Hunter-Kelly MSN, CNM, LM (she/her)
Co-Vice President | Term: 2021-2023
Legislative Committee Chair
Sherrie Hunter Kelly is a licensed midwife practicing in the beautiful Mohawk Valley of New York, after spending many years working as a nurse and midwife in the Capital Region. She is drawn to midwifery care, and specifically advocacy work with New York Midwives, because every person deserves conscious and specific care as they move through the stages of life. Our current medical system is designed around fixing problems after they have gone wrong, rather than promoting health and well-being, as midwifery care has done for millennia.
Sherrie was educated in Fine Art at the University of New Mexico, and she enjoyed a career in theater and opera. While living in the Southwest, she met her future husband, and they started a small business making cabinets, furniture, and architectural steel sculpture. A move to the beautiful Schoharie Valley in upstate New York brought them closer to family. Sherrie then completed nursing school at SUNY Delhi followed by midwifery school at Stony Brook University, all while working full time. Together, Paul and Sherrie have four children and a dog, and spend their days reading, hiking, canoeing, and cooking. Sherrie continues welding and metal sculpture design and fabrication. Midwifery fills Sherrie’s heart and mind in much the same way art does- there is no end to what can be learned, and solutions to conundrums require creativity. Sherrie credits her foremothers for giving her insatiable curiosity and connection to nature, as well as creative problem solving skills.
Sherrie is the current acting Co-Vice President of New York Midwives, and she is the chair of the NYM’s legislative committee. She enjoys Advocacy Day, NYM’s yearly day to visit with state legislators to discuss midwifery concerns, as an opportunity to make change at the state level, as well as meet and support student midwives.
Cynthia Lynch MSN, CNM, LM (she/her)
Co-Vice President | Term: 2021-2023
Communications Committee Chair
Cynthia Lynch has worked as a licensed midwife in NY since 1998. Her interest in women’s health began studying biology in college. As a young graduate working at Planned Parenthood, she learned about midwifery and found her true calling. She set her sights on midwifery school and attended the UPENN direct entry BSN/MSN program.
Upon attaining her Master’s degree, Cynthia moved to NYC and started working with the midwives of the North Central Bronx Hospital. After 4 years soaking up the wisdom of NCB’s midwives, Cynthia shifted gears and began work at the out of hospital birthing center Elizabeth Seton. There she had the privilege of observing physiologic birth in all of its forms. After the birth of her twins in 2003, Cynthia was privileged to work again at NYCHHC, this time with the wonderful midwives and families at Woodhull Hospital. When her children reached school age she moved to Westchester county, where she worked part-time in Peekskill and in private practice in Tarrytown. She happily returned to Woodhull in 2018 where she currently provides full spectrum midwifery care.
At home Cynthia and her wife Elise, are parents to college age twins. Together, they enjoy decorating, spending time in the Berkshires, hiking with their dogs, Coconut and Suki, and cooking.
Cynthia firmly believes that families should have the choice of where and how to give birth. As Co-Vice President of the New York State Association of Licensed Midwives, Cynthia works to promote and support midwives throughout the state.
Whitney S. Hall MA, MS, MBA, LM, CM (she/her)
Secretary | Term: 2023-2025
Whitney is a CM who lives in Hurley, NY. She completed her Masters of Midwifery in 2003 from SUNY Downstate. She has nearly 20 years experience in birth in all settings; home, birth centers, and hospitals. She is currently a midwife at Nuvance Health in the Hudson Valley. She is an Associate Midwifery faculty at Frontier University and student midwife preceptor for many programs, and a core faculty of OB/GYN for the Family Medicine residency program. She sits on several committees at the NYS Department of Health striving to uphold the midwifery model of care and protect autonomous midwifery practice.
She was appointed to the Governor’s Maternity Covid-19 Task Force in 2020 in which she advocated for midwifery birth center access. Whitney is the elected secretary of NYM and the current president of the New York State Chapter of the AABC. She is dedicated to political activism and engages with the NYM Legislative committee as well as a member of the NYM Governance and Bylaws Committee. Her strong efforts in New York in the past 10 years helped shape and drive the NY Midwifery Birth Center legislation and regulations allowing midwives as clinical directors for the first time in NYS. She has 3 children, 2 dogs, 1 cat and 28 chickens. Oh yeah, and a husband as well!
Danielle Assibu-Gilmore MSN, MBA, CNM, LM (she/her)
Treasurer | Term: 2021-2023
Danielle Assibu-Gilmore was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY to Ghanaian immigrant parents. Danielle went to SUNY Brockport, where she graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2008. While at SUNY Brockport, Danielle served as treasurer and then vice-president of the Organization for Students of African Descent (OSAD), where she administered several activities for students and residents. After graduating, she began working as a med-surg nurse at Rochester General Hospital, then transitioned to Critical-care nursing. In order to greater understand the financial organization of healthcare systems, Danielle attended the William E Simon Business School at the University of Rochester, first in 2011 for an MS in Business Administration (Master’s in Medical Management), then in 2014 with a Master of Business Administration (MBA). During this time, Danielle also worked at her alma mater, SUNY Brockport, teaching Nursing Leadership and Management to RN-BS students.
After a few experiences in her personal health, as well as in caring for a variety of patients as a nurse, Danielle reignited a passion for birthwork. In a desire to continue to work more closely with birthing people and their families, Danielle returned to schooling once more, through Frontier Nursing University, to begin her education as a midwife. While at Frontier, Danielle served as the class 135 Class Representative and the ACNM Government Affairs Committee (GAC) student representative from 2015-2017.
Danielle has been practicing full-scope midwifery since 2018, in Rochester, New York, where she lives with her husband and their three daughters. In her free time, Danielle enjoys cooking, crocheting, reading historical fiction, half-completing crossword puzzles, and camping with her family. Danielle currently serves as the Treasurer of New York Midwives.
Ellie Miller LM, CNM, MSN, RNC-EFM (she/her)
New Midwife Representative | Term: 2022-2024
Student & New Midwife Committee Co-Chair
Ellie Miller is a Certified Nurse Midwife, practicing full scope midwifery care in Brooklyn, NY. With over 10 years of experience in birth work as a childbirth educator, postpartum doula and Labor & Birth Registered Nurse, Ellie completed her midwifery education at SUNY Downstate in 2022.
Ellie is a board member of New York Midwives (NYM), the state affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM). As the co-chair of the Student and New Midwives Committee, she strives to create the midwifery landscape she dreams will become a reality.
Equity, education, and shared decision making are the touchstones to Ellie’s approach to care. Recognizing and working to dismantle the racism inherent in gynecologic and obstetric care has been the central theme to Ellie’s work, both professionally and as a NYM board member.
Ellie lives in Bedford-Stuyvesant, Brooklyn with her family. When she’s not doing midwife things, you’ll find her surfing in the Rockaways or curled up on the couch watching Bravo.
Tre Kwon MSN, SNM (she/they)
Student Midwife Representative | Term: 2023-2025
Student Midwife Committee Chair
Tre (she/they) is a student midwife at SUNY Downstate in Brooklyn. Her path to midwifery has been a meandering one. She grew up second-generation Korean-American in Maryland before galbi, BTS, and Korean dramas put her people in shiny packaging. The nagging, every day “othering” she experienced in her early years nudged her toward an inchoate yet deeply-felt feminist and anti-racist instinct that later formed the ground she stood on. In college, she organized with Korean anti-imperialist activists and spent time in Pyongyang. She wrote her senior thesis on war trauma and collective memory in North Korea and graduated with a B.A. in History from Swarthmore College. She then spent a year in Seoul, South Korea, supporting migrant workers from Nepal, Bangladesh, and the Philippines, fighting for their labor and human rights.
Back in the U.S., Tre organized with tenants and immigrant workers in Koreatown, LA, East Harlem, and Chinatown, NYC. After working with nail salon workers who faced occupational health hazards, Tre experienced her own personal health crisis and the gaps in the medical system; she decided to move closer to the beast and trace some of her umma’s footsteps by becoming a nurse. She received her B.S.N. from Johns Hopkins University and spent several years working in med-surg, oncology, and the ICU in NYC.
In 2016, Tre co-founded the independent publication Left Voice, which receives hundreds of thousands of visits per month. She served as a rank-and-file shop steward in the nurses’ union and fought hard for safe staffing.
Tre was awarded the Taslima Nasreen Community Building Award from Swarthmore College in 2006, the Fulbright Research Award South Korea in 2007, and the Nurse Corps Scholarship in 2014. She was inducted into the Phi Beta Kappa Society at Swarthmore College in 2007 and the Sigma Theta Tau Honor Society of Nursing at Johns Hopkins University in 2015.
In 2020, Tre birthed her child in the steady embrace of midwives at Woodhull; a portal opened to an unrelenting, dizzying, yet grounding relationship with her child and herself. Since then, Tre has directed her energies to discovering and immersing herself in midwifery and reproductive health care – including abortion care.
She is a writer, an organizer, and a mother. that dreams and conspires to build alternative spaces, education, and possibilities for people who can get pregnant – not only to save lives but so we may live our lives to our fullest potential. Tre joins the NYM Board as Student Representative, hoping to encounter mentors, comrades, and community to transform the system together.
Patricia O. Loftman, CNM, LM, MS, FACNM (she/her)
Black, Indigenous, Latino/x, People of Color (BILPOC) Midwife-at-Large | Term: 2021-2023
Patricia O. Loftman, CNM, LM, MS, FACNM, received a BSN from Skidmore College and a CNM, MS in midwifery from Columbia University. She is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and past Midwifery Service Director at Harlem Hospital Center who provided primary and reproductive health care to women developing an expertise in providing care to women whose pregnancies were complicated by chemical dependency and/or HIV infection. Ms. Loftman testified around Unblinding The Results of HIV Testing of Newborns in New York City in 1995, participated as a member of the United States Public Health Service Task Force on the Use of Zidovudine to Reduce Perinatal Transmission, was a member of the ACTG 076 US Public Health Service Taskforce on The US Public Health Service Recommendation for Human Immunodeficiency Virus Counseling & Voluntary Testing for Pregnant Women in 1994-1995 and participated in discussions relating to mandatory testing of pregnant women and partner notification with the Center for Women’s Policy Studies as a member of the Planning Workshop of The Office of AIDS Research at the National Institutes of Health. Ms. Loftman was Chair of the Women’s Health/Clinical Care Group that led to Harlem Hospital Center becoming the first World Health Organization Baby Friendly Hospital in New York City. She has precepted midwifery students clinically, been an advocate for quality health care for women of color nationally and continues to promote the midwifery profession. She is the past Chair of the American College of Nurse Midwives, Midwives of Color Committee, past member of The American College of Nurse Midwives Board of Directors and a member of New York Midwives (NYM) Executive Board, the New York Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives. Ms. Loftman is a member of the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Review Committee Mental Health and Injury Subcommittee and the Health and Human Services, Secretary’s Advisory Committee on Infant Mortality, Health Equity Subcommittee. Ms. Loftman retired in 2010 from Harlem Hospital Center after a midwifery career that spanned 30 wonderful years in the community she loved.
Debbie Mercer-Miller MBA (she/her)
Public Member-at-Large | Term: 2021- 2023
Debbie is the U.S. Securities Country Manager and Head of U.S. Custody Product Management where she manages over $6 trillion in stocks and bonds for clients domiciled in over 30 markets. She has been in the industry since 1993 and her experience spans across multiple disciplines in the capital market.
Her current responsibilities include setting the strategy and managing the U.S. Custody business as well as effectively positioning Citi and our client’s interest in the U.S. capital market. Debbie works closely with our clients to ensure alignment with their strategy and provide solutions for complex matters. Debbie is the Vice Chair of the Association for Global Custodian (AGC) and Citi’s voting member, She is also a member of The Federal Reserve Securities Wholesale Committee, Depository Trust Clearing Corporation Americas Committee and Citi’s Steering Committee Representative at ISITC. She has a stellar track record to proactively initiate and lead market initiatives that fundamentally changes the market infrastructure and mitigate market risk. She is a frequent speaker in industry conferences and her views are often solicited by market peers. Debbie is equally very passionate about volunteering and mentoring.
Debbie joined Citi in 1997 as Citi Transaction Services Global Risk Manager in New York and was subsequently promoted to Operations Project Manager in Dublin to oversee Euro Implementation for Cash Management, Client Executive in American Depository Receipts servicing clients in the Middle East, Global Custody Marketing Manager and U.S. Custody Product Development Manager. Prior to joining Citi, she was the Assistant Treasurer at IBM. She pursued a dual major in finance and accounting at the City University of New York where she graduated with honors and an M.B.A. in executive management from St. John’s University.
State Regional Representatives
Odessa Fynn LM, CM ,MS, CLC (she/her)
New York City Representative & Co-chair of New York City Midwives | Term: 2022-2024
Odessa is a Licensed Midwife who has been practicing full scope Midwifery in the state of New York since 2011. She received a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Hunter College and Master’s of Science in Midwifery from SUNY Downstate Medical Center. Odessa brings both hospital and home birth experience to her clinical Midwifery practice.
Odessa recognizes the importance of being immersed in reproductive health on a legislative and policy level so is also the Co-Chair of NYC Midwives and NYC Representative to New York Midwives – the city and state affiliates to the national midwifery professional organization – American College of Nurse Midwives (ACNM).
Odessa was drawn to Midwifery by a fierce commitment to serve adolescents, young adults, survivors of intimate partner violence, and their families. During the course of her career, Odessa directed the adolescent practice at North Central Bronx Hospital and authored a resource manual for women and persons in need of services living with domestic abuse in Brooklyn. She has performed outreach by teaching reproductive health to middle school students in the South Bronx public school system and partnered annually with the Brooklyn-Queens-Long Island Area Health Education Center (BQLI) to educate high school students on Midwifery as a career path.
In addition to her clinical and political responsibilities, Odessa enjoys empowering women, persons and families through her work as a Certified Lactation Consultant (CLC), eChildbirth Educator, and Reiki Practitioner. Her firm Midwife Life Consulting, PLLC, is a Certified Minority/Women-owned Business Enterprise (M/WBE) where she offers evidence-based trainings and workshops to medical professionals through a justice and equity lens. Midwife Life Consulting serves families and schools in a similar capacity with evidenced-based workshops on reproductive health, sex and sexuality.
Odessa is the proud mother of two brilliant sons both born by means of two deeply gratifying and memorable home birth experiences.
Jennifer Seymour MSN, CNM, LM (she/her)
Mideast Region Representative | Term: 2023-2025
Jennifer Seymour is the Founder and Director of Cocoon Wellness & Birth, LLC and a rural health midwife. For the greater part of her career, she has worked with rural birthing communities, primarily in Southern Tier of New York and the Northern Tier of Pennsylvania. With over 25 years of experience, she has attended more than 1,500 births within hospitals, community birth centers, and homes.
Her private practice and “birth and breakfast,” Cocoon Wellness & Birth Center is a safe, nurturing, light-hearted place to give and receive care. As an emerging midwifery birth center, Cocoon is working to obtain its CABC accreditation and New York State licensure. Jennifer practices integrative, holistic, functional, individualized care where she marries her intellect, intuition, and evidence-based midwifery care. At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, Jennifer traveled to and worked in New York City at the Jazz Birth Center of Manhattan where she worked with midwives who validated and healed one another through adversity, but also found joy within such a diverse group of kindred spirits.
Jennifer has been a member of New York Midwives (NYM), formally known as NYSALM, since 2005 where she is currently a member of the Insurance Committee since 2021. She has served as the Member-At-Large and Regional Representative and Recording Secretary of NYSALM between 2010 and 2014. She is also an active member of the New York State Birth Center Association (NYSBCA) where she is serving as the At-Large member on the NYSBCA executive committee since 2022.
Since receiving her Certificate in Midwifery from Frontier Nursing University in 1997, Jennifer has lived in Tioga County, about 20 minutes outside of Ithaca in her cozy homestead. Jennifer later received her Master of Science in Nursing from Case Western Reserve University.
Throughout her career, Jennifer has come to realize and accept that she a “big picture,” collaborative and team-oriented person who has the deepest sense of meaning from her work and service and can get along with anyone so long as they have a sense of humor. In having been called to serve as the Mid-Regional Representative for New York Midwives she is ready and willing to strengthen her awareness and capacity around bias and anti-racist work.
Jennifer is committed to serving the Mid-State members of NYM to the best of her ability, and looks forward to working, serving, and learning with the current NYM Board and the greater New York midwifery membership at large.
Claire Moynihan CNM (she/they)
Western Region Representative | Term: 2022-2024
Claire works with Highland Women’s Health in Rochester, NY. She graduated from Simmons College in Boston with a Bachelors in Nursing in 2009, and from Jefferson University (formerly Philadelphia University) with a Masters in Midwifery in 2019. She practiced nursing in Inpatient Women’s Psychiatry in Boston before moving back to her hometown of Rochester, where they worked as a Labor & Delivery nurse at Highland until pursuing midwifery.
At work, Claire enjoys being able to partner with women and individuals AFAB, as well as their families in achieving their health goals through shared decision-making and trauma-informed care, both in the office and inpatient obstetric settings. She is drawn to midwifery out of a passion for providing better care and health equity for fellow queer-identified and neurodivergent individuals, dismantling medical racism and the white male cis-hetero-patriarchy, fighting for reproductive justice and patient autonomy, minimizing barriers to better mental health services, and advocating for the midwifery profession and improved maternity care in her hometown of Rochester and the state of NY.
Outside of their vocation for midwifery, Claire enjoys pet-parenting, being a fabulous auntie, learning Spanish, and listening to Latin music, audiobooks and podcasts about things not historically taught in schools during DIY renovation on her 1900s house.
Interested in being involved with New York Midwives? Contact us at [email protected]