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Keynote Speakers

OPENING KEYNOTE: SHAFIA MONROE, DEM, CDT, MPH
BIRTHING CHANGE: CULTURAL COMPETENCY & INCLUSION IN PERINATAL MENTAL HEALTH
FRIDAY, JUNE 28: 8:15 – 9:15 AM

Shafia M. Monroe is a renowned midwife, a doula trainer, motivational speaker and a cultural competency trainer. Shafia has been “Birthing CHANGE,” all her life, and is a change agent. In 2012, Madame Noir noted her “Queen Mother of a Midwife Movement,” because of her 1976 pioneer midwifery work in Boston, Massachusetts, her hometown. There she co-founded the Traditional Childbearing Group (TCBG) in 1978, a non-profit created to reduce the high infant mortality rate in Black communities.

In 1991, she moved to Portland, Oregon and at seven months pregnant was unable to find a midwife of color to assist her in a home birth. Realizing the lack of diversity in the midwifery, doula and birth worker profession, Shafia founded the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC), a non-profit, to increase the number of midwives and doulas of color, to empower families, and to reduce infant and maternal mortality. Under Shafia’s leadership as CEO, ICTC created and sponsored the annual International Black Midwives and Healers Conference, bringing midwives together from around the world to find solutions to the health disparities

In 2002, she created the ICTC Full Circle Doula Training program to train people in the legacy of the African American midwife, to renew traditions for better birth outcomes, community and to create the tapestry of diversity within the birth workers profession. This groundbreaking training program continues to serve as an international model for reducing infant mortality and increasing the number of midwives and doulas of color. Seeing economic injustice for low-income women, Shafia created and spearheaded the first legislative concept, Oregon HB 3311, to investigate the use of doulas to improve birth outcomes in vulnerable populations. Her work marked Oregon as the national model for Medicaid reimbursement for doulas and ICTC as the first Oregon Health Authority (OHA) approved doula-credentialing organization.

Shafia holds a BA in sociology and Masters of Public Health, and has been certified as a midwife in by the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance, practicing as a home birth midwife since 1978.

In 2014, she formed Shafia Monroe Consulting (SMC), to aid health care professional to achieve cultural competency, increase clients, and improve birth outcomes, and became the owner of Doula Ready LLC, a company that provide services to reduce perinatal stress for professional women, and reduce premature labor and improve birth outcomes.

 

KEYNOTE 2: LEE COHEN, MD
FROM KNOWN KNOWNS TO UNKNOWN UNKNOWNS: RESOLVED  & UNRESOLVED QUESTIONS IN PERINATAL PSYCHIATRY
SATURDAY, JUNE 29: 8:15 – 9:15 AM

Dr. Lee Cohen is director of the Ammon-Pinizzotto Center for Women’s Mental Health at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and the Edmund and Carroll Carpenter Professor of Psychiatry at Harvard Medical School. He is a national and international leader in the field of women’s mental health and was among the founders of the field of perinatal and reproductive psychiatry. His work spans the domains of research, teaching and clinical care in the area of treatment of mood and anxiety disorders with subspecialty interest in psychiatric disorders associated with female reproductive function. These include psychiatric disorders during pregnancy and the post-partum period, depression in midlife women and issues related to infertility and mental health. The research which he conducts and oversees has helped to inform the care of patients who suffer from psychiatric illness.

KEYNOTE 3: TRYSTAN REESE
BEYOND MOMMIES AND DADDIES: SUPPORTING TRANSGENDER PARENTS
SATURDAY, JUNE 29: 8:00 – 9:00 AM

Trystan Reese sprang into the public consciousness in 2017 when he and his family told their unique story in the mainstream media. He is proud to have expanded the public conversation about trans reproductive justice, LGBTQ+ families, and what it means to be a father. He regularly trains the medical community on the details of trans and nonbinary pregnancy and postpartum support, and provides one-on-one assistance to trans gestational parents across the globe. He is also the Director of Family Formation at Family Equality, a national nonprofit dedicated to supporting LGBTQ+ families and those who wish to form them.

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