Loving Birth Taskforce Members

The Foundation for Living Medicine wishes to thank the Loving Birth Task Force members who served 2014-2017. Thank you so much for your invaluable time, expertise and guidance.

Alyce-Anne Meadows, Facilitator


Alyce-Anne Meadows has her master’s degree in Human Relations, Counseling and Education from Northern Arizona University and her bachelor’s degree in Home Economics Education from Ohio State University.

She has a diverse career from establishing a Home Service Department for a gas company in Melbourne, Australia, teaching parent education, working in social service with youth in foster care. She has worked in non-profits and in public health with a focus on improving birth outcomes and preventive health for children age 0-5.

While at the county health department, Alyce-Anne facilitated a Think Tank on birthing issues. She got her passion for helping teens to make responsible, educated decisions while teaching high school life skills and child development. Subsequently, she formed and facilitated teen peer education groups, managed community groups focused on teen pregnancy and Children, Youth and Families, children’s issues, was a founding member and officer of the Arizona Adolescent Health Coalition and also the Arizona Coalition on Adolescent Pregnancy and Parenting.

She has also served as an officer of MIKID(Mentally Ill Kids In Distress). While working with these issues, she focused on community development, in which she has received considerable national training, especially Asset Based Community Development (ABCD). She founded a Community Action Team (CAT) while serving as director of a federal counseling grant and district grant manager at Dysart Unified School District.

Alyce-Anne has national training with Ruby Payne and does presentations on “Understanding The Culture of Poverty.” She has delivered well received presentations at state and national conferences. Her creation of an educational photo essay exhibit and curriculum called “Everybody’s Baby,” which focused on the impact of teenage pregnancy. Her work in community development has won local, state and national awards, including one where Hillary Clinton gave the keynote address.

Alyce-Anne is currently facilitating a group on civil discourse bringing together both sides of the abortion issue.

Alyce-Anne and her husband are the parents of 3 adult children and 3 grandchildren.

Benita Zink
Di Bustamante
Executive Director, ParentLink



After spending twenty years in administrative management with ROLM Corporation, IBM and Siemens, Di made a drastic career change after the birth of her daughter. She volunteered and then became the Director of the non profit organization, Sidelines of Arizona. This organization provided peer counselling support and resources for women experiencing pregnancy complications and their families. Di’s passion for calm and gentle childbirth has led her to specialize in hypnosis and HypnoBirthing®. Di completed her training and certification as a doula and childbirth educator with Childbirth International and is the Regional Liaison Coordinator, faculty member and advisory board member of the HypnoBirthing InstituteTM. Also a hypnotherapist she specializes in fertility with an 80% success rate.

Whilst living in Singapore, she volunteered at KKH Womens and Childrens Hospital with their breastfeeding training program for new moms, and with the Child Bereavement Support Group Singapore. Di trains professsionals now in certification programs for HypnoBirthing, Dunstan Baby Language and Water Birth Safety for maternity care providers.


Elene Cregut



Gila Shire
LMT. RYT. Doula. Nurse.


With a 14-year background in nursing, Gila always loved to work with people. After she moved from Germany to Phoenix, AZ in 1997, she became a certified massage therapist and build her own private practice.

When Gila was introduced to yoga in 2002, her life gained a dynamic new dimension. She is certified with the Yoga Alliance on a 500+hrs.level and also specializes in prenatal, therapeutic restorative & yin yoga. She has been involved in the greater phx yoga teacher training community over the last decade and developed a 20hr. prenatal yoga teacher training, which she is teaching several times a year at local yoga schools.

Her work always connected her with pregnant moms and some of her clients asked her to attend their births….that’s when she learned about the work of doulas and realized that she had served women for several years without knowing about the profession ! She became officially trained with DONA in 2010. Since then she added her postpartum training, trained with the ‘sacred pregnancy’ movement and offers prenatal & cupping massages.

She is also a placenta crafter and teaches Bengkung belly binding to her clients.

Gila’s latest endeavor as a doula brings everything she learned over more than 2 decades into full circle : her years of hospital & nursing work , the natural birth experience of her daughter Talisa in 1991 (which got her onto the holistic path ), her 2 bonus-grandchildren and her passion for health & life. Those are all valuable tools she offers to women to support them at their most unforgettable, sacred & natural event they deserve: giving birth, which is a true celebration and can be embraced as a rite of passage.


Janet Teodori


Dr. Janet Teodori is a neurologist in Tucson, Arizona and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including University of Arizona Medical Center – South Campus and University of Arizona Medical Center – University Campus.

She received her medical degree from Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania and has been in practice for 34 years.

Joni Chanko


Joni Stewart Chanko, ICCE, is an internationally certified childbirth educator; columnist; curriculum developer and artist.

Her pioneering and visionary practice and consultancy provide leading-edge strategies for agencies, communities and families wishing to fulfill their responsibilities with care and kindness.


Judy Freilich
Karen Bradley


Karen Bradley is a certified antenatal, labor, and postpartum doula, a certified bereavement doula, and a certified childbirth and parent educator. She is the founder of The House of Timothy, a non profit organization that provides pregnancy, labor, and postpartum support to mothers in the Greater Phoenix area. Karen’s main focus is on infant mental health, and she is an approved educator with APPPAH, and has a certificate in Infant Mental Health. Karen has 6 children, and one grandchild.


Lynette Casey


Lynnette has been working as a midwife since 1997. Before joining Bethany Womens Healthcare in 2000, she worked at a freestanding birth center in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. Lynnette’s interest and love for midwifery is very personal, dating to prenatal care provided by a CNM while she was pregnant with her first child. Her goal as a midwife is to make birth a personal rather than technical experience for women and their families.

Lynnette’s professional experience includes eight years as a labor and delivery RN and Perinatal Educator. She earned a Bachelor of Science degree in nursing from the State University of New York at Buffalo and a Masters of Science degree in nursing from Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio.

Lynnette was born in central Minnesota and grew up on a family dairy farm, one of seven children. She has three children and has been married for over 30 years to a handsome journalist. His many job changes and transfers have kept the family on the move with stops in Iowa, Buffalo, Pittsburgh, Charlotte, Dayton, Raleigh and now Phoenix, where she plans to stay forever. She loves to cook, hike with her three dogs, garden and read.


Malia Hudson


Malia grew up in Washington and worked as a nanny for 9 years. She has completed her BAS in Psychology, certification in Human Sexuality, Newborn Care Specialist and Lactation Educator training, and training in infant and child nutrition. Malia is passionate about newborn care and helping new parents adjust to life during the postpartum period, providing support and education about newborn care. In May of 2015 she moved to Phoenix, AZ for a Newborn Care Specialist position, and continues to work as a traveling NCS.


Mome Anowos


Mome is a licensed massage therapist trained in many modalities including prenatal and infant massage.

Mome is also a Reiki Master Teacher, Hypnotherapist, Doula and healer.

She has lived on inter-tribal land where the majority of births were at home on the land.

Nancy Weyler


Nancy has been serving her birth doula clients in the Phoenix valley area for the last 3 years providing gentle guidance and a calm presence. She became a doula at the urging of her sister and after her own experience navigating the medical establishment. Nancy is an active member in the birth community and is the Treasurer of the Arizona Birth Network. An avid athlete and fierce protector of the environment she holds a degree in Economics from Willamette University which has assisted her in providing service that is on the cutting edge of wellness trends while providing evidence based care. Nancy has been a Certified Wellness Consultant for over 11 years, assisting families and businesses in navigating our modern world and helping people eliminate toxins from their home environment, reducing stress and bringing balance home by providing natural solutions.

BA Economics-Willamette University
Certified Wellness Consultant


Susan Highsmith
University of AZ & SBGI
Mentor, self employed


Susan Highsmith, Ph.D. is an educator and counselor residing in Tucson, Arizona. She received her doctorate from Santa Barbara Graduate Institute (SBGI). She instructs masters and doctoral candidates, lectures at universities, community colleges, and charter schools, and speaks at international congresses on the new field of prenatal and perinatal psychology. Susan is a national board certified counselor (NBCC). She holds a Doctorate of Divinity from the American Institute of Holistic Theology, seeking to balance psychological theory and practice with spiritual and holistic wisdom.

In 2003 Susan co-produced an educational DVD “Babies Know” which has now been disseminated internationally. Her article “Primipara’s Expectations of Childbirth: The Impact of Consciousness” was published in the Journal of Prenatal & Perinatal Psychology & Health. Susan has developed a prenatal education program entitled “Picturing a Better Birth,” designed to assist pregnant women in optimizing the application of their minds, both conscious and subconscious, to enhance their birthing experiences for the benefit of their babies and themselves. She presented “Mothers’ Minds Matter” in Heidelberg, Germany in 2009 and has just published her book, The Renaissance of Birth (2014), with this topic as a chapter. Susan published The First Fairy Tale in 2015, the story of conception told as a fairy tale and suitable for children of all ages (even babies in the womb). She is an advocate for change particularly in the language used to describe birth saying that the very word “delivery” disempowers women while using expressions like “giving birth” empowers them. Susan is dedicated to awakening consciousness in the realm of childbirth, promoting the concept that gentle life beginnings have positive long-term consequences for individuals and humanity.


Tammy Roecker
Founder, The Early Bonding Foundation, Inc.



Tammy Roecker has been an Arizona State Licensed Massage Therapist, Nationally Certified in Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork, and active member of the American Massage Therapy Association for over 21 years with additional certifications in Pre/Peri-Natal Massage, as well as being a Certified Personal Trainer through AFAA with extra training in Perinatal Fitness. She is also Certified as a Birth Doula, and Childbirth Educator.

Tammy Roecker is a continuing education provider for both the National Certification Board for Therapeutic Massage and Bodywork (NCBTMB) CEP #451668-11, and the California Board of Registered Nursing CEP# #16373, and provides wide range of in-service presentations for the community, special needs populations, and geriatrics.

Tammy is the Founder and President of The Early Bonding Foundation, whose mission is to educate and support parents and professionals in raising secure, joyful, empathetic children through touch therapies, education, training, and evidenced-based research, to strengthen families and to create a more compassionate world.


Tonya Sacowicz



  • Nearly 30 years experience
  • International Nanny Association Credentialed Nanny
  • Newborn Care Specialist
  • Parent Educator/Consultant
  • Newborn Care Specialist Trainer/Mentor
  • Certified Eco-Maternity Consultant
  • Certified Green Birth Educator
  • Conference Speaker for multiple professional organizations
  • Attended Central Washington University

  • National Board Member, International Nanny Association
  • Newborn Care Specialist and Mentor Committee Member
  • Scottsdale Board Member, Domestic Estate Management Association
  • Founding Member and Advisory Board, The Baby Dream Team


  • The Wall Street Journal
  • Today Show
  • Parents Magazine
  • Child Magazine
  • The Seattle Times
  • AZ Republic
  • INAVision
  • Owner: http://www.newborncaresolutions.com
  • Owner: http://www.babygogreeninc.com

  • National Professional Child Care Provider of the Year, 2003
  • Peer nominated: National Association of Nannies Harriette Grant Memorial Award, 2004
  • Employee Nominated: International Nanny Association Nanny of the Year, 2004
  • Proud wife and mother 🙂