Board Bios

At the MANA Conference 2015: Back Row: Tamara Wrenn, Laurie Foster, Geradine Simkins {Past MANA Executive Director}, Priya Morganstern, Nile Nash, Maggie Bennett, BJ MacKinnon {not pictured}, Vicki Hedley {not pictured}, and Kirsten Kowalski-Lane {not pictured}.

Laurie Foster, CNM, MS

Laurie Foster has been a midwife for thirty years and is driven by a passion for giving all women the opportunity to have a joyful, transforming pregnancy and birth experience. She believes pregnancy and birth are the gateways to motherhood and that healthy mothering is an essential foundation of society. This passion and belief fuel her enthusiasm for FAM’s mission.

She has worked for much of her career as a homebirth midwife, but also in birthing centers both in and out of the hospital. She has been a faculty member of the Northeast classroom of SMS (Seattle Midwifery School) and has served as the preceptor for students from both SMS and Frontier School of Midwifery. She has worked extensively in midwifery organizations in both Vermont and New Hampshire, having served for many years on the State of NH Midwifery Advisory Board and worked tirelessly on licensing for CPMs in VT.

She is a proud MANA member since the organization’s birth. She is married, has three home-born children and lives on a small farm in Sharon, Vermont.

BJ Mackinnon, CPM, CNM, MS

BJ Mackinnon serves the foundation board in the capacity of dreamer – “If we can dream it, we can do it!“ Foundation work inspires her. She thrives on granting money to the projects that support the midwifery model of care.

Her expertise comes from years of organizational work through the Midwives Alliance of North America, her state midwifery organizations, and avid personal enthusiasm.

BJ has been a midwife since 1982 and became involved in fundraising and grant making due to her interests and satisfaction in seeing every dollar count in relation to the midwifery model of care. BJ is married with four children and two home-schooled grandchildren and lives on her vineyard in Brimfield, MA.

Priya Morganstern, JD

Priya Morganstern specializes in the law of tax-exempt organizations. She has been involved in women’s health and midwifery education and advocacy since 1982 as a founding member of Long Island (NY) Childbirth Alternatives and the Massachusetts Friends of Midwives, and later as president of Connecticut Friends of Midwives.

She taught medical students for a number of years as part of a woman–run gynecological teaching program and was a contributing editor of “The Whole Birth Catalog” published in 1983.

Priya currently directs the Hartford, CT office of the Pro Bono Partnership, a legal aid program that uses volunteer attorneys to provide free legal assistance to nonprofit organizations serving the public interest and which is funded by local corporations, law firms, and foundations. Priya is married with one daughter and lives in West Hartford, Connecticut.

Kirsten Kowalski-Lane, CNM

As a homebirth midwife, Kirsten believes that each woman and family deserves support that it tailored to their needs. Treated with love, respect, and gentle guidance, women feel can feel strong, empowered and graceful in their birthing process and babies are received into a calm, warm and peaceful environment.

Kirsten has been attending births since 2002 and in full-time practice since 2006. In the spring of 2012, she was accepted to Yale University’s Masters in Nursing Program where she completed her MSN as a Certified Nurse-Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. Kirsten lives in Northhampton, MA with her husband and two amazing children.

Vicki Hedley, CPM, CM

Vicki is the mother of five children and one grandchild, born into her hands in October of 2012. She has been attending births since 1996, first as a doula, doula trainer, and childbirth educator and since 2008 as a CPM when she graduated from the National College of Midwifery. In 2010 she also became a CM. Her learning occurred through the apprenticeship model in many different settings with beautiful and wise midwives who taught the art of midwifery through their example. She continues the tradition of mentoring others through study groups and apprenticeship. Before becoming a midwife, Vicki had a private accounting practice for sixteen years, midwifing her clients through the stresses of finances and taxes.

Lauren Miller, BS, CD (DONA)

Lauren Miller has her Bachelor of Science degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology.  Through her undergraduate studies, she discovered her passion for women’s health.  She has been a birth doula since 2007 and has helped support close to 400 families.  She is also a massage therapist and has been incorporating her massage skills with her doula practice since 2008.  In 2011, Lauren enrolled in the National Midwifery Institute and went on to be trained as a homebirth midwife in San Francisco.  She graduated from the program in 2014 and is currently studying for her upcoming NARM exam.  She is honored to be a member of FAM’s board.

Justine Hinderliter, JD

Justine Hinderliter is FAM’s newest board member. Bio coming soon.

Tamara Wrenn, MA, CCCE

Tamara Wrenn, Executive Director, has a diverse and varied professional background that includes organizational consulting for nonprofits with a focus on health advocacy. Prior to assuming this role, Tamara was a FAM board member since 2011. She brings maternal child health administrative and leadership skills to the organization with expertise on the long-term impact of improving women’s wellness through the lifespan, putting the theory of the Life Course Model into practice, and applying the model as an intervention to reduce racial and ethnic disparities in infant and maternal mortality.

Joining the FAM family has given her the chance to make a difference in lives and communities across North America and she is grateful for the opportunity. Tamara lives in New York and is the proud mother of an amazing daughter and a yummy grandson, both helped into the world by midwives.