Program Committee

Volunteer Program Committee members reviewed and selected abstracts for the 2015 conference program.


Kelly Camden LM, CPM, BA, is an Albuquerque-based midwife who is thrilled to serve as the local coordinator of the 2015 MANA Conference. Following her first homebirth 16 years ago, Kelly began attending hospital births as a DONA doula and home births as a midwife’s assistant. Later, she became a staff doula at Presbyterian Hospital, where she was recognized for excellent service. Kelly endeavors to empower families through education; she is founder and coordinator of the Albuquerque Birth Network, has taught breastfeeding, prenatal yoga, and childbirth classes and has published articles on pregnancy related topics. Kelly served as Consumer Advisor on the NM Certified Nurse Midwives Advisory Board and Event Coordinator for the ABQ Rally to Improve Birth. Currently, she is a Regional Coordinator for the NM Breastfeeding Task Force. Since 2011, Kelly has practiced as a Licensed and Certified Professional Midwife, offering home and birth center births. She is proud to be a midwife in New Mexico, where a blend of culture, tradition and necessity has led to a continuous history of midwifery care.


Melissa Cheyney PhD, CPM, LDM, is Associate Professor of Medical Anthropology at Oregon State University. She is also a Certified Professional Midwife in active practice, the Chair of the Governor-appointed Board of Direct-entry Midwifery for the State of Oregon, and the Chair of the Division of Research for the Midwives Alliance of North America where she directs the MANA Statistics Project. Dr. Cheyney is the author of the recent ethnography, Born at Home (2010, Wadsworth Press) along with several, peer-reviewed journal articles that examine the cultural beliefs and clinical outcomes associated with midwife-led birth at home.


Marinah Valenzuela Farrell LM, CPM, is MANA's president. Her favorite formative memories are political inquiry from a very young age and walks with her grandfather and mother looking for healing plants. Politics and traditional medicine is what led Marinah to midwifery, and she continues in her commitment to both political activism and birth work. Marinah has been the president of various non-profit boards, has worked in waterbirth centers and medical facilities doing international non-profit work, and has been the owner of long standing homebirth practices. In addition, she also works with various local grassroots organizations in Arizona such as the Phoenix Allies for Community Health, serving as a board member with Phoenix Allies for Community Health, a free clinic in downtown Phoenix, assists in collective endeavors with other grassroots groups on the issue of immigration, and is active as a medic during political protests. Marinah is focused on the issue of lack of access to midwives and the profession of midwifery in communities where health disparities are overwhelming. Marinah also continues to work with traditional midwives outside of the U.S and bridges traditional Mexican medicine/healing with western science.


Connie Koshewa LM, CPM, MPH, has been active in the midwifery and public healthcare community for thirty-five years. Connie trained in midwifery at The Maternity Center in El Paso, Texas in 1980. She then had a busy homebirth practice in Denver, Colorado where she participated for many years in the successful political effort to legalize midwifery in Colorado. She returned to El Paso in 1989 to practice as a staff midwife at Maternidad La Luz/The Birth Center which serves women and families on the US/Mexico border as well as midwifery students from all over the world. Connie worked with the politics of integrated reimbursement issues for several years, including helping with the efforts to reinstate New Mexico Medicaid coverage for out-of-hospital birth. Connie now practices midwifery full time and is honored to serve women and families through Natural Birth Midwifery in Albuquerque and beyond, very grateful to be in a homebirth-friendly state.


Treesa McLean, a homebirth and birth center midwife, has been involved in the birth community as a consumer, an advocate, and a birth professional for more than 30 years. In 1982, Treesa read the book Choices in Childbirth by Sylvia Feldman, which first inspired her love of midwifery. She is the mother of two grown children, both of whom were born with the care of midwives, her son who was born after transferring to the hospital for a cesarean, and her daughter born at home. Treesa is deeply committed to ensuring that all families have access to midwifery care. Her advocacy began on a personal level supporting mothers and families, which led to her volunteering with California Association of Midwives and working on midwifery legislation, and eventually to co-founding state-wide organizations. She is co-founder and Vice President of California Families for Access to Midwives. She attended the Midwives College of Utah and trained with midwives in the San Francisco Bay Area.


Desiree Robles is a Student Midwife who has been attending Midwives College of Utah since January 2014 working towards a Bachelors of Science in Midwifery. She has received doula training through DONA and is a volunteer doula for Contra Costa Regional Medical Center in Martinez, CA. She is also a volunteer for California Families for Access to Midwives.


Clarice Winkler has recently retired from active midwifery practice. She attended about 2000 births at home, birth center and hospital during her career of 30+ years. She is a graduate of Western Michigan University and the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, midwifery program. She has served as Continuing Education Chairperson for MANA since 2008. In retirement she lives in Lansing, Michigan and enjoys knitting, gardening, her "grandchildren" and getting a full night's sleep.