Director of Midwifery

Linda Gaglioti, CNM

Linda Gaglioti received her BSN at Adelphi University in 1983, and received her MSN (Clinical Nurse Specialist, Perinatal Track) from Adelphi University in 1992. She went on to receive a Certificate in Nurse-Midwifery from Columbia University in 1994, and earned a Certificate in Teaching (focus on midwifery) from the University of Pennsylvania in 1997. Linda served as a labor & delivery nurse from 1983 to 1994, and began her career as a nurse-midwife at Maimonides Medical Center in 1994. She was the Assistant Director of Midwifery at Maimonides from 2009 to 2012, when she was hired as Midwifery Director at Brooklyn Birthing Center and Brooklyn Midwifery Group.

Brooklyn Midwifery Group

Joanne Middleton, NP, PhD

Joanne Middleton is a long-time advocate of family-centered birth options. In her forty years as a nurse-midwife, Joanne has worked in several New York City area hospitals, taught midwifery students in both academic and clinical settings, established herself as a sought-after private practice midwife, and delivered over 3,000 babies! Prior to joining the Brooklyn Midwifery Group, Joanne served clients in her Park Slope and Williamsburg offices and delivered babies at Long Island College Hospital. In 2014, Joanne merged her practice with ours in order to make midwifery care and out-of-hospital birth more accessible to families throughout Brooklyn and beyond. We are thrilled to be working with Joanne!

Katie Lawrence, CNM

Katie Lawrence earned a BA in Anthropology with a minor in Bioethics at SUNY Albany in 2005, and went on to complete a BSN at Salisbury University in 2008 and an MSN in Midwifery at Yale University in 2011. As a student midwife, Katie trained in the birthing center at Women and Infants Hospital- an experience that reaffirmed her passion for low-intervention childbirth. After completing her midwifery education, Katie was hired as a full-scope midwife at Bayside Health Association with admitting privileges at Beebe Healthcare, a community hospital in Delaware. While this experience allowed Katie to sharpen her midwifery skills, she remained eager to practice in a setting where the physiologic birth process is honored and supported. She joined the Brooklyn Midwifery Group in 2014.

Summer Knight, CNM, IBCLC

SummerSummer Knight earned a BSN from Samuel Merritt University in 2000, and she spent the next fourteen years working as a Public Health Nurse for the Alameda County Public Health Department. During her tenure with Alameda County, Summer provided care for new and expecting mothers and their children, oversaw weekly immunization clinics, and led professional development trainings for staff nurses. She also provided comprehensive breastfeeding support and was credentialed as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). Summer went on to earn an MSN in nurse-midwifery from the University of California, San Francisco, in 2012. She worked as a full-scope midwife for the Alameda Health System and Kaiser San Leandro Medical Center until early 2015, when she accepted a position at Brooklyn Birthing Center. 

Consulting Obstetricians and Owners

James Ducey, MD, FACOG

James Ducey, MD is a board certified OB/GYN and Perinatologist (high risk specialist). He is Director of both the Division of Maternal / Fetal Medicine and the Center for Women’s Health at Staten Island University Hospital (SIUH) North Shore LIJ. He will not permit any attending OB physician at SIUH to perform a primary elective cesarean section. He is convinced of what is already becoming apparent— that the maternal mortality rate in the US (while low) is on the rise because of the dramatic increase in unnecessary cesarean sections.

Dr. Ducey is available 24/7 for consultation on any question regarding our clients. He reviews all new OB charts, and reviews all client charts at 36 weeks to ensure that clients are eligible to birth at BBC in compliance with our Policies and Procedures. When appropriate, Dr. Ducey co-manages higher risk pregnancies with our midwives.

Norma Veridiano, MD, JD, MBA

As co-founder of Brooklyn Birthing Center, Norma Veridiano, MD, has been an invaluable source of support and guidance in the development of our practice. She is a board certified OB / GYN with a large private practice in Brooklyn. Although she has retired from the practice of obstetrics, she remains a terrific referral for clients in need of gynecological follow-up not within the purview of midwives.

Office Staff

Maggie Torrance

Maggie Torrance began her career in human services in 2005, when she started working as a counselor for at-risk adolescents at Ramapo for Children in Rhinebeck, NY. During her tenure at Ramapo for Children, Maggie taught independent living skills, developed a GED curriculum, and conducted outreach. She was eventually promoted to Program Manager. In 2006, Maggie worked with pregnant and parenting adolescents (including young women in labor) at the Triple L Youth Ranch. In 2011, she completed a DONA Birth Doula Training and started her freelance doula practice. Maggie was hired as an on-call birthing assistant at BBC in 2011, joined our full-time staff as Medical Assistant in 2012, and was promoted to Clinical Manager in 2013. She holds a BA in Family Science from Anderson University.

“I began working with pregnant and parenting clients and attending births in 2006. I immediately fell in love with birth work, and I have since attended over 75 births. I enjoy working with women and their families, and I feel honored to be present during their special, life-changing events.”

Alycia Talavera

Alycia TalaveraAlycia has over a decade of administrative experience in busy medical offices. She began her career at Total Wellness in 2003, where she served as office manager until 2010. The following year, she accepted a position at Boro Park OB/GYN, where she spent three years managing patient records, completing intake and insurance authorizations, assisting with referrals and scheduling, and training entry level office staff. In addition to her experience at Boro Park OB/GYN, Alycia holds a certificate in Diagnostic Medical Sonography from the Institute of Allied Professional Medical Studies. She is therefore very well-versed in both administrative and clinical aspects of prenatal care. Alycia joined the Brooklyn Midwifery Group and Brooklyn Birthing Center team in 2014.

Dalya Panivilov

DalyaDalya Panivilov began her career in medical assisting and office administration in 2010, when she was hired as a receptionist at the Sadkhin Complex. The following year, she began working as a Medical Assistant at Woman Care Obstetrics and Gynecology. At Woman Care, Dalya gained on-the-job experience while completing her AS in Medical Assisting at the Mandl School of Allied Health. Upon finishing her degree, Dalya began working for Boro Park Obstetrics and Gynecology- a Brooklyn OB/GYN practice with a robust midwifery group. In 2014, she joined the Brooklyn Midwifery Group as Patient Coordinator and Medical Assistant. Dalya is fluent in Russian and Hebrew, and is working toward a second degree in sonography.

Sheena Thornton

SheenaSheena Thornton earned a Certificate in Medical Assisting at the Allen School of Health Sciences in 2014, and was the Valedictorian of her graduating class. She began her career in women’s health at American Comprehensive Healthcare Group, where she worked as an OBGYN Medical Assistant from 2013 to 2014. Here, she performed a wide variety of clinical and administrative procedures related to obstetrics and well-woman care. Prior to attending school for medical assisting, Sheena worked in progressively responsible customer service positions. She joined the Brooklyn Midwifery Group team in 2015.

Rachel Anne M. Libon

Rachel Anne M. Libon has worked in a variety of social service and public health settings since 1999. Her experience includes assisting with community sanitation projects in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, working as a residential aid in a homeless shelter in Ireland, and spearheading cooperative development initiatives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon. She was hired at Brooklyn Birthing Center in 2012, where she maintains financial records and practice data, manages BBC’s web presence, and coordinates special programs- including BBC’s educational programs, the Strong Start Initiative, and the Baby-Friendly program. She also began training as a birth assistant shortly after her son was born in the spring of 2013! Rachel Anne holds a BA in Cultural Studies from Macalester College and is working toward a second degree in nursing.

“I believe everyone deserves compassionate, empowering, and individualized care. The knowledge I gained while working at BBC was invaluable during my own pregnancy and birth experience, and I aspire to make information and health care options accessible to all families.”

Specialists and Educators

Adina Lerer, RN-BSN, LCCE, IBCLC

Adina LererAdina Lerer earned a BS in Biomedical Sciences from Brooklyn College in 2009, and immediately continued to the Accelerated Nursing Program at SUNY Downstate where she earned her BSN. In 2011, Adina began working as a Maternal-Child Nurse at SUNY Downstate University Hospital. During her time at SUNY Downstate, Adina worked to promote evidence-based birth practices and breastfeeding, becoming a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She was hired as Director of Lactation Services with the Brooklyn Midwifery Group in 2014. Adina directs a comprehensive Lactation Program that includes prenatal and postpartum education, group classes, and private consultations.

Jennifer Leopold, IBCLC, LMSW

Jennifer LeopoldJennifer graduated from Binghamton University in 1996 with a BA in Psychology and earned her Masters of Social Work at Columbia University in 1998. She has extensive experience working with children and families, helping them to overcome trauma and develop tools for their future. Volunteering as a La Leche League International Leader has been the cornerstone of her knowledge and passion for educating families about breastfeeding. A an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and a Licensed Social Worker, Jennifer provides wrap-around services that includes breastfeeding management and counseling for individuals, groups, and families. She is also the proud mother of three boys.

Angie Ferin, RN, CLC, CD

Angie Ferin discovered her passion for birth work after having her first child in 1999. She became a DONA-certified doula in 2002, and went on to teach private childbirth, newborn care, and breastfeeding classes in addition to working as a labor support and postpartum doula. She also taught childbirth education at the Inwood House, an organization serving pregnant and parenting teens in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. In 2011, Angie graduated from the Long Island College Hospital School of Nursing, obtained her RN license, and became a Certified Lactation Counselor. She went on to work as a nurse in a pediatrician’s office, where she facilitated a group for new mothers and a breastfeeding support group. Prior to training as a birth assistant at BBC, Angie assisted home birth midwives in both New York and Amsterdam, Netherlands. She now works as a birth assistant and postpartum home visit nurse for BBC. She plans to pursue a masters degree in nurse-midwifery.

“I believe in empowering women by encouraging them to gather information and make educated choices about their birth and about parenting.”

Birth Assistants

Kathryn Peck, RN, CD

Kathryn PeckKathryn Peck was born in the Bronx and raised in the lovely suburban town of Pleasantville, NY. Throughout her life, Kathryn has worked as a supporter for those in need, often providing a voice for the voiceless. From her first job as a Special Olympics coach in high school and then as an advocate for citizens with mental illness in the criminal justice system while at Bennington College, she knew from an early age that she wanted to be in a position of assistance, using the qualities of compassion and grace in the service of others. Since receiving her certification as a Labor Support Doula, Kathryn has become an active participant in the NYC birth community, attending births frequently and empowering women throughout the city by giving them what they need most: an understanding ear, an informed and unbiased opinion and most importantly confidence in themselves.

Kathryn is a graduate of the accelerated BSN nursing program at SUNY Downstate, and she is working towards a graduate degree in certified nurse-midwifery. She serves as the Birth Assistant Program Coordinator at BBC.

“I am so proud to be a part of what the BBC offers to families. I’ve witnessed first hand the difference that birthing with privacy, respect and kindness can make. For those women who choose to give birth in this setting I already feel so confident that the experience will be a source of personal growth and joy and I feel privileged and honored to share in that.”

Shalawn Facey, CD, CLC
Shalawn Facey is a New York native, born and raised in Brooklyn. She had her first child in 2003 and became deeply committed to motherhood. As a new mother, she quickly realized the importance of support for breastfeeding moms. She trained as a postpartum doula, labor doula, and certified lactation consultant in order to provide this crucial support for other new and expecting parents. In addition to working as a private doula, Shalawn teaches our Newborn Care for Expecting Parents class and works as a BBC birth assistant.
Maggie Torrance, CD

Maggie Torrance began her career in human services in 2005, when she started working as a counselor for at-risk adolescents at Ramapo for Children in Rhinebeck, NY. During her tenure at Ramapo for Children, Maggie taught independent living skills, developed a GED curriculum, and conducted outreach. She was eventually promoted to Program Manager. In 2006, Maggie worked with pregnant and parenting adolescents (including young women in labor) at the Triple L Youth Ranch. In 2011, she completed a DONA Birth Doula Training and started her freelance doula practice. Maggie was hired as an on-call birthing assistant at BBC in 2011, and joined our full-time staff as Medical Assistant in 2012. She holds a BA in Family Science from Anderson University.

“I began working with pregnant and parenting clients and attending births in 2006. I immediately fell in love with birth work, and I have since attended over 75 births. I enjoy working with women and their families, and I feel honored to be present during their special, life-changing events.”

Angie Ferin, RN, CLC, CD

Angie Ferin discovered her passion for birth work after having her first child in 1999. She became a DONA-certified doula in 2002, and went on to teach private childbirth, newborn care, and breastfeeding classes in addition to working as a labor support and postpartum doula. She also taught childbirth education at the Inwood House, an organization serving pregnant and parenting teens in Upper Manhattan and the Bronx. In 2011, Angie graduated from the Long Island College Hospital School of Nursing, obtained her RN license, and became a Certified Lactation Counselor. She went on to work as a nurse in a pediatrician’s office, where she facilitated a group for new mothers and a breastfeeding support group. Prior to training as a birth assistant at BBC, Angie assisted home birth midwives in both New York and Amsterdam, Netherlands. She now works as a birth assistant and postpartum home visit nurse for BBC. She plans to pursue a masters degree in nurse-midwifery.

“I believe in empowering women by encouraging them to gather information and make educated choices about their birth and about parenting.”
Isha Bryce, RN

Isha Bryce began volunteering at Brooklyn Birthing Center in January of 2012, and was accepted into our Birth Assistant training program that June. In addition to serving as a Birth Assistant at BBC, Isha assists a home birth midwife. She earned a BA in Anthropology from CUNY Hunter in 2012, and a BSN from NYU in 2015. Isha plans to pursue a masters in nurse-midwifery.

Rachel Anne M. Libon

Rachel Anne M. Libon has worked in a variety of social service and public health settings since 1999. Her experience includes assisting with community sanitation projects in the Dominican Republic and Nicaragua, working as a residential aid in a homeless shelter in Ireland, and spearheading cooperative development initiatives in Minneapolis, Minnesota and Portland, Oregon. She was hired at Brooklyn Birthing Center in 2012, where she maintains financial records and practice data, manages BBC’s web presence, and coordinates special programs- including BBC’s educational series, the Strong Start Initiative, and the Baby-Friendly program. She began training as a birth assistant shortly after her son was born in the spring of 2013! Rachel Anne holds a BA in Cultural Studies from Macalester College and is working toward a second degree in nursing.

“I believe everyone deserves compassionate, empowering, and individualized care. The knowledge I gained while working at BBC was invaluable during my own pregnancy and birth experience, and I aspire to make information and health care options accessible to all families.”

Caryne Jean Michel, CD, CLC

CaryneCaryne Jean Michel has been working in health care administration at Eastern Cardiology Associates & Dean Street Medical PC since 2002, and she served as Administrative Assistant for the Association of Haitian Physicians Abroad from 2004 – 2013. Her on-the-job exposure to a variety of issues in health care is complimented by a BS in Biology from Medgar Evers College. After completing her degree in 2010, Caryne became deeply interested in birth work. She became a DONA-certified doula in 2012 and a Certified Lactation Counselor in 2013, and has continued to develop her skills by attending trainings on acupressure, rebozo, VBAC support, bereavement, and more. Caryne completed the Beginning and Intermediate Midwifery Skills Practicum with Chanti Smith in 2013, and began training as a Birth Assistant at BBC shortly thereafter. Her long term goal is to become a Certified Midwife, and she was recently accepted into the MS in Midwifery program at SUNY Downstate! Caryne is fluent in French and Haitian Creole.

Christie Kappes, RN, CLC

ChristieAs far back as she can remember, Christie has been drawn to providing support for people in the form of advocacy, counseling, education, and outreach. In all her work, she is committed to helping people get the information they need to make important decisions involving their health. Prior to entering the accelerated BSN program at SUNY Downstate Medical Center, Christie worked at an HIV/AIDS clinic in New York City where she met individually with patients to offer health promotion and navigation through the complex healthcare system. As a trained (DONA) birth doula, she offers women labor support in recognition of their own physical power and the often intense emotional experiences that come with giving birth. Through a regular yoga practice, she has deepened her understanding of and appreciation for the human body and aims to assist women in connecting their minds and bodies during childbirth. Christie joined the team at BBC in 2013 when she began her training as a Birth Assistant. She completed her BSN at SUNY Downstate in 2014, and began working as a labor & delivery nurse at a New York City hospital shortly after obtaining her RN license. 

Lydia Doublestein
LydiaLydia Doublestein has been working in community health settings since 2012, when she completed in internship with the Health Department of Northwest Michigan. Here, she gathered and evaluated data for a regional community health assessment, designed and distributed data briefs for providers and community members, and conducted focus groups to inform health education programs. In 2013, she interned at the Alpha Women’s Center, where she developed and taught childbirth education classes, counseled expectant mothers, and began her career as a professional labor doula. The following year, Lydia earned a BA in Public Health from Calvin College in Grand Rapids, Michigan. After completing her undergraduate studies, she moved to Brooklyn to study at SUNY Downstate. She is currently working as a doula and BBC birth assistant while earning her MS in midwifery.
“I believe birth is a normal, physiological process that works best when it is supported. Birth has the powerful ability to affect many areas of life – physical, emotional, and social. I believe in the power of women to give birth and bring life into the world – with an inner strength and ability. I feel that I am a guardian for a woman, her health, and her journey into motherhood. Thus, I feel a deep responsibility to stand by mothers to meet their desires and needs. My get great joy when I am able to encourage and support mothers in their birthing choices.”
Adrienne Knight, RN

"Adrienne