Staff - Brooklyn Birthing Center

Providing evidence-based care with a compassionate touch.

Staff

Brooklyn Midwifery Group

Jessica Henman APRN, CNM, CPM

Jessica has been a nurse for over 20 years and completed her Master’s degree at Frontier Nursing University to become a CNM in 2010. Prior to becoming a midwife, Jessica worked internationally in humanitarian aid, practiced as a nurse in ER and cardiac surgery, and was a childbirth educator and doula. Jessica is very active in family and church life and supports the midwifery and mothering community through her role on the state Board of the American College of Nurse Midwives and The Sparrows Nest Teen Maternity Home and as a mentor in the New Heights program for school kids. She has lived in St Louis for most of her life and loves being a wife and the mother of 3 big kids, spending time with them reading, making music, cooking and of course eating. Jessica is excited to be in NYC to help the Brooklyn Birth Center grow, and help launch Jazz Birth Center, to give women more safe and enriching birth options.

Yuen Chan, DNP, CNM

Yuen earned a BS in Health Care Management at SUNY Stony Brook in 2003, and went on to earn a BSN from the same university in 2007. After completing her BSN, Yuen began her career as an RN in North Shore University Hospital's Level III NICU. She also promptly enrolled in Stony Brook's Nurse-Midwifery program, and completed her MSN in 2009. Yuen has since cared for women and infants in a variety of settings, including Brookdale Hospital's OB/GYN Department, Lutheran Medical Center's Chinese Health Clinic, the Charles B. Wang Community Health Center, and a private OB/GYN practice. She also serves as an adjunct faculty member at Adelphi University's College of Nursing. Yuen earned her DNP in Nurse-Midwifery at SUNY Stony Brook in 2014, and joined the Brooklyn Midwifery Group in 2015. She is fluent in Mandarin and Cantonese.

Christiane McCloskey, CM

Christiane McCloskey has been a practicing midwife for over 16 years. Her journey began with the birth of her first son and an introduction to the birth world in New York City in the late 1980s. She started working with Childbirth Education Association of Metropolitan New York, and quickly became a “birth groupie”. Along the way, she taught prenatal and postpartum exercise classes, started her own doula service and supported many new mothers through their breastfeeding experience. After the home birth of her second son, it became quite clear that she needed to take her experience and love for birthing to its logical conclusion. She graduated from the SUNY Downstate Midwifery program with a MS in Midwifery and was credentialed as an ACNM Certified Midwife in 2002.

Jacklyn Lahav, CNM

Jacklyn Lahav, CNM received her BA in Biopsychology from Barnard College in 2002, and returned to Columbia University to complete a BS in Nursing in 2006. After completing her Masters in Nurse-Midwifery at NYU in 2009, Jacklyn started her midwifery career in a private practice affiliated with a hospital. Having had two beautiful home births of her own, Jacklyn transitioned to working per diem at the Brooklyn Birthing Center in 2012. Understanding the dearth of whole woman-centered, evidence-based gynecological care, Jacklyn then focused on providing GYN services exclusively through her own practice, with a more recent specialization in sexual dysfunction. Jacklyn has returned to the Brooklyn Birthing Center to practice full-scope midwifery as out-of-hospital birth options have been dwindling in NYC. She now works per diem at the BBC while maintaining her at-home GYN practice. Jacklyn firmly believes that the medical fields pertaining specifically to women’s health need to return agency to women by way of open dialogue and collaboration, unhindered access to complete and balanced information, returning autonomy to the healthcare consumer, and viewing female-bodied persons as their whole selves.

Marsha Fils-Aime, CM, MS

Marsha was born in Brooklyn, New York but raised in Haiti. She returned to New York after graduating High School in order to attend college and beyond. The original goal was to attend Medical school, but the passion for normal surpassed the passion to heal/cure, so the focus started to shift. She received her Masters in Midwifery from SUNY Downstate and a Bachelors degree in Health and Nutrition Sciences from Brooklyn College. She has a special interest in childbirth education, breastfeeding and caring for women in the postpartum period.

She is fluent in English, French, Haitian creole, and is comfortable speaking Spanish.
She joined the Brooklyn Birthing Center per diem as of July 2019 while practicing full scope Midwifery at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center for over 8 years.

Ximena Rossato-Bennett MSN, FNP-C, CNM

Ximena's journey to midwifery began in 1998 with the birth of her first child at a birth center birth in New York City. The normalcy of birth had never been a question, but her midwives were role models and the spark of her career journey. Ximena was born in Cordoba, Argentina, and moved with her family to Miami, FL in 1982. She settled in New York City in 1996 and has lived in the Lower East Side ever since. She has two grown children who also live in New York City. She started her studies at Frontier Nursing University (FNU) in 2013. She obtained her master's degree in nursing with a specialty as a Family Nurse Practitioner (FNP) in 2016 and her post-graduate certificate in midwifery (CNM) in 2017. From 2018 to 2020, Ximena worked as a full-spectrum midwife at the Connecticut Childbirth & Women's Center with delivery privileges in both a free-standing birthing center and Danbury Hospital. Now, Ximena is excited and honored to be working as a midwife in the free-standing birthing center model of care at the Brooklyn Birthing Center and Jazz Birth Center. Throughout her clinical career, Ximena has focused on holistic care of the entire family with a particular interest in women's health and reproductive rights. The midwifery model of care has always guided her approach to families and their health.

Midwifery Fellows

Kyra Caruso, CM, CLC

Kyra is a certified and licensed midwife, birth doula, and childbirth educator. Raised in Europe, surrounded by the women of her Austrian as well as Mexican ancestry, she learned to value the honorable role a woman holds in her community. However, not until she moved to New York City by herself did she realize how fundamental it is for a woman to want to feel protected and supported by other females, particularly during such a significant landmark as childbirth. As Kyra puts it simply: “New life has to be honored. Every human being deserves the right to a gentle entry into our world and every woman needs to feel loved during the transformative experience of pregnancy, birth and motherhood. I am here to help.” Kyra feels it is of utmost importance to create a comfortable, welcoming environment, whether a birth takes place in a hospital, birthing center or at home. Kyra holds a Bachelor of Science degree from The Fashion Institute of Technology and she also studied International Business Management at the University of Vienna. She speaks English, German and Spanish fluently as well as some French. Kyra graduated with a Masters of Science in Midwifery from SUNY Downstate Medical Center in 2019. As a Fellow Midwife she has joined the Brooklyn Birthing Center in October of 2019.

Chloe Campbell, CM, CLC

Chloe grew up in the rolling hills of rural County Down N’ern Ireland, with her feet in the creeks, legs in the brambles and head in the clouds. She relocated to New York City in 2007, pregnant and knee deep in an unfamiliar health care system. After immersing herself in birth literature in preparation for the birth of her first baby in the Spring of 2008, she found herself in a place she never wanted to leave. By the winter of 2009 this inextinguishable passion led her to attend DONA certified birth doula training. With 10 years of practice as a Doula and 5 years of practice as a midwife’s assistant for BK Midwifery, Chloe developed a profound appreciation of birth, informed by the dual influence of families navigating their birth options, and by a community of skilled and experienced homebirth midwives delivering evidence-based care to their clients. A defining characteristic of Chloe’s midwifery education is her view of birth through the lens of a parent, without carrying the burden of clinical responsibility. Chloe graduated from SUNY Downstate with a Master of Science Degree in Midwifery with honors.

Chloe is a qualified Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) and has provided hundreds of hours of lactation support at home. In April 2020 she will sit for her IBLCE board exams to qualify as an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. Chloe is a student of herbal medicine and is in her 10th year of study. She has completed 3 levels of training with the wise and wonderful Karen Rose of Sacred Vibes Apothecary in Ditmas Park and has been on a continuous educational voyage with plant medicine ever since. Chloe hopes that her aptitude for research and appreciation of the innate healing power of plants will contribute to the growing movement of integrative medicine in female bodied health.

When not practicing midwifery you might find Chloe on her front stoop crooning to the ukulele, trampolining with her two wild children or with mermaids at the spa in Coney Island. She lives in Kensington, Brooklyn with her husband and two sons who were born at home on the exact same day, four years apart.

Margaret Ragen, CM, LM, CLC

Margaret attributes her inspiration to pursue a career in midwifery to the home birth midwives who tended to her care during two pregnancies, and providers in general, who advocate for natural childbirth. Midwifery is a 'third' career, having previous experience in the arts in NYC and Portland, Oregon, and yogic studies in India. In 2013, Margaret began working as a doula at Carriage House Birth, then moved onto graduate school at SUNY Downstate to complete her degree in Midwifery in 2018, including clinical experience at Brookdale Hospital and Jacobi Medical Center. In early 2019, she started at BBC as a birth assistant, and in August joined BMG as a Midwifery Fellow. Margaret is committed to providing and advocating for women’s empowerment, and to supporting families in their right to choose where and how they receive maternal care. She is a member of the NYC Midwives community and of the NYC Chapter of ACNM.

Shayna Eliav, CNM

Shayna became a childbirth educator and doula in 2004 after being inspired by the powerful births experiences of her 2 oldest children. She taught and supported women in labor and birth for over 10 years before returning to school to realize her dream of becoming a midwife. During this time, she also gave birth to another 4 children, the last 3 of whom were born at home. Shayna graduated from Beth Israel School of Nursing in 2016, and received an MS in Midwifery from Thomas Jefferson University in 2019. She has abundant experience in out-of-hospital birth, both as a doula having worked side by side with NYC’s most seasoned midwives and as a midwifery student, having done part of her training with a midwifery practice in New Jersey which attends births in home, hospital and birth center settings. She is excited to join the BBC as a midwifery fellow, where she looks forward to being “with women” by providing holistic care that is respectful, supportive, informative, and caring.

Consulting Obstetricians and Owners

Norma Veridiano, MD, JD

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.

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 recognizes that the maternal mortality rate in the US 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.

Specialists and Educators

Tova Ovits, IBCLC

Tova graduated from Pace University with a BA in English. While nursing her youngest child, she read The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding and discovered how much she didn’t know while nursing her older kids. Tova has been dedicated to providing lactation support ever since. She became a La Leche League Leader and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant to help even more families enjoy a healthy, happy beginning.