Our Team at Jazz Birth Center of Manhattan
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.
Meredith Barish, CNM
A native New Yorker, Meredith began her career in 2003 after graduating from Columbia university as a Certified Nurse Midwife. She has previously worked at a private practice delivering at both Maimonides and Methodist hospitals. She joined the Brooklyn Birthing Center in April 2020 providing per diem full scope midwifery care. Meredith strives to provide holistic care where every person has access to evidence based information and participates in making informed decisions about their health and care during pregnancy, birth and beyond. She believes that all birthing people have the right to safe and respectful health care experiences.
Feeta Caphart, CNM
Feeta Caphart became a midwife to help womxn live informed, empowered, healthy lives. It is important to Feeta that the people she touches feel seen, heard, cared for. Born in Brooklyn and raised in Montgomery County, Maryland, she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from the University of Miami in Florida in 2011. After working as a Labor and Delivery Nurse for a few years, she attended Georgetown University’s Nurse-Midwifery and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner Program in Washington, D.C., graduating with her Master of Science in 2017. Prior to her role as Senior Midwife, Feeta served Brooklyn families as a Midwife and Nurse Practitioner in a private OB/GYN practice. When she is not catching babies, Feeta enjoys reading, listening to podcasts, and spending time with her family and friends.
Shannyn Dewey, CNM
Shannyn Dewey is a Certified Nurse Midwife from Hudson, NY. She got her Master’s degree in Nursing with a concentration in midwifery from the University of New Mexico in 2017. She obtained her Bachelors of Nursing in 2007 from the State University of New York at Buffalo. She has a strong background working with infants and mothers as a Pediatric and Neonatal Intensive care nurse as well as spending time as a Labor and Delivery nurse. Shannyn loves catching babies and educating new parents during prenatal care in her role as a midwife. She is currently enrolled in a bioregional herbalism course so she can further enrich her relationship with the plants that grow around the Hudson Valley and how they can be useful to women, especially during the childbearing year. She is also passionate about working with mothers who struggle with addiction and looks forward to developing this interest as her career progresses. In her free time, Shannyn enjoys kayaking and biking. She also enjoys hiking in the Catskill mountains with her rescue dog Piñon.
Mary DiMasi, CNM
Guided by her passion for women’s health and knowledge of advanced evidence-based medicine, Mary Di Masi, CNM is a trusted medical practitioner. After graduating from her certified nurse midwife program with honors, Mary started caring for women throughout the greater Washington, D.C., metro area. She is very happy to be returning to New York where she was born and raised. Mary is known for patient-centric care where she spends time educating each of her patients on preventive medicine and treatment plans. This supportive type of environment allows women to share in the decision-making process for gynecological care, prenatal care, and delivery options. Mary even helps with family planning. Whether a woman is interested in selecting the right type of birth control or is ready to start getting pregnant, Mary offers compassionate care every step of the way. Patients of Mary adore her natural caring and nurturing demeanor. She’s highly skilled at helping women find peace and comfort during the most difficult and overwhelming stages of pregnancy and delivery.
Julia Faidley, CNM
Julia Faidley grew up in Hershey, Pennsylvania, but has called New York City home for the past 30 years. She studied economics and Spanish in college but learned about midwifery in a Women's' Studies course. She was drawn to the idea of birth as a healthy, normal life transition, but took a long and winding road to become a midwife herself. During those years, she worked as a labor support doula, raised two children, and spent several years as a hospice nurse. She also contributed to the business side of things, as an auditor, a member of the quality and compliance team, and a clinical educator. When the time was right, she enrolled in Frontier Nursing University's midwifery program and graduated in 2017. Julia's "long road" to midwifery has provided a diversity of experience that she brings to midwifery care. She is committed to making out-of-hospital birth options available to women who desire them and is excited to join Jazz Birth Center providing family-centered, evidence-based prenatal, and postpartum care. When she is not working as a midwife, Julia enjoys writing poetry and cooking.
Allison Sinofsky, CNM
Allison grew up in Massachusetts, where she attended Harvard University and received a BA in Human Evolutionary Biology in 2011. It was here that she studied the evolutionary changes in the female pelvis and ultimately discovered her passion for physiologic birth and midwifery. She later moved to New York City where she completed her nursing and midwifery degrees at Columbia University. Allison became a Certified Nurse Midwife in 2017 and worked for 3 years at a hospital-based practice in the Bronx. As part of Jazz Birth Center, Allison is thrilled to have the opportunity to deepen her appreciation for normal pregnancy, labor, and birth outside the hospital. She strives to provide informed and inclusive care to every patient across their lifespan, and will continue to work for reproductive rights so every woman can have access to a midwife. In her free time, Allison is also a fitness instructor and loves to cook. She enjoys traveling to new places to run (and eat!) with her husband and their dog, Pepper.
Shelby Alexa, CNM/WHNP-BC
Shelby is the second youngest of five girls, and has been surrounded by strong, resilient women her whole life. After the birth of her eldest nephew, at the age of five, she knew she wanted to do birth work. After graduating from nursing school, she moved from her home in Michigan to New York City to pursue her goals of becoming a midwife. She worked at a high acuity labor and delivery floor as a nurse for over two years prior to earning her masters in Nurse Midwifery at the University of Pennsylvania. She has since worked as a midwife, catching over 160 infants and guiding hundreds of families into parenthood. Shelby is thrilled to be a part of Jazz Birth Center to promote physiological birth and empower families.
Johanna Allen, CNM
Johanna comes to New York from Tacoma, Washington, via El Paso, Texas. She recently graduated from Texas Tech University Health Sciences Center’s Graduate School of Nursing with a Master of Science degree in Nurse-Midwifery. Over the past 6 years she has completed midwifery training and provided care at an academic medical center and a busy birth center on the Mexico/US border in El Paso; a medical and birth center in Nairobi, Kenya; and as a Labor and Delivery and Postpartum Registered Nurse at a hospital in Edmonds, Washington. Johanna speaks English and Spanish and spends her time reading novels and short stories (tips welcome!), hiking (excited to get to know the Catskills), running, cooking (recipe ideas also welcome!), writing, and being with friends and family.
Johanna looks forward to developing respectful, positive relationships and providing holistic, evidence-based guidance to people in her care at Brooklyn Birth Center. Her ultimate goal is to provide and advocate for increased access to high-quality health care for everyone, and to become an educator of forthcoming midwives and health care professionals in order to expand the knowledge base.
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.
Makeda Rambert, CNM
Makeda’s journey to midwifery began when she attended her first birth in the comfort of a family’s home in New York City. The beauty and serenity that permeated this particular birth is what convinced her to follow her calling into the profession. Makeda was born in Brooklyn, New York, and later moved to Silver Spring, Maryland in her early childhood. She obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Emory University and later received her Master of Science in Midwifery from Philadelphia University. Makeda is currently studying herbalism under Aviva Romm and, in the future, she plans to integrate this discipline into her midwifery practice. Makeda is excited to return to the New York City area and join the Brooklyn Birthing Center as a Fellow Midwife.
Latosha Ruiz, CNM
LaTosha Ruiz, CNM, MSN, is a Licensed Midwife. After graduating Cum Laude from the University of Rochester, she began her career focusing on women’s health as a registered nurse working on gynecological, oncological, and obstetrical units in NYC’s leading teaching hospitals. Upon completion of the SUNY Downstate Master of Science Nurse Midwifery program, LaTosha continued working with and for women as an adjunct professor in obstetrics for BSN students at The College of New Rochelle. Her focus is to assist women in effectively managing their physical, mental, and emotional health with her clinical expertise, compassion, empathy, and cultural sensitivity. LaTosha is dedicated to offering women traditional forms of care as well as alternative methods pertinent to their health because women deserve the right to choose a healthcare provider who will assist them in selecting their own course of treatment.
In her spare time, LaTosha enjoys spending time with her husband and four children. She is an avid reader, loves to cook and travel. Additionally, LaTosha, a girl scout herself and now a volunteer with a cumulative time of 22 years, is the leader of a Girl Scout troop of 32 elementary and middle school age girls. She believes in the importance of fostering self-esteem and self-advocacy in the early years of girls as it is essential to lifelong success. LaTosha is dedicated to enriching self-awareness at this crucial stage of a woman’s life.
Carmen Mojica, CPM
Carmen Mojica is Afro-Dominicana born and raised in the Bronx. She is a midwife, writer and reproductive health activist. Carmen trained as a doula in 2010 through a fellowship program with Hudson Perinatal Consortium in Jersey City, NJ. Her epiphany was when she learned of the three-fold higher risk and complications incurred by Latina and Black which alarmed and motivated her to act. She trained at Maternidad La Luz, El Paso, TX, a midwifery school and birth clinic. She is an accomplished primary midwife at over 38 births and has had an active role in over 88 other births. In 2017, she passed the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) exam and became a Certified Professional Midwife. It was due to the pandemic that Carmen suspended her studies to begin working at BBC as a Birth Assistant for its valuable experience in out of hospital birth and choice to women. She aspires to continue expanding education to Black people about their pregnancy and physiologic childbirth and continue her midwifery training.
Jennifer Matlin Rubashkin, RN, CLC
Jennifer Rubashkin is a NY licensed RN and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). She grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and moved to Israel after earning her BA in Biology from the University of California, Berkeley. While in Israel she studied to become an RN and a Nurse Midwife. She worked at one of the first baby friendly hospitals for almost ten years in Neonatology and then in Labor and Delivery.
While working as a midwife at the Sourasky Medical Center in Tel Aviv, Jennifer found a passion for empowering women in birth, and established and taught the first English Childbirth Courses offered by the hospital.
After moving back to the States, Jennifer became a Certified Lactation Counselor and continued her work as a childbirth educator and counseled women with baby feeding issues.
Jennifer is excited to be back in the birthing world and to have the opportunity to be a birth assistant at the BBC. She hopes to re-certify as a midwife in New York in the near future. When Jennifer is not working, she is spending time with her family, jogging, or curled up reading a good book and sipping tea.
Talia Page, CLC
Talia first attended University of Colorado to study Mathematics on a scholarship, before realizing that her true calling lay with helping mothers and families. She dove in full heartedly, attending a DONA doula training as well as becoming a Certified Prenatal Yoga instructor and Certified Lactation Counselor. She returned to school and graduated from SUNY Downstate with her bachelor’s in nursing in 2020. Her next goal is to return to school to become a Nurse Midwife. Talia has worked in the Postpartum unit at Mount Sinai West, as well as working with individual families as a doula and through teaching prenatal yoga. Before discovering birth, Talia worked as a childcare provider and found a passion working with families of special needs children for over 10 years. She sees her birth work as an extension of her caregiving experience, and loves learning from each new family she works with.
Emily Pusey, RN
Emily Pusey is a Registered Nurse and a Student Nurse Midwife at SUNY Downstate from Long Island. She has experience in high risk antepartum and postpartum care. She knew for years that she wanted to be a nurse, but it wasn’t until she started working in an OBGYN office that she found her passion for midwifery. Although the doctors she learned from were great, she was always drawn to a more natural, holistic model of patient care. This drive lead her to attend Midwifery school, and start volunteering with the Brooklyn Birthing Center. Emily is now excited to start working as a Birth Assistant at both the Brooklyn and Jazz Birthing Centers. Some of her accomplishments also include achieving certifications electronic fetal monitoring, and becoming a certified lactation counselor. In her free time, she enjoys doing yoga, cooking, and spending time with friends and family.
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.
Consulting Obstetricians and Owners
Norma Veridiano, MD, JD, MBA
As co-founder of the Brooklyn Birthing Center in 1999, Norma Veridiano, MD. has guided and supported the birth center in delivering over 1500 babies. In the last 10 years, she has taken active executive positions in the leadership and oversight of the Brooklyn Midwifery Group, Brooklyn Birthing Center and the new opening of the Jazz Birth Center of Manhattan. She is a board certified OB/ GYN, recently retired from performing gyn surgery right up to the time of Covid-19 and from her position as founding partner of a large private practice for over 40 years in Brooklyn. She has been awarded numerous awards in recognition of her care to women over decades, and yearly her yearly mission work globally. The award, however, that she is most proud of receiving is the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC) Professional Achievement Award in 2018, Texas, for her active contribution to the advancement of birth centers.
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.