Patricia McNiven PhD, RM


Associate Professor of Midwifery, McMaster University


Editorial Advisory Board


Deepali Upadhyaya PhD, MS, BSN, BA, RM, CNM

Deepali Upadhyaya has had the great fortune to work in perinatal/child health and in the education of health care providers in many places around the world, including Canada (Alberta, British Columbia & Quebec), Ireland (Dublin), Afghanistan (Badakhshan - Médecins sans Frontières), United States of America (Oregon, Washington, and Minnesota), Ethiopia (Addis Ababa), and Ghana (Carpenter and Accra). Along with a faculty position at Mount Royal University, she maintains clinical practice as a Registered Midwife. Dr. Upadhyaya holds a Ph.D. in Medical Education from the University of Calgary Community of Health Sciences Department.


Karyn Kaufman BSN, MS, DrPH, LLD (hc), Professor Emerita, McMaster University

Dr Kaufman holds an undergraduate nursing degree from the University of Michigan, a Master’s degree in midwifery from New York Medical College, a Doctor of Public Health in maternal and child health from the University of North Carolina, and an honorary Doctor of Laws from the University of British Columbia.  

During the formative years of establishing midwifery in Ontario she coordinated the implementation of the legislative and policy framework within the Ontario Ministry of Health.   In the early 1990’s, she became the founding director of the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University and an Assistant Dean in the Faculty of Health Sciences in addition to being a practicing midwife in the Hamilton community. She was honored in 2010 to be inducted into McMaster University’s ‘Community of Distinction’ and in 2015 to receive a Lifetime Achievement Award from the Association of Ontario Midwives.

Dr Kaufman has been a consultant to Canadian provinces and territories concerning midwifery education and midwifery practice. She led the development and implementation of the Canadian Association for Midwifery Education accreditation process for midwifery programs in Canadian universities. She has participated in international midwifery education projects in Pakistan and Haiti. More recently she collaborated with education experts under the auspices of ICM (International Confederation of Midwives) to help develop tools and methods for assessing and strengthening midwifery education programs in lower- and middle-income countries. 


Elaine Carty, MSN, CNM, Professor Emerita, University of British Columbia


Josee LaFrance SF, PhD, Professure Department Sage Femme, Universite du Quebec of Trois-Rivieres

Josée Lafrance has been faculty at the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières (UQTR) within the midwifery department, for over 20 years. She is particularly involved with practicum, within the midwifery education program and in research. Her interests span also to interprofessional education.  She holds a doctorate in education sciences from the UQTR (2020) and a master’s degree in primary health care from the University of Ottawa (2003). She is a bachelor of science in nursing from Université Laval (1985). She became a midwife (1989) and worked as such in London, England. She is one of the pioneers of midwifery education and the profession in Quebec. 


Karline Wilson-Mitchell, DrNP, FACNM, RM

Karline Wilson-Mitchell is the current director of the TMU, Midwifery department. She is passionate about reproductive justice that informs midwifery education, practice and global partnerships. She has been a registered nurse since 1984, and a midwife since 1992. She has worked as a midwife in urban and rural settings in the U.S. and Canada and as a consultant for leadership and curriculum development in education in Jamaica, Tanzania, Zambia, Burundi, and South Sudan. Her new course, Black Birthing & Health Equity, launches in January 2024.   It examines African diasporic traditions around family, perinatal care, and challenges learners to develop creative ways of conceiving and recreating healthy birth environments for their family members.  Her scholarship problematizes the health disparities experienced by Black Canadians. 


Naomi Wolfe, RM Aboriginal Midwife, Shakagamik-Kwe Health Centre

Naomi has been a practicing midwife since 2010, working within the traditional unseeded territory of the Atikameksheng Anishnaabeg peoples, in the community commonly known today as Sudbury. Currently she works at Shkagamik-kwe, an Aboriginal Health Access Centre in Sudbury and is a Masters of Midwifery candidate. 
Prior to starting the Indigenous midwifery program at Shkagamik-kwe in April 2017, a unique practice model that works closely with an Indigenous OB/GYN, Dr. Jennifer Jocko, and a wonderful clinical team at the health centre including nurse practitioners, social workers, traditional healers and counsellors and more, she worked with both the Midwives of Sudbury and Sudbury Community Midwives groups.
Naomi began her journey at Tsi Non:we Ionnakeratstha Ona:grahsta’ maternal and child family centre. This is where she became a midwife and what shaped her view of childbirth as the care of women and families in ceremony. Following her time at Six Nations, Naomi trained at the Newman Breastfeeding clinic, and ultimately later obtained her IBCLC certification as a lactation consultant. Supporting Indigenous families to be successful at breastfeeding remains a huge passion of hers, stemming from her own experiences as a young mom struggling to find support to nurse/feed her own babies.  

In June of 2010, Naomi was the first Indigenous trained to Midwife to complete the International Midwifery Preregistration Program (IMPP) and in September 2010 she registered with the College of Midwives of Ontario. She worked as a Registered Midwife at Midwives of Sudbury for just over 5 years then later joined Sudbury Community Midwifes, in July 2017.

Her family is strongly rooted in Sudbury, with lots of extended family across Sudbury, Espanola and throughout Manitoulin Island. Her work at Shkagamik-kwe is progressive and always evolving, seeing huge success in increasing access to comprehensive and collaborative maternal-child health services for Indigenous families in the region. Naomi maintains a passionate belief in approaches to care where everyone has an equal opportunity to receive high quality, culturally safe care, and to show the true value in including traditional practices and ceremony for our community. 


Johanna Geraci, RM, BHsM, MSc, Midwifery Implementation Coordinator, Newfoundland and Labrador

Johanna Geraci is a graduate of the McMaster Midwifery Education Program.  She completed a master’s degree in Health Research Methodology and has conducted research on the delivery of prenatal care in Nunavut and a review of competency based assessments for midwives.  Johanna has provided midwifery care and clinical mentorship in Canada and overseas. She is on a leave from the College of Midwives of Ontario where she was the Director of Policy and Professional Practice.  She is currently working with Newfoundland Health Services to implement midwifery services in Happy Valley Goose Bay.


Kellie Thiessen, RM, PhD, Director Midwifery, Associate Professor, Clinical Scientist, Midwifery, Dept Family Medicine, University of British Columbia

Dr. Kellie Thiessen is a midwife Clinician Scientist who has an extensive clinical background in maternal/child health. She is a registered midwife and a registered nurse, for the last ten years she’s been an Associate Professor at the College of Nursing, University of Manitoba, but recently has taken on a new position as the Director of Midwifery at the University of British Columbia. She is also a Research Scientist at the Children’s Hospital Research Institute of Manitoba (CHRIM), BC Children’s Hospital Research Institute, and the Women’s Health Research Institute at BC Women’s Hospital.   She has worked as a midwife in the United States, Brazilian, and Canadian health care systems and is committed to developing innovative collaborative models of midwifery practice that will increase choices for persons and their families, as well as provide comprehensive maternity care.  Her more recent work involves clinical practice and patient-engaged research with pregnant persons who use substances and have complex care needs.  


Karen M. Lawford RM AM PhD RSC

Dr. Karen Lawford is an Anishinaabeg midwife (enrolled member of the Lac Seul First Nation), a registered midwife (Ontario), and is the first Indigenous midwife in Canada to obtain a doctoral degree and hold a university appointment. She is a founding member of the National Council of Indigenous Midwives and of the Global Council of Indigenous Midwives. Her health systems research champions comprehensive, gender-inclusive sexual and reproductive health and care, which is underpinned by Indigenous theories, methodologies, and methods. Dr. Lawford is committed to advancing the Calls to Action (TRC), Calls to Justice (MMIWG), and the Recommendations in RCAP by influencing policy, program, and systems change at all levels of government. Dr. Lawford is an Associate Professor in the Midwifery Education Program in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at McMaster University.