Tonya Daniel holds a BA in Sociology with concentration in the health of women and children. She is a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, Fellow of the American College of Childbirth Educators, and preparing to become a DONA Birth Doula Trainer. Accompanying families through their birth journeys since 2000, she provides labor support and lactation services to women in her community. Tonya enjoys laughing with her husband and at her four energetic kids!
Sujata Gami has over 16 years of childbirth education teaching experience in India, Canada, and the U.S. She trained as a Lamaze Educator through Douglas College in Vancouver, B.C. and was inducted as a Fellow of the America College of Childbirth Educators (FACCE) in 2013.Currently, she is Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator with St. Francis Women’s Hospital in Greenville, SC. She is a DONA certified birth doula, CD(DONA) and is South Carolina state representative for DONA International. She has two children and enjoys making pottery and travelling in her free time.
Frieda Norris, BSN, MPH, LCCE, FACCE has been teaching Lamaze childbirth classes since first certified in 1981. Frieda joined the North Carolina Lamaze Childbirth Educator Training program in 2007. She has served in various maternity, clinical and educational roles, including labor and delivery, mother baby, newborn nursery, and high risk obstetrics. Frieda currently works at the Birthplace of Caromont Regional Medical Center as their Perinatal Practice Specialist. She is passionate about Labor Support and enjoys bringing evidence based healthy birth practices into bedside care from nurses and support team members.
Debbie Petersburg, BS, LCCE, FACCE, has been teaching hospital-based Childbirth Education Classes since 1996. Debbie joined the North Carolina Lamaze Childbirth Educator Training Program in 2009 and enjoys facilitating training seminars, speaking at conferences, reviewing curriculums, and generally helping educators discover their unique talents and teaching styles that will ultimately help expectant families reach a safe, healthy, and satisfying birth experience! Debbie currently lives in Cary, NC with her husband, daughter, son, and two very fat cats.
Tara Owens Shuler, M.Ed., LCCE, FACCE has practiced as a childbirth educator since 1995. In 2005, she became the Director of the Duke AHEC Lamaze Childbirth Educator Program. She is a past President of the Lamaze International Board of Directors. Tara is a certified birth doula through DONA. Along with coordinating the Lamaze program in the Duke AHEC Program office, Tara works with her statewide AHEC partners in developing continuing education programs and/or resources for health care providers in NC and directs the Duke AHEC PATHWAYS Health Careers program for middle and high school students. When not working, Tara and her husband enjoy playing with their dog, Gramps, and traveling!
Blake Slusser holds a BA and MA in Political Science and has been a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator since 2012. She entered the childbirth education arena as manager for Bon Secours Richmond’s prenatal education program in 2010 shortly after the birth of her first son. She now is the Director of Women’s Education for Bon Secours Virginia Health System overseeing and designing prenatal education for six hospitals in two regions of Virginia. She has a passion for engaging millennial learners and her family; which includes two small, energetic, and lovely boys.
Valerie Coleman, RN, MSN, IBCLC, FACCE is the Program Director for Family Life Education and Lactation Services at VCU Health. She has over 40 years of nursing experience. She recently led a team at VCU Health to achieve Baby Friendly USA designation. Valerie is very involved in Breastfeeding advocacy and promotion work in Virginia. Valerie is a North Carolina native!
Sarah Paksima has 16 years working as a DONA doula, 8 years teaching childbirth classes in Oman, Kuwait, and DC/MD area, and 5 years teaching prenatal yoga classes. While living in Kuwait, she worked for 3 years program planning and training for hospitals and private participants with BirthKuwait. She is also certified as a Hypnobirth instructor and a prenatal yoga instructor. She is currently attending Johns Hopkins University where she will graduate with an MPH and an MBA in 2017.