After witnessing her very first birth at a young age, Cammie knew at that moment that she wanted to be a midwife. She was, and continues to be, very committed to the values of midwifery and the significance of helping women through their childbirth experience. Cammie was born and raised in Ontario, and graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University in Sudbury, in April 2007. Since then, she has been practicing midwifery in Northern Ontario. Cammie had always wanted to move to B.C, and is very excited to be living in Kelowna and working with Malachite Midwives. After spending some time working in a missionary birthing centre in the Philippines, Cammie has become very interested in issues surrounding maternity care in the developing world. She is deeply committed to the goal of increasing awareness and access to midwifery not only globally, but within our own community as well. Cammie believes it is truly an honour to witness the journey of pregnancy, labour and birth, and to also be able to see babies and families grow each day. As a midwife, she feels privileged to be a part of these experiences and looks forward to many, many more. Happy birthing!
Kate Elliott, Registered Midwife
I am tremendously happy to be working with the families and new parents to-be of Kelowna BC, and to be working as part of the Malachite Midwives team.
My inspiration to become a midwife grew from witnessing my little sister’s arrival into our family, when I was 5 yrs. old. It sparked my interest in physiology, and my awe of how strong and powerful women truly are. I wanted to empower women. I graduated from the University of the West of England in 2007, with a Bachelor of Science in Midwifery with honors.
Since then I have had the privilege of working as a midwife globally, in parts of the UK, Tanzania, New Zealand, rural and remote outback Australia and here in BC Canada, and what a journey it has been! When I first moved to beautiful BC, I started working for UBC as a research assistant, collecting data for the contraception access research team and the BC Women’s hospital, Vancouver. I got the opportunity to travel and work all over the province and I fell in love with the place. I have recently graduated from the internationally educated midwifery-bridging program at UBC, and spent time, as part of this, providing midwifery care in Nelson, BC.
When I am not catching babies you will probably find me exploring the area, hiking, skiing, and maybe even scuba diving in those Okanagan lakes? looking for the Ogopogo! I’m looking forward to meeting you and supporting you through your incredible journey!
Taylor Alexander, Registered Midwife
Ashley Courtney, Registered Midwife
I grew up in France and Africa and moved to Toronto with my family for most of my elementary years. My path to becoming a midwife has been full of adventure. I started with a BA in International Development and a MSc in Sustainable Development, while raft guiding down the Chilliwack river in the summers.
During my studies I chose courses based around gender and development, sexual ethics and health and democracy. I focused many of my research papers on midwifery and this further opened my eyes to the key role that midwives play in a community’s social sustainability.
Studying Midwifery at UBC has offered me many diverse learning experiences and offered inter-professional placements with obstetricians, nurse practitioners, labour and delivery nurses and with Dr. Jack Newman’s International Breastfeeding Centre. I was also fortunate to join UBC’s global placement, spending 6 weeks working with Midwives in Uganda, both on the labour and delivery floor and co-teaching emergency skills workshops in the community.
I am in awe of the families I work with every day and am grateful to be where I am. So far, I’ve had the honour of working with Midwives and families in New Westminister, Nelson and Kelowna.
When not busy in the birth world, you can find me hiking the mountains, playing in the river or gardening.
Jocelyne Anderes, Registered Midwife
I am passionate about respectful and compassionate health care, with a particular interest in empowerment in pregnancy and birth. This passion is realized daily through my work as a midwife, encouraging women to be active participants in their own care. My favourite part of midwifery is building relationships with my clients and learning about everyone’s unique journey to motherhood. I am constantly in awe of the ability of pregnancy and birth to be both universal and unique to each woman, and am grateful to be part of the experience with women and their families.
I obtained my midwifery degree from Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario following clinical placements in Scarborough, Toronto and Winnipeg. I am a prairie girl at heart, having grown up in Winnipeg and practiced midwifery there after graduating in 2011. It was wonderful to be part of the opening of Winnipeg’s beautiful Birth Centre. After the birth of my son in 2013, however, I knew it was time to realize my dream of moving west. I am thrilled to be living in Kelowna, where we’ve been exploring parks, beaches, hikes and restaurants. I welcome suggestions on things to check out!
Crystal Childs, Registered Midwife
At the wee age of 5, and depending on the day, I would be a doctor or a veterinarian when I grew up. My father is a farmer, so it seemed like a natural calling. I have early memories of watching baby lambs and calves being born. As a young woman, I began exploring many forms of holistic medicine on a quest to improve my own health. This included adventures and apprenticeships with herbalists, healers, yoga and spiritual teachers and energy workers. I became even more amazed at how our bodies heal and adapt. We are amazing, powerful creatures with profound potential that we often cannot fathom until we are amidst the most incredible challenges. These challenges are unique to each of us.
Eventually this journey led me to the world of birth in support of the amazing transformation women, families and communities make when a baby is born. I have been supporting women in pregnancy and birth for the better part of a decade. In 2003, I completed a holistic doula training program. I enrolled in the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University in Ontario in 2007 and, completed the last year of the program pregnant. I began practice as a midwife in the fall of 2012, at the Birth Centre in Winnipeg, Manitoba. In 2013, the Westerly Winds pulled me and my family of 3 to the beautiful Okanagan and to Malachite Midwives. My favourite part of being a midwife (apart from that first new baby cry in a mama’s arms) is helping women and families make informed and empowered decisions about their own health and pregnancy journey.
When not midwife-ing, I spend time with my loving and supportive husband and, our life-loving son Odin. We love to camp, hike, canoe, garden and go on wild-crafting herb walks. I also have a penchant for a good strong cuppa tea with milk and honey.
Vanessa Samur, Registered Midwife
I'm very excited for the opportunity to be starting out my work as a registered midwife at Malachite Midwives. As a recent graduate of the UBC Midwifery Program, I've had the privilege of attending the births of many women in Vancouver, Kelowna, Vernon, and Uganda over the past four years.
Discovering midwifery came as a bit of a surprise to me a few years back while on a bike tour through the rural communities of Oregon, Northern California, and later the Maritime provinces. My husband and I were traveling in search of farmland, but I was also in the midst of exploring ideas of professions that would compliment our dream of a rural life. During the trip, I encountered many young families having unattended home births because they could not access midwifery care. With many hours to contemplate the possibilities, I came to the decision on a highway in California that midwifery was it and I've never looked back.
When I'm not midwifing, there’s a pretty good chance I’m indoors cooking, outside hiking or working on the farm. My husband and I currently operate and live on a certified organic farm in beautiful Peachland, BC. We are excited about the possibility of owning our very own farm one day.
My route to midwifery began in my last year of a drama and music degree at Queen’s University. I had spent the previous year travelling through South America and became fascinated by the role women play in their communities – venerated as the matriarchs, very physically powerful and yet still subject to the inequalities many women face. When I returned to school I shifted my focus from music to women’s studies. It was while researching for a paper about the experiences of Indigenous women in Canada and the often-violent dismissal of their reproductive rights that I was struck with the notion to become a midwife. The wellbeing of a mother is the wellbeing of her community.
I entered the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University with a passion for choice, and in the four years of my study I have come to see the wonder and magic of the profession. The moment of meeting a new client and the months of building a trusting relationship are ultimately the most satisfying for me – and I can’t help but delight in the exquisite strength I see at the births I attend.
I am excited to begin my career alongside the midwives and families of Malachite Midwives and to explore the beautiful Okanagan Valley with my dog, Louie. Thank you for welcoming me into your community and your care.
Anne-Marie Cayer, Registered Midwife
One of my earliest memories is walking hand-in-hand with my mother, after a half-day at preschool when I was three years old. There was a pregnant woman walking and speaking with my mom, and they were both were encouraging me to look at her pregnant belly and touch it if I wanted. I started crying because it was overwhelming for me to imagine a woman growing a baby inside of her body, and my mother apologized to the woman for my weird behaviour. Today, I am still overwhelmed by the miracle of pregnancy and birth on a daily basis; some things never change.
After high school, my parents encouraged me to study something that I loved; so, I earned a Bachelors of Kinesiology from McMaster University, inspired by my interest in the human body as a dancer of many years. Amidst academia, I took my itchy feet on as many international expeditions as I could manifest. One such expedition took me to Costa Rica. There, I met a midwife, and was overcome as I witnessed the profoundness that empowered childbearing can have for women and families. I completed the Midwifery Program at the University of British Columbia, a four-year Bachelors degree. I learned from many wise women in BC, at a waterbirth centre in Alberta, and at two public hospitals in Uganda, East Africa. Since then, I co-founded Malachite Midwives here in Kelowna, and have worked for Doctors Without Borders internationally.
When not catching babies, I am dabbling in beginner piano playing, exploring Okanagan Lake in my inflatable kayak, and attempting to mature my Okanagan wine-tasting skills.
Kaley Kroschinsky, Registered Midwife
Melissa Perry, Office Goddess
Melissa grew up in the Okanagan and moved to Tennessee after high school to work on her arts degree. After 3 years of study she returned home and graduated at UBC-O with a bachelor of arts in Psychology. It was during the birth of her own son that she discovered her passion for birthing and babies and knew she wanted to support others through their own individual/unique experiences. After working at local law firms for a few years, Melissa felt it was time for a change. In her pursuit of a more holistic lifestyle, coupled with her interests in birthing & babies, she joined Malachite Midwives. Melissa now manages your appointments and maintains a smoothly functioning office.
Outside of Malachite, Melissa can be found spending time in nature and gardening with her son, teaching yoga and music, and supporting local families through her work as a Doula. Good books and copious amounts of tea cover the rest.