Our Staff Bios
Misty Ward - Certified Professional Midwife29-Jun-2011
Misty Ward, Certified Professional MidwifeI began my path to midwifery at the age of 16 after attending the birth of my nephew. When I was supposed to be doing my algebra homework I was reading pregnancy related books! For Christmas 2000 my dear friend Melaine Copeland gave me a copy of Spiritual Midwifery by Ina May Gaskin. I was immediately hooked and knew that midwifery outside of the hospital was where I belonged.
Soon after, I began my midwifery studies while also completing my bachelors degree at Eastern Mennonite University, getting married, and giving birth to my own two children! Those were busy years and so very precious.
My midwifery training has been a reflection of my commitment to caring service: I have worked with 9 different Virginia midwives, volunteered with Medical Ministry International (Dominican Republic), African Birth Collective (Senegal), interned at Casa de Nacimiento (El Paso, TX), and birth assisted at Heartland Health Clinic (Dayton, VA). I have attended over 250 births and hundreds of prenatal and postpartum visits.
I am Brookhaven's office manager as well as the birth assistant to our midwife, Misty. I stay current in CPR and NNR along with attending specialized workshops as often as possible to ensure safety and to better serve our clients.
I am a Harrisonburg native and currently live in Rockingham County with my wonderful husband and two super busy boys. I decided to become a part of Brookhaven Womens Health & Natural Birth Center stemming from from my own birth experiences and desire for a more natural pregnancy and delivery. I knew from the moment I discovered I was pregnant with both of my children that I would hire a midwife and wanted no drugs or intervention during delivery. There were no birth centers in this area at that time and I hadn't heard of home birth being an option; so off to the hospital I went. Both of my pregnancies and deliveries were very different. After laboring for 8 hours with my first son the midwife declared herself exhausted and called in an OB to perform a vacuum extraction. With my second son I was in the hospital just a little over an hour when I had the overwhelming urge to push, only to be told by my midwife that "I hadn't been there long enough, there was no way I was ready to push".
Needless to say I delivered an almost 10 lb boy shortly afterwards. Of course I had what would be considered natural by today's standards, I still felt somehow robbed of birthing the way I wanted to, in the position I wanted. Who knew you could have a baby without laying flat on your back, or in water, or at your own pace?! Those options, along with many others, are the reasons I feel blessed to have the honor of helping families achieve the birth experiences that they desire.
Alice Wheeler, Office Assistant
I grew up in Palestine/Israel, and Cairo, Egypt and came to Harrisonburg to study at Eastern Mennonite University in 2008.
I currently work as Brookhaven's office assistant. I have only worked here for a few months, but I am already learning so much, and feel very welcomed and useful to the center. I have also taken on responsibilities as the liaison for the Harrsionburg chapter of Birth Matters, VA.
I have become more interested in birth over the past several years and am very excited to be a part of women's care during pregnancy by working at Brookhaven, and jumping into Birth Matters projects.
Meredith Routt, Birth Assistant
I first became interested in midwifery through my studies of Appalachian herbal medicine, where the histories of healing plants and granny midwives are beautifully intertwined. Simultaneously, I was earning my degree in nursing at James Madison University and am now a Registered Nurse with a minor in medical Spanish. Life has shown me that my passion is to encourage others to seek their best health so that they may create the world they wish to see around them. And birth is where this journey begins.