Expanding the Access to Community Doulas

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Mar 21 - Doula FAST (2)

Date: April 5th | Time: 1:00 PM EST | ZOOM Webinar

Join HealthConnect One for an informative Community Doula Week webinar on Expanding the Access to Community Doulas! ⁠ with panelists from SisterWebAccompany Doula CareBirth Matters, Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association, and HealthConnectOne! In this webinar, we will explore the challenges of providing comprehensive healthcare services in rural areas and discuss the importance of integrating Early Relational Health, and doula care into healthcare practices.

Please click below to watch a recording of the Expanding the Access to Community Doulas webinar:


Crystal Tennille Irby | Dem Black Mamas Podcast

Crystal Tennille Irby is a spoken word poetry grand slam champion, published writer, director and identifies as a #BlackMamaCreative, an artist creating work across multiple artistic disciplines centering Black mothering, absent of the white gaze. She is a doula and the current co-host and executive producer of Dem Black Mamas Podcast, a podcast that delves into the unique experience of 3 Black Mama Creatives raising free children while catching their creative dreams. Crystal is a TEDxGreenville presenter, a Watering Hole Poetry Fellow and the founder and Director of Writers Well Youth Fellowship, a program for Black girls ages 14-19 focused on writing and performance. Her recent credits include, Untitled Reconstruction Project, which she directed and co-produced and Untamed Womb: Reclaiming Wonder Through Healing, Liberation & Creativity, a Project Row Houses installation which she co-curated. She was also a contributing writer for For Harriet. In addition to her creative endeavors, Crystal has presented at numerous conferences including Black Maternal Health Conference & Training Institute; Let’s Talk About Sex, & HIV Prevention & Education Summit. Crystal has over 15 years of experience working to dismantle systemic and institutional racism. She works as a community doula helping Black birth persons stay connected to their body and as a facilitator for Speaking Down Barriers pushing communities forward by helping Black people heal from race and gender trauma. She also served on the board of Hub City Writers Project, a place based non-profit press committed to publishing southern writers.

Crystal is the mother of 4 children and shares her life with an Omega man.


Christina Gebel | Accompany Doula Care

Christina Gebel, MPH, has been a doula for 12 years and received her Master in Public Health from Boston University. She is a co-founder and Interim Executive Director of the nonprofit Accompany Doula Care, based in Massachusetts. Christina lives in Durham with her husband and their cat.

Amber Pendergraph-Leak |  BirthMatters

Amber Pendergraph-Leak is the Executive Director at BirthMatters in Spartanburg and has been a doula for over eleven years. She is a Spartanburg native and has accomplished many levels of expertise in her field – she is a certified birth doula with DONA International, a Certified Lactation Counselor, a Medical Assistant, a certified Community Health Worker and an ambassador of the SC CHW. Amber is a great representation of the CHW model and she continues to elevate in her role.
In 2010 Amber completed the community-based doula training with BirthMatters. She openly shares how this training changed her life. Upon graduating from this training, she accepted a position as one of the first BirthMatters community doulas. It didn’t take long for her to figure out that this was her passion and purpose. Amber has attended over 200 births and is a leader within her community. She started off as a community-based doula, later became Lead doula and now she is the Executive Director. Amber mission is to uplift her community one birth at a time through advocacy, empowerment and education. She is striving for birth justice and equity to optimize maternal health.

Kiddada Green | Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association

Kiddada Green is the Founding Executive Director of Black Mothers’ Breastfeeding Association (BMBFA). She began BMBFA in 2007 as a breastfeeding mother who recognized the need for mothers to be supported in her own community. Kiddada oversees the vision, administration, operations, and program development of the organization. Her impact as a thought leader,freedom fighter, and innovator for racial justice and maternal child health has echoed throughout the nation as a call to save Black mothers and babies. Her background as an instructional specialist and literacy coach in the Detroit Public Schools has carried over into her advocacy work as she leads the charge to educate and empower Black families and optimize the first food experience.

Shonvá Millien | HealthConnect One

Shonvá Millien (she/her) Shonvá Millien (she/her) is a Licensed Practical Nurse , certified full spectrum doula, HIV Counselor, and Project Management Professional. She has over 10 years of experience in nursing as well as extensive case management and community outreach experience. She has worked to build various community programs with a focus on reproductive justice and maternal child health. Shonvá brings a wealth of knowledge from the various fields she has worked in which include nonprofit leadership, government, and managed care. She currently serves as the Director of Project Management for HealthConnect One and is the primary liaison for managed care organizations seeking to build sustainable doula reimbursement models throughout the United States.

In her free time she enjoys reading, hiking, cooking and playing with her German Shepard.

Bria Donaldson | SisterWeb

Bria Donaldson was born and raised in San Francisco and is the youngest child of 3. Since a young age, Bria always felt called to become a health care physician. It wasn’t until her college years that she became more invested in pursuing a career in Women’s Health. It was at Sonoma State where she vowed to devote her life work to making sure women of color and other disadvantaged groups receive access to proper health care. She decided to turn her anger into action and got certified as a labor and postpartum doula in May 2017. She now works at The University of California, San Francisco as a Clinical Research Coordinator for the OBGYN Department, more specifically in the Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility sector.

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