Board of Directors
PATTCh is fortunate to have a board comprised of some of the most prominent leaders in childbirth and maternal health.
President of the Board
Mora Oommen is a maternal health advocate and a nonprofit consultant. She served as the Executive Director of Blossom Birth Services in Palo Alto, CA from 2008-2017. Blossom is a nonprofit organization founded in 1999 with a mission to provide women and their families with a healthy, informed and confident pregnancy and parenting journey. At Blossom, Mora was responsible for leading a team of part-time staff, instructors and volunteers, overseeing the organization’s financial growth, led the expansion of programs and services and created an atmosphere of warmth and compassion for women during pregnancy, birth and early parenting.
In recent years Mora has participated in a number of trainings including: a birth doula workshop through DONA, advanced doula workshop in Loss and Trauma with Kyndal May, a childbirth education workshop through CAPPA, and a breastfeeding counselor training through Nursing Mother’s Counsel. She has since provided doula support, taught child birth classes and offered breastfeeding support to new moms.
Mora was raised in India and the United States. The birth of her daughter in August 2007 was a transforming experience, giving new meaning to the term miracle of life- every single day.
Muna Bashir, BS, MA-MCHS, CD(DONA), CCE(CAPPA)
Muna Bashir has over 18 years of experience providing professional support and coaching to childbearing families and birth professionals in diverse maternal-child health settings across Canada, the United States, and overseas. Her niche is serving immigrant populations from South Asia, the Middle East, and Africa, as well as those interested in developing knowledge translation and quality improvement tools to identify best maternity care practice guidelines, especially across marginalized communities. For her master’s project in Maternal-Child Health Systems at Bastyr University, Muna developed an intrapartum checklist for clinicians who provide care for families facing an unexpected (repeat) cesarean birth. Muna’s broader interests encompass improving patient-provider interactions, promoting shared decision-making, and optimizing patient care experience (e.g., respectful, person-centered care, birth satisfaction, and mental health and well-being). Muna lives with her husband and three children in Santa Clara, California.
Phyllis Klaus, LMFT, LMSW
Founding Member & Board Member
Phyllis Klaus is a licensed Marriage Family Therapist and Clinical social worker. Formerly on the faculty of the Department of Family Practice, Michigan State University, and the Milton H. Erickson Institute in Santa Rosa, California, she currently practices in Palo Alto, California, providing psychotherapy, hypnotherapy and counseling to individuals, couples, families and groups. She has been working with the concerns of families in the perinatal period for over 40 years, and has been involved in research and training of perinatal care providers since 1980, working especially with the symptoms of pregnancy, traumatic birth, effects of childhood sexual abuse on child-bearing and postpartum mood disorders.
She has extensive experience in treating trauma-related disorders such as PTSD dissociative disorders, and survivors of abuse. She also incorporates hypnosis, EMDR, EFT, Ego-State Therapy along with other psychotherapies in the treatment of somatic and medical disorders, family of origin and attachment disorders and complicated grief. She consults and presents workshops nationally and internationally, and is a certified therapist, consultant and trainer of EMDR. She is a Founder of DONA International and PATTCh (Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth). She is co‑author of several articles as well as The Doula Book; Bonding; Your Amazing Newborn; a video, The Amazing Talents of the Newborn; and When Survivors Give Birth: Understanding and Healing the Effects of Early Sexual Abuse on Childbearing Women.
Selena Shelley, MA, LMHC, CD(DONA), LCCE
Secretary of the Board
Selena Shelley has been working with pregnant, birthing, and postpartum trauma survivors for over twenty years – first as a social worker with teen parents, then as a birth doula and childbirth educator, and now as a psychotherapist and When Survivors Give Birth Certified Trainer. She has a Bachelor’s Degree in Sociology and Women’s Studies from Brandeis University, and a Master’s Degree in Applied Behavioral Science from Bastyr University. Selena previously served as a board member for Open Arms Perinatal Services, and as the Program Committee Chair helped develop and grow their Birth Doula Services program serving low-income families throughout King County, WA. She currently devotes her volunteer efforts to her children’s school, a reproductive health organization in Guatemala, and of course PATTCh. Selena strongly believes that a person’s pregnancy, birth, and early parenting experiences can have a significant and long-term impact on the entire family, and she is thrilled to be a part of the PATTCh board, devoting more of her time to the prevention and treatment of trauma in childbirth.
Katie Rohs, CD(DONA), LCCE
Treasurer of the Board
Katie Rohs is a Birth Doula and childbirth educator from Seattle, WA specializing in birth after a loss, multiples and children with disabilities. Katie has been trained in disability advocacy and has founded several parent support groups for parents of children with disabilities. Having suffered a late-pregnancy loss of twins and being the mother of a child with multiple disabilities, Katie uses these experiences to help empower others to advocate for themselves and their children during their birth and in years beyond. An unexpected entrepreneur, Katie runs the popular YourDoulaBag.com website, and also works as Penny Simkin’s assistant. Katie is the proud mother of her teenager twins Hank & Lily, and wife of forty-something singleton Todd. Katie studied Sociology at the University of Washington, bleeds purple and gold and despite being a rabid UW Husky fan, she does not discriminate against Cougars.
Leslie Butterfield, PhD
Founding Member & Board Member
Dr. Leslie Butterfield is a clinical psychologist specializing in perinatal and reproductive health concerns. For twenty five years she has maintained a clinical and consulting practice (Transition to Parenthood) providing psychotherapy and designing workshops and trainings for organizations that provide perinatal services. She has worked with organizations such as University of Washington Maternal and Infant Care Unit, La Leche League, Catholic Family Services, Attachment Parenting International, and Pacific Association for Labor Support. Since 2010 she has been the Chairwoman of Postpartum Support International for Washington State and has recently assumed the Vice President position for PATTCh (an organization devoted to the Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth). She has additionally been an instructor for the Seattle Midwifery School and the Department of Midwifery at Bastyr Naturopathic University for over a decade, developing and teaching a yearlong class in counseling skills for midwives.
Dominique Vincent is a perinatal specialist and equity/diversity advocate with an extensive background in supporting and connecting pregnant and new families with the resources, services and support they need for healthy and satisfying pregnancy and early parenting journey. Through her work as the former Executive Director of Blossom Birth & Family, Dominique oversaw a team of more than 10 staff and 35 independent contractors providing the best in Pre/postnatal yoga and fitness classes, childbirth education, support groups, community events and perinatal professional development. Dominique is a DONA trained doula and Commonsense Childbirth trained doula, childbirth and lactation educator.
Annie Kennedy, MA
Founding Member & Board Member
Annie Kennedy is a maternity care advocate based I Seattle, Washington. Annie has worked in education and the birth professions since 1989. She is founding President of PALS Doulas, a Founder of DONA International and former Director of the Simkin Center for Allied Birth Vocations at Bastyr University. She holds a Masters in Maternal-Child Health Systems. Annie serves on several other non-profit boards and coalitions including Global Perinatal Services and Doulas for All Washington State. She is passionate about humane childbirth, respectful maternity care and health and race equity.
Jess Helle-Morrissey, MA, MSW, LICSW, PMH-C, CLD(CBI), CLEC
Jess Helle-Morrissey is a clinical social worker in private practice, a trainer, teacher, and consultant, a birth doula, a childbirth educator, and a lactation counselor. Since 2005, Jess has provided warm, traumainformed, practical mental health care for a variety of clients in the Twin Cities metro area, having focused almost exclusively on perinatal and maternal mental health since 2011. Jess has master’s degrees in counseling psychology, clinical social work, and holistic health. She is passionate about making sure everyone has accurate information and access to support in the perinatal period and beyond and will talk your ear off about it if given the chance.
In her spare time, Jess enjoys running, sewing, cooking, listening to true crime podcasts, and spending time with family and friends. She lives in St. Paul, MN with a supportive spouse, identical twin boys, a daughter, a dog, and a crested gecko.
Cheryl Chan is a DONA international certified birth doula and the only certified Spinning Babies Parent Educator in the Philippines. She is a passionate advocate of women’s health through gentle birthing techniques, pregnancy, and postpartum support , especially for survivors of childhood sexual abuse. Cheryl is one of the six doulas in the first registered doula collective in the Philippines.
Sabrine Chengane, PharmD, MPH
Sabrine Chengane has a strong record of leadership and taking initiative to identify and create opportunity for improvement in a variety of settings. She is passionate about maternal and child health with particular interest in global women’s environmental, and mental health.
Sabrine has participated in research projects on contraception, environmental and occupation health, and mental health. She served in different active roles with student organizations, including the International Pharmaceutical Students Federation, in which she served as Chairperson of Public Health in 2016-2017.
Sabrine has a master of Public Health degree with a concentration in Maternal and Child Health from the University of Nebraska Medical Center (USA) and a Doctor of Pharmacy from the University of Algiers (Algeria). In May 2021, she was inducted as an alumni member into the Gamma Omicron Chapter of the Delta Omega Honorary Society in Public Health.
Sabrine is a Fulbright Foreign Student Program alumna.
Venus Mahmoodi, PhD
Dr. Venus Mahmoodi is Licensed Clinical Psychologist, Supervisor, and Managing Director of the Khalil Center-NYC. She treats individuals to alleviate distress from anxiety, depression, trauma and post-traumatic stress, and emotional dysregulation. In her clinical practice, Dr. Mahmoodi utilizes a range of interventions to manage symptoms depending on the need of the patient, from insight-oriented techniques to effective coping strategies. She has specialized training in reproductive mental health, including perinatal loss and infertility, and childhood trauma. At Teachers College, Columbia University, Dr. Mahmoodi is a researcher with the Global Mental Health Lab, where her projects focus on treatment of perinatal depression, and she teaches the graduate-level Perinatal Mental Health course. Dr. Mahmoodi completed her PhD in Clinical Psychology at Palo Alto University, with an emphasis in women’s neuroscience and reproductive health through a collaboration with Stanford University. She completed an APA-accredited pre-doctoral internship at Mount Sinai Beth Israel in NYC, where she focused on trauma treatment in children and adults, psychiatric inpatient care, and research on child trauma.
Penny Simkin, PT
Founding Member & Board Member Emeritus
Former Board Members
With Deep Gratitude
Kathy McGrath, MSW, LCCE, FACCE, CD, BDT(DONA)
Sharon Storton, MA, MS
Walker Karraa, PhD
Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, Ph.D., IBCLC, FAPA
With Deep Gratitude
Cheryl Tatano Beck, DNSc, CNM, FAAN
Julia Seng, PhD, CNM, FAAN
Mickey Sperlich, PhD, MSW, MA, CPM