Diversifying Doulas is an initiative by Patients R Waiting “which addresses the maternal mortality crisis by providing Lancaster Black and Latinx expectant moms with doula support.” To learn more about Diversifying Doulas and how you can get involved, be sure to attend the virtual MU International Women’s Day on March 8, 2021.
Below are the profiles of the amazing women working towards this initiative.
I recognize birth as a key life experience that the birthing person will remember forever. I understand the physiology of birth and the emotional needs the birthing person and partner will need in labor, I assist them in preparing for and carrying out their plans for their birth.
I received my Doula certification through DONA International, Childbirth Educator certification through Lamaze. I’m a NBDA (National Black Doula Association) Certified Doula Instructor.
As an ACE Fitness Instructor I have received a certificate in Pre and Post Natal Fitness. I hold an Instructor certification through Evidence Based Birth and Certified Educator of Infant Massage through IAIM. I have an Associates degree in Early Childhood Education.
Wendy Trees Shiffer, MS, FACCE, LCCE
Wendy is the Program Director and Instructor for the Lamaze-Accredited Family Trees Birth Programs. Her exciting and dynamic teaching style make Family Trees classes and seminars fun and energetic.
Wendy holds a Masters degree in health science with a concentration in midwifery and women’s healthcare. In 2015, she was inducted into the prestigious Fellowship of the Academy of Certified Childbirth Educators and earned Lamaze Accreditation for the Family Trees Lamaze Educator program.
After a 15 year career in early childhood and art education, Wendy answered the call to work with childbearing families. She became a certified doula through DONA International and worked as a birth assistant in the local Amish and Mennonite communities. She has supported hundreds of mothers as they’ve welcomed their new babies into this world.
As a Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and Program Director for Lamaze, Wendy provides empowering education to parents and professionals. She consistently receives glowing reviews from her students and coworkers. Wendy has taught at major hospital systems throughout the United States and has trained childbirth educators from around the world.
Professionally, Wendy is involved with published research at Towson University School of Nursing and has guest lectured at several universities including Penn State University and Notre Dame University in Maryland. Wendy was the featured speaker at the regional AWHONN meeting and presented at the Lamaze International conference in Fort Worth, TX and Pittsburg, PA. Her research was recently published in the Journal of Perinatal Education. She proudly represented her state lobbying for better maternity care on Capitol Hill in 2017, holding appointments with five members of congress. Wendy is passionate about addressing the healthcare disparities that exist within the United States maternity care system. She thoroughly enjoys sharing her love for labor support and education with other birth professionals.
Above all else, she is most proud of her four children.
Dr. Livingston was born and raised in the inner city of Harrisburg, PA. She always knew she wanted to become a physician. She expressed particular interest in Women’s Health at an early age. She started working as a candy striper at Community General Osteopathic Hospital at age 9.
Dr. Livingston received a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from St. Joseph’s University in Philadelphia, PA. She received her medical degree from the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Dr. Livingston completed a rigorous Obstetrics and Gynecology residency at Penn State Hershey Medical Center in Hershey, PA.
In 2006, she began practicing as an Ob/Gyn at UPMC Lititz. She is currently serving as the Ob/Gyn Department Chair. She is a member of the UPMC Lititz Board of Trustees. She is the highest volume female robotic surgeon in the county of Lancaster. Dr. Livingston is an active board member of “Patients R Waiting”, a non-profit organization that is very dear to her. The mission of Patients R Waiting is to eliminate health disparities by increasing diversity in medicine. Patients R Waiting aims to 1) increase the pipeline of minority clinicians; 2) make the pipeline of minority clinicians less leaky; and 3) support minority clinicians in practice.
She is most honored to be one of the founders and president of MOKA moms (Moms of Kids Advancing – mothers of color in medicine).
Dr. Livingston gains all of her pride and joy as the wife of Ivan Anderson, her childhood friend and neighbor. Together, they are blessed to enjoy two daughters, Addison and Ainsley and eight year old twin boys Ivan and Troy.
Cherise Hamblin, MD
Dr. Cherise Hamblin was born and raised in the Bronx, NY. She attended Bronx High School of Science and attended Franklin & Marshall College. During her F&M years she was active on campus, serving as Black Student Union Vice President, Admission office intern for Minority Recruitment, playing rugby and studying abroad in Guadalajara, Mexico. Dr. Hamblin graduated from F&M in 2003 with a double major in Biology & Spanish. She went on to medical school Northwestern University and completed her training in Obstetrics & Gynecology in Phoenix, AZ. Dr. Hamblin is passionate about working with the next generation of physicians and since her return to Lancaster she has worked with advisors, students and community organizers on various mentoring and exposure programs. She is a full time, board certified OBGYN. She enjoys doing surgery, delivering babies and caring for women of all ages. She is also the founder of Patients R Waiting, a nonprofit dedicated to eliminating health disparities by increasing diversity in medicine. When she is not working, she enjoys family life with her husband and 2 children.
PRW mission statement:
Our mission is to eliminate health disparities by increasing diversity in medicine. We have 3 areas of focus: increasing the pipeline of minority clinicians, making the pipeline less leaky (by supporting students on their educational journey) and supporting minority clinicians in practice (so they are better able to reach back and help this coming behind).