Minnesota ACNM Optimal Outcomes: Perinatal, Reproductive & Sexual Health

2019 Optimal Outcomes Conference

The Waterford Ballroom, Minneapolis Marriott West

Friday, November 15th, 2019

8am to 5pm (7am Registration & Check-In)

5pm to 7pm Birth Community Cocktail Hour

About The Conference

This is an interdisciplinary conference for all stakeholders in perinatal, reproductive and sexual healthcare with a focus on innovative, evidence-based practice to improve outcomes for individuals throughout the lifespan. The conference focuses on up to date information on perinatal, reproductive and sexual health.

Featuring speakers from multiple disciplines including: midwifery, nursing, obstetrics & gynecology, maternal fetal medicine, sexual health, social work, and doula care.

Keynote Speaker

Dr. Eugene Declercq, PhD

Challenges that Maternal Mortality presents to the U.S. Maternity Care System

Gene Declercq combines formal training in political science with almost twenty years of experience as a certified childbirth educator to examine policy and practice related to childbirth in the US and abroad. His recent work in examining maternal mortality and morbidity in the US has emphasized the importance of systems approaches to improving women’s health. This requires a focus on women’s health in the community as well as in clinical settings and not only during pregnancy, but throughout the lifecourse. He is part of the collaborative team that has completed three national studies and a 2018 statewide study of women’s experiences in childbirth entitled Listening to Mothers. He was a technical adviser to the film documentary, The Business of Being Born and a producer and presenter of “Birth by the Numbers,” a 20 minute video that examines outcomes associated with current US birth practices. With student collaborators, he developed and maintains the companion website, www.birthbythenumbers.org which provides up-to-date data on trends in childbirth practices and outcomes. He was principal investigator on two NIH funded collaborative projects examining child and maternal outcomes associated with Assisted Reproductive Technologies (MOSART project) and is one of the founders of the Pregnancy to Early Life Longitudinal (PELL) data system that has linked vital statistics, hospital, and administrative data on more than 1,100,000 births in Massachusetts since 1998. He has also been active in a variety of public health projects in his hometown of Lawrence, Massachusetts. As an educator, he is a past president of the Association of Teachers of Maternal and Child Health and has been a recipient of the Norman Scotch Award for outstanding teaching at BUSPH. He is also a recipient of the Martha May Eliot Award from the American Public Health Association for service to maternal and child health and the Greg Alexander award for research in maternal and child health epidemiology. He is currently the BUSPH Assistant Dean for DrPH Education.

Main Speakers

Dr. Corinne Brown-Robinson

Racial Disparities In Pregnancy: Is There A Problem?

As an Ob/Gyn, I’ve chosen to serve the women of the Greater Twin Cities area during their most intimate moments of life. I’m a passionate teacher, educating women about their medical conditions and working together to establish a plan of care. I enjoy comprehensive women’s health care and my special interests include teen pregnancy prevention, menopausal transition and minimally invasive surgical interventions.

When I’m not at work, I enjoy baking, music and spending time with my husband and twin sons.

I am a member of the American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and the American Association of Gynecologic Laparoscopists (AAGL).


PowerPoint: Race and Pregnancy PPT

Dr. Helen Kim

Postpartum Depression” to “two-generation trauma healing”: creating trauma-informed approaches to improving the emotional health and parenting capacity of mothers.

Dr. Helen Kim is the co-founder and director of the Hennepin Healthcare Mother-Baby Program and Redleaf Center for Family Healing and Assistant Professor of Psychiatry at the University of Minnesota. She is a perinatal psychiatrist who is committed to empowering women and providing outstanding mental health care for all, particularly those most impacted by trauma and discrimination.

Following psychiatry training at Massachusetts General Hospital, Dr. Kim has been a leader in advancing new models of integrative, two-generation (parent-child) healing that address root causes that undermine wellbeing, such as childhood trauma, toxic stress, poverty, and discrimination. Dr. Kim co-founded the Hennepin Women’s Mental Health Program, Minnesota’s first reproductive psychiatry program and then went onto co-found the Mother-Baby Program whose mission is to save and improve the lives of mothers and young children. Signature programs of the MB Program include the Mother-Baby Day Hospital, an intensive program for perinatal women that is the 4th of its kind in the U.S. and the first in Minnesota, and the HopeLine, a phone line that offers support and connection to resources for distressed pregnant and postpartum mothers, their family members and providers. In its first 6 years, the MB Program has served more than 3000 families, and secured seed funding to expand into the Redleaf Center for Family Healing. Grounded in social justice and a commitment to providing exceptional care, the new Redleaf Center will expand the psychotherapy services of the Mother-Baby Program, add additional programs to support fathers and families, offer integrative mind-body-spirit healing services, create a new teaching kitchen to promote the healing and community-building power of food, and launch an on-site childcare center that will serve all families accessing care at Hennepin Healthcare. The Redleaf Center will also include a resource hub to develop and share new models of family-centered, trauma-informed care. Through the Mother-Baby Program and the new Redleaf Center, Dr. Kim hopes to help children thrive by supporting the emotional wellbeing of parents and disrupting policies and practices that perpetuate Minnesota’s shameful maternal and child health disparities.

PowerPoint:Trauma Informed Care

Dr. Ginger Breedlove PhD, CNM, FACNM, FAAN

The Forgotten Period of Early Postpartum Parenting

Dr. Breedlove is past president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives. In the fall of 2017 Dr. Breedlove formed a consulting company, Grow Midwives, LLC. The aim is to build and facilitate relationships and assist Physicians, Hospitals, and Midwives around best practices so that a variety of care models, in a variety of settings, can be easily adopted. This includes facility design for birth center and alongside units, strategic planning, employment contract review, coaching and speaking engagements. Prior to consulting she was on faculty, combined 16 years at Shenandoah University and is the program founder of Midwifery Specialty Track at University of Kansas School of Nursing. She co-founded the first free-standing birthing center in Kansas in 1979 and established first Midwife service in Greater Kansas City in 1994. In the fall of 2016 she co-founded and serves as President of the March for Moms with Dr. Neel Shah. March for Moms aim is to convene national stakeholders together to speak with a common voice, urging policymakers and other American leaders to help ensure mothers get the support and care they deserve. To date nearly 50 organizations have joined this movement. In fall of 2018 Dr. Breedlove edited a book for first-time parents navigating the first six weeks of pregnancy titled, Nobody Told Me About That!


PowerPoint:Postpartum Pause: Identifying Gaps in Preparedness for Parenting

Breakout Sessions

Jess Helle-Morrissey, MA, MSW, LGSW

Self Care for Those Who Care For Others: New, Practical Techniques You Can Use Today

Jess Helle-Morrissey is a psychotherapist in private practice, a trainer, teacher,  and consultant, a birth doula, a childbirth educator, and a lactation counselor. Since 2005, Jess has provided warm, compassionate, 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 2012. Jess has master’s degrees in counseling psychology, clinical social work, and holistic health. She is proud to be in the first wave of mental health professionals ever to have the letters “PMH-C” behind her name, recognizing a new and important certification in perinatal mental 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, weaving, cooking, listening to true crime podcasts,  and spending time with family and friends. She lives in St. Paul with her supportive husband, her sweet identical twin 8-year-old boys, and her headstrong 3-and-a-half year-old daughter.


PowerPoint: Self-Care PPT

Hope Lein, CLC

Breastfeeding Outside the Box for the Immediate Postpartum Time

Hope Lien is certified as a Lactation Counselor through Healthy Children, and certified as a Breastfeeding Without Birthing Instructor. She works as postpartum doula, and has worked in the doula community in birth and a variety of roles over the last 10 years. She became passionate about Breastfeeding Outside the Box after her own journey to induce lactation for her adopted daughter. She was able to continue nursing exclusively for two years, despite never having birthed a baby or breastfeeding before that time, or producing a “full supply”. She deeply cherishes the connection she was able to forge with her through their nursing relationship.  She found in many areas of her work that parents she worked with were struggling with similar issues of low or no supply because of various factors. It was from these experiences that Hope felt inspired to share with others the incredible value of a nurturing nursing relationship, while still nourishing baby– whether or not there was a full supply (or any supply) of milk. Hope lives in the Minneapolis area with her husband, 6 year old daughter by adoption and 3 year old son by birth, loves to travel, and enjoys tasting and trying to learn to cook various ethnic foods.

PowerPoint: Lactation Ever After- Optimal Outcomes 2019 (1)

Dr. Gabrielle Mauren, PhD, LP

Perinatal Mood & Anxiety Disorders

Dr. Mauren is a licensed psychologist and the Clinical Manager for the adult psychotherapy practice at Park Nicollet Health Services in the Twin Cities, MN. She earned her Master’s and PhD in counseling psychology from the University of Minnesota. She completed her pre-doctoral internship and post-doctoral fellowship at the University of Pennsylvania. She has worked in higher education and community mental health with patients from multicultural backgrounds struggling with a variety of mental and physical health concerns. Dr. Mauren has a clinical specialty in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. She is the clinical lead for Park Nicollet’s Women’s Reproductive Mental Health Program which has been nationally recognized for its innovation in the screening and treatment of perinatal and reproductive mental health concerns.


PowerPoint: PMADs for Optimal Outcomes conference – Nov 2019

Audrey Kopp, RN, SNM

Labor Support, Peanut Balls and Changing the Labor Landscape

Audrey Kopp has been a labor & delivery nurse in the Birth Center at Hennepin Healthcare for the past 5 years. After working as an organic chemist following her BA she completed her second degree nursing program at Johns Hopkins University. She is set to graduate from the DNP Midwifery program at the University of Minnesota in May. During her time at Johns Hopkins she had the privilege of helping run an NIH supported free doula program for the local Baltimore community. Her doctoral project focused on intrapartum support techniques to aid maternal satisfaction and help reduce primary cesarean births. She plans to continue working in the Twin Cities birth community to support evidence-based care of women through a Midwifery model. In her free time she enjoys mountain/road bike racing, gardening and baking!


PowerPoint: Expanding Peanut Ball Technique, Knowledge and Helping Women Cope With Labor

Jen Demma APRN, CNM

Providing Gender-Affirmative Hormone Care for Transgender & Gender Non-Conforming Individuals

Jennifer has been a midwife since 2000 and is currently the Clinical Practice Director at Family Tree Clinic in St. Paul, MN with a focus on providing inclusive, sex positive, trauma-informed reproductive and sexual health care and education — including providing gender affirming hormone care for transgender and gender non-conforming individuals. At Family Tree Clinic, Jennifer also provides colposcopy services, endometrial biopsies and vulvar biopsies. As a midwife, she has worked in a variety of settings including hospital and community-based practices. Jennifer has also been a faculty member and former Clinical Faculty Director in the Nurse-Midwifery/WHNP program at Georgetown University and was a faculty member in the School of Nursing at Minnesota State University Mankato and Metropolitan State University.

PowerPoint: Providing Gender-Affirming Care for Transgender and Gender Non-Conforming Individuals 

Dr. Jennifer Almanza, DNP, APRN, CNM & J’Mag Karbeah

Strength Mapping of Culturally-Centered Community Birth

Dr. Jennifer Almanza has worked in perinatal health for over 20 years. Starting as a massage therapist and continuing on to become a doula, an obstetric nurse, a case manager, a health equity researcher and a midwife. Jennifer believes in amplifying the praxis of honoring client agency, autonomy and choice and providing evidence-based care. Jennifer’s research centers on the voice, experience and knowledge of providers and clients from diverse backgrounds. She believes in building the body of research done by, with and for Indigenous, Black, LatinX, mixed-race and other people of color. Her most recent endeavor is preparing for implementation of the AIM QI Bundle in Reducing Peripartum Racial and Ethnic health disparities. Jennifer practices with Women’s Health Specialists/University of Minnesota Physicians and is Adjunct Clinical Faculty at the University of Minnesota School of Medicine.

J’Mag is a PhD student in the School of Public Health  in the Division of Health Policy Management’s Health Services Research, Policy and Administration program. Her focus is on the sociology of illness. She is also a population trainee. J’Mag received her MPH (2017) from the University of Minnesota with an emphasis on Maternal and Child Health.  She is currently working on projects focusing on birth equity and the impacts of structural racism on maternal stress (with Dr. Rachel Hardeman).


Physicians/Midwives/APRNs/Providers: $250
MN ACNM Affiliate Members: $225
Residents/Registered Nurses/Community Midwives: $175
Students/Doulas/Retired Midwives: $125

ONLINE REGISTRATION ENDS: November 8, 2019 (+$20 for same day registration)

Light breakfast and lunch included in pricing.

Interested in presenting a quality improvement or research poster?

Send the key submission elements listed below to saraschroepfer@hotmail.com or leatherman.le@gmail.com by Oct 15, 2019. Poster presenters will be notified by email of acceptance by Oct 22, 2019.

Title of Poster (50-word limit): The title should clearly and succinctly identify the contents of the abstract.

Authors and Affiliations: Enter each author separately and identify whether the individual is the primary author or a coauthor. Enter each name by providing the author’s name and organization.

Contact Information: Name of Principal Investigator, phone and email

Summary Statement (20 to 25-word limit): Poster abstracts will not be published in the conference book. A summary statement of no more than 25 words is required. Your statement should be a brief summary of your research with key points highlighted, providing a basis for discussion and interaction.

Abstract: Although the abstract should briefly address all elements necessary to define your goals and results to the reader, it is a short description of your presentation. The text of each abstract should consist of no more than 250 words.

Accepted presentations will save $50 on registration!

Continuing Education

This program has been designed to meet the Minnesota Board of Nursing rules implementing mandatory continuing education provisions of the Minnesota Nurse Practice Act. RNs will be provided a document that specifies information to qualify for contact hours.

ACNM specialty credit has been applied for
AAFP CME specialty credit has been applied for