Brent Keime LAc, MSTOM – CEO & President
Brent is the Clinical Co-Ordinator & Accreditation Advisor as well as a member of the faculty. Brent is a San Diego acupuncturist and is certified as a Diplomate of Oriental Medicine (Dipl. O.M.) by the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM). Brent earned a Master of Science degree in Traditional Oriental Medicine from the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in San Diego, California. While still in school, Brent interned at the UCSD downtown free clinic serving San Diego’s homeless population, and he spent two years assisting Alex Tiberi, one of the countries top pediatric acupuncturists. Brent also interned at Rady Children’s Hospital in their chronic pain clinic as well as with the hematology/oncology program. Much of Brent’s practice centers on the care of women during pregnancy. Brent currently sits on the Pacific College of Oriental Medicine massage advisory board. Brent works closely with many San Diego area midwives to provide safe, drug-free, natural healthcare for expecting mothers.
Learn More Chief Executive Officer & President – Duties and Responsibilities
Secretary – Vacant
Learn More Secretary – Duties and Responsibilities
Treasurer – Maral Shabak LM, CPM
Maral began her Midwifery career in 2014 when she was accepted into Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery. Leading up to finding her path, she earned B.A. degrees in Anthropology and Women’s Studies. Her experience at the University of California, Irvine taught her that we must use our specific skills to bring forth positive change.
Maral was born in Iran and moved to the U.S. at the age of 6. Going though such a large transition from one culture to another taught her that we must be open and flexible in order to move forward; we cannot hold tightly onto traditions simply because we haven’t been exposed to another way. Maral’s goal is to bridge the gap between M.D.s and Midwives so that we may blend our cultures and select practices that are truly optimal. She firmly believes that if we can provide choice, confidence, and peace at the moment of birth for families, we can ensure a future full of those same qualities. That begins with educating well- trained and confident midwives.
Learn More Treasurer – Duties and Responsibilities
Marla Hicks – Chair of Faculty & Student Services
Learn More Chair of Faculty & Student Services – Duties and Responsibilities
Dr. Stephanie Libs – Chair of Quality Assurance
Dr. Stephanie Libs, DC (or Dr. Steph as her patients call her) owns and operates Cafe of Life Chiropractic in Pacific Beach, San Diego. She specializes in pediatrics, pregnancy and family care and is passionate about helping women through the transition to motherhood. With a strong emphasis in natural birth and natural health care she has created a community of families who are connected through workshops, support groups and play dates. In October 2016, with the help of a local midwife, her and her husband Dean welcomed their first baby girl into this world. She’s very excited to serve on the board to support midwifery students in the “beauty way” of Nizhoni.
Learn More Chair of Quality Assurance – Duties and Responsibilities
Gerri Ryan L.M., C.P.M., C.D.T. – Chair of Business Development and Advisement
Gerri is the Chair of Business Development & Advisement and serves on the Board of Trustees. She is a California Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife with an active midwifery practice in San Diego. Gerri started attending births with family and friends in 1976 and in 1995 took on the role of professional Doula. Gerri began her process of midwifery education in the late nineties. She successfully completed the Seattle Midwifery School Challenge Process and is licensed as a midwife by the Medical Board of California. She began practicing midwifery in 2003 independently and currently practices at San Diego County Midwives. Gerri is a co-founder of Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery and was the Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer/Chief Academic Officer through August 2017. She remains a member of the faculty. She is a Lactation Educator, Lamaze certified childbirth educator and is the founder of San Diego Birth Network as well as a nationally recognized DONA approved Doula trainer. She is committed to advanced midwifery practice, completing her Bridge Certificate in 2016. Gerri is Birth Emergency Skills Training for Out-of-Hospital Providers (B.E.S.T.) certified and assists in developing continuing education opportunities for practicing Doulas, Midwives and health professionals. She believes that the ability to birth is deep in every pregnant person. “When birthing people have confidence in their own abilities, the encouragement and freedom to tap into their innate wisdom, and have the loving support of family, friends and professionals who believe this too, they will truly have a satisfying birth.” She has extensive business expertise and is recognized for her contributions to the Midwifery and Doula communities in San Diego.
Learn More Chair of Business Development and Advisement – Duties and Responsibilities
Care Messer – Member-At-Large Community Development
Care is a certified doula with Doulas of North America. Care is the founder of The Birth Education Center of San Diego. Care discovered HypnoBirthing® with the birth of her daughter in 2008. It changed her life’s path. “My own experience in discovering HypnoBirthing®, and having a Doula attend my child’s birth, inspired me to become a Doula myself and get certified to teach HypnoBirthing®. Sharing my own experience and love for this process has made me a better teacher and gentler human being.”
Care became a doula under the instruction of Gerri Ryan through DONA and went on to become certified in HypnoBirthing. Care created her company San Diego HypnoBirthing and has taught HypnoBirthing® since 2009. She has experience in planning and organizing childbirth-related conferences. Care is also a Certified Placenta Encapsulationist. She has trained with ICEA to become certified as an international educator and trained with Cappa to be a Postpartum Doula. Care serves as the Director of Cap Wellness Center in Encinitas and teaches at both locations. Care offers Natural Birth Training to student nurses at SDSU who are interested in learning about physiologic childbirth and local nurse trainings in hospitals. She recently served as Vice President of the San Diego Birth Network.
“My vision is to help women get back to the knowledge that their bodies know how to give birth to their babies. The use of HypnoBirthing® is a transforming experience for all involved. HypnoBirthing® left me feeling empowered, stronger and made me a better mother. I learned for myself and will be forever grateful that finally, there is a better way to give birth!”
Learn More Chair of Community Liaison – Duties and Responsibilities
Chair of Online Marketing & IT Services – Vacant
Chair of Gifts & Donations – Vacant
Learn More Chair of Gifts and Donations – Duties and Responsibilities
If you would like to make a donation, please click the button below.
Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery are always seeking Board Members that are excited about our Vision and Mission, are willing to promote the school’s commitment to create and foster a strong commitment to excellence in midwifery care. We would love to hear from you!