Midwives & StaffThe difference is in the people
midwife, owner & administrative director
CNM, MSN, FACNM
I have been involved in “all things birth” for over twenty-eight years with the last seventeen years catching babies as a midwife. I have worked in many types of settings from low-risk birth center care to high-risk tertiary hospital care, from rural physician office to the high-risk maternity clinic, from transport team to operating team, from infertility to birth, from birth control to menopause. I have been truly blessed to do what I love every day, and I love what I do.
I am married to my very best friend that works behind the scenes at MBC as financial manager, plumber, computer tech, and my all-around DIY guy in addition to his full-time job in the real world. I am eternally grateful for all that he does to make my life at work and home easier. We have two grown sons that I am tremendously proud. My oldest son is employed as a civil engineer in Raleigh. My youngest son is a junior at Campbell University studying pharmaceutical sciences. My boys are my pride and joy!
In addition to catching babies, I have worked to promote and to grow the profession of midwifery through volunteer work with the American Midwifery Certification Board, US-MERA, NC-ACNM Affiliate, and the American College of Nurse-Midwives. I am very proud to be one of only a few midwives named a Fellow of ACNM; this prestigious award is given in recognition of professional leadership, clinical excellence, outstanding scholastic and professional achievement in the profession of midwifery. My most significant work has been within my own community with the Adopt-A-Mom Program, Community Action for Healthy Babies, and Guilford County Coalition on Infant Mortality. These organizations are making our community better, one family at a time.
I believe that anything is possible if you work hard and believe in what you do. I was told by so many people that opening a birth center in Greensboro was impossible. It took stubborn tenacity, creative problem-solving skills, many long hours and sheer determination to get the doors open to the first birth center in Greensboro, but we did it. But, I could not have done this without the most amazing, dedicated family and staff that also believe that “pigs can fly” and that dreams do come true.
midwife, owner & clinical director
I have been involved with labor and delivery for about the same amount of time that my first child has been alive, nearly 25 years! Which brings up an important point about why I got into this line of work to begin with. Pregnant with my first child, the physicians and nursing staff that took care of me during that time opened my eyes to what would become a lifelong pursuit.
I came to the United States as a teenager from Romania; a stranger in a strange land, did not speak the local language, and was at a loss what I wanted out of life in this new country. I married my wonderful husband a few years later and soon we were expecting our first child. It was there in the midst of the fast, raw, and whirlwind experience of a first birth that I had my awakening. As a nervous first-time mother, it was the gentle reassurance of the physician and the quick thinking and expert care of the nursing staff that opened my eyes to possibilities and sparked a passion for what would become my career – women’s health and in particular, childbirth. I had finally found what I wanted to do: to become the guide and the rock upon which expectant mothers could lean upon during what can be scary and difficult time. So, I buckled down, went through college as a new mother, and became a labor and delivery nurse.
However, even that was not enough for me. Working as a nurse in the hospital system did not capture what I felt was important. And, it impeded upon the most private and personal moments a human’s life with rules and regulations that, while designed to keep mothers and babies safe with the best of intentions, were at times intrusive and impersonal. Along the way, I was introduced to the concept of midwifery and met some of the most inspiring women (and men) who reshaped what I knew about providing care to an expectant mother and her family. So, now a mother of three, I went back to school and became a certified nurse midwife.
My first job as a CNM was within the Wendover OB/GYN practice and had the best orientation to clinical practice with Tanya Bailey, CNM who went on to become my mentor, friend and business partner. Life took me to the West Coast and I had the opportunity to serve with the Indian Health Services on the Navajo Nation Reservation, working as a CNM for the Chinle Comprehensive Health Care service unit for 3.5 years. This was a treasured and challenging time, working with an underserved population, and making new friendships with Native American women and their families which I will treasure always.
Having opened the doors to Magnolia Birth Center, I now feel like I have fully aligned myself with what I was looking for all those years ago. It is the embodiment of the feeling I had sitting on the doctors table, nervously expecting my first child. It is my hope and dream to pass along that level of personal care to each and every mother that walks through our doors. It has been a long journey for me, but I now feel like I am where I belong; that this is what I was meant to do.
Everyone who comes through our doors becomes a part of our family. I’m happy to say, our family is getting bigger every day!
Magnolia Birth Center Staff
Tequita Williamson, CD(DONA International)
Facility Manager, Assistant Manager, DoulaAs a DONA certified doula of more than fifteen years, I have seen firsthand the great need for a birth center in our area. I believe strongly in the midwifery model of care for women who choose this path. Opening in 2017, Magnolia Birth Center was the realization of many of my hopes and dreams for patient-centered maternity care. At our center, I feel women are heard and given options. They can make informed decisions using evidenced-based information. I am thrilled to be a part of this fantastic team!
Being the oldest employee, I have been dubbed the “Mom of Magnolia”. You will often find me chatting with clients and their families, offering refreshments, and directing folks to the kitchen. I strive to make sure our clients feel welcome and have what they need. I love to interact with our families, and I am proud of the “home” atmosphere we have created that allows families a gentle and safe birth experience.
As the Facility Manager, I make sure our center is tidy, safe, and ready at any moment for the next birth. My “take charge” personality, as well as my past experience as an EMT, comes in handy when conducting safety drills. I also oversee and train our fabulous assistants. One of their most difficult tasks is to learn my method for folding laundry!
I have been married for thirty years to a newly retired high school teacher. We have a daughter with a homeschooled primary education who is in her junior year at Liberty University. My passion is animals of all kind; I support animal rescue, encourage spay and neuter efforts, and encourage people to adopt, don’t shop! Other passions are my church, visiting the mountains, reading, and research.
It is my privilege to serve as Facility Manager. I look forward to meeting each new client and sharing our vision for patient-centered family care.
Leah Dunlap, RN
Nurse Manager, Quality Control OfficerI have been a nurse for over 10 years, and I am proud to be a part of a practice that believes in truly patient-centered care. I joined Magnolia Birth Center in September of 2018. I am the nurse attending labor and birth, assisting families with the transition home postpartum, and conduct the home visits with our Magnolia families. I am working to become an IBCLC lactation consultant.
In addition to nursing, my family and I live on a small farm in Summerfield, NC where our children are well-versed in farm life, growing healthy foods, and learning how to care for Mother Nature. We enjoy being outside and tending to our dairy goats, horses, and flock of chickens.
As a mother of three girls, I have personally experienced three very different births, including hospital, home, and cesarean. I know the sadness of having to let go of a birth plan due to the unexpected, and I know the joy and empowerment that comes from having natural birth. I believe that these personal experiences bring a depth and understanding to the care I provide to our families.
I am passionate about a woman’s right to educate themselves about medical decisions, natural birth, breastfeeding, and family-centered healthcare. The holistic care, dependable medical back-up, and loving environment that Magnolia provides are vital to safe, quality maternity care. It is my honor to help others as they embark on their own journeys of growing families.
Shanna Williams, RMA
Clinical Manager, Lab Manager
I have been a Registered Medical Assistant in Women’s Health for over 15 years. I began my journey at Carolina Birth Center in High Point. After they closed in 2008, I worked in two other OB/GYN offices over the next 10 years. I enjoyed working at both places but I always felt like a big piece of my heart was missing. I thought my birth center days were just a thing of the past since there was not another local birth center at that time.
When I heard there was going to be a birth center in Greensboro, my heart grew with joy! I just knew I had to be a part of it and immediately began trying to make that happen. Magnolia Birth Center is a dream come true and the answer to a longtime prayer for me, and I’m sure for so many others as well. I love being able to provide women with personalized care in a family-oriented, home-like atmosphere.
I am married to a wonderful man and we live in Trinity. I have a 19 year old daughter, a 15 year old step-daughter, and 9 year old identical twin step-sons. We have 2 fur-babies who think they are human and are very much the center of attention in our home.
My role at Magnolia allows me to personally be involved from the very first phone call, through routine appointments, and sometimes during labor and delivery, all the way to the postpartum and routine GYN care. I absolutely love drawing blood and I am known to some as “the bomb-diggity blood drawer”. My favorite thing about working at Magnolia is getting to know our patients and their families. It is truly an honor to be able to be a part of one of the most exciting times of their lives. I could not imagine being anywhere else!
One of my favorite quotes from an unknown author is “It is a beautiful thing when a career and a passion come together”. This is very true for me and I am so glad I am able to do this with such an amazing group of women.
Mary Gillett, BSW, MS CD(DONA)
Director of Education and Community Outreach, Doula
As a DONA certified doula who has been active in the “birth” world for about thirteen years, it is a pleasure to be able to combine my passions for educational development with low-intervention, family-centered birth. So many of us have said for years, “Greensboro needs a birth center,” and it has been a pleasure to be on this team during this exciting time.
My role is to ensure that relevant and quality education is offered to families and birth workers in our community. We love joining hands with some of the finest educators in and around Greensboro, and I especially love it when we can offer a selection of topics that may not be available in other settings.
I have a Bachelor’s of Social Work, a Master’s in Adult Education, and I have spent the bulk of my professional life as a Public Health Educator, including training, conference planning and curriculum development.
I am originally from Michigan, but I have been here for twenty-five years and have no intention of being that cold again! Thirty-eight years ago, I married my best friend, whom I met in church. We are enjoying empty nest travel and having our two married adult children pretty close by but not living under our roof. They and their spouses, our grand-daughter and our rescue dog and cats are our pride and joy. I love all water sports, but especially anything sailing or boating related. We spend as much time at the coast as we can get away with and I “might” have a problem binge watching HGTV, especially “Beach Front Bargain Hunt!”
Our Physician Partners
Richard Taavon, MD, FACOG
Medical Director, Collaborative Physician from Wendover Ob-Gyn & InfertilityI grew up in Baltimore as the son of an Obstetrician in a busy two man practice. I watched many days and nights as my father would leave for the hospital to fulfill his duty and to pursue his dreams. He was an Iranian immigrant who married a second generation Italian that became a social worker to counsel and to teach birthing classes to his patients. They were a great team. My father was the best doctor that I have ever known. His skill and compassion combined with a gentle bedside manor endeared him to his patients and to his colleagues.
When I decided to become a physician, my father pleaded with me to become a dermatologist or a radiologist. He wanted a life for me that was different than his had been with more time at home and more time with family. What he did not realize was how his passion for his craft affected me. I became an Obstetrician/Gynecologist so I could “take care” of my patients. Relationships are vital to the success of a physician-patient relationship.
My medical journey took me to the Air Force where I spent four years at Dover AFB. This was my first contact with the art of Midwifery. Epidurals were hard to obtain and my labor management skills needed to expand to help my patients through labor. The midwives taught me more than I knew.
The latest chapter of my journey brought me to Greensboro. Along the way, I found my wife and soulmate for the last 30 years. She is my true love and my best friend. Her patience, persistence and love have allowed me to succeed. We raised four wonderful children. We, too, are a great team.
My interest and dedication to Magnolia Birth Center is the culmination of a long journey in Obstetrics. I am fortunate to partner with two wonderful midwives who share my work ethic and passion in taking care of women. I hope we can create something special for this community, this has meant so much to me.