Meet Our Staff
::: Meet Our Midwives :::
Charlotte Salinas Wilkes, CNM APRN & Boise Women’s Health & Birth Center Owner
Charlotte dreamed of being a midwife from the time she was thirteen and read an article in her mom’s McCall magazine about a women’s experience giving birth at a birth center in California. She was originally trained in the art and science of midwifery at the Seattle Midwifery School in Seattle, Washington and graduated from the three year program in 1996. She attended births as a Washington State Licensed Midwife, both at home and in a birth center at various locations from 1996 through 2003. After deciding she wanted to expand her scope of practice to gynecological care as well as prescriptive authority, she went to nursing school and obtained her BSN at Lewis Clark State College in 2006 and completed her Master’s degree at Frontier Midwifery School in 2008. While working on her Master’s degree, she worked as a Labor/Delivery/Postpartum nurse at Pullman Regional Hospital. She moved back to the Boise area (where she was originally from) in 2008 and worked at Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center for nearly 5 years providing full scope midwifery/gynecological services to both low and high risk patient. She was awarded “Most Recommended Practitioner” by Saint Alphonsus four years in a row.
She was honored to have worked with other practitioners, both midwives and OB/GYN’s that shared their knowledge and experience in OB care as well as Gynecological care. Though she loved working with her patients at the hospital, she preferred working in a smaller practice where she could devote more time to her patients and offer more personalized care.
Charlotte is married to an incredible man, who continues to support her with her passion, even though it means he sometimes has a wife that may suddenly be absent on short notice. Thank you Jonathan! She has three children and two stepchildren, a son born with the guidance of a CNM at the hospital in 1989, a daughter born at home,with the guidance of Licensed Midwives in 1991 and a son born in the hospital due to complications in 1998. She loves being a mom/stepmom and understands how important this role is.
Metta Weaver, CNM
Metta was first inspired to study midwifery after attending several of her friends’ births during her early 20’s. She was in awe of their strength and courage, and of how beautiful their birth experiences were. After giving birth to her daughter at home in 1999, Metta felt drawn to study midwifery and began reading everything she could find on the subject. She continued to attend her friends’ births, became a doula, and worked as a home birth assistant. In 2009, Metta attended the Matrona School of Holistic Midwifery, which laid the foundation for her midwifery philosophy. She earned her Associates in Nursing from Asheville-Buncombe Technical College in 2011, and began working as a Registered Nurse in labor and delivery at Park Ridge Hospital. Metta received her Master’s in Nursing from Frontier Nursing University in 2016, and became a Certified Nurse Midwife.
She enjoys spending time with her teenage daughter, Jaya, collecting orchids and succulent cactuses, gardening, seeing live bands, being in nature, and traveling.
“I believe that pregnancy and birth can be a transformative experience for women and families. As a midwife, it is my role to be present, to listen, and to facilitate this experience. I feel honored to be allowed to witness birth, and to be a caregiver to women across their life spans. I enjoy creating deep relationships with the women I care for, and discovering how I can best serve them and their families.”
Sarah Ballard CPM, LM
Sarah has been eagerly studying reproductive health since adolescence. She first learned of midwifery during her freshman year of college and, after recognizing her true passion, chose to pursue it full-time at the end of her sophomore year. After witnessing birth for the first time, in 2010, Sarah's belief that childbirth is a natural life event, deserving trust and respect, was reinforced. In 2013, Sarah completed the North American Registry of Midiwives (NARM) Portfolio Evaluation Process and was able to sit for the national exam in 2014. Upon passing, she earned the NARM Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) credential and became an Idaho Licensed Midwife (LM). Sarah has been caring for Treasure Vally families, in community-based birth centers and in the comfort of their homes, since 2011.
Her passion resides in helping others, and empowering people on the whole. She is dedicated to helping facilitate low-intervention, physiological, evidence-based birth, and providing quality, loving care before, during and after birth. She enjoys informing and supporting families as they navigate options and make informed choices that best suit their needs. Sarah feels that the right to informed choice is of utmost importance. She is committed to providing every pregnant person the opportunity to have an empowered birth experience and knows that to do so means guarding the rights of all people.
Sarah enjoys spending time with her partner and their two daughters, who were both born at home with the support of midwives. Some of her favorite pastimes include gardening, cooking, reading, game nights, movies and spending time with loved ones.
Sarah is an approved preceptor for NARM and Birthwise Midwifery School.
Elise Hegstrom, RN
::: Birth Assistants :::
Helping families be healthy & strong as a nurse has been a dream of Elise’s since she was a child. She began preparing for this profession as a Nurse’s Aid caring for the elderly through high school and college, where she attended University of Idaho and Boise State University. Elise has practiced as a Registered Nurse since her graduation in 2009, with a career that has
taken her from as far as a medical wing in Auckland, New Zealand; to rural maternity care in McCall, ID.
Elise is passionate about supporting the physiologic process of labor and empowering women to realize their amazing potential. She gained her experience in maternity nursing at St Luke’s Health System. While there, she has cared for hundreds of low risk and the most high risk of births since 2013, including an inspiring year as a rural nurse, caring for families in the small mountain town of McCall, where her interest in Midwifery continued to grow. She then returned to Boise in order to advance her education and be closer to her family. Elise is delighted to be able to now provide nursing care at Boise Women’s Health and Birth Center. Our Treasure Valley community is so lucky to have this beautiful setting where we are able to give personal, quality care to all women, and to safely support natural/physiological birth.
Elise enjoys spending her free time with her supportive husband, Andy, whom she has gratefully shared the last 10 years with. She loves gardening, practicing yoga, reading, cooking & eating yummy food, camping, and hiking the many trails in our beautiful Idahome with her dog Anja.
Emily Northam, CPM, LM
Emily is a NARM Certified Professional Midwife and a Licensed Midwife by the State of Idaho and is currently finishing up her RN degree. Emily’s journey to midwifery began at a young age as a daughter of a midwife. She grew up seeing and knowing natural out of hospital birth to be the “norm”. While her childhood influenced her beliefs on birth greatly, Emily came to realize her passion for midwifery while studying Human Rights at the University of New Mexico. Through her studies, Emily became passionate about influencing change in the disparities in maternal health and advocating women’s right to informed choice in care. She is also fluent in Spanish.
Emily began her formal midwifery training in 2011 and graduated from Maternidad La Luz Midwifery School and Birth Center in El Paso, Texas, one of the busiest birth centers in the nation. She cared for a primarily high-risk latina population, providing birth and well women services to the women of Juarez, Mexico. Following her graduation, Emily was called to the Treasure Valley area to serve women and their families in birth.
Her passion to address health disparities in maternity care has led Emily to continue her education towards a Master’s degree in Nurse-Midwifery. She is currently enrolled in Excelsior College of Nursing and plans to follow in her mother’s and Charlotte’s footsteps by attending Frontier Nursing University.
Emily is thrilled to be a part of Boise Women’s Health and Birth Center and to continue providing compassionate, culturally competent, and evidence based care to the women of the Treasure Valley!
Katie Kovash, RN
Hello! My name is Katie Kovash. I am a registered nurse, RN, and I will be at births assisting the midwives with deliveries! I have been a nurse for two years now, and I feel lucky to have landed a position here at the birthing center. I also work at St Alphonsus in Labor and Delivery. I absolutely love my job! It is very rewarding to have the privilege to be a part of a momentous life event that is bringing new life into the world! It has been my dream job since I was a young girl and I feel so blessed to be where I am today.
I have 2 beautiful children, and a loving husband. My children were both born via cesarean section, which can sometimes be an alternate route of birth for some women. Despite not being able to have a vaginal birth of my own, I find it truly fascinating to get to witness the capabilities of a woman's strength, courage, heart and determination during the birth of their babies!
In my free time I enjoy spending time with my family and friends, reading, swimming, yoga, traveling, spending time outside, camping, etc. I plan on going back to school when my children are older. I have always had a strong desire to go to midwifery school.
Please be aware that I get called to deliveries close to the end, so if we haven't met before I apologize! I will be working alongside the midwives during delivery and during your postpartum stay. My goal is to be respectful of your privacy and birth experience, and be quietly present when the midwives request me to be there. I am so excited to be a part of your special day!
Dana McKee, RN
Dana has been a Registered Nurse since 2013. She started building her nursing foundation on a Medical/Oncology unit, taking care of the very ill and elderly, and in 2014 transferred to Labor and Delivery, getting to assist in the other end of the life cycle.
Dana's interest in birth began when she was 19, when she learned the term "midwife" through a friend who suggested that career path to her. After graduating from Boise State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Spanish in 2009, she spent the next 2 years learning about birth, reading everything she could on the subject, and training with DONA (Doulas of North America) to become a birth doula. Prior to entering Idaho State University's accelerated Bachelor of Science, Nursing program, Dana was able to attend a few births, both in and out of hospital as a doula. Now Dana gets to help mothers through labor, birth, and the early postpartum period everyday she goes to work, which really doesn't feel like work, but more like a privilege and an honor.
When Dana is not caring for mothers and babies, she enjoys spending time with friends (sometimes getting to be their doula), family, and with her fiancé, Greg. Together they mountain bike, travel, and search for new adventures.
Meagan Lloyd,Client Services Representative
::: Office Staff :::
Meagan is native of Hailey, Idaho. After high school she chose to attend a one year school in Oregon, Ecola Bible School in Cannon Beach. At the end of the year, Meagan's desire for working alongside women, and her desire to encourage other women, and grow herself, she applied and accepted an R.A. position for the school. She was then offered a position of Assistant Dean of Women, and served for two years. At 23 she decided to relocate to Boise to spend time closer to family.
Boise offered many opportunities, and after a few months she decided to apply for a Patient Service Representative position at Saint Alphonsus, where she had the privilege of working alongside Charlotte at one SAMG Women's Health for 3 years. During that time, she was suggested to work for a separate program within the office by the name CARE Maternal Health Clinic. This program served woman who had been resettled to Boise with refugee status. The program offered community, education, and support for new and practiced mothers after arriving in the states into a new culture. It was there that her fervor for service, dignity, and respect were expanded upon. Another life transition to the International Family Practice clinic for St Alphonsus where she has worked for the past 3 years. The love and community of those years will forever be in her heart.
John Muir expressed something dear to her soul, "The mountains are calling and I must go." Her parents had relocated to the main Salmon River, above North Fork, ID. The Salmon river a few acres from their backyard, water access from a mountain well, solar panel for power, and elk who eat out our their hand! This is where she feels most at ease. Much of her time is spent with friends and traveling to her parent's home, Hailey where she grew up, Oregon, and anywhere she is able. And although once a self-proclaimed extrovert, she now appreciates the introvert aspects to life and enjoys a hot cup of tea, some yoga, cooking, and conversations with dear friends.
Sarah Frazee - Business Operations Director
Sarah obtained her B.A. and Masters of Business Administration from Boise State University. She has worked in healthcare for over 6 years and is passionate about working with women and families.
Sarah has lived in the Treasure Valley for 10 years and loves everything Boise has to offer. She has been with her husband Danny for 12 years. They enjoy snowboarding, hiking with their 3 dogs and camping in Idaho’s beautiful wilderness. Sarah and Danny welcomed the birth of their first son (Tennyson) on St. Patrick’s Day 2015 at Boise Women’s Health and Birth Center.
“I could not have envisioned a better birth experience than the one I had at Boise Women’s Health and Birth Center. Charlotte and all the staff were so attentive and professional. The birthing suite was comfortable and welcoming. I will never forget the sense of calm that came over me, despite being in the midst of labor, when I walked up the stairs and entered the birthing suite. I had such an amazing experience throughout my entire pregnancy, birth and after. I am honored to be working with Charlotte and helping provide families with a stress free experience during such a magical time in their lives.” - Sarah Frazee
Elizenda (Elly) Salinas – Office Staff
Elizenda was born at home, with the guidance of Licensed Midwives in 1991 in Seattle, Washington. She is currently attending BSU with a major in Psychology and a minor in French. Elizenda’s role at the center works in the office doing various tasks, she often cleans, does extra office work, and overall tries to make sure that the center is always looking its best and that everything is in its place. That said, Elly has had plenty of experience as a nanny and babysitter and doesn’t mind if any little tikes put anything out of place.
Elizenda has two sweet tiny dogs, Tito and Penelope, Tito is an 11 year old Pomeranian who often snores while he’s awake, and Penelope is a 1 year old Pomeranian who wiggles all day until she crashes out for bed.
Elizenda is very interested in the process of birth, but is usually only present in the center before or after a birth. When she isn’t at the center, Elly enjoys playing with her Pomeranians, crafting, cooking, and Netflix.
Elly also happens to be Charlotte’s daughter :)
::: Doulas :::
Marie Bigelow, MT-BC, CD(DONA)
Marie has been a certified doula since 2003 and a board-certified music therapist since 2004. She received her Bachelors degree in Music Therapy from Utah State University, and was the valedictorian of her major. After graduation, Marie spent two years specializing in Music Therapy Assisted Childbirth. She has been teaching Music Birth classes since 2006, and has helped hundreds of couple prepare to give birth while utilizing the power of music to promote relaxation, fight pain, aid in imagery, support breathing, support massage, and enhance prenatal bonding.
As a doula, Marie has attended over 100 births in homes, birth centers, and in hospitals. To read about some of the births she has attended, go to www.musicbirth.blogspot.com. Marie believes that one of the best ways to strengthen a family is to help them have a safe and empowering birth experience. She loves not only being a doula, but also supporting other doulas as a board member for Treasure Valley Doulas.
Marie’s family consists of her husband, Todd, and their 4 children, all of whom were born naturally using the Music Birth method. In her free time, Marie enjoys teaching Zumba, biking, and spending time with her family.