Conference Presenters

ProDoula Instilling Strength 2015 Conference Presenters!

A line up you won’t want to miss! You will talk about these speakers every time you mention that you were at the very first ProDoula Conference ever!

Presentation: “Birth Secrets Revealed – An Insider’s View to Natural Birth in the Cesarean Age”

Presenter: Dr. George Mussalli

Presenter at Prodoula Conference Gorge Mussalli

As a father of four children Dr. Mussalli ‎is no stranger to birth. His understanding of the joys and challenges of parenthood from both sides of the white coat have made him an extraordinary physician beloved by patients for more than two decades.

Professionally he shares his time between Village Obstetrics on the Upper East Side of Manhattan and the high risk pregnancy clinic at Bronx Lebanon Hospital where he is the director of maternal fetal medicine. These two practices provide a unique perspective across a diverse patient population. Village Obstetrics typically attracts well educated, often privileged women, many of whom are starting their families later in life. These moms hire doulas as a personal labor support and often prepare for natural unmedicated birth. Bronx Lebanon Hospital, in contrast, serves a largely resource poor community with high rates of adolescent pregnancy, obesity, hypertension, diabetes, asthma and inadequate nutrition. These moms rarely have doulas and often request elective primary cesarean.

Dr. Mussalli graduated Wayne State University School of Medicine in Detroit, Michigan. His residency was at New York Medical College and subspecialty fellowship in high-risk pregnancy at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons, New York, New York. He spent a long career in the Bronx serving as Director of Obstetrics in the municipal hospital system at North Central Bronx Hospital, (NCBH) long renowned for its midwifery program. Under his leadership NCBH not only enjoyed the lowest cesarean rate in New York City, but, had a decline in cesarean rate at a time when every hospital was experiencing a rise. Dr. Mussalli, then was appointed as Chairman of Obstetrics and Gynecology and Residency Program Director at the legendary St. Vincent’s Hospital-Manhattan where he served until its bankruptcy and closure in 2010.

Dr. George Mussalli

Board Certification

Board Certified in Maternal-Fetal Medicine

Board Certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology

Presentation: The battlefield of birth; Reuniting the Birth Community

Presenter: Joanne Mazzio CNM, NP, MSN


Have you felt the sting of a nurse as you are introduced in the hospital?

Have you heard the audible hiss from the physician as you encourage your client to advocate for her wishes?

The “birth battlefield” has been fragmented for far too long. Learn how you can rebuild broken bridges and help change the landscape of birth in your community but working cohesively with your client’s providers.

Conference objectives

  • Identify barriers to cooperative relationships with OB providers
  • Learn to nurture your relationships with the health care team in order to create a cohesive environment for your clients birth
  • Become an effective liaison
  • Learn to capitalize on your value to the health care team

Joanne Mazzio is a seasoned midwife with more than 25 years of experience serving women and their families.

Her early work in an adolescent pregnancy program in New York City was punctuated with intensely personal and comprehensive care; empowering these young women to achieve healthy pregnancy outcomes and fostering the skills and sense of self-worth to effectively change their lives.

In private practice Joanne has worked tirelessly to teach and advocate for physiologic birth practices in both birth center and hospital settings.

As a clinician, teacher and role model she has cultivated an atmosphere of mutual respect and cooperation among all members of the health care team. She is now eager to expend her circle of influence; capturing the passion and talents of the birthing community to effect lasting changes in the culture of birth in this county.

Presentation: Secondary Birth Trauma – What’s in your Bag(gage)?

Presenter: Dr Agathe C. Pierre-Louis, M.Ed., Psy.D.

ProDoula Conference Presenter

As birth workers, you hold space and bear witness. It is an honor and a privilege to do so, and you are grateful for the opportunity to make it your life’s work. However, you must care for yourself in every capacity in order to sustain it. Dr. Louis lectures on the vulnerabilities of birth workers and the signs and symptoms of secondary trauma.

Lecture objectives for participants:

  • Participants will understand their own vulnerabilities to having secondary trauma.
  • Participants will be able to identify the signs and symptoms of their secondary birth trauma.
  • Participants will learn about their “birth baggage” and the physical and emotional impact on their own personal lives.
  • Participants will learn effective coping skills to manage their “birth baggage” and have a renewed strength and confidence for the next birth experience they encounter.

Agathe C. Pierre-Louis is a provider to pregnant mothers, a sister to an Ob/Gyn and a friend to Doulas. She is a New York licensed Clinical Psychologist who currently specializes in women’s mental health as they experience transitional life issues or adjustment concerns in their lives. With over 12 years of clinical work, she has been providing psychological treatment and assessments to adolescents, adults and geriatric patients with an array of clinical disorders in various settings.

Dr Louis brings a passion in facilitating mental health to mothers and providers of pregnant mothers. Through EMBRACE Therapy, she has developed workshops to educate providers which includes nurse practitioners, nurses, Ob/Gyns, primary care physicians, and doulas about perinatal mood disorders and the impact of secondary trauma stress on professional caregivers.

Dr Louis’ clinical experience in providing mental health to pregnant and postpartum mothers and research on secondary birth trauma brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise. She helps providers understand how the underpinnings of their own personal experiences coupled with secondary trauma during a birth can have a psychological impact on their own emotional well being.

Presentation: “Special Delivery – Using Social Media to Grow Your Business”

Presenters: Natalie Zfat & Chondra Sanchez

ProDoula Presenter

Everyone and their mother is using social media these days. With big brands and even bigger budgets in the sandbox, how can small and medium-sized businesses deliver a message that breaks through the noise?

Enter The Social Co., a social media agency that helps small, medium and large companies create compelling content and unforgettable influencer experiences.

Founded by new mom Chondra Sanchez and aspiring mom/Jewish grandmother Natalie Zfat in 2012, The Social Co. has pioneered social media campaigns for lifestyle and maternity brands alike, including HATCH, The Moms, adidas Women, Levi’s, Elie Tahari, Refinery 29, Helene Marks Early Start Foundation and more.

Join Chondra and Natalie for a candid presentation about what will make, break and ultimately keep your brand influential in the ever-evolving social media landscape.

Natalie Zfat is a writer, entrepreneur, social media influencer and hashtag creator extraordinaire, with a professional mantra that success means never doing the same thing twice (unless it was really fun the first time).

Putting the “social” in social media, Natalie and her company The Social Co. have partnered with some of the largest brands in the world, including Rolling Stone, Food Network, Refinery29, American Express, Travel and Leisure, Levi’s and Dell. Hosting videos and events, curating original content and implementing full-scale social media takeovers, Natalie gains millions of impressions for the brands she advocates for.

When she’s not engaging with her 200K followers, Natalie loves sharing her entrepreneurial thought leadership at conferences and universities, including Carnegie Mellon, Parsons: The New School, Fashion Institute of Technology, Internet of Things World and SXSW.

Peter Travers of Rolling Stone has called Zfat “an institution” and “a digital princess,” while Monster Products CEO Noel Lee calls Zfat an “influencer of influencers.” This year, Google named Natalie one of 60 Fun and Interesting People to Follow on Google Plus.

Chondra Echert Sanchez is a writer, blogger, creative and social influencer with a background in advertising and psychology.

In addition to a presence as a parenting and lifestyle blogger for Our Transient Life, Chondra’s published books include creator-owned graphic series’ Kill Audio, Key of Z and Translucid from BOOM! Studios.

When she’s not telling stories, Chondra and her company The Social Co help brands build and connect with their social audience via campaigns and influencer events. From some of the most notable companies in the world to start ups, The Social Co has cultivated loyalty, authenticity and impressions for dozens of brands in the fashion, entertainment and hospitality industries and beyond.

Currently, Chondra serves as Creative Co-director at Evil Ink Comics in New York, turning words into sentences and helping with development of the New York Times Bestselling sci-fi series, The Amory Wars. Chondra’s work on and offline has cultivated a strong social following of 50K+ highly engaged followers, who never scold her for posting way too many photos of her Husboy and 1 year old son, Atlas.

Presentation: OP Babies… A Real Pain in the Ass

Presenters: Angela Horn & Catie Mehl

We will be examining the common beliefs, myths and research surrounding the posterior baby and their influence on labor progress. We will review common techniques to address mom’s pain and baby’s position, and introduce the Clock Technique as a potential solution to this common cause of labor pain and dystocia.


Catie Mehl is a ProDoula Certified Labor Doula and Pre-Certified Postpartum Doula. She has always been passionate about supporting women, and has been working with expectant families since 2003 as a doula, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator, and a Certified Lactation Counselor. In addition, she has trained and mentored over a 100 new doulas as a DONA International Approved Birth Doula Trainer, Facilitator for BirthWorkers of Central Ohio, Co-Founder of Central Ohio Doulas, and Co-Owner of Columbus Birth & Parenting. Her love of research, her commitment to effective communication and her passion for supporting all labor and parenting styles make Catie a unique force in the industry. Throughout her career Catie has developed a fascination with OP babies and their effect on labor, leading her to examine how changes in the laboring woman’s position can facilitate rotation.


Angela Horn is a ProDoula Certified Labor Doula, a CAPPA certified labor doula and childbirth educator and a Certified Breastfeeding counselor in Tucson, AZ. Angela has run the former non- profit group doula practice, Desert Doulas for the past 10 years and co-taught birth doula trainings for 5 years. As the co-owner of Tucson Doulas, Southern Arizona’s Premier Maternity Services Agency that provides birth & postpartum doula services, placenta services and massage therapy to Tucson families, Angela has a passion for supporting women and their families through pregnancy, birth and beyond and has served hundreds of families in her community since she first certified as a doula in 1999.

Angela has a passion for helping women with malpositioned babies navigate labor and has spent her career learning about the science and myth behind fetal positioning, its impact on labor pain and progression and employs the techniques and principles she’s learned to help her clients have a shorter, less painful and more satisfying births.

Presentation: The Art of the Intake Call

Presenter: Kim Jones, Office Manager ProDoula/Northeast Doulas

Kim Jones ProDoula Presenter

When a client is interested in doula services and calls upon you, the proper information must be provided, all details must be included, and you must leave off with that client wanting to take the next step.

Kim Jones, the Office Manager of ProDoula and Northeast Doulas handles these intake calls meticulously with skill and compassion. It is a true art and Kim is our Picasso.

In this presentation, Kim will share her tips and secrets with you for creating a bond, instilling trust and selling doula and placenta services during the intake call.

Kim Jones’ previous position as the office manager for a busy private practice OB/GYN, for 8 years, prepared her for professionally and compassionately caring for clients. As a doula herself having served more than 170 families, Kim knows the needs and desires of a client and can comfortably speak in all 4 personality styles. Kim is the mother to 4 adult children and together they “mother” Kirson, their almost 2 year old baby cousin.

Presentation: Business; Structure, Myths & Classifications

Presenter: Tom Bridgman

This session will discuss the different business structures available to small businesses and the tax treatment of each, as well as some planning considerations when choosing a structure and some common small business myths. We will also review the important distinctions between employees and contractors and the dangers of misclassification.

Tom Bridgman has been with Brent Financial Group since 2008. As manager of the tax office, he prepares approximately 350 tax returns annually, covering individuals, corporations, non-profit organizations, and other entities, as well as overseeing the tax preparation staff. He also provides tax consulting and representation services when required.

As an Enrolled Agent, Tom is licensed to practice before the IRS. He is a member of the Education Committee of the New York/Connecticut Association of Tax Professionals and is a speaker on various tax topics, including tax compliance for non-profits and New York State tax issues. He holds a bachelor’s degree from Pace University and a Certificate in Financial Planning from Marist College. Tom lives and works in Wappingers Falls, New York.