During those 10 years as a midwife in the UK, I worked in a number of large teaching hospitals and finally ended up at St. Michaels Hospital which was affiliated with the University of Bristol. At St Michaels, I was the community midwifery manager and a supervisor of midwives. My role was to manage 50 community midwives working in 14 different health centres covering south east Bristol and in this role I worked very closely with the GP’s and obstetricians in the hospital. I have always enjoyed the ‘hands on’ of midwifery and even as a manager I maintained my own case load and looked after women throughout their pregnancy, birth and post partum period.
I came to Canada in 1997 and for my first year I found myself in St. Anthony Newfoundland. This was a new experience for me, working in a small remote town of 3 000 people. The hospital I worked in served the people of northern Newfoundland and southern Labrador, and a small part of Quebec. Medivac’s were something I had not encountered before and I have to admire the courage of people who live in these remote parts of Canada and the people who serve them.
From St. Anthony, I went on to do the International Midwifery Assessment process in Quebec and then worked in the birthing center in Gatineau, Quebec, I learned French and became the supervisor of the birthing centre. While working here, I learned more about midwifery in Ontario and knew one day I would like to work in that province.
My opportunity came in 2002 when all provinces in Canada with regulated midwifery signed a reciprocity agreement that enabled me to work in Ontario. From Gatineau, I went to Milverton in south west Ontario, where I worked with a lovely group of midwives serving mostly old order Mennonite and Amish clientele. We had a very high home birth rate and had a wonderful working relationship with the local GP’s and Stratford hospital where we held hospital privileges.
I came to Belleville in 2006 with the chance of starting my own midwifery practice and serving the women and families of the Quinte region.
I love my job. I enjoy looking after women and their partners throughout this period in their lives, helping them achieve the birth experience they desire and supporting the family and seeing them grow into confident parents.
I am happy to be in Belleville and to develop a midwifery service here to meet the needs of the community.
Hello to the women and families of the Quinte region! My name is Stacey Lytle. I am a registered midwife with the College of Midwives of Ontario, and I joined Jeannette Davies in February 2007 at Quinte Midwives. Originally from the Kawarthas, I grew up on a small farm north of Stirling. I was gone for many years but I am very excited to be home!
When I was sixteen my cousin asked me to support her through her birth experience. I decided then that no other job could be as wondrous and rewarding as working with women and babies through pregnancy and birth. I studied Bio-medical Science at the University of Guelph with the view to study obstetrical medicine. Looking back, I am grateful that I was in Guelph, where midwifery was gaining a strong presence. As I learned more about the practice and philosophy of midwifery care, I knew that becoming a midwife was the right path for me.
Between degrees I traveled for a few years. I also took the Doulas of North America training, and volunteered with a midwife in Peru for two months prior to entering the Ontario Midwifery Education Programme at McMaster University. My training was very diverse, with a mix of urban and rural placements, work with many Amish and Mennonite families, and an elective placement in Guatemala. Before coming to Belleville I worked as a Registered Midwife in Guelph, Ontario.
Midwifery to me is about respect: respect for the miracle of birth, respect for the profundity of parenting and family, respect for the right of women to self-determination, respect for the vast diversity among people. Like other midwives, I believe that responsibility for decision-making should be shared between the midwife and the client. I will provide you with knowledge and support, and I encourage you to be informed and I look forward to helping you achieve what is best for you and your family.
Liza van de Hoef
My name is Liza van de Hoef, and I am pleased to be part of the team of Registered Midwives working in the Quinte area. I was born at Belleville General Hospital, and grew up in the rural communities of Marmora and Tweed. When I was a small child, I drew pictures of myself “delivering babies”. Ever since then, maternity care and women’s health has held my interest.
I attended McMaster University in Hamilton and earned a Bachelor of Health Sciences (Honours). During my studies, I discovered midwifery as a profession, and became very interested in pursuing a career in woman-centred health care. I travelled abroad for two years, living in Boise, Idaho and then Manila, Philippines, learning the trade of midwifery and earning my certification in the USA. Upon returning home, I completed the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program at Ryerson University, a bridging program to ensure my skills met Ontario standards. As part of my education, I observed midwifery in practice in a variety of communities around Ontario, and completed my training at the Community Midwives of Kingston.
Once certified in Ontario, I worked as a registered midwife in Stratford. When an opening in the Quinte area presented, there was no debate in the decision to move “back home”, and join the amazing team of midwives currently working in this area!
I love the model of care offered by Ontario midwives, and the opportunity to build relationships with women and families in the community. In particular, I deeply appreciate the philosophy of informed choice, which allows clients to individualize their care to best fit their own needs, desires and life situations.
It is a great honour to be a part of your journey as your life changes in remarkable ways. I look forward to meeting you, getting to know you, and walking with you in the paths of pregnancy, birth, and parenthood.
Liza van de Hoef
Hello! My name is Christy Miskelly and I am very happy to be a part of the Quinte Midwives. I grew up in a small community in southwestern Ontario, then lived in Kingston, Ontario for sixteen years. I graduated from the Midwifery Education Programme at Ryerson University in 2009, having completed placements in Ottawa, Kingston, Yellowknife, Edmonton and Kitchener-Waterloo. After graduation, I was blessed with the birth of my own daughter.
While my long journey to midwifery started shortly after I moved to Kingston, I worked as an environmental scientist for almost twelve years. I previously completed a Bachelor’s degree in chemistry at Queen’s University, which led me to an organization that investigates and cleans up contaminated sites across the Canadian Arctic; it was a job that I enjoyed immensely and fulfilled my love for travel. I have spent time in many Aboriginal communities across the Yukon, Northwest Territories and Nunavut and loved the exposure to their varied culture. Everyone I met along the way, however, was sure to hear about my dream to become a midwife. Some of my other interests include working out at the gym, keeping up with current movies, knitting and spending time with my family and friends.
I believe in the Ontario Midwifery Model of Care and the empowerment that women can experience when given the choice to birth in the way that is right for them. I am continually awed by the strength of a birthing woman and I am honoured that women and their families have provided me with the opportunity to witness and assist them through one of the most profound events in their lives.
Hi, my name is Les Kelly. I am an internationally educated midwife from the United Kingdom. I completed my four year Midwifery Education Program at John Moore’s University in England for a Bachelor Degree with Honours in 2000. In 2003, I gained a Postgraduate Diploma in Midwifery at the Masters Level.
Since qualifying as a midwife in 2000, I have been privileged to be able to provide woman centered maternity care in home birth settings, a midwifery led unit and in a large teaching hospital setting where I have been honoured to assist nearly a thousand babies into the world.
I initially met and worked with the midwives and their clients at Quinte Midwives in January 2012 when I was doing my clerkship for the International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program (IMPP) at Ryerson University in Toronto. This is a bridging program to ensure that internationally educated midwives, like myself, meet the specific standards required to work as a midwife in Ontario. I joined the Quinte Midwives in June 2012 following completion of the IMPP.
The Ontario Model of Midwifery increases the opportunity for me to build excellent relationships between myself and the women and their families in my care. I facilitate informed choice and decision making to enable the client and myself to individualize and tailor their care to meet their own particular physical, social, cultural and emotional needs and specific requirements.
I thank the women and their families who choose Quinte Midwives and look forward to supporting more women to have the birth of their choice and assisting even more precious babies into the world.
Hello! My name is Emily Vrabac, and here is a little bit of information about myself.
I am originally from Kingston Ontario, although I have lived in many different cities across Ontario. Before I entered into midwifery I completed my undergraduate degree in Biology in 2005, followed by a masters in Bio-medical Sciences in 2008, both from the University of Guelph. My master’s research focused on a rare autoimmune disease associated with ovarian cancer. While I enjoyed being involved in research, I knew I wanted to work more directly in woman’s health care. With the best kind of serendipity, I happened to see a newscast about the growing demand for midwives in Ontario. I was immediately drawn to the woman-centered approach, and started to read everything I could about midwifery. The more I read, the more I realized that this is the profession for me! From there I went on to finish the midwifery education program at McMaster University, where I had clinical placements in Hamilton, Guelph, Toronto, Kingston, Brockville and Ottawa.
To me, midwifery is about providing education and support, so that women feel empowered to make informed choices throughout their pregnancy and birth. I love what I do, and I feel honoured to be a part of this memorable time in a woman’s life.It is the greatest thrill imaginable to help a family bring their newest member into the world!
Hello my name is Sarah Murtha. I grew up on a dirt road just outside of Brighton, Ontario and I am thrilled to have joined Quinte Midwives and to be working with families of the Quinte and surrounding area!
Being a midwife is something I’ve had in my heart for a long time. Midwifery came to me after the birth of our son in 2007. The experience was so special to us, and a polar opposite from my first delivery as a teen mother, I knew this was what I was meant to do.
Before I became a midwife, I was first a mother, a wife and financial consultant! After working in finance for 8 years, I knew it was time to make the leap and head back to school. I graduated from the Midwifery Education program at Ryerson University in 2014.
I still call Brighton home and in my spare time I can be found renovating our old home with my husband Jeremy, gardening and just spending time with our kids and large Great Danes Lucy and Patrick.
I am excited to be working in this community with such a wonderful team of midwives, obstetricians , nurses, doulas and all the other amazing community healthcare professionals!
I look forward to meeting you and your families soon!
Hello! My name is Jen McVittie.
I grew up in Port Hope, but have lived in Hamilton for many years. As the result of the personalized and empowering care I received from my midwives, I became committed to the work of supporting families during the childbearing year. I graduated from McMaster University’s Midwifery Education Program, and am thrilled to join Quinte Midwives, returning to southeastern Ontario with my family.
Midwifery has taught me the value of being fully present in each moment, which I have found helps me to support the decision-making and autonomy of the people for which I provide care. I love the variety and unpredictability of this job – in clinic, in hospital, and in my client’s homes – and have learned to never put off until tomorrow what I can do today!
Prior to midwifery, I was immersed in mental health and disability advocacy work, and have a special interest in mental health services for women in rural areas. I come to this work with a desire to provide supportive, client-centred care, and bring a passion for helping to nurture truly accessible health care for people in their own communities.
Apart from midwifery, I am also a joyful parent and spouse. I enjoy creating unique vegetarian meals, planning (and sometimes executing) exciting local excursions, and relaxing at our Northern camp.
I am grateful for the opportunity to be a midwife in this community, and look forward to meeting you and your family!
Administrative Support Staff
Laurie Buckley, Client Coordinator
My name is Laurie Buckley, and I was thrilled to be asked to join the team at Quinte Midwives in January of 2008.
Born in Montreal, I have lived most of my life in Belleville, with a brief time in Ottawa. I graduated from Loyalist College with a Diploma in Nursing and worked many years as a Registered Nurse at Belleville General Hospital, specializing in medical/surgical nursing. I also spent nine years working in the Department of Psychiatry as the Office Manager for the Crisis Intervention Centre, triaging clients and training clinical staff, and then returned to medicine while working as the Office Manager for the Chief of the Department of Rehabilitation and Physical Medicine.
Although I loved my years working in medicine and psychiatry, my first love in nursing school was labour and delivery, making my work at Quinte Midwives a dream come true. I am a firm believer in the value of midwifery care in the lives of families, and am awed at the strength that informed choice brings to the women we serve. As a proud mother of a beautiful, grown daughter, I know the joy that parenthood brings, and I am so pleased to be a small part of this exciting time in our clients’ lives.
Best wishes to you as you embark on the most wonderful adventure of your life.
Lynda Briden-Wright, Office Manager
I have always been a firm believer in empowering women and the concept of midwifery is an excellent example of this. I have been a mentor, supporter and facilitator in an “Empowered Women” program through my previous workplace which promoted interaction of woman of all ages, confidence growth, leadership skills and decision-making. Midwifery envelops all these things and couldn’t be a better fit.
I value family as a proud mother of four children, ranging in age from 32 to 21 and grandmother of two fantastic grandchildren. Much of my personal time continues to be invested in them, giving me ample enjoyment. Having children is such a rewarding opportunity and adventure. I’m happy to now have the chance to witness others as they progress down this wonderful empowering journey.
All the best on your lifetime trip!