Melissa joins the team at Rumina from a career in out-of-hospital birth and women’s health care. She worked at Special Beginnings Birth & Women’s Center from 2004 until its closure in 2020. There, she provided full scope midwifery care including well woman, prenatal, postpartum and birth care in the birth center and at Anne Arundel Medical Center.
When she was eight years old, her mother was nursing her two-week-old brother in public. Melissa noticed two women making disapproving expressions and whispering to each other. She marched up and boldly informed them: “My baby brother needs to eat and babies nurse to get milk.” From that moment, Melissa has been driven to protect young families and support their journeys. New parents need connection and a village during the vulnerable transitions of adding children to their families. Parenting is the most difficult, rewarding and human work that we do. Melissa aims to hold space for the work and play that will help us meet our needs and find joy in our humanity.
Melissa has three school age children who spend a lot of time looking at screens. In an effort to achieve some balance, she and her husband take them hiking and camping as often as they can. She also enjoys reading, knitting, cooking, playing harp or piano and activism work to shape a more loving, equitable world for all people.