Saraswathi Vedam, RM, FACNM, Sci D (hc)
Saraswathi Vedam is Associate Professor of Midwifery and Lead Investigator of the Birth Place Lab at the University of British Columbia. She has been a clinician and a health professional educator for over 30 years. Professor Vedam has been active in setting national and international policy on place of birth, as well as midwifery education and regulation. She has provided expert consultations to policy makers in Mexico, Hungary, Chile, China, the Czech Republic, Canada, the US, and India. She was Convener and Chair of 3 national Home Birth Consensus Summits. At these historic summits, a multi-stakeholder group of leaders (clinicians, consumers, policymakers, legislators, researchers, ethicists, and administrators) crafted a common agenda to address equitable access to high quality care across birth settings in the United States. In 2010, Professor Vedam chaired the 5th International Normal Labour and Birth Research Conference in Vancouver. She also spoke at the 2011 Vancouver Café Scientifique, where she moderated an expert discussion on the topic Home Birth Understood: Tales & Truths. While Director of the UBC Division of Midwifery from 2007-2012, she was responsible for achieving support from the BC Ministries of Health and Advanced Education to support the expansion and renewal of midwifery education.
Professor Vedam’s research projects include the national, CIHR-funded Canadian Birth Place Study examining attitudes to place of birth among maternity care providers; and Changing Childbirth in BC, a provincial, community-based participatory study of women’s preferences for maternity care. Her scholarly work includes critical appraisal of the literature on planned home birth, evaluations of innovative models for fetal assessment, and development of the first US registry of home birth perinatal data. To apply her findings to pragmatic tools to improve quality and safety, professor Vedam has developed clinical screening and quality measures, including MAPi, the Movement and Pulse index for assessment of fetal well-being, the Mothers’ Autonomy in Decision Making (MADM) scale, and the Mothers on Respect index (MORi). Currently, she is leading multi-disciplinary teams in the US Birth Place Mapping Study to describe the status of licensure and integration of midwives in the United States; and the Giving Voice to Mothers Study to explore the unique experiences of families from communities of color and families who plan home births, across North America.
Kathrin Stoll, PhD
Kathrin Stoll is a PhD-level researcher with over 15 years of experience. She holds federal (CIHR) and provincial (MSFHR) postdoctoral salary awards. Her program of research focuses on clinical, psychosocial, and health systems factors that are associated with optimal maternal and newborn outcomes. She has expertise in quantitative research methods and analyses, including survey and evaluation research, scale construction and psychometric testing, perinatal population data analysis, and regression modelling.
Because of her interdisciplinary education and work experience, spanning the disciplines of psychology, sociology, epidemiology, nursing, family practice, and midwifery, Kathrin has had the pleasure of working with clinicians, graduate students, and fellow researchers from different disciplines. She is experienced with grant development, has published over 30 papers, and volunteered for 5 years as co-editor of the Canadian Journal of Midwifery Research & Practice. Kathrin works closely with 2-4 midwifery undergraduate and graduate students every year and enjoys mentoring them through the process of developing the research skills necessary to complete their capstone/thesis projects.
Barbara Karlen, Research Coordinator
As Research Coordinator Barbara manages project delivery, human resources, budget administration, and communications for research activities within the Birth Place Lab. She liaises with consultants and contractors, facilitates team meetings, and supports reporting to funders. Barbara has a background in Sociology and has coordinated many regional and provincial research projects. Her previous roles were primarily in quantitative research focused on occupational and environmental health.
Lynsey Hamilton, Research and Knowledge Translation Specialist
Lynsey leads strategic dissemination and implementation activities for the Birth Place Lab, she facilitates multidisciplinary research and knowledge translation projects generated by the Home Birth Summits, and supports grant writing and reporting. Lynsey gained her Master’s in Public Health Research at the University of Edinburgh and has worked in health care research since moving to Canada shortly after. She has a background in qualitative research and knowledge translation projects working with a variety of different populations, and a strong interest in participatory action research and autonomy in the health care system.
Courtney Broten, RM, McAC, MHPE (Candidate)
Courtney Broten completed a degree in Midwifery and has since cared for diverse groups of people throughout pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and newborn periods in both rural and urban settings in British Columbia. She has served as faculty with the Division of Midwifery at UBC since 2010. Her professional responsibilities include working for the Midwives Association of BC on provincial access issues for midwives. She is particularly interested in health professional education research and design. Courtney is in her final stages of a Master’s in Health Professional Education through Maastricht University in the Netherlands, and she is supported locally by UBC’s Centre for Health Education Scholarship.
Contact Courtney by email here.