Meet the Pacifica Team
Cindy Lara Haag, Licensed Midwife, CPM, Director, Co-Founder
Cindy has been a Licensed Midwife attending out-of-hospital births since 1990. After completing her training at Maternidad La Luz, a freestanding birth center and midwifery school in Texas, Cindy accepted a position as a staff midwife and then as clinical director of the birth center. During her seven years there, she provided full scope midwifery care and supervised students and midwives.
In 1998, Cindy gave birth at home to her daughter, Elia. In 2000, Cindy moved to the Bay Area where she was a founding midwife of a Marin birth center and began her own home birth practice in the East Bay. In 2012, Cindy co-founded and opened Pacifica Family Maternity Center. Throughout her midwifery career, Cindy has attended over 1200 births! Cindy is fluent in Spanish and English, and committed to making midwifery care accessible to all families.
Carlee Ann, Licensed Midwife, CPM, MSM, Adminstrative and Clinical Coordinator
Carlee Ann’s passion for women’s health led her to become a Doula in 2009. Simultaneously, she received her Massage Therapy License and specialized in prenatal and postpartum massage. She studied Biology, Kinesiology, and Holistic Health at San Francisco State University and began growing her midwifery career while attending births.
Carlee Ann graduated from Bastyr University in 2015 with a Master of Science in Midwifery. She is committed to providing accessible, evidence-based, individualized, and culturally sensitive care to clients and families.
Vanessa Caldari, Licensed Midwife
Vanessa Caldari has been studying and practicing the art and science of midwifery for twenty years. She studied at Maternidad La Luz from 1996-1997 and went on to apprentice with numerous midwives in New Mexico. In 1997, Vanessa returned to her birth place of Puerto Rico to work and further enhance her experience with the local midwives. She currently holds a Bachelor of Science in Nursing. After completing her BSN she studied the theory and practice of Nurse Midwifery and Public Health at the University of Puerto Rico Medical Science Campus.
In 2007, she founded and became Executive Director of Centro MAM, which has been a catalyst for change and empowerment around birth, women’s issues, and societal norms in Puerto Rico. Vanessa moved her family to the Bay Area in 2017 to join the Pacifica Team.
Heather Mancini, Certified Nurse Midwife, CPM
Growing up in Hawaii taught Heather to honor life’s natural cycles and to respect diversity. After studying psychology, plant medicine, healing and therapeutic massage, Heather pursued her midwifery education. An apprenticeship in the Bay Area and internship at a public hospital in Jamaica led to her certification as a CPM in 2004. She returned to Maui and had a home birth practice for 4 years.
Heather graduated from UCSF in 2016 with a Master’s of Science in Nursing, specializing as a Certified Nurse-Midwife and Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner. She has worked in obstetric offices, community clinics, and hospitals serving diverse populations. Heather is committed to providing compassionate care for families through the greatest transition in their lives— birth.
Melissa Rauch, Licensed Midwife, CPM, IBCLC
Melissa grew up in the Great Lakes state of Michigan and came to learn about midwifery while finishing her Bachelors degree in women and gender studies. She began volunteering as a doula to a diverse group of under-served families and her dream of becoming a midwife was born.
Melissa graduated with a Bachelors of Science in Midwifery and received her midwifery license in 2015. In addition to midwifery, Melissa is passionate about supporting families in breastfeeding and is a Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She brings a strong commitment to providing culturally competent and individualized care to families in our community.
Assistant Midwives - Postpartum Care
Jessamyn Meyerhoff, Licensed Midwife, CPM
Jessamyn Meyerhoff is a Bay Area native. She graduated from midwifery school in 2001. Since then she has assisted at births in many different settings: birth centers, homebirths and hospitals. Her experience includes apprenticing with hospital midwives in Santa Cruz, working with a homebirth midwife in New York City, and her own homebirth practice in the Bay Area.
Jessamyn also has extensive experience in Women’s Healthcare. She worked for Planned Parenthood providing gynecological and prenatal care for 11 years. She enjoys working with diverse populations. She speaks both English and Spanish.
Ellen levitt, Licensed Midwife
Ellen has a strong passion for women’s health and over 25 years of experience providing prenatal, birth and postpartum care. Since 1987, she has attended more than 1,000 births. Ellen trained as a midwife through a homebirth apprenticeship in California and clinical training in a hospital in Kingston, Jamaica and at birth centers in Austin, Texas and Florida. Prior to that she worked as an EMT in San Francisco.
In addition to offering classes and workshops to aspiring midwives, Ellen has served as the regional representative on the board of the California Association of Midwives and on the California Licensing Committee. She also helped found the Bay Area Homebirth Collective.
Emily grew up in an Ashram in Virginia and witnessed her first water birth at home when she was 4 years old. With a mother working as a midwife, Emily was fortunate to attend many births throughout her childhood. Emily joined the Pacifica Family as a client in 2013, while pregnant with her daughter and had her son at home in the water in 2016.
After working in restaurant management for 15 years, Emily embraced the opportunity to focus on motherhood and bring her managing experience to the Pacifica Team! Emily is passionate about the birth center model and providing sustainable midwifery care to our community.
El’s journey to midwifery began in 2010 when she was trained as a birth doula and began taking clients. In addition to attending births, El is a full spectrum doula and has supported many people through abortion procedures and fetal losses.
El was in the leadership of the New York Doula Project and has facilitated trainings for full spectrum doulas around the country. El worked as a midwife’s assistant in a birth center and then in a home birth practice in New York. She has also worked as a medical assistant in an abortion clinic in Oakland. In addition to El's experience as a doula, she has been studying western herbalism since 2011 and loves growing plants and making plant medicine. El is a student at the National Midwifery Institute and is very excited to be a part of the Pacifica team!
Destiny grew up on a ranch in the rural mountains of Suisun Valley. The first time she was drawn to birth was at the age of ten, when she helped her dog deliver a litter of puppies. By age twelve, she became the farm midwife assisting with animal births. Destiny veered off her path to midwifery as she pursued a career in the maritime industry. She earned a Bachelors of Science in Marine Transportation in 2010 and a Masters of Science in Humanitarian Aid, Disaster, and Crisis Management in 2012.
Destiny's passion for birth work was reignited through her own experience receiving midwifery care. Destiny is the proud mother of six beautiful children. She became a certified birth doula in 2016 and began volunteering at a local teenage pregnancy resource center in addition to taking private clients. Destiny is a student midwife at the National Midwifery Institute and feels honored to be a part of the Pacifica family!
Corinne’s interest in public health and community development has led her around the world to work with different NGO’s. These experiences brought Corinne to birth work. Corinne became a doula in 2013, while living in Seattle and helped lead a volunteer doula program at the University of Washington Medical Campus. Her love for supporting pregnant people and their families through the childbearing cycle took root and she decided to pursue midwifery.
Corinne is a student at Birthwise Midwifery School and she is completing her apprenticeship at Pacifica Family Maternity Center. She feels very grateful and excited to be supporting folks at Pacifica.