Gayle Riedmann, CNM
Gayle Riedmann, CNM, MS graduated from University of California-San Francisco/University of California-San Diego Intercampus Graduate Studies with a Masters degree in 1986. She practiced at University of California San Diego prior to moving to Chicago in 1987. She started the first full-scope Nurse-Midwifery practice at Northwestern Memorial/Prentice Women's Hospital, practicing there until 1993.
After a short break (with 3 children under age 5!) she worked at an HMO CNM service at Rush, then worked with a physician in private practice beginning in 1996. She founded a private midwifery practice and has been the owner of West Suburban Midwife Associates since it opened its doors in 2000. WSMA continues to be one of the few CNM-owned midwifery practices in the state.
While at West Suburban Hospital, she initiated the Alternative Birth Center and Waterbirth programs, West Suburban's Childbirth Education series, and was instrumental in bringing nitrous oxide as a pain management option to the hospital. She has been active as preceptor for Advanced Practice Nursing students in Midwifery and Women's Health programs across the U.S.
Gayle is current President of the Illinois Affiliate of the American College of Nurse Midwives. She additionally serves on the Board of Directors of Health and Medicine Policy Research Group, and is past Chair of the Illinois Birth Center Task Force. Acting on her passion for birth options, she campaigned for over a 25 years to pass a legislative bill to establish freestanding birth centers in Illinois. The legislation was signed into law as Public Act 95-0445 in 2007.
Gayle was appointed by Governor Pat Quinn and served on the Board of Nursing for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation to represent Advanced Practice Nurses/ Certified Nurse-Midwives for the State of Illinois from 2009-2016.
She has published several professional articles, notably "Cesarean Section Rates in Low Risk Patients Managed by Nurse-Midwives and Obstetricians" in the Journal of Nurse-Midwifery; and "Recommendations for the Management of Low-Risk Obstetric Patients" in the International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics. Gayle has also written several chapters for Nursing textbooks, and two chapters for the Global Library of Women's Medicine: Education for Childbirth and Preparation for Parenthood.
Gayle is past recipient of the ACNM Foundation Leadership Award, the Joyce Roberts Award for Excellence in Midwifery, and the Marie Lindsey Spirit of Advanced Practice Nursing Award.
Gayle loves to travel, to hike and bike, and continue the never-ending restoration of her 1891 Victorian Rowhouse. She has 3 (exceptional!) children, all delivered by nurse-midwives.
Claire Michelsen, CNM
Claire received her master’s degree in Nurse-Midwifery from the University of Illinois at Chicago in 2014. Prior to joining WSMA, she spent two years providing full-scope midwifery care in Hinsdale, IL. Her journey into midwifery started as an anthropology and philosophy student in undergraduate school where she researched women's experiences of out-of-hospital birth. Claire went on to study the midwifery model of care in Germany, and finally settled in Chicago to pursue her education in nurse-midwifery. As a student, Claire volunteered as a doula providing labor support to women from vulnerable communities in Chicago. She has trained in a variety of settings including a large university midwifery service, private practices, and at homebirths. Claire is passionate about women-centered care and family-centered care, physiologic childbirth, and complimentary and alternative medicine. She has always been interested in research, and initiated a waterbirth study while working as a midwife in Hinsdale. Claire is currently pursuing continuing education about herbal medicine for women in pregnancy and throughout the lifespan.
Claire lives in Chicago with her husband. She loves gardening, camping, and our beautiful Lake Michigan.
Tara Dethmers, CNM
Tara graduated from University of Illinois Chicago (UIC) with a Master’s degree in Nurse Midwifery in 2016. Prior to attending UIC, Tara received her Master of Science in Nursing degree from Rush University in 2011. Tara spent nearly 6 years as a Labor and Delivery nurse at Northwestern Medicine at both Prentice Women’s Hospital and Central DuPage Hospital.
Tara is passionate about caring for women and supporting them to feel empowered in their care. She has focused a lot of learning and education into complementary and alternative medicine and is fluent in conversational Spanish language. Tara is certified as a breastfeeding counselor and loves to encourage women on their breastfeeding journeys whether it is one week, one year, or more! Tara is well educated on Fertility Awareness Method (also known as Natural Family Planning) and how to effectively use it a contraceptive method as well as for aiding in conception. Tara used midwives to deliver her daughter in 2014 and wouldn’t have it any other way.
Tara lives in Glen Ellyn with her husband and her daughter. She loves traveling with her family, running, knitting, and reading. She is very interested in essential oils and loves diffusing oils at home.
Missy Furlette-Koski, CNM
Missy graduated from University of Illinois at Chicago with her master’s degree in Nurse Midwifery in the spring of 2017. She is a native to Ann Arbor, Michigan (Go Blue!) and came to Chicago initially in 2005 to study at DePaul University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Women and Gender Studies from DePaul and is involved in feminist activism in the Chicago. While at DePaul, Missy completed an undergraduate thesis on queer parenthood and continues to be engaged in creating space in the reproductive health care system for LGBTQ families.
Before becoming a midwife, Missy practiced as both a birth and postpartum doula in Michigan and Chicago, as well as apprenticed in a home birth midwifery practice. While at UIC, Missy was involved in research at the College of Nursing on iron absorption in pregnancy. She is an advocate for evidence-based practice and is very excited about joining a practice which upholds such high standards of care. She also had the opportunity to study in Stockholm, Sweden at the Karolinska Institute during midwifery school, and is interested in expanding access to midwifery care in the United States.
A passionate advocate for reproductive justice and autonomy in health care decision-making, Missy is very invested in providing patient-centered, competent health care for women and families.
She and her wife, Sara, have lived in Oak Park since 2013. Missy is a very dedicated yogi and enjoys cooking, reading, and mastering inversions in her spare time.
Julie Brown, CNM
Julie achieved a lifelong goal when she graduated from the University of Illinois’ Nurse Midwifery program in May of 2018. While Julie was completing her midwifery education she worked at West Suburban Midwife Associates as a Registered Nurse. Once she completed her education she provided sexual and reproductive health care in clinics throughout the Chicago area, and she is now thrilled to return to West Suburban Midwife Associates as a CNM!
Julie’s undergraduate education was in psychology and she spent her early career providing support and counseling to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. This has led to her having a great interest in and always striving to provide trauma informed care in an effort to allow all her patients to feel safe and well cared for, whether in the exam room or in a labor room.
During the pregnancies and births of Julie’s first two children, she discovered the importance of comprehensive childbirth education, being actively involved in decisions regarding your pregnancy and birth, and surrounding one’s self with supportive professionals in order to have a positive birth and early parenting experience. This ultimately led to Julie becoming certified as a childbirth educator, birth and postpartum doula. Julie spent more than 10 years providing support to new families in home, hospital and birth center environments prior to starting midwifery school. She is delighted to bring all these previous experiences to her career as a midwife.
In addition to Julie’s interest in providing trauma informed care, she also has great interest in perinatal mood disorders, breastfeeding and providing care to adolescents. She is always working to expand her knowledge in these areas and more through additional training and education.
Personally, Julie is the mother to four children, born both in the hospital and at home and all with the support of midwives. When not at work, she enjoys being her children’s biggest fans at their sporting, dance and school events. She also enjoys reading, running, baking and traveling with her family.