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OUR TEAM

Patty Brennan Doula Trainer

PATTY BRENNAN, BA, BDT/PDT(DONA)

Patty is the owner of Lifespan Doulas, LLC. She has been a doula, educator, consumer advocate, nonprofit executive, author and entrepreneur for over 35 years. She is a DONA International certified birth and postpartum doula trainer and co-founder of the Lifespan Doulas end-of-life doula training program and certification process. Patty has been the founder/executive director of two community-based nonprofit doula programs in Michigan and is an expert in the Doula Model of Care. She is the author of The Doula Business Guide and The Doula Business Guide Workbook and several other books.

Patty became interested in end-of-life issues after supporting two sets of parents through their final days and witnessing the remarkable similarities between the processes of birth and death. Patty and her husband Jerry also own DreamStreet Press, a publishing company partially devoted to legacy projects in a variety of media. Patty is the lead instructor for Lifespan Doulas’ birth, postpartum and doula business development workshops and is a co-instructor for our End-of-Life Doula Training Workshop.

Merilynne Rush

MERILYNNE RUSH, MSHP, RN, BSN 

Merilynne has been working with families in transition since 1980 as a homebirth midwife, labor and delivery nurse, hospice nurse, home companion and Advance Care Planning (ACP) facilitator. She is co-founder of the Lifespan Doulas End-of-Life Doula Training program and certification process. In addition, Merilynne owns After Death Home Care, providing consultation about home funeral and green burial to individuals and families as well as those in the funeral and cemetery business.

Merilynne has a Master of Science degree in Hospice and Palliative Studies and a Nurse Educator Certificate. She is President of the National End-of-life Doula Alliance, sits on the NHPCO End-of-life Doula Council and the Washtenaw Health Initiative Advance Care Planning Committee, and is a Certified Respecting Choices® ACP Instructor. She has served on the board of directors of the Green Burial Council, the National Home Funeral Alliance and Michigan Doula Connection. Merilynne is a co-instructor for our End-of-Life Doula Training Workshop.

Barbara Robertson

BARBARA ROBERTSON, MA, IBCLC

Barbara holds a master’s degree in education. She is a La Leche League leader and an IBCLC (International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant). Barbara founded the Breastfeeding Center of Ann Arbor in 2008 and serves as its director. She teaches breastfeeding classes for parents, runs support groups, trains lactation professionals and is in private practice as a lactation consultant. Barbara teaches our Breastfeeding Basics for Doulas professional training and assists with the DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop.

Toni Auker

TONI AUKER, LCCE

Toni is a birth doula, Lamaze Certified Childbirth Educator and babywearing consultant. She completed training at the Canadian Babywearing School and is the leader of the Canton Babywearers Group. Toni is the babywearing instructor for our DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop.

Cynthia Jackson

CYNTHIA JACKSON, CPM

Cynthia is a birth doula, homebirth midwife, doula trainer and owner of Sacred Rose Birthing Services. Cynthia is a guest instructor for our DONA Birth Doula Workshop.

Stephanie Julian Lifespan Doulas

STEPHANIE JULIAN-STAMPER, BA, MSF

Stephanie has been a birth and postpartum doula and childbirth educator since 2014. She holds a Master's degree in finance and is owner of Ann Arbor Doulas, a doula agency. She is a guest instructor for our DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop.
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MELISA SCHUSTER, LMSW

Melisa is a licensed clinical social worker who specializes in the treatment of perinatal mood disorders, traumatic birth, childbearing losses and child guidance. In addition to her private practice, she is the program coordinator for the Maternal Infant Health Program at the University of Michigan Hospitals. Melisa is a guest instructor for our DONA Postpartum Doula Workshop.

Eliza Wilson Powers

ELIZA WILSON-POWERS, ICCE, CD(DONA)

Eliza is certified as a birth doula and childbirth educator. Eliza is a guest instructor for our DONA Birth Doula Workshop.

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