Members of the Faculty

Members of the Faculty of Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery

Gerri Ryan, L.M., C.P.M., C.D.T., Executive Director/Chief Operating Officer and member of the faculty, is a California Licensed Midwife and Certified Professional Midwife with an active midwifery practice in San Diego.  She is a nationally certified doula trainer and assists in developing continuing education opportunities for practicing doulas, midwives and health professionals.  She has extensive business expertise and is recognized for her contributions to the midwifery and doula communities in San Diego.

Marla Hicks, R.N.-B.C., C.P.M., L.M., is the Executive Director/Program Manager and a member of the faculty.  She has been practicing midwifery for thirty-five years and is licensed as a midwife by the Medical Board of California.  Marla is board certified in perinatal nursing by the American Nurses Credentialing Center and serves on the Board of Directors of the Association of Midwifery Educators, an organization that serves midwifery educators across the United States.

Ladan Ayatollahi, M.S., C.M., is a Certified Midwife who graduated from the midwifery program of the State University of New York in Brooklyn.  She has worked in outpatient clinics and hospitals and has attended over a thousand births, both as a midwife and as a surgical first assistant at cesarean sections.  She has served on the faculty of Nyack Hospital (an affiliate of Columbia University) and Imam Reza University Hospital in Iran.  She is a member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives.

Lindsey Meehleis, L.M., C.P.M., is licensed by the Medical Board of California and maintains a very busy midwifery practice in Orange County, California.  Prior to becoming licensed as a midwife she worked as an Emergency Medical Technician and doula and taught prenatal yoga and childbirth education classes.  She is a graduate of Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery and is the managing director of Birth without Borders, a grassroots humanitarian organization that serves mothers and babies worldwide.

Nicole Morales, L.M., C.P.M., is a licensed midwife in San Diego County, California and a graduate of the first class of Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery.  She is a respected facilitator for the Birthing from Within program and serves the larger community by assisting women across the lifespan to claim the power of the menstrual cycle and reproduction.

Heather LeMaster, L.M., C.P.M., is a graduate of Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery.  She has experience working in both home and birth center settings.  Heather is the Clinical Education Leader and coordinates clinical education classes and seminars for Nizhoni.

Adjunct faculty members comprised of midwives, acupuncturists, physicians, nurse practitioners and scientists teach specialty classes in Emergency Midwifery Care, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Introductory Cellular Biology and Microbiology, Suturing Technique and other courses.  A majority of these instructors hold a master’s or earned doctorate degree.