Community Advisory Committee
As one of its formative actions, the Alliance helped to establish a Community Advisory Committee (CAC) to be thought partners and advisors to the Funders and complementary Funders to Community Based Organizations (CBOs). The CAC comprises community leaders and birth equity champions who will independently govern a Community Advised Fund for CBOs and community-led initiatives in New Jersey with the aim to improve outcomes for moms and babies.
The CAC members are selected from a competitive pool of applicants and bring diverse backgrounds, geographic areas, birth equity focus points. life experiences and skill sets to the table.
Jessica Andre was born and raised in Trenton, New Jersey. She received her Bachelor of Science in Biology and is currently in nursing school in the ABSN to MSN program at the University of Pennsylvania. Jessica Andre is a community doula and certified breastfeeding specialist serving Mercer County New Jersey, focusing on the Haitian population.
Jessica’s passion for birth work led her to become a doula in 2018 and then an assistant doula supervisor with the Trenton Community Doulas. Due to the nature of working so closely with clients she realized that a need in our community was to have lactation consultants more accessible outside of the hospital setting. She became a breastfeeding specialist to help bridge the gap. Andre is currently working as a breastfeeding peer counselor in Mercer County alongside her role as a community doula and birth advocate.
Joel Austin is the Founder, President, and Chief Executive Officer for Daddy University Inc. and the Executive Director of The School of Parent Education. Fueled by his role as a father of four, Mr. Austin is personally and professionally committed to educating and re-educating people about the importance of fatherhood. Through his leadership, Daddy University Inc. has grown into a recognized authority on fatherhood information, support, and training. Mr. Austin is a proud graduate of Cheyney University in Pennsylvania and obtained real-life skills training as a veteran of the U.S. Army.
Mr. Austin is the founder of the National Fatherhood and Young Men’s Conference whose message has reached over 58,500 individuals and groups since its inception in 2006. In 2009, he also founded the Tri-State Daddy Daughter Dance, which has become a tradition that changes the lives of girls everywhere. Mr. Austin is also the chief facilitator and program developer for the Fathers Club; a free weekly fatherhood training group at three locations in Philadelphia; he services fathers from all backgrounds and ages.
Natasha R. Chinn
Natasha R. Chinn MD FACOG has been a trailblazer in women’s health for almost 20 years. She believes in treating the whole being, which she describes as spirit, mind, and body. Dr. Chinn is a board certified OB/GYN and currently completing her fellowship in Integrative Medicine. Dr. Chinn completed her undergraduate degree at Yale University, where she received a BA in anthropology. Both her medical degree and OB/GYN residency were completed at Rutgers New Jersey Medical school.
Dr. Chinn currently works as an OB/GYN and integrative medicine physician at Brescia Migliaccio Women’s Health, where she served as a founding partner until 2021. During her career, she has served as an adjunct clinical assistant professor at Touro College of Osteopathic Medicine, where she mentored and trained numerous medical students and residents. She is also a member of ACOG, ACOOG, and serves on the Executive leadership team of the northern New Jersey chapter of the American heart association. Recently, Dr. Chinn was also appointed to the Advisory board for Coalition for Change in NJ.
Christine Ivery is a TEDx speaker who is dedicated to addressing inequities in healthcare and mitigating issues within the Black infant and maternal mortality crisis. Her passion is to help all walks of life through disease and disparity prevention, as well as to make an impact in the communities she serves. As Project Manager at the Jefferson Collaborative for Health Equity, she secures implementation of the program objectives, leads teams to successful execution, and cultivates networks to effectively address barriers that affect health outcomes.
Christine serves as Regional Director of Sisters in Public Health and the Community Health Planning and Policy Development (CHPPD) Section Counselor for the American Public Health Association (APHA). She is a proud member of the American Public Health Association, Drexel University Center for Black Culture (CBC) Advisory Board, the Greater Philadelphia Norfolk State Alumni Chapter, and Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Incorporated Social Justice platform.
Christine holds a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science- Kinesiotherapy from Norfolk State University, a Master’s degree from Drexel University in Public Health, and Health Education Specialist Certification (CHES).
Fatimah Muhammad has worked alongside the International Baby-Friendly designation project at NYU Medical Center, the second hospital in New York to receive a baby-friendly designation and currently serves as an international and national doula, with a majority of her clients residing in the tri-state area. During a career that spans almost two decades, she has established her reputation for educating women and families on their pregnancy journey. For nearly a decade, Fatimah has spearheaded pharmaceutical services programs dedicated to optimizing healthcare for vulnerable populations, increasing access to vital medications and providing more comprehensive and affordable patient services. Fatimah currently works as the Director of 340B Pharmaceutical Services and Drug Reimbursement at Saint Peter’s University Hospital.
Fatimah is passionate about decreasing maternal mortality, addressing racial disparities, health disparities, and health inequities so that every woman and their family can look forward to their journey and not fear a likely, but an unnecessary outcome. She is dedicated to helping provide emotional, educational, and physical support that ensures future generations receive fair and equal treatment.
Kashieka Phillips was born and raised in Paterson, New Jersey. She attended Syracuse University and received her Bachelor of Science in Child and Family Studies. She completed her graduate degree at Holy Names University and earned her Master of Arts in Culture and Spirituality in Oakland, CA.
Phillips has a passion for helping women, especially mothers, in the Paterson community and seeks to equip them with the tools necessary for their overall health and well-being. She currently serves as a Community Health Worker for the New Destiny Family Success Center in Paterson and focuses her work in the Maternal and Child Health sector.
Erica Pulliam is the Newark Site Manager for START, the Center for Great Expectations’ community-based home visitation program. Erica is a graduate of Pillar College with an Associate degree in Biblical Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Counseling and Psychology with a marriage and family concentration. Erica is a certified Domestic Violence Response Team member and a trained perinatal doula. She is currently developing a train-the trainer initiative for integration of doulas across the Center for Great Expectation’s (CGE) continuum of care.
Erica has worked at CGE since 2012, with advancing experience in their Adolescent Residential program and the START Program. She is a demonstrated change agent for populations who are marginalized, mistreated and subjected to silence and a founding member of CGE’s Social Justice Committee, as well as a member of the DMHAS Multicultural Services Advisory Committee. Erica is also a Trainer at the Institute of CGE and has presented as a Panelist for the Brazelton Institute Annual Substance Use Disorder Conference and a trainer for “Abuse Across the Spectrum” at CGE’s New Employee Orientation. Additionally, Erica serves as the Vice President of the HOPES CAP, Inc. Head Start Policy Council. Erica values her self-care and prioritizes spending time with her husband and two children.
Cristina Ramos is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Mammissi Birth Services, a busy but happy mother to three beautiful beings, and a grandmother to one. She has been providing accessible trauma-informed services for over ten years and is known for her work with marginalized communities, specifically pregnant or parenting people with substance use disorder. Cristina prepares families for childbirth and continues to support them from birth to school age. She believes birth rights are human rights, and incredible things happen when a birthing person is treated with the care and compassion they deserve.
Cristina loves teaching and learning from each family that she works with. She is a Certified Perinatal and Postpartum Doula, Childbirth Educator, Evidence Based Birth Instructor, Preconception Peer Educator, Certified Holistic Health Coach, Peer Sexual Reproductive Health Educator, Hypno-Doula, Certified Peer Breastfeeding Counselor, Evidence Based Birth Instructor, Reiki Practitioner 1 & 2, NBO – Certified Newborn Specialist, Placenta Alchemist and Trainer, and Babywearing Trainer.
Tiffani Williams is a Registered Nurse and leader in the Maternal Health department at Acenda Integrated Health. She currently acts as the Program Director for the Nurse-Family Partnership program which has specially trained nurses who regularly visit first time moms-to-be starting early in pregnancy and up until their child reaches their second birthday.
Tiffani has served mothers in the community for over thirteen years as both a Nurse Home Visitor and in the leadership capacity. She actively seeks out solutions to improve the racial disparities surrounding maternal health and is an active member of Nurse-Family Partnership’s Maternal Health Innovations Advisory Committee. Tiffani is also a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor whose desire is to increase breastfeeding rates amongst the African American community. In her spare time, she enjoys spending time with her family and traveling.
Brittany Wright serves as the Director of Maternal Programming for the Perinatal Health Equity Initiative (PHEI) in East Orange, New Jersey. She has worked in the maternal health space since 2015 and has served as the Maternal Child Health Equity Coordinator for the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene’s bureau of maternal infant reproductive health. She has centered her work around lactation, maternal mortality, severe maternal morbidity, as well as reproductive justice and aims to advance Perinatal Health Equity’s mission by supporting black mamas across the state of New Jersey through education, advocacy, and support.
Brittany is a proud New Jersey native and serves as an adjunct professor at the Steinhardt School of Culture Education at New York University. She is a mother of two boys, 11 and 5 years old. She holds a master’s in public health from Thomas Jefferson University School of Population Health and a BS in Health Behavior Management from University of Delaware.