Our Midwives

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Rakiya Watts, CNM, MS - South Team - Director

Rakiya N. Watts, CNM, MS (she/her/hers) is a full scope practicing midwife since 2011, midwifery educator and current division director of the Stony Brook Midwives. She received her Masters in Midwifery from Yale School of Nursing and a Bachelors degree in Sociology from Boston College. Her midwifery practice is focused on addressing disparities in health care, specifically, the morbidity and mortality associated with giving birth as a black or brown person. Rakiya believes mentorship is crucial in the development of future midwives and it is important to her that patients and students see providers and educators that represent the diversity that exists in the world. When not at work, she is busy raising her two wonderful children alongside her husband Trevor.

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Tania Alicea, CNM - North Team

Tania is a wife and the mother of four beautiful children. She graduated from Stony Brook University with a Master of Science in Nurse Midwifery with the honor of receiving the Marie Frey Memorial Award. She also has a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Psychology from Stony Brook University. Tania worked as an RN for many years with the developmental population and enjoys assisting with the women's health needs of this population. Tania is an IBCLC. She has been facilitating the Stony Brook Breastfeeding Support group since 2017. As a fellow Long Islander, she is invested in meeting the needs of the community. She is involved in local community health outreach programs for women, focused on primary prevention/screening and contraception. Tania also has special interest in the care of adolescents and preventing teenage pregnancies. She is also fluent in Haitian Creole.


Kristen Clemens, CM, MS - North Team

Kristen’s initial interest in Midwifery began after a volunteer experience in a private midwifery practice. Graduating with honors from the Master’s Program at SUNY Downstate, Kristen began her career practicing full scope Midwifery at Jamaica Hospital Medical Center. She has been with the Stony Brook Midwives for over 5 years and is looking forward to empowering women to be involved in their own care. In addition to her Master’s degree in Midwifery, Kristen’s academic career includes a Bachelor’s degree in Biology from SUNY Stony Brook. Kristen has participated multiple community outreach events to inform women about their options for birth and access to midwifery care as well as served as a guest lecturer at her alma mater SUNY Downstate. She is married and adoring mother to one son, delivered, of course, into the nurturing hands of the Stony Brook Midwives. 


Isabel Faringer-Perez, CNM - South Team

Isabel joined the Stony Brook Midwives after earning her master’s degree from Frontier Nursing University’s midwifery program and her bachelor’s of science in nursing from Stony Brook University. While pursuing her midwifery education, she worked at Stony Brook University Hospital as a registered nurse in Labor and Delivery for five years. Isabel finds providing evidenced based, empathetic and equitable care to women, birthing people and families of all backgrounds incredibly rewarding. She was born with the assistance of a midwife and she finds great joy in coming full circle to assist women and families in their birth experiences. In addition to her love of caring for pregnant people, she has a special interest in providing gynecologic care and wellness/contraception counseling to adolescents and young adults.


Maria Fisher, CNM, MSN, MPH, IBCLC - South Team

Joined the Stony Brook midwives in 2009. Prior to joining the group, Maria worked in private practice in Brooklyn for nine years. She completed her midwifery education at the University of Pennsylvania and also holds a BA degree from Union College, Schenectady, NY and an MPH from Columbia University. Before becoming a midwife, Maria worked for many years in hospital management. Maria is also an active member of the American College of Nurse-Midwives and serves as a committee chairperson for the NYC chapter, and is a member of the NYS Association of Licensed Midwives which works to improve the laws and regulations governing women's access to midwifery. She is an Adjunct Faculty member of New York University College of Nursing and Dentistry, speaks publically on women's health issues in the community, teaches childbirth classes and is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.


Christina Kocis, CNM, DNP, FACNM - North Team

Chris has been a staff midwife in the Stony Brook Midwifery practice since 1998 and served as its Division Director from 2006-2023. Chris had twenty years of nursing experience prior to graduating with the first class of midwives from the Stony Brook Pathways Midwifery Program in 1997. In 2009, Chris graduated from Stony Brook with a Doctorate in Nursing Practice. She also served as president of the Long Island Midwives, Inc., and president of the Midwifery Business Network. Chris has co-authored several scientific articles and authored the “Human Resources” chapter of the ACNM Administrative Manual. Chris has a special interest in evidence-based practice as it relates to maternal and newborn health and access to midwifery care.


Susan Liang, CNM - North Team

Susan has always known she had a calling for midwifery and women’s health. This calling was reinforced after having the opportunity to witness her first and subsequent births as a volunteer with an exceptional midwife. She joins the Stony Brook Midwives after receiving her Master of Science in Midwifery from Stony Brook University. Prior to becoming a midwife, she received her Bachelor of Science in Biological Sciences from University at Buffalo and her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Long Island University. She has worked as a Labor and Delivery nurse at NewYork-Presbyterian Hospital/Weill Cornell Medical Center for over 5 years and as a midwife at Long Island Jewish Medical Center. Susan is excited and privileged to be joining the group and offering individualized and evidence-based care to the community.


Goldie McBride, CM MS - South Team Leader

Prior to becoming a member of The Stony Brook Midwifery Practice, Goldie practiced midwifery at Mount Sinai Medical Center in Manhattan , as well as at a private physician's office. She has always enjoyed being involved in helping women as evidenced by her years of work as a Lamaze Childbirth Instructor and Breastfeeding Educator. Her academic career includes an AAS in Physical Therapy, Bachelor's degree in Women's studies from Stony Brook and a Master's in Midwifery from SUNY Downstate. Currently, she is South Team Leader. She is also a guest lecturer at SUNY Downstate in the Midwifery program.
Elizabeth Morrison, CM, MS

Elizabeth Morrison, CM, MS - South Team 

Liz’s earliest exposure to Midwifery and Women’s Health came when she served in the Navy as a Hospital Corpsman. She continued supporting women and families as a birth doula for ten years and a homebirth assistant for five years. She obtained a Master's of Science in Midwifery from Downstate Medical Center in 2017. She is trained in Lamaze childbirth education and has facilitated adolescent health education, breastfeeding and postpartum support groups. She is a Certified Breastfeeding Counselor and plans to complete IBCLC in 2024. She is mother to three boys.

She is grateful to join the Stony Brook Midwives and be a part of this wonderful team.


Joan Nastasi, CNM - North Team

Joan always knew she wanted to provide care for women and newborns. She graduated from high school as a Licensed Practical Nurse, with the goal of continuing her education. Joan went on to obtain her RN from Queensborough College in 1983, beginning her calling as a Labor and Delivery nurse. She advanced her career with a perinatal nurse practitioner degree in 2006 and a post-masters certificate in midwifery in 2011, both from Stony Brook University. She has practiced midwifery in both the private and public settings, most notably at Nassau University Medical Center. There Joan was an advocate for the development of their Birthing Center. Joan is a leader in group prenatal care through Centering in Pregnancy.  She is eager to continue providing the evidence-based midwifery model of care here at Stony Brook. 


Barbara Neuhaus, NP, CNM - South Team

Working as a labor and delivery nurse for over 20 years has driven my dedication in caring for and being with women and their families. In 2011, I received a Master of Science Degree specializing in Perinatal Women's Health and in 2019 I received a Post Master Certificate in Midwifery, both from Stony Brook University. As a Woman's Health Nurse Practitioner, I worked in private practice, caring for women across the healthcare continuum as well as a Clinical Instructor, Clinical Nurse Specialist/Educator, and Breast Health Nurse Practitioner. As a Certified Nurse Midwife my goal is to continue, to empower, advocate and inspire women to be active and present in their health care needs and to deliver compassionate, evidence-based care.

Frances Perez

Frances Perez-Hernandez, CM, MS, IBCLC - South Team

Frances has been practicing Midwifery for over 13 years. She obtained her Bachelor’s degree in Chemistry at CUNY Hunter College and Master of Science in Midwifery at SUNY Downstate Medical Center. She is also an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant and a facilitator for Centering Group Prenatal Care. Her work serving pregnant individuals, babies, and families is fueled by her passion for the protection and advancement of individuals’ health/reproductive rights and equity. She is grateful to be able to provide evidence-based patient-centered care with the Stony Brook Midwives.

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Kathleen Sharrott, CNM, MSN - North Team

Katie joined the Stony Brook Midwifery Practice in 2014 after completing her Master of Science in Nurse Midwifery from New York University. Prior to joining the Stony Brook Midwives, she received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Northeastern University in Boston. Katie worked as a pediatric nurse at Boston Children's Hospital and at NYU Langone Medical Center in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit. She is board member of the Long Island Midwives, Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC), and a certified facilitator for Centering Group Prenatal Care. Katie lives with her husband in Huntington.


Elizabeth Sullivan, CNM, WHNP (she/her/hers) - North Team 

Elizabeth joined the Stony Brook Midwives in 2018, after receiving her Master of Science in Midwifery and Women’s Health from Yale School of Nursing. She is passionate about helping birthing people and families feel supported, empowered and safe during their childbirth experience, and throughout all of their reproductive healthcare encounters. Elizabeth is a Centering Pregnancy facilitator and truly believes in the benefit of the group model of care, specifically for its ability to provide families with knowledge, support and community. She lives in Huntington with her husband and son, who was born into the hands of the Stony Brook Midwives. 


Ann Visser, CNM MS - North Team Leader

Ann has been with Stony Brook Midwives since 2005. Ann helped bring Centering Group Prenatal Care to Stony Brook and is an active facilitator.  Ann is a Lactation Counselor and helps facilitate the weekly Breastfeeding Support Group.  Ann is currently active as a Board member of NYSALM (NYS Assoc of Licensed Midwives) working with other midwives to keep midwifery the model for women’s healthcare. She also supports local midwives as the current Chair of LI Midwives.  Ann loves supporting women and families in pregnancy and beyond. Prior to working at Stony Brook, she practiced midwifery in a private practice in Nassau County and in a NYC hospital.  Ann also has been a Bradley method childbirth educator, doula and a birth assistant at homebirth. Ann is married to her high school sweetheart and they have 3 wonderful children.

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