Certified Nurse Midwives

MN Birth Center - Minneapolis & St. Paul

Patricia Hinck, Director of midwifery, APRN, CNM

Patricia’s journey as a midwife started as a labor and delivery nurse in 1994. As a nurse she noticed that women were not always being listened to or involved in their own health care choices. Wanting to provide care that allows a woman dominion over her own health and care, Patricia pursued a degree in midwifery. She graduated from the University of Minnesota midwifery program in 2005. Since this time, Patricia has advocated for women in three different hospital-based systems. At two of these sites she both initiated and led the midwifery care teams. Patricia is thankful for every opportunity that has been provided to her and feels it has prepared her to be a member of the Minnesota Birth Center where care is respectful and compassionate, and where women are listened to.

Patricia is a lifelong Minnesota resident. She was raised in Lake City by the beautiful Mississippi River. The river continues to be her happy place. She also enjoys Minnesota Wild hockey, long bike rides, and time with her supportive spouse, children and three dogs.

Katie Ireland, APRN, Certified Nurse MidwifeKatie Ireland, APRN, CNM

Katie I. was born and raised in the North Metro, but journeyed to Minneapolis whenever possible. She is thrilled to have made Powderhorn Park her home for the last 13 years. She also has a special place in her heart for St. Paul, having worked there as a labor and delivery nurse for 15 years.

Katie feels her job as a midwife is to provide the most accurate information and options available and support her clients to choose what fits best for their family. She welcomes the opportunity to work with people from all backgrounds, ethnic groups, spiritual traditions, sexualities, gender expressions, and family structures.

Katie is a proud graduate of Frontier Nursing University (MSN) and Coe College (BSN). She lives with her son and their two cats in South Minneapolis. She tries to play the ukulele with friends as often as possible.

Christy Anderson, Aprn, CNM

Christy was born and raised in Minnesota, spending most of her childhood in Chanhassen. She lived in Burnsville for 10 years before moving to South Minneapolis in the fall of 2017. Prior to completing her MSN in nurse-midwifery, Christy worked as a labor & delivery, postpartum and charge nurse for nine years in a regional hospital.

Christy’s journey into midwifery started while job shadowing a nurse-midwife during the summer while she was in high school. It was during this time that she became fascinated and in awe with the labor and birth process and the strength of women.

Christy respects the normalcy of pregnancy and birth and believes in holistic, women-centered care that incorporates all aspects of the woman’s life to provide optimal, evidenced-based care. She feels very privileged to be able to attend births and loves to provide care and support to women and their families during pregnancy, birth and postpartum. She has a passion for using integrative therapies, water birth and supporting mothers that would like to have a vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC).

Interests for Christy include reading, gardening, photography, cooking, Twins baseball, and most recently tackling lots of house projects (which also means many trips to the hardware store!). She also takes pleasure in exploring the world through travel and experiencing the local food and culture. Yoga helps her wind down and keeps her centered. She thoroughly enjoys being an aunt and takes every opportunity to spend time with her family.

Toni Westphal, aprn, cnm

Toni grew up mainly in Wisconsin, but married a Minnesotan, so the children have been raised in both places. She started in OB early in her nursing career and soon found the passion that drives her today. Toni received her B.S. in Nursing from Winona State University in 1997 and her M.S. in midwifery from the University of Minnesota in 2010. She knows that God has given women amazing capabilities. Honoring and promoting this as much as possible led her down the midwifery path with a healthy respect to use the wisdom given us to identify the more uncommon complications in pregnancy and childbirth and respond safely. She has witnessed this numerous times during her 13 years of nursing and seven years of midwifery service prior to arriving here at the Minnesota Birth Center. Midwifery also allowed her to focus on women’s health which directly affects the woman, family, community, and world. She enjoys this aspect of care, too. She has had the opportunity to partner with women and families from all walks of life and feels completely enriched by it.

Toni has been blessed with a supportive partner, Darin, of over 20 years, whom she credits for strengthening her and their family. They have two wonderful daughters, Hope and Chloe, who are growing way too quickly and starting to get out on their own in very different ways. Her mother, GG, is also under her care and a large part of her life. The other members of the family, their three dogs Tucker, Addie, and Chowder, also fulfill them and keep them busy. The family enjoys traveling, biking, lake life, and great eats. Toni is also a bit of a novice carpenter and always likes to have a project.

For Toni, the Minnesota Birth Center feels like home professionally and spiritually, offering healthcare in a safe, peaceful and loving place.

Brielle Stoyke, APRN, CNM, IBCLC

Brielle grew up around birth. As a child she was able to attend a few births alongside a family friend who was a midwife, and as a high school student she became a candy striper and volunteered on the maternity floor of a local hospital.

Brielle attended the University of St. Thomas in Saint Paul, and through an exchange program with the College of St. Catherine, became a Registered Nurse. She worked Labor & Delivery first and then became a National Health Service Corps (NHSC) scholar, promising to serve in an underserved area once she finished nurse-midwifery school. After completing her midwifery degree at the University of Minnesota in 2000, Brielle fulfilled her promise as an NHSC scholar and attended hospital and home births with a rural client population. She was a key member in helping birth center legislation pass in MN in 2010 and later, she was the secretary for the Minnesota Advanced Practice Registered Nurses (APRN) Coalition. This organization helped all APRNs gain full practice authority in 2014.

Brielle and her husband Philip have two girls, Greta and Linnea, who were both born prematurely and now are thriving. Most recently, Brielle became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) to help her clients in their postpartum journey. She also teaches nurse-midwife students part-time and enjoys her contributions to her students. Brielle is currently available at the Minnesota Birth Center to see clients for routine OB care, at well-woman appointments and family planning/contraceptive visits, and for lactation support. In her downtime she studies non-violent communication, enjoys cooking with her family, and dreaming of their next trip!

Nicole Apel, APRN, CNM

Nicole hails from Chicago, where she was raised by her mother and grandmother. After graduating with a B.A. in Germanic Studies and Art History in 2005 from the University of Illinois at Chicago (UIC) she traveled, practiced yoga, worked on a farm, and eventually decided to go back to school for her true calling in midwifery and women’s health.

She completed a B.S. in Nursing in 2010 at Columbia University in NYC, along with her M.S. in Women’s Health in 2012. She gave birth to her daughter, Arianna, at home in 2011, and had a lovely home water birth with her son Oliver in 2013. She treasures her time with them and “learns from them daily”. In 2013 she went back to UIC to complete her original plan of becoming a midwife, and she started the Post-Masters program in midwifery and completed the program in 2014. For the past three years she has worked with a home birth practice in Chicago, as well as a hospital-based group. She has been honored to work with a diverse population of families in a variety of settings. Her heart lies in out-of-hospital birth, and she is thrilled to be joining the team at the Minnesota Birth Center. She says, “Pregnancy and birth is a rite of passage for parents and it is an honor to be a part of this journey and share in these most sacred moments.”

Madeline Gardner, APRN, CNM

Madeline was raised in St. Paul. In her late teens she had the wonderful opportunity to be with two different friends at their home births, thus launching her life-long interest in birth.  Since then she has worked as a doula, a midwifery assistant at a birth center on the Texas/Mexico border and a labor & delivery nurse at the U of MN Medical Center. Her passion for woman-centered and out-of-hospital birth brought her to MBC in 2016 as a birth assistant.  She is delighted to continue to care for MBC families now as a midwife.

Madeline loves building a relationship with each client and hearing their story. She provides compassionate and evidence-based care and enjoys serving people of diverse backgrounds and identities. As a midwife she is a guide and guardian of safe, supportive, empowered birth. Most recently she was trained as a Spinning Babies® Aware Practitioner and loves helping clients help their babies find an optimal position for birth.  Additionally, she is interested in contraception, sexual health, holistic medicine and health equity.  When she isn’t welcoming babies she can be found in her large garden, playing with her kids or involved in community events and social justice causes.  Madeline lives in South Minneapolis with her husband and two wild children, one of whom was born at MBC.

Kerry Horton, APRN, CNM

Kerry’s decision to become a midwife was the result of a fortunate happenstance, but has lead to the most incredible adventures! Kerry grew up overseas, spending most of her formative years in Dubai. After college, she worked with Peace Corps in Rwanda where she found her passion for midwifery, witnessing the most simple, but awe-inspiring moment in a woman’s life. Kerry returned to the states again, where she completed her degree to become a midwife at Frontier Nursing University.

Kerry’s path to Minneapolis has gone through a birth center in Boise, Idaho and the regional hospital in St. Thomas, US Virgin Islands. She is excited about the chance to provide holistic, family-centered care to the incredible women of Minneapolis and St. Paul.

The city has allowed Kerry a chance to get involved in everything from theater to baseball games, restaurants to book clubs. She’s looking forward to do more exploring with friends and family.

Lori Geller, APRN, CNM

Lori began her journey in the amazing world of women’s health as a volunteer at Fairview Hospital at the tender age of 15. By age 18 she had clocked over 450 volunteer hours feeding, rocking and photoing newborns.

Lori continued to pursue this passion for birth and babies by earning degrees at the College of St. Benedict in Spanish, the University of Minnesota in Nursing, and eventually again at the U of M in Nurse Midwifery (all the while working in Labor & Delivery as a nursing assistant and then a labor nurse).

Now with over 10 years of hospital experience, Lori is excited to join the Minnesota Birth Center where it already feels like home. Lori is passionate about helping women to discover the normalcy of pregnancy and birth. She loves teaching women of all ages and connects especially well with teenagers. Discussions on contraception, ultrasound technology and just connecting on a personal level are all things she’s blessed to be able to incorporate every day into her midwifery work. When at home Lori enjoys traveling with her husband and nine year old boy/girl twins (and other children they are anxiously awaiting to be foster parents/siblings to), cooking, boating, entertaining guests, and being active within their faith community.

Brittany Leach, APRN, CNM

Brittany is originally from a small town in Wisconsin but has called Minnesota home for the past four years. Her journey into midwifery began at a community health center in Milwaukee where she served as an Americorps volunteer. It was there that she first witnessed midwifery care in action and was impressed by the compassionate, high-quality care those midwives provided to an underserved population. She began learning everything she could about women’s health, pregnancy, and birth. She pursued training as a doula and lactation counselor and worked as a perinatal outreach worker while preparing to begin midwifery school.

Brittany has been practicing as a midwife since 2015 and feels privileged to provide support and care to women during some of the most important moments of their lives. Her intention as a midwife is to work in partnership with women and their families and to provide holistic, evidence-based care that is supportive of normal, physiologic processes. In her free time Brittany enjoys gardening, reading, and exploring new places.

Lilli Medhus, APRN, CNM

Lilli was born and raised in Iowa. After college she spent four years in the San Francisco Bay area, but has been happy to be back “home” in the Midwest since 2017. Her journey into women’s health began in high school through travels to southeast Asia to work with victims of human trafficking, as well as volunteering in her community with pregnant women experiencing homelessness. Since then she has been able to travel to several states and a few countries to study and serve in women’s health in unique settings. She attended the University of Iowa for her Bachelor’s in Nursing, and was mentored by a midwife throughout her schooling. Seeing the way that she cared for her patients holistically, bringing wisdom and connection to each visit, inspired Lilli to pursue a career as a midwife.

Lilli worked as a postpartum and newborn RN in California while attending graduate school at Georgetown University. Since graduating with her Master’s in Midwifery she has been practicing in a Twin Cities community hospital. Her love for birth center care began in midwifery school when she was able to attend births in this setting. The birth center model provides women the support and safety they need to birth on their terms, following their intuition. Lilli loves giving women the tools, information, and care they need to live their healthiest life- from adolescence through menopause.  Her unique interests in women’s health include trauma-informed care and mental health.

In her free time, Lilli enjoys walking outside, finding new coffee shops in St. Paul, reading, traveling, and yoga. She lives in St. Paul with her husband.

Katie Sandell, APRN, CNM

Katie S. brings over 30 years of experience working with women and babies in clinic, hospital, home, and birth center settings to the Minnesota Birth Center. While pregnancy, birth and babies are all miracles, she became a midwife because she wanted to offer women and families gentle, attentive, and evidence-based care during such an important time in their lives. She frequently finds herself in awe as she sees women find their own powerful, intuitive ways through their pregnancy, birthing and life transitions. “Women are amazing!” she says.

Katie moved from Minneapolis to Duluth in 1998 with her young family, and now travels from Duluth back to the Twin Cities to serve the Minnesota Birth Center community. She loves Duluth and all the wildness and gorgeous serenity of the nearby woods and waters. “It feeds my spirit!” she says. She describes herself as a happy mom, wife and midwife, and a proud Minnesota native who gained both her nursing and midwifery degrees from the University of Minnesota.

Charlotte Chiang, APRN, CNM

Charlotte’s interest in midwifery began while pursuing a degree in public health at the University of North Carolina in Chapel Hill. Through her studies it became clear that the guiding principles of midwifery care lead to better outcomes for moms, babies, and families, and that societies benefit as a whole when quality midwifery care is readily available. Soon after finishing that program she enrolled in nursing school and began her nursing career as a high-risk labor and delivery nurse. Working with predominantly high-risk pregnancies made her value and appreciate normal physiologic birth even more. She decided to return to school to pursue a career in midwifery, graduating from the University of Colorado in 2018. Charlotte’s goal in caring for patients is to provide them with a safe space to voice their concerns and feel empowered to make decisions in their care.

Though she was born in Chicago, Charlotte has spent most of her life in California. She is excited to be back in the midwest and even more excited to join the team at the Minnesota Birth Center. In her free time, Charlotte enjoys exploring Minnesota with her family, running, skiing, and reading.