Certified Nurse Midwives

MN Birth Center - Minneapolis & St. Paul

Toni Westphal, Director of midwifery, 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.

Patricia Hinck, 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.

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.

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 young teen volunteer at a local hospital in the nursery and labor/postpartum units. She 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).

Lori is a midwife with over 14 years of experience in hospital and out of hospital birth. She takes great pleasure in helping women to discover the normalcy of pregnancy and birth. She is driven to help women achieve the most desirable and educated wellness and birth experience. 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, cooking, boating, entertaining guests, and being active within their faith community. She is blessed with a supportive husband, boy/girl twins and numerous “bonus” children that have blessed her home through foster care.


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.

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.

Rachel Hanus, APRN, CNM

Rachel, an enneagram two and natural encourager, has always had a passion to support people through life transitions. Coupled with her love to learn about the human body, specifically women’s health, midwifery was a clear choice. She graduated with her nursing degree from the University of Iowa and moved to Minnesota to live with her twin sister in 2013.

She began her midwifery education apprenticing with a home birth midwife, instilling in her a passion for physiologic birth. She graduated with her master’s in nurse-midwifery from Bethel University in 2017. She co-founded a non-profit providing transitional housing for pregnant people facing homelessness and is equally interested in housing insecurity and its effects on pregnancy.

One of her favorite things about being a midwife is building relationships with families throughout their pregnancies (or before!) and then being able to continue care for them throughout their lives. She especially loves seeing people for infertility, pelvic pain and abnormal periods. She loves the puzzle of figuring out what is wrong and helping people optimize their own health.

On any given day you might find Rachel geeking out on political podcasts, reading historical fiction or chasing the sun somewhere. She loves to travel and spend time outdoors. She is a proud St. Paul resident and can point you towards the best pho or croissants in the area!

Willa Campbell, APRN, CNM

Willa grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa and earned her bachelor’s degree in French from Grinnell College. She always had an interest in reproductive and sexual health, volunteering at Planned Parenthood as a teenager, but it wasn’t until she had the privilege to be present for the birth of her niece at home in Brooklyn, NY that a path to midwifery opened.

Since graduating from Yale School of Nursing, Willa has worked in a variety of settings, primarily attending births in private homes in Rhode Island. Willa is excited to return to the midwest and continue her midwifery career with the Minnesota Birth Center. With all midwifery care, whether it be birth or birth control, Willa practices shared decision-making to center the needs and concerns of the individual seeking care. In attending births, Willa balances intuition with a deep knowledge base to meet people where they are; providing support and respecting autonomy.

Outside of work, Willa enjoys exploring the Twin Cities with her partner and two school-aged kids.

Kara Gebhard, APRN, CNM

Kara was born and raised in Minnesota and after traveling all over the world, couldn’t find a better place to call home. She has been working with families in a variety of ways since 2007: for over a decade as a labor and delivery nurse and now as a midwife.

Kara believes strongly in the power of autonomy of families during pregnancy, birth, and the postpartum transition. She believes that a “good birth” is one where families receive safe, evidenced-based care where they are respected and able to communicate their family choices freely with their care team.

Her home consists of two kids, two dogs, one husband, and a wonderful network of family and friends. She is excited to be a part of the incredible community of birth workers that the Twin Cities offers.

Aubrey Monson, APRN, CNM

Aubrey grew up in the Twin Cities and is proud to call St. Paul home. Aubrey spent her undergraduate career at the U of M and Bethel University where she received her BSN. After having children of her own, she realized the profound impact pregnancy and birth have on a woman’s life. This was instrumental in her decision to go back to school to become a midwife. She earned her Master of Science in Nurse-Midwifery at Bethel University in St. Paul. She has enjoyed providing care to women in the birth center, home birth, and hospital setting.

Aubrey believes in empowering women and she prioritizes building trusting relationships with those in her care. She highly values providing thorough education so that women have the information they need to make the best decisions for themselves and their families. Providing health care that is both holistic and evidence-based is a priority for her. Aubrey is grateful for the opportunity to be a caring and supportive provider during some of life’s most transformative moments.

When she’s not at work, Aubrey enjoys spending time with family and friends. She has fun baking, traveling, rock climbing, and biking. She looks forward to partnering with our patients in their care!

Beth Przybylski, APRN, CNM

Beth Przybylski grew up in the St. Croix Valley of Minnesota. She started her journey into midwifery as a nursing student, reading the memoir “The Baby Catcher” and was hooked! She knew that this was what she wanted to do. Soon after graduating from nursing school, she decided to go back to graduate school. At the time, she didn’t feel ready to be a midwife-YET. This led her to study women’s health, and become a women’s health nurse practitioner. She practiced in the Twin Cities as a women’s health nurse practitioner for 8 years. After birthing two of her own babies, and feeling the itch to get back to her dream of being a midwife, she returned to school and added midwifery to her degree. She graduated in 2014 and has been practicing full scope midwifery since. She has been honored to help welcome over 500 babies into the world as a midwife and countless more as a nurse throughout the years. She honors physiologic birth and has a calm presence in the birthing space. In her freetime, she loves to spend time with her family: husband Luke and three kids Lina, Penny and Wally.

Carrie Young, APRN, CNM

Carrie is a graduate of Frontier Nursing University. She has worked in Women’s Health care since 2004 when she found her love for birth working in a free standing birth center in California. As a Nurse Midwife, Carrie is passionate about empowering women to make decisions about their health care. She has a special interest in breastfeeding, natural birth and Functional Medicine. She believes in supporting and treating the whole person; physically, emotionally and spiritually.

In her personal life, Carrie is a mother of three including a son and twin daughters. Spending time near the ocean and traveling abroad keeps her busy in her off time.

Olivia Wreford, APRN, CNM

Olivia Wreford grew up on her family’s ranch in rural Southern Colorado. She attended Tulane University and majored in English and Africana Studies. At Tulane she received a fellowship for independent literary research and studied abroad at the University of Ghana. She then used that knowledge of systemic inequality and disparity with her to become a Certified Nurse Midwife. She attended Vanderbilt University and has experience in both out of hospital and hospital based birth and feels strongly that birth people and families should be partners and agents in their own health and reproductive journeys. She has a passion for out of hospital birth and is excited to help provide that option for families who feel the same way. It is her goal to care for the whole person and make everyone feel known, respected, and cared for in a holistic and genuine way and to be a safe and judgement free zone for every birthing person and family she has the privilege of caring for, particularly those who don’t feel they are the typical birth center clientele. You are welcome and wanted here!

Outside of work Olivia can be found spending time with her chihuahua, Mr. Darcy, reading, thrift shopping, or gardening. She loves food and is passionate about the way food is produced and accessed, as well as equity and celebration for all body types. Her favorite things about Minnesota are the many parks and the lakes in the summer and her dog strongly agrees. She’s always in the market for book or restaurant recommendations, new recipes, or to hear about your garden.

Jillian De Moya, APRN, CNM

Jillian learned about the midwifery model of care from the midwives at the Maternity Center Association Birth Center in NYC during her first pregnancy. Her childbearing years ignited a passion for normal, physiologic birth, and the rights of birthing people to be respected participants in their care.

She realized her calling to midwifery while working as a doula and childbirth educator in the Rio Grande Valley of South Texas at Holy Family Services Birth Center. Her advocacy for safe birth options includes bringing awareness of maternity care issues to communities with the play Birth! This documentary-style play tells the stories of eight birth experiences, including her own.

After graduating from Goshen College with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing, Jillian worked as a
labor and delivery nurse while she got her Master of Science in Midwifery from Thomas Jefferson University. Jillian has attended births in hospitals, homes, and birth centers and is committed to community options for childbirth. She loves partnering with people in their health and reproductive journeys and is passionate about dismantling systems of injustice that uphold health disparities and inequalities. She believes that every birthing person, their partners, and their family, deserve inclusive, respectful care. Jillian is excited to be living in the Twin Cities. She enjoys exploring new places, learning about new things, music, and the arts. She loves how theatre, especially musical theatre, provides a space that allows people to explore new ideas. More than anything, she loves interacting with her grown children and is always eager to see in what new ways she will learn about the world from them!

CB15C988-F7B7-4411-A0CF-F7A9EC17F8A7.jpegDiane Banigo, DNP, APRN, CNM

Diane Banigo is a doctorate-prepared nurse-midwife, a perinatal consultant, an educator, and a small business owner.

With over 21 years of experience in maternity care and women’s health, Diane passionately supports people from all walks of life. She champions systemic equity with a particular interest in fostering socially safe, harm-free, and culturally congruent care for individuals in communities with the worst birth-related disparities and racialized lived experiences. She has helped 100s of women give birth (in and out of the hospital setting) and has worked as a program developer and reflective bridge builder to advance women’s self-worth and gratitude.

When Diane is not at women’s bedsides, she is with her community or helping other organizations cultivate change through Ignited Faces of Beauty (iFOB) or Igniting Power of Woman (iPOW). These organizations foster collaborative work to design and implement culturally responsive and inclusive solutions to narrow disparities, model equity, and ignite women to tap into their womanly divinity to be and lead the necessary change.

You can find Diane laughing with friends or traveling with her husband, two sons, and Rasta, the family dog, in her downtime.