Innovation Award Judging Panel
Bekah is a career Kindergarten educator, mother of two, and strong advocate for making changes in maternal health. Bekah currently devotes much of her time to sharing her story with local hospitals, physicians, and medical professionals, and is passionate to help moms identify and heal from their traumatic birth experience. She was involved with the USAToday’s “Deadly Deliveries” series and has been featured in several news articles, magazines, and social media presentations. Her family was selected to be the Mission Family for the Preeclampsia Foundation’s Promise Walk in Cincinnati last summer. She calls Louisville, KY home where she lives with her husband Joseph, and two elementary age children, Ady and Henry.
Consultant For Brands And Agencies | Speaker On Millennial Moms And Black Consumers | Forbes and TIME Writer | Creator of Mompreneur and Me
As a writer, speaker and consultant Christine Michel Carter works with companies to ensure they’re at the forefront of the minds of Black female consumers. She has been featured in, and guest contributed to several global digital publications, including Forbes, TIME, The New York Times, Harper's BAZAAR, Parents, Health, Ebony, Women’s Health and has been called "the exec inspiring millennial moms," a "branding mastermind" and "the voice of millennial moms." Maternal Care Act. She also created Mompreneur and Me, the first national free mommy and me professional development event for moms who can’t afford time away from the kids to network or develop professional skills. Mompreneur and Me gives companies the opportunity to connect with affluent millennial moms via an intimate, unforgettable brand experience. Across the country, they connect moms offline and provide a guilt-free space for fellowship... all while helping them spend quality time with their little ones.
As Director of Marketing & Development, at The Association of Junior Leagues International, Inc., Laurie Dodge is responsible for the Association’s marketing, communications, fundraising and development activities.
She has held senior management positions at Icon Medialab, an international IT services firm, and at Interbrand, the nation’s leading branding consultancy. In each of these roles she oversaw the design and execution of the firm’s communications strategies in North America, harnessing print and online platforms to advance the image of the brand. Earlier in her career, she developed and executed public relations and marketing initiatives to support the top-grossing Impressionist & Modern Art department of Christie’s auction house. Her work there resulted in unprecedented global media coverage and record-breaking sales results.
Laurie holds a B.A. from Smith College.
Tonya is the Program Director of Mental Health of Franklin County and the co-founder and director of Perinatal Outreach and Encouragement for Moms (POEM). Tonya is the Central US Regional coordinator for Postpartum Support International (PSI). POEM was the recipient of 2020 Mom’s 2017 Innovative Programs in Care, and the 2009 PSI Jane Honikman Founder’s Award. Tonya also oversees the agency’s myriad of support groups, the Get Connected program, all educational programming, grant management, and teaches De-escalation Training and Work-Life Balance. She is a Certified Mental Health First Aid USA Instructor.
John Keats, MD
Dr. Keats is the course director for ACOG’s postgraduate course entitled Quality and Safety for Leaders in Women’s Health Care. In addition, he serves as a site reviewer for ACOG’s Voluntary Review of Quality of Care program and is a member of that program’s national steering committee. Dr. Keats is an ex-officio mem-ber of ACOG’s national Committee on Patient Safety and Quality Improvement, and was one of the principle designers of ACOG’s SCOPE program, a certification program for office safety. In May 2016, Dr. Keats began a two-year term as Fellow-at-Large on ACOG’s Executive Board.
John attended Brown University’s seven-year Program in Medicine, and completed a four-year residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at UCLA Medical Center in 1982. This was followed by three years of active duty as an obstetrician-gynecologist with the Air Force, during which time Dr. Keats achieved board-certification in his specialty and be-came a Fellow of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG). After leaving the military in 1985, Dr. Keats joined Buenaventura Medical Group (BMG) in Ventura, California. He has held various leadership positions within the group and medical community. He has served as chair of the departments of obstetrics and gynecology at two local hospitals. He served several terms on the BMG board of directors, including two years as board chair. Dr. Keats was appointed Medical Director of BMG in 1995. In 2001, he was selected to join the inaugural class of University of California San Francisco’s two-year California Healthcare Leadership Fellowship, spon-sored by the California Health Care Foundation. In 2002, Dr. Keats was designated a Certified Physician Executive by the Certifying Commission on Medical Management after completing an extensive course of study with the American Association for Physician Leadership (AAPL).
In July 2007, Dr. Keats became President and Medical Director of California HealthFirst Physi-cians, a multi-specialty group in southern California affiliated with Catholic Healthcare West (CHW). In addition, he was designated the Medical Director for Perinatal Safety for the CHW system, which includes 32 obstetrical units performing approximately 60,000 deliveries per year. He left CHW in January 2012 to join Cigna Health Plans as Market Medical Executive for the state of Arizona, and in 2016 was appointed Cigna’s national medical director for Enterprise Trend Analysis and Specialty Society Relationships. In 2009, Dr. Keats became an AAPL Fellow in recognition of his many leadership roles in health care. In 2011 he was elected to the board of AAPL and served a four-year term ending in 2015. He remains clinically active, working as an OB hospitalist on weekends.
Blakeley Lowry, MPH
Global Public Health Consultant / Founder of Changing Winds Consulting LLC
Blakeley is a global public health consultant specializing in health informatics and change management. As the founder of Changing Winds Consulting LLC, she works to identify evidence-based maternal health innovations created in the Global South that can be adapted into the United States health care delivery system to improve health outcomes. She has worked at leading organizations such as HealthRight International, Gay Men’s Health Crisis and The Legal Aid Society and has provided program evaluation consulting services to Girls Inc Westchester County and social impact organizations working in Rwanda, Uganda, Kenya and Burundi.
Blakeley is an Adjunct Professor at Westchester Community College’s School of Health Careers, Technology and Applied Learning. She serves as Board Chair for The Ihangane Project, an organization working in Rwanda, whose mission is to achieve lasting improvements in health outcomes in resource-limited settings. In May 2019, she was invited to join the operating Board of Open Door Family Medical Services, a federally qualified health center in New York.
Blakeley is also a 2020 Mom Ambassador and her maternal mental health work was profiled in Bedford Magazine and featured on Good Morning CT and News 12 CT.
She earned her Master of Public Health from New York University in 2006.
Christena Raines, RN, MSN, APRN-BC
Christena is Associate Professor at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Perinatal Psychiatry Program within the UNC Center for Women’s Mood Disorders. Chris is trained in Women’s’ Health and is board certified in Psychiatric-Mental Health. She practices as a Perinatal Psychiatric Nurse Practitioner and was a member of the planning team instrumental in opening the 1st in-patient Perinatal Mental Health unit in the country. She also serves on the Board of Directors of Postpartum Support International as Vice President.