Meet the Faculty of Healthy Children Project, Inc.


Karin Cadwell, PhD, RN, FAAN, ANLC, CLC, IBCLC

Karin Cadwellis a nationally and internationally recognized speaker, researcher and educator. She is a member of the faculty of Healthy Children Project,Inc and convened Baby-Friendly USA, the organization implementing the UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States. Dr. Cadwell counsels breastfeeding mothers at the Center for Breastfeeding, a community-based lactation clinic on Cape Cod. Dr. Cadwell is a delegate to the U.S. National Breastfeeding Committee. She is a member of the faculty of Union Institute & Universities Bachelor’s, Master’s and PhD degrees in maternal child health-lactation consulting. She was Visiting Professor and chair of the Health Communications Master’s Program at Emerson College (a joint program with Tufts University School of Medicine and Public Health.) She is the author of numerous books and articles including;The Pocket Guide for Lactation Management, Breastfeeding A - Z: Terminology and Telephone Triage, Case Studies in Breastfeeding, Maternal and Infant Assessment for Breastfeeding and Human lactation and Reclaiming Breastfeeding for the United States. She has led delegations focusing on Breastfeeding and Human Lactation to China, Sweden, Denmark, Russia, Romania, Latvia, Cuba, Egypt, and Israel. Dr. Cadwell was awarded the designation IBCLC in 1985 for "significant contribution to the field" and has also certified by exam.



Cindy Turner-Maffei, MA, ALC, IBCLC

Cindy Turner-Maffei

is a lead faculty and lactation consultant at the Center for Breastfeeding. She served as National Coordinator of Baby-Friendly USA, implementing the UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States, for 14 years. She has extensive experience as a nutritionist and breastfeeding educator in WIC and other Maternal Child Health programs. Cindy is a member of breastfeeding coalitions on the local, state and national level, including the US Breastfeeding Committee. A lactation consultant at the Center for Breastfeeding, Cindy is also an adjunct professor at Union Institute & University. She is an author of numerous publications including The Pocket Guide for Lactation Management, Breastfeeding A - Z: Terminology and Telephone Triage, Case Studies in Breastfeeding, Maternal and Infant Assessment for Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 100 Questions and Answers about Breastfeeding and Reclaiming Breastfeeding for the United States.


Kajsa Brimdyr, PhD, CLC

Kajsa Brimdyr

is an experienced ethnographer who has worked with health care, municipal and technological businesses, using ethnography to understand and appreciate the work practice of professions, work-flows and services in order to help improve practice. She has conducted research in the United States, Sweden, Latvia, Egypt and Iceland. Her current research involves using video ethnography and interaction analysis to change practice in hospital settings to improve continuous skin-to-skin for the first hour after cesarean and vaginal births in Egypt and the United States. She, along with Ann-Marie Widstrom and Kristin Svensson, are the producers of the DVD Skin to Skin in the First Hour after Birth: Practical Advice for Staff after Vaginal and Cesarean Birth. Her newest DVD, the award winning The Magical Hour: Holding Your Baby for the First Hour After Birth is aimed at parents. Dr. Brimdyr is an advisor and faculty member for the BS in Maternal Child Health: Lactation Consulting at Union Institute & University.


Anna Blair, PhD, IBCLC, CLC

Anna Cadwell Blair

Dr Blair is a researcher and faculty for Healthy Children Project, working nationally and internationally to improve health care practices related to birth and breastfeeding. She is particularly interested in reexamining the assessment process when working with new mothers and babies. She is also interested in transformative learning, health care ethics, health communication, health geography, collaborative health behavior change, and non-verbal communication in health care. She has conducted several research studies, including research on topics relating to positioning, latch and sore nipples. Dr Blair is the Director of Academic Programs at Healthy Children and serves as the department chair of the Maternal Child Health: Lactation Consulting Bachelors degree at the Union Institute & University and also chair of the graduate degree (MA) in Health and Wellness program, where students focus on lactation studies or complementary/alternative medicine. She taught in the undergraduate MCH program for 15 years and continues to teach at the MA level at Union Institute and University. Dr. Blair is a co-author of 100 Questions and Answers about Breastfeeding, Maternal & Infant Assessment for Breastfeeding and numerous other books and articles. She is a lactation care provider and sees mothers and babies on Cape Cod.


Jacquelyn Benson, RN, CLC, ANLC, IBCLC

Jacquelyn Benson

is a registered nurse and certified lactation counselor. Her work has focused on maternal/child nursing with an emphasis on OB, the newborn nursery, the NICU, and pediatrics. As a hospital based nurse, Jacquelyn has been helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding during their hospital stay. Jacquelyn currently resides north of Chicago and works with mothers and babies in the community.


Elyse Blair, RN, BSN, ANLC, IBCLC

Elyse Blairhas worked as a Clinical Nurse Educator and as an NICU Lactation Consultant in large hospitals in the Atlanta area. She has participated in research and education delegations to Russia, Romania, Latvia, Egypt and Germany. Elyse wrote the monograph A Guide to Breastfeeding Your Special Care Baby, and is a co-author of Maternal & Infant Assessment for Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 2nd ed.


Donna Ellis, RN, MSN, CLC, IBCLC

Donna Ellisbegan her nursing career as an Army Nurse Corps lieutenant. She has served US military families in Germany for the past 30 years as a Department of Defense civilian registered nurse, primarily working in Public Health, focused on maternal child health and family health education. Donna developed and implemented a lactation program for the Heidelberg Army Hospital and coordinated the facility’s successful journey to Baby Friendly designation. When Heidelberg closed its inpatient obstetrical services, Donna was hired by Landstuhl Regional Medical Center, where she expanded lactation support to the NICU and out into the community. She enjoys travel, gardening, home improvement and knitting. Donna lives a portion of the year in Germany with her husband of 39 years, a Department of Defense Middle School teacher and a portion of the year in Maine which allows her to visit with her two sons.


Shari O'Brien, RNC, ANLC, IBCLC

Shari O'Brienis a nurse and lactation consultant with 30+ years of experience setting caring for well and high-risk mothers and babies in settings ranging from a small rural community hospital to a large urban teaching hospital.  She was instrumental in the implementation of several of the 10 Steps in the Boston hospital where she continues to work on a per diem basis.


Barbara O’Connor, RN, BSN, IBCLC, ANLC

holds degrees in nursing and elementary education. She has worked in a variety of settings as a newborn nursery nurse, school nurse, HIV/AIDS educator, WIC coordinator, and training consultant. Barbara was a member of the first International People to People Breastfeeding and Human Lactation Delegation to Russia, Romania, and Cuba, and has taught lactation courses to physicians in Latvia and Egypt.  She is an author of Maternal & Infant Assessment for Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 2nd Edition. Participating in breastfeeding task forces at both the local, state, and national level, Barbara designed and authored the Grandmothers’ Tea Project for the Illinois State Breastfeeding Task Force. Barbara served as a Baby-Friendly hospital assessor for over 10 years and most recently held the position of assessment manager for Baby-Friendly USA.


Patricia Officer, BA, CLC, CLS

Patricia Officerhas over ten years of experience in public health and health education. She has worked within the community and in hospital settings, creating breastfeeding programs and partnering with other community programs to bridge gaps and best serve clients. Patricia is currently a breastfeeding peer leader with Women, Infants and Children in Indianapolis. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. Patricia is also an AFAA certified fitness trainer and coach.


Carin Richter, RN, MSN, APN-BC, IBCLC, CCBE

Carin Richterhas worked with mothers and babies in the acute care setting for 27 years; 17 as the clinical nurse specialist in charge of staff education and special projects.  Carin developed and facilitates a nurse run postpartum care follow-up which focuses on screening for newborn jaundice, feeding issues, maternal postpartum depression and specializes in assessment and support for breastfeeding issues. The clinic also serves as a clearinghouse for community information and education on breastfeeding. As a member of her regional breastfeeding coalition, Carin participated in the coalition’s taskforce to contribute to the writing of the State of Illinois Blueprint for Breastfeeding and host a bi-yearly breastfeeding conference for health care professionals. On a national level, Carin has served on the ANCC panel of experts for Perinatal Care and has spoken on various topics of women’s health, breastfeeding promotion and nursing research at the national conferences for AWHONN and Magnet National Conference and Nursing Research Symposiums. Carin serves as adjunct faculty for Maternal/ Child Nursing at Saint Anthony College of Nursing.  On the home front, Carin and her husband Charlie​ enjoy gardening, traveling, and entertaining “domestic goddess style” for friends and family.


Jenny Spang, CPM, IBCLC, ALC, CLC

Jenny Spanghas been working with mothers and babies for over twenty years. Jenny's midwifery practice has given her extensive experience with healthy pregnancy, childbirth, breastfeeding, and newborn care. She has worked as a WIC breastfeeding peer counselor, childbirth educator, doula, family planning specialist, and community health educator. She lives near Bangor, Maine, where she has provided home visit support prenatally and postpartum to first time and teen parents, specializing in developing counseling relationships to help parents reach their breastfeeding and parenting goals.



Donna Wallshas been a Registered Nurse for 40 years and has worked with expecting and new parents for 38 years. She became an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant in 1987, practices as a clinical Lactation Consultant and is project leader for the Baby Friendly process at her hospital.  She is a Master Herbalist and Certified Aromatherapist, publishing her first book “Natural Families- Healthy Homes” in 2007.