Gaia Zori

Executive Director

Gaia Zori, M.P.H., is a Certified Health Education Specialist and holds a B.H.S. from the University of Florida and a Master’s of Public Health from SUNY Albany in upstate New York. Gaia has been a long-time advocate for women’s health, reproductive health and the elimination of health disparities with experiences ranging from teaching high school in inner-city Memphis to studying as an epidemiology fellow in maternal and child health in New Orleans and, most recently, promoting safe and responsible sexual decision making as a health educator for Planned Parenthood. When she’s not at FSTM, Gaia enjoys surfing with her husband and spending as much time on the water as she can, reading for her book club and trying to learn to speak Danish.

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Nellie Esheman

Nellie Eshleman

Business Director

Nellie Eshleman, B.S., has been working for midwives and student midwives in varying capacities for over 6 years. She is the Business Director and handles all of FSTM’s marketing and finances. She is a local cello instructor who enjoys playing in the Gainesville area with different musical groups.  Nellie has recently been appointed to the MEAC Board of Directors representing FSTM.

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Stacey Walden

Stacey Walden

Clinical Director

Stacey Walden, L.M., is a graduate of the Florida School of Traditional Midwifery. She started her midwifery training at FSTM in 1995 and graduated from Sage Femme Midwifery School in California. She later moved back to complete her training at FSTM and obtain her Florida Midwifery License. She has worked as a licensed midwife in: California, Alaska, and Florida in birth centers and home birth practices. She has worked at FSTM for ten years, as an instructor, the Academic Director, and presently the Clinical Director since spring of 2008. Stacey is a loving mom to her six year old daughter, who was born at home, in the water with midwives. She teaches Clinical Lab, Traditional Healing Modalities, GYN Trainings including breast exam training, and facilitates the Clinical Skills Exam for seniors. Her enthusiasm and dedication to midwifery motivates Stacey to educate future midwives for the continuation of midwifery in Florida.  She has recently been appointed to the AME Board of Directors representing FSTM.

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Kate Ellison

Kate Ellison

Financial Aid & Regulatory Coordinator

Kate Ellison, B.S., is a graduate from the University of Tennessee in Sociology and has six years’ experience in federal Financial Aid administration at an acupuncture college in Gainesville.  She has a life-long interest in helping women take charge of their lives and sees her work with student midwives in that light.  Her background includes intentional community, natural healing, Nonviolent Communication, and Reiki.

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Kate Ellison

Amanda Mann

Academic Director

Amanda Mann comes to FSTM with more than 15 years’ experience as a teacher, school administrator, and most importantly, a student midwife. Amanda fervently believes that birth is an essential life process that has the potential to transform, inspire, and engage. She believes that midwifery is an essential intersection between passion and the world’s greatest need. In her personal life, Amanda reads voraciously, wrangles four boys, volunteers at her local midwifery clinic, and stares starry-eyed at her husband.

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Rachel Smith

Administrative Assistant

Rachel, a Pennsylvania native, has been living in Gainesville for four years now and comes to FSTM from a healthcare education background. She brings her passion for a holistic approach to healthcare and is currently obtaining her bachelor’s degree in Health Service Administration. Her previous work experience includes Santa Fe College’s Health IT Workforce Training Program and the University of Florida’s College of Medicine. Rachel enjoys life with her eight year old son, supportive partner, friends and family. In her free time, not dominated by school work, she enjoys being outdoors, reading, and having bonfires in the backyard of her new home.

rachel* (352)338-0766 x 0