Photo by Devon de Leña
Back row from left: Cynthia, Jami, Tiye, Peggy, Jessica, Rosa
Middle row from left: Deandra, Rokea, Anna, Dila, Hawa, Memorie
Front row from left: Angela, Mary, Tanya, Yuka, Farrah, Mashad, Margarita
Not Pictured: Suad, Kristin, Betty, Janae, Lea, Elena, Kate, Loida, Taylor, Sharyka
To contact a staff member by email, please address your email to [first name] -at- openarmsps.org unless otherwise specified.
Angela Agoo, Operations Manager ext. 124
Angela was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest and was first introduced to Open Arms through an invitation to volunteer in the office. She became more interested in becoming a part of the organization after attending a fundraising event in 2016. It was after becoming a parent herself to daughter Aria, born in 2017, which only further confirmed the importance of helping families. Outside of work, Angela enjoys wine-tasting, the sunshine and spending time with family.
Anna Forrester, Birth Doula Services Resource & Referral Coordinator ext. 106
Provider and community referrals: (206) 866-0729 ext. 106
Annie Moffat, Clinical Advisor ext. 110
Annie has served previously as Open Arms’ Director of Programs. In this new role as Clinical Advisor, she will draw on her extensive experience as a midwife and founder of our Community-based Outreach Doula Program.
Betty Hernandez, Latinx Birth Doula Services Program Support ext. 121
Spanish speakers and Spanish speaking referrals: (206) 317-1842 x ext. 121
Cynthia Turrietta, Early Learning Program Director ext. 122
Deandra Ludovice, Managing Director ext. 101
Deandra has worked at nonprofits around the Puget Sound and Bay Area such as New Futures (now Southwest Youth and Family Services), Seattle University, and STAND! for Families Free of Violence. Deandra holds a master’s degree in nonprofit administration from the University of San Francisco as well as extensive experience in operations, marketing, and fundraising. As a mom to two young children, Deandra is passionate about Open Arms’ mission to help mothers and families.
Deziree Lindsey, Outreach Doula Program Assistant ext. 116
Dila Perera, MSW, MPH, Executive Director ext. 109
Dila has worked in public health and advocacy locally and internationally, including time spent as a doula for Open Arms. She earned both a Master of Public Health and a Master of Social Work at the University of Washington, after starting her career as a health educator at 19. She went on to spend twelve years helping to build and manage innovative and complex programs designed to improve the health of vulnerable populations, including mothers, children, families, and people living with or affected by HIV. Most recently, she led the Washington State Training Program at the Northwest AIDS Education and Training Center.
Dila has managed several large-scale federally funded interventions but believes that small organizations, even when working with minimal resources, are still the most effective at creating lasting and transformational change. She has been a program manager, a grant maker, a board member, and a trainer. However, Dila considers working with pregnant people – before birth, during birth, and supporting new mothers and infants – to be the most rewarding work she has ever done.
Farrah Rivera, Perinatal & Breastfeeding Collaborative Director ext. 135
Farrah Ka’Healani Rivera, MSM, CPM, LM, is a licensed midwife who was born and raised on the island O’ahu in Hawai’I and is of Itneg decent. The eldest of 20+ grandchildren, she grew up surrounded by family, pregnant aunts and newborns. Her passion to advocate for women developed in her community work in Los Angeles as an organizer, domestic violence activist, community doula and women circle facilitator. She collaborated with other women and founded Ixchel Midwifery and the LA division of the Justice for Sister Collective. She also volunteered her time with the teen mothers program for Planned Parenthood and participated in Los Angeles based birth documentary, “Tlakatiliztli” directed by Dee Lopez. She is currently on the steering committee for the Pacific Islander Health Board of Washington and continues her community work though Sobadas, womb work, and Cerradas, closing ceremonies.
She understands that collaboration with all divisions of health care create optimal outcomes of mothers and babies. She also believes that families have the right to choose providers who a reflection of themselves and with this belief she advocates for the education and over-well being of POC student midwives and providers of color.
Hawa Egal, Somali Community-Based Outreach Doula ext. 102
Hawa Egal is an Outreach Doula for Open Arms Perinatal Services. Her main goal is to create a safe and non-judgmental environment for families to share their hearts and souls. Since earning her Promoting First Relationships certification she has been implementing early learning throughout her clientele. As an Outreach Doula, she wants to connect with and educate Somali women who have unique cultural needs, and guide them to having a healthy pregnancy. She continues to be with them to gently support and encourage them while they bond with their newborns. Hawa considers it an honor and a privilege to be a witness during this intimate time in women’s lives. Right now she is working toward a degree in social work. She is the mother of three beautiful children.
Jami Bess, Outreach Doula Program Manager ext. 103
Jami Bess is an Outreach Doula for Open Arms Perinatal Services. Her heartfelt dream is that every family has the support, education, and the empowerment to be healthy, happy and to thrive. She is passionate about health and social justice and is excited to be a part of the dynamic work at Open Arms. She enjoys spending time with her three amazing children, and one wonder dog.
Jessica Duty, Birth Doula Services Program Director ext. 105
Bio coming soon!
Jillian Fields, Birth Doulas Services Program Coordinator ext. 120
Kate Wilhite Brickell, Outreach Doula Program Coordinator ext. 129
Bio coming soon!
Kristin Travis, African-American Community-Based Outreach Doula ext. 126
Loida Ginocchio Silva, Latinx Community-Based Outreach Doula ext. 131
Margarita Celis, Latinx Community-Based Outreach Doula ext. 108
Margarita Celis came to this country over 20 years ago from Peru with her 4-year-old child. Later, she and her husband had two more children in New York. Margarita says, “I did not have the best experiences having to give birth to my babies in a foreign country and with a language barrier. I wish I had the services that Open Arms provides, but this gives me the strength and the compassion to see the need of these women in our community and make a difference.” She was involved in activities from her local WIC, and she became a breastfeeding consultant as well as a stay-at-home mom. She says, “Open Arms found me and I felt so lucky because this is the job that I really value, not only for the income that I can bring home, but for the satisfaction I feel when I can help moms.”
Mary Concepcion-Aboy, Office Coordinator ext. 127
Memorie Gladstone, American Indian/Alaska Native Community-Based Outreach Doula ext. 119
Memorie Gladstone is the American Indian/Alaskan Native Community Outreach Doula. She is from the Blackfoot tribe of Browning Montana. She has several years of experience as a breastfeeding peer counselor which inspired her to work as a doula since the two professions go hand in hand. The experience she had giving birth to her children and the knowledge she has now motivates her to educate and empower the women in her community. Being an advocate and providing extra support for a mother while witnessing new life is truly fulfilling. In her free time she enjoys the outdoors with her family which includes her dogs Otto and Giger.
Peggy Allen Jackson, Development Director ext. 107
Rokea Jones, African-American Community-Based Outreach Doula ext. 118
Rokea Jones is one of the Open Arms’ Outreach Birth Doulas for the African–American community. Rokea is a Seattle native, she received her Bachelor’s degree from The Evergreen State College in Olympia Washington. Rokea started her doula experience as volunteer birth doula in 2007 with Open Arms! She has consistently worked with the African–American and East African communities. Rokea takes pride in being very resourceful and in her commitment to being of service. Rokea is passionate about seeing communities of color experience improved birth outcomes, helping as many moms as possible experience birth the way they desire, and achieving the Open Arms goal that every family that wants a doula, gets one. Rokea’s other interests are in nutrition and herbal remedies. Rokea has been blessed to become a mother and is looking forward to swapping stories and sharing her experiences with other moms. She is also a city commissioner on the Seattle Women’s Commission, holding the position as the health and community wellness liaison. One fun fact about Rokea is that she loves to sing and she use to sing in a seven piece band with her brother.
Rosa Nicole Booker, Development Manager ext. 132
Rosa grew up in Seattle schools and took off to California for college where she earned a BA in performing arts at Chapman University. Post-graduation she returned to Seattle to be close to family and most recently has enjoyed building a career in fundraising.
Rosa is happily married and loving motherhood with two talented young children. Rosa is passionate about building equity in local communities and helping to sustain healthy marriages. She has a heart for connecting people and is always excited to make an impact where it’s needed most. She volunteers with and helps to support local organizations and businesses.
One of her newest joys is the completion of her first novel entitled The Monster in My Room which deals with mental health awareness.
Sharyka Webster, American Indian/Alaska Native Community-Based Outreach Doula ext. 130
Suad Farole, Somali Community-Based Outreach Doula ext. 117
Whitney Nakamura, Birth Doula Services Program Manager ext.123
Yuka Takamiya, Finance Manager ext. 125