Board of Directors
Jane Houston D.N.P., C.N.M., A.R.N.P., R.M.
Jane began her nursing and midwifery education in Scotland where she became a registered general nurse RGN with a Bachelor’s degree and completed her diploma in midwifery in 1992 to become a Registered Midwife. She has always felt called to the profession of midwifery in particular. Jane has delivered over 2000 babies on 4 continents, and each birth has been very special to her. She entered graduate school at University of Florida in 2001 and completed her MSN studies so she would be able to provide midwifery care in Gainesville, Florida. Jane was in the first DNP class at University of Florida, graduating in 2009 and continued her career in education becoming Director of Midwifery there in 2011-2015. She recently became clinical director for midwifery and women’s health at the historic Frontier Nursing University in Kentucky. She is delighted to join FSTM as a board member.
Heart served as Executive Director of FSTM for five years. She recently retired and co-founded the River Phoenix Center for Peacebuilding, and serves as the Board President of RPCP. Inspired by the life of her son River, RPCP is dedicated to raising awareness and teaching skills that empower individuals and groups in the transformation of behavior from violent to peaceful. Heart considers one of her greatest contributions to be that of birthing her five beautiful children naturally. She believes that educating, empowering and caring for women before, during and after the birthing process bring an essential ingredient to the health of families. This is the care that is given by midwives!
Kym Hodges, C.C.C.E., C.L.D., I.C.C.E.
Kym has been teaching and supporting women since 1994; helping families to find their voice in labor and birth; understanding that birth is a normal, life changing experience and with understanding, positive support, and respectful communication we can bring babies into the world safer and healthier. She is the owner of Traditions of Love Childbirth Services, LLC where she provides private childbirth education, breastfeeding education, sex education, and labor doula services; she is also a professional speaker on the subjects. She is a national and international certified childbirth educator and labor doula trainer for CAPPA, conducting workshops all around the country. She began her work in Hawaii in 1994 with ICEA; she went on to become a member of CAPPA, the World Largest Professional Childbirth Education Organization, in 2000. She held the position of Executive Director of Childbirth Education Programs and Executive Director of Marketing. Kym also has a successful background in Marketing and Event Planning, having raise thousands of dollars for non-profits. Kym has lived Gainesville, FL. since 2001, where she has raised two amazing children, has educated over 4000 families and support more than 250 births. Kym has been a FSTM Board member since 2011.
Sylvia is the founder and Director of Morning Meadow Preschool and Kindergarten, a Waldorf based early childhood program. Ms. Paluzzi has been working with children for 25 years and has been educated at the University of Florida as well as receiving her degree as a Waldorf educator in Early Childhood from SunBridge College in New York. Ms. Paluzzi was the founding member of the Friends of Midwives Gainesville chapter and served as president for ten years. FOM is a grass roots organization dedicated to informing families on all birth options available. She has 3 sons, all brought into the world by the loving care of a licensed midwife.
Tamara Taitt, M.A., L.M.F.T.
A licensed marriage and family therapist who trained as a midwife in the Miami Dade College program before it closed, Tamara has a varied background in women’s reproductive health activism and has been working in maternal, infant and child health for the last decade. Tamara has a deep interest in the sustainability of the midwifery profession and politics as it relates to birth. She was the Southeast representative on the board of the Midwives Alliance of North America for seven years. Tamara currently serves on the board of the Foundation for the Advancement of Midwifery and is the co-owner/founder of a group of birth-related businesses in Miami, including: The Gathering Place, a pregnancy and parenting resource center; Peapod Essentials, a natural parenting store; Blue Mountain Midwives, a home birth practice and non-profit Project Motherpath.
MaryAnn Smith, C.N.M., M.S.N.
MaryAnn has been a midwife for 35 years, beginning her career in Central Florida before moving to Gainesville, drawn by the active midwifery community there. MaryAnn joined the Birth Center of Gainesville in 1985 and became the owner of that business shortly afterwards. She has worked with licensed midwives as preceptor, co worker, and legislative activist. She was a member of the Florida Council of Licensed Midwives for many years. She has a long history with FSTM in many capacities – preceptor, consultant, professor, landlord, friend, and now Board member. Recently retired, MaryAnn continues to volunteer for various organizations and works to promote midwifery in the state of Florida and beyond.
Teresa Drake, J.D.
Teresa is the Director, Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Clinic; Clinical Skills Professor; Associate Director, Center on Children and Families, UF Levin College of Law; Affiliate Professor, UF Center for Gender, Sexualities, and Women’s Studies.
Teresa is co-founder and Director of the Intimate Partner Violence Assistance Clinic, or IPVAC (The Source Program) at the University of Florida Levin College of Law. Prior to IPVAC, Teresa worked for Florida’s Eighth Judicial Circuit Office of the State Attorney for 13 years. Teresa is also a co-founder of Peace4Gainesville, a local trauma responsive community initiative supporting education around the effects of childhood trauma and the good news about building resiliency.
Additionally, Teresa is a certified yoga teacher. She was part of a volunteer team that provided trauma-sensitive yoga to women at Lowell Correctional Facility in Ocala and currently teaches a weekly class at the Alachua County Jail in Gainesville. Teresa shares her home with her husband, 4 cats, 2 dogs, backyard chickens and usually an assortment of foster kittens.