Ohio Affiliate and Chapter Leaders

Leaders in the Ohio Affiliate of the ACNM

Eva Fried

Jackie Gruer 



Jackie graduated from University of Kentucky in 1982 with a Master of Science in Nursing and major component in Nurse-Midwifery. In 1983 she moved to Cincinnati where she worked as a full scope midwife attending home, birth center and hospital births for 23 years. She founded Midwives Care, Inc., a midwifery owned practice, in 1986. After the Ohio Department of Health and Ohio legislature ended the Certificate of Need application program for maternity bed approval and physician supervision was defined as contact by telecommunication in the Nurse Practice Act, Midwives Care was able to found The Birth Center in 1996. Jackie, along with Amish birth center providers, attended many meetings at the state level involving the rules being written for birth centers. Jackie was active at the inception of OAAPN which was initially formed to promote prescriptive authority for nurse practioners. Jackie’s other professional activities included participation in local, regional and national committees, presentations at local, regional and national conferences, teaching at Philadelphia University midwifery program, and precepting many midwifery students. In 2005 she was inducted as a Fellow in the American College of Nurse-Midwives and received the ACNM Region IV Award for Excellence. Jackie retired from clinical midwifery in 2019 and is enjoying home, family, gardening, horseback riding, traveling and volunteer work with several organizations. 

Michelle Zamudio 



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andrea Cooper

Lucinda Farina 



Dr. Farina is a seasoned healthcare professional with over 24 years of advanced practice experience, specializing in maternal-child health. Her career, marked by a BSN in 1979, an MSN in 1999, and a PhD in 2020, has seen her transition from newborn intensive care to labor and delivery, antepartum, and postpartum care. 

For the past decade, Dr. Farina has championed a public health approach, focusing on preconception and inter-conception care to address health deviations proactively. As former faculty at Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland State University, and Frontier Nursing University, she imparted her expertise to the next generation. 

Certified as a Family Planning Trainer, she’s a recognized figure on the Ohio ACNM Board of Directors and holds multiple certifications, including Quality Family Planning Master Trainer and WPATH Certified Transgender Care Provider. Dr. Farina, married for 38 years with five adult children and two grandchildren, actively engages in her community as the Presiding Partner of a $1 million Investment Club and an active member of the Junior League. Her commitment to excellence shines through in her multifaceted contributions to healthcare and education. 

Affiliate Board (Voting members)

Jesiah Bertsch 


My name is Jesiah Bertsch  (Jessie) and I am so grateful to be in the amazing profession of midwifery. I graduated from UC College if Midwifery in 2010 and have been doing full scope midwifery ever since. I currently work for the UC Family and Community Medicine Residency Program precepting family medicine residents in OB/Gyn at Christ Hospital and providing gynecologic care to UC students at University Health Services. I love to teach and share my passion for women’s health. I recently started as adjunct- faculty for the Univ of Cincinnati College of Midwifery.  It’s a great pleasure to be on the board and to help support and advance the practice of midwifery. 

LaVada Tillie 


Coming soon

Lucia Jenkusky


Coming soon

Cindy Dehlinger


Cindy joined the Ohio affiliate board in 2021. She graduated with her midwifery degree in 2000 from the University of Cincinnati and then returned to complete her DNP in 2020. She holds certifications as a CNM and FNP and is currently employed in her dream job as a laborist for The Christ Hospital in Liberty Township, Ohio. She has experience as a women’s health provider in a variety of healthcare settings including private practice and academia. She currently lives with her husband and four boys in Cincinnati, Ohio and enjoys pickleball in her time off.

Dr Syrah E. Nicaisse


Dr. Syrah E. Nicaisse is currently the Director of Medical Management assigned to the 88th  Medical Group Wright Patterson AFB, OH as well as Adjunct Faculty at University of CincinnatiDr. Nicaisse was born at Camp Lajuene, North Carolina on 13 October 1981She attended Sandy Creek Central School in Sandy Creek, New York.  After graduating high school, she joined the Army Reserves while attending Hartwick College in Oneonta, New York.  After basic training at Ft. Leonardwood, Missouri, she attended Operating Room technical training at Ft. Sam Houston, TX.  While serving in the Army Reserves, Syrah pursued her Bachelors of Science in Nursing, graduating from Utica College of Syracuse University, New York.  In 2005, she commissioned into the Air Force.  She attended Commissioned Officer Training at Maxwell Air Force Base, followed by the Nurse Transition Program at Andrews Air Force Base.  She worked as a perinatal nurse at Langley AFB.  In 2008 Lt Col Nicaisse was selected for an AFIT scholarship and earned her Masters of Science in Nursing with a certification in Nurse Midwifery.  She later served assignments at Joint Base Langley-Eustis Virginia, Bagram Air Base Afghanistan and Landstuhl Regional Medical Center Germany.  While stationed at Landstuhl, she served as the Chief of Midwifery Services as well as a Sexual Assault Forensics Examiner.  In 2016, Lt Col Nicaisse was selected for an AFIT scholarship, earning her Doctorate of Nursing Practice from The Ohio State University.  Additionally, she served as the Nurse Midwife Consultant to the Air Force Surgeon General from June 2020-June 2023.  After graduation from OSU, Dr. Nicaisse served as the Flight Commander and Deputy Squadron Commander at Langley Air Force Base’s Women’s Health Clinic.  Her military awards include Army Technical School Honor Graduate, Air Force Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Army Commendation Medal with one Oak Leaf Cluster, Air Force Outstanding Unit Aware with two Oak Leaf Clusters, National Service Defense Medal, Air Force Longevity with Two Oak Leak Clusters, Squadron Company Grade Officer of the Quarter 2012, Squadron Field Grade Officer of the Quarter 2019 and 2020, and Meritorious Service Medal.  Dr. Nicaisse has presented and multiple military medicine conferences on such topics as: Supporting Physiologic Birth and Safely Reducing the Primary Cesarean Section, Alternative Pain Relief Methods During Labor and Birth, Hospital VS. Out of Hospital Births and Shared Decision Making.  She has also co-authored a poster presentation entitled: “Cystic Hygroma: One disorder, Two Etiologies.” 


National governmental
affairs committee

Jalana Lazar 

Student Representatives


state governmental
affairs committee

Kate Murphy