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 was 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 lead faculty and lactation consultant at Healthy Children Project’s Center for Breastfeeding, where she has worked for more than 20 years. From 1997-2011, she served as National Coordinator of Baby-Friendly USA, overseeing the implementation of the UNICEF Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative in the United States. An IBCLC since 1988, Cindy has extensive experience as a nutritionist and breastfeeding coordinator in WIC and other Maternal Child Health programs. She serves on a member of breastfeeding coalitions on the local, state and national level, including the US Breastfeeding Committee, and taught at the bachelor’s level for 17 years at Union Institute & University. She has been honored to work alongside those working to help new families overcome breastfeeding issues throughout this country and in Egypt, Latvia, and Sweden. Cindy is an author, co-author, and editor of several articles and books, including her favorite, Case Studies in Breastfeeding: Problem-Solving Skills & Strategies.


Kajsa Brimdyr, PhD, CLC

Kajsa Brimdyr

is an experienced ethnographer, researcher and international expert in the implementation of continuous, uninterrupted skin to skin in the first hour after birth. She is the Lead Ethnographic Researcher for Healthy Children Project, Inc., a non-profit, NGO. She is a published author and the award winning director of The Magical Hour: Holding Your Baby for the First Hour After Birth, produced with Ann-Marie Widström and Kristin Svensson, and together the three also created and produced the groundbreaking DVD Skin to Skin in the First Hour after Birth: Practical Advice for Staff after Vaginal and Cesarean Birth. Her current research involves using video ethnography to change practice in hospital settings to improve continuous skin-to-skin for the first hour after cesarean and vaginal births, and the implications of labor medications on this vulnerable time.​


Anna Blair, PhD, IBCLC, CLC

Anna Cadwell Blair

is the Director of Academic Programs at the Healthy Children Project where she is also on the faculty and a researcher. Dr. Blair spent nearly two decades in academia in addition to her work in clinical practice. As a lactation care provider, Dr. Blair works in a community based lactation center answering a breastfeeding warmline for three counties and offering face to face visits. Her research on sore nipples and positioning/latch, solidified the premise that the two are intricately related. She is the author of many research articles and publications including Maternal Infant Assessment for Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 100 Questions & Answers about Breastfeeding. She served on the expert panel of the World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative data for the United States. Dr. Blair speaks nationally and internationally on issues surrounding disparities of care, resilience, breastfeeding, loneliness & motherhood.


Patricia Aiello, RN, MSN, IBCLC

Patricia Aiello is a nurse lactation care provider with over 25 years of experience in hospital-based maternal child health. She is a founder of the Lactation Services Program at St. Elizabeth’s Medical Center in Boston, Massachusetts, and was instrumental in developing their Donor Milk Program.  Pattie is a member of the Massachusetts Breastfeeding Coalition. She received her Masters of Science in Nursing Leadership and Health Administration from Regis College.



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 the newborn nursery, OB, NICU, and pediatrics. As a hospital-based nurse, Jacquelyn has been helping mothers and babies with breastfeeding during their hospital stay. Jacquelyn currently resides in New Jersey due west of Manhattan, and works with moms and babies in the community.  She is blessed with a wonderful husband, two grown children, and a delightful granddaughter.


Elyse Blair, RN, BSN, ANLC, IBCLC

Elyse Blairhas worked as a Clinical Nurse Educator at a large university teaching children's hospital in Atlanta. Elyse also played an integral role in the NICU as a lactation consultant in an Atlanta hospital that delivered 17,000+ babies in 2016 and has a 100+ bed NICU. Elyse was a member of the Eisenhower Foundation Delegation on Breastfeeding and Human Lactation to Russia and Romania and has also traveled to Latvia, Egypt, and Germany, teaching and supporting new moms and their babies. She wrote the monograph A Guide to Breastfeeding Your Special Care Babies, and co-authored Maternal and Infant Assessment for Breastfeeding and Human Lactation, 2nd ed. Elyse's biggest pleasures are her family – husband Ken, sons Bradley and Michael, and her amazing granddaughters, Millie, Charlotte and Goldie. She lives in Birmingham, Alabama.


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 spent the majority of her career.


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. Barbara was part of a national expert team that completed the first national assessment of the state of Global Strategy for Infant and Young Child Feeding using World Breastfeeding Trends Initiative (WBTi).


Patricia Officer, BA, CLC, CLS

Patricia Officer has 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 Indiana. She holds a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Phoenix. Patricia is also a certified YMCA group 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 and as maternal/child nurse/ physician liaison. Carin developed a nurse run postpartum care follow-up clinic specializing in the assessment and support of the postpartum mother/baby couplet.  The clinic focuses on breastfeeding issues, as well as screening for newborn jaundice, and maternal postpartum depression. The clinic also serves as a clearinghouse for community information and education on breastfeeding. Carin coordinated her facilities initial steps toward Baby Friendly designation. 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.  The coalition also hosts 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.  She has spoken nationally on various topics of women’s health, breastfeeding promotion and nursing research at AWHONN and Magnet yearly conferences. She was also selected to be a podium presenter at various national Nursing Research Symposiums. Carin serves as a frequent guest lecturer for Maternal/ Child nursing topics 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 Belfast, 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. ​​​Jenny has been on the faculty of the Birthwise Midwifery School and is an editor of the 5th edition of the 20 Hour Curriculum in Support of the Ten Steps to Successful Breastfeeding.


Kristin Stewart, BS, CLC

has been teaching the art of communication for over 20 years with an expertise in non-verbal communication. She received her Bachelors of Science degree from Brown University in Political Science and has had a long and varied career involving travel, performance, and teaching. Kristin has been working with Healthy Children Project, Inc. for eight years and is fascinated by the unspoken communication in the breastfeeding dyad. Recent projects include the research of popular culture surrounding birth and breastfeeding and its impact on adolescent women and discourse analysis of breastfeeding in popular culture for the past 2 decades.  ​​



Donna Wallshas been a registered nurse for 45 years, and for 43 years has worked with pregnant and new parents. She became a certified childbirth educator in 1984 and a certified lactation consultant in 1987. She joined the Healthy Children Faculty in 2010 and  continues to practice as a clinical lactation consultant. She was the project leader for the successful Baby-Friendly designation at Southview Hospital in 2008 and serves as the representative to the United States Breastfeeding Committee for the International Childbirth Education Association where she serves as the Director of Lactation . She is active in her local breast cancer task foundation, developing education on breast cancer prevention. In 1997 she graduated as a master herbalist from the Australasian College with a Diploma Degree in Herbal Sciences and in 1998 became a certified aromatherapist. She published her first book "Natural Families - Healthy Homes" in 2007, and second book "growing Green Families in 2016,  focusing on the connection between the health of the environment and personal health. At home in Dayton, Ohio, Donna enjoys time with her husband, three children, and six grandchildren. ​


Liz Westwater, MSM, CLC

Liz Westwaterhas been in the world of breastfeeding advocacy and women's health for over thirty years. Prior to joining Healthy Children Project, Inc. faculty, Liz was the Accreditation Director for Baby-Friendly USA. During her tenure at BFUSA Liz worked on several nationwide programs, including the CPPW and Best-Fed Beginnings,  where her work included assisting hospitals and communities to  improve breastfeeding outcomes by implementing maternity care practice changes.  She has served in a variety of program management roles for private and public agencies, including the Cape Cod WIC Program and several Title X Family Planning Programs including North Shore Family Planning, Boston Family Planning Project and Cape Cod Family Planning Program. She is an active volunteer, and has served as a board member and president of the Cape Cod Center for Women and on the board of the Waldorf School of Cape Cod. Liz holds her MSM in Health Systems Management from Lesley University, as well as a BS in Social Work from the University of New Hampshire. Liz lives on Cape Cod Massachusetts with her husband and her rescue dog.