Our Team

Who We Are

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Valerie Downer

Co-Founder & Director (Team A)

Valerie is a Registered Midwife and one of the founders of Diversity Midwives. Originally she practiced midwifery in England. She completed a registered nursing program in 1975 prior to entering her midwifery training in 1976 and has practiced as a midwife since 1977 both in hospital and in the community in the U.K.

 

While completing her Prior Learning Experience and Assessment Process (PLEA) in Ontario, Valerie worked as an Obstetrical Nurse in a labour and delivery unit. Valerie completed her PLEA with the College of Midwives of Ontario in 1998. Valerie has worked as a midwife in the Scarborough area since 1999 and is one of the founders of Diversity Midwives.

Laurie Ann Hintzen

Co-Founder & Director (Team A)

Laurie is a Registered Midwife and one of the founders of Diversity Midwives. She graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University (1999) with a Bachelor of Health Science in Midwifery.

 

Laurie is also a Registered Nurse (1995) with a certificate in Obstetrical Nursing (1996). Laurie has been providing midwifery care in the Scarborough area since October 1999. 

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Mehrnaz Azad

Registered Midwife (Team A)

Mehrnaz is a Registered Midwife and obtained her Bachelor of Science in Midwifery at Mashhad University in Iran. She has worked as a midwife since 1989 serving a very diverse clientele in rural and urban communities in Iran.

 

In January 2002, Mehrnaz completed the College of Midwives of Ontario, Prior Learning Experience and Assessment Process (PLEA). In June 2002, she joined Diversity Midwives.

 

Mehrnaz speaks English, Farsi, French and some Turkish.

Bruna Almeida

Registered Midwife (Team A)

Bruna is the newest member of the Diversity Midwives family.  She comes from São Paulo, Brazil.

In addition to completing an Undergraduate Degree in Midwifery at Ryerson University, her educational background includes an Undergraduate Bachelor of Biomedical Science from the University Center Herminio Ometto de Araras (UNIARARAS), a Master of Science in Physiology: Functional and Molecular Biology from the Campinas State University (UNICAMP), a Post-Graduation in Cardiovascular Perfusion from the Federal University of São Paulo (UNIFESP) and a Postgraduate Certificate in Health Care Leadership at Lambton College Toronto.

Bruna's goal is to provide the best care possible to pregnant people by following evidence-based care guidelines and the wisdom of our body physiology.

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Tama Cross

Registered Midwife (On Leave)

Tama is a Registered Midwife and graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at McMaster University (1999) with a Bachelor of Health Science in Midwifery. Tama is also the Midwifery Department Head at Scarborough Health Network.

She practiced with the Midwives Grey - Simcoe and provided midwifery care to clients living in Barrie, Stayner, and Owen Sound and surrounding areas until 2003. Prior to joining Diversity Midwives in 2004, Tama returned from a nine-month overseas midwife position with Medecins Sans Frontieres (Doctors Without Borders), working in both Sierra Leone and Burundi. Tama also speaks French.

Tenisha Williams

Registered Midwife (On Leave)

Tenisha is a Registered Midwife. She attained an honours Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery from the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University in 2013.

Tenisha completed her new registrant year with Diversity Midwives and is happy to be working in the Scarborough community. She joined the practice in October 2013.

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Amanda Samaroo

Registered Midwife (On Leave)

Amanda is a Registered Midwife. She obtained a Bachelor of Health Sciences in Midwifery from Ryerson University in 2011.

Amanda was a student at Diversity Midwives in 2010 and is thrilled to be returning to the practice after completing her New Registrant year at Midwifery Care-North Don River Valley. She joined Diversity Midwives in October 2012.