Roberta Frank, CNM
I’m a native of Southern California in the coastal communities. I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Nursing in 1968 from SDSU, and went on to get my ...Read More
Roberta Frank, CNMI’m a native of Southern California in the coastal communities. I graduated with a Bachelor’s in Nursing in 1968 from SDSU, and went on to get my certificate in Midwifery in 1978 from UCSD. I was married over 4 decades to my late husband Bill Frank and have 3 grown children. I became a midwife because the hospital birth of my first child didn’t meet my expectations in regards to the quality of care given to me. I believed then, as I do now, that birth is a joyous miracle and that the care given to mothers and babies should reflect that belief. I have home birth and birth center experience spanning over 3 decades. One of the greatest moments in my career was being able to attend the birth of my first grandson at Best Start and witness from my daughter’s perspective, the satisfaction of care she received. While medical interventions are sometimes necessary, most of the time birth is a healthy non-medical event. My intent is for all women and their loved ones to have a place to celebrate the miracle of normal birth in the manner they choose, without unnecessary medical interventions. My hope for all persons who find their way to Best Start, is that they receive support, a nurturing environment, and exceptional quality of care. My vision is that birth centers such as Best Start, will eventually become the norm, providing individualized care that honors both the mother and her loved ones based on their personal needs.
Erina Angelucci, MSN, CNM
I was born and raised in La Jolla and always knew it was where I would want to settle. A few years before going to midwifery school, I was researching...Read More
Erina Angelucci, MSN, CNMI was born and raised in La Jolla and always knew it was where I would want to settle. A few years before going to midwifery school, I was researching my ancestors and found I have midwives on both sides. As I started looking into midwifery I found a calling and decided to go to Emory to pursue a career in midwifery. While there, I had experience with natural and water births. I am thrilled to be at Best Start Birth Center and to meet all of you! Birth is a life changing and memorable time and I am honored every time I am invited to be a part of it. In addition to being a midwife, I enjoy knitting and spending time discovering San Diego.
Racheal Rivera, MSN, CNM
I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, and have traveled to many places in the world, including overseas. I have now lived in the San Diego area for ov...Read More
Racheal Rivera, MSN, CNMI was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ, and have traveled to many places in the world, including overseas. I have now lived in the San Diego area for over 20 years and I have most enjoyed the beautiful mild weather and some of the freshest local foods you can find anywhere. I also enjoy hiking and spending time with family. I have been providing medical and nursing care since 1993 when I first began serving as a Navy Corpsman and EMT. While serving in Okinawa, Japan, I discovered my passion while assisting a family with the birth of a healthy baby girl who was in a hurry to arrive before we could transport to the hospital. I also gave birth to three of my four children while stationed in Japan. During my time in the military, I became a Licensed Vocational Nurse. As an LVN I served with the Department of Veteran’s Affairs and Naval Medical Center San Diego. I also was a birth assistant for Best Start from 2007-2010, and I am happy to return to this lovely birth center. I earned an Associate in the Science of Nursing-RN in 2009 and a Bachelor of Nursing in 2011. I earned my Master of Science in Midwifery from Frontier Nursing University in early 2022. I have diverse experience and I have enjoyed every role I have held, as a labor/delivery and postpartum RN, as a birth assistant, and as a doula for women in labor. I consider caring for people to be a labor of love and I enjoy working with families to help them enjoy their birth experience in a memorable and safe environment. As a Certified Nurse Midwife, I am able to provide full-scope, evidence-based, collaborative, and personalized healthcare to women and their families. I will always continue improving my art of nursing and will never stop earning the trust and responsibility of providing individuals with remarkable healthcare, not only at birth, but also throughout their lives. I wish to provide the care, kindness, and education that everyone needs to be healthy throughout life.
Jenique Keys MSN, CNM
Hello, My Name is Jenique Keys, I come to Best Start as a retired US Navy Nurse Corps Officer (Mustang), with a little over 20 years of Active Duty se...Read More
Jenique Keys MSN, CNMHello, My Name is Jenique Keys, I come to Best Start as a retired US Navy Nurse Corps Officer (Mustang), with a little over 20 years of Active Duty service. I received my BSN, from SDSU, in 2007 and worked as a Labor and Delivery Nurse until 2013. I went back to school in 2013 and received my MSN (Certified Nurse Midwife (CNM)/Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner) in 2015, also from SDSU. I have worked as a CNM at The Naval Hospital Camp Pendleton, and Kaiser (2015 – 2022). My journey also includes being fortunate enough to be a Clinical OB Instructor for Nursing students at USD and National University. It has always been my passion to empower, educate, and support women throughout their lifespan. Thank you for the opportunity to walk alongside you on your journey.
Marli Ivers, LM, CPM, SpBAP
Becoming a midwife has been a 10 year dream for me. As a young teenager I started to learn about maternity care in the United States and in contrast, ...Read More
Marli Ivers, LM, CPM, SpBAPBecoming a midwife has been a 10 year dream for me. As a young teenager I started to learn about maternity care in the United States and in contrast, also witnessed my first home birth. I felt so strongly that birth givers should have options, autonomy, and respect that I decided to become a midwife! After graduating from high school, I lived in the Philippines for five months at a birthing home and attended over 70 births there as a doula, birth assistant, and primary student midwife. I then pursued my bachelor of science in community health education because I felt that it was the best fit with the kind of midwife I wanted to be. In 2014 I moved across the country to San Diego in order to attend the Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery and to complete a three and a half year internship with a local San Diego midwife. I am also a Spinning Babies Aware Practitioner from working with body balancing and Spinning Babies for the past three and half years. I have seen these tools make an incredible difference and I am thrilled to offer them to our Best Start clients. I believe that birth is powerful and sacred. I believe that birth givers should be supported, listened to, and celebrated no matter where their birthing journey takes them. I am excited to provide my support, insight, and guidance to every Best Start family!
Amanda Winn, LM, CPM
I am excited to be part of the team at Best Start Birth Center and absolutely honored to be part of your family’s journey welcoming your little one....Read More
Amanda Winn, LM, CPMI am excited to be part of the team at Best Start Birth Center and absolutely honored to be part of your family’s journey welcoming your little one. I have been a military spouse for the past 18 years and married to my Marine for the past 19 years. My husband and I are both originally from Colorado, but have had the privilege of living in Oklahoma, Virginia, North Carolina, Virginia, Rhode Island and then Okinawa, Japan. We are very excited to now call California our home! My birth work journey has provided me a wide variety of learning opportunities from all over the world. I have been humbled and blessed by the incredible families I have served and the many midwives who have taught me. Aside from the distinguished honor of being a midwife, I am mom to four busy boys and one adorable daughter who currently range in age from 16yrs old to 4yrs old. Our kiddos fill my days with constant energy. Needless to say with young kiddos and an assortment of animals ranging from horses, dogs, cats, and fish, life at our house is never boring. We also have found tremendous value and reward in homeschooling and learning alongside our kids. I began my journey in birth work after the experience I had during my oldest sons pregnancy and birth. This journey showed me how important it is for families to have support and education, so they feel empowered when beginning their adventure as parents. Shortly after his birth I got trained and certified as a doula through DONA International and Hypnobabies. I also pursued my Placenta Encapsulation Certification shortly after and love having that skill to help families postpartum. After seeing while working as a doula the difference in care provided by midwives and how amazing out of hospital birth is, I choose to have our last 3 children at home or in a birth center. I will forever be thankful for the midwives who blessed and supported our family during my pregnancies, and our children’s births, and postpartum journeys. Experiencing this difference in the midwifery model of care firsthand led me to pursue my midwifery certification. I have my Bachelor of Science degree from Colorado State University. As a student midwife I studied and trained under many amazing midwifery preceptors and have out of hospital birth experience while working in North Carolina, Utah, Philippines, Japan, and lastly California. In my free time I love beach walks and all things ocean related, watching our kiddos in swim meets and sailing regattas, cuddling with corgi puppies, reading, baking, gardening, traveling and Thai and Mexican food!
Andrea Bergleen, CPM, LM, MA
My husband and I are both native to San Diego and thoroughly enjoy being part of this community, along with raising our three daughters here. Early on...Read More
Andrea Bergleen, CPM, LM, MAMy husband and I are both native to San Diego and thoroughly enjoy being part of this community, along with raising our three daughters here. Early on, I obtained my multiple subject teaching credential and a Masters in the Art of Teaching and worked with children from ages 4-19 in a variety of subjects. Instead of working in my own classroom I chose to work at a learning center, which allowed me to be home more to raise my children. Working at a learning center and teaching children with disabilities has taught me patience, creativity and compassion. Throughout the years I have also worked as a substitute teacher for middle schools and as a tutor. Choosing midwifery came later in my life, even though I have always loved babies and felt that pregnancy and birth were a normal stage in life. I attended Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery to become a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) and a Licensed Midwife (LM). I have had the honor of attending births at home and at three different birth centers with several Midwives, allowing me to learn different practice styles and to become a better Midwife. Being part of a person's journey through pregnancy, birth and postpartum is a privilege. I am excited to work with the amazing team at Best Start and help the people of the community I have grown to love.
Brooke Ray, M.S., CNM
I’m Brooke Ray and I’ve been a Certified Nurse-Midwife since 1999, attending over 1000 births in and out of the hospital. I graduated with a Mas...Read More
Brooke Ray, M.S., CNMI’m Brooke Ray and I’ve been a Certified Nurse-Midwife since 1999, attending over 1000 births in and out of the hospital. I graduated with a Masters of Science Degree in Midwifery from UCSF and I’m certified by the American College of Nurse Midwives. I’m a mother of three children; the first one born in the hospital, and the second and third born at home with midwives. I’m from Santa Barbara, California, where I first started studying midwifery as an apprentice to the Santa Barbara Midwives. I have several years of experience working as a full-time Certified Nurse-Midwife at the UCSD Birth Center. I speak Spanish fluently. I currently work “per diem” for Best Start Birth Center and attend homebirths.
LaShaan Everett MSN, CNM
Hello! My name is LaShaan Everett. I was born and raised in San Diego, though I have had the pleasure of traveling to many places overseas, as well as...Read More
LaShaan Everett MSN, CNMHello! My name is LaShaan Everett. I was born and raised in San Diego, though I have had the pleasure of traveling to many places overseas, as well as living in a few. I graduated nursing school from National University and completed my Master of Science in Nurse-Midwifery through Frontier Nursing University. I am coming to Best Start after first touring the facility while I was in nursing school (and feeling deep appreciation for such an incredible San Diego fixture), to having my first-born son here, to volunteering as a doula, completing my clinical rotations here as a midwifery student to finally working here as a certified nurse-midwife. You could certainly say that everything has come full circle! I have always had a passion for women’s health care and recognize the importance of reproductive justice and rights for all; especially for those in historically marginalized communities. I also teach OB/GYN and pediatric nursing at Concorde and have worked as an adjunct professor at National University. Outside of Best Start, I am raising my teenage son with my partner (with another boy on the way arriving December 2023). In my spare time I teach yoga, DJ, love travel, salsa dancing, am an avid vinyl collector and play and record music. I also play several instruments (drums, saxophone and a few more), sing, enjoy reading, cooking, going to the beach and leading healing circles. I am deeply honored to be able to hold space for all the families of Best Start and be a witness to the miracle of birth.
Gabriella Rosenthal, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC, WHNP-BC
My journey as a healthcare provider and nurse started here in beautiful San Diego with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neuroscience from UCSD....Read More
Gabriella Rosenthal, MSN, RN, AGPCNP-BC, WHNP-BCMy journey as a healthcare provider and nurse started here in beautiful San Diego with a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Neuroscience from UCSD. Following 3 years in the Pacific Northwest, I was inspired to move cross country in pursuit of a Bachelor and Master of Science in Nursing from the MGH Institute of Health Professions in Boston, Massachusetts. This training culminated in board certification as a Nurse Practitioner with dual specialties in Adult-Gerontology Primary Care and Women's Health Care. My role on your care team is to provide care before, during, and after pregnancy--not during labor itself. I am happy to assist you with any of your gender-related health care needs spanning from puberty to menopause and beyond. I enjoy taking care of houseplants, reading by the window, and learning new skills. I look forward to meeting you!
Ashley Calderon, Midwife Assistant
I was born and raised in North San Diego where I met my husband just out of high school. After we married we moved to Mexico where we lived for over 8...Read More
Ashley Calderon, Midwife AssistantI was born and raised in North San Diego where I met my husband just out of high school. After we married we moved to Mexico where we lived for over 8 years before returning to San Diego. During that time I became a certified nursing assistant with the state of CA and then my fascination with the human body led to a degree in Human Biology. However, after becoming a doula in 2016 I realized my true passion and calling was in midwifery. With my professional experience and also birthing a total of 9 babies myself- 5 of my own children and 4 babies as a gestational surrogate- I’ve seen and experienced a wide variety of births both in and out of hospital. My hope and goal is to draw on personal and professional experience to give the best support and care as a midwife assistant. Pregnancy, birth, and postpartum are such beautiful seasons- I thoroughly enjoy supporting new parents through them and am so honored to do so as part of the amazing team at Best Start Birth Center.
Aaliyah Sade, Midwife Assistant
Aaliyah Sade, Midwife Assistant is an Afro-Indigenous, Black Chicanx full-spectrum birth keeper, Certified Yoga Instructor, Lactation Educator, Intern...Read More
Aaliyah Sade, Midwife AssistantAaliyah Sade, Midwife Assistant is an Afro-Indigenous, Black Chicanx full-spectrum birth keeper, Certified Yoga Instructor, Lactation Educator, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant(IBCLC) candidate, JDEI consultant, former EMT, and student midwife. As the oldest of 11 children, she's been rooted in the world of pregnancy, birth, postpartum, and parenting her entire life. Aaliyah earned her bachelor's degree in World, Arts, and Cultures: Arts Activism and Global Health at the University of California, Los Angeles, and completed her lactation training with BreastfeedLA and the University of California San Diego Extension Lactation Programs. She double-weaves an open-minded trauma-informed, equity lens into her clinical practice bridging her reproductive justice organizing background and many study abroad adventures. She is passionate about serving single parents, teen parents, refugees, and LGBTQ+ families. Her awareness of health disparities guided her to complete her first doula training at KindredSpace Los Angeles. Inspired by the multifaceted community role of Black Grand Midwives, she has completed several international herbalism, somatic healing, bodywork, birth, and postpartum-related trainings. She serves San Diego families full-time as a student midwife and lactation consultant. Her favorite part of this work is that she is always learning; there is always something new for her to understand, whether from books or the families that she serves. She looks forward to supporting you as a Best Start Midwife Assistant during your birth. Se Habla Español.
Miquela Millard, Midwife Assistant
Miquela Millard CD(DONA) I am a certified Birth Doula, CAPPA-trained Postpartum Doula, UCSD-trained Lactation Educator, Placenta Encapsulation specia...Read More
Miquela Millard, Midwife AssistantMiquela Millard CD(DONA) I am a certified Birth Doula, CAPPA-trained Postpartum Doula, UCSD-trained Lactation Educator, Placenta Encapsulation specialist, and trained in Rebozo for comfort in pregnancy and birth. I have experience supporting families in hospitals, birth centers, and home births and utilizing evidence-based practices and Spinning Babies' techniques during the prenatal period and in labor. My goal is to educate and empower women to trust the birth process and their bodies while creating a safe space. I have two children of my own and had the support of a doula with my daughter. My own birth experiences ignited my passion for supporting women during pregnancy, labor, and postpartum. I joined the Best Start team in 2021 at the front desk, and my role has evolved to include Midwife Assistant which has been incredibly rewarding! I truly love and enjoy my work. I’m a San Diego native, born and raised in the beach community. I spend most days with my family and dogs, love to travel, and have a passion for reading and learning.
Samantha Strickland, Midwife Assistant
I am originally from a small town in Oregon, but moved here for the first time in 2011 when I got stationed here. I got out of the military in 2015 to...Read More
Samantha Strickland, Midwife AssistantI am originally from a small town in Oregon, but moved here for the first time in 2011 when I got stationed here. I got out of the military in 2015 to have my daughter, and my husband stayed active duty. We’ve moved around a bit since then but came back to California in 2017. I found this work after having my own two children and seeing how hard it was not having support. My passion for helping other families through their tough transitions has led me to become a full spectrum doula, birth photographer and now as a midwife assistant. I am the mom of 2 beautiful kids, a wife, a veteran, and a military spouse.
Elizabeth Rosbottom, RN Birth Assistant
Liz is a Registered Nurse, International Birth and Postpartum Doula, Certified Yoga Teacher, and a student nurse-midwife. Liz grew up in Rhode Island,...Read More
Elizabeth Rosbottom, RN Birth AssistantLiz is a Registered Nurse, International Birth and Postpartum Doula, Certified Yoga Teacher, and a student nurse-midwife. Liz grew up in Rhode Island, and moved to California for her first degree in Environmental Studies and Global Studies at UC Santa Barbara. After the passing of her godmother and mother, she saw the beauty and fragility of life, while recognizing the importance of feeling held, respected, and loved through these transitions. Liz became a birth and postpartum doula in 2018 and found a deep healing and connection to her mom through birth work, catalyzing her to pursue a career in maternal health. She has lived and worked internationally in various communities studying sustainable development, cultivating change with food systems, working with a non-profit aiming to narrow the gap in financial exclusion, and mobilizing a maternal health organization. She was privileged to first learn midwifery care from traditional midwives in Uganda and has since supported families in diverse settings. She received her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Thomas Jefferson University, and is currently enrolled in their Masters of Science in Midwifery program. Liz is passionate about blending her studies and life experiences to create a scope of care that is founded on respect, empowerment, love, and cultural humility, which translates across broad spectrums of care, settings, and communities. She is honored and humbled to serve her local community in San Diego. Liz loves surfing, hiking, cooking, camping with friends, and traveling with her husband.
Nat Romine, MPH, LM, CPM
Nat has been attending births since 2008. Upon graduation from Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery’s Holistic Midwifery program in 2013, she credentialed...Read More
Nat Romine, MPH, LM, CPMNat has been attending births since 2008. Upon graduation from Nizhoni Institute of Midwifery’s Holistic Midwifery program in 2013, she credentialed as a Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) and became a Licensed Midwife in Utah, California and Wyoming. She earned a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree from Westminster College in Salt Lake City, UT in 2021. Through the University of California San Diego (UCSD) Lactation Consultant program she is eligible for IBCLC certification as of September 2023. Nat is committed to improving and developing curriculum for midwifery educational programs.
Our midwives are Board Certified Nurse Midwives and Licensed Certified Professional Midwives. Each one will get to know you well during your prenatal visits and will be on call and ready for you for your labor and birth.
Best Start Birth Center midwives are proud to work with a team of birth assistants who are licensed midwives, certified professional midwives, midwife assistants, and registered nurses. A birth assistant will attend your labor and birth and assure everything goes smoothly postpartum until you go home.
Best Start Birth Center is proud to offer a team of medical assistants, childbirth educators, referrals to social workers, and other support services.