Sacred Transitions Midwifery Institute

The Board of Advisors


President: Evelyn Muhlhan, CPM, RN

Evelyn worked as a CNM and a nurse in hospitals, birth centers and her own private practice for over 26 years. Having recently been sanctioned by the state of MD for attending homebirths without physician supervision, she returned to midwifery as a CPM.

She is currently barred from working in her community because the state does not recognize non-nurse midwives. She holds a BSN from the University of Maryland and a Masters Degree in nursing from Stony Brook University. She was also a nurse in the United States Air Force from 1981-1994. She has three adult children and seven grandchildren.


Dr. Robert Biter

Dr. Biter was an ObGyn in the San Diego area for many years before becoming the CEO of the groundbreaking birth center, Babies by the Sea. He tirelessly works to develop healthy collaboration between midwives and doctors as they support the autonomy of the women they serve. He graduated with his degree in medicine from Pennsylvania State University.


Sandi Blankenship, RM, CPM

Sandi Blankenship graduated in 1998 from the International School of Midwifery in Miami Beach, Florida. She is a midwife in private practice in Florida and is also actively involved with supporting women's choices overseas. Sandi travels regularly, assisting with births in places such as China, The United Arab Emirates and Jamaica. She brings an international focus to the academic direction of STMI, advising in ways to encourage more midwives to offer their skills to women without access to supportive birth care in other countries.


Stuart Fischbein, ObGyn, MD

Dr. Fischbein graduated from the University of Minnesota Medical School in 1982. He has been in private practice in Southern California since 1986 and has been a long standing advocate for midwifery and parent's choices in childbirth. He is currently one of the very few ObGyns who practice their art outside of the hospital. He runs a popular podcast that discusses current childbirth practices and has a website with evidence based information at


Carol Gautschi, CPM, LM

Carol Gautschi has attended homebirths since 1978 and has worked as a Traditional Holistic Midwife on Washington's Olympic Peninsula since 1979. For her first 25 years Carol served as an unlicensed midwife. Her teaching style is unique because in addition to teaching the nuts and bolts of her subject, she emphasizes the unseen (or intuitive) realm of birth. She fosters the importance of the midwife relationship not just with the mom but the baby. Carol believes that the unseen world is more real than the seen, especially with regard to birth.

Carol trained in California with, among others, Dr. Nial Ettenhausen in the 1970s and early 1980s. She is co-founder of the Washington Alliance of Responsible Midwifery (WARM), and chairs Olympic Peninsula Birth Matters.


Amy Medwin, CPM

Amy has been a traditional midwife and Certified Professional Midwife for many years, living in a state that has yet to recognize her profession. She has dedicated her life to pursuing the rights of mothers to have access to the quality midwifery care of their choosing in every state.


Shafia Monroe, MPH

In addition to being a Certified Midwife by the Massachusetts Midwives Alliance, she is also a Childbirth Educator, a Doula Trainer, and mother of seven children. Shafia M. Monroe is a health activist, organizer, and international speaker. She holds a BA in sociology, with a concentration in medical sociology, from the University of Massachusetts. Monroe is the founder and President of the International Center for Traditional Childbearing (ICTC); the nation's first Black midwifery training, breastfeeding promotion and capacity building non-profit organization, headquartered in Portland, Oregon.

Shafia is the visionary behind the prominent Black Midwives and Healers Conference that brings midwives and other health care providers together to galvanize resources and implement strategies for reducing infant mortality and strengthening families. In 2006, the Black Midwives and Healers Conference received a Proclamation from Oregon's Governor Ted Kulongoski. In 2007 she authored the Black Midwives and Prenatal Providers Directory-Essential Recipes and Words of Wisdom for Expecting and New Parents.


Racha Tahani Lawler, CPM, LM

Racha is the granddaughter & great-granddaughter, great niece, and second cousin of midwives. After being in attendance of her cousin's homebirth right out of her teens, she immediately answered her call to midwifery. While working as a nurse assistant at a local Hospital in the women's wing, she was privileged & honored to train with a community midwife as an apprentice.

Racha moved to El Paso Texas where she began a formal midwifery education at Maternidad La Luz. Upon graduation she sat for and passed her NARM in 2004 and became a Certified Professional Midwife & Texas Licensed Midwife. Racha returned home to California with her family in 2007, completed the California Challenge Process and earned her California Midwifery License in 2008. Racha has been blessed to sit at the feet of over 600 birthing women, and hundreds more as a physical & emotional support.

With the help of family, friends and countless supporters she has recently opened The Community Birth Center, a freestanding birthing center in South Los Angeles that provides well woman, pre-conception, prenatal, labor/birth and postpartum care to families in the city of Los Angeles. She is committed to providing midwifery care to ALL who seek it regardless of race, socio-economic status or gender. Her passion is to aid in the great maternal child health disparities seen with women of color. Her mission, is to “Grow our community, one baby at a time”, in reducing prematurity rates in women of color and infant deaths.