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  • Kay Sandberg

Welcoming Melissa Cheyney, PhD, LDM: Global Force for Healing’s New Chair


We are thrilled to share that Melissa Cheyney, PhD, LDM, will be serving as the chair for the Global Force for Healing (GFH) board of directors. Dr. Cheyney brings her significant knowledge as a researcher, educator, and clinician to her new role at GFH. Prior to serving as Chair, Dr. Cheyney was a member of the board, providing support to the Compassionate Birth Network. Please join us in welcoming her to this new role.


Dr. Cheyney is the co-director of Uplift Lab, a research and reproductive equity laboratory at Oregon State University. As Professor of Clinical Medical Anthropology, she serves as the primary investigator on more than 20 maternal and infant health-related research projects, including the Community Doula Program with funding from the NIH, NSF, American Institutes of Research, the Health Resources and Services Administration, and the Inter‐community Health Network, CCO. She is also the interim co-director of the Quality Maternal and Newborn Care (QMNC) global research alliance along with Holly Kennedy.


She is the author of an ethnography entitled Born at Home (2010, Wadsworth Press), co-editor with Robbie Davis-Floyd of Birth in Eight Cultures (2019, Waveland Press), and author or co-author of more than 60 peer-reviewed articles that examine the cultural beliefs and clinical outcomes associated with midwife-attended birth at home and in birth centers in the United States.


In 2019, Dr. Cheyney served on the National Academies of Science, Engineering and Medicine’s Birth Settings in America Study and in 2020 was named Eminent Professor by OSUs Honors College. She also received Oregon State University’s prestigious Scholarship Impact Award for her work in the International Reproductive Health Laboratory and with the Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) Statistics Project. She is the Editor-in-Chief of the journal Birth: Issues in Perinatal Care.


As a practicing midwife, she brings a unique understanding of the role that midwives play in supporting physiologic birth. She is the mother of a daughter born at home on International Day of the Midwife in 2009.

Photo credit: Joshua Lucas, The Daily Barometer



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