Dr. Paula Pelletier-Butler, DM, MS, LM
Founder, Owner, and Executive Director
Paula’s love and passion for pregnancy and birth began with the births of her 3 children, who were all born with the loving assistance of a midwife. Paula has a background in nursing and massage therapy and has been working in the women’s health field since 1986. She received her Master of Science in Midwifery from Bastyr University and has her Doctorate in Midwifery from Thomas Jefferson University. She has been attending births for over 11 years and her clinical midwifery experience includes both community and hospital settings including homebirth practices, Seattle area birth centers, Victoria Hospital in the Caribbean, and Tuba City Hospital (TCRHCC). She is also on the Board of Directors for the American Association of Birth Centers (AABC). In her spare time she loves hiking, dancing, cooking, listening to music, reading, playing cribbage, and being with her husband, kids, and extended family.
Dr. Paula is currently is on faculty at Bastyr University and is a part-time midwife.
Karin Braun, MSN, CNM
Clinical Director and Staff Midwife
Karin Braun has practiced as a midwife in Alaska for the last 22 years and has attended homebirths, birth center births and hospital births. Karin was the co-owner of Midwifery and Women’s Health Care at Geneva Woods and the Geneva Woods Birth Center from 2002-2015. Karin is married, the mother of 2 daughters and 2 sons and one grandson. Karin and her family recently moved to the area and while she is new to Arizona, she is not new to women’s health, pregnancy and birth. She is excited to have moved to warmer weather and be able to attend births again with Flagstaff Birth and Women’s Center.
Karin is currently a part-time midwife at FBWC.
Jana Bowditch, MSN, CNM
Staff Midwife and Certified Breastfeeding Counselor
Jana was born at home in Tucson, Arizona, and remembers being drawn to the idea of birth from a young age. She grew up living overseas, spending time in Botswana, South Africa, Switzerland, Nepal, Bolivia, and Guatemala. Always wanting to pursue midwifery, Jana completed a 14-month training program at a border birth center in El Paso, Texas, and became a certified professional midwife. Travel, adventures, and volunteer work in maternal/child health in South Africa followed. She then returned to her roots in Tucson and attended nursing school at the University of Arizona, becoming an RN. Jana worked in a high-acuity NICU for seven years, and really appreciated that experience as a kind of midwifery – supporting mothers and families through devastating and then joyous times, and guiding these tiny humans through precarious vulnerability. Still feeling the tug of midwifery, however, Jana completed the community-based midwifery program through Frontier Nursing University, with clinical training at Phoenix Indian Medical Center, and finally achieved her dream of becoming a certified nurse midwife. She is thrilled to be part of the team at FBWC and providing advanced practice midwifery care to the Flagstaff community. She is still passionate about midwifery and maternal/child health, as well as travel, cross-cultural experiences, and nature. Jana is married to a yoga teacher and artist, Bruce, and they have a beautiful five-year-old son, born at home, named Jai.
Jana is currently a full-time midwife at FBWC.
Dr. Melissa Gibbons, ND, MSM
Staff Midwife and Naturopathic Physician
Melissa Gibbons is a Naturopathic Doctor and midwife. Originally from the Southwest, she graduated from Bastyr University in Seattle, WA with her Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine and then went back to receive her Master of Science in Midwifery. She became a naturopathic physician because of her belief in the body’s ability to heal itself and her desire to support people on their paths to health and healing. As a primary care physician, she can address a variety of issues, from annual exam and well child/pediatric visits to chronic illnesses and fertility. She became an advanced practice midwife in order to help guide women and their families through the childbearing cycle. In her free time, she enjoys dancing, rock climbing, and knitting.
Dr. Melissa is leaving FBWC the end of June to travel with her partner.
Linda Higgins, MSN, CNM
Co-owner and Consultant