Current Board Members
Penelope Van Tuyl (Chair)
Penelope is a human rights lawyer and Associate Director of the Handa Center for Human Rights and International Justice at Stanford University. Born and raised in the Bay Area, she lives in San Francisco’s Mission District with her husband, their two young daughters and two cats. Penelope is grateful to have had access to phenomenal midwifery care before, during, and after the birth of both her children. These experiences made her passionate about maternal health and dedicated to promoting choices in childbirth, for all women, regardless of background or financial means. As volunteer Chair of the non-profit FOSFBC, she is very happy to be supporting the Birth Center and the women it serves.
Mallory is a Customer Success Manager at Hearsay Social, a start-up by AT&T Park, with a background in email and social marketing. She lives in Noe Valley with her husband, their two young daughters, a dog and a cat. Though Mallory lives in a high-tech world, when it comes to birth, she believes low-tech is the best option. She feels incredibly fortunate for the months of amazing pre-natal care and the incredible home births of her two daughters she experienced due to the support and assistance her midwives provided. She is thrilled to be on the board of Friends of the San Francisco Birth Center to help families access the life-changing experience of midwifery care.
Sage Bearman, CNM, WHNP
Sage Bearman is a midwife and nurse practitioner in San Francisco where she enjoys providing care at Whole Family MD and Pacific Reproductive Services. Sage is thrilled that a birth center is opening in this vibrant city; women and families deserve the full, wonderful range of options from hospital to home and in between. She is dedicated to ensuring that high-quality birth center services are accessible and welcoming to the diverse communities that call SF home.
Stephanie brings extensive administrative experience as well as communication studies and social media coordination skills to her role on the Board of the Friends. Before joining the board, Stephanie was also a client of the Birth Center. Supported by a grant from the FOSFBC, she joyfully welcomed a baby girl in early 2017, and feels a profound connection to the mission of Friends of the San Francisco Birth Center. Stephanie has a passion for the natural birthing experience, and is excited to help build a community of support for San Francisco families through the Birth Center.
Vanessa Ozuna Ginzton
Vanessa is a mom to her son Dominic and daughter Jacinda. As a former Mechanical Engineer working on design and analysis of data center hardware, and lover of all things tech since childhood, she also believes that sometimes low-tech should be an option for birth and wellness. With gratitude for the care she got from her midwives, both pre- and post-natal, she believes that all women should have access to this exceptional kind of care. Vanessa lives in the Mission with the kids and husband Matt, and when she isn’t running after the kids she enjoys sewing clothes for herself and kids and making things for the home. You can find her creations on Instagram @vanessamakes.
Deundra is very excited to join the board of the FOSFBC after having welcomed a granddaughter into the world at the Birth Center in early 2017. Her interest in birth work has been has been strong ever since she was 13 years old, but Deundra had no role models or mentors to follow into the field. So, she found her way to what she thinks is the next great profession: teaching and education. She has worked in the field of education for over 20 years with a diverse group of ethnicities, genders, ages as well as socio-economic backgrounds. She served for over 10 years at San Francisco University High School as Director of Outreach for the Summerbridge Program. Deundra recently fulfilled a dream of hers by becoming a birth doula, and was delighted to be able to support her daughter through pregnancy and labor at the Birth Center in this capacity. Deundra has a deep love for families and advocating for fair and equal education opportunities, and enjoys connecting with people across diverse communities.
Sarah is a Clinical Nurse Specialist with a focus on women’s health and has dedicated her career to working with underserved populations. Prior to becoming a mom she was the Clinic Director at Women’s Community Clinic in San Francisco where she helped usher in new healthcare services for underinsured women. Sarah was one of the early births at the San Francisco Birth Center when it first opened in 2016. She feels so fortunate to have been a part of the birth center and to have received such outstanding care for herself and her family.
Bridget Sumser is a clinical social worker at UCSF medical center. Committed to whole person, whole family care, she assists patients and families negotiate their psychosocialspiritual needs as they mediate the larger health care system. Prior to her clinical training, she worked in non-profit development and strategic planning in the bay area, ensuring that local organizations had the platform of resources necessary to carry out their mission. She joined the FOSFBC because she believes that women of all backgrounds to have right to know and choose the care options that best support their needs during pregnancy, birth and postpartum care.
Lauren is currently an Account Director at a communications consultancy that services clients using science and technology to make the world a better place. In this role she provides strategic counsel to the company's west coast accounts. In her spare time, Lauren enjoys volunteering at San Francisco General Hospital and Homeless Prenatal Program as a doula. She believes that all mothers deserve high-quality care, respect, and empathy during their entire birth experience, and is grateful for the opportunity to support the Birth Center and its community.
Birth Center Liasons
Julie Birdsong, CNM
Julie graduated from the UCSF Midwifery Program and cares for women at San Mateo Medical Center as a Certified Nurse Midwife. Prior to midwifery, Julie worked as a registered nurse for 18 years with birthing families most recently, at Lucille Packard Children's Hospital where she was a member of the Lactation Committee and the high risk OB transport team. Julie teaches herbal medicine making and loves to use natural remedies and herbs to treat common ailments. She has lived in the Mission for over 10 years and is excited to bring the option of a birth center to San Francisco and to care for women in her own community.
Nancy Myrick, CNM
Nancy is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and has been practicing home birth with Rites of Passage Midwifery since 2003. She began attending births as a doula in 1993, received her RN in 2000 and completed her training in midwifery in 2003 through the UCSF Nurse Midwifery Education Program.
With the goal of helping women be strong in childbirth, she hopes that the San Francisco Birth Center will be a place where women realize how powerful they truly are. Nancy has attended hundreds of births in homes, hospitals and birth centers, her favorite being the birth of her daughter, Miranda, on a beautiful spring day in 1997.
Sara Van Acker, MS, CNM, WHBC
Sara is a Certified Nurse-Midwife and Women's Health Nurse Practitioner who completed her training at UCSF. Her path to midwifery began as a doula at San Francisco General Hospital and has included various international and domestic projects including a midwifery fellowship at Holy Family Birth Services in Weslaco, TX and most recently a nurse-midwife role at Santa Rosa Birth Center. Sara's practice is rooted in the strong belief that families deserve holistic, client-centered choices for their birth and reproductive health care services and is overjoyed to help bring a much needed alternative option to women and childbearing families in San Francisco.
The Friends of the San Francisco Birth Center is a fiscally sponsored project of the Social Good Fund, a non-profit organization registered with the IRS as a 501(c)(3). Tax ID: 46-1323531.
All financial contributions to the FOSFBC via Social Good Fund are 100% tax deductible.