The joyful births of her two daughters inspired a career working with pregnant women and new families. Dianne first earned an undergraduate degree in Family and Consumer Studies from the University of Guelph, and in 2004 she graduated summa cum laude from McMaster University’s Midwifery Education Program. With a background in business and health care, and a yearning to return to her roots in north central Ontario, Dianne launched the practice of Midwives of Muskoka in 2005.
Dianne is involved in regional, provincial, national and international initiatives and committees to improve women and infant health. She has been a life long learner in her field, participating in extensive training in women's and infant health care at a variety of institutions. Currently, she is registered with the Canadian Paediatric Society as a Neonatal Resuscitation Provider Instructor and is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant.
Barbara Borland graduated from the Midwifery Education Programme at McMaster University in 1999, and began working with Countryside Midwifery Services in Millbank Ontario, serving a predominantly Old Order Mennonite and Amish population. After the home birth of her second daughter in 2000, Barbara began working with the newly formed Cambridge Midwives. Two and a half years later, after the home water birth of her third daughter, Barbara accepted a position with the neighbouring Community Midwives of Brantford. In 2005 Barb joined Dianne Smith in opening the midwifery practice in Muskoka.
Aside from her midwifery degree, Barbara holds a Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Guelph, with a major in Women’s Studies and a minor in Psychology. She has also worked as a Pastry Chef, and a Counselor in a women’s crisis shelter and at a residence for teenage mothers. Barbara’s work within these diverse communities has given her a unique understanding of the varying needs of women and a passionate desire to help her clients have the most up to date information, as well as the wisdom of the ages, and be allowed the space to make their own informed decisions about how and where they give birth to their babies.
Sarah Jean Smith, RM
Sarah grew up in the Ottawa area and in Nashville (Music City, USA). Muskoka and Huntsville have been her home since 2000. She loves living in Muskoka in the straw-bale house she built and working in Muskoka as a Registered Midwife.
Sarah graduated from Ryerson University’s Midwifery Education Programme in the Spring of 2007. Her training has been with midwives in Owen Sound, Collingwood and Thunder Bay. She has also done placements with doctors and nurses in the Huntsville and Orillia hospitals and at Mount Sinai. Sarah has worked with urban, suburban and rural women.
Sarah also has a degree in Women Studies from Trent University, which has been beneficial to her midwifery practice. Sarah sees midwifery as the perfect way to combine a social-science heart with a science-leaning brain to create an exciting and rewarding career.
Dawn Dawson, RM
Shortly after the home water birth of her second child (who was lovingly caught by a Midwife of Muskoka), Dawn decided to finally pursue her lifelong dream of becoming a midwife. Dawn graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University, with honors, and is now thrilled to join the midwives who inspired and mentored her every step of the way. Throughout her education, Dawn was guided by a variety of health care providers including midwives, an obstetrician, labour and delivery nurses, and lactation consultants. Before becoming a midwife, Dawn spent many years working in Canada and Switzerland as a Registered Massage Therapist, specializing in prenatal massage. She also assisted the Midwives of Muskoka as a second attendant and volunteered with the Friends of Muskoka Midwives. Dawn is thrilled to continue to grow her family's roots in this beautiful region and committed to providing safe, woman centered care for Muskoka families.
Melissa Bevan, RM
Melissa graduated cum laude from the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University in 2009. Throughout the midwifery program, she worked in midwifery clinics and hospitals in Ontario and Nova Scotia and completed a one month placement in Pokhara, Nepal. Upon graduation Melissa began working with her beloved mentors at the Midwives of Muskoka. In 2010-2011 she took a one year leave of absence from Muskoka to work as a locum midwife in a collaborative care practice in Antigonish, Nova Scotia. This was an exciting opportunity for her to expand her midwifery skills and to contribute to the evolution of midwifery in a newly-legislated province.
Throughout her career, Melissa has enjoyed being involved in various national, provincial and local committees. She sat on the Canadian Association of Midwives (CAM) as the Provincial Representative for Nova Scotia from 2010-2011, and was the CAM Representative for the Society of Obstetrician and Gynecologists of Canada (SOGC) from 2011-2013. Since 2014 she has been an Emergency Skills Instructor for the Association of Ontario Midwives and has sat on the Obstetrical Unit Council at Orillia Hospital since 2015.
Despite all of Melissa’s studies and travels, she believes it is her two young daughters that have been her greatest teachers. They have taught her about the strength and power of pregnancy and birth and the joys and struggles of parenting from the heart. Melissa is everyday grateful to call Muskoka her home and happily lives here with her family.
Keatha Walsh, RM
Keatha grew up in Sudbury, Ontario and attended Laurentian University where she completed the Midwifery Education Programme. Her training included placements in Oshawa, Barrie, Sudbury and Bracebridge. During the program Keatha worked with midwives, nurses, obstetricians and many other health care professionals.
Prior to studying midwifery, Keatha obtained a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology with Honours. It was during that time that her interest in women's health and midwifery began. Keatha believes that women should be the primary decision makers in their care and she is very grateful to serve the women of Muskoka and surrounding areas.
In her spare time, Keatha enjoys knitting, fishing, travelling, and exploring the outdoors with her partner and black lab, Kade.