About Us

Evergreen Perinatal Education is committed to providing quality education and consultation to organizations, healthcare professionals and individuals working with expectant and new families, to ensure that new mothers have access to knowledgeable, compassionate and supportive resources throughout their childbearing journey.

Teaching Philosophy

Faculty at Evergreen Perinatal Education are deeply committed to the important role the healthcare system plays in nurturing healthy family outcomes. Our educational offerings emphasize the significance of breastfeeding in promoting these healthy outcomes and in fostering the unique and special relationship of mother and child. Our interactions with students, whether in-person or through our online training programs, are personal and memorable. Our instruction is delivered so that students grasp and appreciate the unique and facilitative role they play in helping a mother feed her child. Evergreen Perinatal Education prepares students to build on their knowledge and experience, and we lay the foundation for additional exploration and advanced practice. By providing students access to challenging case studies and innovative learning experiences in safe, yet realistic situations, we allow for this discovery and synthesis to unfold comfortably and at a student's own pace.

We are committed to ensuring that every student leaves feeling more confident, invested, and well prepared to provide exceptional support to expectant and new families.

What Do Our Programs Offer? Why Are We Different?

Evergreen Perinatal Education's comprehensive programs cover a wide range of topics in maternal and child health, with the greatest focus on infant feeding practices. Our goal is to improve the efficacy of healthcare delivery, while increasing consumer and staff satisfaction and improving health outcomes for women and their families. Our live programs can be customized to meet the education needs of hospitals, private and public clinics and community maternity and pediatric services.

Evergreen Perinatal education, LLC is an IBLCE code compliant organization.


Faculty

Molly Pessl, RN, BSN, IBCLC, FILCA

Molly is the owner/director of Evergreen Perinatal Education. She received her nursing degree from the University of Michigan where she first learned the importance of breastfeeding, during a time when few women were encouraged or chose to breastfeed. Throughout her long career, Molly has focused on family-centered maternity and pediatric care and then became a board certified lactation consultant in 1986, soon after the profession was created.

Before the formation of Evergreen Perinatal Education, Molly worked at EvergreenHealth from 1985 - 2003, following 5 years as a health educator, clinician and lactation consultant for a hospital-based nurse-midwifery service. During her years at EvergreenHealth, Molly developed comprehensive parent and professional education programs, a regional breastfeeding center, a postpartum follow-up clinic and Parent-Baby Groups. These programs contributed to EvergreenHealth achieving the first US designation of "Baby Friendly."


Christine Muenz, BA, MA, CLE

Christine transitioned from lecturing in drama at the university level more than 20 years ago to designing curriculum and teaching new parents in a healthcare setting. Her courses and curriculum development at EvergreenHealth, North America's first "Baby Friendly Hospital," include childbirth, breastfeeding and parenting programs. Christine also facilitates the very popular support groups for new parents, Parent Baby Time. Christine joined the EPE faculty in 2011.


Stephanie Wagner, BSN, RN, IBCLC, RLC

Steph has been a Registered Nurse since 2001 when she graduated from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, VA with her BSN. She worked as a Labor and Delivery RN for the first 13 years of her career in various hospitals across the United States. She obtained her IBCLC in 2014 and now works solely as an IBCLC/Lactation Consultant. Steph started her own Private Practice, EverLatching Love, in NYC in 2015 and as of late 2019 works exclusively in Private Practice. Steph works closely with many parents in the LGBTQ+ community and also speaks at Conferences across the Country educating health care professionals on best practice when working with LGBTQ+ families. Steph joined the EPE faculty in 2019.


Ginna Wall, RN, MN, IBCLC

Ginna received her master's degree in nursing from the University of Washington in Seattle and has been an IBCLC since 1987. Ginna founded the lactation program at UW 25 years ago and continues there as coordinator of Lactation Services bringing evidence-based, family- friendly care to the hospital setting. She led the University of Washington Medical Center to Baby Friendly recognition in 2009. Ginna has served as faculty for EPE since its inception.


Mark Spitzack

Since 2003, Mark has worked as a Coordinator of Perinatal and Pediatric Support Projects at M Health Fairview and its University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, where his duties include supporting families in the areas of lactation, perinatal loss, and pediatric bereavement. He serves as the organization's milk banking coordinator and educates staff about milk sharing and milk banking. Mark does writing and social media work for EPE.


Betsy Bush, RN, ND, IBCLC

Betsy received her nursing doctorate from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and a bachelor of science degree in biological psychology from the College of William & Mary. She utilizes her IBCLC to promote early relationships and the physical and mental health of infants and their families. Throughout her career she has worked with new families in a number of settings including nurse home visitation programs, as an obstetric nurse, and as a lactation consultant in private practice, community parenting centers and in small and large hospitals. She resides in Madison, Wisconsin with her husband and three sons.


Mary Jane Kiefer MS, RD, CLE, NBC-HWC

Mary Jane Kiefer has worked as a Public Health Nutritionist at the state and local levels for 31 years. She was the Breastfeeding Liaison for Contra Costa County WIC Program where she wrote grants, coordinated breastfeeding trainings, promoted baby-friendly hospitals and lactation accommodation in clinics and worksites. Recently, she has been a Nutrition Consultant for breastfeeding projects and has broadened her education to become a National Board Certified Health and Wellness Coach. She has started her own business “MY Best ME” coaching individuals on smoking cessation, weight management and life transitions.


Brandi Gates, IBCLC

Brandi graduated from California State University, San Diego. In 2010 she focused her education on lactation and received her IBCLC the following year. Brandi has co-founded a community awareness advocacy group, The Breastfeeding MAFIA (Mother's Against Feeding Infants Artificially). Their mission is to restore and normalize breastfeeding within the African American Community. Currently Brandi works for the West Oakland Health Council as the Breastfeeding Coordinator and Lactation Consultant for the WIC program and Health Center. Brandi joined the EPE faculty in 2014.


Kris McHarg, RN, MN, IBCLC

Kris received her BSN from University of Maryland, a Master's degree (Maternal-Child Clinical Nurse Specialist) from University of Washington and her post-Master's Pediatric Nurse Practitioner certificate from Catholic University. Kris retired as a Commander in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps after 21 years of military service, and currently works in a large pediatric practice in Northern Virginia where she started a Lactation service. She has been certified as an IBCLC since 1990. Kris joined the EPE teaching faculty in 2014.


Donnianne Noble, RN, IBCLC

Donnianne received her RN degree in 2004, deciding at that time to dedicate her education, skills and expertise to working with new families in their transition to parenthood. In 2007 she became an Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant and currently works at EvergreenHealth, North America's first "Baby Friendly Hospital". Donnianne joined the EPE faculty in 2011.


Marie McCarter Witherell, RN, BSN, IBCLC

Marie began her career working with new families in 1968 as a new nurse working in labor and delivery. Since then she has been involved with families in the childbearing years in diverse settings and with a variety of roles. In 1999, she joined the staff at EvergreenHealth in Kirkland, Washington, the first Baby-Friendly Hospital in the United States. Marie has been on the faculty of EPE since its inception and teaches basic and advanced lactation courses for healthcare professionals.


Melissa Lim Kuebler, Web Developer

Melissa received her degree in Computer Science from Duke University and has been working in the web development industry for over 16 years. She has been maintaining the EPE website since 2007.