Expert Committee

In 2018, MamaCare Health Services formed an Expert Advisory Committee (EAC), bringing together a group of highly experienced and knowledgeable women: professionals in the field of maternal and postnatal health. Our first meeting was held in Feburary, and a number of action points were identified in order to improve MamaCare’s scope and services in the support of new mothers and their families. The EAC is passionate about women’s health and our committee members are lending their collective voice to the growth of services in this area.

We aim to shine a light on the benefits of mother-centred care during the fourth trimester. Bringing together experts who can strengthen and grow a support network of postnatal services for new mothers and their families.

Our goal is to expand MamaCare’s services to incorporate a community of allied and medical health providers who can support women and their families in that unique period postpartum.

Expert Advisory Committee (L to R): Kathleen Murphy, Amie Steel, Genia Barmakov, Elaine Burns & Jan Cornfoot.

 

Dr Amie Steel

Dr Amie Steel is a naturopath, educator and researcher in the field of complementary medicine (CM) and women’s health, with a particular interest in maternal and child health through the preconception and postnatal periods. Amie currently holds dual research positions as a research fellow at the Australian Research Centre in Complementary and Integrative Medicine within the Faculty of Health at University of Technology Sydney, and also Associate Director – Research in the Office of Research at the Endeavour College of Natural Health. Amie also holds a position as Associate/Adjunct Professor at the Helfgott Research Institute, National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon.

Genia Barmakov

Genia graduated as a physiotherapist from Latrobe University in 2000. Her special interest in women’s health started shortly after, when she commenced a graduate position at Royal Women’s Hospital. Genia completed postgraduate studies in Women’s Health at Melbourne University and has over 15 years of experience working in the areas of continence, pelvic floor dysfunction and perinatal musculoskeletal conditions. She is a keen advocate of exercise to optimise health through all life stages and has many years of experience in teaching Clinical Pilates as well as general exercise classes. Genia recently completed a Masters in Applied Science at RMIT, in TCM Acupuncture, which she uses to complement her physiotherapy skills. Genia has worked in both private and public sectors in Australia, and also in Europe (The Netherlands). She is a member of Australian Physiotherapy Association (APA) and Women’s Health Special Group, a member of Continence Foundation Australia as well a member of Australian Acupuncture and Chinese Medicine Association (AACMA).

“I am passionate about providing holistic, readily accessible and individualised care, helping to improve and optimise client’s health and well-being throughout the perinatal period.”

Dr Elaine Burns

Dr Elaine Burns is a midwife and Senior Lecturer at Western Sydney University, with more than two decades of experience working in the areas of midwifery and women’s health as a clinician, researcher and educator. Elaine has led projects exploring women’s experiences of accessing and receiving health care. Her current research interests focus around communication and support for women during the early postnatal period. Elaine has coordinated and managed the data collection for a large ARC funded study exploring the language and practices adopted by midwives and lactation consultants during early breastfeeding support. The findings from this doctoral work have informed the education of future midwives and lactation consultants, as well as influenced the language and practices of midwives when working with women around breastfeeding. Elaine is continuing to research in this area with several projects exploring breastfeeding support and the early transition to mothering.

Jan Cornfoot

Originally trained as an accountant, Jan became involved with local, national and international consumer advocacy and support groups during her first pregnancy in the mid-1970s. From 1979-1988, Jan was International Director for the International Childbirth Education Association (ICEA), then based in Minneapolis USA. In 1987, seeing the benefits of networking, sharing resources and speaker tours, Jan started CAPERS (an acronym for Childbirth And Parenting Education Resources & Services) Bookstore.

In 1992, CAPERS launched the journal Birth Issues, for many years the only peer-reviewed journal in Australia and New Zealand with this childbirth and breastfeeding focus; it remained in publication until 2006. Since 1976, Jan has organised many conferences and workshops (for ICEA and other consumer groups and since 1988, for CAPERS). Jan assisted with the organising of Conferences for ILCA (International Lactation Consultant Association) in Australia in 2003 and 2013. In the USA, Jan worked with Diony Young, former long-time editor of the BIRTH Journal (a Wiley publication), on several of their annual Conferences.

Jan has served on numerous government and non-government committees and hospital boards. These include: Consumer Representative, Queensland Nursing Council (1997-2003); IBFAN representative in Australia (2004-7); Accredited Hospital Assessor, and National Committee Member, Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative (BFHI); Consumer Representative, Royal Women’s Hospital Water Birth Review Committee (nominee of Cochrane Consumer Centre, 2002-2003); Consumer Representative, Qld Council on Obstetric and Paediatric Morbidity and Mortality (1998-2001); Convenor, Pregnancy and Childbirth Community Consultations (1984-5) for UN Decade for Women, at the invitation of Ms Quentin Bryce; various Qld Health Reference Groups, American Association of Birth Centres (as International member).