Lindsey Wimmer, RN, MSN, CPNP, CPLC
Lindsey Wimmer RN, MSN, CPNP, CPLC, is the Executive Director of Star Legacy Foundation. She has a Bachelor of Science degree in Nursing from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN and a Master of Science degree in pediatric nursing from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. She is a pediatric nurse practitioner and recently taught pediatrics, public health, obstetrics, and leadership in the nursing department at St. Catherine University. Her clinical experience includes over 11 years practice in a primary care setting and 5 years in an emergency care setting. Ms. Wimmer serves on the advisory panel for the Fetal Infant Mortality Review under the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists (ACOG) and is certified in Perinatal Loss Care (CPLC). Ms. Wimmer and her husband, Trent, are the parents of Garrett, their son who was stillborn at term in 2004, Grant, Bennett, and Austyn.
Mindy Mueller, MBA
Mindy Mueller, Board Chair, and her husband, Jeremy, are parents to Kiley, angel baby Abigail Patricia, and Tucker. Mindy has been a member of the Star Legacy Board of Directors since 2011 and champions three events in honor of her daughter Abby. Mindy grew up in northern Wisconsin and received a BA in Finance from University of Wisconsin Milwaukee and a Masters in Business Administration in 2004. Mindy has worked for GE Healthcare for 11 years, currently as the Regional Operations Manager for Lake Erie.
Mindy and Jeremy were never given an explanation for Abby’s death. Mindy’s passion is stillbirth prevention through research and education. Mindy’s motivation is threefold:
- As a Mom – she wants to make sure nobody forgets that Abby was a real person
- As an academic – No cause of death is unacceptable. We need data to solve for this problem.
- As a human – She is empathetic to future loss families and wants to eliminate this issue through research and education
Mindy and her family host three different awareness events across the state of Wisconsin each year and have raised more than 75,000 in Abby’s honor.
Chris Duffy, MBA
Board Vice Chair
Chris Duffy joined the Star Legacy Foundation Board of Directors in 2015 and serves as the Board Vice Chair. Chris is also the host of Star Legacy Foundation's Stillbirth Matters Podcast. He and his wife Amanda experienced the stillbirth of their daughter Reese Christine in 2014. He is the Director of Media Relations at Goff Public. Chris holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Communication and Psychology from St. John's University and a Master of Science degree in Mass Communications from St. Cloud State University. Chris states “I truly believe that life is 10 percent what happens to you and 90 percent how you react to it. To me, this sentiment embodies the mission of the Star Legacy Foundation.” Chris and Amanda live in New Brighton, MN with their sons Rogen (Reese’s older brother) and Rhett and Maeda (Reese’s younger brother and sister) to keep them smiling.
Shannon Renfro, GC-C
Shannon Renfro is the Star Legacy Foundation Board Secretary. Having joined the Board in 2011, she brings experience in political advocacy and lobbying as well as grief counseling certification. Shannon is involved in the Junior League of Hampton Roads, 40 Days for Life, and the Eastern Virginia Perinatal Council. Shannon is actively working on legislation in her home state of Virginia where she lives her husband Eric and 4 children - Jeremy, Irelynn, and Nicholas and Savannah Grace, who was stillborn in 2009. Shannon has a Bachelor of Business Administration degree with focus in marketing and political science from the University of San Diego, San Diego, CA.
Jason Pratt is the father of two stillborn daughters, Mary-Alice and Amelia. He serves Star Legacy Foundation as the Board Treasurer. Jason and his wife, Tandy, champion the Mary-Alice & Friends 5K - an event designed to honor stillborn and miscarried children and to support Star Legacy Foundation's mission to prevent pregnancy and infant loss. Jason is a Customer Service Manager for Wells Fargo and also serves on the United Way of Cass-Clay Cabinet. Jason holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business Administration & Management from Minnesota State University, Moorhead. Jason and Tandy live in Moorhead, MN with their children Benjamin and Courtney.
Director of Operations, Board Member
Shauna Libsack serves as the Director of Operations for Star Legacy Foundation. Shauna became passionate about stillbirth when her first grandchild was stillborn in 2004. She is now retired and devotes her time to stillbirth prevention efforts. Shauna’s work experience includes 30 years corporate education, training, and research. She holds a BA degree in Business Administration/Human Resources from Chadron State College and is certified in adult education, online training, and curriculum design. She is serves as a co-chair of the Action for Stillbirth Awareness and Prevention (ASAP) Coalition, a member of the National Stillbirth Coalition Working Group, the International Stillbirth Alliance, and ISPID. Shauna and her husband, Steve, live in Burnsville, MN.
Amber Goodyear holds an Associate of Arts degree from Lake Superior College and went on to earn an early education degree from Rasmussen College. Ms. Goodyear was a preschool teacher and now manages a business with Mary Kay. She is a trained Peer Companion for bereaved families. In 2012, Amber and her husband, Aaron, experienced the stillbirth of their son Silas. She is dedicated to keeping his memory alive. “I fully believe that more can be done to prevent these needless tragedies and that families need so much support when they lose a child. I am here to give that support wherever needed.” Amber and Aaron live in Chaska, MN with their living children Kobe, Josie, Elijah and Gray.
Board Member, Champions Coordinator
Amy Kent joined the Star Legacy Foundation Board of Directors in 2016. Amy’s personal experience with pregnancy and infant loss includes infertility, IUI, miscarriage, multiple gestation pregnancy, stillbirth, and a pregnancy after loss. Amy and her husband Robbie have dedicated their time to honoring their son Finnegan and creating awareness of miscarriage and stillbirth in the community.
Amy has a B.S. in Business Management from Bellevue University and works with local hospitals on perinatal loss empathy training, co-championing the Let’s Not Be Still Walk in Omaha, and helping to the spread the word on stillbirth support in the community. She also assists with other charities in the Omaha, Nebraska area.
Dale Fuller, MBA
Dale Fuller is a native of Monticello, MN currently resides in Rogers, MN with his wife Carrie and children Elise and Lukas. Dale attended the University of Minnesota Twin Cities where he earned Bachelor’s Degrees in International Relations and German. Dale later went on to earn an MBA from Augsburg College. Dale has been employed with Allianz Life Insurance Company for 13 years and has held various leadership positions at their Golden Valley, MN location along with their global headquarters in Munich, Germany. Dale currently leads the Business Development Department at Allianz. Dale and his wife Carrie were impacted by stillbirth in 2014 when they lost their son Landon at 38 weeks gestation due to a true knot in his umbilical cord.
Dale works with the Star Legacy Foundation to enact legislation in MN aimed at supporting families who have experienced loss and efforts that could lead to stillbirth prevention. In his free time Dale enjoys hunting, fishing, he’s an avid runner and is also the Chair of the Rogers Park Board.
Jennifer Huberty, PhD
Jennifer Huberty, PhD joined the Board of Directors in 2012. Dr. Huberty is an Associate professor at Arizona State University in the School of Nutrition and Health Promotion, Exercise and Wellness program. Her research interests include physical activity adherence and lifestyle behavior change in women and children. Of late, she has implemented interventions using the Internet and text-messages to help improve mental and physical health in women. More specifically, she is interested in the effects of online yoga to improve mental and physical health in pregnant women and women after stillbirth. Dr. Huberty is co-author of the book entitled, Designing Effective Physical Activity Interventions and is an Associate Editor for the Society of Behavioral Medicine’s Translational Behavioral Medicine journal. Dr. Huberty is the founder and director of Fit Minded, an innovative physical activity adherence program for adult women (www.befitminded.com). She has been funded over $2 million in grants from entities including Robert Wood Johnson Foundation, National Institutes of Health, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and UNICEF Foundation. She has published over 70 manuscripts related to physical activity promotion. Dr. Huberty was awarded the Varner Professorship for outstanding community research and service in 2007 and 2010 during her appointment at University of Nebraska Omaha and is a fellow of the Society of Behavioral Medicine. Dr. Huberty and her husband Rodger live in Phoenix and are parents to Greyson, Nolan, and a stillborn daughter Raine (January 2011).
Laura Richert, RN
Laura Richert, RN became involved with Star Legacy Foundation in 2013. She is a registered nurse and the mother of 4 babies in Heaven – Braylyn, Evylyn, Mason, and Averylyn . She is a trained Peer Companion for bereaved families and perinatal loss provider and coordinator. Laura summarizes her passion for Star Legacy by saying, “the idea of working with a group that is taking steps to prevent stillbirth makes my heart sing! I believe that prevention is key and I would love to be part of the movement that finds the cause and also the prevention of stillbirths!”
Laura is the product development coordinator for a health care consulting business. She holds an Associate's Degree in nursing from Century College, a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing from St. Catherine University, and is currently pursuing Master’s Degrees in Business Management and Business Ethics at St. Catherine University. In addition to their 4 angel babies, Laura and her husband, Brandon, are parents to 4 children here on earth: Kaylyn, Madylyn, Jackylyn, and Audrylyn.
Marian Sokol, PhD
Marian Sokol, Ph.D., MPH is the Executive Director of the Children's Bereavement Center of Texas in San Antonio. Marian is the original founder and was the executive director of Any Baby Can for 21 years and president of First Candle/SIDS Alliance, based in Maryland, for eight. She is also currently the Co-Chair of the Action for Stillbirth Awareness & Prevention (ASAP Coalition). She has a passion working on the prevention of stillbirth and the support of families that experience these tragedies. In addition, she works for families of infants and children with critical and chronic illness.
Patricia Sorensen brings to Star Legacy Foundation first-hand experience of infertility, premature birth, ectopic pregnancy, multiple gestation pregnancy, extended NICU stay, infant loss, and the birth of a healthy baby. Her passion is to assist families in their time of loss to help minimize the number of regrets and to encourage them to make as many memories as possible. She works with Star Legacy in memory of her son Parker Donald. “I want to show families that it is ok to know that we will never forget our child/children that we lost too soon, but that life is short and we must make new memories each and every day.”
Patty is a Case Analyst at Kroll OnTrack and holds an Associate of Arts degree from Minnesota School of Business in paralegal studies. She is a trained Peer Companion for bereaved families. Patty and her husband, Paul, live in Minnetrista, MN with their two children at home, Peter (Parker’s twin) and Perry.
Roberta Hunt, PhD
Roberta Hunt PhD received a Master in Science in public health and PhD in community education both from the University of Minnesota. Over the last thirty-three years, she taught nursing and community health at the associate, baccalaureate, masters, and doctorate level. From 1987 to 1989 she was the Director of Nursing Education at Minneapolis Children’s Hospital. Roberta developed and evaluated curriculum since 1984 when she created a course that eventually lead to her to write her first book in 1996. She is the author of two textbooks including Introduction to Community-Based Nursing. This book was named to the Brandon Hill list for small libraries in 2004 and as one of the AJN books of the year in 2012. In 1998, it was translated into Hungarian. She received a Fulbright Lecture Award to Budapest Hungary in 2005-2006 where she taught classes to undergraduate and graduate students, provided seminars for faculty and presented at international conferences. She published numerous articles and presented at local, national, and international conferences over the last 25 years. Community based nursing and working with underserved populations have been her greatest passions. In the last eight years, she has been active on various committees developing curriculum for the Baccalaureate entry level, Nurse Educator masters and the DNP programs for the Nursing Department as well as for continuing education courses for St Catherine University.
Sarah Rodriguez, RN, MSN
Sarah Rodriguez, RN, MSN holds a Bachelor’s Degree and Master’s degree in Nursing from St. Catherine University in St. Paul, MN. As an obstetrics nurse, she has seen the effects of pregnancy loss on women and their families. Sarah also experienced two miscarriages, both at 13 weeks gestation. Neither could be explained, and she learned after these experiences how many people she knew had also experienced loss. She always wondered what could be done to help those suffering loss. Sarah currently lives in Eagan, MN with her husband, Tony, and their two sons, Patrick and Enrique.
Tyler Hughes hails from Vermont and now resides in Ridgefield, CT with his wife Hilary and their sons Carter, Asher and angel baby Oliver. Tyler received his Bachelors from The University of Vermont. Tyler works for PepsiCo Inc. on Large Format Sales Strategy and has held various titles at their North American HQ in White Plains, NY. Prior to PepsiCo, Tyler has more than 8+ years of sales experience with the Boston Beer Company Inc. and Carhartt Inc.
In 2013, Tyler and his wife, Hilary, lost their first son, Oliver Cohlan Hughes, at 34 weeks. After being provided no answers from the autopsy they felt angry, sad, and confused, leaving them searching for more information about why Oliver was stillborn. This is why Tyler has dedicated his time to finding answers and raising awareness. Tyler and Hilary have worked closely with Star Legacy to form the foundation’s first chapter in the NY/CT Metro Territory. When not with his family, Tyler is a professional ski racing coach in the winters and loves to stay active skiing, playing soccer, golf, hiking, biking, and traveling.
Dana Jundt, MSN, CPNP
Medical Advisory Board
Dana Jundt, RN, MSN, CPNP Dana Jundt is a pediatric nurse practitioner who has worked in pediatric emergency departments and primary care settings for nearly 30 years. She has a long-standing passion for the way healthcare providers attend to children who die. Her clinical practice has changed to consider more details from the prenatal history when evaluating newborns and children in her clinic and she believes that improved prenatal care can impact the health status of children in profound ways. Dana received her nursing degree from University of Nebraska School of Nursing and her graduate degree in Pediatric Nursing from University of Colorado Health Sciences, Denver, CO. She regularly lectures to nursing and medical students on pediatric assessment.
Deb Simmons, PhD, LMFT
Dr. Simmons is a marriage and family therapist and co-owner of Partners in Healing of Minneapolis. She has been working in the area of infertility, pregnancy loss and other reproductive complications since 1997. She is a member of ASRM and has practiced in a fertility center and in private practice. She consults at United Hospital’s labor and delivery services. She is trained in EDMR, clinical hypnosis, and esoteric healing/energy work
James A. Nicholson, MD, MSCE
Dr. James A. Nicholson obtained his undergraduate degree from Earlham College in 1977, his medical degree from the University of Pennsylvania in 1981, and completed his internship and residency with the Duke-Watts Family Medicine Residency Program in Durham, North Carolina in 1984.
Following his residency, Dr. Nicholson joined a private practice in North Grosvenordale, Connecticut. In 1997, Dr. Nicholson returned to the University of Pennsylvania to join the Department of Family Practice and Community Medicine. While pursuing a Master’s Degree in Clinical Epidemiology, he published the AMOR-IPAT system of identifying pregnant women who would benefit from induction before 40 weeks of gestation. The publication was an editor’s choice paper in the American Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology. The AMOR-IPAT concept was further developed and followed-up with a prospective, randomized clinical trial (RCT) of AMOR-IPAT (the HUP-POP Trial). In 2012, Dr. Nicholson moved to the Hershey Medical Center of Penn State University in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Medicine, the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and the Department of Pediatrics.
In the last few years Dr. Nicholson has become increasingly concerned about the rising numbers of stillbirths in the US and has studied the correlation between the ’39 week rule’ implementation and the rate of stillbirth. He is speaking to multiple organizations and institutions regarding his concerns about the 39-week rule implementation. His data is being presented at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Maternal Fetal Medicine in Feb 2016.
Joann O'Leary, PhD, MPH, MS, IM-ER(IV)
Dr. O'Leary, holds a B.E.S. and a Masters in Maternal-Child Health from the University of MN. She also has a Masters in Psychology through research from Queens University in Belfast, Northern Ireland. Her Ph.D. is in Work, Community and Family Education and from the University of Minnesota. Her dissertation was The Meaning of Parenting During Pregnancy, After the Loss of a Baby: A Descriptive Phenomenological Study of Parenting a Subsequent Baby Following a Perinatal Loss. She became certified as Neonatal Behavioral Assessment Scale examiner during her MPH course and moved into a hospital setting working within a High Risk Perinatal Center. Dr. O'Leary's Ph.D. research was funded by the Bush Foundation. She does research and writing on prenatal parenting; pregnancy and parenting after the loss of a baby, including its impact on fathers and siblings, including adults who were the child in their family born after the loss of a baby. Joann formerly taught CEED online courses: Pregnancy and Birth: An Emerging Perspective on Children’s Development and Pregnancy’s Unexpected Outcomes: Death, Disabilities, and the Impact on Parents and Children–A Guide for Practitioners. Joann lives in Minneapolis, MN with her husband, John.
Alexander Heazell, MBChB, PhD, MRCOG
Dr Alexander Heazell is a clinical lecturer working at the Maternal and Fetal Health Research Centre, University of Manchester. After graduation from the University of Birmingham Medical School in 2000, he commenced clinical training in Obstetrics and Gynaecology. After completing his PhD thesis on placenta dysfunction in preeclampsia, he has focused his research interests around stillbirth and fetal growth restriction. He is particularly interested in the role that placental dysfunction plays in these conditions, and whether understanding the nature of such placental failure can be used to identify pregnancies most at risk of stillbirth. He has also led qualitative research projects to explore professionals and parents’ experiences after stillbirth, with a particular focus on investigations following a stillbirth.
Dr Alexander Heazell has over 50 peer-reviewed publications and has co-written the RCOG green-top guidelines for the management of reduced fetal movements. In collaboration with Sands he has initiated the development of a national consent form for perinatal post-mortem and a care pathway for parents who experience a perinatal death. Dr. Heazell also runs a Rainbow Clinic for families who have experienced a stillbirth in a previous pregnancy and serves as the Chair of the International Stillbirth Alliance.
Jane Warland, RN, RM, DipAppl Sc (nurs), Grad Cert Ed (Uni Teach)
Medical Advisory Board
Dr Warland is a registered midwife and lecturer in midwifery at the University of South Australia. Jane is an active researcher in the areas of population health, mental health, and maternal health. Since suffering the unexplained full term stillbirth of her daughter Emma in 1993 she has been a passionate researcher into preventative and modifiable risk factors for stillbirth. She has published a textbook, book chapters and journal articles and has presented her research at numerous national and international conferences.
Emanuel P. Gaziano, MD, FACOG
Dr. Gaziano, retired obstetrician in Minneapolis, MN. He completed his medical training at West Virginia University School of Medicine in 1969 and his fellowship in high risk obstetrics at Mount Sinai Hospital in New York City in 1973 and is Board Certified in and Gynecology. Dr. Gaziano founded the Minnesota Perinatal Clinic in Minneapolis, MN in 1986 and served as President and Medical Director of the organization until his retirement in 2013. During his tenure the Minnesota Perinatal Clinic came to be known as the premier medical group for high risk pregnancies in the upper mid-west. Dr. Gaziano was Professor, Department of Ob-Gyn, University of Minnesota from 1994-2013.
In his retirement Dr. Gaziano is in the process of creating the online website OB Images (www.obimages.net) devoted to obstetrical issues and conditions and the utilization of ultrasonography in diagnosis and treatment. In addition, Dr. Gaziano volunteers at the Minnesota Women’s Prison caring for inmates.
Jason Collins, MD, MSCR
Founder and Researcher
Dr. Collins is the Founder and Researcher, The Pregnancy Institute, New Roads, LA Dr. Collins has been a passionate advocate for the unborn child for his entire 30 year obstetrical career. He started the Pregnancy Institute in New Roads, LA to study normal pregnancies in order to understand why many babies are stillborn for no apparent reason. Their research now includes more than a thousand pregnancies and has resulted in evidence that umbilical cord and placental issues must be identified early and current management techniques modified to protect the unborn child.
Louise O’Brien, PhD
Dr. O’Brien earned a bachelor’s degree with honors in physiology from the University of Leeds, United Kingdom in 1992. In 1998 she gained a Ph.D. in physiology from Keele University, United Kingdom. After completing post-doctoral work in maternal and infant health research, Dr. O’Brien relocated to the United States in 2001 to train in pediatric sleep research. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in pediatric sleep research at the University of Louisville, KY. In 2006 she was recruited to the faculty at the University of Michigan as an Assistant Professor Dr. O’Brien also holds an appointment as an Assistant Research Scientist in the Department of Oral & Maxillofacial Surgery.
Dr. O’Brien is one of very few researchers actively investigating the impact of sleep-disordered breathing on adverse pregnancy outcomes such as pre-eclampsia in the mother and growth retardation in the fetus. Since her arrival at the University of Michigan, Dr. O’Brien has built collaborations between the Sleep Disorders Center and the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology and has several active studies. She has published over 40 original manuscripts and over a dozen invited reviews and book chapters. In addition, she is an ad hoc reviewer for NIH study sections and for 16 professional journals, including the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine, Archives of Disease in Childhood, International Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics, Pediatrics, Sleep, and Sleep Medicine.
Morarji Peesay, MD, FAAP
Dr. Peesay is Board certified in General Pediatrics and Neonatology with 11 years of NICU and Level II Special Care Nursery experience and is currently working at Montgomery General Hospital Affiliated with Georgetown University Hospital, Washington DC. As a Neonatologist, Dr. Peesay is interested in new ways of managing premature infants to minimize morbidity and mortality. He is currently working on cord around the neck concept and its long term implications. Dr. Peesay has also developed and published two phone apps for the NICU. One is for Neonatologists and other one for Neonatal Nurses. Dr. Peesay holds one patent and has two patents pending with Med Star/ Georgetown University, Washington DC.
Tomasina Stacey, RM, MPH, PhD
Dr. Stacey is a midwife and has had a long interest in stillbirth and perinatal loss. She has been coordinating the Auckland Stillbirth Study over the past 5 years as part of her PhD studies at the University of Auckland. The Auckland Stillbirth Study is a case control study exploring modifiable risk factors for late stillbirth. A specific area of research interest is the effect of maternal sleep practices on late stillbirth.
- Patty Sorensen, Chair
- Laura Richert, Vice Chair
- Amber Goodyear, Event Chair
- Sarah Rodriguez, Education Chair
- Dale Fuller & Chris Duffy, Advocacy Co-Chairs
- Patty Sorensen & Laura Richert, Family Support Co-Chair
- Shauna Libsack, Outreach Chair
- Roberta Hunt, Research Chair
NEW YORK CHAPTER
- Hilary Hughes, Chair
- Samantha Banerjee, Vice Chair
- Theresa Brown, Communications Chair
- Eleni Michailidis, Medical Chair
- Christine Chang, Public Health Chair
- Bobbie Cohlan, Outreach Chair
- Amanda Donohue, Fundraising Chair
- Heather Johnston Welliver, Chair
- Sabrina Cali, Event Chair
- Laura Johnston, Media Chair Chair
- Kati Smith, Northeast Ohio Representative
- Justin Welliver, Secretary
- Kelli Stewart, Family Support Chair
SAN DIEGO CHAPTER
- Susan Valoff, Chair
- Salome Dubenetzky, Vice Chair
- Barbara Modrow, Secretary
- Zainab Palmer, Social Media
ADVISORS & CONSULTANTS
- Alicia Loehlein, Communications
- Jennifer Monsos, CPA; Accounting
- Amy Kent, Champions Coordinator
- Amanda Donohue; Website Project Management