New York State Doula Pilot Program

On April 23, 2018, New York State announced a comprehensive initiative to target maternal mortality and reduce racial disparities in health outcomes. This initiative included a pilot program to provide Medicaid coverage for doula services to pregnant and postpartum people. A doula, also known as a birth companion, birth coach, or post-birth supporter, is a non-medical person who provides physical, emotional, and informational support to pregnant people before, during, and after delivery. Doulas receive training from either a national organization or a community-based organization, and these trainings vary in content, requirements, and duration. There are no universally accepted standards for doula certification and doulas are not licensed. Doulas do not prescribe treatment, complete a physical or behavioral health assessment, or provide medical care or advice.

Starting on March 1, 2019, pregnant people who were enrolled in Medicaid and living in Erie County were eligible to enroll in the New York State Doula Pilot Program. The pilot was initially established for a two-year period and was extended. Reimbursement for doula services will continue through February 29, 2024, and doulas were able to enroll in the pilot through February 28, 2023.

To date, 917 people enrolled in one of six different Medicaid Managed Care Plans or Medicaid Fee-for-Service have participated in the pilot program.

The pilot covers up to four visits with the doula before delivery, up to four visits with the doula after delivery, and doula support during labor and delivery. To date, approximately 82% of claims are for prenatal visits, 6% are for labor and delivery support, and 12% are for postpartum visits.

Participating people are all sent a survey to assess satisfaction and experience with the pilot. To date, 97% of respondents said having a doula improved or somewhat improved their childbirth experience and 92% of respondents rated their doula as good or excellent.

Updated through January 9, 2023

County Name Phone Number Email Address Languages Spoken Trained By Training Certificate Expiration Additional Skills
(e.g. sign language, focus on Caribbean communities)
Medicaid Managed Care Plan
ERIE Valerie Brown 716-606-2577 IAMHANNAH43@HOTMAIL.COM     12/31/9999    
ERIE Jamika Williams 716-400-0713 PANSYSDOULASERVICES@GMAIL.COM     12/29/2024    
Erie Kelsey Vetter 716-545-0245 English Life Cycles Doula 2/29/2024    
Erie Kayla Rogers 716-541-8749 English/ Some Spanish DONA International 11/30/2023 Birth and Postpartum Services, Hospital & Out of Hospital Births, Rebozo Trained BCBS, Fidelis, Independent Health, United HealthCare, Wellcare, Your care
Erie Shannon Johns 716-909-0074 English DONA 2/29/2024 Vaginal birth, Cesarean births, Home birth, Hospital birth, Birthing Center births, Vbac's, and multiples. Independent Health, Fidelis Care, Yourcare, United Healthcare, Univera, BC/BS, Wellcare
Erie Brenzella Williams 716-863-9832 English Life Cycle Collective (LCCD) 2/29/2024 Birth and Postpartum services, Vaginal and Cesarean Births, Birthing Center, Home and Hospital Births Medcaid, Fidelis, IHA, BC/BS, Universa, YourCare, United Health, Well Care
Erie Rachel Tibold 716-548-5212 English and some Spanish DONA International 2/29/2024 Home birth, Hospital birth & Birthing Center Birth Vaginal, Caserean & Multiple (Twins, Triplets, etc.) Postpartum Doula Services Rebozo Usage & Workshops Fidelis Care New York, Inc. /HealthNow New York, Inc / Independent Health's MediSource / United Healthcare Community Plan/ WellCare of New York / YourCare Health Plan / BCBS
Erie Sondra Dawes 716-881-6191 English Jericho Road Community Health Center 12/31/2023   IHA, Universa
Erie Ashley Way 716-881-6191 English Jericho Road Community Health Center 12/31/2023   IHA, Universa
Erie Fardowsa Aden 716-881-6191 English, Somali Jericho Road Community Health Center 12/31/2023   IHA, Universa
Erie Bhagi Neupane 716-881-6191 English, Nepali Jericho Road Community Health Center 12/31/2023   IHA, Universa
Erie Teonna D Fleming 716-406-8954 English DONA International 2/29/2024 Gentle Birth, Physiologic Birth, Acupressure, Unmedicated Birth, Cesarean, Vaginal Birth after Cesarean, Birth and Postpartum Planning  
Erie Molly Mcdermott 716-949-1115 English DONA International 2/29/2024 Prenatal and Postpartum yoga instructor; support groups Fidelis and Univera
Erie Sharimin Sultana 716-881-6191 Bengali, English, Hindi, Kohingya Jericho Road Community Health Center 12/31/2023    
Erie Shaunella Myles-Jones 716-370-6500 English DONA International 2/29/2024   Independent Health, Blue Cross, Blue Shield, Yourcare
Erie Njeri Motley 716-578-1149 English Independent 2/29/2024 Birth and Postpartum Services, Prenatal Yoga, Hospital, Home, Birth Center, Tobacco Treatment Specialist  
Erie Ashley Petit 716-860-4456 English, Spanish DONA International 2/29/2024 Also an LMSW  
Erie Jennifer Woods 716-597-2922 English DONA International 2/29/2024   IHA, Univera
Erie Julissa Vazquez 716-886-0771 English Jericho Road Community Health Center 12/31/2023 Certified pre-natal yoga instructor Wellcare of New York, Independent Health, Fidelis Care, Excellus health plan INC (Univera), YourCare, HealthNow, United Healthcare
Erie Malissa Larson 716-382-2003 English DONA International 2/29/2024   IHA, Univera
Erie Raine Manuel 716-886-0771 Burmese, Shan, Hindi, and English Jericho Road Community Health Center 12/31/2023   Independent Health, Univera
Erie Francine Rwanika 716-886-0771 English, Lingala, French, Kirundi, and Swahili Jericho Road Community Health Center 12/31/2023 Labor & Delivery Doula, International Childbirth Educator, Lactation Support,Maternity Concierge  
Erie Tracey M McConnell 908-444-0603 English DONA International 2/29/2024   Independent Health, Univera
Erie Suha Hamid 716-881-6191     12/31/2023    
Erie Toyuba Sikander 7168816191 Burmese, Rhoyang, Malaysia, Urdu, and English Jericho Road Community Health Center 12/31/2023    
Erie Jenny Staebell 585-590-6626 English DONA International 2/29/2024    
Erie Nwugwo Alma Angelie 716-884-6711 English, Spanish DONA International 2/29/2024    
Erie Salamone Lindsay 716-698-6820 LINDSAY@FERTILE-ROOTS.COM     2/29/2024    
Erie Santiago Neshvey Sierra 716-884-6711 ext 264 NESHVEY2@YAHOO.COM     2/29/2024   Fidelis Care, Wellcare, Independent Health
Erie Kathleen McGriff Powers 716-200-6414 KATMAHASTI@GMAIL.COM English Doulas of North America (DONA International) 2/29/2024    
Erie Chermeka M Darby 716-906-7643 CHERMEKA@CALMINGNATUREDOULA.COM     2/29/2024    
Erie Shandra J Gary-Lewis 716-440-7377 IM.SO.ME3@GMAIL.COM     2/29/2024    
Erie Ayana Maddox 716-578-7432     2/29/2024    
Erie Rhiannon Needham 315-243-7094     2/29/2024    
Erie Symphonie Allen 716-710-9133     2/29/2024    
Erie Shyana C Broughton 716-449-8283     2/29/2024    
Erie Alisha L Alfano 716-803-4521     5/31/2023    
Erie Alaina N Jones 716-462-0641     2/29/2024    
Erie Trinetta R Alston 716-986-9199 ext. 4004     2/29/2024    

For more information or questions, e-mail