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Tanya Momtazian

Midwife (on leave Sept '22 - Jan'23)

Tanya is thrilled to have set some roots down in the Kootenays to raise her young and growing family and to become part of the Apple Tree team. She has been working as a midwife in Nelson since 2008 after graduating from the UBC Midwifery Program. In 2012, she completed a Masters of Public Health from Johns Hopkins.  She is currently a Board member of the BC College of Nurses and Midwives and Adjunct professor at UBC Midwifery.   She enjoys being part of this thriving community and spending time outdoors: snowboarding, hiking, and beaching as well as traveling to new places or visiting family and friends.

Meet the Team - expanded: About

Lisa Sawyer

Family Physician

Lisa Sawyer has been practicing as a family physician in Nelson since 2004 after receiving her medical degree from Ottawa. She is a strong advocate and supporter of women receiving a holistic and supportive approach to maternity care. Lisa is the past chair of the local Perinatal Committee and works closely with the hospital to maintain excellent quality of care at Kootenay Lake Hospital. She has a young son Evan and loves to play with the Moving Mosaic Samba Band.


Lisa Delorme


Lisa became passionate about childbirth and midwifery after attending the birth of a family friend as a teenager. Over the next ten years she strengthened her love and commitment for supporting women during the childbearing cycle by working as a doula and also through the midwife attended births of her children.  Lisa graduated from Bastyr University in 2013 with a Master of Science in Midwifery. Her thesis focused on the ethics of international training for midwifery students. In 2014 she completed the International Midwifery Pre-registration Program in order to become registered in Canada. Since then she has been working as a Registered Midwife in Ontario. As a longtime resident of the Slocan Valley Lisa is thrilled to be returning to the Kootenays and is excited to be joining the Apple Tree team.

Meet the Team - expanded: About
Meet the Team - expanded: About
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Wendy Ackermann

Family Physician

Wendy grew up on the East Coast of South Africa and completed her medical degree at the University of the Free State. Her love for maternity blossomed as intern at Mobraw Maternity and Paarl Provincial Hospitals in Cape Town. She met her husband there and together they moved to Canada in 2011. 


She has been doing a combination of family medicine and obstetrics since then. Working along side a group of midwives in Lac La Biche, Alberta for 7 years her belief in holistic, meaningful and safe pregnancy and deliveries were born. 


The last 4 years she has worked in many communities providing maternity care as a locum in Alberta and Saskatchewan and in 2020 she and her family moved to beautiful Nelson.


She is very excited to be part of the team of providers at Appletree.


Lisa Wiley

Locum Midwife

Lisa was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest of the United States. Her passion to become a midwife blossomed from roots of women's health advocacy and political activism for egalitarian, holistic, and empowering health care options for childbearing people and their communities. She earned her Master’s degree in the Science of Midwifery from Bastyr University in Seattle in 2013, transitioned into Canada through the International Midwifery Pre-Registration Program in Ontario in 2015, and has helped with nurturing new families in four nations. She is new to BC, feeling gratitude for such a warm welcome to the Kootenays, and reveling in becoming familiar with the beautiful community and surroundings here.

Meet the Team - expanded: About

Helena Czubernat 

Family Physician

Helena grew up in Ontario with Polish/French roots and completed her medical school at the University of Ottawa. She did her family medicine residency training in Chilliwack, during which she did a 2-month rotation in Nelson and fell in love with the people, the community and, of course, its nature. She is passionate about providing maternity care in an environment that nurtures holistic care that supports women throughout this experience alongside a multidisciplinary team. After doing family medicine and maternity locums across BC and The Yukon she is so grateful to be able to have the opportunity to work with the Apple Tree team again who have beautifully made her ideals reality and to finally set roots in Nelson with her husband. She enjoys hiking, skiing, all water related activities and cares very much about sustainability and the environment.

Meet the Team - expanded: About

Christina New

Locum Midwife (covering Tanya's leave)

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It is a delight to be returning to Apple Tree Maternity as a Locum for Tanya Momtazian RM this August 1st 2022. I had the pleasure of working in Nelson back in 2020 as a 4th year UBC midwifery student, and am looking forward to seeing the familiar faces!


I grew up in my family-run guesthouse in Bangkok, Thailand and moved to Ontario when I was 7 years old. In 2016, I completed a bachelor of Health Science Honours degree at McMaster University. My inspiration to become a midwife came to me while on an exchange in Ireland, conducting research with the midwifery faculty at the University of Limerick. It was also in Ireland that I met my husband! We moved together to British Columbia in 2017 to complete my midwifery degree at the University of British Columbia, and over the past year I have worked as a registered midwife in Abbotsford, BC.


I am looking forward to re-exploring the beautiful hiking trails of the Kootenays, and am so grateful to be serving the families in this community once more.

Meet the Team - expanded: About

Judith Fearing

Lactation Consultant and Breastfeeding Facilitator

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I am delighted to join the Apple Tree team. My work as a registered nurse for over 30 years has led me in many fruitful directions. One of the highlights has been working with new families and supporting breastfeeding.  It is wonderful to return to this in my role as a Lactation Consultant and to be part of a team of enthusiastic, committed and skilled practitioners.  I love Nelson—this is where I raised my three now-adult children and where I continue to enjoy hiking, swimming, biking and participating in community and global events with my husband George.

Meet the Team - expanded: About

Courtney Nicholl

Lactation Consultant and Breastfeeding Facilitator

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After growing up in Nelson, I moved away to Vancouver to pursue education. I practiced as a Certified Birth and Postpartum Doula (DONA International) for 5 years before graduating as a Registered Nurse from British Columbia Institute of Technology with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing and Advanced Perinatal Nursing Certification in 2017. I worked in both high and low risk Labour and Delivery at BC Women’s Hospital until 2020, along side some of the most experienced specialists in the province. I gained a vast amount of knowledge with dreams of bringing my experiences back to the Kootenays. I went on to gain the International Board Certified Lactation Consultant designation, Certified Prenatal Educator designation, as well as Certified Practice for Contraception Management in Nursing. After having my own baby, Martha Wren, in 2020, my husband and I decided it was time to leave the big city and come home to Nelson. I will be supporting families on the Maternity unit at Kootenay Lake Hospital, as well as Apple Tree Maternity Clinic. I look forward to reconnecting with the community in Nelson, and providing excellent and all encompassing care to growing families.

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Jocelyn Bouchard

Lactation Consultant and Volunteer Coordinator  – Circle of Support

I graduated from the University of Calgary as a Registered Nurse in 2014. My passion is preventative Health, especially working with young families, moms and babies. I’ve been working as a Public Health Nurse since graduating. After several years of experience with breastfeeding support, postpartum home visits, and well child clinic, I continued to develop professionally by becoming a Lactation Consultant in 2018. I happily moved to the Kootenays in February 2019 because I wanted to be in the mountains with outdoor adventure at my fingertips. I’m so happy to join the beautiful, active and diverse community Nelson and even more thrilled to be living my passion of supporting new families at Apple Tree Maternity.


Rebecca Gosney 

Mental Health Nurse and Counselor

I graduated from the University of Wolverhampton in 1999 as a registered mental health nurse, initially gaining experience in inpatient Psychiatry, but quickly moving on to work in community based mental health settings. This allowed me to spend time developing therapeutic skills, approaching mental health holistically and being client centred first. I have a natural curiosity of humans and love helping people work through challenges that may be great or small. I also have a special interest in perinatal and post natal mental health after delivering my first son at 23 weeks and 5 days.

I immigrated to Canada in 2008 and now enjoy keeping very active at Cross Fit, working as the Team Lead at McKim Cottage, spending time with my family and friends and raising awareness of mental health whenever I can in this great community.

Meet the Team - expanded: About

Vanessa Dowell

Clinical Social Worker and Counsellor

Vanessa is a Mastered trained Clinical Social Worker who has joined the Apple Tree Maternity Team.

Vanessa has worked with individuals and families in various mental health and family counselling programs for over 18 years. Her experience and passion for her specialization in fertility, perinatal mental health and birth trauma,  is drawn from 7 years work in a perinatal mental health program as well as her own family’s journey through fertility, pregnancy and postpartum.

Vanessa’s theoretical orientation is towards a client-centred, psycho-educational, strength-based approach and her therapeutic approaches are trauma and attachment informed and draw from training in: Narrative Therapy, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Mind-Based Techniques, The Gottman Method and Family Systems Theory in her work supporting clients.

Vanessa is a Registered Social Worker with the BC College of Social Work.


Samantha Strachan

Art Therapist

Throughout my life, i have accumulated a depth of personal experience and professional training in a variety of neuroscience and evidence based counselling practices. therapeutically, i use this knowledge in direct conjunction with the gift of our innate creativity, desire for growth, and my training as an art therapist. fundamentally person centred, relational and trauma informed; my intention as a practitioner is to provide safe space, and culturally sensitive witnessing to your personal process through the human experience.

I have deep interests in shadow and dream work, archetypal exploration, transpersonal psychology, eco and nature based art therapy, as well as social justice, and community activism through public art and collaboration.

With over a decade of front line experience in healthcare, i possess unique and vast experience with those experiencing chronic and complex health issues, grief and loss, existential fear, and compassion fatigue.

My own traumatic experiences, and intrinsic gravitation towards healing are what brought me to this work, and what further armoured me with the compassion and humility to accompany others through hardship.


Tara Emery

Registered Social Worker and Somatic Therapist 

Tara has been working as a social worker in the medical system since 2009, in mental wellness. In 2013 while birthing her beautiful son, Tara suffered a traumatic and painful nerve injury. She sought out on the path to recovery, moving to the Kootenays and studying Somatic Therapy. She has been renewing her body’s well being and reducing her pain alongside her clients. Tara has learned how mindfulness, CBT and DBT therapy can decrease her pain. But her favourite tool is working somatically. Somatic Therapy is a trauma-based therapy that works with the health and innate wisdom of the body. Tara feels privileged to be a part of the Apple Tree team, working with families during this most challenging, life-changing and wonderful time. 

Meet the Team - expanded: About
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Lori Orser

Lori was born and raised in Nelson, BC and has always called the Kootenays her home. She has worked in the role of a medical office assistant for ten years, and has been with the Apple Tree team for the past six years. Outside of work, Lori spends lots of time volunteering and organizing events - you might see her selling Kettle Corn and Lemonade at many of the Kootenay's local festivals. In her spare time, Lori also enjoys cross country skiing and traveling. 

Office Manager

Meet the Team - expanded: About

Vicki has worked in the health and wellness field for over 20 years in Nelson. Both she and her husband grew up in the Nelson area, raising their 3 adult children in the beautiful local mountains. Vicki enjoys camping, kayaking and spending time outdoors with her family .

Vicki Koehle

Medical Office Assistant

Meet the Team - expanded: About
Meet the Team - expanded: About
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Tay Ferrier

4th year UBC Midwifery Student (Sept' 21 - Apr' 22)

I am so thrilled to be able to spend my fourth year clinical placement at Apple Tree Maternity. Having grown up in Castlegar, I feel a great personal connection with the Kootenays and I am so excited to be in Nelson!


I chose to pursue midwifery after completing my previous degree in Health Geography from McGill University. I was drawn to the midwifery model of care because of its family-centred approach. I believe good health outcomes stem from building trusting relationships between a family and their care provider.


I am endlessly fascinated with the transition from pregnancy to birth to postpartum and being present for families during this time is deeply rewarding to me. It is my goal to empower pregnant people to feel supported, advocated for, in control, and aware of their choices in pregnancy, labour, birth, and postpartum. 


When I am not studying midwifery, I love being in all the natural beauty that British Columbia has to offer. I enjoy mountain biking, hiking, camping, gardening and cooking. I look forward to meeting and caring for the families in this clinic and exploring all the Kootenays have to offer.


Thank you to the families who generously share their birth experiences with aspiring midwives. It means the world to me to have this opportunity!

Meet the Team - expanded: About
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Jessica Wilson

3rd year UBC Midwifery Student (Sept' 21 - Feb' 22)

My name is Jessica Wilson and I am a third-year Midwifery student at UBC. I am grateful for the opportunity to learn from Lisa Delorme and her integrative team at Apple Tree Maternity, located on the traditional unceded territories of the Sinixt, the Syilx, and the Ktunaxa peoples. Thank you for welcoming me into your lives and your community, I am honored to be a part of your family’s birth experience.

Previous to my midwifery journey I completed an Honours degree in Psychology at Concordia University where I was able to engage with my passion for social justice through research and clinical practice. When learning about midwifery I completed my doula certification and became an advocate for women’s reproductive health. Volunteering as a doula I learned about the midwifery model of care leading me to pursue this career.

In my 2nd year placements I worked in Fraser health and in Vancouver Coastal health where I got to see a variety of ways midwifery is practiced, and worked with amazing families. I truly enjoyed educating and empowering clients about their bodies through pregnancy and birth, and providing support through continuity.

For fun, I love backcountry hiking and camping in the mountains, surfing in Tofino, and exploring the interior and islands of BC. I am also an artist and will be caught painting once and a while, and I love a good book cozied up with my dog.

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Lauren Andres

Perinatal Educator

Lauren has been facilitating groups and group experiences for more than 13 years. She is a doula with various trainings including: DONA (2008), Wise Woman Way of Birth (2015), and The Matrona (2015). In 2012 she took a Midwife Assistant Workshop under the instruction of Pamela Hunt and Ina May Gaskin.

To better support the post partum period Lauren took another Matrona course on ‘Supporting the Postpartum Psyche and Homeopathy’ (2017). She has co-facilitated Castlegar MotherWise groups for the past 3 years, providing support for birthing parents experiencing post partum mood changes.

Her day job is as Infant Development Program Consultant where she gets to support families with 0-3 year olds requiring or desiring extra developmental support. Lauren is a certified Infant Massage Instructor with the International Association of Infant Massage and is now furthering her studies in Infant Mental Health as this, along with infant sleep support, is an area of particular interest.

She has 2 amazing kiddos at home ages 4 and 6 and finds parenthood to be the biggest learning journey yet!

Meet the Team - expanded: About

Joanie Mercier

Pelvic Floor Physiotherapist

Joanie is thrilled to have founded Wild Berry Pelvic Health Physiotherapy.  She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Physiotherapy from the University of Montreal in 2011. Her training in pelvic and Women’s health includes the completion of the Short Graduate Program in Perineal and Pelvic Rehabilitation (University of Montreal, 2014). Joanie completed a PhD in physiotherapy in September 2020, in which she studied the effects of a pelvic floor exercise program on perineal symptoms of menopause, which obtained encouraging results. Since 2012, she has worked in a private clinic and a research centre, mostly with women affected by pelvic floor issues. Joanie was also a lecturer at the University of Montreal, teaching on the subject of urinary incontinence assessment and treatment. She fell in love with Nelson and its community in 2016 and is so grateful to be part of it now.   

Meet the Team - expanded: About

Carlie Hickson 

Registered Massage Therapist

Carlie graduated in 2013 from the West Coast College of Massage Therapy in Victoria BC. Since then she has gained experience working in a variety of multidisciplinary settings including a lymphatic health clinic, physiotherapy clinic, and integrative health clinic. As an RMT she has always been drawn to caring for patients during their childbearing years. This led her to pursue further training in prenatal & postpartum massage therapy care, and breast massage & breastfeeding support. She is also a certified Manual Lymph Drainage practitioner and uses lymphatic drainage to support the diverse needs of her patients.

Carlie was born and raised in Nelson and couldn’t be happier to have joined the team at Apple Tree Maternity. Her practice is called The Nest Registered Massage Therapy, with the idea in mind that her little massage room at the clinic is the cozy “nest” in the Apple Tree. Although her practice focus is perinatal massage therapy care, she aims to have an inclusive practice where everyone is welcome. 

Meet the Team - expanded: About
Meet the Team - expanded: About
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