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TDN Doulas are Change Agents

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The Doula Network (TDN) is a doula-owned and managed organization that creates pathways for community-based birth doulas to be fully recognized maternal health professionals eligible for Medicaid and private insurance reimbursement.

TDN was established in 2019 with a fundamental belief that every birthing person should have access to affordable, safe, and collaborative perinatal care, and doulas should be considered an indispensable part of the birthing person's care team. Our objective is to unite key stakeholders such as doulas, health plan teams, community-based organizations, and Medicaid members to advocate for Medicaid reimbursement. We leverage technology, administrative support, and community resources to ease the burden of the Medicaid billing process. TDN envisions transforming maternal and infant health by providing doula services to every birthing person.

 

TDN pioneered a foundational system of doula services that is integrated into maternal health care. By aligning doulas, clients, health plans, communities, and technology, TDN improves the maternal health experience, maternal and infant outcomes, and reduces healthcare cost. 

What is The Doula Network?

In the fall of 2019, UnitedHealthcare Community Plan (UHC) and TDN embarked on an inaugural partnership to impact maternal health outcomes across Florida.

Together TDN and UHC created a referral network for UHC members in the Healthy First Steps Program. The Healthy First Steps Program provides expectant families with care management including information, education and support throughout their pregnancy journey. During monthly meetings of the Healthy First Steps Program and TDN, the TDN team shares monthly reporting of all members and discusses client updates. These meetings have created a strong web of support for expectant persons within UHC’s Healthy First Steps Program.

Due to the commitment of UHC to its pregnant members and the innovative program created by TDN, UHC members are able to receive doula services in all regions that UHC serves.

TDN and UnitedHealthcare

Community Plan

The Story

of 

LeeBetsy

When I founded TDN in 2019, I imagined building a strong and robust network in Florida. I dreamed of expanding this work to other states one day - sometime in the future. I was keenly aware of some of the struggles that were coming by building a company that works within Medicaid. What I didn't know or expect was the explosive growth of not just TDN but of the interest in doula services. TDN has grown rapidly and now works in more than 10. We have contracts with over 20 health insurance carriers, including commercial insurance, employer health plans, and Medicaid plans. 


In addition, the TDN team now includes 18 full time staff members remotely working from more than 7 states. There have been many challenges including working within the complex system of Medicaid while navigating different states and doula policies. However, with the support of a strong team, TDN has built a foundation that can hold the growth and support doula organizations in many different states  As I look ahead, I do so with gratitude, awe, and joy at what has happened so far. I have hope, excitement, and justified anticipation for the growth that TDN will continue to experience.

~Elizabeth Simmons

A Note From Our CEO...

TDN Support Team

CEO and Founder

Elizabeth Simmons

doula

Birth Doula

Elizabeth is a passionate advocate for maternal health and the founder and CEO of The Doula Network. She has over 15 years of experience in the field of maternal health, beginning her career as a birth doula in 2007. In 2014, she opened a free-standing birth center in Boulder, Colorado, which is now an integrated facility within the community hospital system. She served as the Industry Relations Chair for the American Association of Birth Centers and has spent the last 13 years of her career dedicated to building networks and partnerships with health plans to support perinatal health. In 2019, Elizabeth launched The Doula Network to create a foundational system of doula services. The Doula Network is a national organization that provides support to doulas, health plans, and birthing people. Elizabeth is a strong believer in the power of doulas to improve maternal and child health outcomes. She is committed to making doula services accessible to all families, regardless of their income or insurance status. She is also passionate about educating the public about the benefits of doula care and a visionary leader who is working to make doula care a standard part of the birthing person’s care journey.

Chief Operating Officer

Brianna Betton

doula

Birth Doula

Brianna Betton is a passionate advocate for reproductive health and justice. During her undergraduate experience, Brianna found herself frustrated by discussing problems within maternity care without talking about solutions. She entered the maternal health space as a patient advocate at a local abortion clinic. This experience led her to become a birth doula in 2020. Through working as a hospital-based doula, Brianna saw first hand how doulas were undervalued as a member of the birthing person’s care team. Her passion for ensuring that doulas voices were both heard and respected, transformed into her role at The Doula Network. Brianna’s top priorities are increasing access to insurance reimbursement across the country, advocating for equitable reimbursement rates, and ensuring doula’s access to birth spaces.

Chief Financial Officer

LeeBetsy Charon

doula

Birth Doula

In 2020, LeeBetsy's life took a profound turn when she enrolled in the Health First Steps Program. With her sixth baby on the way and the absence of her son's father, LeeBetsy found herself trapped in severe depression, unable to cherish the sacred journey of pregnancy. It was then that her midwife, recognizing her struggle, suggested she consider the invaluable support of a doula. LeeBetsy's birth experience was nothing short of extraordinary, leaving her profoundly satisfied and inspired. In fact, it was this life-altering encounter that fueled her curiosity about becoming a doula herself. In February 2022, after rigorous training and certification, LeeBetsy emerged as a qualified doula, now empowered to offer the same unparalleled level of care that she once received. But her journey didn't end there. Later that same year, LeeBetsy's unwavering dedication and exceptional skills caught the attention of TDN, leading her to assume the role of accountant. Today, LeeBetsy proudly holds the esteemed position of TDN's first Chief Financial Officer (CFO), further solidifying her commitment to the organization that transformed her life. LeeBetsy's remarkable story stands as a testament to the life-changing impact of our doula services. By joining TDN, you not only open doors to personal and professional growth but also become part of a community that thrives on empowering others and making a difference. Let us be the catalyst for your own transformative journey, just as we were for LeeBetsy. Embrace the opportunity to bring light and joy to the lives of countless individuals, one birth at a time.
Project Management Team Lead

Project Management Team Lead

Abigail Batista
Project Manager

Project Manager

Alyssa Salazar
Data Team Lead

Data Team Lead

Ashley Self
Client Support Specialist

Client Support Specialist

Betty Sainvil
Doula Outreach Specialist

Doula Outreach Specialist

Brianica DeFranc
Technology Team Lead

Technology Team Lead

Brittany Lawrence
Compliance Specialist

Compliance Specialist

Danielle Zeillmann
Client Support Specialist

Client Support Specialist

Deyani Baker
Client Support Team Lead

Client Support Team Lead

Irma Morales
Client Support Specialist

Client Support Specialist

Jennifer Rookey
Data Specialist

Data Specialist

Jordyn Jackson
Doula Culture Specialist

Doula Culture Specialist

Marie Hester
Community Referrals Specialist

Community Referrals Specialist

Raiza Benedetti
Doula Support Team Lead

Doula Support Team Lead

Sharon Lonix
Doula Credentialing Specialist

Doula Credentialing Specialist

Vanessa Giorgio
The Doula Network
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