The Midwifery Collective of Essex County is home to four registered midwives: Andrea Cassidy, Diane Jaworiwsky, Karen McKenzie, and Kate Benjamin. Dana Dunn manages all office responsibilities.
Andrea Cassidy, R.M.
Andrea Cassidy is originally from the Windsor-Essex area and is a founding member of the Midwifery Collective of Essex County. She holds a Bachelor of Health Science in Midwifery from Ryerson University and is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant. She also holds a Massage Therapy Certificate from Michigan and a Bachelor of Political Philosophy from Concordia University. She is the first midwifery student from Essex County to graduate from the Midwifery Education Program at Ryerson University in Toronto, Ontario.
She has been actively involved in the childbirth community in Windsor-Essex since the early 1990s, when she was a founding member of the local Ontario Midwifery Consumer Network. A long standing community activist, Andrea has volunteered with a variety of women’s groups in Windsor-Essex County, including local women’s shelters, women’s art groups, as well as immigrant communities.
Andrea’s children and grandchildren were all born in Windsor-Essex and she and her family call Windsor-Essex their home. She is happy to serve her home community as a practicing midwife.
Diane Jaworiwsky, R.M.
Diane Jaworiwsky graduated from the midwifery program at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario and has had the pleasure of caring for women and their families in Owen Sound, Burlington, Waterloo, London, Durham region, Leamington, and Windsor. She has attended births in rural and urban settings, at home and hospital births, and in various community agencies and health care settings.
Prior to entering the Midwifery Education Program, Diane practiced Registered Massage Therapy and provided labour support for women and their families for four years in Durham region and then six years in Windsor-Essex. She has also had the privilege of being cared for and supported by midwives through her own transition into motherhood. She is passionate about woman-centred care and maternal and fetal health.
Karen McKenzie, R.M.
Karen McKenzie graduated from the Midwifery Education Programme in 2004 and has been a Registered practicing Midwife since that time. Karen has had a life-long passion for pregnancy, childbirth, and the early days/years of becoming a parent and believes that the midwife has a unique opportunity in her role with women to make the experience one of safety, support, and inclusion in decision-making.
Karen is always happy to hear from women about their experiences and to hear about their suggestions for improvement to their care. She is also a clinical preceptor with the Midwifery Education Programme and has been teaching midwifery students since 2005. Recently, Karen was one of a trio of midwives representing the Department of Midwifery at London Health Sciences (LHSC). Here Karen had an opportunity to participate in the growth and development of the profession and to promote the on-going improvement of maternity care.
Karen was born and raised in London, Ontario, has two adult daughters, and is a proud grandmother.
Kate Benjamin, R.M.
Kate Benjamin graduated from the Midwifery Education Program at Laurentian University in Sudbury, Ontario. Kate first considered midwifery as a career at age 12, when her mom gave birth to her brother, Isaac, with midwives. While her mom was pregnant with Isaac, she attended the midwifery appointments and was in the delivery room for his birth. Kate’s family had a great experience with midwives, so much so, that her mom had a homebirth with her sister, Ireland. Seeing childbirth, and the support and empowerment that midwives provide to women, inspired her to become a midwife. Kate is new to Windsor and excited to learn from the midwives, women, and newborns in the community. Kate is grateful to be a part of your care and for this wonderful opportunity. She looks forward to getting to know you.
Kate’s hobbies include: travelling, swimming, snowboarding, wake surfing, eating, watching movies, and spending time with friends and family.
Jennifer Cox, RPN and Second Attendant
Jennifer Cox has been with the Midwifery Collective as a second birth attendant since 2007. She brings with her a love of birth, a complement of Western medicine as a nurse, and various alternative healthcare modalities. She has personal experience with both hospital birth with an obstetrician as well as a home water birth in midwifery care. She has been supporting families as a post-partum and labour doula since November 2000 and she looks forward to supporting our local homebirths in Windsor/Essex County.