ABOUT AMETHYST COMMUNITY HEALTH
find out more about us, what we have to offer, and why we do what we do
ABOUT MICHELE (MISHA)
Michele (or Misha) has been assisting homebirthing families in Oklahoma City, OK and Pittsburgh, PA since 1998 and they have been serving clients in their holistic and spiritual healthcare needs since 2003. As a Romani, Mizrahi, queer, and genderqueer (transgender nonbinary) person, Michele is extra sensitive to the cultural needs of queer/gender-diverse clients & clients of colour, and is always open to suggestions on how to better serve clients who fall outside of the mainstream culture, cisheteronormativity, and current family structure norms.
Michele pursued their midwifery training from extensive self-study, assisting fellow midwives, through apprenticeship, and by attending relevant college classes, midwifery skill shares, and conferences. They continue to seek out the newest information regarding homebirth, midwifery, and current studies on evidence-informed peripartum care. Michele attended college for Alcohol & Substance Abuse Counselling, Crime Victim Survivor Services & Counselling, and Psychological Anthropology. They completed the Womancraft & Midwifery home study course through Hygieia College and was mentored by the late Jeannine Parvati-Baker. Michele is now back in college finishing their Social Work degree and headed to medical school to become a Full Spectrum Family Practice Physician. Michele has spent the better part of their life studying Complementary & Alternative Medicine, Spiritual Practices (they are ordained), Folk Magic, and Traditional Witchcraft. Their skill set and scope of practice reflect their diverse and unique educational and experiential background.
Michele is a member of the Queer and Transgender Midwives Association, the National Association to Advance Black Birth, the International Alliance of Autonomous Midwives, the Association of Radical Midwives, and the Association for Psychological Anthropology among others. Michele is a founding member and the Queer and Transgender Reproductive Justice Director for Pittsburgh Birth Project. They served as Communications Coordinator, Southwest Regional Representative, and MAST Skills Instructor Coordinator for Midwives Alliance of Pennsylvania (MAP) for 5 years. They have volunteered for various other organisations such as Pittsburgh Restaurant Workers Aid, Hello Neighbor, and Repair The World. Michele is a mentor midwife for students and new midwives in their community and those participating in the Hearthside Online Midwifery Study Group. They also offer independent, Queer/Trans Inclusive Sex and Sexuality classes for community teenagers & their families.
Michele has been a camp counsellor, barista, café manager, retail store assistant manager, public school teacher, interior designer/decorator’s assistant, nanny, volunteer librarian, peer counsellor for those in recovery & sexual assault survivors, student, spiritual advisor, secular chaplain, and published & performing poet.
Michele enjoys reading non-fiction works about birthworkers, anarchists/revolutionaries, midwifery, comparative religion, psychology, anthropology, queer theory, gender politics, library science, mathematics, and tea! They also enjoy writing: mainly poetry & short stories; they are a published poet & are ever so slowly writing their memoirs. Books are a passion for Michele, fuelling a desire to own a small, curated bookstore with their spouse or open a specialised semi-public library.
A bit of a coffee snob and tea enthusiast, in the past Michele put in their hours behind the bar as a barista and café manager. They are currently working on an entire website devoted to their love of tea. There will be tea. There is always time for tea. Michele would be delighted to make you a cuppa.
When Michele is not thinking about Maths for fun, crafting/arting, or cooking for hoards of hungry friends, they enjoy spending time with their spouse & children. Elijah Uriel (09/2003), is an unschooling graduate and spends most of his time lost deep in the world of linguistics and vexillology. Married in August 2001, their devoted spouse, William, is a writer, photographer, deejay, & musician who owns a media production company; he dreams of opening a bookstore-coffeeshop-combo with Michele one day. William & Michele welcomed their second child, Hazelwood, into their family in early January 2016. Hazel spends their time playing Minecraft, watching videos of bees, and raising isopods. The family lives on the Northside of Pittsburgh in a lovely old home (circa 1906) named The Phoenix.
- a curriculum vitae is available upon request
- personal references are available upon request
- professional references are available upon request
ABOUT THE PRACTICE
Amethyst Community Health is a comprehensive alternative holistic healthcare practice, which serves families & individuals living in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. While we are open to serving clients from any community, we have a special interest in serving individuals & families in the following communities: Queer, Transgender, Nonbinary, Gender Non-Conforming, BIPOC, Teen, Financially-Deprived, and those who have been historically excluded.
Our practise seeks to educate and inform clients about holistic health throughout their reproductive years, attachment parenting and consensual living, and alternative options for natural health and spiritual well-being.
We are an Inclusive, Sex-Positive (kink & sex work), and Fat/Body-Positive Practice (HAES). Our services are available to all persons regardless of religion, race/ethnicity, sex/gender, sexuality, gender expression, (dis)ability, weight/size, age, relationship status/family structure, or immigration status.
Our practice believes in Full Spectrum Midwifery: support & midwifery care should be available to anyone expecting any pregnancy outcome, be it birth, adoption, surrogacy, miscarriage, stillbirth, or abortion.
Our practice also believes that individuals are capable of deciding what kind of care best meets their needs and the needs of their families at any given time, and should be able to access the type of care and care providers of their choice without issues or limitations from governments or organisations. We strive to represent and honour this philosophy in every aspect of our business.
Licensure and Malpractice Insurance
Community Herbalists, Holistic Health Consultants, Life Coaches, and Spiritual Advisors & Healers are not licensed, certified, or regulated in the state of Pennsylvania. Michele is NOT a licensed, certified, or regulated medical physician, nurse, counsellor, therapist, or other state approved professional medical healthcare or mental healthcare provider. Their care is meant to complement, not replace a client’s current healthcare provider’s treatment or advice. They do NOT carry malpractice insurance.
In the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, there is currently no means of licensure for or regulation of non-nurse midwives; Michele is NOT a Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) nor are they a licensed non-nurse midwife. Michele has chosen to not seek out Certified Professional Midwife (CPM) status through the North American Registry of Midwives (NARM) so that they might best fulfil and honour the wishes and choices of the families that they serve without being legally bound to conduct their practice in any one particular manner or support an organisation that creates—instead of dismantling—barriers to certification for BIPOC and Queer/Trans midwives. Michele has no future plans to become certified or licensed in midwifery through any state or agency.
Due to new laws, as a healthcare provider and someone who has frequent contact with children, Michele is a Mandatory Reporter for child abuse and reports to the Pennsylvania Department of Public Welfare. Michele also has both a Pennsylvania Child Abuse History Clearance and a clear Pennsylvania State Police Criminal Record Check.
Paying for Your Care
We are always willing to work with a client’s particular financial situation. We understand that the ability to pay out of pocket for healthcare is easy for some clients & families, but not the case for many, and often times very difficult for those who need the option of affordable care the most. Our fees are set to allow for flexible payments — in hopes that we can serve as many clients & families as possible, not just those with the financial means. While we are NOT able to bill Medicaid or most private insurance for our services, our fees are much lower than most insurance deductibles. We EXPECT that clients who can pay our full fee (or close to it) for services do so because this helps subsidise the care for those clients who are not able to pay the full fee, which allows us the ability to continue to offer & provide affordable options for personalised care.
We Accept Payments Made Using: Cash, Numbered Checks, Credit Cards, PayPal, Square Invoice (including Afterpay), Cash App, Venmo, Zelle, Google Pay, and gift cards from Amazon.com and Target. If you prefer another method that is not listed, please let us know. If you or your spouse have an FSA, HSA, HRA, or MSA, you can use the debit/credit card for your account to pay for our services. We can also provide you with a detailed receipt for reimbursement purposes if you belong to a cost-sharing organisation/community, or you intend to attempt to seek reimbursement from your private insurance carrier on your own.
Misha is a skilled and compassionate herbalist and reflexologist. I recommend them to my clients on a regular basis. ~ Jenny, Doula & Student Midwife
Michele is fantastic. I had the pleasure of meeting Michele when I was pregnant with my first child, and while Michele was on sabbatical at that time, Michele was insanely helpful and supportive from the moment we first talked to this very day. Michele is kind and knowledgeable and made me feel super comfortable. Michele’s elderberry syrup is pretty darn amazing too! ~ Chelsea S.
Nothing but the best! Michele is wise beyond their earth years – compassionate, funny, patient and did I mention brilliant? You will learn much by working with Michele – and your life will be forever changed for the better having known them. ~ Claire Westbrook, Massage Therapist, Doula, Time Space One
Michele was my homebirth midwife. They were beyond amazing for so many reasons, but let’s just say Michele is highly skilled, well-trained, emotionally in-tune, and provides amazing support. I can’t recommend them enough. Michele is also wonderful in all capacities of women’s health, not just pregnancy and post-partum care. You won’t regret choosing Michele! ~ Reem, Massage Therapist & Herbalist, Integrative Therapeutics