Dr. Sophie Peterson

About Dr. Sophie Peterson

Dr. Sophie Peterson is an obstetrician and gynecologist at Presbyterian where she provides routine gynecological care, prenatal care, minimally invasive surgery, and care for a variety of gynecological issues. She has a strong interest in minimally-invasive surgery, breastfeeding medicine, and the art of managing labor and birth. Dr. Peterson is medically fluent in Spanish and is a strong physician advocate of the Baby Friendly initiative.

Sophie grew up in northern New Mexico, earning her bachelor’s degree in biology at UNM and her medical degree at the UNM School of Medicine. Spurred by an early introduction into the natural birthing movement and supportive breastfeeding practices by the local midwifery group, Sophie developed a keen interest and passion in women’s health which she pursued through her medical education, completing her OB/GYN residency at the University of Florida in Jacksonville.

Sophie’s practice has been influenced by time spent in the Philippines and Guatemala working with underserved and indigenous women. She continues to pursue her interests in public health, including teen pregnancy prevention, family planning, and breastfeeding advocacy. She is board-certified by the American Board of Obstetrics and Gynecology and a Fellow of the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology. She is a member of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and has provided educational sessions throughout New Mexico.

Prior to her election as Board Chair in September 2018, Sophie actively participated in the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force for four years as a physician advisor, committee lead for the Clinical Education Committee, and member of the Data, Advocacy, and Hospital & Clinics Program Committees.

One of the roles Sophie is most proud of is being a mom to two very energetic breastfed boys who keep her heart full and her floors filthy. In her free time, she enjoys relaxing with her boys and husband, dancing, bike riding in the Bosque, reading historic fiction, creative writing, and searching for ways to make a difference in New Mexico.



Kymba Halliday Clear

Kymba Halliday Clear

Kymba Halliday Clear has 36 years of healthcare experience with 25 years encompassing program and project development. She has been a registered nurse in New Mexico since 1993 and has worked in various specialties to better the health of our community and its members. Working in nonprofits, she has written grants for materials used in program growth and managed the outcome reporting necessary for granted funds. Kymba currently works at a facility undergoing it’s baby-friendly journey and manages the lactation team and prenatal education programs. She is a daughter, sister, aunt, bonus mom, and wife. Kymba and her family are active in animal rescue, homeless outreach and in PTSD awareness/treatment for first responders.


Andrea Vaughan

About Andrea Vaughan

Andrea Vaughan has spent 15 years working in finance and accounting, specializing in grants, contracts, and budgeting in both governmental and nonprofit entities. She received her BBA in 2007 and her MBA in 2017. She has two children, ages seven and two, who were both breastfed. She strives to support the New Mexico Breastfeeding Task Force to promote and normalize breastfeeding among all New Mexican mothers.

Melissa0005 (1)

Dr. Melissa Riley

About Dr. Melissa Riley

Melissa Riley (Mescalero Apache), Ph.D., is the owner/principal of Native Community Development Associates. Dr. Riley is also a consultant to several national/state/tribal agencies and public/private organizations.

Dr. Riley has managed federal projects within the Department of Justice (DOJ), Office for Victims of Crime (OVC) such as the national Counseling & Faith-Based Services for Crime Victims in Indian Country (CFBSCV-IC) Training and Technical Assistance Grant and the Children’s Justice Act (CJA) Partnership in Indian Country Training and Technical Assistance Grant. The two DOJ, OVC-funded projects involved assessing grantee needs, evaluating training and technical services, and recording/analyzing performance measures for project sustainability. Dr. Riley has authored national, produced training and technical assistance videos, and published training guides for the CFBSCV-IC and CJA Projects. She has also serves as a technical consultant for the DOJ, OVC, Training and Technical Assistance Center (TTAC) in areas of evaluation and crime victim services.

Dr. Riley has developed curricula for the New Mexico Department of Health, Gallup Indian Health Services, University of Texas at Arlington, and other organizations. She has also developed sexual assault protocols, behavioral health/social service policy and procedures, and other tribal multi-disciplinary policies and procedures that enhance victim service response and increase prosecution.

Dr. Riley’s experience with research includes her role as a field interviewer for the NIJ funded VAIW National Baseline Pilot Study and lead field investigator and researcher in her graduate studies, as well as the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) Research Project. Additional experience in research includes Institution Review Board (IRB) applications, National Institutes of Health (NIH) certification, establishing research protocols, conducting research, and using digital equipment such as Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing (CAPI) and Audio Computer Assisted Self-Interviewing (ACASI).

Dr. Riley has also been responsible for developing and implementing wrap-around services for tribal programs that serve community members impacted by alcohol/substance abuse, crime, and other social issues. She also serves as a direct service provider for several New Mexico Tribal communities, including providing counseling, social work, home evaluations, guardian ad litem services, and family conferencing. She is an adjunct faculty member for New Mexico Highlands University, School of Social Work and serves on the committee for the Native American Social Work Studies Institute.

Dr. Riley also volunteers and offers her skills, knowledge, and abilities to local organizations such as the Roadrunner Food Bank, Joy Junction Homeless Shelter, and Child of All Nations, to name a few. She also is a sitting board member of Paralegal Group Services and has served as a board member to other local, state, and national boards.

rosalba nice

Rosalba Ruiz

About Rosalba Ruiz

A Mexican American, Hispanic General Practitioner with a Master’s in Public Health (MD, MPH). She has worked in the area of Public Health for more than 20 years. Committed to improve the health of US- Mexico border residents and believes that we need to change the way we approach “mothers to be” in the area of breastfeeding not only to we need to increase knowledge but also create the environments that foster breastfeeding.

Has worked for more than 18 years in the area of diabetes and believe that if we could only do one thing to prevent diabetes and chronic diseases it is to breastfeed. She is a mother of two, a 20 year old boy that I breastfeed for 2 years and a 9 year old girl that I breastfeed for 4 years.

A founding member of the Binational Breastfeeding Coalition, established in 2012 its mission that all children born across the US- Mexico Border have an opportunity to be breastfeed. To achieve this we have been creating support networks for mothers to breastfeed such as mother friendly establishments, mother friendly worksites, mother friendly hospital. We do considerable amount of promotion and awareness including the Big Latch On.  

Founding member of the Latina Breastfeeding Leader’s (LBL), the group’s goal is to connect with other Latina leaders around the country in order to increase breastfeeding among Latinas.

She received a grant from the New Mexico State University/ Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center partnership to conduct a pilot study to measure increase in the intent to breastfeed among Hispanic women of childbearing age (18-44 years) that receive a brief education intervention that focusses on the important relation between breastfeeding and breast cancer. Initial analysis show that the Hispanic women participating in the BFBCCP learned more about the importance of breastfeeding, particularly as it relates to Breast cancer prevention, reported greater levels of intent to breastfeed, and reported more positive attitudes towards breastfeeding in the workplace compared to the control group.

She was selected by the Center of Social Inclusion to be part of a cross section of breastfeeding leaders, to effective build alliances across divisions and in delivering the message that racial equity impacts and can truly benefit all communities.

She currently works for the Alliance of Border Collaboratives, this non- profit has been designated as a mother friendly worksite by the State of Texas. She has worked extensible with Community Health Workers, and with Coalitions to improve health outcomes in both Texas and the Southern part of New Mexico.


Pip Howard

About Pip Howard

Originally from England, Pip Howard has lived in the Four Corners area for the last 30 years. With a lifelong interest in health and birth, she is very happy to work professionally teaching prospective parents about healthy birth practices and assisting new parents in reaching their breastfeeding goals. She is the mother of two grown children who were each breastfed for a year.


Maribel Lemus

About Maribel Lemus

Maribel Lemus is a licensed midwife, community health worker and Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC) who has been working in maternal and child health since 2003 and is a former promotora with experience working with and serving multiethnic communities of color. Originally from Denver, Colorado, she has lived in New Mexico for four years; her father's family hails from northern New Mexico, outside of Mora. A mother of four girls with two grandchildren, she is committed to helping women and mothers feel empowered throughout their pregnancies and postpartum period including throughout their breastfeeding journeys. Maribel volunteers at the Santa Fe jail providing prenatal and breastfeeding classes support to inmates.


Dr. William “Mac” Bowen

About Dr. William "Mac" Bowen

Mac is originally a New Yorker who obtained his BS in Biology from the University of North Carolina, worked jobs clerking for the various hospital emergency departments in the Northeast and volunteered in Ghana for six months before entering medical school at the University of Rochester (where he met his future wife).

      He trained in family medicine at Tacoma Family Medicine at Tacoma General Hospital, which made the transition to Baby Friendly during his second year of residency, so Mac was able to witness a culture shift and powerful community transformation.

      After graduation, Mac worked for four years at La Familia Medical Center in Santa Fe doing full spectrum family medicine including OB and newborn care. He has been involved in improving breastfeeding policy and practices at Christus St. Vincent, including overseeing a resident research project surveying attitudes surrounding breastfeeding in our community and sitting on the committee to re-write hospital breastfeeding policies.

      He is currently the Program Director for the Northern New Mexico Family Medicine Residency, continuing with 50% clinical time to include obstetrics and newborn care.

      Mac is the proud father of a five-year-old son, Sam, and a two-year-old daughter, Lilly, and has been in awe of his partner as she managed to breastfeed the two of them while attending NP school and working part-time as a palliative care nurse practitioner (including a nasty 8-day nursing strike by their strong-willed daughter!).

      Mac’s advocacy for breastfeeding is born out of the knowledge that it is one of the most important evidence-based public health interventions that we possess and is thrilled to join a group that empowers our communities with knowledge and support to achieve the best health outcomes for all.


Claire Bettler

About Claire Bettler

As both a midwife and a mother of two breastfed children, Claire Bettler believes breastfeeding can change communities and yes, even the world! She has had the honor of working as a midwife in a variety of settings: a community health center in Zuni NM, birth centers in the Rio Grande Valley, Virginia, and Guatemala, various hospitals, and homes in different parts of the US, and has seen how breastfeeding builds not only solid mother-child bonds but also strong, healthy families and communities. Claire believes passionately in providing respectful home-based, community-oriented healthcare and strives to incorporate these values into the care she provides as both a midwife and a hospice nurse. She is deeply committed to supporting women and midwives around the world and is actively involved with Midwives For Haiti and Maya Midwifery International. In 2015, she began the process of growing a small home birth practice, Anidar ABQ Midwifery. Claire feels it is an honor to join the work of providing expanded birth options and supporting breastfeeding initiatives and families in New Mexico’s many unique communities.