Jennie Joseph was born and raised in England when her parents emigrated from Barbados in the 1950’s. She received her midwifery education from Barnet School of Nursing and Midwifery in affiliation with Edgware General Hospital in London. Always a pioneer for women’s special healthcare needs, Ms. Joseph has ten years of busy hospital experience and has specialized in out-of-hospital birthing since 1994. Ms. Joseph brings 30 years of combined expertise to help pregnant women achieve the birth of their dreams.
Jennie Joseph moved to the United States in 1989 and began a journey which has culminated in the formation of an innovative maternal child healthcare system, The JJ Way®, which is changing lives in Central Florida. A British-trained midwife and women‟s health advocate she has consistently fought for the right of every woman to have the opportunity of a healthy baby.
After moving to Florida in 1989, Ms. Joseph pursued a Midwifery license through the State and was the first foreign-trained midwife to be licensed under the newly re-opened Midwifery Practice Act in 1994. As Executive Director of The Birth Place (www.thebirthplace.org) a free-standing birthing facility in Winter Garden, Florida, Ms. Joseph sees women from all walks of life who are expecting healthy babies and who choose a natural birth. Due to the overwhelming need she created Commonsense Childbirth, a non-profit corporation where she has also made it her mission to provide a service to the local Orlando area community by offering quality maternity care for all women, no matter their choice of delivery site or ability to pay.
Jennie Joseph was featured as a Community Hero in the Orlando Times for her ability to improve women‟s health in Central Florida and was nominated for the Orange County Black History Month Humanitarian Award in 2006 and an Onyx Award in 2007. She was a recipient of the The Visionary Award in 2005 and the prestigious Central Florida Women‟s Resource Center 2007 Summit Award for community service. She recently received the Senator Paula Hawkins Family Service Award for her service to children and families. She frequently speaks in her community, has hosted a local radio program, is featured in a 2009 documentary called Reducing Infant Mortality, and the recently released documentary No Woman, No Cry from model and activist Christy Turlington. She is often called upon for commentary on childbearing issues, and travels to international conferences as an expert panelist and speaker.
Ms. Joseph opened her own Florida licensed school, Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery in January 2010. She is the former Chair for the Florida State Council of Licensed Midwifery and continues to serve as a member. A long standing member of the Orange County Healthy Start Coalition and an advocate for the plight of newborns and infants, Ms. Joseph developed the “Save Our Babies” initiative as well as The JJ Way® Maternal Child Health care system - a program geared towards addressing the poor perinatal outcomes of African American pregnant women and babies (recognized nationally as an effective program and an emerging “best practice‟).
Jennie’s book Beautiful! Images of Health, Joy and Vitality in Pregnancy and Birth was published in 2007. This compilation of incredible photographs of pregnant and parenting women and their families speaks to the power of persistence in bringing about change and has become an iconic representation of her strong belief that “Every woman wants a healthy baby and every woman deserves one”.
Other responsibilities include Expert Witness for the Florida Department of Health and other private law firms and Executive Director of Commonsense Childbirth Inc. (her own 501(c) 3 non-profit corporation).