AWHONN Section Advisory Committee- District 5 Representative (Illinois, Missouri, & Wisconsin)


Post-master’s prepared Advanced Practice Professional Registered Nurse / Clinical Nurse Specialist specializing in women and newborn health with Certificate in Nurse Midwifery and Nursing Administration.  Extensive clinical, administrative, and educational background in both low risk and high risk, culturally diverse perinatal populations. Creative author and lecturer at national and local seminars. Expert clinician, successful manager, project leader and quality improvement specialist.  Proven clinical excellence in academic and tertiary in-patient hospital settings. NCC certified in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing and Electronic Fetal Monitoring. Actively involved in perinatal professional organizations.

Section Chair/ Section Conference Coordinator

I have been a nurse for 24 years practicing in education, public health (3 years), and neonatal clinical settings. My public health experience included WIC and Family Case Management with a primary focus on follow-up for high-risk newborns. I have been a NICU staff nurse and most recently the Neonatal Outreach Educator for the South-Central Illinois Perinatal Center at Hospital Sisters Health System (HSHS) St. John’s Hospital in Springfield, Illinois. Babies are my passion, and I embrace every opportunity to further the specialty through active participation in nursing organizations, quality improvement, and continuing education. As an AWHONN member, I previously have served as the Section Education and Conference Coordinator, Chapter Coordinator for the South-Central Chapter in Springfield, and on the National Membership Committee.  I am an active member of the Illinois Perinatal Quality Collaborative-Neonatal Advisory Committee and a member of the Academy of Neonatal Nursing Executive Committee. 

Christine Emmons, MSN, MPH, RNC-NIC, CNL, C-ONQS

Section Secretary Treasurer

Roma Allen, MSN ed., DNP, RNC-OB

Doctoral prepared registered nurse with a focus on maternal child health and a Master’s degree in nursing education. NCC certified in Inpatient Obstetric Nursing. AWHONN Intermediate Fetal Monitor Instructor. Member of the Illinois Maternal Child State Quality council and the Illinois Severe Maternal Morbidity committee. Poster and oral presentations with a focus on preeclampsia, perinatal hemorrhage, and substance use disorder in the maternal population. Experienced clinician with over 30 years of obstetric practice including project leader, program developer, evidence-based practice, quality initiatives, and leadership. Contributing expert and co-author to publications regarding water births and complications of Cesarean Deliveries.

Section Legislative Coordinator

I am a diploma graduate of Evangelical School of Nursing, finished my BS at Elmhurst College and obtained my graduate degree at Loyola University. My work history includes staff nurse positions in neonatal intensive care and labor and delivery, a clinical nurse specialist position at a small community hospital and full-time university faculty. I have taught nursing as an outreach educator, and as clinical faculty at various nursing programs. In recent years I also worked in home health as a pediatric hospice nurse. Currently I am a perinatal network administrator and participate in education and quality initiatives with our network hospitals.

Peggy Cowling, APN, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CHSE contact

Section Education Coordinator

Courtney Fisk, MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM

I am currently the Women and Children’s Education Coordinator at UW Health-Swedish American Hospital in Rockford, IL. I became a nurse in 2014, at which time I started on Labor and Delivery. During that time, I committed myself to professional development and gained my NCC certification in Inpatient Obstetrics and in 2021 received my MSN in Education. I am an AWHONN Intermediate EFM & AWHONN OPS instructor and participate in many ILPQC initiatives. Obstetrical nursing is my passion and I strive to offer and promote the highest level of evidence-based practice through education to L&D, Postpartum and Women’s Health staff, providers and residents.
I am definitely known for my sarcastic sense of humor and quick wit. My co-workers, friends and family would definitely agree that I am able to find the humor in most situations. I attribute a lot of that to my time spent as an L&D RN, however I have always used humor as a form of expression while I communicate with others both in professional and personal settings.

Website and Social Media Coordinator

My medical experience started in the Army National Guard as a medic while going to college and was part of an ambulance platoon. I have been a nurse since 1997, all but the first 2 years in Obstetrics. My past roles in Obstetrics include, staff nurse, preceptor, charge RN, Unit Manager of 2 different OB units, adjunct faculty for OSF SAMC College of Nursing, Professional Development Coordinator in obstetrics and Perinatal Outreach Educator, which all gave me valuable experience in quality and safety. Currently, I am an instructor for the AWHONN Intermediate Fetal Monitoring, Advanced Fetal Monitoring and AWHONN OPS. My certifications include NCCs Inpatient obstetrics, EFM and Obstetric & Neonatal Quality and Safety. Other opportunities include item writing for NCC and participating in the job analysis work group for the inpatient OB certification test.

Christina Stupek MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM, C-ONQS Contact

South Central Chapter Coordinators

Chair Simone Parlier, RNC-OB, MSN, CEFM, CNML, IBCLC, C-ONQS

I am currently the OB/Level II Nursery Department Nurse Manager at Passavant Area Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois.  In the 15 years that I have worked in the OB department at Passavant Hospital, I have strived to improve myself, as well as the department, by obtaining the Inpatient OB certification, the lactation counselor certification, and subsequently the International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant certification. Additionally, I hold certifications in Electronic Fetal Monitoring, Nurse Manager and Leader, and Obstetric and Neonatal Quality and Safety. I am also a student at Loyola University Chicago in the PhD in Nursing program with a research interest in maternal health outcomes for rural populations.  As a nurse, student, and mother I am committed to improving the care and outcomes of the women and infants in my community as well as nationally.

Southern (Bellevillle) Chapter Coordinator

Former AWHONN Illinois Section Chair (2013-2017), OB Staff nurse for 37 years serving in multiple roles:  Staff nurse, Charge nurse, Interim nurse manager, and team member for Level II-E redesignation with IDPH.  I have a special interest in Informatics and served as the Systems Analyst and Manager for our OB Unit.  This role allowed me to apply my talents with policy and procedure development, education, and systems maintenance.  I have been a member of the Nursing Quality Leadership Team, Unit Quality Leadership Team, and represented our department on the Research Committee. I have had the opportunity to serve on a variety of AWHONN Committees at the National level including the National Finance Committee, AIM Project Member, and Conference Moderator.  State Section activities include Website Manager, EFM Instructor, Chapter Coordinator, and Illinois Membership Retention and Recruitment Chair.

Mona LeGrand, RNC-OB, C-EFM

Northern Illinois- Chicago Suburbs Chapter

Co-Chair Autumn Mels, DNP, MSN-Ed, RNC-OB, C-EFM, CNE Contact

I have bedside level III experience at a hospital in the Chicagoland area caring for high-risk patients.  I have experience teaching at the BSN level didactic, simulation, clinical and as a course coordinator while also doing freelance work writing simulation case studies.  I currently work as the Obstetrical Outreach Nurse Educator at the University of Chicago providing educational support, participating in morbidity & mortality reviews, hospital redesignations with IDPH and as the co-chair of the Administrative Perinatal Center (APC) educators group.

Co-Chair Joanne Sorce MSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM Contact

Joanne Sorce is the Administrator of the UIC Administrative Perinatal Center.  Joanne has over 25 years of experience as a Perinatal Nurse. Her current responsibilities include oversight of the administration and implementation of the department’s regionalized perinatal health care program. This includes monitoring perinatal outcomes throughout the network, plan and implement continuing education for health care professionals and help to conduct site visits for network hospitals for re-designation.  She has worked in all levels of care in Illinois. Being an active AWHONN member helps her to keep current in the latest research and technology, assuring that program content is accurate and up to date. Joanne is a NRP Instructor, S.T.A.B.L.E. lead instructor, AWHONN Fetal Monitor Instructor and AWHONN OPS instructor.

Northwest Chapter Coordinators

Co-Chair Genevieve Stoner Contact
Co-Chair Genevieve Stoner Contact

I have been an OB, Women’s Health Nurse for over 25 years. I am currently the Nurse Manager for the LDRP Obstetrics Department and Women’s Health Clinic at OSF, St. Anthony Rockford. I have had the wonderful opportunity to work at all our Winnebago area Hospitals and Community Clinic; UW Swedish American, Mercy Health and Crusader Community Health Clinics. My Past roles in Obstetrics have been staff nurse, preceptor, charge RN, operational supervisor, nurse manager/director as well as school nurse and Labor and Delivery travel nurse. I have always felt that caring for women and infants was my purpose and those around me would definitely say it is my passion. Providing compassionate care and support to women during their most vulnerable moments is a special calling. As a nurse leader I have also been able to come along side staff nurses and share my knowledge and experiences to help support them as they grow and learn. I am actively involved in ILPQC and community quality improvement programs.  When I am not working, I enjoy spending time with my children and grandchildren, cooking, hiking outside, traveling and shopping.

Co-Chair Courtenai Smith, BSN, RNC-OB, C-EFM Contact

I am the Obstetrics Clinical Educator at OSF Saint Anthony Medical Center in Rockford, Illinois. I have over 20 years of experience in Obstetrics with a focus in the clinical areas of Labor & Delivery, Postpartum, High Risk Nursery and Women’s Health. I am an Intermediate Fetal Monitoring and NRP   Instructor and am committed to improving care and outcomes for mothers and newborns.

Chicago Chapter

Chair- Olga I Marrero DNP, RN-BC, IBCLC

I have been a Perinatal nurse for over 20 years. I currently hold an Advance Practice Nursing licensure, attained with a Perinatal Nurse Certification and International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant certification. My experience and education have provided me with the knowledge and skills to care for the Perinatal family and enhance nursing skills and knowledge. During my carrier I have been a faculty for community college, a university faculty and a member of the professional development team leader. Currently, I work with the leadership team to bring evidence-based information to healthcare providers. I have been an active member of AWHONN and have enjoyed many conferences.

North Central Chapter Coordinators

Co-Chair Mary Ann Liner Contact

Co-Chair & Exhibitor Coordinator Susie Swain

Lakeshore Chapter Coordinators

Co Chair
Azijada Djordjevic Contact

Co Chair Deborah Roache