Cordelia Hanna, MPH, CHES, ICCE, CLE, CBA


Program Director-Health Net Community Doula Program, Executive Director, Principal Course Leader, Officer


Cordelia Hanna is our Founder and CEO and Executive Director of The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health. She is also Program Director of the Health Net Community Doula Program. A third generation political activist and community organizer working for peace and social justice, Cordelia has 30 years’ experience as a maternal health advocate and educator. Ms. Hanna founded The Association for Wholistic Maternal and Newborn Health in 2010 to address persistent ethnic health disparities and to engender a more equitable maternity care system for all childbearing persons and their infants. Cordelia is our Curriculum Developer and the Principal Course Leader for our trainings. Cordelia is passionate about providing training opportunities for persons of color to become skilled birth workers and community perinatal health promoters,  and this has been central to the organization’s work since its inception. 


For almost 30 years, Cordelia has worked as a Childbirth Activist, Childbirth Educator, Doula, Monitrice, Assistant Midwife, Lactation Educator and Public Health Program Manager in public health, clinic, community, birth center and hospital settings in Los Angeles and Oregon. Cordelia is also a direct-entry midwife who trained through apprenticeship with midwives in Los Angeles County.


From 2002 to 2012, Cordelia Hanna worked for the Pasadena Public Health Department Black Infant Health Program, a program of the California Department of Public Health. The goal of this program was to address African-American perinatal health disparities through a culturally-relevant program of social support, case management and health education. As Health Educator for Pasadena Black Infant Health Program, Cordelia initiated, developed, implemented and coordinated a Community-Based Doula and Breastfeeding Peer Counselor Program. She also developed and taught a highly successful childbirth education curriculum, addressing an unmet need for Pasadena’s Medi-Cal recipients.


After leaving the Black Infant Health Program, Cordelia worked for St. John’s Well Child and Family Center in South Los Angeles, a Federally-Qualified Health Center (FQHC). Here, Cordelia was a Case Manager Supervisor/Health Educator on the Los Angeles Best Babies Collaborative (LABBC), funded by First 5 of Los Angeles County.


Since 1991, Cordelia Hanna has been a Certified Childbirth Educator (ICEA & ALACE), Certified Birth Assistant (ALACE), Certified Lactation Educator (CAPPA) and Postpartum Doula.  In 2008, Cordelia  received her Masters in Public Health (MPH) from Loma Linda University an became a Certified Health Education Specialist (NCHEC). Cordelia obtained her Bachelor of Arts in Theatre and Dance from Indiana University, Bloomington in 1986. Cordelia is currently pursuing her Ph.D. in Health Education and Promotion/Global Health at Walden University; her research interests are Maternal Mortality, Obstetrical Violence and Perinatal Health Disparities.


Cordelia Hanna’s policy and community organizing work in maternal and child health includes working with California Association of Midwives (CAM) to establish a licensure for California’s Direct-Entry midwives in 1993, and serving as the Co-Chair of The Evidence in Action Committee of the Coalition for Improving Maternity Services (CIMS) from 2007-2008. Cordelia was also a delegate and volunteer at the first Women Deliver conference in London in 2007, a global forum focused on maternal mortality, women’s rights, and gender equality.


Additionally, since 1978, Cordelia has participated in many Landmark Education personal development courses in Personal Transformation, Leadership, Team Building, Project Management, Communication, Self-Expression and Global Transformation.


Cordelia is a mother of a daughter and son who were home-born, family-bedded, breastfed and attachment-parented, who are now bright and capable young adults. She is a grandmother to two young girls, and “momma” to a “fur baby” named Koa, an Australian Cattle Dog, who she adores. Cordelia loves making music, dancing, walking in nature and swimming, and can found on the trail with her dog or swimming at the pool– or a mountain lake–whenever possible.