Each one of our facilitators is a trained expert in their field. They are all local and have knowledge about the hospitals and doctors in Fairfield County.
Many are parents themselves and can speak to the worries you might be experiencing or questions you might be wondering about.
They are excited to impart knowledge from their experience both as practitioners and as parents but more importantly to have a conversation with participants about their hopes, expectations, and concerns. Below you can learn a bit more about them.
Melissa Griffin and Jessica Hill: Co – Founders
Jessica had both of her children in the UK. As an American living overseas, she had anxieties about having her first child far from family support. Friends suggested she register for a prenatal class series called The NCT (The National Childbirth Trust). The NCT’s classes are organized by neighborhood and due date, which allows all couples to form a local social and support network prior to their babies being born.
Melissa grew up in England but had her first child much later than friends, so soon found herself with hundreds of questions, but no-one to give her any answers! She also turned to the NCT’s classes to fill this void.
This series of classes proved invaluable to both women. They developed a support network and friendships which were to keep them sane through early parenthood and as their families grew. Melissa and Jessica hope to create a similar community for expectant parents – one that will provide information and build supportive, social networks – The Parent Collective.
Heather Kovac, MSN, RCN, APRN, WHNP-BC, C-EFM
Heather is a women’s health nurse practitioner, a nursing clinical instructor, as well as working as a staff nurse at St Vincent’s Hospital in the Family Birthing Center. She has worked in women’s health in varying capacities for 18 years. As a WHNP she provides prenatal and/or gynecological care to women from their early teens to elderly years. As a staff nurse she provides care in the hospital setting to postpartum women and their newborns, and she was a labor and delivery nurse for 12 years before becoming a teacher of nurses. Heather hopes to bring some of her knowledge and experiences to The Parent Collective classes to help comfort and ease any fears about the journey to motherhood.
Leslie Pavel, BSN-RN, NC-BC
Leslie’s nearly fifteen years as a labor & delivery, postpartum and newborn care nurse in the hospital setting gives her much first- hand experience as a class facilitator. She also brings with her the life experience that goes along with raising four sons. “I want to help parents grow in their confidence to meet the challenges that lay ahead; first to deliver their babies and then to build their families. Becoming a parent is the most challenging…yet the most rewarding thing they will ever set out to do.” Leslie recently became board certified as an Integrative Nurse Health Coach and is keenly aware of the importance of empowering individuals toward optimum health and wellness. Coaching, teaching and building self-efficacy skills are just some of the tools she brings to The Parent Collective.
Alisa Fulvio, LCSW
Alisa Fulvio is a psychotherapist, life coach and mom of two little ones. She graduated from Columbia University with a Masters in Social Work and started her training at the Yale Child Study Center doing in-home therapy with families and children. Alisa is the founder of Balanced Being Counseling and Coaching, and she has an office located in downtown Fairfield, where she works with moms and young women to find their balance, drop the stress and feel confident in themselves and their abilities. Alisa is trained in treating perinatal mental health concerns such as Anxiety, Depression and OCD. Alisa is passionate about helping new moms adjust to the chaos that is motherhood and is very excited to be part of The Parent Collective team.
Megan Loffredo, MD
Megan is an OB/GYN who attended Vanderbilt University Medical School. She completed her residency and practiced in Charlotte, NC. She moved to the Northeast and decided to take time off to raise her three daughters. Now that they are getting more independent, she has time to get back to helping women and their families bring new babies into the world. She looks forward to using her education and experience to teach others about childbirth.
Melissa Gregorio, CNM, MSN
Melissa is a Certified Nurse Midwife, serving the New Haven area since 2013. Prior to midwifery she worked as a registered nurse in emergency medicine as well as labor and delivery. Melissa absolutely loves being a midwife and caring for women across the lifespan. She is a passionate instructor who enjoys teaching student nurses, midwives and pre-hospital care providers on a per diem basis. Melissa obtained her Bachelor of Science in Nursing from Fairfield University and her Master of Science in Nursing from Columbia University.
Allegra Gatti Zemel, RN, IBCLC
Allegra is a registered nurse, Internationally Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC), and mother of three. She holds a BA in English from UC Berkeley in California as well as a BS in Nursing from Columbia University in New York City. Allegra has 13 years of experience in hospitals, classrooms, and in home care and instruction around Maternal/Child Health and specifically breastfeeding. Allegra works to help each person feel equipped and ready for the wonder, transitions, and joy of a new baby with special attention to feeding and bonding.
Chloe Quinn, MSN, RN, WHNP-BC
Chloe is a nurse practitioner specializing in all things regarding women’s health. She loves the special time in a woman’s life that is pregnancy. Currently, she is privileged to work with moms-to-be as a Clinician at Yale University. Additionally, she has many years experience as a labor and delivery nurse and as an infertility nurse. Chloe loves to travel and enjoys the outdoors. She believes that women should feel empowered and not be afraid of this beautiful time in their lives.
Laura Schack, RN
Laura is an RN who has been assisting mothers during childbirth since 2008. Laura has expertise in antenatal care, labor and delivery, postpartum, and newborn care. The care she provides is based on up-to-date research, continuing education, and both professional and personal experience as a mom. Laura is completing her Masters Degree in order to begin educating nursing students in the maternity specialty.