Founder/Executive Director/

Kristin Schuchmann, CPM, LM, a second-generation midwife, a graduate of Commonsense Childbirth School of Midwifery, and a practicing home birth midwife in southwest Florida, is the founder of Heritage School of Midwifery and Natural Health Sciences.  Kristin is also fulfilling a dream to see maternity care and birth outcomes improve globally as the founder and executive director of Charis Childbirth, Inc., an international school that trains childbirth professionals.  Having benefitted from close relationships with respected, skilled midwives, including her own mother, Kristin finds great satisfaction in mentoring and passing along the knowledge, skill, and wisdom she has attained over the years.  When she is not “working”, Kristin enjoys sitting on the beach, hiking in the mountains, singing, gardening, and preparing “gourmet” healthy meals.  Kristin’s greatest passion and love are for her family and she is thoroughly enjoying grandmotherhood.


Todd Schuchmann, the son of a chiropractor and great-great-grandson of a midwife, graduate of Thomas Edison State College with Bachelors of Applied Science in Nuclear Engineering Technology, and successful sales professional is the wind beneath Kristin Schuchmann’s wings.  He has provided immeasurable support and behind-the-scenes help as the operations manager of Charis Childbirth, Inc. and LifeSong Midwifery, Inc.  His skill and experience in business and finances, coupled with his natural ability to encourage people and his passion for seeing people succeed, make him the perfect fit as the business director in an educational institution.  In his spare time, Todd enjoys doing kung fu and tai chi, reading, golfing, singing, playing guitar, and taking on whatever new projects his wife envisions.  Todd considers his greatest accomplishments to be in his family life as a loving husband, father, and grandfather.

Academic Coordinator

Hannah VanAken is currently pursuing her diploma in midwifery, in addition to working in the office at LifeSong Midwifery. She has dreamed of being a part of the birth world since she was a little girl, and she has made that dream a reality. When she isn’t assisting students and loving on mamas and babies, she enjoys spending time with her husband and her two sweet boys.

Clinical Director


Susan Oshel, CPM, LM is a Virginia licensed CPM who began attending births as a doula and midwife’s assistant in 1977, and in 1981 attended her first birth as a primary midwife.  She grew up in Virginia Beach, VA and spent most of her adult life in Floyd County, VA, where she served the beautiful, rural, diverse mountain community as a traditional midwife.  Along with a committed group of sister midwives, professionals and consumers, Susan successfully worked toward legalization of Certified Professional Midwives in Virginia.  In 1999, Susan developed and launched her first midwifery academics course with great results.  In addition to her expertise in women’s health, reproduction, birth, lactation, infants and children, she has extensive education in herbs and nutrition.  She maintains membership in Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) and the Virginia Midwives Alliance (VMA) where she is the director of professional accountability. Susan has assisted over 1,000 births and continues serving families in SW Virginia. As the Director of Midwifery Studies for Charis Childbirth, an international school for midwives, Susan has provided education and consultation for midwives all over the world since 2006. Susan is also currently involved in analyzing midwifery statistics as a Midwives Alliance of North America (MANA) data reviewer and has reviewed over 25,000 birth forms to-date.  Susan and David, her husband and high school sweetheart, currently live in Roanoke, VA.  They have 5 grown children, seven grandchildren, and three great grandbabies.  In her free time, she enjoys gardening, sewing, and graphic art.


Administrative Director/Admissions Representative

Tessa Nobles has 12 years of experience working for a Fortune 500 company where she served in a customer service/administrative role and climbed her way up the ladder to one of the top management positions at the retail level. She loves people and her passion is leading and supporting others. In 2013, Tessa was introduced to midwifery care when she had the privilege of being present at the home birth of her nephew. She then chose to birth both of her children with the assistance of loving and skilled midwives. Since then, she has felt a calling to support this community. In her free time, Tessa enjoys walking on nature trails with her family, singing, crafting, and going on adventures with her two boys.


Student Liaison/Clinical Coordinator

Christie Smith is an experienced and passionate advocate for women’s health and wellness. As a proud mother of three, all born in water, she cherishes the transformative power of birth and understands the importance of compassionate care during this special journey. With a background as a Registered Respiratory Therapist, Christie spent a significant part of her career attending births with respiratory risk factors, including c-sections. Her experience in traditional healthcare reinforced her belief that women deserve options when it comes to birth. In addition to her healthcare experience, Christie served as a Clinical Associate for FSW (formerly Edison College), where she mentored and supported aspiring healthcare professionals, fostering their growth and success in the field. Christie truly finds joy in serving other women in various health and wellness capacities. Her commitment to empowering women through their health journeys shines through in every aspect of her work.


For a list of the teaching staff please see the current handbook.