What is a CNM?

We are Proud to Have the Largest
Private Midwifery Practice in the Area

Get to know our Certified Nurse Midwives

Headshot of Debi Lesnick, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Debi Lesnick, CNM
Certified Nurse Midwife

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Headshot of Gaye Koconis, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Gaye Koconis, CNM
Certified Nurse Midwife

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Headshot of Barbara Zimmerman Minnich, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Barbara Zimmerman Minnich, CNM
Certified Nurse Midwife

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Headshot of Sarah Rigoni, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Mary Rigoni, CNM
Certified Nurse Midwife

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Headshot of Sarah Sumagin, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Sarah Sumagin, CNM
Certified Nurse Midwife

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Headshot of Jennifer Jaume, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Jennifer Jaume, CNM
Certified Nurse Midwife

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Headshot of Amy Wasserman, one of NSA's Physicians and Midwives

Amy Wasserman, CNM
Certified Nurse Midwife

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What is a Certified Nurse Midwife?

A Certified Nurse-Midwife (CNM) is an individual who has been educated in two disciplines, nursing, and midwif?ery. Starting off as Bachelor?s prepared RNs, we have gone on to complete a graduate program in midwifery, earning our Masters degrees in the process. We have also taken and passed a comprehensive board examination, earning national certification as Nurse-Midwives from the American Midwifery Certification Board.

While there are CNMs who attend home births, all of our births take place at Northshore Evanston?s Women?s Hospital.

In addition to caring for women throughout their pregnancy, labor, birth, and the postpartum period, CNMs also provide a wide variety of gynecologic services. These services can range from family planning/birth control, annual exams and pap smears, to menopause counseling and care.

As NSAGO CNMs, we enjoy a close working relationship with all of our practice physicians, who are readily available to consult and collaborate on any issue that may arise. This relationship also allows us to co-manage challenging or higher risk cases, be they OB or GYN, which then allows our patients to benefit from the care and expertise of both the CNM and MD.

Mother and a midwife holding a new born baby

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  • *For medical emergencies call 911. For test results or medical questions call us at 847-475-1224 or message us using NorthshoreConnect.

A Certified Nurse Midwife in green lab gown holding a baby in front of a mother

How do Nurse Midwives differ from an Obstetrician?

A midwife is a medical professional with specialized training in women?s healthcare. She will offer you expert care and support throughout your pregnancy and beyond.
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The Scope of Midwifery

While most people think of midwives in terms of pregnancy, most nurse midwives focus on a wide range of healthcare needs throughout a woman?s life. Not only do they offer expert care during labor and birth, but they can also provide care for annual gynecological exams, family planning needs, general health, and menopausal care…. Read more

Midwives Vs. Obstetricians

Both midwives and obstetricians are skilled in providing care for women during pregnancy, labor, birth and postpartum. Midwives offer a natural, holistic approach to pregnancy and birth. In most cases, they spend more time with you than an OBGYN would, including time spent supporting you while you are in labor. They are experts in low-risk pregnancy and birth. They are not able to perform surgeries… Read more


As many of you know Dr. Jean Ruth is leaving NSAGO to make a new beginning in the great Pacific Northwest – she and her family will move to Spokane, Washington later this month.  She has been with us for 3 ½ years and has done an incredible job working with our providers, staff, and especially, the growing patient base she has served. The patient feedback we have received, both in person and with her on-line reviews inform us that she is truly a special doctor. We will all miss Jean and wish her all the best.


E Perelman MD NSAGOThe rest of the NSAGO family will continue to accommodate and care for Dr. Ruth’s patients. Dr. Liz Perelman joined us last year and has become an integral team member and excellent care provider for our patients.  She is available to see patients at our Wilmette and Glenview locations. Likewise Drs. Goodwin, Johnson and Saleh are happy to see patients for ongoing pregnancy care and gynecology visits. New patients are also welcome so feel free to refer friends and relatives.


We are also very happy to welcome Imaan Ansari, MD, who will join NSAGO in August. Dr. Ansari grew up in the south suburbs of Chicago and graduated Magna Cum Laude from the University of Illinois, Champaign-Urbana. She attended the Medical College of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and then returned to Chicago for Ob-Gyn residency training at Advocate Illinois Masonic Medical Center. We have been very happy to get to know Imaan as a kind and talented physician with superb credentials and a work ethic to match. She will assume Dr. Ruth’s schedule and will have hours in Wilmette and Glenview.