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Your Team

Karen Pope, CNM

Karen became interested in helping people have babies during her third pregnancy and first homebirth in 1999.  Shortly after, she became a doula and childbirth educator. In 2005, she graduated with her ADN in nursing from Tulsa Community College and her family moved to Tucson, where she went to work in a high volume, high risk labor and delivery unit.  She went to midwifery school at Frontier Nursing University and graduated in 2015 with her Masters in Nursing. She became a certified nurse-midwife in 2016.  Karen enjoys spending time with her 6 children, 5 dogs, 4 cats, and one rabbit. Her hobbies include playing video games and working on craft projects, usually crochet or cross stitch.  Karen is excited to be fulfilling her dream of providing home birth midwifery care and looks forward to continuing to serve the Tucson community.

Birth Assistants

Justin Pope, RN, BSN

Justin has been involved with midwifery and homebirth for over 20 years, and all of his children have been born at home, underwater. He earned an Associates Degree in Nursing from Tulsa Community College in 2005 and his Bachelors of Nursing from Western Governors University in 2018. In addition to his clinical role with Graceful Beginnings, Justin also provides administrative assistance and website design. His personal hobbies include collecting and maintaining vintage computers as well as volunteering with several local animal advocacy non-profits.


Samantha Nguyen, RN

Samantha's interest in nursing and patient care came about because she has a brother with Cystic Fibrosis. She attended Pima Community College and spent her final clinical rotation at a labor and delivery unit. She graduated with her Associates in Nursing in 2018. Samantha continues to be passionate about helping bring new life into the world. When she isn't working, she enjoys spending time with her 2 dogs, hiking, going to the gym or playing video games.

Lactation Consultant

Erin Torres, MS, RN, IBCLC

Erin was born and raised in Tucson and went to high school in Nogales, where she witnessed her first births. This was the spark that began her life-long interest in all things babies. She obtained a BA in Women's Studies and Zoology in Wisconson and started an apprenticeship in a bust homebirth practice that served rural Amish and Mennonite communities. After 12 winters and the birth of her first child, she moved back to Southern Arizona where she obtained her IBCLC and an RN degree from the U of A. She began working as an L&D nurse in 2014 as well as a free-standing birth center, and currently works in the Lactation Department at a busy Tucson hospital. After 20 years of working with parents and babies, she continues to learn from each family she serves, and she is excited to join Graceful Beginnings' team. In Erin’s spare time, she enjoys time in nature with her family, rough housing with her 2 children, writing, meditation, music-listening, swimming and snuggling her 2 dogs and 2 cats.

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