Our organization was founded by an AFE survivor and all of our team members and advisors are those with a lived experience.
Miranda, an AFE survivor, is the Executive Director of the AFE Foundation, which she founded in 2008 just 3 months after recovering from her AFE. Since day one Miranda has shown compassion for families grieving the loss of a loved one and supporting those and others impacted by AFE.
She is responsible for defining and implementing the organization’s overall business and marketing strategic plans and is the primary driver in overseeing day-to-day operations. Miranda assisted in the development and implementation of the Amniotic Fluid Embolism Registry in collaboration with AFE experts and maternal-fetal medicine specialists at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, Wayne State University, and the Perinatal Research Branch of the NICHD of the National Institute of Health. The Registry is the world’s largest database of AFE cases allows for future investigations pertaining to the genes and mechanisms associated with AFE.
Miranda spent 20 years in banking, finance, and business development. In 2015, Miranda left her career in banking to run the foundation full-time. Miranda also serves on boards of various maternal health organizations. She is the Patient Advocate for the Council for Patient Safety in Women’s Health Care based in Washington D.C., Executive Committee Member for the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative (CMQCC), Pregnancy Associated Maternal Mortality Review Committee (PAMR) Executive Advisory Member for the Institute for Perinatal Quality Improvement, and as a member of the expert panel for the Obstetric Life Support Pregnancy Resuscitation Program at Baylor College of Medicine.
Miranda is a frequent speaker, panelist, and lecturer on amniotic fluid embolism and patient advocacy. She is also a contributing author on numerous publications on amniotic fluid embolism including a nationally approved AIM Safety Bundle Patient, Family, and Staff Support after a Severe Maternal Event.
Miranda has been recognized with several honors and awards for her professional and personal achievements including a feature in the 2016 People Magazine’s Special Edition American Heroes, recognizing her work with the foundation.
Her greatest joy and accomplishment is raising her son Van with her husband, ICU Nurse, Bryce.
In 2013, Katy suffered an amniotic fluid embolism during the delivery of her third child. After the traumatic experience and long recovery, Katy began to research AFE and found the AFE Foundation for support and information. Fully recovered, Katy felt a strong dedication and loyalty to the AFE Foundation and served in numerous roles as a volunteer helping others navigate their own healing process as well as fundraising for the organization. In her current role of Community Liaison, she continues to assist and mentor the AFE community through various AFE support groups, while also securing monetary and donated goods to benefit families affected by AFE. Katy continues to further her knowledge and experience with maternal mortality and morbidity by joining the AFE Foundation and other patient advocacy organizations through the MoMMA’s Voices coalition. Katy lives in New England with her husband Tim, three children, and two Wheaten Terriers.
Emily Taylor is the Program Coordinator and State Liaison Manager for the AFE Foundation. As a survivor from AFE during labor of her first child, she knew her passion to prevent this from happening to other mothers would never dull. She believes every mother should have the birth experience they desire and hope for. She is excited to work on the pilot program of the State Liaison to hopefully expand to the entire US and assist what we know about amniotic fluid embolism.
Emily also serves as the Provider Coordinator for the MoMMA’s Voices Coalition, assisting healthcare providers, hospitals, medical facilities, and other quality improvement partners going through the online training to prepare them for working with patient family partners.
Emily’s healthcare experience includes her work as Director of Patient Engagement for the International Foundation for Gastrointestinal Disorders, where she primarily handled the engagement between patients and healthcare professionals. She received her Bachelor’s degree in biological sciences from North Carolina State University.
When not working in the quality improvement field, Emily enjoys horseback riding and spending time with her four-legged friends of all sizes. She lives with her husband Alex and her daughter Evie in Cary, NC.
Amy De Simone
After experiencing an AFE during the birth of her son, Aiden, in March of 2008, Amy immediately started searching for answers and other AFE survivors. Knowing she was fortunate to have survived such a rare and dangerous complication, Amy found it alienating to learn the grim statistics. After meeting through a support group, Amy met founder Miranda Klassen while traveling to San Diego and the two became fast friends. Together, they have overcome the challenges of starting a non-profit from the ground up while also grappling with the many emotions that accompany birth trauma. They have taken the early ideas and made them a reality. Amy served as the board chair for 10 years overseeing the strategic vision and mission. Amy went on to have another son, Liam, and now helps other AFE survivors who would also like to grow their families after experiencing an AFE. Amy serves as board secretary and oversees our support group administration. She and her husband Michaal and two boys live in Atlanta, GA.
Sandi is a Certified Public Accountant with 20 years of extensive experience in financial analysis, forensic accounting, budgeting, forecasting, and financial management. When a close friend suffered and survived an amniotic fluid embolism, Sandi wanted to support the mission of the AFE Foundation. Sandi’s extensive experience in finance, analysis, operations, budgeting, and forecasting enables her to provide a high level of expertise in overseeing the AFE Foundation’s finances.
Diana suffered an AFE in 2016, immediately following the birth of her first child, a daughter – Francesca, who was affectionately named after the ICU Nurse that took care of her. In the days that followed her AFE, and while she laid in the hospital recovering, it was her husband, Alan, who actually found the AFE Foundation through a google search and suggested Diana join the Facebook support group. It was there that she found an army of other survivors who understood what she was going through and supported her with the struggles that she and her family would face in the months and years that followed. In 2017, Diana reached out to the organization to volunteer and assist with the peer-based support groups.
Diana has organized blood drives to raise awareness and funds of AFE and other maternal health issues. In 2018, she and fellow AFE survivors in CT were instrumental in supporting a bill to mandate AFE education to all clinicians in Connecticut. In addition, Diana attended the Champions for Change Summits in 2018, 2019, and 2020, Mom Congress in Washington D.C. to advocate for legislative changes related to Maternal Health in 2019, and joined the CT Maternal Mortality Review Committee in 2021.
Diana holds a Master’s degree in Social Work from the University of Connecticut and is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has worked for various non-profits to support children and families, and currently is an elementary School Social Worker. Diana and her family also support different children and their families involved in the foster care system.
Diana hopes that she can continue to support other survivors and their families and raise awareness for the AFE Foundation and postpartum mental health.
Naomi is an Administrative Business Partner (ABP) at Google joining them in 2017 after an 8-year stint in Burberry as Executive Assistant to the CEO Americas and EMEIA. Naomi is currently an ABP in Sales, UK Lead for State of Black Women – a space for Black women at Google of all levels to build community and align on a shared agenda and Co-Lead of a Race, Empathy & Belonging DEI initiative.
Naomi has held various roles in the tech, legal, and publishing world, and has lived and worked in Australia and Bermuda. She is married and mother to two very wonderful and very cheeky children.
After losing her beloved sister Natalie in July 2014 to an Amniotic Fluid Embolism, Naomi is devoted to raising awareness of AFE and funds for the Foundation in her sister’s name.
Naomi advises the AFE Foundation on cultural and racial inclusivity and helps expand our understanding of international societal norms in many of the areas and countries we serve abroad.
Our Board Members
AMY DE SIMONE
Founding Board Chair
Our Medical Advisors
Gary A. Dildy III
Dr. Irene Stafford
Chair and Registry Director
Steven L. Clark