Who We Are
Rebecca South, BSN, RNC-NIC
Founder & President
Rebecca South is the Founder of Families’ Bridge to Caring Hands, a non-profit organization. Rebecca received her B.S.N. from Baylor University, Waco, Texas and has been a NICU nurse for 27+ years. Rebecca served as the Project Manager for National Association of Neonatal Nurses (NANN), Baby Steps to Home: Discharge Pathway since 2012. She received the NANN Robyn Main Excellence for Clinical Practice award in 2016. Rebecca served as founding President of NANN’s Collin County Texas Area Chapter – CCTANN in 2017 and was elected to the NANN Board of Directors, as the Staff Nurse Director-at-Large for 2018-2020.
Rebecca established Families’ Bridge to Caring Hands to help parents transition between the hospitals’ High-Risk OB (Antepartum) and NICU units. Nurses from both departments pair up to provide clinical resources, support and anticipatory guidance to parents coping with the stress of a high-risk pregnancy, and a baby who may need specialized medical attention in the NICU. Rebecca has found that the program helps engage family members with the care team early on to be better-informed advocates for their baby upon admission to the NICU.
Veronica Schaedler, BSN, RN, IBCLC, LCCE
Veronica Schaedler has 35 years experience in Women’s and Children’s services, and has presented breastfeeding workshops and other maternal/child educational programs to hospital and community-based health professionals throughout the United States since 2002. She holds a BSN from Grand Canyon University and an RN from Beth Israel School of Nursing. Veronica implemented the Lactation Services Program at a Texas Hospital in 1997, and has supervised the program since its inception, including inpatient and outpatient services, and a resource store for nursing mothers.
Kathleen Ellis, PhD, RN, CCRN-K (Neonatal)
Assistant Professor, Nursing Texas Woman’s University Houston,
Kathleen Ellis received her BSN and MSN from Baylor University and her PhD from the University of Missouri. She has over 25 years of nursing experience including NICU, education, and research. She is currently an assistant professor at Texas Woman’s University in Houston, Texas. Her research interests focus on improving care and support for neonatal families and investigating the relationships that are formed between nurses and families. She was named to the DFW Top 100 Nurses in 2019 and has presented research nationally and internationally.
Jodi Herron Behr, PhD, RN, RNC-NIC, ACCNS-P
Assistant Professor, Nursing Texas Woman’s University Houston
Dr. Behr is currently an Assistant Professor at Texas Woman’s University on the Houston, Texas campus where she teaches maternal-newborn nursing in the undergraduate program. She has over 25 years of neonatal and pediatric nursing experience in a variety of roles including staff nurse, nurse educator, nurse manager, and clinical nurse specialist. She has worked in all levels of newborn care including units in community hospitals as well as Magnet-designated children’s hospitals, including Riley Hospital for Children, St. Vincent Women’s Hospital, and Peyton Manning Children’s Hospital in Indianapolis, Indiana, Norton Suburban Hospital and Kosair Children’s Hospital in Louisville, Kentucky, and Memorial Hermann Greater Heights and HCA Healthcare Houston West in Houston, TX. No matter her role, she has always strived to improve the parent experience in the neonatal intensive care unit. She was a Robert Wood Johnson Future of Nursing Scholar through a partnership with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and The University of Texas Health Science Center at Houston during her PhD program.
Susan Goddard, RNC-NIC, BSN, MBA
Susan Goddard received her BSN from Adelphi University and her MBA from National University. She brings over 40 years of nursing experience in NICU, Delivery Team and Pediatric Peri-operative Nursing to the Families Bridge team including, certification in Evidence Based Practice from Texas Christian University. Fulfilling an integral role as a member of the NICU High Risk Delivery Team, Susan met with and helped prepare, antepartum families for a potential NICU delivery.
Susan’s career experience includes Management of a NICU/Nursery, Clinical Educator and Assistant VP of Nursing with a national healthcare recruitment company. Throughout her career she has been an innovator helping to integrate and teach new techniques for the NICU including: development of a Peri-Operative preparation tool for staff RN’s, project leader-development of E.H.R. (EPIC) for 7 system NICU’s.
As the hospital’s first Level VI Advanced Program Nurse and for her work on EHR development, she was nominated for her systems Magnet RN of the Year 2014. In 2010 she was recognized as a DFW Top 100 Nurses.
Neela Manendo PT, DPT, CNT
Director of Neonatal PT/OT Outreach
Neela received her B.S. of Biology from The Pennsylvania State University and her Doctorate of Physical Therapy from Franklin Pierce University in New Hampshire. She brings over 11 years of experience in rehabilitative services with the past 4 years within the NICU setting. Her role in the NICU includes maximizing developmental outcomes, supporting infant mental health and facilitating family interaction through evaluation and treatment of infants in the NICU with a variety of diagnoses which may affect the following systems: family and psychosocial, neurodevelopmental, neuromotor, neurobehavioral, musculoskeletal, sensory, oral motor and feeding/swallowing.
Neela has a passion for developmental care and is the founder and co-chair of the Neuroprotective Care Committee at Mount Carmel East Hospital in Columbus, Ohio. She has been a proud member of the National Association of Neonatal Therapists since 2017. Neela was awarded the Black Graduate Student Association Achievement of Academic Excellence in 2002.
Mary Jane Winkenhofer, RN
Volunteer: Educator and Preemie Parent Advocate
Mary Jane graduated from the University of Texas School of Nursing, May 2002 and has been a NICU IV nurse for 17 years. Mary Jane has been caring for NICU infants and Antepartum mothers by providing lactation educational support. Mary Jane received the DFW Great 100 Nurses Award in 2009.
Ashley Randolph, Founder of GLO Preemies
Volunteer: Preemie Parent Advocate
Practical implications of racial disparity for African American women and their premature infants both pre and post-NICU. She creates educational presentations on how each healthcare provider from birth to age six contributes to the future educational success of those born early. Ashley Randolph is a wife and mother to 3 children who were all born premature.
Ashley is most passionate about improving the lives of babies born prematurely in the African-American community and providing support and safety net services for their families. She is the recipient of Presidential Excellence Award for her hard work empowering minority mothers. She is currently Mrs. California United America 2019, and a Labor and delivery Doula.
Marketing and Communications
Angela Davids has more than 20 years of experience as a content developer and marketing strategist. Her areas of expertise include writing website content for search engine optimization and social media management. Her desire to advocate for women with high-risk pregnancies came from her own experiences with preterm labor and preeclampsia. Angela is the co-author of “Stuck in Bed: The pregnancy bed rest picture book for kids … and moms.” In the book she provides guidance and inspiration to mothers, based on the 15 weeks she spent on bed rest while caring for her 2-year-old daughter.