Maternal Mental Health NOW in partnership with PAC/LAC presents:

MMHN Conference2017 mailercover

The full brochure with the CONFERENCE SCHEDULE is available HERE.


Online registration is now closed.

Additional registration ($295) will be available at the door on June 19th.



Accortt Bio Photo 1       Vitamin D Deficiency & Disparities in Perinatal Depression

Eynav Accortt, PhD

Eynav Accortt, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist whose research focuses on mood and anxiety disorders during the female reproductive life course and in response to chronic illness. She studies the physiological processes that are associated with higher risk for depression and anxiety in pregnancy, postpartum, and perimenopause. As an Assistant Professor in the Department of OBGYN at Cedars-Sinai, she is also interested in the association between maternal mental health and adverse birth outcomes.

Arias Photo       Perinatal Care to Prevent Postpartum Depression in Families with Minimal Support

Edith Arias, LCSW

Edith Arias is a licensed clinical social worker working within the Los Angeles area, primarily within the mix cultural backgrounds. Her experience is primarily focus on the prevention of child abuse and neglect. Edith’s approach to treatment is community oriented as well as strength-based. With an in-depth understanding of mental health concerns she has integrated techniques to alleviate the struggles of at-risk families.

Ashley Wendy        Intersectionality in Maternal Mental Health

Wendy Ashley, PsyD, LCSW

Wendy Ashley, Psy.D., LCSW is an Associate Professor with California State University, Northridge’s MSW program.  Dr. Ashley has over 20 years of experience, is the author of multiple publications, speaks at conferences nationwide and provides training for community agencies. She is passionate about social justice and infuses an intersectionality lens in her teaching, practice and research.

Barnes       Postpartum Psychosis & Infanticide: Socioeconomic & Systems Disparities

Diana Barnes, PsyD, LMFT

Diana Lynn Barnes is an expert on issues of maternal mental health as it relates to infanticide, pregnancy denial, neonaticide, child abuse and neglect.  She is past president of Postpartum Support International and currently sits on its President’s Advisory Council, serves on faculty of Maternal Mental Health NOW and the faculty of the 20/20 Mom project. Her private practice specializes in women’s reproductive mental health.

Beaglehole       Culture & Personal Narrative

Ruth Beaglehole, LMFT

Ruth Beaglehole, Founder of Echo Parenting & Education, has spent her life considering the needs of children, seeking support and nurturing for children as full human beings, using the principles of respect, healing and connection. She is a leader in parenting education and has spoken and trained colleagues around the world about non-violent parenting.

Chon      Mighty Peanuts: Untold Stories of the NICU

Esther Chon, PhD

Esther Chon is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist and a graduate of the Napa Parent Infant Mental Health Fellowship Program.  Esther has worked as an Infant Parent Mental Health Specialist since 2008 and received the CA Center endorsement as an IMH specialist and a Reflective Facilitator II.  She has been working at Miller Child’s & Women’s Hospital’s NICU since July, 2015, supporting parents and staff as they all work together to support the smallest infants in the level III NICU.  Esther is passionate about helping parents and infants start their relationship off to a healthy start right from the beginning.

Cohen        Fatherhood & Attachment

Richard Cohen, PhD

Richard Cohen is the Director of the Federally funded Project ABC, an Early Childhood Mental Health System of Care program in South LA.  In his background he combines experience in early childhood education and child welfare, research and evaluation and administration.  He holds a Ph.D. in Educational Psychology from UCLA and an Ed.M. in Education from Harvard.  He completed the U Mass Boston Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate fellowship.

Dossett Headshot 2014      Perinatal Mental Health Policy from the Ground Up: Lessons Learned from LAC+USC

Emily C Dossett, MD, MTS

Emily C Dossett, MD, MTS is a reproductive psychiatrist and director of the LAC+USC Medical Center’s Women’s Mental Health Program, which integrates perinatal mental health into obstetrics, psychiatry, and pediatrics. As Assistant Clinical Professor of Psychiatry and OBGYN, Dr. Dossett teaches residents and conducts research on access to PMAD care.

Escudero       La Llorona – Storytelling from a Cultural Perspective

Martha Escudero, BA, CLE

Martha Escudero is a mother, Perinatal Case Manager at Maternal & Child Health Access, Certified Mental Health Rehabilitation MHA, Lactation Educator UCSD, DONA birth doula, ICEA trained Childbirth Educator. She has a BS in Gender, Ethnicity & Multicultural Studies Cal Poly Pomona. She has volunteered in food justice, mental health, women’s reproductive health, and prisoner advocacy work.

Everett    Hidden Triggers

Anna Everett, PhD

Dr. Anna Everett is a Professor of Media Studies; former Acting Associate Vice Chancellor for Diversity at the University of California, Santa Barbara; and a current Santa Barbara County Commissioner on the Status of Women. Her books include Learning Race and Ethnicity: Youth and Digital Media for the MacArthur Foundation. PhD, Doctorate of Philosophy in Film and Media Studies, Full Professor at University of California, Santa Barbara.

Frickberg Middleton      Without Country or Kin

Ellen Frickberg-Middleton, NP, PhD

Ellen Frickberg-Middleton, NP, Ph.D. is a clinician/faculty researcher with emphasis on maternal physical/mental health, immigrant health/disparities, and perinatal mood/anxiety disorders. She is a fellow with Preterm Birth Initiative at University of California, San Francisco, is faculty with UCSF/Fresno, and is the volunteer Chair of the Central California Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative.

Natalia Garcia, MPH

Natalia Garcia earned her MPH from the UCLA Fielding School of Public Health and her BA in History from UCLA. She assisted in the development and implementation of the perinatal engagement project at Los Angeles County+USC Medical Center. Natalia is currently a Research Assistant working on a pilot study that aims to provide specialty psychiatric care to perinatal women with severe, persistent mental illness.

Harding      Disparities & Determinants of Maternal Mental Health in Los Angeles County – LAMB Data

Cynthia Harding, LCSW

Cynthia Harding has worked for the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health for over 30 years in areas including Maternal, Child and Adolescent Health, Tobacco Control, Childhood Lead Poisoning Prevention, Tuberculosis Control and AIDS prevention.

Hayes      Help Wanted: Women Veterans Need Perinatal Mental Health Care from Civilian Providers

Deborah J. Hayes, PsyD, LCSW, MPH

Deborah J. Hayes works with at risk children and their families within outpatient mental health and in public education, school mental health programs. Her expertise includes program development, supervision and clinical intervention in school based projects dealing with issues related to trauma, grief and loss, prenatal substance exposure, early childhood mental health, special needs and family engagement and work with military women (service members, veterans and spouses/partners), and children within military families.

Herrera        La Llorona – Storytelling from a Cultural Perspective

Patricia Herrera, MS

Patricia Herrera is policy director of MMHN and director of developmental screening and care coordination at 211 Los Angeles. Her areas of focus have included disparities in diagnosis and treatment of disabilities in underserved populations, service utilization and system approaches to improvement of health care. She is a strong advocate for families.

Kaeni        Mom & Mind-Using Technology to Bridge Gaps

Katayune Kaeni, PsyD

Dr. Kat is a psychologist specializing maternal mental health and the creator and host of the Mom & Mind Podcast. She volunteers with PSI as the area co-coordinator for San Bernardino Co. Dr. Kat works with San Bernardino Co.’s Maternal Mental Health workgroup to provide training to local mental health and allied healthcare providers.

Kaufman       Maternal Mental Health NOW & Our Commitment to Celebrating Diversity

Gabrielle Kaufman, MA, LPCC, BC-DMT, NCC

Gabrielle Kaufman, training director of MMHN,  is a dance/movement therapist and licensed professional clinical counselor.. Prior to this, she directed the New Moms Connect Program of JFSLA and has spoken widely, published articles on parenting, and served as editor for Bringing Light To Motherhood. She is Los Angeles coordinator for Postpartum Support International and has a private practice providing services in both English and Spanish.

Kendall Tackett       Why Socioeconomic Status Impacts Health

Kathleen Kendall-Tackett, PhD, IBCLC, FAPA

Dr. Kendall-Tackett is a health psychologist, International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Owner and Editor-in-Chief of Praeclarus Press, a small press specializing in women's health. For more,,, &

Merchant   Hidden Triggers

Meridith A. Merchant, PhD

Meridith A. Merchant, a full-time senior psychologist at the UCSB Counseling and Psychological Services, was hired to support the psychosocial and mental health needs of students of African descent. Trained in community mental health, her personal maternal trauma fueled a passion for increasing awareness and activism toward empowered health. PhD, Doctorate of Psychology (Multicultural Community Clinical Proficiency), Senior Staff Psychologist at the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Ndefo      Liberatory Mental Health Practices: Somatic Trauma Healing for Black Women in the Childbearing Year

Nkem Ndefo, MSN

With extensive post-graduate training in complementary health modalities, Nkem Ndefo has worked as a clinician, educator, and researcher in diverse settings, including a holistic private practice since 2001. She founded TRE Los Angeles, which has provided stress management and trauma recovery services to social service, healthcare, and educational organizations since 2012.

Nelson Alissa       LGBTQI & Perinatal Mental Health

Alissa Nelson, MA, MSW, MPH

Alissa Nelson, MSW/MPH, MA is currently a project manager with Maternal Mental Health NOW, leading the organization’s mental health integration efforts at clinics serving low-income Angelinos. Alissa uses a quality improvement approach to improving care for marginalized populations. She lives with her partner in Los Angeles.

Ortega Silvia       Diversity as a Protective Factor: Using a “Promotora” Approach in Perinatal Mental Health

Silvia Ortega, BS

For more than three years now, Silvia has been working in the nonprofit sector at the El Sol Neighborhood Educational Center that serves both Riverside and San Bernardino Counties where she works as a family support worker for pregnant mothers and their families and as a home visitor. She was elected to be the governing board member of the Jurupa Unified School District, trustee area 2.

Ortega Jara       Diversity as a Protective Factor: Using a “Promotora” Approach in Perinatal Mental Health

Emilia Ortega-Jara, LCSW

Emilia Ortega-Jara is a psychotherapist in private practice with over 15 years working in the mental health field. Emilia is certified by Postpartum Support International and has been the Postpartum Support International Coordinator for Riverside County warm line for the past 5 years, and has completed the Advanced Clinical training certification through Maternal Mental Health NOW. Emilia is an active member of the Inland Empire Perinatal Mental health Collaborative and the San Bernardino County Maternal Mental Health Working Group. Currently, she is the founder of Corazón Counseling Service which provides culturally appropriate and holistic psychotherapy to mothers and couples in the Inland Empire.

Pally Regina       Culture & Diversity through Reflective Practice

Regina Pally, MD

Regina Pally has practiced as a psychiatrist and therapist for over 35 years, working with parents, couples, young adults and teenagers. She is the Founder and Co-Director of Center for Reflective Communities, a non-profit organization that believes relationships that are safe, accepting, emotionally responsive, and supportive can transform lives- most especially of children and families. She is a highly respected author and teacher on the subject of interpersonal relationships and reflective parenting, both nationally and internationally. Her most recent book is “The Reflective Parent: How to do Less and Relate More With Your Kids” is for parents of children of all ages.   

Peprah       Transgenerational Trauma & Resilience Among African American Populations / Incarcerated Parents

Sayida Peprah, PsyD, DONA

Dr. Sayida Peprah is both a licensed clinical psychologist and a certified birth doula.  She has a multi-faced career as the Deputy Chief Psychologist for the Federal Bureau of Prisons, a Professor of Cultural Psychology for the University of Phoenix and a presenter and consultant on topics of cultural competency, mental and maternal mental health.

Post      Maternal Mental Health in an Unstable Time

Caron Post, PhD

Caron Post is a clinical psychologist specializing in perinatal mood disorders and parent –child relationships. She is the former Director of the Clinical Training Program at the Early Childhood Center-Cedars Sinai Medical Center, Program Coordinator of Adult Outpatient Services at Didi Hirsch Community Mental Health Centers and is Executive Director of Maternal Mental Health Now. She maintains a private practice.

Segovia       Perinatal Mental Health Policy from the Ground Up: Lessons Learned from LAC+USC

Sherrie Segovia, PsyD

For over 35 years, Dr. Segovia has cared for vulnerable African American and Latino families. As the Clinical Manager and Mental Health Coordinator, she provides reflective supervision and clinical interventions. Since 2004, she has been an instructor at the University of Phoenix. Dr. Segovia’s areas of expertise include parental depression.

Springer      VBAC Deliveries & Disparities / LGBTQI / Fathers & Perinatal Loss

Elyse Springer MA, MFT

Elyse Springer M.A., M.F.T. is a licensed marriage and family therapist focusing on perinatal mental health, death and loss, relationships, HIV/AIDS, substance abuse and creative blocks. Elyse is training faculty and Governing Council for Maternal Mental Health Now, board member for 2020 Mom and past co-chair of the LAC HIV Mental Health Task Force.

Tan       Mighty Peanuts: Untold Stories of the NICU

Sharon Tan, PsyD

Sharon Tan is a licensed Clinical Psychologist and a graduate of the Napa Parent Infant Mental Health Fellowship Program. She is dedicated to promoting a healthy prenatal and postpartum attachment experience between parents and their children and has recently joined Miller Children’s & Women’s Hospital as a volunteer NICU Psychologist.

Tang       Perinatal Mental Health Policy from the Ground Up: Lessons Learned from LAC+USC

Vivian Tang, MD, MA

Vivian Tang is currently a psychiatry resident at Harbor-UCLA. She graduated from the Keck School of Medicine at USC where she was mentored by Emily Dossett, reproductive psychiatrist and director of the LAC+USC Medical Center’s Women’s Mental Health Program.

Valentine   Hidden Triggers

Wenonah Valentine, MBA

Wenonah Valentine specializes in community-defined practices through coaching and skill-building. She has demonstrated concrete responses and brought social innovation to the Healthy People national goals to eliminate health disparities and infant mortality. She inspires leaders and builds capacity through the emotional intelligence framework by experiential learning, storytelling, reflection and self-care. Master of Business Administration (Christian Business and Professional Leadership), Azusa Pacific University; Founder of iDREAM for Racial Health Equity, a project of Community Partners®; adjunct faculty, USC Price School of Public Policy (Fall Semester 2016); and former elected member of the UCSB Alumni Association and founding chair of the Diversity Committee; Bachelor of Arts (double majors in Black Studies and Economics) at UCSB.

Kathleen West, MPH, DrPH

Dr. Kathleen West is a public health professional with expertise in maternal and child health, intergenerational trauma and mental health issues. Her background includes undergraduate degrees in biology and anthropology, and masters and doctoral degrees from the UCLA School of Public Health. She currently teaches at the University of Southern California Department of Preventive Medicine, and UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs.

White Penny       Mighty Peanuts: Untold Stories of the NICU

Penny White, MSW

Penny White has an MSW degree in clinical social work, with a concentration in health care, from USC.  She was a maternal/child health social worker, specializing in NICU, at Northridge Hospital Medical Center for ten years.  She teaches psychosocial issues/skills to second-year medical students at UCLA.  She co-created and co-directed an embedded maternal mental health assessment and treatment program at the USC/Eisner Family Practice Clinic.