Speakers

Elizabeth Lowder MSW, LCSW
Elizabeth Lowder MSW, LCSW
Co-founder and Trainer/Consultant of Heartland PMAD Consultants
Co-founder and Trainer/Consultant of Heartland PMAD Consultants, llc, serving as an expert in perinatal mental health. Founder, Lead Therapist and Clinical LCSW Supervisor of Sage Tree Therapy, llc a private psychotherapy practice specializing in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, birth and pregnancy trauma, infant and pregnancy loss, fertility challenges, and other women’s issues. Executive Board member of the Hyperemesis Education and Research Foundation. Adjunct Faculty Professor at Washington University Brown School of Social Work.

Sessions

Kim Martino-Sexton
Kim Martino-Sexton
Co-founder and Trainer/Consultant of Heartland PMAD Consultants
Kim has been serving perinatal women for 23 years as a childbirth educator, birth and postpartum doula, and perinatal mental health peer specialist. Besides being the Co-Founder/Co-Owner of Heartland PMAD Consultants she is the Senior Community Outreach Coordinator at SSM St. Mary’s. In this position, Kim is responsible for The MOMS Line Programs which includes recruiting, training, and managing over seventy volunteers that provide peer telephone support and peer led group support for perinatal women in the St. Louis Metro Area.

Kim’s first passion of educating expectant families continues to be one her top priorities. She can be found most Monday nights teaching Calm Confident Childbirth, her proprietary birth education curriculum which includes the following topics; physiologic birth, evidence-based practices related to labor and delivery, parental wellbeing, relaxation, and mindfulness.

Kim also serves as the Secretary of the Wise Women Council at Jamaa Birth Village—Missouri’s first equal access midwifery care center.

Sessions

Melanie McKean, D.O., Ph.D.
Melanie McKean, D.O., Ph.D.
Medical Director of the Women's Reproductive Mental Health and Wellness Program at Saint Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute
Melanie McKean, D.O., Ph.D. is a psychiatrist for St. Louis Behavioral Medicine Institute, as well as an adjunct faculty member at Saint Louis University. She earned her medical and graduate degrees from Oklahoma State University-Center for Health Sciences, College of Osteopathic Medicine. She completed a combined Internal Medicine-Psychiatry residency at Rush University Medical Center in Chicago. She is board-certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology. Dr. McKean has clinical expertise in women’s mental health and primary care, and she specializes in the treatment of mood and anxiety disorders in women of reproductive age. Her areas of interest include preconceptual counseling, antepartum and postpartum mood and anxiety disorders, female sexual dysfunction, pelvic pain, and infertility.

Session

Patti Budnik, BSN, CPLC
Patti Budnik, BSN, CPLC
Bereavement Care Manager for Share Pregnancy & Infant Loss Support
With over 20 years of NICU and Labor & Delivery nursing experience, Patti has seen first-hand the benefits of Share programs both for her patients and for herself as a professional. She joined the National Share staff in 2013 as the primary liaison for the Share Companion program. In her current role, Patti provides education regarding standards of perinatal bereavement care and Rights of Parents, moderates an online support group meeting, and works to maintain updated resources for families.

Session

Diana Aranda
Diana Aranda
Mother who has experienced PMAD
Diana Aranda is a mom to three young boys ages 8, 2, and 1. She is a stay-at-home mom returning to work soon as an accounting assistant to use her BA in Business Administration. She has experience with being a patient with Bipolar Type 1 Disorder, knowing the ins and outs of the behavioral health system for 21 years. Since she herself was hospitalized for Perinatal Psychosis and Postpartum Onset in 2012, Diana is always on the lookout to help other mothers with a mental health diagnosis.

Session

Aujunae Deloney, MSW
Aujunae Deloney, MSW
Social Worker – WISH Center
Au’Junae obtained her MSW from Central Missouri State University. She is currently the Prenatal Social Worker at the SSM St Mary’s WISH Center. She primarily works with women leading up to their delivery helping to guide and support them during this period while also focusing on interventions for their substance use disorder. She also provides support to other SSM Maternal Fetal Medicine clinics of SSM for women that are receiving prenatal care.

The WISH (Women and Infant Substance Help) Center provides comprehensive, high-risk maternity care for women who are dependent on opioids and other drugs. It is the only facility of its kind in the St. Louis region. WISH serves women of all ages and backgrounds in both Missouri and Illinois.

Session

Mona Rife, MSW, LCSW
Mona Rife, MSW, LCSW
Perinatal Care Coordinator – WISH Center
Mona obtained her MSW from St Louis University. She has worked with families and children in various settings over the years. She is currently employed at SSM St Mary’s WISH Center where she has been the Perinatal Care Coordinator since 2018. At the WISH Center, Mona follows mothers post birth and their babies for up to two years. Mona enjoys helping her patients navigate life with a new baby while also working on their recovery. Mona also spends some of her time as a PRN Emergency Medicine social worker at Cardinal Glennon Children’s Hospital.

The WISH (Women and Infant Substance Help) Center provides comprehensive, high-risk maternity care for women who are dependent on opioids and other drugs. It is the only facility of its kind in the St. Louis region. WISH serves women of all ages and backgrounds in both Missouri and Illinois.

Session

Shawntanay Johnson
Shawntanay Johnson
Mother who has experienced PMAD
Shawntanay Johnson is a mother to her almost 2-year-old son. She received her bachelor’s degree from Indiana University in Applied Health Science and currently works as a courtroom clerk. Shawntanay began to experience symptoms of depression when she was pregnant with her son, but it wasn’t until several months postpartum that she was diagnosed with PPD. While it took her some time to realize she needed help, with the support of her doctor, she finally reviewed medication and later started seeing a therapist. Like many mothers Shawntanay didn’t initially seek help, denying there was something “wrong” and feeling she could “heal” or take care of herself. Recently, she has also joined a moms support group, which she says has been a life saver! In the future, she would like to provide support for mothers, children and families going through similar experiences, and work to normalize self-care and mental health.

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