MMHLA has convened a Board of Advisors to center the voices of those with lived maternal mental health experience and professional expertise in our advocacy efforts.  The Board of Advisors will convene four times in 2021 to advise MMHLA’s Board of Directors and staff on issues of equity, diversity, and inclusion and to ensure that all policies and programs address racial inequities in maternal mental health.

In creating the Board of Advisors, MMHLA sought individuals with lived experience with maternal mental health conditions as well as the mental health and healthcare providers who care for them. Members of the Board of Advisors are diverse in experience, background, geography, gender, race, ethnicity, and family situation to ensure an atmosphere of inclusiveness, respect, understanding, and acceptance.
Dominique Charlot-Swilley, PhD / Washington, D.C.

Dominique Charlot-Swilley, PhD / Washington, D.C.

Dominique Charlot-Swilley is a trained clinical child psychologist and licensed school psychologist with over 20 years of experience working with young children and their parents. Dominique currently co-leads the design, implementation, and evaluation of a community-based pediatric primary care program at Children’s National Medical Center-Anacostia. She also trains and supervises staff on the Georgetown Early Childhood Mental Health Consultation model, works collaboratively with community stakeholders, and supervises doctoral students.

Martha Escudero / California

Martha Escudero / California

Martha Escudero is a doula, lactation educator, and perinatal case manager with extensive experience serving immigrant mothers at high risk for maternal mental health complications. In pursuit of this work, Martha has completed training with Mental Health of America and has volunteered with Maternal Mental Health NOW. In her personal life, Martha has two children aged 11 and 9.

Jua Fluellen / Washington, D.C.

Jua Fluellen / Washington, D.C.

Jua Fluellen is a Middle school educator, husband, and father to three children. In his work as an educator, Jua strives to enhance his institution’s ability to meet the diverse needs of the many racial demographics included in his school community. He is also passionate about promoting culturally relevant care for individuals and families as they navigate issues of maternal mental health.

Deepika Goyal, PhD, MS, BSN, FNP-C / California

Deepika Goyal, PhD, MS, BSN, FNP-C / California

Deepika Goyal is a family nurse practitioner and professor of nursing at San José State University, where she oversees the Family Nurse Practitioner program. Deepika maintains a clinical practice, working as a nurse practitioner in an outpatient OB/GYN clinic. She is passionate about improving representation for women of Asian American descent in maternal mental health advocacy.

Kimberly Gray / California

Kimberly Gray / California

Kimberly Gray is the Director of Development for Maternal Mental Health NOW and an active maternal health advocate. Kimberly’s passion for maternal mental health is inspired by personal experience with pregnancy loss and motherhood. She is particularly interested in improving maternal health outcomes for Black women.

Chanel Jones / New York

Chanel Jones / New York

Chanel Jones is a Community Support Specialist Outreach Coordinator for the NYS COVID Contact Tracing Initiative, LIDA certified doula, and founder of Chanel’s Comforting Doula Care. Chanel volunteers with the Postpartum Resource Center of New York and the Breastfeeding, Resiliency, Engagement, and Empowerment (BFREE) Coalition; she is also pursuing her Masters in Public Health with a concentration in community health.  In her personal life, Chanel is mother to a 12 year old daughter.

Gerald Lowe / Virginia

Gerald Lowe / Virginia

Gerald Lowe is a certified Nursing Professional Development Specialist in labor and delivery and has over 16 years of experience as a labor and delivery nurse. In addition to this work, Gerald has worked as an adjunct/visiting professor and is Section Leader for the VIrginia chapter of the Association of Women’s Health Obstetrics and Neonatal Nursing (AWHONN).

Ana Romero, LCSW / Florida

Ana Romero, LCSW / Florida

Ana Romero is a licensed clinical social worker and founder of the Postpartum Healing and Education Center, an organization that provides individual, family, and marriage therapy. Ana is also a trainer and consultant for the Nurturing Parenting Curriculum and has been deeply involved in the field of maternal mental health since 2001.

Surya Sabhapathy, MD, MPH / Illinois

Surya Sabhapathy, MD, MPH / Illinois

Surya Sabhapathy, MD, MPH is Director of the University of Illinois at Chicago’s Department of Psychiatry, Gender and Sexuality Clinic, which provides LGBTQ-affirming mental health care to gender-expansive people. Dr. Sabhapathy also attends on the inpatient psychiatry unit at UIH and supervises psychiatry residents in the women’s mental health program. Their clinical interests include complex trauma and expanding access to comprehensive mental health care for women, gender minorities, and BIPOC.

Ivy Sias, NCC, LPC-S, PMH-C/ Louisiana

Ivy Sias, NCC, LPC-S, PMH-C/ Louisiana

Ivy Sias is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Supervisor certified in the treatment of Perinatal Mental Health. After her own experience with Perinatal Depression and Anxiety, and recognizing the lack of dedicated resources, she founded Ivy Counseling & Wellness Services LLC, a private practice specializing in Maternal Mental Health. In addition to her practice, Ivy facilitates The Vine mom support group where the goal is to provide a safe space for moms to connect and discuss their experiences. A wife and mother of three, Ivy is passionate about advocating for mental health and building resources that support the intricate layers of parenthood and the family as a whole.

Melissa Simon, MD, MPH / Illinois

Melissa Simon, MD, MPH / Illinois

Melissa Simon is the George H. Gardner Professor of Clinical Gynecology, Vice Chair of Research in the Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine and founding director of the Center for Health Equity Transformation. In addition to this work, Melissa leads a large portfolio of health equity research of the NIH. She is also a member of the US Preventive Services Task Force and the National Academy of Medicine Roundtable on Health Equity.

Amy Stiffarm, MPH / Montana

Amy Stiffarm, MPH / Montana

Amy Stiffarm is Aaniiih of the Fort Belknap Indian Community and also descends from the Cree and Blackfeet people of Montana. She currently resides on the lands of the Kootenai, Bitterroot Salish, and Pend O’rielle people. She is the mother to two daughters, Tahmya (6) and Kisiah (4). Amy found her passion for maternal and child health during her MPH at the University of Montana. She is currently working as a Research Assistant while pursuing a PhD in Indigenous Health through the University of North Dakota.