Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter, DSW
Dr. Kendra Flores-Carter is a Published Author, Professor of Social Work at California Baptist University and a Researcher in the Social and Behavioral Science. An advocate for social justice and change, she has dedicated her career to helping bring awareness to disparities in health and various issues affecting women and children. A former Medical Social Worker for over 10 years she was tasked to provide services to children suffering from trauma related to child abuse and women experiencing significant life crisis such as Intimate Partner Violence, Substance Abuse Complications, Incarceration, Homelessness, and Mental Illness. Locally, nationally, and internationally Dr. Flores-Carter has presented her research, trained professionals, and facilitated workshops on various health related topics. Dr. Flores-Carter is the current President of the Postpartum Support International California State Chapter and Co-Chairs the Inland Empire Maternal Mental Health Collaborative. She is the founder of the Janet Don’t Cry Foundation a non-profit dedicated to providing education, support, and resources on health needs globally.
Jen brings many years of personal and professional experience to her role as PSI’s California chapter liaison. She is a Certified Gentle Sleep Coach®, co-author of “Loved to Sleep,” and founder of Sugar Night Night, a pediatric sleep consulting service. As a survivor of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) herself, Jen has a deep understanding of how to support parents with PMADs in her sleep coaching practice, and she is a past President of Postpartum Health Alliance. Since 2010, she has helped sleep-deprived families via one-one-one coaching sessions, group workshops, and seminars; she’s also been featured on several podcasts. She is the mother of two children and holds a bachelor’s degree in Human Services with an emphasis in Counseling from California State University, Fullerton. Jen is a member of the International Association of Child Sleep Consultants and received training from Infant Mental Health Community Training Program–Hospital for Sick Kids.
Bobbie Spurlock, LCSW, PMH-C
Bobbie Spurlock, LCSW, PMH-C is the mother of three and a personal survivor of PMADS. While Bobbie has worked in Social Work for over 15 years her personal experience with PMADS in 2016 redirected the focus of her work to perinatal mental health and birth trauma. Bobbie is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker working in private practice in Humboldt County California. Bobbie’s private practice provides services to women experiencing or affected by perinatal mental health and trauma. Bobbie is currently the co-facilitator for a free Humboldt County based support group called Postpartum Real Talk which aims to create more access to peer support in her rural area of the state. Bobbie has served on nonprofit boards since her teenage years and is passionate about community service. Bobbie has been providing consulting to nonprofit boards of directors in Humboldt County since 2015 and brings experience in strategic planning, leadership, board governance, and all officer positions to the board.
Jennifer Cordeau is a former urban planner/project manager turned Certified Style Coach™ with a passion to help empower and support woman through style. After her own fight with postpartum anxiety and depression, Jennifer was inspired to help raise awareness about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) leading her to a local non-profit in San Diego with the same mission. With a master’s degree in Public Administration and a flair for spreadsheets, she was appointed to the Treasurer position on the local Board. Now, she serves as the Treasurer on the PSI California Board of Directors.
When she’s not helping women to feel confident in their own skin, or busting out a new budget, you can find Jennifer belting out made-up lyrics in the kitchen with her nine-year-old daughter, throwing a mangled chew toy to her dog as if in a scene out of the movie Groundhog Day, giving her husband a hard time, and binge-watching Project Runway episodes.
Julie Lopez, J.D., M.S.W.
Climb Out of the Darkness Chair
Julie Lopez is a partner at San Diego litigation law firm Tatro & Lopez, a former social worker, and survivor of PMADS. She serves on several nonprofit boards, including the San Diego County Bar Association’s Wellness Committee, disABILITY Sports Foundation, and as the Climb Out of the Darkness Chair for PSI-CA. She has formerly served as co-chair of Lawyers Club’s Life & Law committee, and as Liaison between Postpartum Health Alliance and PSI Central. After participating in her first Climb as a survivor in 2015, Julie has co-organized San Diego’s Climb Out of the Darkness event for the past six years out of the belief that the Climb can be one of the most powerful experiences in overcoming PMADs.
Dr. Kelly Harkey
Hospital-Medical Liaison Co-Chair
Dr. Kelly Harkey and his wife, Sharon Harkey, CNM are serving together as the Board Liaisons for the Hospital and Medical communities. Kelly and Sharon sought educational training from PSI, to better assist with the management of their patients suffering from PMAD. What became abundantly clear to them was the need for a team approach to establish a comprehensive referral and treatment network in San Diego.
Dr. Harkey is a practicing Obstetrician, as well as serving as the Medical Director for Women’s Services at Scripps Memorial Hospital La Jolla. He represents a significant number of providers who have struggled to find the resources in our community to care for PMADs. His goal is to establish a blueprint for medical groups and hospitals, which will allow them to expedite the establishment of such a network, while utilizing the framework that PSI already has in place.
Hospital-Medical Liaison Co-Chair
Sharon Harkey has been in OB/GYN nursing for more than 30 years and a Certified Nurse Midwife for more than 22 years. Her career started out in the Army as a postpartum, then labor & delivery nurse and childbirth educator. After advancing her education with a master’s degree, she has worked as a full scope nurse midwife, adjunct faculty teaching maternal child health to RN students and in research and development. Since her very first day functioning independently as an L&D nurse, caring for a woman delivering a stillbirth, she has felt woefully undereducated in the mental side of maternal health. Seeing many women for their postpartum visits, who were suffering from PMADS with nowhere to send them, she sought out PSI for education and expertise in treating these women, with the hopes to create a maternal mental health model of care with her husband, Dr. Kelly Harkey. Sharon feels it is critical to educate the first line OB providers regarding the scope and needs of our patients suffering with PMADS.
Lorena Aynalem, LCSW, PMH-C
Diversity Inclusion Chair
Lorena Aynalem, LCSW, PMH-C is a psychotherapist in private practice in Santa Clarita. She is a certified Perinatal Mental Health Clinician and focuses her practice on Perinatal Mental Health and overall Women’s Mental Health. She is also a volunteer Coordinator for PSI in the Santa Clarita, Palmdale and Lancaster areas and for Ventura County.
Lorena has been in the mental health profession for 15 years. Prior to private practice she worked primarily in the non-profit sector providing counseling services to underserved populations both in-office and community based. Lorena is second generation Latinx with roots from El Salvador. She currently serves as the Diversity and Inclusion Chair on the PSI CA Chapter Board of Directors.
Meri Levy, LMFT, PMH-C, CLE
Peer Support Chair
Meri Levy, LMFT, PMH-C, CLE is a psychotherapist certified in perinatal mental health with a private practice in Lafayette, California. She is also the Administrative Director of the Bay Area Psychotherapy Institute. After a 12-year career in energy public policy for the State of California, Meri founded The Nurture Center, a store and resource center for new parents, where she ran support groups and provided breastfeeding assistance as a Certified Lactation Educator. After finishing a Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology, Meri volunteered for two years as a PSI support coordinator for the San Francisco Bay Area, and currently coordinates the PSI online peer consultation groups for mental health providers and facilitates one of the consultation groups monthly. She is Peer Support Chair on the PSI California Board of Directors, and her goal is to make high-quality, inclusive peer support groups available to new mothers throughout California.
Elyse Springer, MA-CLP, LMFT, PMH-C
Established Organizations Chair
Elyse Springer is a Los Angeles-based licensed marriage and family therapist with focus on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety disorders, LGBTQIA+, depression, trauma, anxiety, OCD, and HIV/AIDS. Prior to private practice, Elyse worked at a cross-section of community mental health organizations, including APLA Health, piloting one of the very first programs embedding mental health in housing services in LA County, and co-chairing LA County’s HIV Mental Health Task Force. Elyse is an emeritus Governing Council member for (formerly The Los Angeles County Perinatal Mental Health Task Force) after serving an eight-year Governing Council term, and maintains her role as training faculty for the organization. Elyse served as a Board Member of national maternal mental health policy and advocacy non-profit, 2014-2019, and currently sits on the organization’s Clinical Advisory panel. In addition, Elyse is Clinical Advisory Board Member for national perinatal loss organization Return to Zero: H.O.P.E. the first clinicians with the national PMH-C (Perinatal Mental Health. Elyse is among Certification) designation, and has begun serving as the Established Organizations board chair for the newly created California chapter of Postpartum Support International.
Carly Marks, BSN, RN, IBCLC, RYT
Underserved/Special Populations Chair
Carly Marks, BSN, RN, IBCLC, RYT is the owner of Marks Lactation Support, in San Diego, CA where she provides expert infant feeding care. As a Lactation Consultant, she has learned that the way parents feel is dramatically impactful in infant feeding. Human milk is a high priority, but cannot be at expense of a parent’s mental wellbeing.
Carly started her career as a Navy nurse, and her husband continues over 20 years of service in the US Navy. She is a PMADs survivor, although undiagnosed until recently (10 years after the birth event). Because she suffered in silence while piecing together components of care for herself, she knows there is a better way. All families deserve competents care. She serves as the Underserved/Special Populations Chair on the PSI California Board of Directors.
Melissa Nefalar, LMFT, PMH-C (she/her)
Social Media Chair
Melissa Nefalar, LMFT, PMH-C is a second generation Filipino-American and native San Diegan. She’s a mom to three kids, has a spouse in education, PMAD survivor, and is passionate to work with parents and their families utilizing mind-body and holistic approaches. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, she has a full time private practice specializing in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, brainspotting, children/teens, and grief/loss. She also currently serves on the board of directors for Postpartum Health Alliance (PHA) in San Diego as the PSI Liaison Co-Chair.