Postpartum Support International

Washington, D.C.
PSI-DC

Postpartum Support International (PSI) is the world’s leading non-profit organization dedicated to helping those suffering from perinatal mood disorders, the most common complication of childbirth.

Our Mission is to increase awareness, education, prevention, and treatment of perinatal mental health issues affecting individuals, their families, and support systems in all areas of Washington, D.C..

Our Vision is that all pregnant and postpartum individuals and their families, including those from underserved communities, will have access to perinatal support, mental health/healthcare providers, education, and resources to improve overall well-being through advocacy, training, and increased awareness of perinatal mental health.

Tracy Moran VozarTracy Moran Vozar, Ph.D., IMH-E (IV-R), PHM-C, Chair

Tracey is the Clinical Director of Perinatal Behavioral Health for the DC Mother Baby Wellness program at Children’s National Hospital and Associate Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry at George Washington University. Her interests involve the intersections between perinatal and early childhood mental health. She founded WePlay!™ DC, a child development and social support group for caregivers and infants. Tracy earned a Doctor of Philosophy degree in Clinical Psychology at the University of Iowa, concentrating in perinatal psychology, and completed her postgraduate training in infant mental health at Tulane University. She was awarded her Bachelor and Master of Arts degrees from Washington University in St. Louis.

Tracy previously served as Director of the Perinatal Through Five program and the Caring for You and Baby Clinic and Clinical Associate Professor of Psychology at the University of Denver. She was previously on the faculty at Tulane University, University of Chicago, and Erikson Institute.

She is also mama to four phenomenal kids and has a household full of pets, dancing, and glitter.


Maya ConnellMaya Connell (LPC, PCD), Liaison

Maya is a licensed counselor in DC and a DONA certified postpartum doula. Maya began her career as a licensed therapist and accumulated more than a decade of experience in community mental health addressing the needs of individuals in the Washington, D.C. area. She has always had a passion for treating the whole person and addressing the intersection of mental health and physical health. After her own postpartum journey and experience with PMADs, Maya decided to bring her passion for community care to families and became a certified postpartum doula. She loves to help families who are experiencing the exciting and transformative change that comes with a new baby.  Maya also facilitates a Peer to Peer Support Group for Moms through PSI. A native Midwesterner, Maya lives in Washington, DC with her husband and two daughters. Outside of work, you can find Maya spending time at her kid’s activities, working on art projects, and enjoying the outdoors.


Casie BussinkCasie Bussink, Secretary

Casie is a governance and strategy professional with the School Nutrition Association. With a diverse background encompassing Theatre Arts, restaurant management, and IT consulting, Casie brings a unique blend of expertise to her endeavors. She earned her M.F.A. in Drama from The Catholic University of America and a B.A. in Theatre from Birmingham-Southern College in her home state of Alabama. For over a decade, she graced the stages of esteemed theatre companies across the DC area, showcasing her artistic talent and passion. Combining her artistic roots with a deep commitment to mission-driven work, Casie now thrives in the nonprofit world. Having personally triumphed over postpartum anxiety and depression, she draws inspiration from her own experiences to support and uplift other women facing similar challenges. Beyond her professional pursuits, Casie cherishes her free time with her loving family. Exploring new destinations with her husband, son, and their goofy labradoodle brings joy and adventure to their lives. A true enthusiast, she actively participates in sports, film, and indulges in the finest of prestige TV.


Stephanie CruseStephanie Cruse, Treasurer

Stephanie is passionate about supporting families with nonjudgmental support. She is co-owner of Apple Birth & Wellness, a birth doula, certified childbirth educator, prenatal yoga teacher, and integrative health and wellness coach. She has spent much of her professional life in philanthropy, working to fund programs that promote equity in access to health care for minoritized groups. Stephanie joined the birth worker profession in 2013 after experiencing postpartum depression with her son, and trained as a peer support group leader and worked to advocate for parents experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Some things she can’t live without are coffee, nature walks with her two kids, queso, and regular trips to the ocean.


U'nek ClarkeU’nek Clarke, LICSW, LCSW-C, PMH-C, Alliance Representative

U’nek is the Lead Perinatal Behavior Health Specialist at DC Mother-Baby Wellness Program with the Developing Brain Institute at Children’s National Hospital. U’nek provides therapy services to pregnant and postpartum women. She has a Master’s in Social Work from Howard University and is certified in Perinatal Mental Health, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Heath and Child-Parent Psychotherapy. She has spoken at conferences and conducted trainings on Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs) in the United States and Europe.

Prior to joining the Developing Brain Institute, U’nek served as a Clinical Social Worker with the D.C. Government. She has a strong background in the assessment and treatment of trauma, attachment, bonding, and other behavioral health concerns. She has a passion for maternal health and looking forward to providing critical clinical services to improve maternal mental health outcomes. She is certified in Perinatal, Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and rostered in Child Parent Psychotherapy.

Life experiences have led U’nek to her passion of working with women and birthing people who are pregnant and postpartum. She has enormous compassion for people going through the challenges and transitions around motherhood and feels privileged to work with those who are seeking support during this phase. In her spare time, U’nek loves spending time with her family and friends. She’s a wife and mother to three children including a set of twins.


Ellen BartoliniEllen Bartolini, Psy.D., PMH-C, Advocacy Lead

Ellen is a licensed clinical psychologist at Children’s National Hospital in the Developing Brain Institute. Dr. Bartolini specializes in treating pregnant patients and families who have received a serious fetal medical diagnoses. She supports patients across the prenatal and postnatal periods (including NICU and CICU parents), along with those experiencing perinatal loss. Dr. Bartolini has extensive experience in treating grief, loss and medical trauma. Prior to her role at Children’s National, she spent five years in the Pediatric Medical Psychology department at The Johns Hopkins Hospital, where she developed particular expertise in treating families facing serious medical illnesses. She is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences and Pediatrics at The George Washington University (GWU) School of Medicine & Health Sciences. Dr. Bartolini earned her Psy.D. from Widener University’s Institute for Graduate Clinical Psychology and completed her postdoctoral fellowship through The Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. She lives in NE DC with her husband, toddler, and dog.


Brooke GoodwinBrooke Goodwin, Member-at-Large

Brooke is a clinical social worker licensed in DC, NY, and MD with over 15 years of experience supporting individuals and families in the pediatric healthcare arena and its intersecting fields. Brooke has a breadth of experience working with diverse populations and utilizes a wide range of clinical interventions, including Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and Solution Focused Therapy.

Brooke’s approach is person-centered and recognizes that each individual brings a unique expertise to their lived experience. Helping new parents adjust to this new life event of parenthood all while learning new coping skills, adjusting boundaries, and unearthing challenges from their past all while navigating how to become their new best self brings fulfillment to her work.

Brooke has certifications in Trauma and Resiliency, Infant Child Mental Health, is PMH trained and actively working towards her PMH-C certification. Brooke received her undergraduate degree from the University of Virginia and Masters of Social Work from Columbia University. Brooke enjoys writing letters, puzzles and running.


JaNeen CrossJaNeen Cross, DSW, MBA, MSW, Member-at-Large

Janeen is an Associate Professor at Howard University School of Social Work. She is an expert and leader in maternal child health. She has a mayoral appointment with the District of Columbia, Maternal Mortality Review Committee. She is the former President of the National Association of Perinatal Social Workers (NAPSW) and is on the Board of Directors for the National Perinatal Association (NPA). Dr. Cross is the former National Association of Social Workers (NASW), Health Education and Leadership Scholars (HEALS), post-doctoral, health policy fellow.

Dr. Cross’ research interest includes maternal and child health disparities, mental health, and health policy. She is Co-PI on the Mental Health Awareness Training (MHAT) grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Dr. Cross is co-investigator for Preparing.  Responsive and Effective Social Workers (P.R.E.S.S.) funded by the Department of Education.

Dr. Cross received her Doctorate of Clinical Social Work from the University of Pennsylvania, Master of Business Administration from Rosemont College, Bachelor and Master of Social Work from Temple University Dr. Cross is in private practice with clinical licenses in Pennsylvania, Maryland, and the District of Columbia.


Ella HongDr. Ella Hong, Member-at-Large

Dr. Hong is an adult and reproductive psychiatrist practicing in Washington, DC, and Bethesda, MD. She is the director of Olive Psychiatry, a practice that embodies a holistic, cultural, and inclusive approach to mental health and reproductive care. She worked in the Behavioral Endocrinology Branch at the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) working to bring light to important issues such as Postpartum changes, Premenstrual Dysphoric Disorder, and Perimenopausal changes. Dr. Hong feels passionate about equality for all and reproductive health equity.


Emma BaschDr. Emma Basch, Member-at-Large

Dr. Basch is a licensed clinical psychologist based in Washington, DC. She is the founder and director of Dr. Emma Basch & Associates, a group practice specializing in women’s mental health with a focus on perinatal and reproductive mental health. Dr. Basch also serves on the board of the DC Metro Perinatal Mental Health Collaborative and is a Clinical Instructor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Health at GWU. She teaches, writes, and speaks frequently about perinatal mental health, and has been interviewed by outlets including The Washington Post, The Financial Times, Washington Parent Magazine, and ABC News. She is a native Washingtonian and a parent to two incredible children.


Evie MprasEvdoxia (Evie) Mpras, Member-at-Large

Evie is a resident Marriage and Family Therapist working in private practice with individuals, couples, and families. Evie has a Master of Science in Human Development with a specialization in Marriage and Family Therapy from Virginia Tech.

Evie specializes in helping strengthen family relationships (couples and whole family systems) during the postpartum stage. Evie believes that postpartum distress is linked to relationship distress; attending to relationships can not only heal maternal distress, but can also strengthen family intimacy, support, and resiliency in the long-term. Her therapy training includes Intensive Short-Term Dynamic Psychotherapy, Emotion-Focused-Therapy, and Daniel Siegel’s Interpersonal Neurobiology.

Evie has been published on the topic of postpartum mood disorders in Family Therapy magazine, Family Focus magazine, and lectures extensively on family approaches to postpartum health. She is currently crafting a workbook for families to help strengthen relationships during the phase of welcoming children into the family system.

Evie is a wife and mother to a 9 year old girl, and is happily pregnant with a second baby on the way. She loves spending summers in Greece with family, reading, and wood block printing and painting.


Lydia HarrisLydia Harris, Member-at-Large

Lydia is the owner and CEO of Labor With Love and offers service as a birth doula, postpartum doula, vaginal birth after cesarean (VBAC) practitioner, perinatal health educator, women’s health educator and serves as the Lead of Content Marketing Strategy at Mae. She has a bachelor’s degree in Biological Sciences with a minor in Chemistry from the University of Pittsburgh and is pursuing her Master’s of Public Health at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill.  Lydia offers unique insight to young Black women and girls about perinatal health, women’s health, sexual health, and vaginal health. Shehas  experience working with Black mothers in Washington, DC who are on their perinatal journey. In her free time, Lydia enjoys creating social media content that speaks to the young, Black woman’s experience. It is through social media that Lydia is able to create impact on women across the globe and destigmatize the womanhood experience.


Megan SimmonsMegan Simmons, MPA/JD, Member-at-Large

Megan formerly served as a Federal Agent and was tasked with investigating reports of sexual assault for the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS) in the Middle East as well as the United States. She later married her education to her experience by contributing to policy and investigations that materially impacts the lives of women. Ms. Simmons’ aforementioned employment in government, law, and policy was the catalyst for her career in legal compliance, corporate consulting, and equity advocacy.

Ms. Simmons is a skilled trainer, facilitator and investigator. She executes and conducts various trainings on sexual harassment, Title IX regulations, equal employment opportunity, and diversity, equity, and inclusion. She currently serves as the Policy Director at the National Birth Equity Collaborative (NBEC) and as an adjunct professor at various universities throughout the year. Ms. Simmons earned her Bachelor’s Degree in Political Science from the University of South Carolina, a Master’s Degree in Public Administration at Grambling State University and her law degree from Charleston School of Law.


Michelle CohenMichelle Cohen (she/her), Member-at-Large

Michelle is passionate about helping birthing people have an embodied and supported childbearing season.  As a birth and Ayurvedic postpartum doula and prenatal and postnatal yoga teacher she supports birthers in group classes, personalized private sessions, labor support workshops, birth mentorship and compassionate birth and postpartum doula support. Michelle has been working with families since 2008, teaching hundreds of pregnant and new parents how to connect with their bodies and their babies, through breath, movement and mindful awareness.

When she’s not telling someone to lengthen their exhale, witnessing the miracle of birth, or trying to make a positive impact in the world, she’s spending time with her two energetic sons and husband in the heart of Washington, D.C. To learn more about Michelle, visit www.savoritstudios.com.


Ruthie ArbitRuthie Arbit, Member-at-Large

Ruthie is a perinatal and pediatric psychotherapist and the director of Arbit Counseling, a premier psychotherapy practice in DC and Maryland. Ruthie also works as a psychotherapist and researcher for the Department of Psychiatry at Medstar Georgetown University Hospital. Ruthie received her Masters in Social Work from Columbia University and a Masters of Arts from The Jewish Theological Seminary.Ruthie teaches, writes, and contributes to research in the field of perinatal and pediatric mental health and has been interviewed for publications including The Atlantic, The Washington Post, The Boston Globe, and Care.Com. Ruthie’s research has been published in the Journal of Maternal and Child Health and has been presented at national conferences including the Postpartum Support International Conference and the Marce of North America Conference. On a number of occasions, Ruthie has testified as an expert before the Washington D.C. City Council on behalf of maternal and child mental health bills. Ruthie lives in Washington DC and loves reading fantasy fiction, baking, and hiking with her three kids and her black labrador retriever.


Lori Mihalich-LevinLori Mihalich-Levin, JD, Member-at-Large

Lori believes in empowering working parents.  She is the founder and CEO of Mindful Return, author of Back to Work After Baby: How to Plan and Navigate a Mindful Return from Maternity Leave, and co-host of the Parents at Work Podcast.  Lori is mama to two wonderful red-headed boys, and is a health care lawyer in private practice.  Her thought leadership has been featured in publications including Forbes, The Washington Post, New York Times Parenting, and Thrive Global.

Want to make a difference in Washington, D.C.?

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PSI relies on members and contributions from the community to promote awareness, prevention, and treatment of maternal mental health issues related to childbearing.

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Become a PSI-DC Volunteer

There are many ways to help and volunteer with PSI, and we would love to have you join us. All are welcome at PSI! Survivors, mental health professionals, doulas, clinicians, and anyone else interested and passionate about raising awareness about perinatal mental health can volunteer through the chapter in order to give back to their local communities.

PSI Chapters are made up of a variety of local advocates and stakeholders who further the mission of PSI on a grassroots level. Chapters work on a wide range of initiatives that they develop based on their communities needs. While some chapters may focus on passing legislation, others may create a robust network of peer support groups, and all chapters provide scholarships for PSI trainings and events.

Contact the Chapter to find out about volunteer opportunities near you. Explore other volunteer opportunities on the PSI website.

Scholarships

PSI-DC offers scholarships for PSI perinatal mental health trainings and conferences.

Please contact the Chapter for more information.

PSI-DC News & Events

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