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Meeting a Hero and Supporting Moms

By The PHCD Team   |   August 27, 2016


We are so very please to have a guest blogger today - Allison Murphy, MFT and creator and clinician of Mothers Care

Mothers Care is an incredible program funded by PHCD that provides universal perinatal mood and anxiety screening, assessment and treatment here in Petaluma. In addition to founding Mothers Care and providing services, Allison is a huge advocate for children and families in our community, particularly in preventing and treating Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). 

Recently, Allison was invited to present on her work at the 29th Annual Postpartum Support International Conference . We are so proud of Allison and asked to share a bit on her experience, and she kindly obliged. 


Some people say you that should never meet your heroes. I'm not sure I agree with this statement.

This past June I had the opportunity to meet one of mine. I was speaking at the 29th Annual Postpartum Support International Conference (PSI) in San Diego. Dr.Vincent Felitti was a keynote speaker. Dr. Felitti is the co-author of the Adverse Childhood Experiences Study (ACEs). By most measures this is one of the most important contributions to understanding impact of childhood trauma on life long mental and physical health. From this landmark study, the field of trauma-informed care and resilience has become widely accepted. This is the same study that was featured in the May 2016, CHIPA and PHCD sponsored screening of Paper Tigers. His work has changed both my professional and personal life.

You can image how thrilled I was when my proposal to present was accepted by PSI, a leading organization in the field of Maternal Mental Health. My presentation was entitled: The Mothers Care Model: Physicians and Clinicians Creating Proactive Care. This was an opportunity to highlight work that has been so important to me. Mothers Care is an innovative research-based perinatal mood and anxiety screening, assessment and treatment program. In 2010, Dr. Anthony Kosinski, MD and I created the program and approached the PHCD for funding. To date, over 950 screens for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders have been completed. I am grateful and proud that PHCD still supports Mothers Care, so much so that recently the program has expanded to Santa Rosa with support of St. Joseph Healthcare System.

At Mothers Care, during the initial assessment, we administer the ACES screen. It is important to understand if a woman (or partner) is entering into pregnancy or postpartum impacted by childhood trauma. This has far sweeping implications for physical and mental health for a new family going forward. Because of Dr. Felitti’s great work, we know that neuroplasticity, healthy attachments, and effective mental health treatment can build resilience and help people heal from adverse childhood experiences. Mothers Care is proud to be a part of that healing. I am so glad I met one of my heroes!




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