ABOUT US

Supporting Washington Care Providers & Families Since 1989.

Perinatal Support Washington (PS-WA) is a statewide non-profit committed to shining a light on perinatal mental health to support all families and communities. We support people in the emotional transition to parenthood, including those experiencing depression, anxiety, loss, infertility, trauma, and more. Find out what's new at Perinatal Support Washington.

Our toll-free telephone support line, the "Warm Line", has been operating since 1991, providing peer support to parents in need. We also offer mental health therapy, free and low-cost new parent support groups, culturally-matched peer support in King County, training and consultation for health care providers, and education and advocacy. We do all of this with the help of our dedicated staff, board members, and dozens of volunteers.

While we are based in the Seattle metro area, our support resources are found all over our beautiful state of Washington. Check out our directory to search for resources in your area, or learn more about opportunities for collaboration in your community, or become a professional member of Perinatal Support WA. Perinatal Support WA is proud to manage the WA Postpartum Support International State Chapter.

Learn more about our work by viewing our Theory of Change and 2025 Strategic Plan Dashboard.

OUR TEAM

Dr. Gore

Dr. Ayanna L. Gore, Interim Executive Director

Dr. Gore

Dr. Ayanna L. Gore- Interim Executive Director

Dr. Ayanna L. Gore, brings over 16 years of diverse leadership experience in nonprofit spaces, merging learnings from a distinguished career in education into a pivotal role as the Interim Executive Director for Perinatal Support Washington. Armed with a Ed.D. in Educational Leadership from DePaul University Chicago, Dr. Gore's journey as a systemic iniquity interrupter and dedicated advocate for diversity, equity, and inclusion has uniquely prepared her for the critical role of guiding families through the perinatal mental health journey.

Dr. Gore's transformative leadership is exemplified by her successful turnaround of a school in Chicago and her tenure as a school leader and Executive Director at Summit Sierra High School in Seattle. Notably, she played a key role in reshaping African American Studies in Washington state, showcasing her commitment to inclusivity and representation.

In addition to her educational pursuits, Dr. Gore has gained significant leadership experience from serving as the Vice President of Selection at Teach For America, where she innovated systems in pursuit of educational equity. As the CEO and Founder of Gorejus Incorporated, a consulting business dedicated to health, wellness, and anti-racist living, she has extended her mission to foster positive transformations beyond the realm of education.

As the Interim Executive Director for Perinatal Support Washington, Dr. Gore brings her passion for meaningful transformation to the forefront. Her vision is to create an inclusive space guided by anti-racist principles, ensuring that families navigating perinatal mental health challenges receive the support and resources they need. Dr. Gore's commitment to empowerment extends beyond education, making her a dedicated advocate for the well-being of families during the critical perinatal period.

ayanna.gore (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

Daniellee Yamamoto

Danielle Yamamoto, Interim Operations Director

Daniellee Yamamoto

Danielle Yamamoto, MSW, Interim Operations Director (she/her)

Danielle joined Perinatal Support Washington in 2020. At the time was the fourth staff member and was the first person to answer live on the Warm Line. Her role has changed significantly over the years and she now serves as the Interim Operations Director. She is passionate about serving her community and is proud to be a part of such a dedicated and mighty team of caring people.

In her free time Danielle enjoys spending time with her dog, Annabelle, binging shows on Netflix and going out to eat.

Danielle.Yamamoto (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

Victoria Cherniak

Victoria Cherniak, Senior Warm Line Program Manager

Victoria Cherniak

Victoria Cherniak (she/her), Senior Warm Line Program Manager

In addition to her work with PS-WA, Victoria is a postpartum doula supporting families as they navigate the new and ever-shifting landscape of parenthood and has been a long time board member of NAPS Doulas.

Victoria worked as a social worker before her work in the postpartum world. Her positions included the Economic Justice Project at Columbia Legal Services doing public education and policy work in Olympia focused on consumer justice issues and at the King County Bar Association, she managed two pro bono programs that served the legal needs of immigrants and people experiencing homelessness. In 2007 she received the Golden Door Award from Northwest Immigrant Rights Project (NWIRP) for her work with the Newcomers Resource Project which trained volunteer attorneys to assist undocumented workers to recover wages employers intentionally withheld. In 1999 she received her MSW from the University of Michigan specializing in practice with communities and social systems.

Victoria lives in Seattle with her two children and dreams of summer when she can camp and backpack with her children.

Victoria.Cherniak (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

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Elizabeth Moore Simpson, PERC Program Manager

Elizabeth Photo

Elizabeth Moore Simpson (she/her), LSWAIC, PERC Program Manager

Is a mother of two and identifies as a bereaved parent. She had over ten years of experience before coming to PS-WA.  Through an infant-early childhood mental and maternal health lens Elizabeth has practiced as a doula, restorative justice circle keeper, child and family therapist, and community organizer for racial and economic justice. These are commitments that extend beyond her professional career as a social worker and are integral to how she views her responsibility to those whose land she resides on (Occupied Duwamish) and her community.

Currently Elizabeth practices as a perinatal therapist and abortion doula and is the program manager for PS-WA’s Parent Resilience Program. She is passionate about supporting families impacted by the Child Welfare System to sustain, develop and strengthen secure attachments with family and community.  Elizabeth enjoys the work of connecting and finding essential resources for families and operating in that puzzle-solving navigational capacity. She aspires to bring levity, integrity and realness to her work with colleagues and families and can often be found brainstorming better check-in questions to improve her meeting facilitation game. 

Elizabeth.MooreSimpson (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

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Kimiko Goldberg, Development & Communications Manager

Kimiko Bio Photo

Kimiko Goldberg, MPA, Development & Communications Manager (she/her)

Kimiko has worked in the nonprofit sector for nearly 20 years in roles including Communications and Advocacy, with the bulk of her time spent specifically in Fundraising. As a mother who has experienced Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders herself, She is incredibly excited to join PS-WA's heroic team.

Kimiko earned her Masters of Public Administration from Evergreen State College, and prior to that majored in Social Sciences at UW. Unafraid to face the toughest challenges, she wants to bring more attention to maternal mental health issues which are critically underrepresented and underfunded in the US.  

Kimiko is also a Fundraising Consultant who adheres to the Community-Centric Fundraising model which treats donors as partners and acts to end exploitative practices and outdated, inequitable fundraising models.

She lives in Seattle, and on her days off, you can find her spending time with her little one and diving into making candles, jewelry, and other things to share.

Kimiko.goldberg (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

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Karina Saunders, Community Outreach & Training Manager

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Karina Saunders (she/her), Community Outreach & Training Manager

Karina loves people and creating spaces for connection and community-building. In both her nonprofit and higher education background, karina has advocated and created programming for bringing BIPOC students together and expanding support for people experiencing food insecurity and homelessness. In all her roles she has worked to center marginalized voices and create spaces for connection, learning, and reflection.

Karina is excited to join the PS-WA team as she navigates her own postpartum mental health journey. She is a strong advocate for the role peer support groups play in perinatal mental health and the bonus of long-term friendships that sometimes result. She's excited to join the inspiring all-star PS-WA team and support the expansion and defining of resources for people in the perinatal period. She plans to put her master's in education to work encouraging the budding perinatal support communities across Washington state.

Karina recently moved to Tacoma and when not working or figuring out mothering two little ones, you can find her running, exploring trails, or finding ways to gather people around good food. As an East Coast transplant, she's always up for discussing best pizza and marveling at the mountains!
karina.saunders (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org
Latonia Westerfield

La Tonia Bussell-Packard, Parent Resilience Specialist

Latonia Westerfield

La Tonia Bussell-Packard (they/she), Parent Resilience Specialist, Traditional Midwife

La Tonia is a queer Black femme who supports pregnant and parenting families as a Parent Resilience Specialist in King County. They serve as an encouraging resource and witness for parents navigating the perinatal mental health landscape by using their firsthand experience as a parent who has lived with anxiety and depression. La Tonia knows firsthand the barriers that exist for Black and queer folx seeking support for their mental health. La Tonia has experienced personal and professional loss, which allows them to offer supportive tools and skills that are based on lived experience and shared community ways of ‘knowing’ and processing grief and loss. 

La Tonia has spent the last 7+ years advocating for families, attending births, and providing compassionate care as a birth doula and student midwife. They graduated from midwifery school in June 2021 and now practice and attend births as a traditional midwife. In all their work, La Tonia centers Black, Indigenous, and QTPOC families in their role as a midwife, doula, and peer. They use the framework and lens of reproductive justice, the intersections of race, class, gender/sexuality, and ability, and radical rest politics when supporting families in their community.

latonia.bussellpackard (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org
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Stephanie Valerdi, Parent Resilience Specialist

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Stephanie Valerdi (she/her/they/them), Parent Resilience Specialist

Stephanie Valerdi is a queer Latinx single parent of a child with special needs. Stephanie supports Latinx, BIPOC, and QPOC families in King county. Stephanie has been supporting families for the last 9 years with a foundation in community programs, and early childhood education.

Stephanie has personal experience navigating the mental health systems as an immigrant, and is passionate about using their skills to help families access support in a culturally informed way empowering parents in their own self advocacy journey. Stephanie is passionate about connecting latinx parents and building a community proud of our culture, and resilience.

Stephanie is supportive in listening and using their lived experience to help bridge the stigma of talking about mental health within the Latinx community. Stephanie’s personal experience with Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs), and trauma, has empowered them in their career to provide compassionate and informed care to the families they work with.

stephanie.valerdi (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

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LeChante' Raiwalui, Parent Resilience Specialist/Indigenous Emotional Support 'Bestie'

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LeChante' Raiwalui (she/her), Parent Resilience Specialist/Indigenous Emotional Support 'Bestie'

LeChante’ is a mom of two beautiful soulmates. Her mental health journey is delicately woven into her birth and postpartum stories, and growth through parenting. The foundation of LeChante’s career as a Birth Navigator began with developing her Birth Doula skills. She quickly found herself strengthening her natural gift for introspection and heart-searching while facilitating supportive pregnancy care and parent support groups. While cultural affirmation and reclamation from a Pacific Islander and African American cultural lens is at the heart of LeChante’s work, she also leans on techniques for mindfulness and mental health advocacy, allowing for caregivers of any stage the space to explore and embrace deeper self-awareness in connection to their inner and outer worlds.

As a Parent Resilience Specialist/Indigenous Emotional Support ‘Bestie’, LeChante’s intention is to embody the way of her ancestors' ancient practice called ‘WayFinding’. To act as a ‘Hoturoa’ in Maori meaning head of the canoe, a modern mentor for families who are seeking support while navigating the waters of life. She studies her personal, cultural, spiritual, and familial experiences just as her ancestors studied the stars to guide her canoe through pivotal seasons of life. Gratitude fills her heart knowing the strength and trust it takes for families to allow her into their lives to embrace sacred and necessary connections of the Matavuvale (family).

lechante.raiwalui (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

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Melissa Burden, Warm Line Program Specialist

Melissa website photo

Melissa Burden (she/her), Warm Line Program Specialist

Melissa supports Perinatal Support Washington as the Warm Line Program Specialist. She is a mother to one, and after experiencing a PMAD herself became a dedicated volunteer and patient advocate for those who are struggling through the perinatal experience. As the Warm Line Program specialist, she supports the volunteers who provide the warm support and helpful resources to parents who are struggling and need space to be held. She also answers on the Warm Line, aligning with her dedication to supporting parents. Additionally, she dedicates her time to volunteering as a facilitator of a peer-support group. She is trained in the GPS (Group Peer Support) model, and is going on 4 years of facilitating for the Village Circle (Bellingham, WA). Melissa resides in Bellingham, Washington and spends her spare time building Lego with her 4 year old, reading, and spending time with her family & friends.

melissa.burden (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

Aida PSW

Aida Juarez, Therapist & Warm Line Bilingual Specialist

Aida PSW

Aida Juarez (she/her), Warm Line Bilingual Specialist

Aida coordinates our Spanish Warm Line, supporting our Spanish-speaking callers, developing culturally-relevant policies and procedures, and translating outreach materials. Aida joined PS-WA after attending a group peer support (GPS) training in Yakima.

For the past 20 years, Aida has been working with pregnant mothers, infants, and their families, providing brief counseling and referrals as a certified counselor and lactation specialist. She is the Social Services Department Manager at Tri-Cities Community Health, running the day-to-day operations of the department’s Maternity Support Services, WIC, Peer Counselor, and Outreach Programs.

Aida.Juarez (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

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Ada Figueroa, Warm Line Bilingual Specialist

Ada Figueroa headshot

Ada Figueroa (she/her) Warm Line Bilingual Specialist

Ada Figueroa is coming to us from her liaison position where she passionately advocated for language access and navigation of public education systems for Spanish speaking communities in Pierce County.
As a Latina mother of two having gone through the emotional stew of parenthood, she has supported Latinx mothers through the peer support group Caminemos Juntos. She has had the opportunity to serve disabled individuals as well as implement behavioral plans for children with Autism and related disorders.
She enjoys spending time with her family, going to festivals and traveling. She is also very passionate about herbology and reviving cultural herb practices for self healing.

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Stephanie Lewis, Parent Support and Warm Line Specialist

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Stephanie Lewis, (she/her) Parent Support and Warm Line Specialist

My name is Stephanie Lewis and I am a wife , and mother to 3. I have served the African American/black community as a doula for 3 years and found my passion in supporting families as they transitioned into parenthood and the postpartum period. Shortly after attending births as a doula, I began to facilitate PEPs groups for black/african american families in my community and have a passion for holding space for families during this transitional time and offering support around resources, education and ways to pour into their wellness through parenting.

After having my last child, I had a challenging time with my mental health trying to adjust to being a mother of 3 and feeling isolated with lack of community. Over the years navigating my mental health and finding the tools and support I needed made all the difference for me. I want to be able to share and support others the way I wish I had support in such a rocky time. Being able to join PS-WA and hold space for families on the warm line and support them in finding the resources they need to create wellness for themselves is an honor. 

I have a passion for learning and exploring holistic health and wellness and teach yoga in my community. I homeschool my 3 children and love being outdoors in nature whenever I can.

stephanie.lewis (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

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Nathan Friend, Warm Line Dad Specialist

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Nathan Friend (he/him), Warm Line Dad Specialist

In his work on the Warm Line, Nathan Friend supports Dads and non-birthing partners to navigate the struggles of new parenthood. Nathan became passionate about perinatal mental health after his own challenges with pregnancy loss, traumatic births, and difficult newborn periods. A compassionate listener who loves cloudy days and any kind of movement, Nathan comes from white Southern farmers, Jewish butchers and three-generations of Seattlites. He lives in a vibrant multi-generational, multiracial, multilingual household with his spouse, three young children and rotating housemates.

nathan.friend (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

Megan

Megan Sloan, Operations Coordinator

Megan

Megan Sloan, Operations Coordinator

Megan joined Perinatal Support Washington in 2023 as the Operations Coordinator. She has been a part of the Seattle birthing community for over ten years and has regularly recommended Perinatal Support Washington to her pregnant and postpartum students. As a pre/postnatal yoga teacher she was often surprised that she was the first point of contact for students looking for support and resources they couldn’t find elsewhere and as she watched students struggle in pregnancy and as new parents, she became passionate about providing people the positive resources they needed to navigate this challenging time. Her own direct experiences with conception and pregnancy as a queer family and her own struggles postpartum have made her passionate about normalizing the struggles of parenthood and facilitating the establishment of systems of support for new families. 

In her free time Megan and her wife and their two kiddos try to spend as much time outdoors as possible whether its hiking, growing veggies in their garden or travelling locally and internationally to adventure as a family.

Megan.sloan (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

Kelli Mae

Kelli Mae Willis, Program Support Coordinator

Kelli Mae

Kelli Mae Willis, Program Support Coordinator

Kelli Mae joined PS-WA as a Warm Line volunteer in 2020 and deeply appreciated being able to provide support and understanding to new parents in that role. She was excited to have the opportunity to join the staff as Program Support Coordinator in 2022. Previously, Kelli Mae provided administrative support to various yoga and wellness programs. She enjoys knowing her work helps people access the resources they need to heal and thrive.
Outside of PS-WA, Kelli Mae facilitates programming for children and families based in Olympia, WA. She shares mindfulness, yoga, and nature education with her community, and lives in Olympia with her husband, two daughters, one dog and 4 chickens!
kellimae.willis (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org
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Kay Hwang, Program Support Coordinator

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Kay Hwang

Kay Hwang joined PS-WA in 2021 and provides program and operational support. She has worked in higher education for 12 years and finds it fulfilling to serve individuals, families and care providers in the perinatal professions since 2011. 

Eager to play a role in advocating for mental health care and wellness, she is gratified to provide assistance and learn from other people’s diverse perspectives and experiences. 

Kay studied economics at the University of Washington and resides in Seattle. She loves yoga, the changing seasons, exploring different cultures & cuisines, and cats.

kay.hwang (at) perinatalsupport (dot) org

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Heather Taft, Therapist

Heather Taft Bio Pic

Heather Taft, BA, SUDP, MAc

When we face difficulties in life, often there is a tendency to want to move away from the pain rather than accept our current circumstances. This is a very natural response. However, as the saying goes, what we resist, persists. Many of our mental health challenges are rooted in deeper stories that are calling out to be heard. I am here to listen, understand, and support you. My background as an addiction counselor has allowed me to work with individuals who are experiencing a wide range of difficulties, including depression, anxiety, grief and loss, trauma, life transitions, parenting challenges, birth trauma, and addiction issues. I offer a very warm, nonjudgmental, and strengths-based approach to counseling. My areas of interest in counseling include perinatal mental health, somatic experiencing, mind-body connection, intergenerational trauma, attachment parenting, and examination of core relational dynamics. Together, we will create a safe space for you to process through life’s current challenges, build skills and support as needed, and help you tap into the many strengths that you already possess.

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Emily Raabe, Therapist

Emily R

Emily Raabe, LSWAIC, Therapist (she/her)

My name is Emily Raabe. I am a mother to a five and seven year old, and I am working with families through the transitions of parenthood. I received my Bachelor's of Arts (BA) in Psychology from San Francisco State University and then went on to receive my Master's in Social Work (MSW) with a mental health concentration from the University of Washington. I completed a practicum at Perinatal Support Washington focusing on the Warm Line where I offer support and resources to clients. I followed up with a practicum at Perinatal Support Washington as an intern therapist where I received training specifically in perinatal therapy.

I strive to be a source of support through early parenthood, a time where I personally could have benefited from more mental health support. My interests include perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, the challenges around feeding babies, relationships, birth trauma, infertility, grief and loss and young and/or first time moms.

I believe that support is crucial, and in our society, perinatal individuals don’t often get the support they need. I am passionate towards giving clients a supportive space where they can discuss their authentic experience within pregnancy and postpartum. Our culture serves us a picture of perinatal perfection but that wasn’t my reality and I am here to guide clients through their own perinatal experience. I focus on self care, mindful self compassion and coping strategies to give clients a space to develop skills that can help support them throughout parenthood.

In my free time I like cooking and eating delicious food, socializing and meeting new people, listening to podcasts and going on coffee and muffin dates with my kids.

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Haley Brandenburg, Therapist

Hayley

Haley Brandenburg, LICSWA (she/her)

My name is Haley Brandenburg. I hold an undergraduate degree in Psychology from Washington State University and a Masters degree in clinical Social Work from Walla Walla University. I have experience conducting therapy groups with children and adolescents within an educational setting.

OUR BOARD + VOLUNTEERS

.Perinatal Support Washington is a small but mighty statewide nonprofit and we are growing. We do a lot with very little - thanks to the help of our volunteers! If you are interested in volunteering or joining our Board of Directors. Contact us here.

Board openings include: Fundraising, Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion (DEI), HR, & more! Read more here.

Volunteer opportunities include: Warm Line Support, helping out at events, sharing your story, and more.

Maggie Meyers
Maggie Meyers

Maggie Meyers, Board Chair

Maggie Meyers works as Deputy Chief Communications Officer for the Washington State Charter Schools Association, a statewide nonprofit that supports a free, public, innovative options that meet the needs of systemically underserved students. A communicator by trade and at heart, Maggie is a fierce advocate for families who have been marginalized in and beyond our education systems. Maggie’s own experience becoming a mom and navigating the preconception to postpartum period fuels her deep belief in the importance of maternal mental health care, and to PS-WA she brings a commitment to increasing access to just, equitable, and quality care for all parents.

 

Maggie previously worked for a local, women-owned marketing firm, and as an NYC magazine coordinator, freelance editor, and writer for various magazines and children’s book publishers. Maggie earned her B.A. from Bowdoin College and holds a Master of Education in Language, Literacy, and Culture from the University of Washington. Outside of work, Maggie is in the throes of early childhood parenting with her husband and enjoys chasing their two young sons around Seattle’s parks and playgrounds.

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Amy Johnston, Board Vice Chair

Amy Johnston manages executive engagement at Pivotal Ventures, an investment and incubation company dedicated to advancing social progress for women and girls in the United States. Prior to this, she served at the U.S. Department of State, furthering the foreign policy agenda of the Obama administration in legislative and public affairs. Amy attended Whitman College and received a J.D. from University of Oregon’s Knight School of Law. 

After experiencing crippling postpartum depression after the birth of her second child, Amy became painfully aware of the isolation and barriers faced by parents struggling with postpartum mental health issues. New parenthood is overwhelming, whether it’s your first child or your fifth. Amy is dedicated to ensuring equitable access to postpartum care and mental health resources for all new parents in Washington State and is grateful for the opportunity to do so with PS-WA. She is lucky to have two young children and in her free time can be found chasing them around with her husband, spending time with friends, traveling, foraging for Dungeness and mushrooms, and cooking.

Angie Myers
Angie Myers

Angie Myers, Board Treasurer

Angie Myers is a Certified Financial Planner® and Client Analyst at Laird Norton Wealth Management, where she supports families’ financial planning and facilitates impactful philanthropy. After losing 2 pregnancies, and experiencing postpartum mood disorders after the birth of both of her children, Angie realized the strength mothers possess, and their ability to heal when they are adequately supported during one of the most vulnerable times in their lives. Angie believes that the grief we endure in life is powerful as it can motivate us to reach out to support others facing similar challenges. She does this by advocating for financial resources, and sharing the incredible story of the life-changing, and sometimes life-saving, services that Perinatal Support of Washington can provide. She has a background in wealth management, community engagement, and fundraising for a variety of nonprofits, but feels most called to support families with young children.

Angie lives in Snohomish County with her husband, a teacher and football coach, and her two children and two rescue pups. In her free time (what’s that?!) she is an avid reader, furniture refinisher, and student of using power tools.

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Head Shot 2020

Dr. Chelsia Berry

Dr. Chelsia Berry, the Dean of STEM & Business at Seattle Central College, began her pursuit of higher education at Dillard University in New Orleans, Louisiana as a Biology major and later earned both her master's and doctorate degrees from Howard University in Washington, DC.  Her research examines the impact of early STEM exposure on African American students’ post- secondary STEM aspirations. Prior to moving to the Pacific Northwest, she spent time in the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area as an educator. Dr. Berry has over 15 years of experience working in STEM at all levels of public education - teacher, principal, professor, department chairperson, curriculum writer, grant reviewer, and consultant. Dr. Berry has made State and national presentations to several professional groups including the Research Association of Minority Professors, Academy of Educational Studies, and National Science Teachers Association on educational leadership and STEM education.  Most recently she presented on the merit, honor, and excellence of Women in Educational Leadership conference in Washington, D.C. 

She currently serves on the United Negro College Fund (UNCF) Seattle Leadership Council, and Washington Math Engineering Science Achievement (MESA) Advisory Board. Additionally, Dr. Berry volunteers with the Northwest African American Museum, The Greater Seattle Chapter of the Links, Inc., the Phenomenal She organization, and Howard University Alumni Club of Greater Seattle. 

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Kaleena Trimpe

Kaleena Trimpe, ARNP is a Family Nurse Practitioner in Spokane, WA with 10 years of pediatric and family experience. She loves working with new families and making the healthcare experience simpler and less rushed. She has extensive newborn and infant feeding experience. After struggling with breastfeed her own children, she undertook more specialized lactation training and is happy to be able to support other parents in their feeding journeys. Kaleena understands the intersection of infant feeding and maternal mental health and has become perinatal mental health certified in the last year.

Kaleena and her husband have two children and a couple of dogs. She enjoys hiking in the PNW, going to the local lakes, and biking with her kids (usually to the ice cream shop!).

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Shantell Smith

My name is Shantell Smith, and I’m a contract coordinator for Astronics AES which is an aviation empower supply vendor. I’m a transplant to the Seattle area of 5 years originating from Memphis TN. My professional background includes experience in finance and social work. Before relocating to Seattle, I worked as a family support worker and liaison for Lebonheur Children’s Hospital in conjunction with the FedExfamilyhouse. That position allowed me the opportunity to develop a full spectrum view of what happens when childbirth does not go according to plan and the aftermath for the family. I have had my own experience with postpartum depression after my first child which did not come to surface level until she was about six months old and continued until after the birth of my third child. When the opportunity was presented by my dear sister and friend Dr. Chelsia Berry, I did not hesitate to raise my hand and get involved.

Outside of work, you can find me spending time with my three girls Kennedy 19, Madison 18, and Reagan 16. They keep me very busy with all their activities and sports. I enjoy traveling, reading, and my new hobby yardwork.

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Sumi Garg

Sumi Garg is a Perinatal and Family therapist in the greater Seattle area. She spent the first part of her career in Customer Business Development at Procter and Gamble. After having her first baby, she found mixed support in her postpartum care and decided to make a career pivot to help other new parents. During her postpartum journey she felt like a fish out of water, struggling with PPD, PPA, and subclinical levels of PPOCD. Mental Health support during her journey positively impacted her relationship with her new baby and partner as well as the ability to find joy in motherhood. She is a past warm line volunteer and continues to make an impact as a PS-WA board member.
When she’s not at work, you can find her chasing after her 2 year old, making art creations with her 6 year old, teaching Indian dance, and leaning into this stage of her life with her partner.
Shantell for web
Shantell for web

Lara Effland

Lara Effland is highly respected in the mental health community, with extensive experience in treating adults with eating disorders, mood disorders, anxiety, and trauma. She is the Director of Adult Program Development at Equip, a virtual eating disorder treatment center that operates nationwide. Before joining Equip, she served as Regional Clinical Director at the Eating Recovery Center and Pathlight Mood and Anxiety Center. There, she co-developed a program for mood and anxiety and played a key role in launching new treatment centers across the U.S.

In addition to her clinical work, in 2021, Lara founded the Clinician Development Collective. This organization focuses on mentoring mental health therapists and offering clinical supervision, consultation, and training.

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Doug Lacy-Roberts

Doug served as President of Parent Support of Puget Sound (P.S.) for 4 years in the early 2000s and for 2.5 years from November 2021 until June 2024. He became a board member as a result of the recent merger of P.S. into Perinatal Support Washington.   

After the loss of his son Cameron at birth in October 2000, Doug wanted to start a support group for parents who had also suffered a loss. Doug, his wife Karen, and Chaplain Luann McBride started a grief support group in Olympia in 2001. Soon thereafter, the Olympia support group became a P.S. support group and Doug became a P.S. board member. Later, Doug became P.S. President. During his first 4 years as President, P.S. became financially sound, grew significantly, and it increased its support group presence and its program offerings.

Karen and Doug also had four miscarriage losses, and Karen died on May 15, 2019, after a long struggle with breast cancer. Doug feels it is important to honor his five children (losses) and his wife. Each day, he thinks about them and they give him hope.  

Doug is blessed by his daughter, Jadan. Karen and Doug adopted her from Panama in June 2005. 

Doug is retired. He has benefited greatly from his association with P.S., as a support group participant and facilitator and as a leader. He looks forward to serving as a Perinatal Support Washington board member and working with its staff, management, and board to successfully implement the merger of these two fine organizations.   

THANK YOU TO OUR FUNDING PARTNERS: