PA-AIMH Breakfast Network Meeting Series - West Region

Event Information



See detailed description of each event for locations; scroll to FAQ for map links and further details.

Pittsburgh, PA

Refund Policy

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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Event description


The PA-AIMH Breakfast Network Meeting Series includes five breakfast meetings between September 2017 and June 2018, each providing education about issues related to infant and early childhood mental health. Every meeting will include an expert speaker, opportunities for Q&A, some time to network with others, and a light continental breakfast.

All are welcome! General public can attend for $10 per breakfast; discounts available for students and PA-AIMH members. See FAQ, below, for details.

Scroll down this page for FAQs.

  • Breakfast Network Meeting #1 (SOLD OUT)
    Birth Trauma: Causes, Consequences and Consolation
    Kathy McGrath, MSW, LCCE, FACCE, CD(DONA), Director, Birth Partners, Inc.
    Friday, September 8, 2017, 8:30-10:30 AM
    University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development
    400 N. Lexington St., Pittsburgh, PA 15208

We expect childbirth to be a demanding but satisfying send-off into parenthood, but for many women, it turns into something far less positive -- a frightening, distressing event which can have both short and long term physical and emotional consequences, including problems bonding with the baby, breastfeeding issues, depression, anxiety and strain on relationships. Learn about the impact of traumatic birth on mother, infant and partner, risk factors that make it more likely a birth will be experienced as traumatic, and some strategies for helping parents who have had a traumatic birth.

About the speaker: Kathy McGrath is a perinatal social worker specializing in issues related to childbearing. She is a certified childbirth educator and Fellow in the American College of Childbirth Educators, a DONA certified doula and doula trainer. She is a founding member of PATTCh (Prevention and Treatment of Traumatic Childbirth), an organization whose mission is to expand awareness and advance knowledge about traumatic birth and its adverse impact on childbearing women, their families and babies. She was a founding member of The Birth Circle, a local agency that provides birth education and labor support to women in need. She is currently a consultant with Kids Plus Pediatrics where she facilitates multiple support groups for new mothers, reaching between 80-100 mothers a week.

  • Breakfast Network Meeting #2:
    The Role of Reflective Processing and Reflective Supervision in Professional Growth and Development
    Diana Schwab M.Ed., LCSW, Developmental Specialist, Kids Plus Pediatrics
    Friday, November 10, 2017, 8:30-10:30 AM
    PaTTAN Pittsburgh
    3190 William Pitt Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Diana Schwab will speak about Reflective/Practice/ Supervision and its importance in daily practice for all whose work is impacted by principles of infant and early childhood mental health. This is NOT just for counselors! All who work with very young children and their families can benefit from using reflective practice to deepen their understanding of who they are in the work.

About the speaker: Diana Schwab, M.Ed., LCSW, has been working with young children and families for over 35 years. As both a psychotherapist working with young children/families and a consultant providing reflective consultation, Diana puts understanding the role of development and relationships at the center of her work. Diana has a private practice where she sees young children and their families, Developmental Specialist at Kids Plus Pediatrics, a reflective practice consultant to a myriad of agencies, individuals, and programs throughout Western Pennsylvania, and presents to a wide range of audiences about reflective practice, attachment processes and child development.

  • Breakfast Network Meeting #3:
    Attachment, Bonding & Breastfeeding: The Importance of Maternal Infant/Child Connection
    Friday, February 9, 2018, 8:30-10:30 AM
    University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development
    400 N. Lexington St., Pittsburgh, PA 15208

Ngozi Tibbs will discuss the process and importance of mother/infant bonding. Among the areas discussed will be: how maternal depression affects maternal infant attachment; how trauma, such as domestic violence, physical violence and sexual abuse, impacts the maternal infant bond; when professionals should make appropriate referrals to available support circles in the community to assist mothers, babies and families; and the role of breastfeeding in the healthy bonding process.

About the speaker: Ngozi D. Tibbs is founder of Sankofa Childbirth Education & Lactation Services and co-founder of The Pittsburgh Black Breastfeeding Circle (PBBC). She holds a Bachelor's Degree in Maternal Child Health and a Masters Degree in Public Health. Ngozi is a Certified Childbirth Trainer and Educator through Lamaze International (LCCE) and an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC). She has served as both a private and community based doula and currently provides childbirth education and lactation consulting at a local hospital.

  • Breakfast Network Meeting #4:
    The Role of Experiences in Shaping Brain Development: How to Promote Sturdy Brain Development
    Judy Cameron, Ph.D.
    Friday, April 13, 2018, 8:30-10:30 AM
    PaTTAN Pittsburgh
    3190 William Pitt Way, Pittsburgh, PA 15238

Dr. Judy Cameron will speak about how the architecture of the brain is formed as brain circuits are built from the prenatal period until about 25 years of age, with the greatest burst of development occurring in the early years of life. Her talk will show how experiences interact with genetics to shape the brain circuits that children form and will use the rest of their lives for all that they do: speaking, thinking, emotional regulation, activities, problem solving. The impact of early life adversity on the development of brain circuits and how to help children strengthen brain pathways to promote resilience will be discussed.

About the speaker: Judy Cameron, Ph.D., is a Professor of Psychiatry and the Clinical Translational Science Institute at the University of Pittsburgh. For 10 years she was a member of the MacArthur Foundation Research Network on Early Experience and Brain Development and she is currently a member of the National Scientific Council on the Developing Child and the Scientific Council of the Child Mind Institute. Research areas in Dr. Cameron’s lab include the interaction between genetic factors and early life experiences on shaping behavioral development, identification of factors that lead to stress sensitivity versus stress resilience, and the interactions between physical health and mental health. Dr. Cameron’s newest research initiative is Working for Kids: Building Skills™, which is a novel community-based program that teaches the fundamentals of brain development to those who work with children at a community level. This initiative provides a community training program and is evaluating the effect of this intervention on child development as well as health. The program has won innovation awards in Pittsburgh, as well as from the National Science Foundation.

  • Breakfast Network Meeting #5:
    Family Narratives: An Infant Mental Health Intervention
    Christopher Dunkerley, M.S. & Vivian Herman, M.S.W.
    Friday, June 8, 2018, 8:30-10:30 AM
    University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development
    400 N. Lexington St., Pittsburgh, PA 15208

This presentation will provide a description of the use of Family Narratives in an existing EHS home-visiting program as an intervention to support healthy relationships between parents and their very young children. The presenters will describe the setting of this intervention as well as implementation strategies. The use of Family Narratives has been shown to provide a clearer picture to both families and intervention teams of the impact of life events on the mother-child relationship. More importantly, the development of these narratives has helped both home visitors and families see that “change” is possible. The presenters will provide case examples that have utilized genograms, family discussions, development of “listening skills”, reflective supervision, and case and team conferences as the basis for narrative development.

About the speakers: Vivian Herman, M.S.W., provides Infant Mental Health consultation and has spent the past 25 years promoting and establishing Infant Mental Health services in Allegheny and surrounding counties. Her work primarily revolved around programs for mothers & babies living in poverty particularly with the University of Pittsburgh Early Head Start. She is a founding member of the PA-AIMH Board and provided instruction in IMH principles as adjunct faculty in Chatham University. She has been trained and rostered in Child-Parent Psychotherapy and provides home visitor coaching services based on IMH Endorsement competencies. Her focus has been on the promotion of relationships with families to support their own relationship to their children. She has both studied and presented in multiple arenas on Family Interactions and parent-child relationships.
Chris Dunkerley, M.S., is the Director of the University of Pittsburgh, Family Foundations Early Head Start program. He has a Master's Degree from the University of Pittsburgh's Child Development/Child Care program and an Infant Mental Health Certificate from Chatham University. Chris began his work with the Family Foundations EHS program in 1997 first as a Home Visitor, then as the Child Development Specialist. He became the Program Coordinator for the Family Foundation’s Clairton site in 1999. In 2005 he was hired as the Family & Community Engagement/Training Coordinator and most recently he was named the Program Director in 2012. Family Foundations Early Head Start’s philosophy is based on Infant Mental Health principles and the work with dyadic relationships/ interactions between babies and their mom/dad/primary caregiver. In addition, Chris was an adjunct faculty member in the Infant Mental Health Certificate Program at Chatham University. He participated in the Development of and continues to teach the online Practices & Principles of Infant Mental Health Intervention course to Certificate, Bachelor-level and Master-level students.

More information available soon.


Can I receive professional development credit for attending Breakfast Network Meeting events?

All PA-AIMH Breakfast Network Meeting events are aligned with the PA-AIMH Infant Mental Health Endorsement® (IMH-E®) system. Click here to learn more about IMH-E®.

The following credits are available:

  • PQAS (early childhood educators): Please indicate your 7-digit PA Key PD Registry ID number with your registration. No additional fee for PQAS hours. 1.5 hours for each breakfast event.

  • Act 48: Please indicate your PA Department of Education Professional Personnel ID number (PPID) with your registration. No additional fee for Act 48 hours. 1.5 hours for each breakfast event.

  • CEU: CEU credits are only available to participants who attend the entire breakfast series. This series is approved to provide 10 clock hours of continuing education for Social Workers, Counselors, Nurses, and Certified Peer Specialists. CEU credits will be received after attendance at all five events is completed. A fee of $30 (in addition to any registration fee), payable by check at the first event, will be charged for all 10 CEU hours.

Do I need to be a member of PA-AIMH to attend?

No, all are welcome! While the Pennsylvania Association for Infant Mental Health (PA-AIMH) is a membership organization, non-members are welcome. Each breakfast meeting costs $10 for non-members (or $5 for student non-members); members attend free.

To register:

  • Click the green "Register" button.

  • Indicate the number of people you are registering in the dropdown menu for each event date.

  • To receive a discounted rate, click the "Apply Promotional Code" link. Enter "Student" for 50% discount or "Member" for free registration. Your discounted registration rate will be reflected.
    Proof of student status (valid ID) or PA-AIMH Membership status will be required at the door if a discount has been applied to registration.

What are my transportation/parking options for getting to and from these events?

  • University of Pittsburgh Office of Child Development (September, February and June events):

Click here for Google Map to Office of Child Development

Free parking is available in the lot adjacent to the building.

Port Authority bus routes 67, 69, and 71C have stops at Penn Ave. & Lexington (outbound on Penn), with a 3 block walk from the stop down Lexington St. to the building. Inbound stops are at Penn & Homewood Ave. and Penn opposite Carnegie Place.

Please sign in at the security desk at the building's entrance. Proceed to the elevator and take to the basement level; turn right off the elevator to proceed to the conference room.

  • PaTTAN Pittsburgh (November and April events):

Click here for Google Map to PaTTAN Pittsburgh

Free parking is available at this facility. There is no public transporation to this site.

Do I have to bring my printed ticket to the event?

No, there will be sign-in at the conference room with your registration information.

What is your refund policy?

Before the event, registrants who will not be able to attend will be able to transfer their registration to a later event in the PA-AIMH breakfast network meeting series. Sorry, no refunds are available.

How can I contact the organizer with any questions?

Please email Patrick Webster at websterp2@upmc.edu with any questions.

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See detailed description of each event for locations; scroll to FAQ for map links and further details.

Pittsburgh, PA

Refund Policy

No Refunds

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