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The Pregnancy and Postpartum Resource Coalition is a 501(c)3 nonprofit corporation, originally founded in 2003 by Meeka Centimano.
The mission of PPRC is to improve the emotional well-being of families before and after the birth of a child.
Sally Riley is the President of PPRC and volunteer coordinator. She is a certified childbirth educator, DONA certified advanced birth doula, DONA birth doula trainer and a certified breastfeeding educator. She is the Co-Director of the Academy of Certified Birth Educators and a member of The Doulas of Greater Kansas City (doulasofgreaterkansascity.org) and the Pregnancy and Infant Committee with Mother and Child Health Coalition. Her self-care includes playing with her grandson, reading good books, watching a good drama on television, and talking with friends.
Teresa Marshall is the Vice President of PPRC. She is a mother of four and has 4 grandchildren. She became a certified birth doula in 2008 and postpartum doula in 2009 She has attended over 300 births and has helped 100's of families with their newest member(s). She has facilitated a support groups and volunteered on the warm line. She is currently the Vice President of the Pregnancy and Postpartum Resource Center and is a active member of Doulas of Greater Kansas City.
Melissa Jackson is a registered nurse and an international board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC). She has four daughters and an adorable grandson (pictured with her). She works part-time at a local hospital as a lactation consultant and has her own private practice for lactation support and education, as well. Having experienced postpartum depression following the birth of her fourth daughter, she is familiar with how incredibly debilitating and frightening it can be. The continuous, nonjudgmental support of good friends, family and a therapist is what ultimately helped her to survive this incredibly difficult time. Her self-care includes taking her dog to the dog park and crocheting.
In 2013, Jane began working on developing a program to address maternal mental health, which became the Perinatal Community Initiative, a grant program partially funded by the Health Forward Foundations (formerly known as Healthcare Foundation of Greater Kansas City). Since implementing this grant to advocate for screening all pregnant women for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMADs) and providing adequate referrals and treatment, Jane joined the Pregnancy and Postpartum Resource Center board of directors in 2016 to continue this mission. As a PPRC board member, Jane helped to update the support group training, provides pregnancy and postpartum support group facilitator trainings, and provides community and provider trainings to increase awareness about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders and the importance of screening. Jane is a licensed clinical social worker in Missouri and Kansas. She owns a group therapy practice in the Brookside area where she specializes in EMDR therapy, couples therapy, and maternal mental health. Jane offers a free, monthly support group for pregnant and postpartum women. In her free time, Jane enjoys gardening, knitting, and reading fiction to relax and recharge.
In 2003 Meeka Centimano, LSCSW established Centimano Counseling, the first perinatal mood and anxiety disorder counseling practice in Kansas City. She went on to create the non-profit organization- The Postpartum Resource Center of Kansas (now called The Pregnancy and Postpartum Resource Coalition ) in 2004. Her vision was to help families in the day to day struggle while advocating for better emotional support and resources for families in the Kansas City area. Meeka has spent the last 16 years using her personal experience with postpartum anxiety and her professional expertise to help others find hope and recovery. Her personal story, her clinical work, and her advocacy for change has been featured in Parents Magazine, Adoptive Families Magazine, The Kansas City Star, M Magazine, Fit Pregnancy and National Public Radio. If she’s not in the office you may find her planning her next trip that involves water or mountains, she’s watching her husband skydive or soaking up every minute her daughter is home from college.
Dr. Ellen Stephenson is an assistant professor with Saint Luke’s College of Health Sciences and the Chief Nurse of the 442d Fighter Wing at Whiteman Air Force Base, Missouri. She graduated from the University of South Alabama in Mobile, Alabama, with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing degree in 2001. Dr. Stephenson completed her Master of Science in Nursing degree in Women’s Health Nurse Practitioner in 2015 and Doctor of Nursing Practice in Women’s Health with a subspecialty in Nursing Education in 2017, both from the University of South Alabama. Dr. Stephenson began her career in nursing in 2001 at the bedside as a labor & delivery nurse. She joined the Air Force in 2009 where she continued her career in maternal child nursing while serving her country. Ellen is dual board-certified as a Women’s Health Care Nurse Practitioner and an Inpatient Obstetric Nurse. She is an active member of the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric, and Neonatal Nurses and a member of the Board of Directors for the Pregnancy & Postpartum Resource Center of Kansas. Her doctoral project focused on three years of study into perinatal mood disorders and culminated in a local postpartum depression screening initiative. Dr. Stephenson lives in Belton, Missouri, with her husband and two children.
Cynthia Schroer, MA, LMT pursued her Masters in Psychology (Norwich University, Montpelier, VT) after she was hospitalized postpartum. She researched women's subjective experience of their treatment of postpartum mood disorders, including psychosis, specifically looking at patterns of how women self treated with an intent to inform current treatment modalities. She is also a licensed massage therapist, certified in pregnancy and postpartum massage. She has a practice in Kansas City, Missouri and serves on the board of Pregnancy and Postpartum Resource Center. Her favorite self-care strategies are: drinking water, singing and some form of exercise.
Kathy Alford RN, MBA, has been a nurse for almost two decades. She received her Bachelors of Science in Nursing from Boston College in 2000. She went on to obtain a masters in nursing and an MBA. She has 15 years of experience in women's health obstetrics mother and newborn care and 10 years of psychiatric nursing. In 2009, she begin working both concurrently as she recognized the disconnect for some of the women she served in OB. She became frustrated with the disconnect and the breakdown or the gap, if you will, between obstetrics and mental health. The women were falling through the cracks and she was right there watching the downfall. She currently teaches OB in a local RN program Care of Women & Neonates and continues to share her passion with caring for women, newborns, and their families. Her self-care includes meditating in the morning and traveling in the summer.
Shanda Curiel, PsyD is a licensed Clinical Psychologist who specializes in the treatment of Obsessive-Compulsive and Related Disorders and Anxiety Disorders. It was upon specializing that Dr. Curiel began to work with the sudden onset (or spike) of OCD in mothers AND fathers around the time of the arrival of a baby. Of particular interest are the aggression, sexual, moral, and safety of the baby obsessions. She maintains a specialty private practice, teaches graduate courses, and often gives presentations to raise awareness about the often misunderstood condition of OCD. Her self-care includes warm and sunny weather, minimalism, running, and relaxation.
Sonja Hockenbury is on the board for PPRC and is a support group facilitator. She is a mom of an only child and a survivor of postpartum depression and anxiety. Her greatest passion is to give women suffering with postpartum the support and help they need to have hope that they will get through it... helping those who are struggling to not feel alone and to see that there is a way forward. She wants to help bring more awareness to the community about Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders so that there are fewer women suffering in silence like she did. Sonja sees self-care as a vital part of her life as it helped her to see the light through her dark days. Her self-care includes reading, listening to podcasts, painting, running, photography and talking with close friends.
Chelsea Wininger Hilton is interning with PPRC. She is currently working towards her Masters in Social Work at Park University. Chelsea is excited to serve her practicum with the Pregnancy and Postpartum Resource Center because of her passion for empowering and equipping parents to feel healthy and happy and thus pass that on to future generations. Her self-care includes spending time with family and exercising healthy boundaries.
PPRC is so appreciative and grateful for all of our warmline volunteers who devote their time and compassion to parents in need.