CT-AIMH Newsletter * Early Winter 2018 * "Reflections"
Praise for Eva Marie Shivers:
CT-AIMH 2018 Fall Conference Highlights
Eva Marie Shivers, J.D., Ph.D., Executive Director,
Indigo Cultural Center, Inc.
"Eva is an excellent presenter. So motivated and real to the work we all do."

"Instructor was great, she was knowledgeable and tried to keep up with our questions, gave us ideas of how to approach the theme of racism. It helped me to loose the fear of talking about racism."

"The presenter was FABULOUS! I could have listened to her longer. Listening to her motivated me to do some research on an issue that has been on my mind for some time."

"Eva was awesome! I loved her energy"
Margaret Holmberg (CT-AIMH Past President/Current Board Member) thanks Judith Meyers (CT-AIMH Jane C. Bourns Recipient 2007) for her leadership in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health
A dedicated infant mental health workforce gather in large numbers for the
CT-AIMH Annual Fall Conference
Heidi Maderia (CT-AIMH Executive Director), Eva Marie Shivers (Conference Presenter) and Carlita Elias (CT-AIMH Board Member) find connection on behalf of infant mental health
During the Fall Conference, Margaret Holmberg, PhD.D., on behalf of the CT-AIMH Board, presented a tribute to Judith Meyers, Ph.D. Here is an excerpt of that presentation...
"On behalf of the CT-AIMH Board of Directors I want to say a heartfelt and sincere Thank You to Judith Meyers for her support and guidance of CT-AIMH from its very inception, even before we were an organization. The history of our CT-AIMH is in fact a demonstration of Judith’s wisdom and commitment to infant and early childhood mental health and to putting Connecticut on the map for promoting infant and early childhood mental health for its workforce, those who work with families of very young children."
Susan Vater Ed.M., CT Association of Infant Mental Health (CT-AIMH) President, is a policy, planning, and program development specialist with expertise in clinical early childhood development, interagency collaboration, and systems design. She has developed and managed Maternal and Child Health and Developmental/Family programs for the City of Hartford Health Department, State of Connecticut Children’s Trust Fund, and the Child Health and Development Institute (CHDI). At CHDI she developed Educating Practices in our Communities (EPIC), a comprehensive, community-based, child health provider outreach and training program.

Ms. Vater is co-author of the Infant and Toddler Developmental Assessment (IDA) with her colleagues Sally Provence M.D., Kyle Pruett M.D., Joanna Erikson M.P.H. Jennifer Rosinia Ph.D., OTR/L and Saro Palmeri M.D. The IDA was developed at the Yale Child Study Center and is used by professionals across the developmental disciplines to assess children in a wide range of programs and covers the full range of developmental and behavior/mental health domains. Susan recently led the initiative to design and implement the Mid-level Developmental Assessment (MLDA) model at Hartford Connecticut’s Village for Families and Children in collaboration with the Connecticut Children’s Medical Center/ Office for Community Child Health and the Child Health and Development Institute. The MLDA is designed to identify young children with developmental and behavioral vulnerabilities who are not eligible for publicly funded developmental services (i.e., B-3), thereby connecting families to needed child and family services.
Jerry Calnen, M.D., CT Association for Infant Mental Health Vice-President, is a retired pediatrician.  In the course of my practice, I found that my two major professional passions were breastfeeding support and integration of mental health services into pediatric care – particularly those aspects of mental health care relating to infants, young children, and their families.
As a breastfeeding advocate I worked with the American Academy of Pediatrics as a state breastfeeding coordinator and a member of the Breastfeeding Task Force leadership team. I served on the board of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine and became its president from 2009 until 2011. I founded and co-chaired the Hartford Hospital Lactation Committee, which was responsible for bringing Hartford Hospital into the Baby Friendly Hospital Initiative. Finally, I served on the expert panel of the Surgeon General’s Call to Action on Breastfeeding.
Prior to my retirement I worked with my primary care organization to develop strategies for integrating behavioral health care into pediatric practices. I served as a presenter for the EPIC program, an initiative sponsored by CHDI and designed to assist pediatricians in supporting evidence-based practices to meet the challenges of contemporary primary care. My specific EPIC lectures related to behavioral health office screening and infant mental health management in primary care. In 2017 I helped create a CT AAP task force charged with developing a sustainable model of behavioral health management integrated into a primary care setting.
My background in breastfeeding medicine led to an appreciation of the perfect complement between mother and infant, in all respects: emotional, developmental, nutritional, immunological and biochemical. This, together with the realization that the contemporary pediatric behavioral health disorder epidemic will never be brought under control until we address its root causes in early childhood, brought me inexorably into the field of infant and young child mental health.

Pediatrics has a central role to play in the advancement of this field, and pediatricians must commit themselves to it as passionately as they do with respect to any other aspect of care.       
New publication introduces us to the development of the
Alliance for the Advancement of
Infant Mental Health
Historical context provides the developmental perspective needed to quilt a connection between a leadership endeavor and the broader infant and early childhood mental health workforce. Authored by Margaret Holmberg, Ph.D. and Ashley McCormick, LMSW, Part 1 of a two part series published by Perspectives in Infant Mental Health, a World Association for Infant Mental Health publication (WAIMH), provides insight on why and how this important organization advances the critical work of
infant and early childhood mental health.
Pictured above are Alliance for the Advancement for Infant Mental Health (AAIMH) Board of Directors and Staff. Margaret Holmberg, Ph.D., IMH-E® is completing her term as president of the AAIMH.
Connecticut AIMH Participates in the
Celebrate Babies! Campaign
Celebrate Babies!
An Awareness Campaign
In October, we asked our membership why they Celebrate Babies! as an exercise in participation of the national Celebrate Babies! campaign started by the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health and the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. We highlighted some of those inspirational responses in a poster at the recent fall conference. Thank you to those of you who added to the array of charismatic reflections about why we Celebrate Babies!, giving meaning to our passion for working in the field of infant and early childhood mental health.
I Celebrate Babies Because...
"Babies are the human form of possibilities. The first year of life sets the stage for who they will become as children, adolescents, and as adults. When we celebrate babies, we provide an environment that supports bonding and social/emotional connections to help them build healthy relationships not just for today, but for life."
"Babies have so much potential to learn and love and to help us do the same."

"Babies represent life, joy, softness, closeness, changes and new life experiences."

"I celebrate babies because they are both vulnerable and powerful. They need our loving, nurturing, warm and consistent care and they can evoke strong emotional responses. They can hold your gaze, snuggle into your neck, laugh brightly, and imitate your silliest gestures. At the same time they are so very needy of our holding, our smiling, our caring, and our speaking out for them. They truly are our loving future."

"Babies are filled with unconditional love!"
Building an Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Workforce is
Rewarding Work...
The CT-AIMH training team recently conducted three Infant Mental Health training series; a 4-day series for child care providers in Norwalk,
a 6-day series for home visitors in New Haven and an 8-day series for child welfare and community providers in Hartford. A training attendee shared her insight with Executive Director Heidi Maderia about the relationship between her impact as a child care provider on the individual child. Having learned about the connections between sensitive and responsive caregiving and brain development, she said ..."I never realized that I was building brains."

There is no question that every interaction we have with newborns, infants, toddlers, preschoolers and young children; their caregivers and care providers; our colleagues; our own family members and community members-
has an impact on thoughts, feelings and behavior...and those impacts alter brain architecture, chemistry and functioning.
Coming Soon! CT-AIMH Facebook Page!!!