Joy Burkhard, MBA, Board Chair
Joy is the founder and Board Chair of the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health. She is also the founder and Executive Director and Board Chair of 2020 Mom Project, a member of the National Coalition. Joy often travels to speak about maternal mental health and has been invited to speak to groups like the NIH Fellows in 2014 and 2015. She was recently invited to join the California Maternal Quality Care Collaborative Executive Committee. In addition to running the non-profit, Joy serves as a compliance project manager for Cigna, where she has worked for 19 years. She is responsible for leading complex national projects. Her experience includes serving as the California compliance officer, engaging with regulators and others on complex topics like access to care, and has spanned from managing call center staff, to running large quality improvement programs and accreditation. Her knowledge of the complexities of health care delivery systems and passion in large-scale sustainable improvement projects has fueled her work in maternal mental health. Before founding 2020 Mom, Joy had a rich volunteer life with the Junior League, serving most recently as the Junior Leagues of California State Public Affairs Committee Co-Chair and was recognized by the Junior League of Los Angeles in 2013 with their Founder’s Cup, given to just 4 women in 85 years. Joy is a wife and the mother of two children Alex (7) and Emelia (6) and lives in Valencia, California (Los Angeles area).
Jamie Zahlaway Belsito, Advocacy Chair
Jamie is the Advocacy Chair for the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health. She is a member of the the North Shore Postpartum Taskforce [NSPPDT and is a Commissioner with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Special Commission on Postpartum Depression. Jamie helps educate the Statehouse and stakeholders on maternal mental health illnesses, gaps in the system and what mom’s may need to get better. Jamie partnered with grassroots groups and local legislators to help ensure passage of funding for MCPAP for Mom’s, PPD pilot program and implementation of universal maternal mental health screening for Mom’s in the Commonwealth, commencing in 2016. In partnership with Senator Lovely, Senator Tarr and Representative Story, Jamie helped to establish the first ever maternal mental health Advocacy and Awareness Day at the Statehouse in June 2015. Jamie has since been working with Congresswoman Katherine Clark [D- MA5], Senator Elizabeth Warren [D- MA] and Senator Ed Markey [D- MA] offices on federal level maternal mental health complications legislation. She is working with Congress to pass House and Senate bills “Bringing Postpartum Depression Out of the Shadows Act of 2015” [HR3235/S2311]. She has over 15 years working in state and federal advocacy. Jamie is a two time survivor of pregnancy and postpartum depression. It was during this time that Jamie learned first hand about the difficulties of finding quality mental health care to address maternal mental health complications, as well as the lack of communication around the issue of maternal mental health complications at the OB/GYN’s, primary health care, and pediatrics offices. Jamie received her Bachelor of Arts degree from Salem State College in 1996, majoring in Political Science. She is a married Mom of two girls, ages 3 and 6, residing in Topsfield, Massachusetts.
Robin Hooper, LCSW, Awareness Chair
Robin is the new awareness chair of the National Coalition. She received her Bachelor’s in Psychology in 2001 and Master’s in Social Work from the University in Michigan in 2004 and has provided therapeutic services to hundreds of women, children, and their families during her career. Robin has provided maternal mental health screening, assessment, counseling and peer support through a large suburban hospital in her home state of Illinois. She currently works as a case manager for pregnant members who have a mental health diagnosis at a large Managed Care Organization (MCO) for Medicaid recipients. Robin has started coursework for a Master’s in Public Health to help “support the cause” with formal education.
Robin became interested in Maternal Mental Health after experiencing Postpartum Anxiety and OCD after her first child, Joey, was born. Despite being a social worker and having a history of mental illness, she was poorly prepared for the intrusive thoughts and debilitating anxiety that followed Joey’s birth. Robin had a “teeny, tiny, little” psychotic break when she was 19 weeks pregnant with her twin girls Emmy and Holly and her ability to think clearly and organize her thoughts was impaired for the rest of her pregnancy. Life stressors compounded the illness and Robin ended up needing in-patient support when the girls were 6 months old following up with intensive OCD treatment. These events have strengthened Robin’s resolve to raise awareness to make sure all Mommies are able to get the support they need.