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About West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association
Efforts have been ongoing in West Virginia to improve Infant Mental Health since 1995 when the continuum of care pyramid was developed and the Infant Mental Health Development Tasks work plan was presented around the state.
In 2000, the Early Childhood Mental Health Workgroup (made up of local providers of services to families with young children and representatives from the state agencies that support those programs) met and developed a Recommended Action work plan. This work plan provided models from various other states that West Virginia could replicate. These recommendations went to the WV Early Intervention Interagency Coordinating Council.
In 2012, the Early Childhood Advisory Council of West Virginia (ECAC) formed an Ad Hoc Committee of stakeholders to review core competencies and processes from other states to assist in establishing a plan for West Virginia. One of the recommendations to come out of this Ad Hoc committee was the need for a set of core competencies. After intensive discussion and careful thought, the recommendation was made to purchase the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health Endorsement for Culturally Sensitive, Relationship-focused Practice Promoting Infant Mental Health.
In 2013, West Virginia purchased the Competency Guidelines and Endorsement® system from Michigan with the intent of integrating this system into current service delivery models. The West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association is committed to building the capacity of professional development to support and meet the needs of all children and families.
- To promote and support nurturing relationships for all infants and toddlers to provide the essential formative context in which every infant and toddler acquires the basic emotional, cognitive, and social capacities and attitudes that influence all later development;
- To provide an interdisciplinary infant and toddler mental health organization that facilitates, supports, and encourages cooperation, coordination, and collaboration among those concerned with promoting the optimal development of infants and toddlers and their families;
- To promote the recognition and better understanding of mental health issues for infants and toddlers through the development and implementation of a voluntary endorsement program based on levels of education, training, work experience, and knowledge appropriate to the delivery of high quality, culturally competent, and relationship-focused services to infants and toddlers and their caregivers;
- To sponsor and promote activities that will enhance the professional capacities of individuals providing relationship-based services to infants and toddlers and their caregivers;
- To provide a forum for interaction and study among mental health, public health, education, and social services professionals and others regarding scientific, educational, and clinical relationship-based work with infants and toddlers and their caregivers;
- To provide a forum for promoting the application of infant and toddler mental health principles within services for preschool age children;
- To publish educational newsletters, journals, and other materials that promote an increased understanding of infant and toddler mental health issues or that are otherwise consistent with the purposes of the Association;
- To support infant and toddler mental health initiatives by joining other infant mental health associations in the United States as a member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.
Advisory Board Members
Dr. Beth Emrick, Developmental Behavioral Pediatrician, CAMC
Carol Mollohan, APRN, BC, Retired
Erin Roxby, IMH-E®, Child Development and Disabilities Manager, Northern Panhandle Head Start
Ginger Huffman, Office of Special Programs, West Virginia Department of Education
Jackie Newson, Director, West Virginia Home Visitation Program
Dr. Jodi Lindsey, Pediatric Neurologist, Assistant Professor, West Virginia University
Joyce Tucker, Early Care and Education Specialist, WVDHHR
Laurie McKeown, Executive Director, TEAM for West Virginia Children
Laurie Thompsen, Health & Behavioral Health Coordinator, WV Coalition Against Domestic Violence
Michele Baranaskas, LCSW, Coordinator, Partners in Community Outreach
Michele Plutro, Head Start
Michelle Comer, IMH-E®, Senior Program Coordinator, HFA State Leader, Mountain State Healthy Families
Michelle Rollyson, Administrative Coordinator, West Virginia Infant/Toddler Mental Health Association
Natalie Snider, Distance Learning Statewide Coordinator, WVECTCR
Pam Roush, Director, West Virginia Birth to Three
Dr. Patricia Lally, Pediatrician, Rainelle Medical Center
Regina (Mel) Woodcock, IMH-E®,CSPD/Policy Specialist, West Virginia Birth to Three
Robin Taylor, Early Childhood Advisory Council of West Virginia
Sheila Zickefoose, IMH-E®, Statewide ICC Coordinator, WVECTCR