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Thank you to everyone who came to the

2017 Children’s Mental Health Summit and helped make it a success!


Tentative Summit Schedule

Thursday, August 17

1:00 – 3:00 Pre-conference Screening of the movie Resilience 
3:00- 3:30 Registration
3:30 – 4:00 Opening Welcome, Mary Ann Hansen
4:00 – 5:30 Presentation,  Dr. Tasha R. Howe – Is Resilience a Miracle?  Myths and Truths from the Developmental Frontier
5:30 – 6:30 Dinner from Uniquely Yours Catering
6:30 – 8:30 Keynote, Dr. Kristie Brandt Epigenetics, Neurobiology and Infant Mental Health: The Foundational Months Prenatal to Preschool



Friday, August 18


8:00 – 8:45 Registration, light breakfast, networking
8:45 – 9:00 Welcoming Presentation, Marianne Pennekamp
9:00 – 10:30 Keynote:  Dr. Kristie Brandt – Reconceptualizing Infant & Early Childhood Therapy through Multiple Lenses 
10:45- 12:15 Topic: Infant & toddler development within a relational context

Presenter:  Dr. Mike Sherman

Topic:  Healing practices for multigenerational trauma

Presenter:  Melanie Gensaw & James Gensaw Sr.

Topic:  Yoga with Young Children

Presenters: Jenni Brown & Courtney Schroeder

12:15 – 1:15 Children’s Mental Health Champion Award & Networking Lunch
1:15 – 2:45 Topic:  Conceptualizing medical necessity & the multiple roles of mental health practitioners with birth to five populations

Presenter:  Dr. Mike Sherman


Topic:  Enhancing home visiting with mental health consulting

Presenter:  Dr. Karen Moran Finello


Topic:  Somatic Interventions

Presenter:  Candace Wase


3:00 – 4:15
Building a resilient community for healing,
Presenter:  Jovonne Dempster
4:15 – 4:30 Hon. Joyce D. Hinrichs, Closing Statements



Keynote Speaker

Kristie Brandt, CNM, NP, DNP

Dr. Brandt is an internationally known teacher, trainer, clinician, and consultant. She is Director of the Parent-Infant & Child Institute in Napa, CA that provides clinical services for children age 0-5, consultation for parents and providers, and professional training. She is also an Assistance Clinical Professor of Pediatrics at U.C. Davis School of Medicine. Dr. Brandt was the Chief Public Health Manager for Napa County Public Health where she developed the first full-day, full-year therapeutic center for children 0-5 based in a public agency setting. She retired after 25 years of overseeing Maternal-Child Health and other public health services. Brandt founded and directs the 15-month Napa Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellowship Program in Napa, CA, a state and national award winning program that has been training professionals since 2002. She is a Child Trauma Academy Fellow with Dr. Bruce Perry, and lectured nationally and internationally with Dr. Berry Brazelton on the National Seminar Series for 15 years. Dr. Brandt is the lead author of the book “Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health: Core Concepts & Clinical Practice” published by the American Psychiatric Publishing in 2014, and author of the book “Facilitating the Reflective Process: An Introductory Workbook for the Infant-Parent & Early Childhood Mental Health Field.” She earned her Master’s and Doctorate at Case Western Reserve University, and is endorsed through the Michigan Association for Infant Mental Health, within the global Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health, as an Infant Mental Health Specialist & Clinical Mentor, and is endorsed by California’s Center for Infant-Family & Early Childhood Mental Health as a IFECMH Specialist and a Reflective Practice Mentor.


Detailed Information on Summit Speakers & Presentations:

Presenter, Dr. Tasha R. Howe:

As a developmental psychopathologist, Dr. Howe recognizes the importance of studying both normal developmental milestones and atypical transformations of children’s functioning together. The field of developmental psychopathology works to restore functioning along children’s normal developmental trajectories in order to optimize outcomes. Treatments focusing on attachment and emotion regulation are particularly important in that the ultimate goal is to help individuals regulate their neuroendocrine functioning and modulate HPA-Axis dysregulation in order to function happily and peacefully in social and emotional contexts. Developmental psychopathology and violence prevention within the family and across the globe are Dr. Howe’s two research and teaching passions.

Tasha loves traveling around the world. In 2014 she was a Fulbright Scholar to Croatia where she worked on child abuse prevention. She taught at the University of Zagreb (Filozofski Fakultet) and trained 75 social welfare professionals on the ACT Raising Safe Kids violence prevention parenting curriculum. She also presented at many conferences and gave lectures on the neuroscience of trauma and the impact of stress on children’s brain development.

In 2008 Dr. Howe was a Fulbright Scholar to the island nation of Cyprus where she worked with both Greek and Turkish Cypriots on issues related to child maltreatment and violence prevention. This included teaching undergraduate and graduate courses in both communities (Near East University and the European University of Cyprus), speaking at conferences in Cyprus and Athens, Greece, and training Greek Cypriot social welfare professionals on the skills of early violence prevention. She also did lectures on the effects of media violence on children’s socioemotional and brain development.

Here at home, Dr. Howe is always interested in community-based research, working with various social service and child health and development agencies on violence prevention and community and family violence issues. She supervises student research on any topic related to child development or family relations/violence issues. She has also conducted research on, written about, and published on the science of teaching (pedagogy). She was a 2004 Service-Learning Fellow at HSU, illustrating her commitment to connecting students with children, families, and organizations in the local community. She thinks “town-gown” connections are vital for violence prevention and helping children reach their developmental potential. In 2010 Dr. Howe was recognized with the American Psychological Association’s Award for “Effectively Infusing Diversity into Teaching,” which was gratifying to her as examining families within a cultural-contextual framework is vitally important to her. Dr. Howe recently recieved a certificate of appreciation for exemplary contributions to the field of Children’s Mental Health in Humboldt County.  She was honored at the Children’s Mental Health Summit on September 30, 2016.

Tasha is also a nationally certified trainer for the ACT (Adults and Children Together) Against Violence Raising Safe Kids program developed by the American Psychological Association. In this regard, she and her students have published several program evaluations. To learn more about this program, see

To learn more about Dr. Tasha R Howe please visit her Humboldt State University Website


Mike Sherman, Psy.D.

Mike Sherman is a licensed clinical psychologist (CP II) at the Los Angeles County Department of Mental Health (LAC-DMH). He received his bachelor’s (psychology) and master’s (clinical psychology) degrees from California State University, Northridge and doctorate degree (clinical psychology) from the Graduate School of Education and Psychology at Pepperdine University.

For the bulk of his professional career, Dr. Sherman has worked extensively as a clinician, clinical supervisor, and training director within both county-contracted and LAC-DMH directly operated programs focused on providing evaluation and treatment services to DCFS-involved infants, children, adolescents and their families.  Dr. Sherman is an Infant-Parent Mental Health Fellow through the Napa/UC-Davis IPMH fellowship program.  In addition to his work at LAC-DMH, Dr. Sherman is an associate professor in the Clinical Forensic Psychology doctoral program at the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, Los Angeles Campus.  His administrative and clinical work experiences have given Dr. Sherman opportunities for close collaboration with the Department of Children and Family Services. Dr. Sherman currently holds an administrative position with the LAC-DMH Child Welfare Division where he oversees the countywide Multidisciplinary Assessment Team (MAT) program, provides training to DMH-contracted providers and DMH staff, and works on projects that intersect the Birth-5 population and the Child Welfare System.

Link to Dr. Sherman’s website:

Karen Moran Finello, Ph.D.

Please see this link to learn more about Dr. Moran Finello’s work with Wested

Please go the following link to learn more about Project LAUNCH 

Jovonne Dempster

Social Worker Lecturer, Humboldt State University

 My presentations focus will be on building a resilient community for healing. This presentation will focus on what community is, our communities current needs, and our visions and hopes for what our community will be. We will also discuss practitioner self-care and wellness and our commitment to the work as healers.



Jennifer Brown, Certified Rising Yoga Therapist

Jennifer Brown became interested in yoga following the completion of her bachelor’s degree at the University of California at Santa Cruz in 2000. She found both physical and mental relief in her yoga practice and wondered about the possibility of merging contemporary talk therapy with ancient yoga poses. She was pleased to encounter Phoenix Rising Yoga Therapy, and after an impactful private session, enrolled in the certification program. Jennifer worked with clients privately in Seattle for 4 years and has been practicing in Humboldt County since 2010.Following her certification as a yoga therapy practitioner, Jennifer became a certified yoga instructor. She has been teaching classes for 10 years and currently works at Healthsport and Tosha Yoga. She recently became employed with Changing TIdes Family Services and has begun teaching yoga to the youth she works with. She firmly believes in the power of yoga to promote self-recovery and empowerment, and the release of trauma, stress and anxiety. Her classes are taught with an emphasis on deepened body awareness, letting go, surrender, and finding our way back to our most authentic selves. She hopes to pass the tools she has learned through yoga onto her students and the kids whom she connects with. Jennifer lives with her husband and their 13 year old son on a small family farm that they share with their family.


Courtney Schroeder, Little Buddhas Yoga

Courtney Schroeder is a 200 hour trained Rising Yoga Therapist. She is a children’s yoga instructor and children’s yoga teacher trainer. Courtney is also certified in Mindful Education (ME) for children. She has attended trainings and earned certifications with Karma Kids, Global Family Yoga, Still Quiet Place training, Yoga 4 Classrooms, and more. She offers yoga teacher trainings  out of her studio, Little Buddhas Yoga. Courtney offers the children and families in her community the opportunity to participate and explore the world of yoga and its benefits.




Candace Wase, MA

Candace Wase is a grief support counselor for both children and adults at Hospice of Humboldt, as well as an adjunct lecturer at HSU in the Child Development department. Candace has a master’s degree in somatic counseling psychology from Naropa University, with a dual concentration in Dance/Movement therapy and body psychotherapy, as well as a bachelor’s degree in child development from HSU.  Candace has worked as a somatic-based play therapist in elementary schools, working with children impacted by stressors related to poverty and racial marginalization.  Candace is excited to make tools developed in the field of somatic therapy accessible for all people working for the mental well-being of children.