SCIMHA is a multidisciplinary association of professionals working to promote nurturing relationships for South Carolina’s infants, young children and their families through, resources, policies and practices to foster positive mental health and well-being. SCIMHA promotes uniform and nationally recognized competencies and standards to ensure that individuals supporting young children are trained in up-to-date science of child development, infant mental health principles and relationship-based practices.
The ability and power of simple, meaningful interactions to influence a child’s life cannot be overstated, whether an individual is intervening with families and very young children in the child welfare system, teaching a young child about feelings in the early childhood classroom, or engaging with families and children during pediatric well-visits. SCIMHA works to assure that individuals engaging with infants, young children and families, have the knowledge and skills to make the most of those interactions by providing culturally sensitive, relationship-focused practices that support young children’s behavioral wellbeing.
President: Adrienne Edwards, PhD
Dr. Adrienne Edwards is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Human Development and Family Studies at Winthrop University. She is also a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). She earned a PhD in Human Development with an emphasis in Child and Adolescent Development from Virginia Tech, a MEd in Counseling and Development with an emphasis in Community and Agency Counseling from Winthrop University, and a BA in Psychology from Clemson University. Prior to working in higher education, she worked as a mental health counselor and supervisor of the Child and Family Support Services Program at Greenville Mental Health Center. Her research areas include African American child social development, family processes in Families of Color with young children, home visitor preparation, and qualitative research methods. Her work has been published in Child Welfare: Journal of Policy, Practice, and Program, Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior, Sex Roles: A Journal of Research, and Sage Research Methods Cases. She is a recipient of the Jessie Bernard Outstanding Contribution to Feminist Scholarship Paper Award presented by the Feminism and Family Studies section of the National Council on Family Relations.
Vice President: Isabella Adjinah, MD
Dr. Isabella Adjinah a board-certified adult psychiatrist. She completed a general psychiatry residency at Palmetto Health/University of South Carolina in 2015 and completed her child and adolescent residency training in June of 2017. She is originally from Alabama and grew up in Reading, Pennsylvania. She received her undergraduate degree from Bryn Mawr College, a women’s college near Philadelphia, and she completed her medical studies at Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine-Bradenton, FL Campus. Isabella works in private practice within the Columbia Psychiatric Associates Group where she will see children and adolescents. She also serves the SC Department of Mental Health’s Division of Children, Adolescent, and Family Services, and the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute.
Treasurer: Tricia Richardson, BA
Tricia serves as the Executive Director of SC Thrive, a statewide nonprofit offering efficient solutions to help South Carolinians access resources through technology and training. Tricia is a Community Involvement and Development Specialist with more than 25 years’ experience in capacity building, community and fund development, events management, volunteer training, and mobilization for faith organizations. She successfully networks and connects with diverse organizations across the state, using her positive attitude and a proactive approach to build collaborative teams shaping stable, healthy communities in South Carolina. Tricia has a proven track record in developing and implementing strategic community involvement and mobilization plans, as well as building and managing long-term relationships for the betterment of South Carolinians.
Secretary: Angela Moreland, PhD
Angela is an Assistant Professor at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Purdue University in 2009 and completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship and post-doctoral research fellowship at the NCVC. Angela’s research interests focus on primary and secondary prevention of child abuse and risk factors for maltreatment among parents of young children (i.e., substance use, teen pregnancy); as well as dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practice for victims of interpersonal violence and their families. Dr. Moreland also examines the link between early victimization and high-risk behaviors, such as substance use and delinquency, among children and adolescents. Currently, her primary projects focus on prevention of maltreatment, as well as other negative consequences, among substance-using and adolescent parents of young children.
Nominating/Membership Committee Committee Chair: Kerrie L. Schnake, MA
Kerrie is the director of South Carolina’s Infant/Toddler Specialist Network hosted at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness. She established the South Carolina Program for Infant/Toddler Care (SCPITC) in 2006 for the SC Department of Social Services. Prior to moving to South Carolina, Kerrie worked in California at WestEd’s Program for Infant/Toddler Care and as a Research Assistant at the WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies. Kerrie is a leader in South Carolina’s infant/toddler quality initiatives and engages in multiple cross state collaborations. She serves on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on the Regulation of Child Care Facilities, Citizens Review Committee, and SCale Down Child Care Committee. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Cal State, East Bay and an M.A. in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Public Administration from San Francisco State University.
Professional Development/Education/Practice Committee Chair: Dr. Angela Baum , PhD
Angela received her PhD in Early Childhood Education from Iowa State University. She is the Associate Department Chair of the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education and Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina. Her expertise lies in the areas of early childhood teacher preparation and professional development, with a particular passion for working with teachers of infants and toddlers. She is actively engaged with the South Carolina Department of Social Services on several projects focused on improving the quality of child care in the state of South Carolina. While at USC, she has received two teaching awards—the Mortar Board Excellence in Teaching Award and the College of Education Early Career Teaching Award. Her work has been published in journals. She is currently the President of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Early Childhood Teacher Education.
Reflective Practice Committee Chair: Mary Ellen Warren, PhD
Mary Ellen joined the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science in 2006 following a twelve-year appointment as Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at USC Developmental Pediatric Clinic. Dr. Warren holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario as well as a Master of Arts and Doctorate in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Warren is a licensed psychologist with special interests in infant/early childhood mental health. She is a ZERO TO THREE Leaders for the 21st Century fellow (2007-2009) with certification in two evidence-based parenting interventions: PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy) and Triple P (Positive Parenting Program). As an Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at USC-SOM, Dr. Warren provides direct treatment to young children that supports the primary care-giving relationship and their overall mental health. Research interests include parenting interventions, early childhood mental health, workforce development, and interdisciplinary training.
Outreach Committee Chair: Lydia Carnesale, MEd
Lydia received a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology from Columbia College and Masters in Education with Early Childhood Endorsement from Liberty University. She taught in a Title 1 school for eight years with dual language learners and was a Hispanic Families Liaison with Early Head Start. Creating change, bettering systems and building bridges to better early childhood education is not only a job but a passion for Lydia. She believes, to change the world, we must start with our youngest learners.
Board Member: Lauren Figurski, BS
Lauren has been the Assistant I.D.E.A Part C Coordinator for BabyNet under the SC Department of Health and Human Services since February 2017. Prior to that, she worked as an Early Intervention Service Coordinator in Charlotte, North Carolina for five years after relocating from Detroit, Michigan. Lauren has a Bachelor of Science in Family Community Services degree from Michigan State University. She is working on finishing a Master’s degree in Psychology with a specialization in Childhood and Adolescence. When not working Lauren enjoys reading, painting, spending time with friends and taking her dogs on outings.
Board Member: Sara Beth Martin, BS, MS
Sara Beth Martin is the Manager, South Carolina Operations and has been with Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office since 2014. Sara Beth’s experience with Nurse-Family Partnership spans over ten years, including her early work as Nurse Home Visitor, State Nurse Consultant and Nurse Consultant. Her background in maternal child health, public health nursing, as well as in home visitation combined with her passion for serving moms and babies have guided her career path. She holds a BS in Nursing from Binghamton University and a Master of Public Health degree from Benedictine University.
Board Member: Terry Melloh, PhD
Dr. Terry Melloh joined the USC School of Medicine, Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science as an Assistant Clinical Professor in 2013. Prior to this appointment, Terry worked as a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice providing individual therapy, family therapy, and psychological assessment in the Columbia community for 20 years. She specializes in working with children and families employing attachment and systems-based theory perspectives. She is a registered Circle of Security-Parent Facilitator. In addition, she has a particular interest in treating children who have experienced trauma or abuse using Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT). Terry received her undergraduate degree in psychology from DePauw University. She earned her doctorate in psychology from the University of Virginia with an emphasis on both school and clinical child psychology. Upon completion of an APA approved internship in Clinical Psychology at the William S. Hall Psychiatric Institute, Terry began her professional career in the Children’s Unit at the Columbia Area Mental Health Center with the South Carolina Department of Mental Health.
Dr. Murphy’s clinical work and research interests include young children with disruptive behavior problems. She is a certified trainer and therapist in parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based treatment for young children with disruptive behavior problems. She is also a trainer in Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE), a trauma-informed modification of specific PCIT skills for general usage by non-clinical adults who interact with children. She currently provides outpatient therapy, including PCIT, to children and families and supervises pre-doctoral interns in the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic at MUSC.
SCIMHA is an affiliate of the World Association of Infant Mental Health, (WAIMH), an international, not-for-profit organization for scientific and educational professionals whose central aim is to promote the mental wellbeing and healthy development of infants throughout the world, taking into account cultural, regional, and environmental variations, and to generate and disseminate scientific knowledge.
SCIMHA is a proud member of the AAIMH and WAIMH.