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Board of Directors

Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health (RIAIMH) Board members volunteer their time and expertise to support infant mental health education, Endorsement®, advocacy, and clinical research.The Board of Directors provides leadership, vision, stewardship and legal oversight in its governance of RIAIMH. The Board is ultimately responsible for ensuring that RIAIMH has a measurable impact on the betterment of our community in accordance with our mission, that we respond to changing community needs, and that we have the resources necessary to achieve our desired impact. The Board serves as principal fiduciary and wise steward of RIAIMH resources, creates guiding goals and policies, maintains the highest ethical standards, and models our organizational values.

Board Members

Susan Dickstein

Susan Dickstein, PhD is Associate Professor in the Brown Medical School, Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Department of Pediatrics, and Psychologist at Bradley Hospital. For 2 decades, Dr. Dickstein was director of the Bradley Hospital Early Childhood Clinical Research Center (part of the Bradley/Hasbro Children’s Research Center), and collaborated on research within the realm of developmental psychopathology, attachment theory, family risk, maternal depression, and early childhood mental health. Dr. Dickstein is consulting editor for the Journal of Family Psychology and the Infant Mental Health Journal, and developed an online training courseFoundations for Infant/Toddler Social Emotional Health: Provider Modules. Dr. Dickstein is also a licensed clinical psychologist who currently spends time consulting on research and community-based projects that integrate infant/early childhood mental health principles and evidence-based practices, including reflective supervision/consultation strategies. She is a founding member and President of the Rhode Island Association for Infant Mental Health, and is involved at a national level as a member of the World Association for Infant Mental Health, and as a founding partner and Vice President of the Board of the national Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health. Dr. Dickstein has earned Endorsement® as an Infant Mental Health Clinical Mentor (Level IV).

Jean Twomey

Jean Twomey, PhD is a clinical social worker who is an Assistant Professor in the Brown Alpert Medical School departments of Psychiatry and Human Behavior and Pediatrics. She has extensive clinical experience in infancy and early childhood. She provides services to families whose infants experience cry and sleep problems through the Infant Behavior, Cry, and Sleep Clinic at Women and Infants Center for Children and Families. Her work as a child and family therapist at the Brown Center for Children also includes outpatient therapy with young children with behavioral and emotional concerns and children, adolescents and young adults with autism spectrum disorders. She treats parental stress and depression, including postpartum depression. Her research interests include parenting abilities of substance-using women, developmental outcomes of substance-exposed infants with child welfare involvement, and the impact of infant regulatory difficulties on parental mental health. In 2010, she was named Social Worker of the Year in Children & Families by the Rhode Island Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers. Dr. Twomey has earned Endorsement®  as an Infant Mental Health Clinical Mentor (Level IV), an internationally recognized designation.

Katheleen Hawes

Katheleen Hawes, PhD provides clinical services in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit and at the Perinatal and Postpartum Clinic at the Center for Children and Families at Women and Infants Hospital, where she treats women and their partners experiencing perinatal mood and anxiety issues. Treatment includes individual and family psychotherapy. She is an assistant professor (adjunct) in the Department of Pediatrics at The Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University. She trained in adult psychiatry and mental health at the University of Rhode Island and is board certified in adult psychiatric-mental health advanced practice nursing. Her research, clinical work, and lectures focus on stress and trauma related to the premature birth experience. In addition, she studies the relationship between nursing practice and parent and infant outcomes; nurse-patient interaction; the healthcare work environment and provider and patient outcomes; and system and culture change in healthcare.

Danita Roberts

Danita Roberts is the Program Manager/ Supervisor for Meeting Street’s Healthy Families America Program located in Providence, RI. Danita graduated from Wheelock College with a degree in Human Development and a concentration in Child Life. Originally thinking that she wanted to work to promote development and attachment within a hospital setting, Danita began working at a specialized medical daycare with dreams of eventually becoming a certified Child Life Specialist. This changed, however, after taking a job at the New England Center for Children, where she gained formal knowledge in ABA and an informal understanding of people’s behavior. Ultimately, it was her work with families in their homes, during her time in Early Intervention, that has brought her to love the idea of promoting Infant Mental Health through the fostering of attachment and bonding between parents and their children. As a Program Manager in the Healthy Families America Program, Danita now has the opportunity to help support the family visiting staff to continue this good work.

Alan Harlam

Alan Harlam is an Adjunct Lecturer in International and Public Affairs at Brown University’s Watson Institute. Alan’s teaching and work at Brown has been focused around social innovation, social entrepreneurship, and purposeful leadership. Over the past decade, Alan has supported dozens of entrepreneurs through all stages of their startup journey, with a special focus on ventures designed to address social problems. Alan was a senior member of Brown’s Swearer Center leadership, where he drove innovations in higher education around engaged scholarship and community-based innovation. His current focus is developing a curriculum to guide young adults through the discovery and activation of Purpose as a guiding force in life’s journey. Alan is deeply involved in other great organizations that are making their own impact on problems impacting marginalized communities, including as Board Chair of Eye to Eye and as a Board member of City Year Providence.

Stephen Buka

Stephen Buka, ScD, MSc, MA is Professor and Founding Chair of Brown University’s Department of Epidemiology. He has also served as Director of Brown’s Center for the Study of Human Development and Center for Population Health & Clinical Epidemiology. With training in epidemiology and developmental psychology, his research focuses on the causes and prevention of childhood psychiatric and cognitive disorders. He has directed major longitudinal studies examining the impact of birth complications, environmental hazards, and socioeconomic conditions on behavioral and intellectual development. He works regularly with local, state, and national agencies concerned with the health and welfare of children and families.

RIAIMH is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization.

RIAIMH is a founding member of the Alliance for the Advancement of Infant Mental Health.


RIAIMH is an affiliate of the World Association for Infant Mental Health.

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