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Annual Conference

RIAIMH partners with various community and state agencies to offer an annual conference that builds on a specific topic of interest, presented by a nationally-known speaker. We use this opportunity to offer research-based information that serves to broaden our thinking and transform our practices. RIAIMH convenes a Conference Planning Committee (members are from the community, RIAIMH Board, and RIAIMH staff) to work together on the specifics of this event, including intended audience, IMH-related topic; and links to ongoing initiatives in the State.

2020 Annual Making Connections Conference

Friday August 14, 2020

Title: Empowering Parents to Promote Child Well-being: Integrating Neurobiological & Neighborhood-level Approaches

This talk focused on the interplay between neurobiology and environmental influences that inform our understanding of developmental pathways towards risk and resilience, as well as how Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up (ABC), an attachment-based parent coaching program, can protect infants and toddlers in the face of early adversity. Considerations about neighborhood-level factors that influence children and program implementation were  addressed, with recommendations for clinical and community practices.

RIAIMH members can see additional materials from past Annual conferences HERE.


Dr. Kristin Bernard

Dr. Kristin Bernard is an Associate Professor of Clinical Psychology at Stony Brook University, where she is the Director of the Developmental Stress and Prevention Lab. She earned her Ph.D. from University of Delaware in 2013 and completed her clinical internship at the University of Illinois- Chicago. Dr. Bernard's current research examines how exposure to childhood adversity affects neurobiological and behavioral development, and how parenting programs can protect children in the face of stress. She has been involved in the development, implementation, and evaluation of Attachment and Biobehavioral Catch-up, or ABC, an intervention for infants and toddlers at risk. She is currently partnering with Power of Two and NYC’s Administration for Children's Services to disseminate and scale the ABC intervention. Dr. Bernard has been named a "Rising Star" by the Association for Psychological Science due to her cross-disciplinary research in developmental, clinical, and neuroscience. Her ongoing work is funded by the National Institute of Mental Health.

Erasma Beras-Monticciolo

Erasma Beras-Monticciolo is a thought-leader, activist, co-founder and Executive Director of Power of Two, a home visiting organization that nurtures the inherent potential in every child and family--empowering them to transform their own lives and strengthen their communities. Erasma holds a B.A. from St. Johns University and an MPA from NYU Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Policy.

Before joining Power of Two, Erasma’s work has taken her to remote areas in Guatemala where she partnered with local entrepreneurs to create a small business cooperative designed to help indigenous communities establish independent, sustainable businesses that improved their living conditions and stimulated their local economies. Now with more than 15 years of experience in the field, Erasma successfully established relationships with policymakers, community-based organizations, and social change groups to create partnerships and build support for a variety of programs serving low-income populations in New York City.

Erasma serves on the board for both the New York Zero to Three Network (NYZTT) and the Citizens’ Committee for Children of New York (CCC). She is a 2019 Promising Ventures Fellow and a 2020 Aspen Institute Healthy Communities Fellow.


8:30am-9:00am: Welcomes and Introductions

9:00am-12:00pm: Keynote Presentation

12:00pm-1:00pm: Implications for Rhode Island - Local Expert Panelists

Registration and Cancellation:

Pre-registration is required. Cancellation requests emailed to the event manager prior to 11:59 pm 24 hours before, will receive a full refund. No refunds for cancellation requests received on or after the day of, regardless of the cause for cancellation including failure to join meeting on the day of the training. If the training cannot be held due to circumstances beyond the hosts’ control (natural disaster, strike, fire, severe weather, illness of speaker, speaker cancellation, etc.) the seminar will be rescheduled, if possible, and the registration fee applied to that date. If rescheduling is not possible or registrant cannot attend the rescheduled date, reimbursement will be provided less any actual costs accrued.

Instructions for Zoom will be included in the confirmation email sent to all participants upon completion of registration.

For questions please contact Maryann Lynch, the RIAIMH Community Conversation Series Coordinator, program@riaimh.org

Continuing Education Credits:

Full attendance meets the qualifications for 4.0 hours of continuing education credit as required by the National Association of Social Workers, Rhode Island Chapter-NASW units and the Northeast Multistate Division-Continuing Nurses Education-CNE units and the Center for Early Learning Professionals (CELP)-credit for Rhode Island's Early Childhood Workforce.

In order to receive CE Credits, participants must purchase CE units ($25) in addition to registration (CE unit price is NOT included in registration). Full attendance is required in order to receive CE units and no partial credit will be offered (participants must join meeting by 9:00 am at the latest). Failure to meet these requirements will prohibit RIAIMH from issuing CE certificates and no refund will be provided.

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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