Glenda began serving on the ITMHCA Leadership Board in 2020. Glenda has a BA in Psychology and a MA in Counseling and Guidance. She maintains licensure as a Professional Counselor in Arizona and Louisiana and is endorsed as an Infant Family Specialist. Glenda earned the Infant/Family Studies Certificate through The Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Training Institute. Glenda is a certified trainer in FLIP IT through Devereux Center for Resilient Children and in the Neurosequential Model in Education through the Neurosequential Network. Glenda has worked in group home settings, community mental health, domestic violence shelter, is currently the Mental Health Associate for Maricopa County Early Education Division 0-5 Head Start Program and is an active member in the Arizona Head Start Association.
Bob Klaehn, M.D. is a Board Certified Child Psychiatrist and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry (AACAP). He is currently a Medical Director for Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, assisting in benefit management for children and youth with Autism Spectrum Disorder. Previously, he was Medical Director for the Division of Developmental Disabilities, Arizona Department of Economic Security for nearly fourteen years. He has been active in the National Wraparound Movement since the early 1990's. He is an active local, national and international speaker on topics in early childhood mental health and the diagnosis and treatment of persons with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other Developmental Disabilities. Most recently, in December 2019, Bob presented four lectures during the international conference "At the Juncture of Psychiatry and Neurology: Disorders in Infants, Adolescents and Young Adults," in Ivano-Frankivsk, Ukraine.
Bob received his undergraduate degree in History and Science from The Johns Hopkins University in 1976 and his medical degree from Wayne State University in Detroit in 1980. He received his adult and child psychiatry training at the University of Wisconsin Hospital and Clinics. Bob is a member of the volunteer faculty of the Valleywise Psychiatric Residency and Child Psychiatry Fellowship Programs. He has been a member of the ITMHCA Board of Directors since 2013 and Board Chair since 2019.
Bob was a member of the American Academy of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry's Committee on Community-Based Systems of Care from 1995 to 2014. He is currently the Committee's Liaison to the AACAP Autism and Intellectual Disabilities Committee. While a member of the Committee, he helped to develop the Child and Adolescent Service Intensity Instrument (CASII) and the Early Childhood Service Intensity Instrument (ECSII), non-diagnostically driven tools for determining the appropriate intensity of service, which are used by state Medicaid and private insurance companies across the country. Dr. Klaehn has also helped draft multiple AACAP documents addressing Systems of Care Issues affecting young children, including "Best Principles for Early Childhood Systems of Care" (2003) and was the Lead Author for the "Early Childhood System of Care" and "Developmental Disabilities" Modules for the "Systems Based Practice Toolkit" (2009) developed for use in Child Psychiatry Fellowships.
Meryl began serving on the ITMHCA Leadership Board in 2020. She currently serves as Vice-Chair. Meryl has a BA in Psychology and a Master's in Social Work from Arizona State University. She holds an LCSW in the state of Arizona. She received her post graduate certificate from the Harris Institute in Infant/Toddler Mental Health. Meryl is a Faculty Associate at Arizona State University where she teaches both bachelor and master's level classes. Meryl works for the City of Phoenix Head Start Birth to Five program where she holds the position of Mental Health Supervisor. She has previous experience working as a school social worker and as a caseworker and mental health evaluator at previous RHBAs.
Kelly Lalan serves as the Health Choice Arizona ASD, CRS and Birth to Five Clinical Care Coordinator. She grew up in Littleton, Colorado, obtained her bachelors degree from NAU in 2007 and her Masters of Social Work from ASU in 2016. Since taking on her current role, Kelly has worked to establish a Birth Through Five program for her health plan and put on a statewide Autism conference. In her collaboration with this work group, she intends to enhance awareness of ITMHCA's mission, goals, and values and to promote the health and wellness of this population among peers and professionals.
Sally has served on the ITMHCA Board since 2018 and is currently the treasurer. She previously served as a liaison to the Board representing her background in pediatric health care and her role as a court-appointed special advocate (CASA) working with infants and toddlers.
Sally completed her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in nursing at Ohio State University. Her work activities have centered around pediatric health care and nursing education. She completed her professional career at Phoenix Children's Hospital, retiring as Director of Community Outreach and Injury Prevention Center. Sally currently completes project work as needed with the clinical education department at PCH.
Her volunteer role with ITMHCA is a priority. Understanding the needs of our young children, supporting the development of professionals who care for young families, assuring a well prepared work force caring for our most vulnerable young children and families, and advocating for those needs - these are ITMHCA's mission directed efforts.
Sukanya Chandra-Sharma, D.O. (Suki) a trained Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist, joined the ITMHCA Board of Directors in the Fall of 2020. She completed her Bachelors in Biology with a minor in Anthropology, and then received her medical degree from New York College of Osteopathic Medicine in 1999. She and her husband moved to Phoenix in 2003. Suki received her general psychiatry training at Maricopa Integrated Health Systems, and then completed her Fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. She has worked as an outpatient psychiatrist, treating both children and adults. For the last 10 years she has dedicated her time and experience in working with her son with special needs. In working with her son she became a part of his Montessori school's counseling department, working closely with teachers, students and families. She is passionate about early education, diagnosis and a holistic approach to treatment of children to optimize their physical and mental development, learning and support in the community at large. She continues to lecture and supervise the Child Psychiatry Fellows from the Valley Wise Medical Center in school based psychiatry consultation rotations
Desirae began volunteering on the ITMHCA Board of Directors in 2020. She has a Bachelor of Science Degree in Family Life Education-Child Development from the University of Central Oklahoma and a Master of Advanced Studies Degree in Infant-Family Practice from Arizona State University. She has been a member of the ITMHCA since 2010 and is endorsed as an Infant-Family Specialist. Desirae has worked for many years in various capacities to empower families and as a voice for young children, including in early childhood education, the Division of Developmental Disabilities, and the Arizona Early Intervention Program. She is currently providing therapeutic services as a Child and Family Therapist, specializing in early childhood mental health, at Casa de los Niños in Tucson, AZ.
Crystal Garcia-Lindquist is an Licensed Master Social Worker. She obtained a Masters in Social Work at Arizona State University and completed her postgraduate training at the Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Institute at Southwest Human Development. Her professional experience has included being a researcher at University of Arizona and Arizona State University, Child/Family Therapist, and a School Social Worker. Crystal has always been fascinated with early childhood and how early childhood experiences impact growth and development. She is extremely interested in the relationships formed with parents and caregivers during the early years and how the quality of the relationship sets the foundation for all future development: intellectual, social, emotional, physical and behavioral.
Crystal currently works at Desert Garden Montessori where she oversees the Primary and Infant/Toddler Programs. She is involved in training staff, reflective supervision, parent trainings, early prevention/intervention of children birth to 5 years, program development, and community referrals. She also serves as a consultant to the Elementary Program and is involved in some of the behavioral intervention.
She is currently working toward her certified training specialization through Conscious Discipline. When Crystal is not working, she enjoys spending quality time with her family. She loves to stay active, travel, and read.
Grethel Dana Hassell, LMSW Chair of Advocacy and Public Awareness Committee
Grethel is a Licensed Master Social Worker specializing in trauma and Infant/Toddler Mental Health. She works as a Clinical Program Supervisor and Therapist for the Infant and Early Childhood Program at Touchstone Health Services (Phoenix and Avondale locations). She is involved in training and providing reflective supervision to Master Level Clinicians.
As a therapist she provides clinical treatment services such as intakes, therapy sessions, assessments and facilitates treatment groups for children 0 to 6 years old. Grethel also assists in pioneering a clinical partnership with Maggie's Place where she provides in-shelter treatment services to pregnant women and infants experiencing homelessness. She also participates in providing training on trauma, infant mental health and maternal mental health to shelter's staff.
Her post-graduate training consists of completing the 2-year track Infant/Family Clinical Practice at the Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Institute through Southwest Human Development. Grethel is formally trained in The FAN (Facilitating Attuned Interactions) Approach, Center on the Social and Emotional Foundations for Early Learning (CSEFEL), Sandtray Play Therapy and Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR).
In furthering her specialized training, she is currently working to complete Child-Parent Psychotherapy (CPP) training. Grethel integrates all this clinical knowledge into her therapeutic practice and is actively pursuing her independent clinical license. Grethel has practice working with young survivors who have experienced trauma, foster care, depression/anxiety and complex behavior symptoms due a variety of factors including Social Determinants of Health (SDOH). Grethel also works within the African American community to dismantle the stigma of mental health and advocate for young children.
Bernadette "Bibi" Herran is a licensed social worker who specializes in the social-emotional development of children and adults. Bibi has over nineteen years of experience including training and consultation for childhood professionals of Early Head start, Head start, and community childcare settings. For the last seven years Bibi has also been training and coaching teachers and administrators in elementary schools. Bibi's commitment to social awareness and education has driven her to understand the importance of relationship-based interventions. She is a Conscious Discipline Instructor and has earned an Infant/Family Clinical Practice Certificate from The Harris Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Training Institute. Bibi is a dynamic presenter who connects with her participants and helps them reflect on how Conscious Discipline relates to their own life experiences. Bibi offers training-consultation and classroom coaching in both English and Spanish.
Lorna Sedillos, LCSW, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Specialist
Lorna Sedillos, LCSW, RPT, IMH-E® has been in private practice since 2010. She has expertise supporting children and their families through reflective practices, relationship-based work, and Play Therapy. Lorna has been a Registered Play Therapist since 1994. Lorna has worked with children and families for the past 29 years in the capacities of program developer, trainer, group facilitator, therapist, clinical supervisor, and reflective supervisor. She provides Reflective Supervision and consultation for individuals and for groups, while maintaining her Infant Mental Health Endorsement since 2013. Lorna was accepted to the Board of Directors for the Infant Toddler Mental Health Coalition of Arizona in 2020.
Genett Tomko, MSW, LCSW, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Specialist Training and Education Chair Institute Committee Chair
Genett has volunteered as the Chair of the Training & Education Committee for ITMHCA since 2010. She served as the Co-Chair of the ITMHCA Training Institute in 2014. Genett is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker specializing in Infant Mental Health. She works as a Clinical Supervisor and Therapist at the Good Fit Counseling Center at Southwest Human Development providing therapeutic services for children birth to 5 years old. Genett also opened a private practice in Chandler in 2010 where she provides therapy for children birth to 12 years old.
Genett is endorsed as an Infant/Toddler Mental Health Specialist. She also completed the 2 year clinical track of the Harris Infant & Early Childhood Mental Health Training Institute. She has over 200 hours of training in Play Therapy.
Genett completed a 200 hour Yoga Teacher training program through At One Yoga and incorporates these skills into therapeutic services. Genett's treatment approach includes Child/Parent Psychotherapy, Play Therapy, Expressive Arts, Mindfulness and a holistic approach to young children's Social/Emotional development. Genett has extensive experience working with young children who have experienced trauma, abuse/neglect, behavior challenges, anxiety, and foster care.
Genett has facilitated trainings on Infant Mental Health & the social/emotional development of young children for ITMHCA, AZ Play Therapy Association, Southwest Human Development, Head Start and the Crisis Nursery. Genett presented at the 2008 Arizona Infant/Toddler Mental Health Institute. Genett previously volunteered on the Board of Director for AZ Play Therapy Association for 6 years.
Priscilla Whitlock-Coates has served on the ITMHCA Board of Directors since 2012. She currently is serving on the Endorsement Committee and has historically held position in Policy, Education/Training and Membership. Priscilla has a BA in Psychology and a Master's in counseling. She is endorsed as an Infant Family Specialist since 2012. Priscilla has been working in the field of children and families for over 30 years. During this time, she has served in a wide range of capacities from being a direct service therapist to children and their families to the Regional Director/ Vice President for multiple For Profit and Non-Profit Agencies. Currently Priscilla is working as a contactor for the Military and providing therapy services to families of Prenatal - Age 5 children through her Private Practice.
Honorary Board Members
Nicole Valdez, MSW, LCSW, IMH-E® Infant Mental Health Specialist
Nicole has been a member of the Infant Toddler Mental Health Coalition of Arizona's Board of Directors since 2007 and was nominated as Chair of the Board of Directors in September 2009. She is a Harris Institute graduate and is Endorsed in Arizona as an Infant Mental Health Specialist. She has worked in direct practice with families and young children for eight years and is currently providing Reflective Supervision/Consultation and training statewide.
Marina Awerbuch has 12 years experience working with children and parents in community-based settings. Marina has successfully delivered continuing education seminars to professionals and families on evidence-based parent education, trauma informed care and child development. She has conducted community outreach, education, and collaborative program efforts to enhance awareness of infant-toddler development and child abuse prevention in the Arizona community. Marina's work focuses on building program infrastructure, and data management to best support growth of local and national non-profits focusing on the wellbeing of children. Marina holds a Masters of Advanced Study in Infant Family Practice from Arizona State University and is endorsed through the Infant Mental Health Coalition of Arizona.