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Elevate Joins YSPH, Bringing Maternal and Child Mental Health Expertise

June 10, 2021

The Elevate Policy Lab has joined the Yale School of Public Health’s Office of Public Health Practice (OPHP).

Elevate focuses on addressing mental health as a strategy for improving the social and economic mobility of families living in poverty. In this new position, the lab will bring new perspectives and expertise to public health practice in New Haven, particularly the recently launched Maternal and Child Health Promotion Track for M.P.H. students.

“Elevate’s mission is completely aligned with the goals of YSPH’s new Maternal and Child Health Promotion Track,” said Elevate Executive Director Hilary Hahn, M.P.H. “Our new home within the OPHP could not be a more perfect fit.”

As part of Elevate’s mission, the lab works to expand the Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership®. Founded in 2011 in New Haven, MOMS is an evidence-based program model designed to reduce depressive symptoms for over-burdened and under-resourced mothers and female caregivers. Elevate partners with government agencies to ensure long-term sustainability of the program beyond the pilot program. The lab is expanding MOMS to new sites across the United States, with current partnerships in Vermont, Washington, D.C., New York City, and Bridgeport, Conn. Elevate conducts evaluations at each site to understand the impact of services for mothers, with a most recent publication on the DC MOMS pilot in Psychiatric Services.

Additionally, Elevate is working to simultaneously tackle health, economic, and environmental challenges facing overburdened and under-resourced populations to address the root causes of health disparities and improve outcomes. Together with Connecticut State Rep. Caroline Simmons, Elevate Policy Director Barbara Ruhl is advancing this approach at the local, state and federal levels.

“Our team is thrilled to welcome Elevate to YSPH and excited to partner, specifically by sharing our experiences working with communities and community health workers to ensure equitable partnerships and crafting robust maternal and child health practice experiences for our students,” said Susan Nappi, OPHP’s executive director.

The Elevate team looks forward to becoming more integrated within the YSPH community over the coming year. In addition to exploring collaborations in its new home, Elevate is excited to launch MOMS services for mothers living in family shelters in the Bronx, mothers currently or formerly incarcerated in the Bronx and Brooklyn, and mothers in the Springfield and Holyoke, Mass., area.

To connect with Elevate or learn more about the program, please visit the lab's website.

Submitted by Ivette Aquilino on June 09, 2021