5th Annual Conference on Haitian Mental Health
Still We Rise: Religion, Spirituality & Well-Being in the Haitian Community
J. Abede Alexandre, DMin, PsyD
Dr. J. Abède Alexandre holds a Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from George Fox University, and a Master’s degree and Doctorate in the field of Theology and Pastoral Ministry from Dallas Theological Seminary. He currently works as a School Psychologist for the Boston Public Schools. He is also the founder and senior Pastor of Tabernacle Baptist Congregation in Roslindale, MA. He and his wife, Edith, are the proud parents of two sons, Jean Abede II and Jonathan.
Alison Armour, M.A.
Ms. Alison Armour is finishing her third year as a PsyD student in the Clinical Psychology Program at William James College. She is completing her training under the HRSA grant at the Edward M. Kennedy Community Health Center in Worcester as part of an APA-accredited consortium. She currently works with patients across the lifespan and cross-culturally, including refugee individuals and families. Her clinical areas of interest include working in collaboration with primary care physicians and psychiatric providers in community health settings, and focusing on individual psychotherapy with children, adolescents, and geriatrics. Her approved dissertation proposal is under the working title of “The Relationship between perceived social connectedness, physical wellbeing, and subjective aging in older adults.” Prior to beginning her graduate work in psychology, Ms. Armour served as the Assistant Head of Foreign Language at an independent pre-K through 8 school, teaching French and introductory Spanish. She participated in the 2015 Haiti Service Learning Program in Vallue, Petit-Goâve.
Catherine Barba, M.A.
Ms. Catherine Barba is a 4th year doctoral student in the Clinical Psychology Program at William James College where she is completing a concentration on Children and Families of Adversity and Resilience. Her clinical interests include cross-cultural treatment, identity formation, and interpersonal relationships. Ms. Barba is conducting her doctoral research on Contemporary Fathers and exploring how identity, attachment, and parental meta-emotion philosophy impact father’s involvement with their children. She is currently an intern at Bentley University’s Counseling Center and will be a postdoctoral fellow at Tufts University in the fall. Ms. Barba took part in the 2015 Haiti Service Learning Program in Vallue, Petit-Goâve.
Emily Bhargava, M.A.
Ms. Emily Bhargava, Director of Connection Lab LLC, works in community health, community organizing and community art to promote health. Through organizational development, evaluation design and collaborative assessment, Ms. Bhargava helps to formalize and enhance the work of prevention to help communities achieve the greatest possible impact with the limited time and money dedicated to primary prevention and community level health promotion. Ms. Bhargava often works on the border between art and public health, using art to share health information, to increase community collaboration and community capacity, and to increase engagement in building healthy communities.
Judite Blanc, Ph.D.
Dr. Judite Blanc was born in Port-au-Prince, Haiti. She completed her B.A. in Psychology at the State University of Haiti (Université d’Etat D’Haiti/Faculté des Sciences Humaines), and her Master’s degree in Developmental Child and Adolescent Psychology and Psychopathology in France (Université de Caen Basse Normandie and Université de Toulouse 2). In 2015, she defended her Doctoral Dissertation in Clinical Psychology at the University of Paris 13. Her epidemiological research related to the psychopathological consequences of the Haiti 2010 earthquake has been published in high impact journals. Currently, Dr. Blanc is an Assistant Professor at the Université d’Etat d’Haiti and other universities in Port-au-Prince. She is also pursuing her work on Psychotraumatology, African Psychology, and Gender and Mental Health.
Elizabeth Conward, LICSW
Ms. Elizabeth Conward is the Chief Operating Officer and co-founder of Awake IntuMind, LLC. She is a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker. She completed her Masters in Social Work from Wheelock College. Her clinical training encompasses working with individuals, groups, and families. Ms. Conward has over 10 years of experience in the field of social work, and has worked in community mental health clinics as an in-home therapist, an outpatient therapist and a clinical supervisor. She has worked for multiple nonprofit agencies in the Boston area such as the Home for Little Wanderers, Catholic Charities and Children’s Services of Roxbury. Ms. Conward believes that therapy should be personalized; each client is unique and requires an approach that is individualized to their needs. She takes time to know her clients, listen to their life stories, and hear about their personal dreams and goals. Her therapeutic approach is always strength based and culturally sensitive. Modalities of therapeutic intervention that she uses with her clients include Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Solution Focused, Psychodynamic, Relational and Interpersonal and Play Therapy.
Tony Dellovo, MPH
Mr. Tony Dellovo works as part development team at the Greater Boston Food Bank and was previously a development manager at Screening for Mental Health, a Boston-based nonprofit that provides mental health and substance use resources linking individuals to quality treatment options. He served as the co-chair for the Greater Boston Regional Suicide Prevention Coalition (GBRSPC) from 2014 to 2016. The GBRSPC has over 90 members including professionals, providers, advocates, faculty, students, those with lived experience, and survivors that are working to create a strong network of suicide prevention across the region.
Marie Maude Evans, M.A.
Manbo Marie Maude Evans holds a Master’s in Mental Health Psychology and works as a Health Manager at the Community Action Agency of Somerville (CAAS) as well as a Mental Health Clinician at South Shore Mental Health. Prior to this, she served Boston’s Haitian community as a child advocate, holding the position of Family Advocate for 10 years. Adding to her rich and varied set of skills, she studied Economics and worked for several years as an accountant for a telecommunications firm; she also attained her degree in Fashion Design at the Academy Verona, which led to her opening her own business. A native of Jacmel, Haiti, Ms. Evans re-located to the U.S. in 1990 and currently resides in Mattapan, Massachusetts. She is a Manbo (high priestess) in the Haitian Vodou tradition and serves a range of clientele who comes seeking spiritual guidance. She maintains strong connections to her temple in Haiti by traveling there each summer to conduct initiations, spiritual weddings, feasts, and other ceremonies.
Ms. Alessandra Frissora is a 2nd year student in the Clinical PsyD Program at William James College. Currently, she is completing her practicum training at Shrewsbury Youth and Family Services. Next fall, she will begin her 3rd year internship at Boston Behavioral Medicine. Some of her clinical interests include global mental health, women’s health and mind-body connection. She participated in the 2015 Haiti Service Learning Program in Vallue, Petit-Goâve.
Edna Laurent-Tellus, LICSW
Ms. Edna Laurent-Tellus is the Chief Executive Officer and founder of Awake IntuMind (AIM), an innovative mental health care provider that utilizes an integrated approach to the delivery of mental health services. Ms. Laurent-Tellus has over 20 years of experience as a senior administrator, strategic planner, and mental health program developer for diverse populations and communities in Massachusetts. Prior to establishing Awake IntuMind, Ms. Laurent-Tellus held positions as the Director of Behavioral Health Services at Children’s Services of Roxbury, Senior Director of Clinical Services at Roxbury Multi Service Center, and Executive Director of Brockton Neighbors United Community Connections Coalition. Under her leadership and guidance at these organizations, she generated millions of dollars in revenue for behavioral health programs, strengthened organizational capacity for mental health service delivery, and helped hundreds of underserved and at-risk families obtain access to mental health care. As a clinician, Ms. Laurent-Tellus is known as an effective advocate for individuals and families. She has devoted her professional life to developing client-centered and culturally sensitive treatments that empowers families to advocate for better services. The mental health care programs that she has established have used solution-focused/strengths-based approaches to address social, economic, and emotional needs of individuals and families. Ms. Laurent-Tellus earned a Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston College, Chestnut Hill, MA (1996) and a Graduate Certificate in Women in Politics and Public Policy from the University of Massachusetts in Boston (2009). Ms. Laurent-Tellus is certified by the Massachusetts Board of Social Workers as a Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker
John Meigs, M.A.
Mr. John Meigs is a 3rd year doctoral student in the Clinical PsyD Program at William James College. His area of interest is Global Mental Health and his doctoral project is in the area of normal worry and trauma. He has interned at New Hope TSS, Lynn Community Health Center, Lesley University Counseling Center, and the Metro Boston Mental Health Units at the Lemuel Shattuck Hospital. Next year he will intern at the MIT Mental Health Counseling Service. He took part in the 2015 Haiti Service Learning Program in Vallue, Petit-Goâve. This summer he will travel with WJC students and faculty to Kandara, Kenya as part of an immersion program working with primary school students and teachers.
Ms. Brittany Murphy is a 2nd year doctoral candidate in the Clinical PsyD Program at William James College. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Clark University. She is currently a psychology practicum student at the Massachusetts Mental Health Center’s Partial Hospital Program and next year she will be completing an APA-accredited consortium internship at Riverbend Community Mental Health in Concord, NH. She participated in the 2015 Haiti Service Learning & Summer Immersion Program. Her primary clinical interests are on children and families and the impact of trauma on child development. In her free time she enjoys skiing, traveling, and hiking with her dog, Zelda.
Maggie Pierre, LICSW
Ms. Maggie Pierre is an independently licensed social worker in the state of Massachusetts. Ms. Pierre has a Master’s degree in Social Work from Boston College's Graduate School of Social Work, and a certificate in Basic Coaching from Boston University's Graduate School of Social Work. She has worked in the field for 20 years in a variety of settings, including child welfare, foster care/adoption, and mental health and juvenile courts in Massachusetts and California. Ms. Pierre has worked at the Department of Children and Families, Children’s Bureau and Children’s Services of Roxbury as a social worker, clinician and clinical supervisor respectively. She is currently an independent contractor at Awake IntuMind, LLC as well as an adoption clinician at the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Children.
Ms. Ashley White is a 2nd year doctoral student in the Clinical PsyD Program at William James College where she is enrolled in the concentrations on Child and Families of Adversity and Resilience and Global Mental Health. Ms. White’s research interest includes pediatric acute physical Illness, mind-body connection and disaster mental health. She has been a clinical trainee at Lowell Community Charter Public School and Family Health Center in Worcester. Next year, she will intern at Shriner’s Hospital for Children. Ms. White took part in the 2015 Haiti Service Learning Program in Vallue, Petit-Goâve. In the future, she plans to participate in more immersion experiences as a student at WJC and work internationally as a child psychologist.