Prior to entering the mental health field, Jen started her career gaining a background in education and non-profit management with Junior Achievement, an international organization dedicated to serving K-12 students through hands-on experiences that demonstrate financial literacy, work-readiness, and entrepreneurship. As a program manager, she spent years in developing curriculum, leading trainings, and stewarding corporate volunteers and donations.
In 2010, Jen made a career switch and proceeded to obtain a Master's degree in Marital & Family Therapy from the University of San Diego. She completed most of her clinical training at the UCSD Reproductive Mental Health Clinic working alongside physicians, midwives, and psychiatrists to provide a unique collaboration on the screening and treatment of perinatal mood disorders affecting women and their partners during pregnancy and the postpartum period. She also has experience counseling youth and military families while working for the Coronado SAFE Foundation.
Jen is currently in private practice in Point Loma and enjoys supporting couples as they transition into parenthood. She has specialized knowledge in the areas of maternal mental health, attachment & bonding, birth trauma & loss, infertility struggles, and adjusting to parenthood while preserving your marriage.
In her free time, you can find Jen spending time at the beach or in the desert with her husband and 2 children.
Ashley is an IBCLC (International Board Certified Lactation Consultant). She practices at the San Diego Breastfeeding Center and enjoys helping families through feeding, parenting, and postpartum life. Ashley has a lively 4.5-year-old and she enjoys hiking, playing softball, and reading in her free time.
Arlene Tendick is an established public affairs professional with more than 10 years of community relations, business development and media relations experience and a background in strategic communications in the private, public and nonprofit sectors. She currently runs a boutique consulting firm specializing in public outreach and community engagement. Arlene graduated from the University of Southern California, with majors in Communication and International Relations. She's a mom of two who is using her background in fundraising, coalition building and nonprofit operations to support PHA's mission.
Veronica is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker at Sharp Mary Birch Hospital for Women and Newborns. She has been working with families facing high risk pregnancies, NICU hospitalizations, pregnancy loss, adoption, surrogacy, substance abuse, and adolescent pregnancies in the hospital setting for 17 years. Veronica currently facilitates the weekly postpartum mood and anxiety support group for women at Sharp Mary Birch, a monthly Co-Ed support group for couples affected by postpartum mood disorders, and a weekly support group for NICU parents.
Shelly oversees the amazing work of the Live Well San Diego Support Team at the County of San Diego. The County acts as both a partner and backbone organization to the Live Well San Diego vision for a healthy, safe and thriving San Diego region. Through this work, the County and its partners help organizations and individuals make connections and leverage partnerships to increase their impact in the community.
Shelly is a certified Green Belt in Lean Six Sigma process improvement and earned a certificate in Strategic Management from UCSD. In 2012, Shelly graduated from LEAD San Diego’s IMPACT class 2 weeks after the birth of her daughter Lucy. During LEAD’s capstone project, Shelly and a team of fellow students worked with PHA to develop a strategic implementation plan for the organization. Eighteen months later, after stopping breastfeeding, Shelly was in the midst of an existential dilemma and received an email requesting board members for PHA and so it began. Shelly has served as the Social Media Chair and Events Chair in addition to her current role as the Development Chair.
Content Development Co-Chair & Interim Program Director
Renata is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and mom of two young boys. In between picking up legos and making PB&Js, Renata runs a private practice exclusively focuses on providing supportive and educational wellness groups for new moms. Her mission to ensure all moms have a trusted space to navigate the complexities of their role, thus she is ecstatic to join PHA and honored to be a part of an organization that continues to promote the importance of Maternal (and Paternal) Mental Health.
Amanda is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist in private practice. She is passionate about making the journey into motherhood as seamless as possible. Her group private practice focuses on women and mothers, and offers support, education and therapy. Her group practice will also be offering weekly support groups for those TTC, expecting and postpartum mothers. Additionally, she launched an online coaching program for new mothers and loves being able to support even more mothers in this process.
Amanda joined PHA to help support new mothers. After the birth of her first child, she was unprepared for the major transitions required in adapting to new motherhood. PHA is a way to help other new mothers transition into this season of life with ease and to help spread the message that help is available. She now has three children, who fill her life outside of work, with lots of activity and laughter.
PSI Liaison Chair
Shelby Peterson is a dedicated mother, postpartum mentor, community volunteer, and wife of a police officer. Born and raised in Southern California, Shelby resides in San Diego with her husband Jake, and their three children. Shelby enjoys spending time with her family, serving as a wish granter for the Make-A-Wish foundation, and utilizing her experience in overcoming postpartum depression to help new moms who are struggling with this condition. Shelby is a graduate of Chapman University where she obtained her B.A. in Psychology. She is currently the reigning Mrs. California America where she is using her title to advocate for the maternal health community.
Content Development Co-Chair
Nicole is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist, Career Counselor, and mom to a little boy. She has about a decade of experience in the mental and behavioral health field, working primarily with youth and families. She has a private practice where she sees clients via tele-therapy as well as provides tailored career services to adults. She wholeheartedly believes in the mission of PHA and cares deeply about reducing the stigma of seeking support; thus she feels incredibly grateful to be joining an organization that provides continuous support and resources to individuals and families during a very vulnerable time and that honors each person’s unique experience.
Board Member at Large
With almost a decade of experience within the entrepreneurial realm, Alexa currently serves as Controller at Correlation Ventures, where she oversees various aspects of the fund's finances and operations. Alexa acts as a liaison between the firm and its diverse community of portfolio companies as well as its limited partners. Alexa holds an MBA from San Diego State University and a BA from The University of Michigan. Alexa is drawn to PHA's mission after herself struggling with postpartum depression after the birth of her first child. Armed with information, resources, and support, her experience after the birth of her second child was tremendously different. Her goal is to help other parents find the support they need to navigate their own journeys into and through parenthood and to reduce the stigma surrounding perinatal mood disorders.
Board Member at Large
Michelle Clookie is an International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and Board Member at Large for the Postpartum Health Alliance. She is passionate about normalizing all aspects of motherhood and providing support for families during their parenthood transitions. When not supporting other families, Michelle is spending time at the beach with her husband Jeremy, and their three children.
Natalie holds a B.A. from the University of San Diego and her background is in Secondary Education. Natalie's years as a classroom teacher ended when she started a family, however her passion for teaching has only grown exponentially. Now as a mother of three, and Certified Pediatric Sleep Consultant and Postpartum Doula, Natalie carries her skills from her teaching career into the motherhood realm, educating new parents on infant development and sleep fundamentals, and helping families develop sustainable routines with their babies so that everyone stays well rested during a time that can be extremely exhausting and overwhelming.
Natalie first became involved with PHA in 2018 after finally taking control of her own PMADs, realizing there was an arsenal of resources available to new parents that she only wished she had known about as a new mom.