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 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 3 children.
Vice President and Equity and Inclusion Co-Chair
Camille is a licensed Marriage and Family Therapist who has over 10 years of experience working in non-profit, government, and private practice. Her roles have varied in program development, case management, and mental health. The different populations she has worked with are homeless/low-income families, domestic violence survivors, individuals recovering from severe medical, substance abuse, and mental health issues. Camille received her BA from Eugene Lang College the New School for Liberal Arts with a concentration in Urban Studies and a minor in Urban Education in NYC. Camille completed her MA in Counseling Psychology at National University at the Costa Mesa, CA campus. Camille has a passion for working with women, children, and families. Camille’s passion for PHA comes from years of working with mothers from pregnancy to postpartum. Camille had her daughter several days before the Pandemic began and not having any support as a first-time mom, was diagnosed with postpartum depression. Camille’s midwife referred her to PHA where she was able to find help to navigate being a mother during this uncertain time. In her free time, Camille loves traveling, cooking, trying new restaurants, spending time with her daughter, cat, family, and friends.
Treasurer and Grants and Development Co-Chair
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.
Grants and Development Chair
Jaren Soloff is a Registered Dietitian and International Board Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) who serves as an expert in women’s health. In her private practice, Jaren combines her expertise as a skilled nutrition therapist and lactation consultant to support mothers in nourishing themselves and their babies with confidence.
As a mom who has navigated the postpartum space and experienced both the physical and mental challenges that come alongside it, Jaren is passionate about helping to support other women and mothers in the community.
Outside of private practice, you’ll find Jaren walking the beautiful beaches of San Diego with a Lofty Coffee in hand alongside her daughter and adorable pup, Khloe.
Equity and Inclusion Chair
Divya Reddy, MD, MPH, is a board-certified Family Medicine physician who provides primary care to infants and children, and adults and seniors. She has advanced training in obstetrical care, provides prenatal care and delivers babies at UC San Diego Health. Women's health has been an important focus for her throughout her career.
She has the unique opportunity to not only care for women during their pregnancy and be present during the very vulnerable time of labor, but she also sees them several times postpartum as she continues to care for the newborns. What drew her to PHA was seeing firsthand how difficult those early postpartum times can be and wanting to get more involved in helping women through those times at a community level, while she continues to provide direct patient care. She hopes to bring further awareness to health disparities and work to narrowing those gaps in her role as Equity Chair.
Community Education Chair
Kristen is a Licensed Psychologist in private practice who is passionate about supporting women during difficult life transitions. Kristen specializes in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, trauma, and sleep. She has completed advanced training in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders through Postpartum Support International and is trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia and Cognitive Processing Therapy for PTSD.
Kristen's social justice values align with PHA's mission to increase access to support for new mothers who may feel overwhelmed. She wants new moms to know that they don’t have to brave it alone and they deserve support. Kristen has two young children who keep her busy when she’s not working with her clients.
Dr. Maria Elswick is an OB/GYN specializing in Perinatal Depression and Anxiety at Kaiser Permanente. Maria has been an OB/GYN for 24 years, and about halfway through her career, it became clear to her that there are not enough resources for moms and families struggling with PMADs. Having struggled herself during the early years of parenting, as Maria's practice developed, she found that she very much enjoyed working with patients who were struggling or have struggled in the past. Maria continues to find supporting perinatal individuals, a population in which her life experience and career experience came together, to be very fulfilling.
Social Media Chair
Kristine holds a doctorate in clinical forensic psychology with a background in assisting youth in juvenile detention. Becoming a mom shifted her focus back home and to spending time with her inquisitive and energetic tiny human. Not having an easy transition into parenthood herself, Kristine is passionate about increasing awareness and access to support for those living with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.
In her free time, Kristine enjoys camping with her family, dog rescue, and developing her photography skills.
PMADs 101 Training Chair
PSI National Liaison Chair
Shivani's early career started in the event & hospitality industry, in which she has a unique background in the sense that she started her own event planning company when she was in High School that led to a career in coordinating large weddings and events. Fast forward to 10 years and Shivani experienced her own mental health concerns. Through her own experience of trying to find help, support, and resources, she realized that her passion and personal mission was to help others. Specifically, Shivani strives to help individuals who are experiencing mental health conditions, change the relationship they had with themselves. As a result, Shivani received her Yoga Teacher Training and got certified to teach Mindfulness, as well as a focus in pre and postnatal mental health, and mindfulness for youth. Shivani's willingness to dedicate her time and energies to PHA steams from a personal tragedy in which, Shivani lost a close friend who was struggling with severe postpartum depression to suicide. Shivani's goal is to continue to fight for more awareness in mental health, but specifically, pre and postnatal care, because every woman deserves to know they are supported and have access to agencies out there dedicated to helping them navigate the challenges of pregnancy, motherhood, and beyond.
Shivani comes to PHA with a lengthy background in non-profit management and program development. As a lead program manager for NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Shivani was central in advocating for and developing an Equity and Inclusion program within the Orange County chapter. Currently, Shivani is the Director of Development at The Youth Center and VP of Volunteer Development at MannMukti (South Asian Mental Health org). Her previous Board experience includes being a volunteer Board Member at South Asian Mental Health Organization, MannMukti, and a volunteer Board Member and team member of Intersectionality/Education at We Are Saath - South Asian Mental Health Organization.
PSI CA-Chapter Liaison Chair
Melissa Nefalar is a second-generation Filipino-American and native San Diegan. Melissa is a mom to three kids, has a spouse in education, and is passionate to work with parents and their families utilizing mind-body and holistic approaches. As a licensed marriage and family therapist, Melissa runs a full-time private practice specializing in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders, brain spotting, children/teens, and grief/loss. As the PSI liaison co-chair, Melissa is also currently serving on the board of directors for PSI California as their social media chair.
Board Member at Large
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.
Due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, PHA has intentionally decided to leave our events chair vacant for the time being. We hope to return to hosting in-person social, fundraiser, and community awareness events as soon as it is safe to do so. We appreciate our former Events Chair, Angela Bojorquez, willingness to return as a PHA volunteer if we are able to host an in-person event in 2021.
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.
Website Development Volunteer
Renata is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist and mom of two young boys. Born and raised in San Diego, Renata received her undergraduate degree at San Diego State, and her Master in Children and Family Therapy at the University of Houston - Clear Lake. For over a decade, Renata specialized in working with children and adolescents who have undergone significant trauma at various San Diego non-profits; such as, New Alternatives, Mental Health Systems, and San Diego Youth Services.
In 2013, Renata's own transition into motherhood opened her eyes to the glaring lack of support, and unrealistic social pressures/expectations, parents received during the postpartum period. In 2016, Renata officially pivoted her focus and practice to Maternal Mental Health and has since received extensive experience and training in Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs), perinatal loss, and the maternal transition/experience within the postpartum period and parenthood.
In between picking up legos and making PB&Js for her boys, Renata runs a private practice that 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.