Maternal Mental Health & Wellness Conference

The Missoula Maternal Mental Health and Wellness Conference at Providence St. Patrick Hospital will bring together health care providers from throughout Montana to learn, discuss and share current research and resources for the identification and treatment of perinatal mental health disorders.

May 6, 2019 | 8 a.m. - 4:30 p.m.
Providence St. Patrick Hospital - Missoula, Montana

Up to 34% of moms report their births as traumatic

This could be the result of complications during birth which threaten the life of well-being of the mother or child, or a perceived threat to life or well-being based on a woman’s personal history. One in three women in the United States has experienced some form of sexual violence in her lifetime, and these past traumas can frequently resurface a trigger a laboring woman.

Whether birth trauma is the result of circumstances occurring during labor or birth, or before, many women experience Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder after childbirth. This psychological state has serious and long-term effects on a woman’s physical, mental, emotional and social well-being, impacts healthy child development and bonding, and relationship issues with her partner.

The St. Patrick Hospital Family Maternity Center brings to focus the important issue of Perinatal Trauma in our second annual Maternal Mental Health and Wellness Conference.

Who should attend

This Conference is intended for doctors, nurses and clinical staff who work with the prenatal and pediatric populations, including family practice providers, OB’s, midwives and pediatricians; and public and mental health professionals, including social workers, clinical therapists and educators.

Featured speakers

Catharine McDonald MS, NCC, CFLE, LPC

Keynote speaker: Catharine McDonald, MS, NCC, CFLE, LPC

Catharine is a National Certified Counselor, CT Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Family Life Educator. She owns Growing Well Counseling in Glastonbury, CT, where she specializes exclusively in integrative perinatal wellness, fertility and loss, birth trauma and maternal work-life balance. A founding member of Postpartum Support International-Connecticut Chapter, she has served on the board of directors and volunteers with the professional development committee.

In addition to perinatal psychotherapy, Catharine offers clinical consultation in perinatal wellness and enjoys teaching about perinatal mental health, pregnancy and infant loss, sleep education for growing families and birth-trauma.

Additional presenters


Mike Boehm MS

Mike is a Wisconsin native with 26 years of experience in the nonprofit sector. Before taking on his current role as Executive Director of Watson Children’s Shelter, Mike served as the CEO of a large nonprofit organization in Wisconsin. Prior to moving into administrative work, Mike held positions as a child and family therapist, clinical supervisor, and clinical director of treatment services. Mike holds a B.S. in Sociology from the University of Wisconsin and an M.S. in Clinical Psychology from Winona State University.

In addition to many boards and committees, Mike has served as chair of the Minnesota Council of Child Caring Agencies, a board member of the Wisconsin Association for Family and Children’s Agencies, and on the Public Policy Committee for the National Alliance for Children and Families. Most recently, Mike founded Summit Strategies; a consulting firm that works specifically to strengthen nonprofit organizations who serve children, families and communities.

Katherine Schwartz LCSW, LAC

Katherine is a molecular biology trained-turned clinical psychotherapist, working for 16 years with Providence Psychiatric Services in the inpatient, intensive outpatient and outpatient settings. She has passion in neuropsychology and numerous treatment modalities, specializing in substance use disorders, eating disorders and perinatal mental health, and has completed training, certifications and advanced degrees in psychology, social work, addiction and perinatal mental health. She has also spent time working as a prevention educator and adjunct professor.

Katherine believes in a client-centered, scientific, research-guided, mind/body connection—exploring attachment, cognition and other eclectic approaches to best serve each individual patient. Although often found with her nose in a research journal, she finds the most joy in the outdoors creating new experiences and building memories with her amazing husband and four wonderful children.

Learning objectives

Attendees of the Maternal Mental Health and Wellness Conference will:

  • Identify current issues and treatment for perinatal and birth trauma
  • Understand the impact of trauma on the individual as well as future generations
  • Learn strategies to integrate up-to-date information into their practice
  • Network and share local and state resources available to women and their families in Montana

Continuing Education credit available

6.5 Continuing Nursing Education (CNE) to be offered for this activity. Providence St. Patrick Hospital is approved with distinction as a provider of continuing nursing education by the Montana Nurses Association, an accredited approver by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.

  • Continuing Education credits are also available for social workers/LCSW
  • To receive CE credit, 80 percent attendance is required

Cost & registration

Register and pay online using the form below. Register by April 1 to receive a discount.

Conference fees

  • Standard registration: $120
    $100 if registered by April 1
  • Providence employees and students: $75
    $50 if registered by April 1


Blocks of rooms for reduced conference rate (mention St. Patrick Hospital Maternal Mental Health Conference when making your reservation) are available May 5-7 at the following hotels:

Fill out my online form.


 7:30 a.m.


 8 a.m.


 8:10 a.m.

The Crossroads of Birth and Trauma: An Overview
Catharine McDonald, MS, NCC, CFLE, LPC

 9:40 a.m.


10 a.m.

Trauma Induced Neurochemistry Changes
Katherine Schwartz, LCSW, LAC

11 a.m.

Surviving the NICU: A Parent’s Perspective
Panel discussion

12 p.m.


12:15 p.m.

Optional: 30 minutes Informal Q&A
Catherine McDonald, MS, NCC, CFLE, LPC

 1 p.m.

Perinatal Substance Abuse and Trauma
Katherine Schwartz, LCSW, LAC

 2 p.m.

Impact of Maternal Adverse Childhood Experiences and How They Affect the Next Generation
Mike Boehm, MS

 3 p.m.


 3:15 p.m.

Clinical Pearls: Prevention, Management and Treatment
Catharine McDonald, MS, NCC, CFLE, LPC

 4:15 p.m.


 4:30 p.m.