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About Us

SCIMHA is a multidisciplinary association of professionals working to promote nurturing relationships for infants, young children and their families through, resources, policies and practices to foster positive mental health and well-being. SCIMHA promotes uniform and nationally recognized competencies and standards to ensure that individuals supporting young children are trained in up-to-date science of child development, infant mental health principles and relationship-based practices.

The ability and power of simple, meaningful interactions to influence a child’s life cannot be overstated, whether an individual is intervening with families and very young children in the child welfare system, teaching a young child about feelings in the early childhood classroom, or engaging with families and children during pediatric well-visits. SCIMHA works to assure that individuals engaging with infants, young children and families, have the knowledge and skills to make the most of those interactions by providing culturally sensitive, relationship-focused practices that support young children’s behavioral wellbeing.

SCIMHA is working toward three goals

GOAL 1: Build and maintain organizational capacity that creates sustainability of the Association.

GOAL 2: Expand and engage a collaborative community of professionals who work to promote healthy social-emotional development and well-being of infants, young children, and their families.

GOAL 3: Provide and promote leadership to inform policies that reflect the critical importance of early healthy social-emotional development across, within, into multiple systems that serve infants, children and their families.


President: Kerrie L. Schnake, MA

Kerrie is the director of South Carolina’s Infant/Toddler Specialist Network hosted at the Medical University of South Carolina’s Boeing Center for Children’s Wellness. She established the South Carolina Program for Infant/Toddler Care (SCPITC) in 2006 for the SC Department of Social Services. Prior to moving to South Carolina, Kerrie worked in California at WestEd’s Program for Infant/Toddler Care and as a Research Assistant at the WestEd Center for Child and Family Studies. Kerrie is a leader in South Carolina’s infant/toddler quality initiatives and engages in multiple cross state collaborations. She serves on the Governor’s Advisory Committee on the Regulation of Child Care Facilities, Citizens Review Committee, and SCale Down Child Care Committee. She holds a B.A. in Sociology from Cal State, East Bay and an M.A. in Early Childhood Education with an emphasis in Public Administration from San Francisco State University.

Vice President: Mary Ellen Warren, PhD

Mary Ellen joined the Department of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science in 2006 following a twelve-year appointment as Assistant Professor of Clinical Pediatrics at USC Developmental Pediatric Clinic. Dr. Warren holds an Honours Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from the University of Western Ontario as well as a Master of Arts and Doctorate in School Psychology from the University of South Carolina. Dr. Warren is a licensed psychologist with special interests in infant/early childhood mental health. She is a ZERO TO THREE Leaders for the 21st Century fellow (2007-2009) with certification in two evidence-based parenting interventions: PCIT (Parent Child Interaction Therapy) and Triple P (Positive Parenting Program). As an Associate Professor of Clinical Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science at USC-SOM, Dr. Warren provides direct treatment to young children that supports the primary care-giving relationship and their overall mental health. Research interests

include  parenting interventions, early childhood mental health, workforce development, and interdisciplinary training.

Treasurer: Tricia Richardson, BA
Tricia serves as the Executive Direct
or of SC Thrive, a statewide nonprofit offering efficient solutions to help South Carolinians access resources through technology and training.  Tricia is a Community Involvement and Development Specialist with more than 25 years’ experience in capacity building, community and fund development, events management, volunteer training, and mobilization for faith organizations. She successfully networks and connects with diverse organizations across the state, using her positive attitude and a proactive approach to build collaborative teams shaping stable, healthy communities in South Carolina.  Tricia has a proven track record in developing and implementing strategic community involvement and mobilization plans, as well as building and managing long-term relationships for the                                                 betterment of South Carolinians.

Secretary: Angela Moreland, PhD 
Angela is an Assistant Professor at the National Crime Victims Research and Treatment Center (NCVC) at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). She earned her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Purdue University in 2009 and completed her pre-doctoral clinical internship and post-doctoral research fellowship at the NCVC. Angela’s research interests focus on primary and secondary prevention of child abuse and risk factors for maltreatment among parents of young children (i.e., substance use, teen pregnancy); as well as dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practice for victims of interpersonal violence and their families. Dr. Moreland also examines the link between early victimization and high-risk behaviors, such as substance use and delinquency, among children and adolescents. Currently, her primary projects focus on prevention of maltreatment, as well as other negative consequences, among substance-using and adolescent parents of young children. 


Nominating/Membership Committee Chair: Karen Larson, M. Ed.

Karen is the Director of the Easterseals South Carolina (ESSC) Autism Division.  She is responsible for the oversight of the provision of Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) services to children across the state of South Carolina.  Karen has worked in the field   Early Intervention for over 25 years in North Carolina and South Carolina.   Throughout the various positions she has held in her career she has maintained a driving mission to ensure the programs she is responsible for support and empower parents of young children. She  earned a master’s degree in Education from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte and a bachelor’s degree in Child Development and Family Resources from West Virginia University. 

Board MemberAngela Baum , PhD
Angela received her PhD in Early Childhood Education from Iowa State University. She is the Associate Department Chair of the Department of Instruction and Teacher Education and Associate Professor of Early Childhood Education at the University of South Carolina. Her expertise lies in the areas of early childhood teacher preparation and professional development, with a particular passion for working with teachers of infants and toddlers.  She is actively engaged with the South Carolina Department of Social Services on several projects focused on improving the quality of child care in the state of South Carolina.  While at USC, she has received two teaching awards—the Mortar Board Excellence in Teaching Award and the College of Education Early Career Teaching Award. Her work has been published in journals. She is currently the President of the National Association of Early Childhood Teacher Educators and serves on the Editorial Board of the Journal of Early Childhood                                              Teacher Education.

Board Member: Adrienne Edwards, PhD

Dr. Adrienne Edwards is an Assistant Professor and Program Director of Human Development and Family Studies at Winthrop University. She is also a Certified Family Life Educator (CFLE). She earned a PhD in Human Development with an emphasis in Child and Adolescent Development from Virginia Tech, a MEd in Counseling and Development with an emphasis in Community and Agency Counseling from Winthrop University, and a BA in Psychology from Clemson University. Prior to working in higher education, she worked as a mental health counselor and supervisor of the Child and Family Support Services Program at Greenville Mental Health Center. Her research areas include African American child social development, family processes in Families of Color with young children, home visitor preparation, and qualitative research methods. Her work      has been published in Child Welfare: Journal of Policy, Practice, and Program, Journal of Child and Adolescent Behavior, Sex Roles: A Journal of     Research, and Sage Research Methods Cases. She is a recipient of the Jessie Bernard Outstanding Contribution to Feminist Scholarship Paper     Award presented by the Feminism and Family Studies section of the National Council on Family Relations.

Board Member: Sara Beth Martin, BSN, MPH 

Sara Beth Martin is the Manager, South Carolina Operations and has been with Nurse-Family Partnership National Service Office since 2014. Sara Beth’s experience with Nurse-Family Partnership spans over ten years, including her early work as Nurse Home Visitor, State Nurse 

Consultant and Nurse Consultant. Her background in maternal child health, public health nursing, as well as in home visitation combined with her passion for serving moms and babies have guided her career path. She holds a BS in Nursing from Binghamton University and a Master of Public Health degree from Benedictine University.

Professional Development/Education/Practice Committee Chair Kerrie Murphy, PhD 

Kerrie Murphy, Ph.D., is a licensed clinical psychologist and Clinical Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Medical University of South Carolina (MUSC). Dr. Murphy received her Ph.D. in clinical-community psychology from the University of South Carolina and completed her internship and postdoctoral training at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center (Memphis) where she focused on trauma-informed care in youth as well as the assessment and treatment of young children with developmental disabilities. 

Dr. Murphy’s clinical work and research interests include young children with disruptive behavior problems.  She is a certified trainer and therapist in parent-child interaction therapy (PCIT), an evidence-based treatment for young children with disruptive behavior problems. She is also a trainer in Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE), a  trauma-informed modification of specific PCIT skills for general usage by non-clinical adults who interact with children. She currently provides outpatient therapy, including PCIT, to children and families and                     supervises pre-doctoral interns in the Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Outpatient Clinic at MUSC.

Alesia Lowe-Jenkins, MA

Alesia is the Director of Counseling Services at Spartanburg Methodist College where she provides therapy services to college students. Prior to this for five years she was Clinical Director at A Child’s Haven, a non-profit therapeutic child care facility that serving children and their families. She is the owner of Lowe Counseling and Supervision, LLC where she provides supervision for individuals seeking independent licensure. She has a BS in Sociology with an emphasis in Criminal Justice from Lander University and a MA in Counseling from Webster University.  She is a Licensed Professional Counselor Supervisor with 19 years of mental health counseling experience working with adults, adolescents, young adults, juvenile offenders, children and families. She is a graduate of Leadership Greenville 43.          Over a 10-year period Alesia served six years as a therapeutic foster parent and cared for eight foster children. Alesia participated in                                  South Carolina’s Infant-Early Childhood Mental Health Endorsement® Leadership Cohort, and was Endorsed® as an Infant Family       Associate in March 2019.

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