Webinar: Increasing Awareness and Screening in the Hospital Setting: A Comprehensive Program for Maternal Mental Health

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders (PMADs,) including Postpartum Depression, are the most common complications associated with pregnancy and childbirth, affecting, at minimum, one in five pregnant and postpartum women, as documented in the 2017 Report of the California Task Force on the Status of Maternal Mental Health. If left undetected and untreated, these conditions may lead to serious health risks for the mother, negatively affect the mother/child bond, and the child’s long-term physical, emotional and developmental health, and can be devastating for families. Besides human harm and suffering, a recent Mathematica Report estimated that the societal cost of untreated PMADs in California was $2.4 billion per year (2017).

Dignity Health is a large, not-for-profit health system that includes 29 hospitals that provide obstetric services in three states: California, Arizona and Nevada. In 2016, system leaders identified Maternal Mental Health as a priority patient care initiative and established a multi-disciplinary advisory committee. In 2017, Dignity Health developed a comprehensive toolkit and implemented a process for in-patient PMADs screening, creating a team-based approach to care and patient education as a key element of obstetrical patient care. By attending this webinar you will learn how one health care system successfully implemented a comprehensive, system-wide PMADs program that includes screening, referral, education and consultation. The session will include peer-to-peer discussion and an opportunity for questions. 

After the webinar, you are encouraged to follow up on this topic by attending HQI’s 2019 Annual Conference, which will feature sessions on maternal outcomes, disparities and other related topics. Poster submissions for the conference, highlighting your own good work on maternal mental health and other topics, are being accepted through August 16, 2019. 


  1. Discuss the importance of a standardized process for in-hospital screening and referral of patients identified to be at risk for PMADs
  2. Specify the benefits of PMADs education for patients, families, staff and providers
  3. List key strategies for successfully implementing an in-hospital maternal mental health program

Recording and Slides

Click here for recording and here for slides.


Barbara Sheehy, MS

Maternal Mental Health Project Manager
Dignity Health

Barbara spent the majority of her career managing public health and non-profit programs serving children with special health care needs and their families.   In 2013 Barbara began leading collaborative health system improvement projects, and in June 2016 joined Dignity Health as the Maternal Mental Health Project Manager. Barbara received her B.A. in Psychology from the University of Colorado, Boulder and her M.S. in Speech Pathology from the University of Wisconsin, Madison.     

Suzanne Wiesner, RN, MBA-HCM

Director, Maternal Child Health
Dignity Health

Suzanne Wiesner is currently the system Director for Maternal Child Health Services at Dignity Health, now part of CommonSpirit Health, supporting 29 of the system’s hospitals that provide perinatal services. Suzanne has been with Dignity Health for 26+ years. Most of her nursing career has been in obstetrics, including various leadership roles within the organization. In her current position, Suzanne values the importance of standardization of care, the implementation of evidence-based practices and fostering a culture of safety, where learning from errors and near misses is key to improving quality and safety. 

Christie Steeper, RD

Registered Dietician
Marian Regional Medical Center, Dignity Health

Christie is a Registered Dietitian that has been working for Marian Regional medical center since 1998 and has loved the variety of opportunity her job has provided. She currently focuses on the NICU and Pediatric population. 

Robin Shattuck, RNC, MSN

Director, Perinatal Services
St. Elizabeth Community Hospital

Robin Shattuck is the Director of Nursing for the Perinatal Services Department at St. Elizabeth Community Hospital.  Her primary responsibility lies in the day-to-day and overall management of the perinatal department.  Robin heavily relies on her bedside nursing staff to provide excellent nursing care to promote both patient satisfaction and perinatal safety.  The teamwork and collaboration within St. Elizabeth’s Perinatal Services Department is their key to obtaining and maintaining success within patient satisfaction, perinatal safety, and employee