“Easy, Quick, and Free: Proven Calm-Down Techniques for Mamas”

In this experiential, relaxing and fun workshop, we’ll practice ancient breathing exercises, mantras and body movements that work great in modern times to quickly bring ourselves out of “fight or flight” mode, and allow us to be present for our children and ourselves.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Jennifer Hoeprich, LM

Jennifer Hoeprich, CPM, CMT is a home birth midwife, meditation teacher, and women’s circle facilitator who has served birthing families in the Phoenix area since 2004.

Ceremonies in the 4th trimester

There are many different ceremonies from all over the world to celebrate your new baby and your new body. Come learn the different ways to honor this beautiful transition.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Wendi Cleckner

Wendi is a desert child at heart, born and raised on the Arizona clay. In 1993 she helped a friend through the birth of her first child and felt a passion to devote her life to moms and babies.

Communication Through Touch

Jimmy Gialelis, LMT, BCTMB, will explore aspects of communication via touch.

  • How physical touch communicates healing and positive development in relationships.
  • How physical touch elevates mental and emotional health.
  • How massage therapy aids these processes.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Jimmy Gialelis, LMT

Certified Massage Therapist

Jimmy Gialelis, LMT, BCTMB has been a nationally certified massage therapist of 17 years.  He maintains a private practice in Tempe, AZ.  Mr. Gialelis teaches both at the Southwest Institute of Healing Arts and with his company Advanced Massage Arts & Education.

Creating a Postpartum Game Plan

During this session, parents will be introduced  to a menu of ideas for managing the postpartum period, particularly with subsequent children, in a way that fosters physical and emotional health. Discussion will include suggestions for postpartum well-being, such as SNOWBALL, and offer various ways to incorporate them practically.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Keeley Bruner

Keeley Bruner is a mother of three, having completed her most recent 4th trimester after giving birth last spring. S

Exploring Maternal and Paternal Parenting Styles

Research clearly indicates that, in many aspects, fathers’ styles of parenting are different from mothers’ parenting styles.

This workshop will present a summary of results of current research on maternal and paternal parenting approaches, comparing and contrasting the two. It will present parents and staff of family service agencies and community organizations with opportunities to develop strategies to recognize and respect the benefits of these differences in their program delivery. (90 minutes)

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Neil Tift

Neil is the Outreach Project Coordinator for the Native American Fatherhood and Families Association (NAFFA) in Mesa.

Honoring Native Land

Join us to acknowledge the traditional lands on which our conference is being held, and pay our respects to elders both past and present.


Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Kimberly Moore-Salas

Kim is born for Naakaii Diné (Mexican People) and from Tsi’naajinii (Black Streak People) clans. Born in Tuba City, maternally from Tolani Lake, AZ located in the southwestern area of the Navajo Nation. Growing up on and off the Navajo Nation, and residing in various tribal communities throughout her life, Kim is passionate about utilizing her education and experience to promote healthy living through kinship values.

Kim has over eight years of experience in peer-counseling, clinical and educational lactation. Kim’s work has been inclusive of Tribal and culturally diverse communities serving the needs of prenatal, newborns, and post-partum mothers and families. Her current work at the hospital with Valleywise Health Medical Center and prior experience in private practice with Arizona Breastfeeding Center is clinically intensive. Kim co-teaches the Indigenous Breastfeeding Counselor training course geared towards American Indian/Alaska Native tribal communities throughout the nation. This course provides foundational lactation education to Native people so that they provide clinical breastfeeding support in their communities. Kim also independently consulted with Changing Woman Initiative out of New Mexico, a free access birth center serving Indigenous women to reproductive wellness. She currently serves, and is one of the first Indigenous woman, on the Board of Directors of the United States Breastfeeding Committee, a non-profit independent organization of more than 50 professionals, educational and government organizations supporting breastfeeding across the nation. Prior to this new role she was an also active member and served as co-chair planning committee for USBC’s National Conference Convening 2018 in Atlanta, GA. Kim just ended her two year service as Vice-President for Central Arizona Lactation Consultants of Arizona.
Kim’s extensive experience in this field has led to opportunities in consulting, which along with her husband synthesized their consulting business in Tribal Indemnity. Within three years, Tribal Indemnity has assumed responsibility of complex projects and strategic planning with one of the largest Tribes in Arizona. She recently established her own small business, Indigenous Breastfeeding Az, LLC and is founder of Arizona Intertribal Breastfeeding Coalition.

Kim enjoys spending time with her husband of twenty-three years and three daughters of whom she breastfed until they were 2 years old. She also loves early morning runs, hiking, boxing and yoga.

Maternal Mortality in Arizona

National trends in maternal death continue to rise, so Arizona is working hard to close the gap on maternal mortality. Arizona reviews every pregnancy related or associated death (the death of a pregnant woman while pregnant or within 1 year at the end of a pregnancy) that happens in Arizona to prevent and ultimately erase maternal mortality. Come learn what is happening to our mothers and what you can do to help!

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Clarke Erickson Baer

Clarke Erickson Baer

Clarke Erickson Baer is a lifelong learner dedicated understanding and applying promising and best practices for facilitation methodologies, program design, implementation practices, and evaluation to advance health and well-being of at-risk communities. She is currently serving as the Maternal Mortality Program Manager for the Arizona Department of Health Services. In her previous roles, Clarke focused on improving rural maternal health programs and implementing positive youth development programs for undeserved youth.


Take a moment to hold space for yourself and those around you as we open the conference with meditation.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

There are currently no speakers set for this session

Post Birth Warning SIgns

What isn’t talked about at the baby shower.
A review of what a postpartum nurse would like you and your family/ village/ tribe to be aware of for your body, after the birth of your baby.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Barbie Schimke

Barbie Schimke is a full time Mom and part time night nurse.

Postpartum Yoga

Join us to learn about the core and pelvic floor muscles, how they are affected during pregnancy, and exercises and yoga poses to restore the body after pregnancy. I will also present breathing exercises and information on the brain/body connection and lowering stress and anxiety.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Sound Healing Tools for Connecting

The magical power of Sound and Music has been used as a healing modality since ancient times. This ancient science is making a comeback and is now backed by research into its healing benefits. Sound can help you relax, find balance, heal, remove energetic blocks, connect you to source, and more! And the best thing about it – is that its simple, and accessible to anyone.

During this session we will journey into the world of sound and learn how sound can create subtle but profound positive changes in our bodies – including stress release and relaxation. Sound can also be used to create a beautiful connection between you and your baby, and other family members. Often its not our words that connect us, but a vibration that comes from our hearts. Different techniques will be shared and experienced that you can do on your own to assist in your own healing and transformation. As we fine tune ourselves, we begin living in harmony with the universe. The presentation also includes a magnificent healing sound bath at the end!

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Gretchen Bickert

Gretchen Bickert is a Sound & Energy Therapist and works with people as well as animals.

Supports and Resources during Pregnancy, Postpartum and Beyond

First Things First and Southwest Human Development can help you find the resources you need as professionals, parents, and caregivers to support healthy families and healthy children – during pregnancy, postpartum and beyond.


Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Sheri Collins

Sheri Collins is a First Things First Community Outreach Coordinator for the Southeast Maricopa Region. Before joining First Things First, Sheri served as a First Things First grant partner in the East Maricopa, Southeast Maricopa and Yavapai regions as an Outreach Specialist with Arizona’s Children Association (AzCA). Prior to AzCA, Sheri was a marketing and communications manager, marketing consultant, educator and lobbying associate. Her professional experience includes journalism, media relations, government, education, fundraising, grant writing, community outreach and event management. Sheri holds a Bachelor of Arts in Journalism from Louisiana State University.

Sandy La Cava

Sandy LaCava, M.Ed., an Arizona resident for over 38 years, raised two children as a single mom. She worked for years in the business sector, then in education, and is presently community development manager at Southwest Human Development. Sandy believes children are our greatest resource and by providing supports for families we can greatly impact a child’s future success in school and in life. This is her work – educating our community about the importance of a healthy foundation for Arizona’s children, knowing it is good for families and good for Arizona.

The Healing Room

A safe haven for relaxation and rejuvenation by skilled energywork practitioners.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

There are currently no speakers set for this session

The Myths of Motherhood

This session will address the lies we believe that make us a “good mom” and keep us from seeking help or support. The myths we buy, not only impact our mood in motherhood, but also reaching out and asking for help.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Michelle Lacey, MA, LPC, PMH-C

Michelle Lacy(MA, LPC, PMH-C) is the Clinical Director for Women’s Health Innovations of Arizona and is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Certified Perinatal Mental Health clinician. 

The Stories Our Bodies Tell

Working with a buddy we will use butcher block paper to draw the outline of our bodies. Then with art materials we will express whatever we desire within that outline. This open-ended activity is meant to be fun, providing a chance to express inner wishes and dreams. Participants will be able to take home their work and continue to add to it as they wish.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Sunnee O’Rork

Sunnee is Executive Director at i.d.e.a. Museum in Mesa, Arizona.

Using Your Voice and Advocating for Your Own Healthcare

Longstanding racial bias, lack of health care, poor living conditions and a toxic atmosphere add to the everyday divide that has caused a maternal crisis among women of color. Community Advocate and Urban Mommy Inc founder Monique Norington-Joseph will discuss her personal maternal health crisis and steps she used to navigate the health care system and reasons why it is important to bring about substantial change and awareness to this health care crisis that disproportionately impacts women of color.

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Monique Norington-Joseph

At the core of Monique Joseph lies her ability to give selflessly and motivate others to pursue their highest level of ability. She takes great pride in helping others to achieve their dream of success in business, build strong families and children and giving back to the communities that helped to inspire her.
After receiving the 2006 Dr. Barbara Sizemore Leadership and Service Award, and being a 2006 Vincentian Fellow, she has continuously been inspired by the Vincentian mission to serve the poor. In 2008, she launched a public relations and marketing firm The Marque Group, LLC., working across private, nonprofit, government and B2B sectors. She has represented some of today’s leading icons in entertainment, politics and business. She earned several business awards for her work in this field. As an organizer and community leader she launched new initiatives. She became the founding President of the Alpha Kappa Psi Business Fraternity Alumni chapter in Portland, Oregon, developed the Society of Leaders Emerging for High school students and served on several boards and business committees for the City of Portland. One of her greatest achievements was being nominated and elected as a 2012 Delegate to the Democratic National Convention representing the State of Oregon. She also served as the 43rd precinct committee person and was appointed to the Governor’s Advisory board serving African-American children and education. Becoming a new mom in 2013, she saw an unmet need and launched UrbanMommyInc, an online organization that focuses on building healthy lifestyles, early childhood literacy and community for new mothers. Her work in this area helped her to receive a nomination and recognition as a 2016 White House Change Maker Award in Washington, DC.
After the birth of her daughter she would soon begin her greatest work of affirming a strong, powerful and fearless daughter. She wanted to instill a passion for education, reading, loving herself and life. While operating both businesses, she launched Joseph House Books and published her first children’s book in 2017. She has become a leading advocate in developing early childhood education initiatives in underrepresented communities and fiercely promoting the advantages of diversity in early development learning. Her passion for fighting on behalf of children and African-American families motivates her each day to always strive for excellence, support others and serve fiercely. Monique says, “my work is not finished until the playing field is even for all children and families in underrepresented communities.”
After relocating to Phoenix, Arizona she quickly became involved in serving the community. She was an Adjunct Professor at Grand Canyon University, a Court Appointed Special Advocate for the State of Arizona, a member of The Jack and Jill of America, Phoenix , AZ Chapter where she served as the Public Relations and Community Chair and currently serves as the Legislative Chair. In addition, she is a member of The Junior League of Phoenix and serves on several boards. Monique shares her life with her husband Sheldon and six-year-old daughter Zoie. She continues to advocate for organizations that serve women and children. She enjoys photography, writing and her new-found love, boxing

Your Marriage after Baby

About 60-75% of mothers who seek mental health counseling for perinatal mood and anxiety disorders have a relationship component or root cause related to their symptoms and recovery. We aim to normalize and validate the real struggle in adjusting marriage and partner relationships when baby makes three, and provide clear and realistic strategies for keeping the health of your relationship at the heart of your postpartum plan. Both partners are highly encouraged to attend and both partners will hear non-judgmental solutions that will help them grow as individuals and as a couple/family. Primary prevention and/or early intervention are always the goals for rapid recovery!

Current Speaker(s) for this session:

Dr. Cara English, DBH

Dr. Cara English has 20 years of experience in the fields of psychology, counseling, and integrated behavioral health care, and is thrilled to open Terra’s Place with a mission to serve women and families suffering from perinatal mood and anxiety disorders.