MotherWoman Founders say goodbye as they wish MotherWoman well

Annette Cycon and Liz Friedman announce our departure from MotherWoman after many wonderful years of leading the organization’s programs. We have had the incredible good fortune to do work that has both inspired us and helped change the landscape for mothers and families.

Annette began MotherWoman in 1999 when her children were young and she was in need of the very support that MotherWoman has provided to other mothers ever since. Liz joined the organization in 2006, after having had her own postpartum emotional crisis following the birth of her son.

We are proud of the work that we have accomplished at MotherWoman and deeply grateful to have helped MotherWoman grow into an organization that has had a positive impact for mothers and children. But it could never have been done without the partnership of the many teams of dedicated staff, board members, community leaders, funders and mothers over the past 15 years. To all of you, we want to say a hearty and heart-felt “Thank you!” MotherWoman would not be the strong organization that it is without you, working hard, pushing through barriers, advocating for mothers, offering your expertise, perspective and advice, and partnering with us to change the world for mothers and families.

Some of MotherWoman’s many accomplishments while we led programming include:

· Creating the MotherWoman Support Group Model, including the development of the facilitator manual, curriculum and training. MotherWoman Groups are now supporting and empowering mothers from MA to California and Washington to be better mothers and positive change agents in their own lives.

· Training of hundreds of group facilitators across the country who have dedicated themselves to supporting mothers and as a result have become stronger leaders in their own lives.

· Training of thousands of providers on such important issues as identification, assessment and screening of PPD, the impact of social justice issues and unequal access to care on maternal mental health, clinical best practices, and increasing community resources for perinatal families.

· Developing the Community-based Perinatal Support Model; a multidisciplinary coalition-building approach to improving perinatal mental health outcomes through coordinated systems of community-based care. In partnership with MCPAP for Moms, this model is being replicated in communities across MA.

· Partnering with highly skilled researchers to understand the impact and develop the evidence-base for MotherWoman Programs.

· Participating as founding leaders of the National Coalition for Maternal Mental Health, which last month led the passage of federal legislation in support of postpartum depression treatment.

· Partnering with leaders across Massachusetts on key family policy issues essential to changing the landscape for mothers and families, including the passage of the following legislation:

o Postpartum Depression 2010

o Breastfeeding Protections 2010

o Earned Paid Sick Time 2014

o Anti-shackling legislation 2014

o Living Wage 2014

· Leading the Pregnant Workers Fairness Act, which many know has become Liz’s passion over the last three years. We look forward to PWFA’s passage very soon!

Along the way, we have made dear friends and beloved colleagues in our neighborhoods and across the country. We have laughed hard, as anyone who knows us has surely experienced, and we have supported each other to address the many challenges that we have faced. Together we have worked hard to ensure that every door is the right door for mothers to get the highest quality support that they and their families deserve. You have made this work meaningful and successful. We are forever grateful for your faith in us and your passion and commitment to the work.

So it is with a sad heart, but joy at our accomplishments and hope for our future endeavors, that we say goodbye to MotherWoman. We wish the next generation of leaders well and will always be available to them as they move ahead with the mission of serving mothers, families and communities. We will also remain available to you, our partners, in any way that is needed.

We look forward to staying connected with you moving forward.

With love, gratitude and partnership,

Annette and Liz

Annette Cycon can be reached at annettecycon58@gmail.com; 413- 885–0777

Liz Friedman can be reached at lizfriedm@gmail.com; 413–658–8231

To support MotherWoman’s ongoing efforts please contact:

Shannon Rudder, Executive Director; Shannon@motherwoman.org; 413–387–0703

MotherWoman Board of Directors

Trish Bonica, MSW, MBA — PRESIDENT; bonicat17@gmail.com

Kerry LaBounty, LICSW — PRESIDENT; klabounty@hne.com

Lakisha Coppedge, BA — PRESIDENT; memasii2@gmail.com

Denise Hurst, MSW, LICSW; dmr_msw@yahoo.com

Eileen Spira, MSM; eileenspira@gmail.com

Desiree Lalbeharie-Josias, EdD, Med; dlalbehariejosias@collaborative.org

Keleigh Pereira; MEMBER AT-LARGE; keleighpereira@gmail.com

Jamie Daniels, MSW; jamieddans@gmail.com

Amie Miarecki, MS; MEMBER AT-LARGE; agmiarecki@gmail.com

Gwen Shook; MEMBER AT-LARGE; shookgwen@gmail.com

Emily Breon, JD, LCSW; ebreon@gmail.com

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