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IECMH Center

Center of Excellence Program in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health

The Center of Excellence Program for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health, or IECMH Center, is a capacity and competency building program that supports Maryland's communities, policy makers, and workforce to build awareness; creates policies and programs; and promotes and delivers prevention/intervention efforts and services to advance and support infant and early childhood mental health. IECMH conducts evaluation and research to support data-driven decision-making and innovation in the field.

Areas of Focus

  • building and strengthening leaders
  • champions and partnerships across disciplines
  • educating and training the Maryland community and workforce
  • conducting and publishing research on the topic of infant and early childhood mental health
  • disseminating and modeling best practices

Project LAUNCH

Linking Actions for Unmet Needs in Children’s Health

The IECMH Center is the outgrowth of our 36-year history of clinical services in Baltimore (see Secure Starts at the Taghi Modarressi Center of Infant Study) and of Maryland Project LAUNCH, funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) from 2012-2018.

Project LAUNCH Goal

The goal of Project LAUNCH was to enhance statewide responsiveness to the mental health needs of young children (0-8 years old) and their families. Project LAUNCH partners -- the Behavioral Health Administration (BHA), Behavioral Health Systems Baltimore, and the Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry -- committed to building on lessons learned and statewide partnerships.

The main goal is to further develop and disseminate the IECMH initiative, innovations, resources, trainings, and consultation services to all regions, counties, partners, and programs in the state.

Highlighted Projects

  • Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Certificate Program
  • National Fussy Baby Network and FAN Approach training
  • Child Parent Psychotherapy Learning Collaboratives, providing leadership for the Infant Mental Health Association-Maryland/DC Chapter
  • ACE Interface Initiatives
  • Maryland ZERO TO THREE Policy Initiative to Advance IECMH Screening, Assessment and Treatment

Center Staff

Sarah Edwards, DO
Assistant Professor
Principle Investigator

D’Lisa Worthy, M.Ed.

Kay Connors, LCSW-C

Rebecca Vivrette, PhD
Assistant Professor
Psychologist and Lead Researcher

Brijan Fellows, LCSW-C
Clinical Program Director