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New Haven MOMS Partnership hosts director of White House Office of Social Innovation

October 24, 2016

The director of the White House Office of Social Innovation visited with representatives from the New Haven Mental Health Outreach for Mothers (MOMS) Partnership on October 21 to commend the organization for promoting the well-being of mothers and children.

David Wilkinson told those assembled at the West Rock Authors' Academy that there has been no higher priority to President Barack Obama than to provide ladders of economic opportunity and growth in communities like New Haven, and that the president is aware that the New Haven MOMS Partnership is helping to execute that agenda.

Wilkinson was joined by Roderick L. Bremby, commissioner of the Connecticut Department of Social Services; New Haven Mayor Toni N. Harp; John H. Krystal, MD, Professor of Neuroscience and Chair of the Yale Department of Psychiatry; Richard Jacob, Associate Vice President for Federal and State Relations at Yale; Megan V. Smith, DrPH, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Director of New Haven MOMS Partnership, and about three dozen supporters of the organization.

New Haven MOMS Partnership is a collaborative of the Yale School of Medicine, Clifford Beers Clinic, the Connecticut Department of Children and Families, City of New Haven, Elm City Communities Housing Authority of New Haven, National Diaper Bank Network, Maternal and Child Health, New Haven Healthy Start, and The New Haven Diaper Bank.

Its mission is to unite women and their families with people and institutions dedicated to the emotional wellness of mothers in order to create generations of children that flourish, succeed, and achieve.

The West Rock Authors' Academy on Valley Street is one of four "hubs" in New Haven where mothers can receive mental health services and assistance with employment and basic needs. Other hubs are located at Stop & Shop on Whalley Avenue, the Boys & Girls Club of New Haven on Columbus Avenue, and at the MOMS Partnership Administrative Office on Temple Street.

Smith, who has received numerous awards for her work with the organization, thanked the many people who work with her to reach mothers and families in the community.

"I always say it's not me, it's all of us," she said, before turning to Wilkinson and adding, "It's nice to know there is this level of support for the work we are doing."

Submitted by Christopher Gardner on October 21, 2016