Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: Medication Management
Kristen Harker, CNM PMHNP
I finished my post-graduate training in psychiatric mental health at Frontier Nursing University in October 2019 and passed the ANCC exam in November 2019. In my current role, I am employed at an FQHC and am working across the behavioral health, primary care and obstetric teams to help integrate behavioral health services into the health center. I additionally provide prenatal, postpartum, gynecology and newborn care to our diverse patient population including the resettled refugee community, undocumented immigrants and low-income residents of the community. When my CRNP license is issued (expected early March 2020), I will additionally provide psychiatric consultations and medication management across the lifespan, including pregnancy.
I moved from New York City to Lancaster County in August 2016 to practice full-scope midwifery providing care to women and families at a home birth, birth center and hospital-based practice. I decided to pursue post-graduate education because my heart lies with supporting the behavioral health needs of mothers, the developing baby, and families in the early childhood years of life and there is a dearth of qualified clinicians available nationwide.
When I returned to graduate school, I transitioned to a hospital-based obstetrics practice in York, PA where I worked with a collaborative team of physicians and residents to manage a higher-risk pregnancy population.
I originally graduated in 2014 with my MSN from Frontier Nursing University and started my midwifery career in Bronx, NY providing care at teaching hospital with high-risk populations after multiple years working as a postpartum nurse in NYC hospitals. I subsequently became involved with the Inter-agency Working Group on Reproductive Health in Crises (IAWG) helping to revitalize a global training initiative for obstetric care providers working in humanitarian crises and conflict settings. Through the IAWG, I had the opportunity to engage with midwives and obstetric care providers in Burkina Faso, Nepal and South Sudan to help build local capacity for managing common obstetric emergencies. I have also worked with hospitals nationally to assist with implementing breastfeeding-friendly maternity practices via the Baby-Friendly Hospital Initiative and have consulted with the Global Health Media Project as a content expert for their open-access video series on breastfeeding.