Meet Our Team
The people who share their time to ensure that the Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative continues toward actualizing the vision that
"Every woman in Florida and her family will receive the help and support they need for optimal maternal mental health and well-being."
Heather Flynn, PhD
Chair and Co-Founder
Heather A. Flynn, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist, Professor and Chair at the Florida State University College of Medicine in the Department of Behavioral Sciences and Social Medicine. Dr. Flynn’s research is focused on improved identification and treatment of depression in women, especially around the time of childbearing. Her studies are specifically aimed at developing and testing psychotherapeutic treatments for depression around the time of pregnancy, and on examining the impact of depression remission on obstetrical and infant outcomes. She has published over 50 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles and has received federal and private funding for her research since 1999. Dr. Flynn is also conducting projects focused on advancing the field both nationally and in the state of Florida through facilitating collaborative research networks to enhance synergy among experts in depression and related chronic illnesses. She is the Chair of the Women & Mood Disorders Task Group within the National Network of Depression Centers. She is also a trainer and supervisor in behavioral interventions such as Motivational Interviewing and Interpersonal Psychotherapy.
Adam (Dr. B) Baptiste MS,MD
Dr. B (Baba Atum | Adam Baptiste, MD), is a family-oriented man, a Physician-Researcher, Educator, Ecologist, amongst many other roles. He aims to assist people in practical and meaningful ways. Rooted in justice and equity, his interest in health is aimed at correcting disparities for the groups that experience them greatest. He works directly with families, communities, and organizations. Through the FL Maternal Mental Health Collaborative and the FL BH IMPACT Program, Dr. B, and the team he collaborates with aim to promote awareness and build the capacity of health care providers to address the critical gaps in the care of our nation's women, children, and their families. As the Statewide coordinator of the Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative he allies with stakeholders, patients, providers, and researchers to improve the context of Perinatal Mental Health Care. As an educator his mission is to train and inspire the next generation of health professionals and community workers. He is a graduate and current employee with Florida State University College of Medicine within the Department of Behavioral Sciences & Social Medicine. Much of his current work there is focused through initiatives that prioritize Perinatal Mental Health and Pediatric Behavioral Health. He strives to include and improve paternal involvement and perspective in this space, ultimately working toward wholistic mental/behavioral health practices to be implemented for families. Although focused on Florida, his efforts are for the work he engages to contribute to cultural and sociopolitical change, not only locally, but also at state, national, and international levels.
Chief Financial Officer and Co-Founder
Co-founder of the FLMMHC and Founder and CEO of Better Beginnings, Lauren DePaola is on a mission to help women and families suffering through perinatal mental health problems. Having suffered from post-partum depression after the birth of her first child, Lauren understands first hand the struggles many women go through. She advocates in the United States for perinatal mental health and is involved in leading organizations.
Better Beginnings is birthed from this goal to be a center that supports parents through the emotional journey. As a team, they bring all the resources together for perinatal care. They have physical locations in both Alachua and Orange Park, Florida and offer telehealth/online services for both counseling and psychiatry throughout the state.
The Florida Maternal Mental Health Collaborative is committed to the well-being of mothers and families across our state. Our workgroups, guided by our wonderful chairs, provide a platform for important conversations about maternal mental health, from the challenges to the advancements.
PhD, Research Workgroup Chair
MD, Awareness Work Group Chair
PhD, Clinical Practice Workgroup
Policy Workgroup Chair