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4/25/13 - Amy Olson Receives Community Service Award from MotherWoman


Contact –   Liz Friedman, Program Director, MotherWoman

                    Office: 413-387-0703    
                    Cell: 413-658-8231                        


Hadley, MA – April 25, 2013

MotherWoman, a regional non-profit serving mothers, is proud to announce that MotherWoman’s annual Community Service Award will be awarded to Amy Olson, Clinical Director of Clinical and Support Options in Franklin County.  Ms. Olson is one of the primary leaders of the Franklin Perinatal Support Coalition (FCPSC), and has been instrumental in addressing issues of perinatal emotional complications, such as postpartum depression and anxiety, in Franklin County. 

Ms. Olson has worked tirelessly to ensure that women who are experiencing the effects of postpartum depression, domestic violence, and addictions are not only supported, but have an entire network of support wrapped around them to ensure their well-being, safety and health, and that of their families. 

Working in partnership with other providers in Franklin County, Ms. Olson has seen to it that women in Franklin County have the resources they need, and that providers who serve pregnant and postpartum mothers have the training necessary to succeed in screening and treating women with perinatal emotional complications.  Ms. Olson has offered strategic leadership in the development of a Postpartum Support Group for mothers in Franklin County.  Thanks in large part to Ms. Olson’s leadership, the FCPSC has transformed the Franklin County Community in terms of how the professional community serves families during the vulnerable months leading up to the birth of a child and in the years following.  The FCPSC has partnered with Primary Care and Pediatric offices, Baystate Franklin Medical Center, and outpatient mental health and crisis teams to support training, early screening, and high quality treatment options across the spectrum of providers.  

This year the FCPSC is focusing their attention on the intersection of pregnancy with domestic violence, sexual assault and addiction. 

Research shows that 10 – 20% of mothers experience postpartum depression (PPD).  These numbers drastically increase when additional risk factors like poverty, domestic violence, addiction and teen pregnancy are taken into consideration. When undiagnosed and untreated, PPD can have severe negative effects on mother, infant and birth outcomes, including low birth weight of infant, and social, emotional and cognitive developmental challenges to babies and children.  This results in an increase in medical expenses, visits to the ER and loss of income to families.  In the 4 county region of western MA there are approximately 9000 births each year.  Therefore there is a minimum of 900 – 1800 women suffering with PPD each year in our region alone. 

Beth Spong, Executive Director of MotherWoman, said, “Amy exemplifies MotherWoman’s vision of community leadership and we couldn’t have picked a better person to receive this award or a better partner to work with.  Amy’s commitment to mothers has been transformative for the larger community.”

Karin Jeffers, Executive Director of Clinical and Support Options said, “Amy provides exceptional personal dedication and a commitment to excellence in bringing communities together at the grassroots level.  A prime example of this is her work on the Franklin County Perinatal Support Coalition.  While it could be said that promoting collaborative relationships in the community is part of her job – she doesn’t do it as a job – she does it as a passion.” 

Linda Jablonski, Assistant Nurse Manager of The Birth Place, Baystate Franklin Medical Center, said, “Amy is passionate about creating a safety net for women in Franklin County.  She never ceases to explore new avenues to be sure that we as a community offer the best care possible.  The Birth Place is grateful to have mental health partners like Amy in our community.”

Amy Olson said, “I am honored to receive this award from MotherWoman although it is not I alone who have led the way for women in Franklin County.  This is truly an award that the entire Franklin County Perinatal Support Coalition deserves.  It has been hand in hand with the other wonderful providers and professionals in Franklin County that we have made such a difference for mothers.” 

Amy will receive the award at MotherWoman’s Annual Breakfast on Wednesday, May 1st at 8:30am at the Log Cabin, Holyoke, MA. Press is invited to attend. To RSVP contact, Liz Friedman at Liz@motherwoman.org.


About the Franklin County Perinatal Support Coalition:

The Franklin County Perinatal Support Coalition joined together in November 2009 to create a comprehensive safety net for all mothers during the perinatal period, and is part of the Western MA Perinatal Support Coalition Network. These regional coalitions each implement the Community-Based Perinatal Support Model (CPSM) in partnership with MotherWoman. The goal of the CPSM is to address the public health challenges of perinatal emotional complications like postpartum depression and anxiety through coordinated efforts across multi-disciplinary approaches to care. Through a sequencing of the following interventions -- public education, professional training, resource and triage protocols, support groups and universal screening – the CPSM allows communities to meet the challenge of addressing the critical public health crisis of perinatal mood disorders. Each coalition does this through coordinated community-wide protocols and interventions. The MA PPD Commission, which is a governor-appointed commission mandated in the Postpartum Depression Law of 2010, is investigating this model further and is interested in replicating it state-wide.


6 goals set and accomplished over the last 2 years:

1. Established a local weekly free support group run by MotherWoman trained facilitators; free childcare provided

2. Developed a Resource and Referral Guide for mothers seeking emotional help during pregnancy and postpartum

3. Developed and implemented a comprehensive screening program to include prenatal through the first year postpartum.

4. Developed triage protocols

5. Offered ongoing professional training for all providers in Franklin County

6. Established same day access and urgent psychiatry appointments for women with perinatal emotional complications at CSO’s Outpatient Clinic


About MotherWoman:

MotherWoman serves mothers and families in all four counties of Western MA in three ways:


  • Supporting and Empowering Mothers through MotherWoman support groups and training community leaders and professionals to facilitate groups for mothers across the region.
  • Building Community Safety Nets for women and families struggling in the postpartum period by training medical, mental health and social service professionals about postpartum depression and anxiety. They also develop and lead county-based multi-disciplinary coalitions in implementing their nationally recognized Community-based Perinatal Support Model.
  • Impacting Family Policy by engaging mothers, fathers and caregivers in taking action on policies that impact families.


For more information contact:

Liz Friedman

office 413-387-0703

cell 413-658-8231