When in a child’s life is the best time to disrupt the cycle of inter-generational poverty? We know there is no “wrong” time, but we also know that earlier can be better. This knowledge inspired Episcopal Impact Fund and the Brotherton Fund to create a perinatal mental healthcare program at the former St. Luke’s Hopsital, which is now known as the Mission/Bernal campus of CPMC.
Pregnant women and new mothers are especially vulnerable to emotional and psychiatric disorders, especially depression and anxiety. If left untreated, the consequences for them, their children and their families are serious. Unfortunately, mental healthcare in general is difficult to access and difficult to afford. With a start-up grant and ongoing financial support, Episcopal Impact Fund has swept aside both barriers by ensuring that free quality mental healthcare is available in the same setting where women receive prenatal care and give birth.
Perinatal mental healthcare at the Mission/Bernal Campus is seamlessly integrated into pre- and postpartum care, reducing stigma and increasing access. A new position, Advanced Women’s Mental Health Fellow, was created with the Episcopal Impact Fund gift and is currently filled by Dr. Katherine Rowney. According to Dr. Rowney,
“Thanks to this gift, the Perinatal Mental Health program provides the best holistic, multi-disciplinary care for mothers and their children – all in one place.”
The link between Episcopalians and the Mission/Bernal campus began when the hospital opened its doors in 1871 as an Episcopal institution, serving the needs of all San Francisco residents regardless of ability to pay. The hospital’s founder, Rev. Dr. Thomas W. Brotherton, a physicianand Episcopalpriest, established the hospital to address the lack of healthcare in low-income immigrant neighborhoods south of Market Street. While much has changed in San Francisco, these neighborhoods continue to be home to many people burdened by poverty and immigration status. Episcopal Impact Fund and the Brotherton Fund are proud to continue Dr. Brotherton’s legacy more than 125 years later.
With your help, we are breaking the cycle of intergenerational poverty in the Bay Area.