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Day One Sessions & Presenters
Plenary Session I: Perinatal mood and anxiety disorders: healthy mothers, healthy communities

Tina J Welke, MSW, LICSW
Elizabeth LaRusso, MD

The goal of this course is to increase providers’ knowledge about the diagnosis and treatment of perinatal depression and anxiety in order to facilitate the provision of improved care to pregnant and postpartum women.  Areas of specific focus include the pivotal role of the mother as the backbone of healthy communities, the optimal role of the nurse as part of the care team, and critical elements of a comprehensive approach to supporting women and families.


Elizabeth LaRusso, MD

Elizabeth LaRusso, MD, is a perinatal and reproductive psychiatrist focusing on women’s reproductive mental health issues, including those that arise related to pregnancy and the postpartum period, the menstrual cycle, and perimenopause.  She trained at Harvard Medical School and Brigham and Women’s and Beth Israel Deaconess Hospitals, all in Boston.  After residency, she joined the faculty of the Geisel School of Medicine at Dartmouth, where she was an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and of OB/GYN.  She joined Allina Health in 2012. In addition to her clinical role, she is developing the Mother Baby Mental Health Program, supported jointly by Allina Health and Children’s Hospitals and Clinics of Minnesota.

Tina Welke, MSW, LICSW

Tina Welke is a practicing perinatal psychotherapist and social worker in the Mother Baby Mental Health Program at Allina Mental Health.  Tina practices alongside Dr. Beth LaRusso, reproductive psychiatrist and a multi-disciplinary team with goal to improve maternal, child, and family health and well-being by increasing access for all pregnant and postpartum patients to high quality, patient-centered, cost-effective mental health care.  Tina facilitates individual and group psychotherapy and solely who works with patients who are pregnant and postpartum.  She studied at St. Thomas/St. Catherine University and received her Master’s Degree in Clinical Social Work. Prior to her work at Allina Health, she worked at Children’s Hospital in Minneapolis.

Concurrent Session A1: Everything you wanted to know about perinatal mood and anxiety disorders (PMAD) but were afraid to ask

Tina J Welke, MSW, LICSW
Elizabeth LaRusso, MD

The goal of this course is to increase providers’ knowledge about the diagnosis and treatment of perinatal depression and anxiety in order to facilitate the provision of improved care to pregnant and postpartum women.  Areas of specific focus include the pivotal role of the mother as the backbone of healthy communities, the optimal role of the nurse as part of the care team, and critical elements of a comprehensive approach to supporting women and families.

Pamela Heggie, MD, IBCLC, FAAP, FABM
Concurrent Session A2: Milk Banking and Donor Milk in Minnesota

Pamela Heggie, MD, IBCLC, FAAP, FABM

Human milk provides optimal nutrition for infants, improves health outcomes, and reduces health care costs. While mother’s own milk is preferred, some women have a low milk supply and despite their best efforts, cannot meet their baby’s milk requirements. When supplementation is medically needed because of maternal low milk supply, pasteurized human donor milk from a certified Milk Bank can be used to bridge the gap. This presentation will review Milk Banking in Minnesota-highlighting the newly developed and HMBANA certified MN Milk Bank for Babies.


Dr. Heggie is both a general pediatrician and lactation consultant. She practices at Central Pediatrics in St. Paul, MN and teaches residents and medical students at the University of Minnesota where she is Clinical Assistant Professor of Pediatrics. Dr. Heggie went to medical school at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Ohio and completed her pediatric residency at the University of Rochester in New York. Dr. Heggie has additional training as an International Board-Certified Lactation Consultant (IBCLC) and she is a fellow of the Academy of Breastfeeding Medicine. She is also active in the Minnesota Breastfeeding Coalition and the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and she currently serves as the Minnesota AAP Chapter Breastfeeding Coordinator.

Yasuko Yamamura, MD
Concurrent Session B1: Preterm Birth Prevention

Yasuko Yamamura, MD

Preterm birth continues to be one of the leading causes of neonatal morbidity in Minnesota. At the end of this course, the participant should be able to outline interventions to reduce the risk for preterm delivery.


Dr. Yamaura is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Obstetrics, Gynecology, and Women's Health at the University of Minnesota. She completed her residency in Obstetrics and Gynecolgoy at Mayo Clinic in Rochester, MN and a fellowship in Maternal-Fetal Medicine at the University of Minnesota.

In addition to being an active clinical partner in the University MFM practice, she also serves ACOG District VI Champion for FASD Prevention and is the Maternal-Fetal Medicine Fellowship Director at the University of Minnesota. Her primary interests are medical education and preterm birth prevention. Dr Yamamura is board certified in Obstetrics and Gynecology and has a subspecialty certification in Maternal-Fetal Medicine.

Concurrent Session B2: Newborn Screening Rules! Updates and Tips for a Successful Screening Program

Kirsten R Coverstone, AuD
Beth-Ann Bloom, MS

This course will provide updates on the ever-evolving world of Newborn Screening. An overview of new advancements as well as tips and guidelines for screeners will be presented. Blood spot, hearing screening, and critical congenital heart disease screening will be covered.


Kirsten R Coverstone, AuD

Dr. Kirsten Coverstone is an audiologist specializing in Early Hearing Detection and Intervention. Kirsten has enthusiastically worked at the local, state, and national levels to promote universal newborn screening, timely follow-up for hearing, and early access to intervention. As Coordinator of Minnesota’s EHDI program, she works directly with birth facilities to establish and maintain effective hearing screening programs, audiologists for timely follow-up & confirmation of hearing status, provides education and guidance to PCP clinics, and actively supports outreach to improve early hearing detection and intervention. In addition, Kirsten implemented a statewide hearing instrument loaner program for infants and young children in Minnesota. She serves as a member of the Joint Committee on Infant Hearing (JCIH), a board member for the Directors of Speech and Hearing Programs in State Health and Welfare Agencies (DSHPSHWA), is a member of the National CMV Foundation’s Communications & Public Health Outreach Committee, & is Co-Chair of the Center for Disease Control (CDC) EHDI Data Committee.

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Beth-Ann has been with the Newborn Screening Program at MDH for 15 years and is most likely the voice you’ve heard with abnormal results. Prior to working in public health she was a genetic counselor at Regions and Gillette where generations of nurses worked hard to train her right. Beth-Ann has a Master’s Degree in Human Genetics and is board certified and licensed as a genetic counselor.

Jennifer Tessmer-Tuck, MD
Concurrent Session C1: Every Mother Counts:  A systematic, multidisciplinary approach to reducing obstetrical hemorrhage

Jennifer Tessmer-Tuck, MD

In this session, you will learn how to take your OB hemorrhage bundle from the bookshelf (or your computer) to implementation and on to actual clinical outcomes improvement. We will discuss the importance of multidisciplinary teamwork for successful change management and give you concrete ideas for how to get clinicians (yes, even doctors!) involved and engaged in your change. You'll see the dramatic improvements that one health system made in OB hemorrhage rates that improved patient outcomes while reducing cost of care.


Dr. Tessmer-Tuck is the Vice President of Medical Affairs at North Memorial Health Hospital in Robbinsdale, Minnesota. She led a multi-year, multidisciplinary team in tackling one of the top causes of morbidity and mortality for pregnant women worldwide – obstetrical hemorrhage. As a system, North Memorial Health reduced their OB hemorrhage rates by almost 40%, decreased both massive hemorrhages and transfusions and avoided $160,000 in annual costs. She is committed to continuous improvement in healthcare and the relentless pursuit of the quadruple aim:  better care for individuals, better health for populations, reducing the financial burden of healthcare, improving work like for health care providers.

Jeanne D Mrozek, MD
Concurrent Session C2: Neonatal Abstinence -What's In, What's Out, and Why

Jeanne D Mrozek, MD

The opioid crisis is now a national epidemic with serious implications for the mothers and babies under our care. Can one person actually make a difference? Can that person be YOU? Come find out. 


Dr Mrozek is a practicing neonatologist at Maple Grove and North Memorial Hospitals. Born and raised in Minnesota, she is fortunate to still love her job after 20+ years of working days, nights, and weekends. Her new passions include golf and grandkids. 

Elizabeth A Baldwin, MD, Masters of Clinical Research
Concurrent Session D1: Hypertension in Pregnancy

Elizabeth A Baldwin, MD, Masters of Clinical Research

Hypertensive disorders are a leading cause of maternal morbidity and mortality in the United States.  This session will describe recent changes in diagnosis and management of hypertensive disorders in pregnancy.


Dr. Baldwin is, and always will be, a Minnesotan, attending medical school and residency at the University of Minnesota and maternal fetal medicine fellowship at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester.  As one of four sisters, women’s issues have always been a passion of hers.  She resides in North Oaks with her husband and three little girls.

Thomas George, MD
Concurrent Session D2: Gastroesophageal Reflux in Neonates and Infants

Thomas George, MD

This session will define and discuss the management and treatment of neonatal and infant gastroesphageal reflux (GER).


Dr. George is the system medical director of neonatology at Children’s Minnesota. Dr. George joined Children’s in October 2018. Previously, he held the position of director of clinical services for the division of neonatology at the University of Minnesota, medical director of the University of Minnesota Masonic Children’s Hospital, Fairview Southdale and Ridges Hospitals, and associate director of the Pediatric Residency Program. He earned his MD degree at Indiana University and completed his pediatric residency and neonatal-perinatal fellowship at the University of Iowa Children’s Hospital. Dr. George has been in practice for more than 20 years and has extensive experience in caring for patients with cardiac and congenital anomalies. His clinical research interests have included the role of inhaled nitric oxide in premature infants; he also has interests in educational research, faculty development and determining trainee competency.

Tracy Prosen, MD
Plenary Session II: Genetic Tests - what they do (and don't do)

Tracy Prosen, MD

During this session we will review different types of genetic tests done in and around pregnancy. We will discuss how these tests perform, including what they tell us - and what they don't tell us...


Dr Prosen is the Medical Director of the Obstetric Testing Unit at Hennepin Health Care. She did her OB/GYN residency at the University of Minnesota and completed fellowships in Maternal-Fetal Medicine and Clinical Genetics at UPMC Magee-Womens' Hospital in Pittsburgh. Dr Prosen has over 20 years of experience in treating high risk pregnancies with special emphasis on fetal conditions complicating pregnancy. 

2019 Minnesota Perinatal Organization

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