Brian Shanahan and MediSpin – Celebrating Web-Based Advocates of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act – Part I

Throughout the last six years, many individuals have mightily contributed to our understanding of postpartum illnesses and support of legislation protective to America’s mothers, infants and families, The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act.

Over the next few weeks, we will share the stories of the organizations, individuals and bloggers who have used web-based systems to advance maternal mental health.

Among the first pioneers to offer consumers and healthcare professionals web access to life-saving resources, Brian Shanahan, CEO of MediSpin applied E-Learning technology to provide FREE CEU accredited medical education webinars for healthcare professionals.

Brian and MediSpin were recently honored for this groundbreaking work by the American College of Neuropsychopharmacology who noted that Brian’s dedication and passion to the issue of perinatal mood disorders goes well beyond his website. “Brian Shanahan’s work to educate the public about the positive impact of mental illness research has been instrumental in furthering the support and recovery of patients,” said David L. Braff, M.D., the organization’s president.

MediSpin, an acclaimed resource throughout the professional and consumer PPD community, was initiated through an NIMH SBIR grant, and includes educational webinars on postpartum depression. These expertly presented seminars respond to the emergent need for more professionally trained providers to evaluate, assess and treat women suffering from these disorders.

It is critical that specialty PPD training be initiated concurrently with public awareness campaigns. Community based programs, providers and policy makers must be prepared to offer appropriate and efficacious treatments and services to the mothers and families who respond to PPD outreach. The web based courses found on MediSpin can support this effort as they are not geographically bound and cover a wide range of relevant and concerning issues. The courses can be taken when the provider has time, at his desk and at his pace.

MediSpin’s PPD Seminars are presented by expert leaders in research and clinical evaluation. This commitment to education of professionals and consumers is extended through MediSpin’s constantly updated library of recent articles from the clinical, research and social support communities.

Among other valuable resources, MediSpin maintains a provider directory which only accepts therapist listings from those who have completed some specialized training in perinatal mood disorders (in addition to maintenance of current licensing requirements).

MediSpin – through English and Spanish portal entries to its site, provides encouraging information to mothers and loved ones seeking help on their behalf.

You can sign up to receive MediSpin’s monthly newsletters which offer a comprehensive overview of the latest research, events and educational opportunities in the field of maternal mental health.

Congratulations, Brian on this prestigious award and thank you for your dedication to the educational of maternal mental health providers and consumers!

American College of Neuropsychopharmacology Presents Media Award to Medispin, Inc. CEO, Brian Shanahan

From The American College of Neuropscyhopharmacology (ACNP)

Brian Shanahan, CEO of MediSpin has received ACNP’s 2009 Media Award for his innovative contributions to professional medical education and public awareness of mental illness research and treatment.

Through National Institute of Mental Health’s Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) grants, Shanahan and MediSpin, Inc. have produced more than five online Continuing Medical Education programs covering topics from Postpartum Depression (PPD) to ADHD.

MediSpin, Inc. is a multimedia medical communications company that specializes in the design, development and delivery of interactive learning for healthcare professionals, consumers and researchers. MediSpin’s educational platforms and collaboration systems are used by clinicians, scientists and allied healthcare providers in medical schools, hospitals, universities and research institutions.

Shanahan’s most recent project is MedEdPPD, a postnatal depression information website with portals for patients and providers. On the site, women with PPD, their families and friends can learn more about the signs and symptoms of PPD, as well as watch video testimonies of women with PPD. The site currently reaches 6,000 visitors a month.

In addition to the direct influence the site has had on patients and providers, the project has also generated federal policy action. This past year the House of Representatives overwhelmingly passed the MOTHERS Act (Mom’s Opportunity To access Help Research and Support for Postpartum Depression). The legislation would expand NIH-funded research for treatments, diagnostic tools and educational materials related to postpartum psychiatric disorders. MedEdPPD would serve as the primary resource for patients and providers if the bill becomes law. The Senate is currently reviewing the bill (as we all know, it has now passed and has become law!!).

On the state level New Jersey, Illinois and Pennsylvania have utilized the site resources to create tailored toolkits for state-based providers.

Shanahan’s dedication and passion for research on Postpartum Depression has extended beyond the MedEdPPD campaign. In 2008 he became a member of Postpartum Support International and recently was elected a board member of the organization. This position, coupled with his work through MediSpin, Inc. has allowed him to advance the awareness of Postpartum Depression as a major public health issue.

The ACNP Media Award was established in 2002 to recognize media professionals that contribute to the public education of neuroscience, brain research, and mental illness. Past recipients of the award include HBO’s Addiction Project, Bill Lichtenstein, president of Lichtenstein Creative Media, Marianne Szegedy-Maszak, former editor of US News & World Report, Tim McCann, director of the film Revolution 9 and Michelle Trudeau, science correspondent at National Public Radio.

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ACNP, founded in 1961, is a professional organization of more than 700 leading scientists, including four Nobel Laureates. The mission of ACNP is to further research and education in neuropsychopharmacology and related fields in the following ways: promoting the interaction of a broad range of scientific disciplines of brain and behavior in order to advance the understanding of prevention and treatment of disease of the nervous system including psychiatric, neurological, behavioral and addictive disorders; encouraging scientists to enter research careers in fields related to these disorders and their treatment; and ensuring the dissemination of relevant scientific advances.

Congratulations Brian, we are so pleased that your efforts have been recognized! We look forward to your continuing educational guidance and course provisions in the years ahead!

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One Response to Brian Shanahan and MediSpin – Celebrating Web-Based Advocates of The Melanie Blocker Stokes MOTHERS Act – Part I

  1. Cindy Lynch says:

    Congratulations on getting the Melanie Blocker Stokes Mother’s Act passed. I remember the news coverage of Melanie one year after I delivered my babies. My doctor from a highly respected Chicago hospital refused to believe me when I told her I was suffering from post-partum depression. Luckily, my family helped me and and got me and the babies the help we needed.

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