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We are excited to welcome two new members to our Medical Advisory Board, Dr. LaTrice L. Dowtin, perinatal mental health counselor, and Dr. Lina Chalak, pediatric neurologist and researcher. Both bios are available below.
Dr. Dowtin is a Black cisgender woman who believes in the ongoing pursuit of humility and social justice. She has dual certifications in mental health fields including counseling and psychology. Dr. Dowtin is a licensed clinical professional counselor and registered play therapist who specializes in perinatal, NICU, and trauma populations with a special focus on culturally, racially, and linguistically marginalized people. She is fluent in both English and American Sign Language, and is currently the Co-Director of the Infants, Toddlers, and Families graduate program at Gallaudet University where she also teaches.
Dr. Dowtin was trained at Children’s National in their child development clinic conducting consultation in the NICU and neonatal follow-up assessments. This is where she first had the opportunity to begin supporting children with a diagnosis of HIE and their families. She then completed a clinical psychology doctoral internship at Tulane University School of Medicine with a focus on families and infant mental health. Following internship, Dr. Dowtin completed a Postdoctoral Fellowship at Stanford University in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU) focusing on parental and infant mental health. Since 2019, she has been an active member of the National Perinatal Association in conjunction with the National Network of NICU Psychologists (NNNP; http://www.nationalperinatal.org/psychologists). Through NNNP, Dr. Dowtin is the Co-Chair of the Training and Education Committee. She is also a published researcher and author with several book chapters and peer-reviewed journal articles on topics related to NICU, parental mental health, and racial justice for young children (https://linktr.ee/PlayfulLeigh_Psyched).
Currently in private practice, Dr. Dowtin is the owner and a clinician at PlayfulLeigh Psyched (https://playfulleighpsyched.com), which is a telehealth practice serving infants, families, and survivors of trauma in Maryland and Florida since 2018. PlayfulLeigh Psyched works from a social justice and trauma-based framework. Given her background, training, and lived experiences as a Black woman, Dr. Dowtin is passionate about serving historically racialized populations, disrupting the generational transmission of trauma, and facilitating healthy social-emotional development from conception through adulthood.
Dr. Lina Chalak is Professor of Pediatrics and Psychiatry is the medical director of the Fetal Neurological Neonatal Intensive Care Program and Fellowship Co- Director of Fetal and Neonatal Neurology Training Program at UT Southwestern. She is known for her clinical-translational work on biomarkers and neuroprotective strategies with over 100 publications on neonatal brain injury. She leads the PRIME study for mild HIE as well as a multi-science research team of physiologists, biomedical engineers to evaluate the stratification of neonatal asphyxia with a novel neurovascular bundle for coupling of cerebral blood flow and neuronal activity in real time.Her collaborations include nationally-funded networks including the National Institutes of Health HEAL, PRIME and NICHD NRN neonatal research networks. She serves on NIH sections, American Pediatric Society (APS) and executive council of the Society of pediatric research (SPR) .
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