The consultation line is staffed by a variety of clinicians with training and expertise in perinatal mental health and substance use treatment.
KCC Clinical Consultants:
Case Consultations and Psychiatric Assessments
Erin Bider, MD KCC Psychiatric Consultant
Dr. Bider is a peripartum psychiatrist based at the University of Kansas Health System. She serves as a psychiatric consultant to clinicians through the Provider Consultation Line for Perinatal Behavioral Health. Dr. Bider attended medical school at the University of Kansas School of Medicine and completed her psychiatry residency at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). At UAMS, she trained in the Resident Academic Track, which allowed her to specialize in peripartum psychiatry during her training. Dr. Bider returned to Kansas City in 2021 to create the Maternal Mental Health Clinic at KU. She specializes in caring for pregnant and postpartum women with a variety of mental health concerns, including depression, bipolar disorder, anxiety, PTSD, and schizophrenia. Dr. Bider is passionate about expanding access to mental health services for this vulnerable patient population and is excited to work with KCC to serve women across Kansas.
Tara Chettiar, MD, PMH-C, FACOG
Dr. Chettiar is a board-certified obstetrician and gynecologist at the University of Kansas Health System. She completed her bachelors in Psychology and then attended medical school at Creighton University. She completed her OB/GYN residency at the University of Missouri, Kansas City then going on to practice in the KC area for 7 years before returning to academics at the University of Kansas where she serves as the Assistant Program Director for the OB/GYN residency program. Through her years of work in obstetrics, Dr. Chettiar repeatedly saw the impact that mental health had on her patients and their families. She completed further training to receive her Perinatal Mental Health Certification as a provider and aside from her work as a general OB/GYN also runs a Maternal Mental Health Clinic at the University of Kansas Medical Center in Kansas City. Dr. Chettiar is passionate about her care for her pregnant and postpartum patients and also serves on the Kansas Maternal Mortality Review Committee, in the hopes that through this and the improvement of perinatal mental health we can combat the tragic rise of maternal mortality. Dr. Chettiar lives in the Kansas City area with her husband and two sons.
Program Implementation Consultations:
Screening, Referral, and Treatment Best Practices
Melissa Hoffman, DNP, APRN, PMNHP-BC
Dr. Hoffman has dedicated the last 20 years to promoting maternal child health and wellness. Hoffman is a former labor and delivery nurse, childbirth educator, breastfeeding educator, and community education specialist. She earned a Doctor of Nursing Practice from the University of Kansas and currently works as a Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner. Hoffman specializes in reproductive mental health and also facilitates a weekly perinatal mental health support group. She is the founder of Build Your Village and President of Postpartum Support International of Kansas. Both organizations are dedicated to strengthening awareness, education, and services for women and families coping with perinatal mood and anxiety disorders in Kansas. Hoffman lives in Lawrence, Kansas with her husband and two boys.
Lucinda Whitney, DNP, APRN, PMHNP-BC
Dr. Whitney has been a psychiatric mental health nurse for 33 years and in advanced practice for sixteen years. She has practiced across the continuum of care including outpatient, residential, and acute psychiatric care. She has seven years of experience in providing telehealth services to rural Kansas communities. Whitney provides psychotherapy and medication management for patients across the life span with an emphasis on children and parents. She has additional training in the assessment, diagnosis, and treatment of perinatal mood and anxiety disorders. Whitney is a Clinical Assistant Professor and PMHNP Program Coordinator at the University of Kansas School of Nursing. She has published on mental wellness, psychiatric disorders affecting children and adolescents, and treating traumatized adolescents. She is a member of Postpartum Support International of Kansas and serves on the board of the Kansas Psychiatric Nurses Association.
KCC Resource and Referral Specialist
Jordan Zech is a Licensed Master Social Worker who has been a mental health professional for the last four years. Her prior work experience included working in Foster Care, HIV Case Management, and the Emergency Department conducting psychological assessments. Jordan is currently employed with The University of Kansas Health System working as a Social Worker in the Outpatient Psychiatry Clinic providing assistance to patients who need addition mental health support. Jordan has a passion for perinatal behavioral health and is excited to work with Kansas Connecting Communities to serve women across Kansas.
How does the Provider Consultation Line Work?
Health care and social service providers can call (833) 765-2004 (or use the web form), toll free Monday-Friday, 8:00 AM-5:00 PM. Inquiries will be answered by the KCC Resource and Referral Specialist, who will gather information to assess your patient’s needs and help determine the best next steps. This could include a same-day resources support or scheduling a tele-consultation with a member of the KCC Consultant Team.
What Services are Avaliable through the Consultation Line?
Resource and Referral Assistance:
Support identifying and referring to mental health or substance use assessment for perinatal clients following positive screening.
Answer questions and offer best practice recommendations related to perinatal behavioral health identification and intervention .
Coordinate scheduling a practitioner-to-practitioner case consultation with the KCC Clinical Consultant Team to support treatment recommendations.
Practitioner-to Practitioner Consultation:
Medication and dosage recommendations.
Training and Technical Assistance:
Targeted training and technical assistance to support perinatal screening, assessment, and referrals to treatment.
Telehealth integration (infrastructure and direct services).
Access to information on continuing education or scholarship funds for additional professional development training
What Happens when I Contact the Provider Consultation Line?
Calls and emails received during hours of operation (weekdays, 8 a.m.-5 p.m.) will responded to by the KCC Resource and Referral Specialist. Inquiries received after hours will be returned within 24-hours or the next business day. The Resource and Referral Specialist will gather information to support your inquiry including the patient's perinatal status, screening results (if applicable), and primary reason for call. The Resource and Referral Specialist will then coordinate appropriate next steps to best meet you and your client's needs.
No protected health information (PHI) or personally identifiable information (PII) will be collected for referral and case consultation support.
My Perinatal Patient needs a Substance Use/Psychiatric Assessment! Can you help?
Substance use and psychiatric assessments via telehealth are available through the Provider Consultation Line for un(der)insured clients. These assessments are scheduled on a first come first serve basis every Tuesday from 10:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m. These are gap-filling services made available for patients who and unable to access timely care from a provider in their community. These services are not intended to replace ongoing local care or treatment for a patient.
Referrals for substance use or psychiatric assessments should be requested by a treating physician or other advanced practice provider following an initial screening or treatment counseling (e.g. receptive to medication). For questions about scheduling a patient assessment or these services, please reach out to the Consultation Line.
Crisis assessment services are not available via the Consultation Line. If your patient is experiencing a behavioral health crisis, they should go to the nearest emergency room or call 9-1-1.
In Kansas, we believe all moms deserve access to the mental and behavioral health supports they need to thrive. Kansas Connecting Communities (KCC) is a five-year collaborative initiative between the Kansas Department of Health and Environment (KDHE) Title V Maternal and Child Health (MCH) program and several state and local partners. KCC aims to improve the mental health and well-being of pregnant and postpartum women through increased screening, timely assessment, effective referrals and reducing barriers to accessing treatment. KCC is focused on building provider capacity to treat and refer perinatal clients through access to psychiatric consultations, telehealth, peer support referrals, technical assistance and training opportunities.