The Wilderman Fund for Maternal Mental Health Introduces The Wilderman Center for Maternal Mental Health at Hackensack University Medical Center

July 2, 2019

Wilderman Fund
The Wilderman Fund for Maternal Mental Health hosted its inaugural event to benefit and introduce announce the development of The Wilderman Center for Maternal Mental Health at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center. Proceeds from the event will support patient care at the center – the first of its kind in the northern New Jersey region, and one of only a few in the nation. Pictured from left to right: Mark D. Schlesinger, M.D., chair, Anesthesiology, Hackensack University Medical Center; Aurielle Shatz Wilderman, MA, PMH-C, president, The Wilderman Fund for Maternal Mental Health; Michael J. Wilderman, M.D., FACS, director of Endovascular Surgery, Hackensack University Medical Center; Ihor S. Sawczuk, M.D.,  regional president, northern market and chief research officer, Hackensack Meridian Health; and Thomas Salazer, M.D., chief, Nephrology Division and co-president of Medical and Dental Staff, Hackensack University Medical Center.

The Wilderman Fund for Maternal Mental Health recently hosted its inaugural event at the Alpine Country Club to benefit and announce the development of The Wilderman Center for Maternal Mental Health at Hackensack Meridian Health Hackensack University Medical Center. Proceeds from the event will support a maternal mental health navigator who will work closely with patients and team members to identify and assist women in need of mental health services during the perinatal and postpartum period. The future center will include a full complement of care – and will be the first of its kind in the northern New Jersey region, and one of only a few in the nation.

The center aims to be a place where all women and families, regardless of circumstance, will have access to the best, comprehensive perinatal mental health care possible.

“Postpartum depression is the leading complication of childbirth – one out of five women will go on to suffer from a perinatal mood or anxiety disorder, but only seven percent will actually get the care they need,” said Helen Cunning, north regional president and chief development officer, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation. “Like any other illness, postpartum depression requires treatment. Realizing this need, we are excited to introduce The Wilderman Center for Maternal Mental Health and grateful for the support of The Wilderman Fund to make this possible.”

The Wilderman Fund was founded by Aurielle Shatz Wilderman, MA, PMH-C, president, The Wilderman Fund for Maternal Mental Health and her husband Michael J. Wilderman, M.D., FACS, director of Endovascular Surgery, Hackensack University Medical Center, as a response to the scarcity of perinatal mental health care she personally experienced when suffering from extreme illness that nearly cost her life.

“There is no defined standard of care in perinatal mood and anxiety disorders,” explained Aurielle. “With Hackensack Meridian Health, we ensure the best clinical and medical resources possible to provide comprehensive care for patients. We are weaving perinatal mental health into the fabric of health care itself.”

Those interested in supporting the development of The Wilderman Center for Maternal Mental Health can contact Clare Ward, vice president, Principal Giving, Hackensack University Medical Center Foundation,  at 551-996-3448 or by email at Clare.Ward@hackensackmeridian.org.