Perigee Fund Invests in the UW School of Nursing’s Barnard Center

for immediate release

Contact: Candice Douglass

(206) 221-8429

(425) 214-2704 (cell)

Perigee Fund Invests in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Development in the UW School of Nursing’s Barnard Center


March 4, 2019 Seattle, WA — The UW School of Nursing announced that Perigee Fund has made a major five-year commitment to support the creation of a post-graduate training program in infant and early childhood mental health at the Barnard Center. The program will meet the needs of mental health care providers seeking to serve infants, toddlers, and their families. Perigee Fund’s investment will allow the School to hire a director to develop, implement, and lead the advanced clinical training program.

“The Perigee Fund’s investment is truly visionary. We know that from zero to three years of age, babies brains are developing at a truly phenomenal rate, shaped by their early relational experiences. Therefore, ensuring that providers are skilled in the best practices that meet the needs of infants, toddlers, and their families is critical to early development and well-being,” stated Azita Emami, the Robert G. and Jean A. Reid Endowed executive dean.

Monica Oxford, Director of the Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development at the UW School of Nursing, will lead this effort in partnership with the new program director. Oxford is a researcher who focuses on birth-to-five parent-child relationship quality and how these relationship impacts child developmental outcomes for vulnerable families living in challenging environments. Oxford and the new program director will collaborate with national leaders in infant and early childhood mental health and Washington state community stakeholders to develop cutting edge program content and curriculum.

“We are at a turning point in service delivery for families with young children. The science of early development shows, unequivocally, the important role that parents play in the development of their child’s social and emotional health,” stated Oxford. “This investment from Perigee Fund will allow us to create a post-graduate training program that is focused on ensuring attuned, responsive, and healing caregiving that builds the relational health that is at the heart of a child’s developing capacity for self-regulation and emotional health,” added Oxford.

“We are fortunate to partner with the Perigee Fund, whose passion for infant and early childhood mental health is evident in their mission to change the landscape of service delivery, to bring much needed resources to build systems of mental health care to our region,” stated Oxford.

About the Perigee Fund

Perigee Fund is a national philanthropic endeavor committed to advancing work in the field of early childhood mental health and perinatal mental health. Perigee is driven by the fact that the most influential period of brain development is between the prenatal period until about three years of age. While early childhood health and well-being are critically linked to success later in life, this knowledge has not translated to systems-level practice; investments in this area are underfunded at all levels.

Compelled by the urgent need to deepen supports in the earliest stage of life, Perigee Fund has committed significant resources over the next two decades to advance knowledge and practice, increase advocacy, build partnerships, and align systems to ensure that babies, toddlers, their parents and caregivers thrive.

Perigee’s deepest work is in Washington state, but they also seek to build the capacity of the field across the Pacific Northwest, and to advance national policy and partnerships.


About the School of Nursing

Celebrating 100 years in nursing education and research, the University of Washington School of Nursing is consistently a top-ranked nursing school, according to U.S. News & World Report. Ranked No. 3 in research funding from the National Institutes of Health, the UW School of Nursing is a national and international leader in improving the health and well-being of individuals, families and communities. The school addresses society’s most pressing challenges in health care through innovative teaching, award winning research and community service. For more information, visit

About the Barnard Center

The Barnard Center for Infant Mental Health and Development supports the professional development of interdisciplinary infant and early childhood practitioners and conducts research related to infant and early childhood mental health. The Barnard Center is named after University of Washington nursing scholar Dr. Kathryn Barnard, a pioneer in infant and early childhood mental health. It consists of three divisions:

  • Research: This unit has secured over 20 million dollars of funding from the National Institutes of Health in research funding in the past 10 years. One of the primary aims of our recent research is to conduct randomized clinical trials on home visiting programs to test their effectiveness in diverse populations of caregivers and children.
  • Dissemination: This unit houses the Parent-Child Relationship Programs @ the Barnard Center [PCRP] is a self-sustaining program at the School of Nursing. PCRP is a go to resource that provides professional development opportunities to over 2000 professionals, annually, who work with parents and children under the age of five.
  • Workforce development: This unit aims to alter the funding landscape on the behalf of the early childhood workforce development to secure training resources to better equip those professionals who work with families every day and provide services to support the care and well-being of young children. The Perigee Fund grant is one such outcome of our workforce development efforts.

# # # # #