Dr. Christina Wichman
Associate professor of psychiatry and behavioral medicine and obstetrics and gynecology
Medical College of Wisconsin
Mental health disorders are among the most common complications of pregnancy, yet there is a severe shortage of specialty psychiatrists in the state dedicated to serving new or pregnant mothers.
Dr. Christina Wichman has dedicated her career as a researcher, educator and physician to improving the mental health of women.
Under her direction, the Medical College of Wisconsin launched The Perinatal Specialty Consult Psychiatry Extension Project, or The Periscope Project.
The program seeks to fill the gap in services by providing free resources for health care providers caring for pregnant and postpartum women.
Through Periscope, women have access to real-time consultations with a psychiatrist, community resources and a variety of digital resources on the Medical College of Wisconsin website.
“The Periscope Project addresses the lack of perinatal psychiatric care providers by increasing the reach and efficiency of these specialized health providers,” Wichman said. “Together, we are building the capacity of primary care providers to effectively manage and coordinate care for their perinatal patients with psychiatric and behavioral health conditions.”
The project was started using a multi-year $1.2 million grant from the United Health Foundation.
The program will be led by a perinatal psychiatrist, staff from MCW’s Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Medicine, and a researcher and health economist from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee College of Nursing.