Each candidate for this year’s James R. Ryan Achievement Award will be profiled daily during the voting process. The comments featured in the finalist profile were submitted as part of the nomination process, and have not been edited or altered by WI-AIMH (except to preserve confidentiality when needed).
For an overview of all finalists, click here.
The winner of the James R. Ryan Achievement Award will be selected by vote. WI-AIMH Members can use their, emailed, private link to vote for the finalist of their choice. Interested members will be able to vote until Friday, February 23, 2018. Each member may cast one vote.
Name: Romilia Schlueter
Position/Title/Employer: Bilingual Quality Improvement Specialist, Supporting Families Together Association (SFTA)
Romilia (Romy), has decades of experience in the family support and early childhood education fields. Over the course of her career she has contributed to the field of Infant Mental Health in a multitude of ways, including working with families with young children through home visiting at a family resource center, supporting families in accessing basic needs and essential resources, and in her last 7 years working at SFTA as the Bilingual Quality Improvement Specialist, providing training and continuous support to early care and education providers across Wisconsin in areas that include infant mental health. Romy is also currently a member of the WI-AIMH Board.
One very unique way in which Romy continues to contribute to the field of Infant Mental Health is through her weekly Spanish radio program, Apoyando Familias, Aprendiendo Juntos (Supporting Families, Learning Together), which she has hosted on La Movida 1480AM in the program’s current format since 2011. This show focuses on vital early childhood topics, including many that relate to supporting infant mental health, such as child abuse and neglect prevention, social emotional development, mental health issues, developmental challenges, and more.
Romy reaches a wide audience of caregivers through this program, as evidenced by the high level of feedback she receives from her listeners, who call, text, and participate in other ways throughout the live program, as well as by the engagement on her program blog, (https://apoyandofamilias.wordpress.com/) which attracted over 15,600 views and over 13,000 visitors in 2017. Romy’s radio program is an integral community resource in the field of Infant Mental Health in that it reaches Spanish-speaking parents and caregivers who might not otherwise receive the information she is sharing, by making it easier to listen and ask questions anonymously when a difficult topic is being addressed. For Spanish-speaking parents and caregivers, a radio program is also a highly accessible, familiar way to receive information as opposed to other formats, since radio is traditionally a very popular medium in the Latino community.
Romy’s program provides a responsive, interactive venue for those looking to learn more about infant mental health and the many issues that surround it, and it is a part of what makes her contributions to the field of Infant Mental Health in Wisconsin so valuable.
About the James R. Ryan Achievement Award
The James R. Ryan Achievement Award is given by the Wisconsin Alliance for Infant Mental Health (WI-AIMH) to an individual who has made a significant contribution to the social-emotional development of infants, young children and their families within a Wisconsin community, thus demonstrating a commitment to the mission and vision of WI-AIMH:
Vision: We aim for all Wisconsin infants and young children to reach their fullest potential through nurturing and consistent relationships within the context of family, community, and culture.
Mission: WI-AIMH strives to promote infant mental health through building awareness, promoting professional capacity, fostering partnerships and supporting policies in the best interest of infants, young children and their families.