Meet Joy Burkhard!

Meet Joy Burkhard!

// By Jacqueline Brennan

Joy Burkhard, Executive Director of 2020 Mom, registered early for Upswell. She also joined other changemakers in February for our first Upswell Lab in Los Angeles to discuss how LA’s successes and challenges could inform a national gathering of changemakers. Learn how she’s tackling maternal mental health disorders – and how she hopes Upswell will empower her work.

Q: In a few sentences, tell us who you are – what drives you, what you’re working on, and why you’re inspired to make the world a better place?
JB: I am the founder of a tax-exempt social change organization, 2020 Mom, that is working to improve diagnosis and treatment of maternal mental health disorders like postpartum depression. I also work (part time) for the insurer, Cigna, where I’ve been for over 20 years, helping me to understand our complex U.S. health care delivery system. Maternal mental health disorders impact 1 in 5 women and families and up to 50% of low income families, and most are never diagnosed or treated. Not diagnosing and treating these disorders impacts not only a mother’s health during a critical time of infant development, but family stability, and at its worse, may lead to loss of life. Supporting early beginnings for children and young families creates the foundation for stability and resiliency. I can’t stop until these gaps in health care are closed.

Q: What motivates you?
Our nonprofit doesn’t provide direct service. Instead we are moving upstream to fix the system. I get motivated to convene people and leaders to solve difficult problems. Government, private sector, and stakeholders must all contribute to understanding barriers and experimenting with solutions that involve private initiative, social change leadership and foundation support, and regulatory and legislative change when needed.

Q: What’s your favorite thing about the physical space you work in?
I am lucky that I am able to work from home most days. Cigna provided me with this flexibility after my kids were born. At 2020 Mom we also contract with just under 10 mothers, and we all work remotely across the U.S. from home. I work from laptops, so at home I mostly work from my kitchen counter so I can stand a good portion of the day, and can take a break each day to walk our dog (or at least aim to!).

Q: What excites you most about Upswell?
This is what excites me most about Upswell — the possibility (and I hope commitment) of bringing more of these various sectors together to understand the power of coalitions, convenings, etc. As Lyndon Johnson said, “There are no problems we cannot solve together, and very few that we can solve by ourselves.”

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  • Thank you to Upswell and the meet-up with 2020 Mom Organizer Joy Burkhard.

    Awesome to see a bit of movement toward inclusion of all factors that can bring about prevention protocols for women during their child-bearing years. Thank you to Joy Burkhard for leading the charge for changes that are long overdue. Keep up the great forward momentum!

  • Joy Burkhard: California Mother of Achievement – Upswell

    […] an early registrant for our inaugural Upswell In Los Angeles last year, we learned even more about Joy and her organization’s work to engage stakeholders and thought leaders in driving change in public policy, communities, and […]

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