Vanessa Castaneda, BS

Perinatal Care Coordinator, Children's National Hospital

Vanessa Castaneda, BS, is a Perinatal Care Coordinator within the Clark Parent & Child Network Prenatal-Neonatal Pillar as part of the Developing Brain Institute at Children’s National Hospital. Vanessa graduated from the University of Maryland School of Public Health in 2020 where she earned her bachelor’s degree. She has delivered case management and has assisted vulnerable families by linking them to resources in areas such as affordable housing, interpersonal violence, in-patient and outpatient treatment centers, childcare programs, and accessible education. Vanessa also has conducted research about how the opioid epidemic differently affects children living in rural areas of Maryland compared with Maryland children living in urban communities. Following graduation, she began her career in her home state of New Jersey supporting and educating English- and Spanish-speaking families with loved ones struggling with substance abuse under the auspices of a state-funded program at a mental health agency. Vanessa then relocated to Washington, D.C., where she provided community support and psychoeducation for local children and families who were negatively impacted by traumatic events, advocating for their well-being, safety and success. She has extensive experience working with parents in mental-health settings and is skilled at understanding the importance of helping at-risk parents and children living in marginalized communities. Vanessa recognizes the need to raise awareness of maternal mental health, and she looks forward to helping expecting families receive the resources and support they deserve while contributing to research aimed at improving birth outcomes and maternal mental health.