About the Developer

Jennifer L. Barkin, M.S., Ph.D

Dr. Jennifer Barkin is a Professor of Community Medicine and Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Mercer University School of Medicine in Macon, Georgia. At Mercer, Dr. Barkin mentors undergraduate, masters, doctoral and medical students through her research program which is focused on perinatal mental health and other key women’s health issues. A University of Pittsburgh-trained biostatistician (M.S.) and psychiatric epidemiologist (PhD) (Graduate School of Public Health), she completed a postdoctoral scholarship at the prestigious Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Her undergraduate educational training took place at Carnegie Mellon University (B.S., Statistics) – also in Pittsburgh.

As part of her doctoral research and time as an analyst at the University of Pittsburgh’s Epidemiology Data Center, Barkin attained considerable skill in survey development, both designing and psychometrically validating the Barkin Index of Maternal Functioning (BIMF). Since, the instrument has been translated into over 20 languages and has been used in industry-sponsored trials, and clinical, academic, and community-based settings. Barkin collaborates with groups all over the world to validate the Index and explore pertinent research questions related to maternal functioning. Dr. Barkin has given several televised interviews related to her work and the BIMF was the focus of a February-sweeps piece produced by FOX24 ABC16. Recently, the BIMF was featured on the Academic Minute National Public Radio Program, sponsored by the Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U).

Dr. Barkin has published extensively in her field and performs peer-review for several prestigious journals including Developmental Medicine and Child Neurology, Archives of Women’s Mental Health and Journal of Affective Disorders. She has participated on national advisory panels, various expert panels related to perinatal health, and serves on the Board of Directors for Postpartum Support International, Georgia Chapter where she is the Chair of Corporate Sponsors and Partnerships. Dr. Barkin also serves on the clinical advisory board for Memora Health, a MedTech company based in San Francisco, California. She has achieved national and international recognition as a thought-leader in her field and recently testified before the Georgia House of Representatives Maternal Mortality and Morbidity Committee.

Dr. Barkin is frequently invited to give instructional webinars related to the BIMF. Attendees have included Massachusetts State Senator and Chair of the Ellen Story Commission on Postpartum Depression, Joan Lovely and her chief of staff. Dr. Barkin has been designated a “Key Opinion Leader in Women’s Mental Health” by Sage Therapeutics™ where she regularly consults with the Medical Science Liaisons.

Jennifer L. Barkin in meeting with other folks

Her recent work includes a focus on the mental and behavioral health effects of extreme weather events, and more broadly, climate change, on mothers and children. She is also serves on the executive committee for the Georgia Clinicians for Climate Action (GCCA) where she provides a public health perspective regarding the effects of climate change on the family unit.

She is also a member of the International Marcé Society, American Public Health Association, and the Association of Women’s Health, Obstetric and Neonatal Nurses.