Northwest Pediatric Center offers integrated behavioral health intervention and consultation services within our pediatric primary care practice. Our on-site licensed mental-health therapy team collaborates with our primary care providers to address physical, developmental, social, behavioral and emotional needs. This integrated model acknowledges the role of behavior in medical care and the importance of mental health care in physical well-being.
Physical, emotional, social and spiritual health are deeply intertwined. In order to provide the best quality of care to your child, we coordinate both within our practice and with specialists and community providers to address these unique components impacting each patient. Our behavioral health consultants are available to address a wide variety of emotional and behavioral issues including:
- Parenting challenges
- Coping with various stressors (family, peers, school, divorce, loss)
- Family conflict
- Sleep issues
The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) website offers helpful resources for parenting toddlers and preschoolers.
Meet our behavioral health team:
Wendy Liu Skarra, LMFT, Behavioral Health Director
Wendy’s specialty is Child and Family Therapy and she’s a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist in both Wash. and Ore., where she’s provided therapy to children, youth, adults, and families since 2009. She has worked as a clinical supervisor and program manager at outpatient mental health agencies, and has experience working at a Behavioral Health Organization (BHO/ASO) and at the Department of Children, Youth and Families.
Wendy is a Child Mental Health Specialist, and is also certified as a DMHP/Designated Crisis Responder. Her passion is working with family systems in managing mental health issues, improving overall well-being and strengthening relationships.
Trisha Bender, MD, ACAAP, Child and Adolescent Psychiatrist
We are so excited to have Dr. Bender join our team to serve the kids of our community! She started her career in child and adolescent psychiatry as an officer in the U.S. Army. Dr. Bender served in the 25th Infantry Division as the Behavioral Health advisor to the CG and as a Deputy Inspector General for Behavioral Health concerns during her tour in Iraq. Additionally, she supported the re-establishment of the Tikrit, Iraq, teaching hospital as an academic professor. After serving her country, she began her civilian career as a child and adolescent psychiatrist.
Dr. Bender is a Pierce County master gardener and besides gardening, she enjoys horseback riding, hiking, and traveling with her school-aged daughter.
Meghan Munroe, LMFT-A
Born in Hawaii and raised here in Washington, Meghan has worked with kids and adolescents as a teacher in South Korea. Active in our community since childhood, Meghan has been a counselor for the past five years, providing excellent care for children and families, improving their mental health and quality of life.
Away from Northwest Pediatrics, Meghan is active outdoors, playing with her dog, hiking, snowboarding, white-water rafting, and biking. Meghan also loves traveling and experiencing different cultures.
Amber Kesgard, LMHC-A
Born in Utah and raised in Washington state, Amber has worked internationally with kids, adolescents and young adults from various backgrounds in the Dominican Republic and India. She enjoys providing excellent care for kids and families to improve their mental health and quality of life.
Away from Northwest Pediatrics, Amber enjoys many outdoor activities, such as skiing, climbing, hiking, backpacking, mushroom foraging, and bird hunting, as well as trail running with her dog. She also loves traveling and experiencing different cultures and ways of being throughout the world.
Nicollette McClanahan, LMFT-A
Born in California and raised in multiple other states, including Nevada, Texas, and Washington, Nicollette has worked with kids, adolescents, and young adults from various backgrounds and in multiple settings. Her favorite part of her job is watching kids and families grow together; while helping parents and individuals navigate all the joys and challenges life brings. She enjoys providing excellent care for kids and families to improve their mental health and quality of life.
Away from Northwest Pediatrics, Nicollette enjoys the beautiful nature that the Pacific NW brings, with activities such as camping and exploring with her husband, their three young children, and their rottweiler, Lyla – who they consider to be their first-born child.