Department of Psychiatry
Penn Behavioral Health

Hall-Mercer Community Mental Health Center

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Child and Parent Center - Staff

Jeanne Frantz

Jeanne Frantz has led infant and toddler playgroups at the Child and Parent Center since 2006.  She holds a  B.A. from Yale University and an M.A. in Clinical Developmental Psychology from Bryn Mawr College. 

Jeanne has worked with parents, children, and adolescents at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania.  She is the mother of two school-aged children and lives in Philadelphia with her family.  Jeanne’s areas of interest include positive discipline, temperament and personality, cognitive development in infants and toddlers, and developmental delays and differences.   Jeanne believes that Hall-Mercer’s playgroups help parents to build supportive connections with each other.  She says, “Watching my own children grow, I have found that it truly does take a village to raise a child.  My work at the Center is about helping parents to build that village.”

Alyssa Rickels

Alyssa Rickels earned her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania in 1998 and a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Colgate University in 1994.  Following a brief stint in the juvenile justice policy field, she spent her graduate training in adoption and child welfare.  Alyssa is the mother of four children, two boys ages 13 and 10 and twin girls, ages 7.  At Child and Parent Center Alyssa facilitates weekly parenting support groups that focus on the specific issues of parents of infants.  Alyssa’s areas of interests include managing work/life balance and helping new parents navigate relationship and identity changes following the birth of a child.  Starting this Fall Alyssa will be facilitating Twin Talk, a monthly discussion group for parents with twins. 

Linda Goldberg 

Linda Goldberg is a graduate of Temple University. She has a BS degree in Elementary Education and a Masters in Psychology of Reading.  She taught in the Philadelphia School System for 13 years and has worked at Hall-Mercer for 19 years.  Linda is the mother of two children, now in their twenty’s.  Linda has worked as a preschool music teacher, entertained as a clown at children’s birthday parties and trained as a Music Together teacher.  Her goal is to help parents understand child development in order to make parenting a little easier.

Alison Nalle

Alison Nalle has been a facilitator at the Child and Parent Center since 2005.  She graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.A. in Political Science and Psychology.   She continued her education at Bryn Mawr College where she earned a Masters from the Graduate School of Social work and Social Research.  Alison has worked at The Crefeld School with Adolescents and at Martin Luther King High School with pregnant and parenting teens.  She is a parent of three children ages 11 to 18.

Alison is interested in supporting families as they undertake the important job of raising children in a complex world.  Through discussions designed to provide a better understanding of child development, Alison hopes to encourage parents to develop their road map for effective parenting.

Michele Gill McKenna

Michele Gill McKenna earned her MSW from University of Pennsylvania’s School of Social Work and her BA from Dickinson College.  Michele has been practicing as a licensed Clinical Social Worker doing child and family therapy for the past 10 years.  She has worked at Center for Family guidance and the Center for Growth serving children, adolescents and parents with behavioral and mental health issues.  Michele lives in Center City and is a mother to four young children and a dog.  Michele has loved facilitating parent/child groups and Time out for Teens and Tots, a program for teen mothers here at Hall-Mercer.  Michele feels that Hall Mercer’s program helps parents recognize their child’s unique personality and enables  them to utilize parenting techniques that best fit their child’s needs.


Gail B. Loeb

Gail B. Loeb received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her degree in Social Work from the Bryn Mawr College Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research.  She has been with the Child and Parent Center since its inception and was Director of the Center for 15 years.  She has been involved in the creation of many of its programs including Exploring Parenthood, Time out for Teens and Tots, Your Younger Child, and programs for single parents, adoptive parents, working parents, and parents of twins.  Over the years, she has provided training and consultation to professionals and paraprofessionals on the needs of parents and children in the early years.

Gail is a mother, mother-in-law, grandmother, and stepmother and was a single parent for almost 15 years – all roles she brings to her current work with new parents at the Child and Parent center.

Beverly Levitsky

Beverly Levitsky has been Director of the Child and Parent Center for the past 15 years.  She has a Masters of Family Therapy Degree from Hahnemann University (now Drexel University), has completed Post Graduate Studies in Advanced Child Development and Play Therapy, and is trained in working with children, adolescents and adults.  Beverly has done extensive work in the field of Preventive Mental Health. As Director of the Child and Parent Center, Beverly strives to maintain a high quality program that is responsive to the needs of the parents and children who we serve.  Beverly is an active Board member of the Delaware Valley Group of the World Association of Infant Mental Health.  She has three daughters, two grand-daughters, and one grandson. 




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Child and Parent Center Staff