Department of Psychiatry

Penn Behavioral Health

Center Staff

Alyssa Rickels

Alyssa Rickels, LCSW, earned her MSW from the University of Pennsylvania and a BA in Philosophy and Religion from Colgate University.  Following a brief stint in the juvenile justice policy field, she spent her graduate training working in the disciplines of adoption and child welfare, as well as in psychopharmacology research.  The mother of four children, two boys ages 18 and 15, and twin girls, ages 12, she currently works part-time for the Hall Mercer Child and Parent Center (Pennsylvania Hospital), facilitating weekly parenting support groups that focus on the specific issues of parents of infants.  Additionally, Alyssa works part-time as a psychotherapist for The Postpartum Stress Center, LLC in Rosemont, PA, providing individual and couples therapy, as well as parenting consultation, primarily for families coping with perinatal mood disorders. She also serves on a number of volunteer boards, including The Philadelphia School, Christ Church Philadelphia, and the Eagles Mere Athletic Association. In her spare time, Alyssa enjoys reading, cooking, traveling, participating in her kids’ extracurricular activities, and spending time in the mountains of central PA hanging out with family and friends.


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.

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.

Gail B. Loeb

Gail B. Loeb received her BA from the University of Pennsylvania and her Master's 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.

Gemina Gianino

Gemina Gianino, EdM, is excited to join the Hall Mercer Child and Parent Center.  She received her Masters in Education from Harvard University and a BA in Sociology from Duke University.  Over the course of her career she has been a teacher, literacy coach, curriculum developer, and new teacher mentor.  She has two children and serves on The Philadelphia School, Team First Book Philadelphia, and Fitler Square Association Boards.


Perri Shaw Borish

Perri earned her MSS from Bryn Mawr Graduate School of Social Work and Social Research. The Mother of three children, Perri is a Psychotherapist in Private Practice with a specialty of Maternal Mental Health. Perri works part time at Hall Mercer Parent and Child Center (Pennsylvania Hospital), facilitating weekly parenting support groups. Perri hopes her work at Hall Mercer will help to empower, embrace and nurture parents in their transition to parenthood.

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