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Agenda

We’re excited to welcome more than 70 speakers to deliver 30+ presentations at this year’s event. Several sessions have been announced, with more to be announced soon! Please note: This schedule of events is preliminary and subject to change.

General Session
September 27, 2022 - 7:30 AM

Registration, Exhibitor Booths and Breakfast Open

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Join us before the beginning of today's programming to browse our exhibitor booths and enjoy a complimentary breakfast!

General Session
September 27, 2022 - 8:30 AM

Welcome Remarks

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Kick off the day with a warm welcome from our Trust leadership team, partners and conference hosts, including:
 

  • ANITA M. HALTERMAN, Chair of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees
  • STEVE WILLIAMS, Chief Executive Officer of the Trust
  • KIM KOVOL, Acting Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Family and Community Services
  • LISA MURKOWSKI, US Senator for Alaska

ANITA M. HALTERMAN

Chair of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees

STEVE WILLIAMS

Chief Executive Officer
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority

KIM KOVOL

Acting Commissioner of the Alaska Department of Family and Community Services

LISA MURKOWSKI

US Senator for Alaska

Plenary Presentation

September 27, 2022 - 9:00 AM

Serving Alaskans with Complex Needs

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"Hear from several panelists that each bring a unique perspective to serving complex needs individuals as they discuss:

- How can we better coordinate in our existing system to meet the needs on complex cases?
- How can we make sure our Alaska system of care serves these patients?
- What are some solutions that are working in the US, and how can we make such a solution “Alaskan?”"

Steve Williams

Chief Executive Officer
Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority

Anne Zink

Chief Medical Officer
State of Alaska Department of Health

Jared Kosin

President & CEO
Alaska Hospital & Healthcare Association

Adam Crum

Commissioner
State of Alaska Department of Health

Kristy Becker

Director of Clinical Services
Alaska Psychiatric Institute

Nicole Nelson

Executive Director
Crossroads Counseling & Training Services

Kim Champney

Executive Director
Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities

Richard Ellsasser

Behavioral Services Department Medical Director
Southcentral Foundation

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 10:15 AM

Reentering Society and Finding Peer Support

Nothing about us without us

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I will be sharing my experience, strength and hope of before, during, and after release from prison.

Bobby Dorton


Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 10:15 AM

Expanding Alaska’s Mental Health Crisis and Suicide Care Practices

Current Initiatives by the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health

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"This session will be broken into two parts and focus on the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health’s 988 and Zero Suicide work.

Zero Suicide: Participants will learn about the Zero Suicide framework, why it is needed in Alaska, and what resources are currently being offered by DBH to expand comprehensive suicide care in healthcare settings. The presentation will include an overview of
findings from the State’s environmental scan of suicide care practices in Alaska’s hospitals. Participants will learn about best practices in suicide screening, assessment, treatment, safety planning, and transitions.

988: Participants will learn about the implementation of 988 in Alaska and the role crisis call centers play in the crisis continuum of care. This presentation will include data regarding the demographics of people served as well as preliminary data around call volume and outcomes for 988."

Leah Van Kirk

Statewide Suicide Prevention Coordinator
Division of Behavioral Health

Charity Lee

Zero Suicide Program Coordinator
Division of Behavioral Health


Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 10:15 AM

Understanding Alaska’s ADRCs and DDRCs

How Alaska’s Aging and Disability Resource Centers (ADRC) and Developmental Disability Resource Centers (DDRC) help people with co-occurring mental health challenges and the providers that support them

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"The Senior and Disabilities Services Division (SDS) has sponsored the development of a network of ADRCs and DDRCs. While these entities are not intended to be the primary entry point for people who only have mental health challenges, they do support older adults,
people with physical disabilities, and people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have co-occurring mental health challenges. This session will provide an overview of the ADRC/DDRC network and functions and describe current challenges in supporting these individuals. The session will also allow conference participants to provide input about proposed initiatives to help address these challenges. Finally, the session will serve as an opportunity for mental health service providers to provide input about whether and how they could build stronger relationships with the ADRCs and DDRCs."

Steven Lutzky

President
HCBS Strategies Inc.

Erik Peterson

Health Program Manager II
Alaska Department of Health, Division of Senior and Disabilities Services


Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 10:15 AM

Behavioral Health Beyond the Looking Glass

A Dive into the peer movement in Alaska, focused on the history, current applications and the future of Peers in Alaska
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Peer support roles are essential at ALL levels throughout Alaska's behavioral health continuum of care. True North Recovery is founded on this model. Peer support is the cornerstone of all True North Recovery’s services and programs. These programs include residential inpatient treatment, outpatient, intensive outpatient, case management, recovery residences, crisis stabilization services, mobile crisis team, withdrawal management, reentry case management, and building a recovery community. Karl will discuss a brief history of True North Recovery and share about new innovative programs that have started in the MatSu Valley and Fairbanks as well as upcoming projects to further close detrimental gaps within Alaska’s continuum of care.

Karl Soderstrom

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
True North Recovery

Kara Nelson

Director of Development and Public Relations
True North Recovery


Plenary Presentation
September 27, 2022 - 11:45 AM

You Are Not Alone

What first person experience and storytelling can do to change attitudes and increase awareness around mental illness

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Dr. Duckworth will review the design and framework for NAMI’s first book, built on the stories of real people who face life with a mental illness, and families who have loved ones with a mental illness. The book derives practical lessons from these lived experience experts for the public. It also combines that with Q and A from traditional experts.

Ken Duckworth

Chief Medical Officer
National Alliance on Mental Illness

Dan H. Gillison, Jr.

Chief Executive Officer
National Alliance on Mental Illness

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 1:15 PM

Mental Health Services in Child Advocacy Centers

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Our agency received a Mental Health Trust grant to assist in expanding mental health services to children and families of children seen through Stevie's Place Child Advocacy Center. We have now expanded this program to two full-time clinicians who provided evidenced based trauma treatment. This session will describe our journey to where we are today and also the importance of having these services housed within agencies that have child advocacy centers.

Leigh Bolin

Executive Director
Resource Center for Parents & Children

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 1:15 PM

Addressing the Continuum of Adolescent Behavioral Healthcare in Alaska

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"This presentation will review the documented need for a robust adolescent continuum of care, and share the multifaceted planning effort to improve behavioral healthcare in Alaska for children and adolescents. We will provide an overview of the systematic approach to gaining deeper insight into the current continuum of care, outline the workgroup process, and how the voices of parents and guardians with lived experience intersecting with the behavioral health system were integrated into the findings and recommendations. Lastly, the presentation will share key differences between the adult and pediatric behavioral health systems along with the preliminary findings and recommendations of the workgroup."

Elizabeth King

Director of Behavioral Health
AHHA

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 1:15 PM

No Turning Back - The Future of Direct Support

Thinking differently about workforce in a post-pandemic world
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Workforce trends in Alaska pre-pandemic, followed by COVID and the Great Resignation, have had a permanent impact on workers across many industries. Employers have been forced to adapt by offering increased flexibility and individualized options. What does this look like in the world of direct support, particularly for people who rely on in-person, hands-on assistance? According to the Department of Labor, acute worker shortages will continue for the next decade, if not beyond. What does true innovation look like? What resources are available and how do we leverage them to build a quality system of support in this new reality?

Kim Champney

Executive Director
Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 2:00 PM

Safe Families For Children Alaska

An Innovative Prevention Model that Surrounds Families in Crisis With Hospitality, Healing, and Hope
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The Safe Families for Children prevention model will be presented and explained, including the referral process, program requirements, and benefits to vulnerable individuals and families facing a crisis.

Kristen Bierma

Executive Director
Beacon Hill

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 2:00 PM

9 Core Messages: What Everyone Should Know About Prenatal Alcohol Exposure

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This presentation offers an introduction to nine essential messages about prenatal alcohol exposure — including definitions, impacts, prevalence, common characteristics, diagnosis and early intervention, strategies for success, and advocacy.

Tami Eller

Lead Behavioral Health Training Coordinator
Center for Human Development

Teri Tibbett

Advocacy Coordinator
Alaska FASD Partnership

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 2:00 PM

Meaningful Transition in Rural Alaska

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What does meaningful transition look like in rural Alaska? How can school districts support traditional skills development that will better prepare youth with disabilities to participate in their communities after high school? Come learn about the Alaska Native Traditional Transition Skills project, which demonstrated how to include traditional skills into the Individual Education Plan Transition Plan. The project included two units for each of the five regions of Alaska. The topics were selected and developed in partnership with Indigenous culture bearers in each region. The curriculum models how the inclusion of Indigenous values, regionally specific learning stories, and Indigenous learning principles can support a meaningful path to live and work in rural Alaska. This project was funded by the Alaska Mental Health Trust, in partnership with the Governor’s Council on Disability and Special Education and the University of Alaska Anchorage.

Rain Van Den Berg

Owner
Rain Van Den Berg Consulting

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 2:45 PM

Mental Health Supports in Alaskan Schools

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Approximately 120 thousand Alaskan children and youth attend public schools where more than 20 thousand adults work. In 2020-2022, Statewide stakeholders supported a landscape assessment of a multi-tiered system of support in Alaskan schools. This panel of school and behavioral health professionals will discuss this effort and efforts in their communities, from across the state, to respond to the behavioral health needs of school communities. From universal support for all students, families, and staff to individual clinical services, a spectrum of support is ideal. Panelists will explain what barriers and opportunities their different communities have encountered and how they have responded. This interactive session will help participants reflect on how they can work with schools.

Sharon Fishel

"School Counseling, Suicide Prevention, Trauma Engaged Schools, PBIS, Behavioral Health Education Specialist II"
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Beverly Schoonover

Executive Director
AMHB / ABADA

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 2:45 PM

Improving Psychiatric Patient Outcomes by Improving Psychiatric Patient Rights

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An examination of Alaska's past history of psychiatric patient care and what can be learned to provide better care for acute care psychiatric patients.

Faith Myers

Mental Health Advocate

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 2:45 PM

Intentional Communities in Alaska - Sharing the Dream, Journey, and Impact

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"The focus of this presentation will be to share with attendees the process by which Hope supported the creation of two intentional communities in Alaska- one in Willow and the other in Kenai as well as sharing a plan for a third community and the elements involved
in developing this community. Presenters will share the journey from ""dream"" to development to completion, and the resulting positive outcomes for community members. The desired outcome of the presentation is to share not only the process by which these
communities were created but hearing firsthand from community members how relationships have been strengthened and connections to the greater community enlarged."

Michele Girault

Chief Executive Officer
Hope Community Resources

Jena Crafton

Vice-Chair
Governor's Council for Developmental Disabilities and Special Education

Tom Crafton

Board Member
Key Coalition of Alaska

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 3:30 PM

The Intentional, Cooperative Village

Gathering for an Environment of Wellness

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Discussion and presentation of creating self-funded, intentional, cooperative wellness communities developed and populated by people with disabilities or traumas.

Eliza Eller

Project Director
Ionia


Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 3:30 PM

Authenticity = Recovery & Wellness

How Being Raw Grows Recovery
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"Finding Recovery and Wellness in one’s journey is often times blinded by their limited understanding of the very root of their illnesses.

Authenticity grows when one can see themselves for who they are in their most holistic form by self-love, -acceptance, and
empowerment. As peer support professionals, gifting others with your stories of struggle, triumph, and self, is what brings recovery and wellness to the forefront and gifts your recovery communities with authenticity – You as Your Most Authentic Self!!!"

Jenifer Galvan

Peer Support Professional Program & Training Manager
Alaska Behavioral Health

Breakout Session
September 27, 2022 - 3:30 PM

Evaluating Trauma-Informed Practices of the Alaska Alternative Schools Coalition

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Alaska’s alternative schools provide a spectrum of critical educational and health-enhancing services to, arguably, Alaska’s most vulnerable youth. The State of Alaska Department of Education and Early Development’s (DEED) statewide Alaska Alternative Schools Coalition (AASC) is dedicated to building and sustaining the capacity to reduce relational poverty in Alaska’s alternative high schools by increasing opportunities for students to develop and experience healthy relationships. It is through these restorative relationships that at-risk students are able to reconnect to a sense of hope for their futures, renew their pursuit of graduation, and pursue more healthful lives. AASC relies heavily on implementing a Trauma-Engaged Schools model in its participating alternative schools to accomplish its mission. In this presentation, a team of evaluators will describe the activities, strategies, and outcomes from the 14 AASC partner schools.

Curtis Smith

Co-Director of Research and Evaluation
University of Alaska Anchorage, Center for Human Development

Vanessa Hiratsuka

Co-Director of Research and Evaluation
University of Alaska Anchorage, Center for Human Development

Sharon Fishel

School Counseling, Suicide Prevention, Trauma Engaged Schools, PBIS, Behavioral Health Education, Specialist II
Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

General Session
September 27, 2022 - 4:00 PM

On-Site Networking Reception and Poster Presentations

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All registered attendees and conference participants are invited to join us for a private networking reception and poster presentations at the conclusion of Day 1. Complimentary hor d'ouvres and beverages will be provided.

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS

The Improving Lives Conference is proud to partner with the Alaska Training Cooperative, UAA Center for Human Development to offer continuing education credits for select presentations at this year’s event. This program (Improving Lives Conference) has been approved for 12.25 total General Contact hours by NASW-Alaska Chapter, and may be used to meet continuing education requirements for Social Work Licensure/Certification renewal. Due to concurrent CEU sessions happening at the same time during the two day conference, a total of 7.25 General Contact hours (CEUs) can be earned. Eligible presentations will be noted on the schedule of events, conference program and conference app. CEU oversight will be provided by the Alaska Training Cooperative, UAA Center for Human Development.

General Session

September 28, 2022 - 7:30 AM

Registration, Exhibitor Booths and Breakfast Open

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Join us before the beginning of today's programming to browse our exhibitor booths and enjoy a complimentary breakfast!


General Session
September 28, 2022 - 8:30 AM

Welcome Remarks

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Kick off the day with a warm welcome from our Trust leadership team, partners and conference hosts.

Plenary Presentation

September 28, 2022 - 8:45 PM

"Transforming Behavioral Health Crisis Response In Alaska"

Thea Agnew Bemben

Principal
Agnew::Beck Consulting, Inc.

Karl Soderstrom

Founder and Chief Executive Officer
True North Recovery

Jacob Butcher

Communications Manager
Matcom Dispatch

Renee Rafferty

Senior Director of Behavioral Health Services
Providence Health & Services

Michelle Baker

Executive Vice President, Behavioral Services Division
Southcentral Foundation

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 10:00 AM

Cultural Barriers to ADRD Care

Recommendations to Improve the Trust Beneficiaries from Their Personal Experiences
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Racial and ethnic minority families and communities face unique challenges in accessing and utilizing care and support services for their family members experiencing Alzheimer’s Disease and related dementias (ADRD), elder abuse, and other health-related challenges. Racial and ethnic minority families, including Alaska Native and American Indian, possess strengths and resiliency factors that enable them to care for their family members in their homes and communities. These families also experience barriers to accessing care impacted by their cultural norms and values, which are often seen to play a major role in families seeking help with dementia patients. These values are also considered strengths and values that enable families to care for their loved ones and remain resilient in times of challenge, such as caregiving. This presentation will highlight the cultural barriers Trust beneficiaries with ADRD may face, as well as the strengths and resiliency that exist in their cultural values and teachings, and discuss how to incorporate these values and beliefs into programs and services to improve their quality of life for beneficiaries and their caregivers.

Steffi Kim

Research Scientist
Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team, University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth campus

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 10:00 AM

Getting to the Roots of the Problems

Traumatic Brain Injury, Homelessness, Incarceration, Addiction, Disability, and Dementia

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"Traumatic brain injuries (TBIs) underly many of the Trust priorities. Because TBI impacts many aspects of a person’s cognition, it is not difficult to imagine that a TBI could lead to bad outcomes. There is ample research showing that large numbers of those who are
incarcerated, homeless and abusing substances have TBIs that have not been identified or treated. Further, a TBI dramatically increases the risk of behavioral and mental health problems and greatly complicates attempts at treatment. Children with unidentified and untreated TBI are at a greater risk for intellectual disability and reduced life potential. A TBI increases the risk of developing Alzheimer’s later in life. The goal of this presentation is to cultivate a deeper understanding of TBI as one of the root causes of these problems and thus point toward an approach in which screening and treatment can reduce the sequelae of these injuries and improve outcomes."

Adam Grove

Physician
Head to Toe Holistic Healthcare, LLC

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 10:00 AM

Therapeutic Court Alumni

Supporting Therapeutic Courts Statewide

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With the rise in the number of therapeutic courts nationwide and in Alaska, there is also a rise in the number of graduates. The duration of the wrap-around care of therapeutic courts is disproportional to the amount of time it takes for stabilized recovery from substance use. William White notes in From Treatment to Sustained Recovery, “Most people completing addiction treatment are fragilely balanced between sustained recovery and the resumption of use. Recovery is not considered fully sustained until four or five years.” Many participants feel vulnerable at graduation and have expressed their concern about maintaining recovery. This is where alumni groups make a difference. We will provide an overview of our Peer Support programming in support of Alaska’s Therapeutic Courts, recovery, and the de-stigmatization of addiction. We will also discuss the national effort of peer support for Therapeutic Courts.

Ron Wilson

Statewide Therapeutic Court Peer Support Coordinator
Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni Group, Inc.

Lance Hanes

Supervisor
Chanlyut Residential Treatment Center Program

Charles Diaz

Board Chair
Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni Group, Inc.

Michael Mooradian

Co-founder & Board Member
Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni Group, Inc.

Alicia Westberg

Board Member
Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni Group, Inc.

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 11:15 AM

CCBHCs (Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics) in Alaska

Background, experiences, lessons learned and future directions
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The presentation will provide background, overview, and description of the CCBHC framework. Experiences, outcomes, and lessons learned from each of Alaska’s two CCBHC expansion grantees will be provided including performance measurement and management data and outcomes information; practical 3 lessons learned will be described. A discussion on the future outlook of CCBHCs across America and within Alaska will be facilitated and resources shared.

Dave Branding

Chief Executive Officer
JAMHI Health & Wellness, Inc.

Joshua Arvidson

Chief Operating Officer
Alaska Behavioral Health

Rachel Gearhart

Chief Operating Officer
JAMHI Health & Wellness, Inc.


Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 11:45 AM

The Work of Alaska's Dementia Action Collaborative

First Year Progress - Second Year Priorities
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This presentation focuses on the work of the Dementia Action Collaborative, an informal group comprised of public, nonprofit, tribal, and other health organizations to address the needs of Alaskans affected by dementia over the next decade.

Pamela Kelley

Executive Director
Alzheimer's Resource of Alaska

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 11:15 AM

Coming Home: Finding a New Normal for Ourselves and Those We Serve

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We will 1) utilize the Social Readjustment Rating Scale (SRRS) to determine the participants stress score and correlating chance of developing a stress-related disorder, 2) examine the elements of what makes "normal" feel normal, and what elements of normal we have lost during the pandemic, 3) establish some concrete approaches to increasing our sense of normalcy and stability and 4) discuss how to use these techniques with those we serve while leading through example by implementing them in our lives first.

Annie Thomas-Landrum

Associate Director of Health Workforce
University of Alaska Anchorage / Alaska AHEC

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 11:15 AM

All the Lonely People: Starting a Conversation About Social Isolation and Loneliness

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"Documentary filmmakers Joe Applebaum and Stu Maddox set out to learn more about how social isolation and loneliness are affecting people of all ages, from all around the world, including one Alaska couple. This session will include a brief preview of the film (showing in Anchorage and Palmer for free on October 5 and 6, with a streaming option), as well as sharing some Alaska-specific reflections on the topic in a brief panel discussion. Participants will include moderator Dustin Morris of AFSP- Alaska, Alaska Behavioral Health clinician Brenda Fowler who works with many clients with chronic mental illness who experience significant social isolation, someone from the senior services community who works with seniors who are often isolated at home, especially during COVID (Tabitha Karpow of the Anchorage Senior Center is the contact while we establish precise participant), and a young professional who demonstrates the problem isn’t just about old people. (I am working with the Anchorage Chamber Young Professionals group to identify an appropriate guest.)"

Dustin Morris

Area Director
AFSP - Alaska chapter

Brenda Fowler

Clinical Director
Interior AIDS Association

Ken Helander

Mind Aerobics Coordinator
Alzheimeir's Resource of Alaska

Kathryn Fisher

Clinical Associate
Alaska Behavioral Health

Plenary Presentation

September 28, 2022 - 12:45 PM

Granting Access: Dismantling Ableism and Embracing Neurodiversity

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No two brains are the same. An estimated 1 in 7 people are neurodivergent, including those with autism, ADHD, mental health disabilities, learning disabilities, intellectual disabilities or acquired brain differences. Given this prevalence, why are conversations around neurodiversity nonetheless so difficult, and how do we dismantle ableism and barriers to access? In this session, Haley will unpack the nuances of navigating disclosure, advocating for ourselves and others, and building accessibility into our understanding of “inclusion.” Come prepared for lightbulb moments, and leave feeling more empowered to tackle stigma.

Haley Moss

Attorney & Neurodiversity Expert
Haley Moss LLC

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 2:00 PM

Listening is Hearing

Lessons learned from direct services in harm reduction

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Describing the spectrum of harm reduction and substance abuse treatment services that have been tailored by incorporating feedback directly from those we serve.

Lindsey Grennan

Program Manager
Interior AIDS Association

Brenda Henze-Nelson

Clinical Director
Interior AIDS Association

Breakout Session

September 28, 2022 - 2:00 PM

Strengthening the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Workforce in Alaska

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"Please join us to learn about two approaches to strengthening the infant and early childhood mental health workforce in Alaska. Project BLENDS is a new graduate training opportunity at UAA that aims to prepare scholars in four graduate programs to work collaboratively with young children with high-intensity social-emotional needs and their families. Funded by the U.S. Department of Education - Office of Special Education, Project BLENDS scholars acquire competence in culturally responsive a) interdisciplinary collaboration and coordination, b) family-centered practices, c) cross-discipline evidence-based practices, and d) interdisciplinary professionalism with foundations in infant and early childhood mental health.

Scholars receive financial support for tuition, books, travel, and more! You will also learn about implementing reflective supervision groups as a workforce development model for improving the self-efficacy and job satisfaction of infant and early childhood mental health consultants who work with rural Early Head Start and Head Start programs."

Mary Dallas Allen

Professor of Social Work
University of Alaska Anchorage

Cary Moore

Academic Program Director, Creighton University / UAA Occupational Therapy Program
University of Alaska Anchorage

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 2:00 PM

Support for the Littlest Alaskans

An Introduction to the Infant and Early Child hood Mental Health and the Alaska Association for Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and its mission in our state.
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"This presentation will be an introduction to the ever, growing field of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health. We will introduce the Alaska Association for Infant Mental Health, its mission, and resources. We will share a brief historical overview of Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health and discuss the philosophy and guiding principles for working with Infants, young children, and their families The presentation will touch on issues of diversity and equity that affect the lives of young children and families and other challenges to providing consistent, quality mental health services.

Attendees will also have the opportunity to learn about the infant mental health endorsement process in Alaska and see examples of the work being done in different organizations and communities throughout our state."

Lori Markkanen

Developmental Specialist III
Tanana Chiefs Conference

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 2:00 PM

Driven by Data: Pay for Success Financing and Housing First

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Pay for Success is an outcome-based financing model that appeals to a wide range of stakeholders. This panel discussion will highlight lessons from Home for Good Anchorage, the first Pay for Success project in Alaska, and consider how Pay for Success influences the delivery and effectiveness of Housing First projects.

Sam Longacre

Project Director
United Way of Anchorage

Melissa Merrick

Clinical Director of Behavioral Health Services
Southcentral Foundation

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 2:00 PM

Harm Reduction

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Partners Reentry Center seeks to improve public safety and reduce unnecessary incarceration by addressing harm reduction and public health. We provide a program that provides individuals released from incarceration or treatment facilities a sense of hope and a menu of evidence-based services that include housing, case management, employment assistance, group meetings, and direct referral to behavioral health and substance use assistance.

Karen Clemans

Housing Stability Manager
Partners For Progress

Christina Shadura

Community Program Coordinator
South Central Foundation

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 3:15 PM

Using Data to Disrupt Patterns that Lead to Relapse

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Health TIE is an Alaskan Healthcare Innovation hub connecting health and human service organizations to innovative entrepreneurial partners. OpiAID and Health TIE have joined forces and are on a shared mission to bring innovative technology solutions to address Alaska's opioid epidemic.

David Reeser

Chief Executive Officer & Founder
OpiAID

Jacqueline Summers

Executive Director
Health TIE

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 3:15 PM

Augmenting Care with Digital Therapeutics

Review and discussion of current evidence on digital therepautics and the utility with expanding access to behavioral health services.
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Within the current environment, care access is limited, and unmet needs in treating those with behavioral health needs. Digital therapeutics utilize novel approaches to replicating cognitive behavioral therapy and adapting it. The current program will review the need for advances in care mechanism of action and define prescription digital therapeutics vs. non-prescriptive. Review several digital therapeutics available with their evidence, limitations, and potential benefits

Christopher Dietrich

Medical Director
Orion Behavioral Health Network

Breakout Session
September 28, 2022 - 3:15 PM

Changing the Workforce Landscape for the Better

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This presentation is about how positively impactful it is for businesses to hire people with disabilities to work in leadership positions. An explanation of a current success story and how it has greatly benefited both the employer, employee and people they serve. How positive changes in how those exposed to impacts from employees with various disabilities working in leadership positions have permanently changed and improved the attitudes of all. We will demonstrate with the example of our success story in this endeavor, how the outcomes have dramatically changed attitudes and perceptions of all involved in the organization we are associated with. Our pathway to achieve this goal can provide the audience with ideas that can spark interest in their organization to explore the concept of recruiting and then hiring people who experience disabilities to work in leadership positions.

Ric Nelson

Advocacy & Outreach Manager
The Arc of Anchorage

Barbara Rodriguez-Rath

Chief Executive Officer
The Arc of Anchorage

Breakout Session

September 28, 2022 - 3:15 PM

Ten Years On - Lessons Learned from the Complex Behavior Collaborative

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Since 2012 when the Division of Behavioral Health's Complex Behavior Collaborative’s (CBC) first consultant transitioned a client with Autism out of API, the referrals have continued to evolve. In recent years, these complex cases consistently present an overlap of multifaceted needs related to cognitive disabilities, mental health needs, and complicated and/or fragile medical issues. Using a case study approach, the presentation will examine the challenges presented, solutions uncovered, a system of care gaps that still exist, and underscore the role the CBC has played in fulfilling its mission to keep individuals in their home community.

Chris Sturm

Clinical Director
Center for Human Development's Effective Behavioral Interventions

Kelly Hild

Complex Behavior Specialist
Center for Human Development's Effective Behavioral Interventions

Eric Talbert

CBC Program Manager
State of Alaska's Division of Behavioral Health


Breakout Session

September 28, 2022 - 3:15 PM

Improving Behavioral Health & Crisis Response via Community Care Coordination

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"Untreated mental illness has long been neglected, separated from the rest of healthcare, and is highly stigmatized, costing the U.S. over $1 Trillion each year. Clinicians are in short supply and patients need improved access and clinical outcomes. Behavioral health also needs integration with other areas of medicine, EHRs, and pharmacies.

People With Serious Mental Illness are 16 times more likely to be killed in a police encounter, occupy more jails than psychiatric hospitals, and cost communities $30,000 - $50,000 ea. annually to incarcerate. Law enforcement wastes $800 million per year engaging with and transporting the mentally ill. U.S. communities waste $32 Billion annually being served in ERs, jails, and courts.

Cloud 9 works with community behavioral health providers, emergency medical, first responders, and social services to address these problems. Our award-winning telehealth strategies and secure software help establish data and communications infrastructure that drives analytics and community-wide care coordination."

JC Adams

Chief Executive Officer & Founder
Cloud 9 Telehealth

Polly-Beth Odom

Executive Director
Daybreak, Incorporated

Helen Michealson

Behavioral Healthcare Manager
Sunshine Clinic

Christine Hundley

Program Director
High Utilizer Mat-Su

General Session
September 28, 2022 - 4:30 PM

Closing Remarks and Door Prizes

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Celebrate two days of learning, gathering, networking, making connections and sharing ideas with a closing presentation and door prize giveaway!

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDITS

The Improving Lives Conference is proud to partner with the Alaska Training Cooperative, UAA Center for Human Development to offer continuing education credits for select presentations at this year’s event. This program (Improving Lives Conference) has been approved for 12.25 total General Contact hours by NASW-Alaska Chapter, and may be used to meet continuing education requirements for Social Work Licensure/Certification renewal. Due to concurrent CEU sessions happening at the same time during the two day conference, a total of 7.25 General Contact hours (CEUs) can be earned. Eligible presentations will be noted on the schedule of events, conference program and conference app. CEU oversight will be provided by the Alaska Training Cooperative, UAA Center for Human Development.

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