9073022323

Speakers

Keynote Speakers

Chief Medical Officer, NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness

KEN
DUCKWORTH MD

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Ken is a double board certified adult and child and adolescent psychiatrist and is NAMI’s Chief Medical Officer. Ken has worked in many roles from early psychosis programs to assertive community treatment teams to being the commissioner of Mental Health for Massachusetts.

Ken has worked for the last year working on NAMI’s first book, “You Are Not Alone.” The book is a celebration of lived experience as expertise and is a practical resource for individuals and families who have mental health conditions. All proceeds from sales go to NAMI. Ken’s passion is fueled by his loving dad, who had bipolar disorder.

Chief Executive Officer, NAMI, the National Alliance on Mental Illness

DANIEL H.
GILLISON, JR.

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Dan Gillison brings expertise in non-profit leadership and a passion for advocating for people with mental illness to NAMI. Before coming to NAMI, Dan led the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF), where he was responsible for strategic planning, personnel management, board communications, oversight of APAF’s public education programs and outreach, and formulating strategic alliances and partnerships to further APAF’s mission. Prior to APAF, Gillison led County Solutions and Innovation for the National Association of Counties (NACo) where he was instrumental in repositioning the organization’s programs to provide expertise in health and human services, justice and public safety.
Dan has over 30 years of experience and has previously held leadership positions at Xerox, Nextel, and Sprint. Dan holds a B.A. from Southern University and A&M College.

Dan spearheaded the creation of the CEO Alliance for Mental Health in 2020, which represents some of the most vulnerable and diverse populations affected by disparities in the mental health care system. The leadership collective has collaborated to identify and amplify their priorities for creating a future of quality mental health care for all who need it.

Attorney & Neurodiversity Expert, Haley Moss LLC

HALEY
MOSS

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Haley Moss is a lawyer, neurodiversity expert, and the author of four books that guide neurodivergent individuals through professional and personal challenges. She is a consultant to top corporations and nonprofits that seek her guidance in creating a diverse workplace, and a sought-after commentator on disability rights issues. The first openly autistic lawyer in Florida, Haley’s books include “Great Minds Think Differently: Neurodiversity for Lawyers and Other Professionals” (ABA Book Publishing; June 2021) and “The Young Autistic Adult’s Independence Handbook” (Jessica Kingsley Publishers; November 2021). Her articles have appeared in outlets including the Washington Post, Teen Vogue, and Fast Company.

Breakout Session Speakers

JC ADAMS

Chief Executive Officer & Founder

Cloud 9 Telehealth

Improving Behavioral Health & Crisis Response via Community Care Coordination /
September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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Founder of Cloud 9, a startup on a mission to deliver mental, physical, and social health access to underserved and vulnerable populations.
THEA AGNEW BEMBEN

Principal

Agnew::Beck Consulting, Inc.

“Transforming Behavioral Health Crisis Response In Alaska” / September 28, 2022 – 8:45 AM

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Thea Agnew Bemben is a principal and co-owner of Agnew::Beck Consulting, a planning, policy, and community development firm based in Anchorage, Alaska. Thea has 26 years of experience working with statewide and community organizations to bring about real improvements in the health and social conditions of the people they serve. Thea couples her expertise in health and human services planning with strong experience working with Alaska Native communities and Tribal organizations.

Thea led the 2016 effort to develop recommendations to redesign Alaska’s Medicaid program; she has worked with many Tribal, statewide, and community organizations to expand services for Elders, and people with behavioral health issues and disabilities, and to strengthen vulnerable families. She led the teams for the Forensic Psychiatric Feasibility Assessment and the Acute Behavioral Health Improvement project and is working closely with the Trust and Alaska communities to implement Crisis Now Services.

MARY DALLAS ALLEN

Professor of Social Work

University of Alaska Anchorage

Strengthening the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Workforce in Alaska /
September 28, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Mary Dallas Allen is a Professor of Social Work and the AK LEND social work faculty at the University of Alaska Anchorage. She has 16 years of experience as a social work educator and 26 years of social work practice and research experience with infants, toddlers, young children, and their families and caregivers.
JOSHUA ARVIDSON

Chief Operating Officer

Alaska Behavioral Health

CCBHCs (Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics) in Alaska /
September 28, 2022 – 11:15 AM

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Joshua is the Chief Operating Officer at Alaska Behavioral Health. 17 years ago, Joshua
established the Alaska Child Trauma Center at AKBH, Alaska’s first National Child Traumatic Stress Network center. Joshua has served on SAMHSA’s national child stress initiative steering committee and is on the Editorial Board for the Journal of Child and Adolescent Trauma. His career has been focused on improving behavioral health services in Alaska and bringing evidence-based practices to the state. Over the past 2 years, Joshua has been working with the team at Alaska Behavioral Health to improve access to care, expand capacity and increase the use of research-based treatments. During this time, AKBH has more than doubled the number of clients served and services provided.
MICHELLE BAKER

Executive Vice President, Behavioral Services Division

Southcentral Foundation

“Transforming Behavioral Health Crisis Response In Alaska” / September 28, 2022 – 8:45 AM

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Michelle Baker, MBA is the Executive Vice President of Southcentral Foundations Behavioral Services Division. She joined SCF in 2000. She oversees Behavioral Health and Substance use treatment program at SCF and coordinates with internal and external partners to enhance the continuum of behavioral health services.
KRISTY BECKER

Director of Clinical Services

Alaska Psychiatric Institute

Serving Alaskans with Complex Needs /
September 27, 2022 – 9:00 AM

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Dr. Becker is the Director of Clinical Services at the Alaska Psychiatric Institute (API). She has worked in mental health care provision for over 25 years with individuals experiencing mental illness in a variety of settings including hospitals, prisons and jails, community behavioral health, juvenile justice, and private practice. She has been in Alaska since 2013, completing her internship with the Alaska Psychology Internship Consortium and remaining in the state to serve as a Forensic Evaluator, the Chief Forensic Psychologist, and the Director of Clinical Services at API. Dr. Becker has a specific interest and expertise in forensic populations, psycho-legal evaluations, risk assessment and management, crisis intervention and de-escalation, and diagnostic clarification.
KRISTEN BIERMA

Executive Director

Beacon Hill

Safe Families For Children Alaska / September 27, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Kristen Bierma has served children and families since 1994 as a clinician in private practice and on a diagnostic team assessing Autism in young children. She has also gained experience as a foster parent, educator and author, and mom to three children. Since 2017, Kristen has engaged in the work of child welfare, first as a supervisor for Safe Families for Children and then as Executive Director of Beacon Hill’s three programs that serve and support vulnerable children and struggling families in Alaska. She is passionate about engaging the community to fill the gap for vulnerable children in Alaska. Kristen is re-fueled by spending time with her husband and their three young adult children and getting out in nature as often as possible.
LEIGH BOLIN

Executive Director

Resource Center for Parents & Children

Mental Health Services in Child Advocacy Centers / September 27, 2022 – 1:15 PM

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Leigh Bolin, LCSW, MAC is the Executive Director of the Resource Center for Parents & Children (RCPC) in Fairbanks, AK. RCPC houses the Child Advocacy Center that serves the Interior Region of Alaska. Leigh has been working with CACs in Alaska for seven years and is the current President of the Alaska Chapter of NCA, the Alaska Children’s Alliance. Prior to her current role she served as the Forensic Services Department Manager for the Bristol Bay Area Health Corporation in Dillingham, AK where she managed Nitaput Child Advocacy Center. Prior to that, she managed a housing program for adults experiencing houselessness living with HIV and mental illness. Leigh worked in community mental health providing clinical case management services to adults with severe mental illness. She has also provided dialectical behavior therapy (DBT) services to adults as well as facilitated Trauma Recovery Empowerment Model (TREM) groups for adults with histories of trauma. Leigh has additional experience
DAVE BRANDING

Chief Executive Officer

JAMHI Health & Wellness, Inc.

CCBHCs (Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics) in Alaska / September 28, 2022 – 11:15 AM

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In the field awhile, Dave’s fortunate to have served a variety of roles in various settings and most honored to present with Rachel Gearhart and Joshua Arvidson. We hope to inform and inspire expanded access to high-quality services amidst challenging times through CCBHC.

JACOB BUTCHER

Communications Manager

Matcom Dispatch

“Transforming Behavioral Health Crisis Response In Alaska” / September 28, 2022 – 8:45 AM

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Over 20 years of public safety service and experience including active roles in the MatSu CIT Coalition, 988 implementation working group, and numerous other boards and commissions from local to State level.
KIM CHAMPNEY

Executive Director

Alaska Association on Developmental Disabilities

No Turning Back – The Future of Direct Support / September 27, 2022 – 1:15 PM

Serving Alaskans with Complex Needs / September 27, 2022 – 9:00 AM

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Kim has worked in Alaska in the developmental disabilities field for over 25 years. She is currently the executive director of the Alaska Association on Developmental Disability. Before her current role she had a consulting practice focused on strategic planning and project management in the disability field. Kim is particularly committed to strengthening the direct support professional workforce and has had the privilege of supporting the development of the Alaska Alliance of Direct Support Professionals (AADSP).
KAREN CLEMANS

Housing Stability Manager

Partners For Progress

Harm Reduction / September 28, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Karen is a Housing Stability Manager at Partners For Progress. She earned her Bachelor of Social Work degree from the University of Alaska Anchorage in 2007 and has worked with diverse populations in the Anchorage area for 20 years.
JENA CRAFTON

Vice-Chair

Governor’s Council for Developmental Disabilities and Special Education

Intentional Communities in Alaska – Sharing the Dream, Journey, and Impact / September 27, 2022 – 2:45 PM

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Jena is a self-advocate, the vice-chair of the Governor’s Council for Developmental Disabilities and Special Education, and the national representative for Alaska on the National Association Councils for Developmental Disabilities (NACDD). She has traveled across the globe experiencing diverse cultures and speaking about positive strengths and meaningful lives.
TOM CRAFTON

Board Member

Key Coalition of Alaska

Intentional Communities in Alaska – Sharing the Dream, Journey, and Impact / September 27, 2022 – 2:45 PM

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Tom is a master’s level mental health clinician who has stayed home assisting in the growth and development of his children who experience special needs. Tom and his family lived in an intentional community of sorts as they sailed around the world for seven years.
ADAM CRUM

Commissioner

State of Alaska Department of Health

Serving Alaskans with Complex Needs / September 27, 2022 – 9:00 AM

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Adam Crum serves as Commissioner for the Alaska Department of Health (DOH). He was born and raised in Alaska and has experience in the private sector in strategic management, organizational development, executive consulting, and working on mega-projects. Crum is known for his ability to establish and lead effective teams, as seen by the marked improvement of multiple divisions at DHSS (now DOH) during his tenure, as well as Alaska’s nation-leading COVID-19 response. Over the past two years, Commissioner Crum led the effort to restructure DHSS into two departments, the largest organizational structure change for state government in almost 40 years.
He loves hiking, fishing, and backpacking in the Alaskan wilderness with his wife Colleen, daughter Ellie Rose, and black lab Walter.

Crum has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Northwestern University and a Master of Science in Public Health degree from Johns Hopkins University.

ANNIE DEAR

Director

Social Finance Inc

Driven by Data: Pay for Success Financing and Housing First / September 28, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Annie Dear is a Director at Social Finance, a national impact advisory nonprofit that works with the public, private, and social sectors to create partnerships and investments that measurably improve lives. She has worked with United Way of Anchorage and the Municipality on Home for Good Anchorage, a Pay for Success initiative to expand supportive housing in Anchorage, since 2018. As part of Home for Good, she and her team provide Pay for Success expertise, data and evaluation technical assistance, and budget and contract support to local partners in Anchorage.
CHARLES DIAZ

Board Chair

Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni Group, Inc.

Improving Lives Through Peer Support / September 28, 2022 – 10:00 AM

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I am a person in long-term recovery. I lead a life of wellness, good intent for the better, and always one that represents change. I strive to carry the message of hope, strength, community, and change to any or all that that I can be of service to through my shared experience. I am the current Chairman of the board for the Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni and a housing case manager for Volunteers of America. I am a facilitator for process groups held by the AKTCA. I am active in the field of Recovery and am an advocate for those with no voice.
CHRISTOPHER DIETRICH

Medical Director

Orion Behavioral Health Network

Augmenting Care with Digital Therapeutics / September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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Dr. Dietrich is the medical director at Orion Behavioral Health Network. He completed PA medical training at the University of Washington School of Medicine – MEDEX. In addition, Christopher has a Doctorate of Science in health science from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Health Sciences. Most of his research was appraising ways to expand access to care with remote patient monitoring and digital therapeutics during this program. Christopher is adjunct faculty with the University of Washington School of Medicine, additionally teaching future providers with South University Richmond & Yale University School of Medicine. Christopher is a lead advocate in virtual care adoption and decreasing healthcare access disparities. He currently holds board seats with the: Alaska Academy of Physician Assistants and PAs in Virtual Medicine and Telehealth. Dr. Detricih additionally provides clinical advisement for the digital therepeutics space within the industry.
BOBBY DORTON

Reentering Society and Finding Peer Support / September 27, 2022 – 10:15 AM

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I am an empathic person who loves advocacy, speaking up, and being the voice of reentry and recovering addicts. I have lived experience with prisons and substance misuse.
ELIZA ELLER

Project Director

Ionia

The Intentional, Cooperative Village / September 27, 2022 – 3:30 PM

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Eliza has personal and family experience with extreme emotional imbalance. She and her husband Ted have thirteen children, ages 14 – 40, and their family’s recipe for wellness includes living in an intentional, cooperative village centered around wholesome foods, cooperative governance, peer support, and simple seasonal activities such as gardening, natural building, and berry picking.
TAMI ELLER

Lead Behavioral Health Training Coordinator

Center for Human Development

9 Core Messages: What Everyone Should Know About Prenatal Alcohol Exposure /
September 27, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Tami Eller is a lifelong Alaskan with 20 years of experience working families and individuals impacted by prenatal alcohol exposure. She has had the opportunity to train professionals and families about Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders in Alaska, the lower 48 and even in Australia. She is currently a Lead Behavioral Health Training Coordinator with the Family Services Training Center at UAA Center for Human Development. Tami was the co-chair of the Community Outreach and Engagement Workgroup of the Alaska FASD Strategic Plan Workgroup (2017-2022), coordinated by the Alaska Governor’s Council on Disabilities and Special Education which developed the 9 Core Messages: What Everyone Should Know About Prenatal Alcohol Exposure.
RICHARD ELLSASSER

Behavioral Services Department Medical Director

Southcentral Foundation

Serving Alaskans with Complex Needs / September 27, 2022 – 9:00 AM

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Dr. Rick Ellsasser is the Behavioral Services Division Medical Director on the accredited campus at the Alaska Native Medical Center. Dr. Ellsasser joined Southcentral Foundation in 2019 after moving to Alaska from Manhattan, NY.
SHARON FISHEL

School Counseling, Suicide Prevention, Trauma Engaged Schools, PBIS, Behavioral Health Education
Specialist II

Department of Education and Early Childhood Development

Mental Health Supports in Alaskan Schools / September 27, 2022 – 2:45 PM

Evaluating Trauma-Informed Practices of the Alaska Alternative Schools Coalition /
September 27, 2022 – 3:30 PM

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Sharon has worked with the Department of Education since 2003. Currently, she is the School Counseling Mental Health Specialist in the School Health, and Safety Unit. Some of her duties consist of school counseling, behavioral health, suicide prevention, alternative schools, and Title 1D Neglected & Delinquent youth. She currently serves as DEED’s representative on the Alaska Mental Health Board and the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council. Her background is in elementary education, special education PK -12, secondary education, related service counseling, and school counseling. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor. Sharon has a Master of Science in Counseling and a Bachelor of Science in Elementary Education.
KATHRYN FISHER

Clinical Associate

Alaska Behavioral Health

All the Lonely People: Starting a Conversation About Social Isolation and Loneliness /
September 28, 2022 – 11:15 PM

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After her move from Connecticut, she began working as a Clinical Associate at Alaska Behavioral Health during the summer of 2021. Kathryn loves spending time in outdoors, reading, and completing puzzles.
BRENDA FOWLER

Clinical Director

Interior AIDS Association

All the Lonely People: Starting a Conversation About Social Isolation and Loneliness /
September 28, 2022 – 11:15 PM

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Brenda Fowler is an Alaskan Sourdough, born and raised in Anchorage Alaska. Brenda has always had a passion for helping others and became dedicated to working with those who experience Severe Mental Illness when she chose this path as a BSW intern at Alaska Behavior Health, known at the time as South Central Counseling Center. Brenda received her Bachelor’s degree in 1986 and worked as a case manager. In 2003 she decided to enter Graduate School to pursue a degree in Counseling Psychology. She completed this degree in 2005 and has maintained work in the community working in non-profits for mental health and at S.T.A.R. (standing together against rape. Brenda works as a Clinician and has worked with consumers for a combined time of 20 years for Alaska Behavior Health.
JENIFER GALVAN

Peer Support Professional Program & Training Manager

Alaska Behavioral Health

Authenticity = Recovery & Wellness / September 27, 2022 – 3:30 PM

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Jen Galvan is a trauma survivor and has been in recovery for sixteen years. For the last fourteen years, she’s worked as a peer support professional on ACT (assertive community treatment team), IOP (intensive outpatient), transitional housing, and inpatient teams, as well as manning the suicide hotline. Today, she is the Peer Support Program & Training Manager at Alaska Behavioral Health, serves on multiple committees and boards, and over the last two years has trained nearly five hundred peer support professionals across the great state of Alaska. It has been her honor to serve her fellow peers and she looks forward to many future opportunities.

RACHEL GEARHART

Chief Operating Officer

JAMHI Health & Wellness, Inc.

CCBHCs (Certified Community Behavioral Health Clinics) in Alaska / September 28, 2022 – 11:15 AM

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Rachel is an LCSW and CDC I in Alaska. She’s lived on Prince of Wales Island, Anchorage, and Juneau over the course of 16 years. She’s currently the Chief Operating Officer at JAMHI Health & Wellness, Inc. in Juneau where she started as an Intake Specialist clinician 12 years ago.
MICHELE GIRAULT

Chief Executive Officer

Hope Community Resources

Intentional Communities in Alaska – Sharing the Dream, Journey, and Impact / September 27, 2022 – 2:45 PM

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Michele is the CEO for Hope Community Resources. She is a long term member of the Key Coalition of Alaska and currently serves as Board President. Her educational background is in Human Development and Organizational Management.
LINDSAY GRENNAN

Program Manager

Interior AIDS Association

Listening is Hearing / September 28, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Lindsey is the Program Manager and a Substance Abuse Counselor within IAA’s Interior Medication Assisted Treatment Program since 2014. She is passionate about harm reduction and motivational interviewing.
ADAM GROVE

Physician

Head to Toe Holistic Healthcare, LLC

Getting to the Roots of the Problems / September 28, 2022 – 10:00 AM

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Dr. Grove is a Naturopathic Physician and Certified Brain Injury Specialist with 20 years of serving the brain injury community in Alaska. In addition to his private practice, Dr. Grove has served on State advisory boards and non-profit boards and is the founder of the Alaska Bus Project, a non-profit with Alaska Mental Health Trust funding to support rural Alaskan communities develop resources for treating brain injury.
ANITA M. HALTERMAN

Chair of the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority Board of Trustees

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority

Welcome Remarks / September 27, 2022 – 8:30 AM

LANCE HANES

Supervisor

Chanlyut Residential Treatment Center Program

Improving Lives Through Peer Support / September 28, 2022 – 10:00 AM

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I am a 2014 graduate of the Anchorage Felony Wellness Court and have been a board member of the Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni for 9 years. I have worked in the clinical field for 7 years and have attained my Chemical Dependency Counselor certification along with a National Certification of Chemical Dependency Counselors certification. I have worked with Cook Inlet Tribal Council Recovery Services for the past 7 years and am currently the Chanlyut Residential Treatment Center Program Supervisor.

BRENDA HENZE-NELSON

Clinical Director

Interior AIDS Association

Listening is Hearing / September 28, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Brenda is a Licensed Professional Counselor and Master Addiction Counselor. She has been employed with Interior AIDS Association since 2002 and is currently the Clinical Director overseeing their medication-assisted treatment program, prevention, and outreach, as well as their syringe access program. She also shares her passion for recovery and harm reduction philosophy in her work as an adjunct associate professor for the University of Alaska, Fairbanks, teaching addictions for the School of Education’s counseling program.
KEN HELANDER

Mind Aerobics Coordinator

Alzheimeir’s Resource of Alaska

All the Lonely People: Starting a Conversation About Social Isolation and Loneliness /
September 28, 2022 – 11:15 PM

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Ken Helander has been working with older people and their families for 45 years. He currently works in the Education Department at Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska.
KELLY HILD

Complex Behavior Specialist

Center for Human Development’s Effective Behavioral Interventions

Ten Years On – Lessons Learned from the Complex Behavior Collaborative / September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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Kelly Hild, BCBA, LBA

Kelly is a board-certified behavior analyst and has been working with individuals that exhibit challenging behaviors across settings. Kelly is currently a member of UAA’s Effective Interventions Program team where she serves clients from the Complex Behavior Collaborative program. Kelly’s passions include working with adults and youth that experience Autism and working to increase an individual’s access to their community based on their preferences and interests.

VANESSA HIRATSUKA

Co-Director of Research and Evaluation

University of Alaska Anchorage, Center for Human Development

Evaluating Trauma-Informed Practices of the Alaska Alternative Schools Coalition /
September 27, 2022 – 3:30 PM

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Dr. Vanessa Hiratsuka (Diné/Winnemem Wintu; she/her) is an assistant professor of clinical and translational research and co-director of research and evaluation at the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Human Development. Her research interests include ethical, social, and legal implications of genomic research and precision medicine among Indigenous populations; evaluation of health interventions in public schools; and evaluation of health and training programs serving individuals experiencing intellectual and developmental disabilities.
CHRISTINE HUNDLEY

Program Director

High Utilizer Mat-Su

Improving Behavioral Health & Crisis Response via Community Care Coordination /
September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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Christine is currently the program director for High Utilizer Mat-Su, a program of LINKS Resource Center. She was born and raised in the Mat-Su and enjoys the opportunity to provide support to individuals experiencing adversity.
PAMELA KELLEY

Executive Director

Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska

The Work of Alaska’s Dementia Action Collaborative / September 28, 2022 – 11:15 AM

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Pam Kelley is the Chair of the Alaska Dementia Action Collaborative. She also serves on the Board of Directors of AGEnet, a statewide senior service providers association. Ms. Kelley has been committed to improving dementia care for Alaskans since 2008, when family circumstances brought the subject close to hand. Since then, she has served as an informal caregiver, the Education Director for Alzheimer’s Resource of Alaska and is now its Executive Director.
STEFFI KIM

Research Scientist

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

Cultural Barriers to ADRD Care / September 28, 2022 – 10:00 AM

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Dr. Steffi Kim is a clinical-community psychologist and has worked with Alaska Native communities employing community-based participatory research frameworks for seven years. She serves as adjunct faculty at the University of Alaska in Anchorage and as a lead researcher at the Memory Keepers Medical Discovery Team at the University of Minnesota. In her work with Alaska Native Elders, she collaborates closely with community stakeholders and Elders to learn and share how Elders age well within rural and urban Alaskan communities. This work has provided valuable insights into a successful aging framework incorporating and highlighting the voices of Alaska Native Elders. Dr. Kim collaborates with Alzheimer’s Resources of Alaska and several tribal communities statewide. She is working to promote dementia awareness and reduce the stigma associated with dementia. In addition to her work with Alaska Native Elders, Dr. Kim has worked with adults providing mental health services.
ELIZABETH KING

Director of Behavioral Health

AHHA

Mental Health Services in Child Advocacy Centers / September 27, 2022 – 1:15 PM

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Elizabeth has worked in Alaska in the field of behavioral health in variety of roles since 2004. She is currently the Director of Behavioral Health with the Alaska Hospital & Healthcare Association (AHHA). In this capacity, her work is generally focused on the acute end of the behavioral health spectrum of care. Elizabeth’s motivation stems from her desire to make a positive difference in the health of Alaskans, and she values working together with colleagues and communities to help advocate for and enhance treatment and prevention opportunities. When she isn’t working Elizabeth enjoys spending time with her husband, two sons, and their dog. Some of her favorite things about living in Alaska include cross-country skiing, biking, fishing, hiking, gardening, and getting outdoors as much as possible.
JARED KOSIN

President & CEO

Alaska Hospital & Healthcare Association

Serving Alaskans with Complex Needs / September 27, 2022 – 9:00 AM

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Jared C. Kosin, J.D., M.B.A is the President and Chief Executive Officer of the Alaska Hospital & Healthcare Association (AHHA). Kosin is an attorney with an MBA and extensive experience in healthcare and public policy.

Kosin is viewed as a leader in Alaska healthcare due to his operational and management experience in two key areas of the industry: Medicaid and hospital services. He was named to Alaska’s Top Forty Under 40 in 2022 for his statewide leadership throughout the pandemic, playing a pivotal role in bringing together state and hospital leaders to share data, pool knowledge and resources, and find innovative ways to augment supplies, staffing, and treatment options while also getting vaccines to people across the state. He is a trusted source who was frequently called on by the Legislature and media outlets to weigh in on the status of the pandemic in Alaska.

Kosin started his healthcare focus when he became the Executive Director of Alaska’s Medicaid rate-setting office in 2012. In this capacity, he directed the pricing of Medicaid services across Alaska and administered the State’s certificate of need program.

In 2016, Kosin left Alaska Medicaid to join the hospital administration team at Mat-Su Regional Medical Center, a 109-bed acute care hospital located 40 miles outside of Anchorage. His biggest achievement was designing a $90 million growth plan that led to the construction of a 40,000 SF medical office building, the opening of an advanced wound care center with hyperbaric oxygen therapy services, the addition of 35 medical/surgical beds, and the creation of a 16-bed inpatient behavioral health unit.

Kosin believes that addressing the cost of healthcare in Alaska starts with understanding that it is a deeply interconnected system of care.

“Improving Alaska’s healthcare system to ensure access for all Alaskans can only be achieved if we stabilize and support capacity for services throughout the full healthcare continuum.”

Prior to moving to Alaska, Kosin was the Policy Director and Legislative Director for the Colorado Speaker of the House. He also served as a policy advisor to the Michigan Senate Majority Leader.

Kosin holds a Juris Doctorate from the Michigan State University College of Law, and a master’s in business administration from the University of New Hampshire. He met his wife Jenny, a lifelong Alaskan, in law school, and they now reside in Eagle River with their three daughters.

KIM KOVOL

Acting Commissioner

Alaska Department of Family and Community Services

Welcome Remarks / September 27, 2022 – 8:30 AM

CHARITY LEE

Zero Suicide Program Coordinator

Division of Behavioral Health

Expanding Alaska’s Mental Health Crisis and Suicide Care Practices / September 27, 2022 – 10:15 AM

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Charity Lee is the Zero Suicide Program Coordinator with the Alaska Division of Behavioral Health. She has a master’s degree is social work and a bachelor’s degree in psychology with a minor in sociology. Ms. Lee has been engaged in the field of social work in Alaska for the past eight years.
SAM LONGACRE

Project Director

United Way of Anchorage

Driven by Data: Pay for Success Financing and Housing First / September 28, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Sam Longacre is the Project Director for Home for Good Anchorage. She works closely with the organizations providing case management to problem-solve and build community partnerships to expand Permanent Supportive Housing in Anchorage.
STEVEN LUTZKY

President

HCBS Strategies Inc.

Understanding Alaska’s ADRCs and DDRCs / September 27, 2022 – 10:15 AM

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Steven Lutzky has more than 27 years of experience working with Medicaid funding authorities for people with disabilities. He has a Ph.D. in Gerontology and has overseen Medicaid services for people with disabilities at the state and federal levels, including being the Director of the division within the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) responsible for providing states with technical assistance on improving Medicaid-funded supports for people with disabilities. He has consulted with dozens of states and has been supporting Alaska’s efforts since 2006.
LORI MARKKANEN

Developmental Specialist III

Tanana Chiefs Conference

Support for the Littlest Alaskans / September 28, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Lori is currently the Infant Learning Program Coordinator for the Tanana Chiefs Conference. She has been working with children and families in Alaska for the last 33 years. Her roles include Special Education Teacher, Disability Coordinator and Case supervisor, Child Forensic Interviewer, Victim’s Advocate, Developmental Specialist and Program Director. Lori is a certified teacher and Has an M.S. in Child Youth and Family Sciences. She is currently finishing a Graduate Certificate in Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health from the Erikson Institute in Chicago.
MELISSA MERRICK

Clinical Director of Behavioral Health Services

Southcentral Foundation

Driven by Data: Pay for Success Financing and Housing First / September 28, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Melissa Merrick, LCSW, is a Clinical Director at Southcentral Foundation Behavioral Services Division. Melissa supports clinical quality and improvement activities, including advancing behavioral health integration, access to services, supporting Intensive Case Management services, and advancing access to Medication Assisted Treatment.
HELEN MICHEALSON

Behavioral Healthcare Manager

Sunshine Clinic

Improving Behavioral Health & Crisis Response via Community Care Coordination /
September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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Helen is a Lifelong Alaskan. Has a Master’s in Disability studies and currently is a Behavioral Health Care Manager at Sunshine Community Health Center.
MICHAEL MOORADIAN

Co-founder & Board Member

Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni Group, Inc.

Improving Lives Through Peer Support / September 28, 2022 – 10:00 AM

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I am a 2003 graduate of the Anchorage drug court and a person in long-term recovery. Co-founder and board member of the Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni started in 2006. I have been a substance use Treatment professional for over 18 years and am currently a Program Manager of a residential substance use treatment facility in the Anchorage municipality
CARY MOORE

Academic Program Director, Creighton University / UAA Occupational Therapy Program

University of Alaska Anchorage

Strengthening the Infant and Early Childhood Mental Health Workforce in Alaska /
September 28, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Dr. Moore is an Assistant Professor of Occupational Therapy in the School of Allied Health at UAA and the Program Director for the UAA/Creighton University OTD program.
DUSTIN MORRIS

Area Director

AFSP – Alaska chapter

All the Lonely People: Starting a Conversation About Social Isolation and Loneliness /
September 28, 2022 – 11:15 PM

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Dustin was raised in Anchorage and attended Benny Benson Secondary School he later went on to attend Brigham Young University – Idaho where we studied business and marketing. He now works as the statewide director for the Alaska Chapter of the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention.
LISA MURKOWSKI

US Senator for Alaska

Welcome Remarks / September 27, 2022 – 8:30 AM

FAITH MYERS

Mental Health Advocate

Improving Psychiatric Patient Outcomes by Improving Psychiatric Patient Rights /
September 27, 2022 – 2:45 PM

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Faith is the author of the book, “Going Crazy in Alaska: A History of Alaska’s Treatment of psychiatric patients.” On seven occasions she has been a patient in various psychiatric facilities. Faith has volunteered as a mental health advocate for over fifteen years campaigning for improving psychiatric patient care and rights.
KARA NELSON

Director of Development and Public Relations

True North Recovery

Behavioral Health Beyond the Looking Glass / September 27, 2022 – 10:15 AM

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Kara Nelson is an advocate, activist, and entrepreneur. She is currently the Director of Development and Public Relations at True North Recovery. True North Recovery is a recovery community organization that provides inpatient residential treatment, outpatient, intensive outpatient, recovery housing, reentry, crisis stabilization, community connections, peer support, and more in the MatSu Valley and expanding into Fairbanks. Kara is a founding member and the former Director of Haven House Juneau, a peer-led recovery residence for women coming home after incarceration. She is a recovery/reentry coach and trainer. Kara has held many roles over the years, leading efforts to expand access and remove barriers to behavioral health, recovery support services, and justice-involved settings. She is a Governor-appointed Alaska Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Addiction board member and the tri-chair of the Matsu Reentry Coalition.
NICOLE NELSON

Executive Director

Crossroads Counseling & Training Services

Serving Alaskans with Complex Needs / September 27, 2022 – 9:00 AM

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Originally from California, I moved to Alaska with my family via the US Air Forces in 1999. I have been with Crossroads Counseling & Training Services for 20 years. I have held every position from DSP, Care Coordinator, Assisted Living Home Administrator, Group Home Director, and now the Executive Director since 2016. I believe that it takes an entire community to do what we do, partnerships are what make us thrive as an organization as well as a community.
RIC NELSON

Advocacy & Outreach Manager

The Arc of Anchorage

Changing the Workforce Landscape for the Better / September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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Currently employed as the Advocacy and Outreach Manager for The Arc of Anchorage. I have a Master’s degree in Public Administration and have worked in this field for the past 20 years.
POLLY-BETH ODOM

Executive Director

Daybreak, Incorporated

Improving Behavioral Health & Crisis Response via Community Care Coordination /
September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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Polly-Beth is the executive director at Daybreak, Incorporated. Polly-Beth started her carrier at Daybreak as a case manager, and has worked at the organization for the past 34 years. During her tenure, Polly-Beth has found opportunities to use technology to improve the way services are provided to assist people in meeting their mental health and traumatic and acquired brain injury recovery goals.
ERIK PETERSON

Health Program Manager II

Alaska Department of Health, Division of Senior and Disabilities Services

Understanding Alaska’s ADRCs and DDRCs / September 27, 2022 – 10:15 AM

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Erik works for the State of Alaska Division of Senior and Disabilities Services as the program manager for the ADRC and DDRC networks. Prior to this role, Erik has worked in Juvenile Justice, adult corrections, and non-profit behavioral health.
RENEE RAFFERTY

Senior Director of Behavioral Health Services

Providence Health & Services

“Transforming Behavioral Health Crisis Response In Alaska” / September 28, 2022 – 8:45 AM

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Renee Rafferty, MS, LPC is the Senior Director of Behavioral Health Services in Anchorage Alaska for Providence Health & Services. Renee has been in the behavioral health field for 30 years. In her leadership role at Providence, she has strategic and operational responsibility for crisis services, outpatient, school-based integration, partial hospitalization, and residential treatment programs.
DAVID REESER

Chief Executive Officer & Founder

OpiAID

Using Data to Disrupt Patterns that Lead to Relapse / September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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David Reeser is a serial entrepreneur and current Founder/CEO of OpiAID. He is driven by love for our Neighbors in recovery and committed to bringing meaningful innovation to market to improve health outcomes in SUD.
BARBARA RODRIGUEZ-RATH

Chief Executive Officer

The Arc of Anchorage

Changing the Workforce Landscape for the Better / September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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I have a Master’s of Social Work Degree and have 27 plus years of working in social services. During the course of my career, I have fulfilled many roles both clinical and administrative that span from the front line to executive leadership.
Barbara Rodriguez-Rath I am currently the CEO of The Arc of Anchorage, a non-profit organization that provides community supports to individuals who experience Intellectual/Developmental Disabilities and/or Behavioral Health challenges. I am a recent recipient of the Rising Star Award from The National Arc of The US as well as an Honorarium recipient from The State of Alaska’s 32nd Legislature celebrating my contributions to our Alaskan community.
BEVERLY SCHOONOVER

Executive Director

AMHB / ABADA

Mental Health Supports in Alaskan Schools / September 27, 2022 – 2:45 PM

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Executive Director of the Alaska Mental Health Board, Advisory Board on Alcoholism and Drug Abuse, and the Statewide Suicide Prevention Council
CHRISTINA SHADURA

Community Program Coordinator

South Central Foundation

Harm Reduction / September 28, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Christina Shadura was born and raised in Kenai, Alaska where she grew up working in her family’s 4th generation commercial fishing business. It was there that she began working alongside fellow fishermen involved in the criminal justice system and had an opportunity to witness firsthand the struggles that many faced post-incarceration. She also saw how those struggles could be overcome when folks were supported by their communities and given real opportunities for change. This led her to want to stay in Alaska and pursue a career in Criminal Justice Reform. She obtained a degree in Human Services at the University of Anchorage Alaska and a Certification in Corrections from Kenai Peninsula College. While completing a Practicum for her degree, she was placed at a newly opened nonprofit in downtown Anchorage called Partners Reentry Center in 2015. Christina went on to work with the AK-Department of Corrections in Electronic Monitoring and The Central Office.
CURTIS SMITH

Co-Director of Research and Evaluation

University of Alaska Anchorage, Center for Human Development

Evaluating Trauma-Informed Practices of the Alaska Alternative Schools Coalition / September 27, 2022 – 3:30 PM

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Dr. Curtis Smith is Co-Director of Research and Evaluation at the University of Alaska Anchorage Center for Human Development. He is part of the evaluation team for several projects led by the Alaska Department of Education and Early Development with a focus on improving the mental health of students throughout Alaska.
KARL SODERSTROM

Founder and Chief Executive Officer

True North Recovery

Behavioral Health Beyond the Looking Glass / September 27, 2022 – 10:15 AM

“Transforming Behavioral Health Crisis Response In Alaska” / September 28, 2022 – 8:45 AM

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Tom is a master’s level mental health clinician who has stayed home assisting in the growth and development of his children who experience special needs. Tom and his family lived in an intentional community of sorts as they sailed around the world for seven years.
CHRIS STURM

Clinical Director

Center for Human Development’s Effective Behavioral Interventions

Ten Years On – Lessons Learned from the Complex Behavior Collaborative / September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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Consulting with agencies and teams supporting individuals with challenging behaviors since 2009, Chris was one of the first CBC Consultants in 2012. The primary mission of his work was to keep clients in their home communities. One primary focus of this work has been to provide training and coaching to staff, building their capacity to support clients with challenging behaviors. Since then, he has also worked with Southcentral school districts since 2016 partnering to keep students in the least restrictive classroom environment, and decrease their challenging behaviors while also increasing their engagement with the curriculum.
JACQUELINE SUMMERS

Executive Director

Health TIE

Using Data to Disrupt Patterns that Lead to Relapse / September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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Jacqueline Summers is the Executive Director of Health TIE and an active member of the Alaskan entreprenurial ecosystem and has worked in program operations and business development for over 20 years.. Started in 2018, Health TIE is a nonprofit healthcare hub in Alaska that advances healthcare systems by connecting service providers to catalyze pilot projects with potential solutions to pressing Alaskan healthcare issues.
ERIC TALBERT

CBC Program Manager

State of Alaska’s Division of Behavioral Health

Ten Years On – Lessons Learned from the Complex Behavior Collaborative / September 28, 2022 – 3:15 PM

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Eric Talbert, MPA

Eric has been the Program Manager for the Complex Behavior Collaborative (CBC) program with the Division of Behavioral Health (DBH) since January of 2020. The program provides consultation and training to providers that serve clients with complex behavioral needs who are often aggressive, assaultive and a danger to themselves and/or others. The goal of the program is to help clients live as independently as possible in the community and out of hospitals or institutional care.

ANNIE THOMAS-LANDRUM

Associate Director of Health Workforce

University of Alaska Anchorage / Alaska AHEC

Coming Home: Finding a New Normal for Ourselves and Those We Serve / September 28, 2022 – 11:15 AM

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Annie Thomas-Landrum is the Associate Director of Health Workforce for the Alaska AHEC and the Owner of Managing Me Enterprises, (a job she made-up so she could do all the things she loves most: support organizations in building teams and work environments that people love, in part by planning parties, er, “retreats”). Annie has an MSN in Nursing Leadership and Administration and is working on a DNP in nursing and a PhD in psychology, which she dreams will both one day be finished as well (lol, but wouldn’t put a date on either lolol). She became a third-generation nurse in 2004 and has had the opportunity to work in all kinds of settings including neuro-surgical ICU, labor and delivery, home health and hospice, international travel health, healthcare marketing, inpatient mental healthcare, nursing education, and large-scale contact tracing. Annie quarantines with her family and way too many animals that she somehow gathered from everywhere in Talkeetna, Alaska.
TERI TIBBET

Advocacy Coordinator

Alaska FASD Partnership

9 Core Messages: What Everyone Should Know About Prenatal Alcohol Exposure /
September 27, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Teri Tibbett, MFA is the advocacy coordinator for the Alaska Mental Health Board and Advisory Board on Alcoholism & Drug Abuse and works closely with the Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority and partner advisory boards, coordinating their joint advocacy effort. She also serves as coordinator for the Alaska Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Partnership a coalition of individuals and organizations that support appropriate services and supports for Alaskans impacted by FASD.
RAIN VAN DEN BERG

Owner

Rain Van Den Berg Consulting

Meaningful Transition in Rural Alaska / September 27, 2022 – 2:00 PM

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Rain Van Den Berg is an education and training consultant with a background in education, health education, project management, and facilitation. Current projects include supporting the organizational development of non-profit organizations, assisting with plain language and health literacy, and creating culturally responsive transition materials for Special Education students.
LEAH VAN KIRK

Statewide Suicide Prevention Coordinator

Division of Behavioral Health

Expanding Alaska’s Mental Health Crisis and Suicide Care Practices / September 27, 2022 – 10:15 AM

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Leah Van Kirk is the Suicide Prevention Coordinator for the State of Alaska, Division of Behavioral Health. Leah graduated from Concordia University and holds a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Child Development. She has over 25 years of professional experience working with vulnerable Alaskans in the field of Social Work, Corrections, Education, and Behavioral Health. Leah was born and raised in Alaska. She and her husband have 4 children and live in the Juneau area.
ALICIA WESTBERG

Board Member

Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni Group, Inc.

Improving Lives Through Peer Support / September 28, 2022 – 10:00 AM

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After graduating from Anchorage Wellness Court, I became an extremely active member of the Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni Group (AKTCA). First serving as a facilitator then becoming the Procurement Coordinator and now elected as Vice-Chair. I am passionate about and dedicated to the growth of AKTCA and our community.
STEVE WILLIAMS

Chief Executive Officer

Alaska Mental Health Trust Authority

Serving Alaskans with Complex Needs / September 27, 2022 – 9:00 AM

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Steve was named CEO of the Trust in January 2022. As CEO, Steve oversees the Trust’s finances and programmatic and policy functions, as well as the Trust Land Office which manages and develops the organization’s one million acres of land assets. Prior to leading the organization, Steve worked at the Trust for 16 years, eight of which he served as the Chief Operating Officer.

The Trust is focused on improving Alaska’s system of care for individuals experiencing mental illness, substance use disorders, developmental disabilities, traumatic brain injuries and Alzheimer’s disease and related dementia (Trust beneficiaries). This work involves convening and partnering with federal, state, local and tribal governments as well as Alaska’s philanthropic community. Steve is experienced in convening diverse voices and stakeholder groups to develop and implement solutions to address difficult social issues, such as chronic homelessness, and mental health crisis response. Steve also leads efforts to apply Trust resources to system level initiatives designed to improve the lives and circumstances of Trust beneficiaries.

Steve earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in philosophy with a minor in political science from Loyola University Maryland and a Master’s of Social Work focused on non-profit management and mental health from the University of Michigan.

RON WILSON

Statewide Therapeutic Court Peer Support Coordinator

Alaska Therapeutic Court Alumni Group, Inc.

Improving Lives Through Peer Support / September 28, 2022 – 10:00 AM

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I am a 54-year resident of Alaska. East High School graduate class of 83 and a 2010 graduate of the Alaska Therapeutic Felony Drug Court.
ANNE ZINK

Chief Medical Officer

State of Alaska Department of Health

Serving Alaskans with Complex Needs / September 27, 2022 – 9:00 AM

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Dr. Anne Zink grew up in Colorado and moved through her training from College in Philadelphia to Medical School at Stanford and then Residency at University at Utah. As a mountaineering guide she had fallen in love with Alaska and after residency in Emergency Medicine became lucky enough to call Alaska home. Not only does she love people and the place, but also the medicine where the communities can engage providers, patients, and policies to make people healthier.

Dr. Zink had the honor of becoming the State of Alaska Chief Medical Officer in July 2019. She and her team lead Alaska from the first repatriation flight to today through the COVID pandemic. She is president of ASTHO, the Association of State and Territorial Health Officers starting in September 2022. She has a special interest in using informatics and information to bring together public health and health care to improve the health of the people we all serve with always putting a focus on putting the patient first.

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