COBE Town Hall 2017

Presented by the Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services

This is an event that gathers community members, professionals and researchers in the same place to hear a range of perspectives about substance use and mental health in young people.  Unfortunately, these are groups that are too often siloed and disconnected.  Right now, we are at a critical point in the way that we address substance use and mental health in this country.

With the recent release of the Surgeon General’s Report on Alcohol, Drugs and Health, which emphasized the importance of taking a public health approach in tackling these challenges, we must push beyond emergency and incarceration based solutions, which have been ineffective in stemming the tide of the opioid epidemic or lessening the burden of substance use.  In the midst of tremendous suffering caused by the opioid epidemic and unaddressed mental health challenges, we must find effective ways forward, and that requires all of us at the table.

This event includes a light breakfast, boxed lunch and parking for each day.  11 CEUs will be available covering CRCC and NAADAC accreditation.

Speakers

Dr. John Kelly, MD, is the Elizabeth R. Spallin Associate Professor of Psychiatry in Addiction Medicine at Harvard Medical School – the first endowed Professorship in the field of addiction medicine at Harvard. He is also the founder and Director of the Recovery Research Institute at the Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), the Program Director of the Addiction Recovery Management Service (ARMS) and the Associate Director of the Center for Addiction Medicine at MGH.

Dr. Kelly is President of the American Psychological Association (APA) Society of Addiction Psychology, and is also a Fellow of APA. He has served as a consultant to U.S. federal agencies such as the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy (ONDCP), the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), and the national Institutes of Health (NIH); to non-Federal institutions, such as the Hazelden Betty Ford Foundation; and internationally to foreign governments.

He is currently an Associate Editor for the journals, Addiction, and the Journal of Substance Abuse Treatment. He has published more than 100 peer-reviewed articles, reviews, and chapters in the field of addiction. His clinical and research work has focused on addiction treatment and the recovery process which has included specific research on the effectiveness of mutual-help groups, such as Alcoholics Anonymous, as adjuncts to formal care. His additional research endeavors have focused on the translation and implementation of evidence-based practice, addiction and criminal justice, addiction treatment theories and mechanisms of action, and reducing stigma associated with addiction. He is a licensed clinical psychologist actively working with individuals and families with alcohol and other drug use disorders.

Lula Beatty, Ph.D., is the Senior Director, Health Disparities Office, American Psychological Association. She is responsible for the conceptualization of program goals, translation of those goals into programs and activities and the development of resources and collaborations.  Major programs include smoking/tobacco health disparities, HIV/AIDS, health disparities in vulnerable boys and men, stress and health disparities, a working group on implicit bias/preschool suspensions, and a Health Equity Ambassadors program.

She was the founding Director of the Special Populations Office, Office of the Director, National Institute on Drug Abuse, NIH. She was responsible for the creation and execution of diversity in science and health disparities programs including the development of special initiatives, e.g., South Africa Initiative, African Americans and criminal justice, and health disparities in boys and men.

Before joining NIDA, she was Director of Research at the Institute for Urban Affairs and Research, Howard University, where she was involved in training and research programs on child abuse and neglect, Black family strengths, and mental health in Black communities.  She has edited journal issues on health disparities and published on drug abuse related topics.

She is a member of the American Psychological Association, the American Public Health Association, Sisters of the Academy, and within APA, is a Fellow in the Society of Women in Psychology and the Society for the Psychological Study of Ethnic Minority Issues.  She has also served as President of the Section of the Psychology of Black Women and executive committee member of the Leadership Institute for Women in Psychology.

Eric E. Sterling, JD, is the Executive Director of The Criminal Justice Policy Foundation, a private non-profit educational organization that helps educate the nation about criminal justice issues and failed global drug policy. Mr. Sterling frequently lectures at colleges, universities, and professional societies throughout the nation and is regularly interviewed by the national news media.

Mr. Sterling helped found and serves on the boards of directors of FAMM — Families Against Mandatory Minimums (Secretary) and Marijuana Majority (Vice-Chair). He also serves on the boards of directors of Students for Sensible Drug Policy, and the Andean Information Network. Mr. Sterling also serves on the advisory boards of Law Enforcement Against Prohibition (LEAP), DrugSense, Drug Reform Coordination Network (DRCNet), Flex Your Rights Foundation, and Sex Workers Outreach Project. He helped found FEAR — Forfeiture Endangers American Rights in 1993, the Marijuana Policy Project (MPP) in 1995, the Interfaith Drug Policy Initiative in 2003, and the Voluntary Committee of Lawyers, and served on their boards. Mr. Sterling was Editor-in-Chief of NewsBriefs, the newsletter of the National Drug Strategy Network, for ten years.

Mr. Sterling was Counsel to the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on the Judiciary from 1979 until 1989. On the staff of the Subcommittee on Crime, (Rep. William J. Hughes (D-NJ), Chairman), he was responsible for drug enforcement, gun control, money laundering, organized crime, pornography, terrorism, corrections, and military assistance to law enforcement, among many issues. He was a principal aide in developing the Comprehensive Crime Control Act of 1984, the Anti-Drug Abuse Acts of 1986 and 1988, and other laws.

For twenty-five years he was very active on the American Bar Association Health Law Section Task Force on Substance Use Disorders. He is a past chair of the Criminal Justice Committee of the ABA Section of Individual Rights and Responsibilities.

Dr. Marc Fishman, MD, is an addiction psychiatrist and a member of the faculty of the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. Dr. Fishman is a national expert on adolescent addiction treatment and program development. His academic work has focused on models of care and treatment outcomes for addictions in youth, in particular opioid dependence.

Dr Fishman leads Maryland Treatment Centers, a regional behavioral health care provider, which includes Mountain Manor Treatment Center in Baltimore for adolescents, Mountain Manor Treatment Center in Emmitsburg MD for adults, as well as several other inpatient and outpatient programs. In that role he has been involved in development and implementation of innovative programming in addiction and co-occurring disorder treatment. His clinical specialties include treatment of drug-involved and dual-diagnosis adolescents, opioid dependence in adolescents and adults, and addiction with co-morbid pain. His research work has focused on models of care and treatment outcomes in adolescent addictions, in particular opioid dependence.

Dr. Fishman served as a co-editor for the most recent edition of ASAM’s Patient Placement Criteria (PPC 2-R), and served as the chief editor for the ASAM PPC Supplement on Pharmacotherapies for Alcohol Use Disorders. He is the chair of the Treatment Criteria Committee for ASAM. He is the President (2010-12) of the Maryland Society of Addiction Medicine.

Deborah Gorman-Smith, Ph.D., is the Emily Klein Gidwitz Professor and the Deputy Dean for Research and Faculty Development at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. She is also the Principal Investigator and director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention, one of 6 national Academic Centers of Excellence funded by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Her program of research, grounded in a public health perspective, is focused on advancing knowledge about development, risk, and prevention of aggression and violence, with specific focus on minority youth living in poor urban settings. Gorman-Smith has been or currently is Principal or Co-Principal Investigator on several longitudinal risk and preventive intervention studies funded by NICHD, NIDA, CDC-P, SAMHSA and the W.T. Grant Foundation. Gorman-Smith has published extensively in areas related to youth violence, including the relationship between community characteristics, family functioning and aggression and violence, including partner violence and the impact of family-focused preventive interventions. She also serves as Senior Research Fellow with the Coalition for Evidence Based Policy—a nonprofit, nonpartisan organization whose mission is to promote government policy based on rigorous evidence of program effectiveness. She currently serves as the President for the Society for Prevention Research, in addition to her service on other national, state, and university committees. She served as a visiting scholar at the Joint Center for Poverty Research at Northwestern University/University of Chicago.

Gorman-Smith was recently reappointed to the Board of Scientific Counselors, National Center for Injury Prevention and Control at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) by Kathleen Sebelius, Secretary of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). The Board advises and makes recommendations to the Secretary, HHS, and the Director, CDC, regarding feasible goals for the prevention and control of injury.  Gorman-Smith received her PhD in Clinical-Developmental Psychology at the University of Illinois at Chicago.

Judson Brewer MD, PhD is the Director of Research at the Center for Mindfulness and associate professor in medicine and psychiatry at UMass Medical School. He also is adjunct faculty at Yale University, and a research affiliate at MIT. A psychiatrist and internationally known expert in mindfulness training for addictions, Brewer has developed and tested novel mindfulness programs for addictions, including both in-person and app-based treatments (www.goeatrightnow.com, www.cravingtoquit.com). He has also studied the underlying neural mechanisms of mindfulness using standard and real-time fMRI, and source-estimated EEG, and is currently translating these findings into clinical use. He has published numerous peer-reviewed articles and book chapters, presented to the US President’s Office of National Drug Control Policy, trained US Olympic coaches, been featured on 60 minutes, at TED (6,000,000+ views; 4th most viewed talk of 2016), TEDMED, TEDx, in Time magazine (top 100 new health discoveries of 2013), Forbes, Businessweek, NPR and the BBC among others. He is the author of The Craving Mind: from cigarettes to smartphones to love, why we get hooked and how we can break bad habits (New Haven: Yale University Press, 2017).

Andrew Burki, the founder and CEO of Life of Purpose, spent his late adolescence at a number of substance use disorder treatment facilities, which encompassed various approaches to recovery from chemical dependency. Consequently, his substance use derailed his education.

Having highly-educated parents who studied at Harvard and MIT, the interruption of Andrew’s education was a source of tremendous shame and distress for him and served as a barrier to ongoing recovery. After treatment episodes at multiple institutions, he arrived at a highly-regarded extended care facility in Boca Raton, Florida. Having entered long-term recovery in 2001, it was this South Florida program that provided him the clinical care necessary to produce a successful outcome. Unfortunately, it was also there that his parents, then weary of their son’s many failed attempts to recover, were advised by a therapist not to support his college attendance until he was continuously clean and sober for five years.

Although this recommendation may seem outrageous to those unfamiliar with traditional substance use disorder treatment, those of us who are familiar know that it is all too consistent with conventional industry wisdom. More often than not, people in early recovery are advised by professionals to delay their education for one to five years. Desperate to save their son, Andrew’s parents followed this clinical recommendation. After witnessing firsthand the depression that stems from stagnation and lack of upward mobility, Andrew’s parents encouraged him to return to school just shy of five years into his recovery.

Since that time, Andrew has dedicated his professional and academic career to developing the Life of Purpose model, based on research that supports the integration of higher education and treatment services. In 2013, one year after receiving his Masters degree in Social Work from Florida Atlantic University, Andrew opened Life of Purpose Treatment.

Life of Purpose is the first substance misuse treatment facility on a university campus in the United States.

Chris Budnick, MSW, LCSW, LCAS, CCS has been working in the addiction treatment and recovery field since 1993. Chris became a Certified Substance Abuse Counselor in 1998. He graduated from East Carolina University in 2000 with a Master of Social Work. Chris has been fully licensed as a Licensed Clinical Addiction Specialist since 2001; a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2002; and a Clinical Certified Supervisor since 2003. He was an intern from 1999 to 2000 with Healing Transitions International, Inc. and has been employed with them since 2000.

Chris has been an Adjunct Instructor with the North Carolina State University Department of Social Work since 2002. He has served on their Advisory Board since 2003, serving as chair on two different occasions. Chris is presently the founding Board Chair for Recovery Communities of North Carolina, Inc. (RCNC), a recovery community organization. He also serves on the North Carolina Lawyer Assistance Program Board, the Recovery Africa Board and the City of Raleigh Substance Abuse Commission.

Chris has conducted trainings and presentations nationally and internationally. Some of his most rewarding work has been research, publication and presentation of the history of mutual aid recovery fellowships for persons with drug addiction in collaboration with Mr. William White and Mr. Boyd Pickard.

Alex Peavey is in his 13th year at Collegiate School where he serves as the Upper School personal counselor and coach of the Varsity boys basketball team. He first brought mindfulness to Collegiate School athletics in 2004, he has taught mindfulness to all of the freshmen since 2007, and he teaches a “Mindful Leadership” elective for Collegiate seniors. Alex also provides mindfulness-based professional development to the Collegiate faculty and in workshops for parents.  His professional training in mindfulness was under Jon Kabat-Zinn, and he has presented on the topic in a range of settings such as the Federal Reserve, at colleges and universities, and at a number of conferences, including at UMass Medical School’s Center for Mindfulness’ annual scientific conference on mindfulness. Outside of Collegiate, Alex is on the faculty of the Chrysalis Institute, he is the mindfulness coach for the Cameron K Gallagher Foundation, and he works with individual athletes and teams at the high school, college, and professional levels on mindfulness as a tool for peak performance.

Claudrena N. Harold is an associate professor of African American and African Studies and History .  In 2007, she published her first book, The Rise and Fall of the Garvey Movement in the Urban South, 1918-1942. In 2013, the University of Virginia Press published The Punitive Turn: New Approaches to Race and Incarceration, a volume Harold coedited with Deborah E. McDowell and Juan Battle.  Her latest book is New Negro Politics in the Jim Crow South, which was published by the University of Georgia Press. As a part of her ongoing work on the history of black student activism at UVA, she wrote, produced, and co-directed with Kevin Everson  two short films, Sugarcoated Arsenic and We Demand. Sugarcoated Arsenic screened at the International Film Festival Rotterdam, the Oberhausen International Short Film Festival, the Edinburgh International Film Festival, Vienna International Film Festival, New York Film Festival,  Festival du Nouveau Cinema, and Porto Post Doc Film and Media Festival. We Demand screened at the Berlin International Film Festival in February 2016.

 

Kirk Warren Brown is an Associate Professor of Social Psychology and Health Psychology at Virginia Commonwealth University, and Director of the Contemplative Science and Education Core in the College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute (COBE). His research centers on the importance of awareness of internal states and behavior to healthy human functioning, with a particular interest in the nature of mindfulness and the value of mindfulness training to enhance emotion regulation, behavior regulation, and mental health. He has authored numerous journal articles on these topics and has edited two scholarly volumes, including the Handbook of Mindfulness: Theory, Research, and Practice (Guilford Press, 2015) and the new Oxford Handbook of Hypo-egoic Phenomena (Oxford University Press, 2016). His work has been featured in numerous national and international media outlets. Dr. Brown is an Academic Editor at the journal PLOS ONE and an elected Fellow of the Association for Psychological Science. He also teaches the evidence-based Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction program to Richmond, VA community members.

 

Mishka Terplan MD MPH is board certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and in addiction medicine. His clinical, research and advocacy interests lie along the intersection of reproductive and behavioral health. He attended medical school at the University of California, San Francisco, Residency at the University of Southern California, and completed a research fellowship at the University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill. He is currently Professor in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and Psychiatry and the Associate Director of Addiction Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University. He is also the Addiction Medicine Consultant for DMAS (Department of Medicaid Services, VA) and a consultant for the National Center on Substance Abuse and Child Welfare. Dr Terplan has published over 60 peer-reviewed articles, has active grant-funded research, and represents both ACOG (American Congress of Obstetricians and Gynecologists) and ASAM (American Society of Addiction Medicine) on various federal taskforces and committees including the AMA (American Medical Association) Taskforce to Reduce Opioid Abuse. He has spoken in front of congress and at high schools, and many places in between.


Danielle Dick
, Ph.D. is the Director and founder of the College Behavioral and Emotional Health Institute at VCU, which integrates research, teaching, policy and practice in meaningful and innovative ways.

Dr. Dick directs the Spit for Science project, a university-wide longitudinal genetics research project with nearly 10,000 participants that connects genotypic data to behavioral and emotional health outcomes. She has worked closely with The Wellness Resource Center to develop the link from basic research to prevention/intervention both with research initiatives and shared staff. Her background in clinical psychology makes this a natural bridge. Further, her involvement across departments and institutes on both campuses (Psychology, African American studies, Human and Molecular Genetics) have led to her working closely with faculty, staff, and students across the university.

Linda Hancock, Ph.D, FNP serves as both a student health clinician and Director of The Wellness Resource Center. She is an animated health educator whose specialties over the years have included all the “S’s”: sexual health, substance abuse, and stress management.

She is currently the tobacco cessation guru for students at VCU and leads a campus-wide social norms marketing campaign to reduce substance misuse. She is a major fan of the Rams in Recovery program.

Jasmin Vassileva, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry at Virginia Commonwealth University. Her research program focuses on the effects of different classes of drugs on neurocognitive functioning.

Dr. Vassileva’s more recent studies investigate the neurocognitive mechanisms underlying impulsivity and risky behavior in the externalizing spectrum of adult psychopathology (drug addiction, psychopathy, antisocial personality disorder, adult ADHD) and within the context of HIV.

 

Christina Sheerin, Ph.D is a postdoctoral fellow at the Virginia Institute for Psychiatric and Behavioral Genetics at VCU and am a licensed clinical psychologist. Her program of research centers on the characterization of biologic, genetic, and psychosocial underpinnings of the effects of trauma, primarily post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), alcohol use disorder, and their co-occurrence. The long-term goal of this work is the translation into improved understanding of, and treatment efforts for, this complicated patient population.

Barbara Burke, LCSW, is the Director of Adolescent and Young Adult Programs for the Family Counseling Center for Recovery. She received her MSW from the VCU School of Social Work in 1978 and has been working as a Licensed Clinical Social Worker for 30 years. She specializes in the assessment and treatment of Adolescents and Young Adults and has developed the Adolescent Early Intervention and Intensive Outpatient Programs for FCCR.

Barbara believes in the importance of family involvement and works to motivate young people to understand their relationship with substances and their risk factors for dependence. Seeing adolescents and young adults explore what is possible in their lives is what energizes her. She has also been involved in establishing a Collegiate Recovery Program at VCU (“Rams in Recovery”) to provide social support for college students in recovery.

Rhonda Thissen, MSW, works on policy and planning issues related to services for adults with serious mental health disorders and those experiencing homelessness at the Virginia Department of Behavioral Health and Developmental Services. Ms. Thissen earned a Master’s degree in Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University, and in her role as a social work policy practitioner, has worked for both public agencies and not-for-profit organizations on a wide range of issues, including promoting access to primary medical and behavioral health care, improving economic opportunities in underserved communities, developing and coordinating affordable housing and homeless services, domestic violence intervention, and HIV/AIDS care. She is also an adjunct professor of Social Work at Virginia Commonwealth University.