Mental Health & Substance Use Recovery Conference

2022 Presenters

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October 20-21, 2022

2022 Keynote Speakers

Alyssa Kaying Vang, PsyD, LP, BC-TMH

President & CEO of Vanguard Mental Health & Wellness Clinic, LLC

Alyssa Kaying Vang, PsyD, the daughter of Hmong refugees, came to the US from war-torn Laos at the age of 7. The third oldest of 9, she is the first in her family to attend a 4-year college. Dr. Vang is currently President and CEO of Vanguard Mental Health and Wellness Clinic, where she leads a team of bilingual clinicians in providing culturally-responsive and linguistically-competent mental health services.  Dr. Vang received her Masters and Doctoral degrees in Clinical Psychology from California School of Professional Psychology, Fresno.  She is the first Hmong licensed psychologist in Minnesota. Dr. Vang is considered a leading expert in Hmong mental health and is a national speaker on this topic.  She is also sought out as a consultant and trainer on culturally-relevant, trauma-informed, and developmentally-appropriate practices. Dr. Vang has been featured in the APA's journal, Monitor on Psychology.  She co-authored the chapter "Neuropsychology of Hmong-Americans" in "The Neuropsychology of Asian-Americans" book.  

Lonnetta Albright, CPEC

President and CVO, Forward Movement, Inc.  
Executive Director, John Maxwell Team
Principal Investigator, Great Lakes ATTC (Retired)

Lonnetta Albright, Author, Radio Personality, Change Agent, and Facilitator is one of the most dynamic and transformative speakers, facilitators and coaches working around the globe adding value to and changing the lives of thousands. She is particularly focused on developing those she fondly calls the Next Generation. As President & Chief Visioning Officer of Forward Movement Inc. a minority and female-owned company she offers Executive and Life Coaching; Personal and Professional growth; Organizational and Leadership development; Speaking, Consulting and Facilitation. A certified personal and executive coach, she is an Executive Director with the John Maxwell Team. She also has a weekly radio Coaching segment on the Lonnie Hunter Show, Reach Gospel Radio airing each week. Prior to starting her business, for 17 years she served as Executive Director of the Great Lakes ATTC at the University of Illinois at Chicago where she led national and international efforts to expand and shift our definition of Addiction Treatment to one of recovery as a process of change that leads to health, wellness, and a quality of life in the community. Lonnetta is a 2018 Hall of Fame Inductee, Museum of African American Addictions, Treatment and Recovery.

​Session Presenters

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Ricardo Anderson, CRSS, WRAP, WHAM 

Dr. Ricardo Anderson is a person with lived experiences. His experiences of race-based trauma as a person and personal has been profound in his life. Dr. Anderson has worked in human service agencies as well as a supervisor/case manager at a mental health organization. He has his Certified Recovery Support Specialist (CRSS), Wellness Recovery Action Plan (WRAP) Facilitator as well as the Whole Action Management Health (WHAM) Facilitator credential to help facilitate recovery groups for individuals and for himself. Dr. Anderson has presented Race Based Trauma for the State of Illinois, serves as a panelist and speaker for mental health recovery trainings, serves on NAMI of Illinois Leadership Board for the Alliance of Peer Professionals, and presented for the WISE Coalition on How Systemic Oppression and Racism affects the Mental Health of Black Students and serves on the executive board as the Chair. Dr. Anderson has a passion to bridge the gap to eliminate the stigma of mental health in our community. 

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Lisa Marie Auter, Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist, Recovery Dane Program Coordinator/Team Lead

Lisa Marie Auter is a Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist who has worked at Recovery Dane/SOAR Case Management in Madison, WI since 2019. She has been the lead peer support contact for our local mental health community resource center and witnessed the effectiveness of peer support with underrecognized populations who are seeking services within the community mental health and substance use disorder system, often for the first time. Covid 19 has created an unprecedented crisis in mental health and substance use and has created significant challenges for individuals and communities coping with isolation, restrictions, and loneliness. As systems of care are seeking ways to provide clinical support, peer support has become a lifeline for many who are unsure, fearful, and are often coping with internalized stigma. Lisa Marie Auter has developed expertise in supporting these individuals. 

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Dan Bizjak, MSW, LCSW, ICS, CSAC

Daniel Bizjak, MSW, LCSW, ICS, CSAC, is the Immediate President of Recovery & Addiction Professionals of Wisconsin, RAPWI. With 20 years addiction and mental health experience and 11 years as supervisor, he provides lectures to Wisconsin college students on addiction, mental health, medicated assisted treatment and leadership through his humor filled topics. Dan has worked with mentoring and providing student placements throughout his career in the community, State Mental Health Hospital, Medium Security Prison, Department of Community Corrections, and inpatient and outpatient settings. Dan is currently working as the State Opiate Response Coordinator. Dan continues to work with the National Association of Addiction Professionals (NAADAC) and National Board Certified Counselors (NBCC) in several different capacities such as mentoring students.

Emily Boyea, MSW, School Social Worker, Washington Middle School, Green Bay, Wis.

After completing a Master of Social Work degree from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, Emily began working with teens and families in a school setting. As a school social worker, Emily supports all students, but focuses on students who have concerns with mental health, AODA usage, involvement with the juvenile justice system, truancy, etc. To help meet students’ needs, Emily is fostering and piloting a school based mental health program called the Diversion Program at Washington Middle School in Green Bay, WI.

Vaughn Brandt, B.A. 

Vaughn is a Behavioral Health Specialist and Program and Policy Innovator, with 25 years of experience with the Wisconsin DHS. Working in the Division of Medicaid Services, Vaughn works to improve the lives of Wisconsin citizens by integrating behavioral health services and building systems that promote health equity and improve outcomes.

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Marisa Brown, WRAP Educator

Marisa Brown is a person with lived experiences. She is a WRAP (Wellness Recovery Action Plan) Educator that helps people write recovery plans. She has been featured in an article at the Topeka Rescue Mission that circulated world- wide describing her struggles in life about her traumatic events and her journey how she overcame them. Ms. Brown worked as a supervisor at a homeless shelter for over 500 women and children. She was the keynote speaker for the Shades of Women Conference in Indianapolis discussing her struggles as a child growing up in the 70's, the race-based traumatic events she encountered and how she was able to overcome those events. Ms. Brown is the creator and currently leads "A Way of Escape Christian Recovery Group" since 2020. She is currently working on her CRSS (Certified Recovery Support Specialist) credential and seeking to become a licensed counselor to become an advocate for young adults who are aging out of foster care. She is currently writing her book about race-based traumatic events amongst other things she has dealt with in life and overcome. Ms. Brown believes recovery is possible for all people and you can sustain it.  

Cindy Burzinski, MS, CSAC

Cindy Burzinski, MS, CSAC is the Director of Wisconsin Voices for Recovery. She is also a licensed Clinical Substance abuse Counselor, person in long-term recovery, naloxone administration trainer, and researcher interested in increasing access to supportive resources within the recovery community. Prior to her work at UW-Madison, she worked at Journey Mental Health Center providing individual and group outpatient therapy, and Tellurian Detoxification Center providing assessment and brief intervention to people admitted to detox. Cindy has co-authored several clinician-oriented resources on substance use disorders for the patient-centered Whole Health Approach to Clinical Care project, geared toward clinicians who work with veterans. She has also co-authored several research publications on mindfulness-based interventions for the treatment of opioid-treated chronic low back pain and alcohol dependence and presented at conferences for Patient Centered Outcomes Research Institute and the North American Primary Care Research Group on these topics.

Ron Diamond, Professor Emeritus, UW Department of Psychiatry, Madison, Wis.

For more than 45 years, Dr. Diamond has been involved in the community-based treatment of persons with severe and persistent mental illness. He has been interested in how to integrate concepts of recovery and cultural competence into day-to-day clinical practice. He retired from Journey Mental Health in 2017. He is now working at the University on a very part time basis teaching and working with the collaborative primary care project which seeks to increase the effectiveness of mental health care already being provided in primary care clinics.

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Megan Edwards, MSW, APSW, SAC-IT, Program Director

Megan is a licensed substance abuse counselor and advanced practice social worker. She has a Bachelor Degree in Psychology with a Minor in Criminal Justice and a Master’s Degree in Social Work from UW-Oshkosh. Megan has broad experience treating substance use disorders and mental health within many different practice settings. She has clinical experience in outpatient, inpatient, and long-term care settings for the treatment of addiction and mental health. Megan is a person in long term recovery and has been dedicated to serving the Oshkosh recovery community for 8 years. Her passion is in helping individuals in early recovery find lasting sobriety that is filled with purpose, joy, and freedom.

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Allyson Eparvier, Ph.D. ; Co-Director for the Certified Peer Specialist Program in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Dr. Allyson Eparvier has worked in the Wisconsin DOC for the past 11 years. Prior to that, she worked in corrections in both Colorado and California. She is currently a Psychological Associate at Dodge Correctional Institution (DCI) where she is the Psychological Services Liaison for the Restrictive Housing Unit. In addition, she is the Co-Chair of the Certified Peer Specialist (CPS) Program at DCI and also a Co-Director for the CPS Program for all adult institutions within the DOC. Dr. Eparvier has a wealth of knowledge about the utility of the CPS Program within a correctional setting and is passionate about supporting individuals through their rehabilitative journey. 

Matthew Felgus.JPGMatthew Felgus, MD, DFASAM, Board Certified in Addiction Medicine, Board Certified in Psychiatry

Dr. Matthew Felgus is Board Certified in Addiction Medicine and Psychiatry, past president of the Wisconsin Society of Addiction Medicine (WISAM) and a Distinguished Fellow of the American Society of Addiction Medicine (ASAM.) He has been treating individuals with substance use, abuse and dependence for 25 years. Before he went to medical school, Dr. Felgus was a drug counselor and brings that perspective as well to treatment issues. He has a clinical faculty appointment to the UW Department of Psychiatry, and has been lecturing for over 20 years on addiction issues to doctors and doctors-in-training as well as nurses, counselors, occupational therapists, physical therapists, and whomever else will listen.

Dr Felgus has a Bachelor in Science in Psychology from Penn State University, received his MD from Hahnemann University in Philadelphia, completed a Psychiatry residency at the University of Connecticut, and a Research Fellowship in Substance Abuse at the University of Connecticut Health Center. He practices Addiction Psychiatry with an emphasis on helping people heal at his private practice in Madison WI. He is also medical director of Arc Outpatient services in Madison.

Trevor Fenrich.jpgTrevor Fenrich, Executive Director, Solutions Recovery

Trevor Fenrich is a person in long term recovery as well as the Executive Director for Solutions Recovery, Inc in Oshkosh, WI. The progressive recovery community at Solutions Recovery offers a wide range of services and opportunities for individuals and families to get involved in the recovery process. From sober living, case management, childcare, family friendly events - to supporting and facilitating in person group therapy at no charge to participants and over 25 support meetings per week, Solutions has placed itself on the map as the "Hub" for recovery in Winnebago county.

Chelsey Myhre Foster, Certified Peer Specialist and Certified Parent Peer Specialist, Contract Administrator with the State of Wisconsin Bureau of Prevention, Treatment and Recovery.

Carmella and Chelsey are both Contract Administrators working for the Bureau of Prevention, Treatment & Recovery in the Division of Care and Treatment Services at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Carmella serves in the Integrated Services Section as the Peer Run Respite & Peer Services Coordinator. Chelsey supports Pre-admission Screening and Resident Review Program(PASRR), Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH), and SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery(SOAR) as a coordinator in the Mental Health Section. Prior to joining DHS in 2021 Carmella and Chelsey each were involved with Peer Support Services at the local level. Carmella and Chelsey will facilitate this panel of Certified Peer Specialists, and Certified Parent Peer Specialists, to address questions mental health service providers may have about Peer Support as a service, model, and practice in a variety of settings. The panel will be comprised of CPS, CPPS with experience working in a variety of settings and programs including; behavioral health, substance use recovery, disability, criminal justice, housing, community-based, etc. 

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Todd Vander Galien, Executive Director, Unity Recovery Services

Todd Vander Galien is a person in long-term recovery, a recovery advocate, and the Executive Director of Unity Recovery Services. Unity programs, such as the Fox Valley PRISM Team and Waushara SHINES, empower individuals with lived recovery experience by training them as recovery coaches; and deploying them throughout their communities. These peers, in turn, link persons in and seeking recovery, and their families, to services; and encourage the development of recovery capital. Todd's focus on recovery services and community partnerships has led to innovative and effective initiatives including the Menasha Community Addiction Assistance Program (MCAAP). Many of Unity's recovery coaches have gone on to become Certified Peer Specialists; and are providing effective support services to those with dual diagnoses. 

Carmella Glenn, Degree in Criminal Justice, Certified Peer Specialist(CPS), CPS trainer, Peer Run Respites/ Peer Services Coordinator for Department of Health Services

Carmella and Chelsey are both Contract Administrators working for the Bureau of Prevention, Treatment & Recovery in the Division of Care and Treatment Services at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Carmella serves in the Integrated Services Section as the Peer Run Respite & Peer Services Coordinator. Chelsey supports Pre-admission Screening and Resident Review Program(PASRR), Projects for Assistance in Transition from Homelessness (PATH), and SSI/SSDI Outreach, Access, and Recovery(SOAR) as a coordinator in the Mental Health Section. Prior to joining DHS in 2021 Carmella and Chelsey each were involved with Peer Support Services at the local level. Carmella and Chelsey will facilitate this panel of Certified Peer Specialists, and Certified Parent Peer Specialists, to address questions mental health service providers may have about Peer Support as a service, model, and practice in a variety of settings. The panel will be comprised of CPS, CPPS with experience working in a variety of settings and programs including; behavioral health, substance use recovery, disability, criminal justice, housing, community-based, etc. 

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Ryan Gorman, SAC, Client Rights Specialist, Nalaxone Trainer/Counselor

Ryan Gorman is a Substance Abuse Counselor currently working in a medication assisted treatment facility at Community Medical Services. He has been abstinent from illicit substances for 11 years. "The majority of my recovery was created by and is maintained, at least in part, by my practice of 12-step recovery. However, I am alive today because of, often, illegal harm reduction practices provided to me when I was still using." He was a firm believer in abstinence-only recovery (bordering on religious fervor) until starting the Don't Die Wisconsin podcast with two harm reductionists. "They evangelized the benefits of and the moral and ethical necessity of harm reduction as a practice of, not only keeping people alive, but also as a program of recovery itself." Ryan now considers himself a harm reductionist first and a person in abstinence-based recovery second.

Stephanie Gyldenvand.jpgStephanie Gyldenvand, MPA

Stephanie Gyldenvand, MPA, is a Community Health Strategist with the Winnebago County Health Department where she works to engage community to advance health and racial equity. Over the past six years in public health, Stephanie has focused on system-level changes related to substance use and recovery, belonging, and social connection. Stephanie's background also includes grassroots community organizing alongside people with lived experience.

Venesha Harden (2).jpgVenesha Harden, CSAC, ICS 

Venesha Harden, CSAC, ICS is a licensed Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor and Independent Clinical Supervisor. She has provided SUD services in correctional and mental health institutions within the Wisconsin Departments of Health Services and Corrections for 20 years. Venesha is currently the Substance Use Disorder Clinical Coordinator at the Wisconsin Resource Center where she supervises co-occurring disorder and substance use disorder services for eligible State of Wisconsin Department of Corrections residents. Driven by her commitment to social justice, equity and inclusion, Venesha has spent much of her career serving on various Diversity and Inclusion Committees where she has been a key player in bringing about positive institutional change, awareness and education. In her personal time, she also advocates for equitable access to mental health and addiction services. Venesha is also involved in social justice advocacy, with a particular focus on influencing public attitudes, policies and laws. Through this work, Venesha seeks to promote awareness of historical and current socioeconomic inequities and experiences of oppression as steps toward the creation of a more socially just society. 

Jesse Herffernan.jpgJesse Heffernan, CCAR, HCE

Jesse Heffernan is a person in long-term recovery, CCAR Recovery Coach Professional, and Certified Healing Centered Engagement Practitioner. Throughout his professional career, he has worked as the Program Director of the Iris Place, one of Wisconsin's mental health peer-run mental health respite facilities, the Outreach and Empowerment Coordinator for Faces & Voices of Recovery, and Program Leader for Goodwill NCW LGBTQ+ Youth Services. In 2015, he co-launched an internationally recognized training and consulting business called Helios Recovery Services LLC. In addition to his work at Helios, he currently serves as the Co-Chair of The Privilege Institue, Vice-Chair of Rise Together, and sits on the committee for the International Association of Recovery Coach Professionals. He lives in WI with his partner and 4 children, enjoying all things in geek culture, basketball, and coffee. It is his belief that Recovery is the process of returning to inherent worth and dignity. 

Armando Hernandez.pngArmando Hernández, PhD, Chief Diversity Officer

Armando Hernández, PhD is a Licensed Psychologist and Equity-Centered Leader with 20 years of experience in the areas of mental health, education, and healthcare. As a trainer, consultant, and administrator, he specializes in the areas of culturally responsive practice, behavioral health consultation, and systems change. He currently works as the Chief Diversity Officer for Journey Mental Health Center in Madison, Wisconsin. 

Learn more about Hernández at this website.

Dorothy Adamson Holley

Charde Hollins.jpegCharde Hollins, Founder & Executive Director; LCSW, Licensed Clinical Social Worker; CCTP-II, Certified clinical Trauma Professional II

Charde Hollins is an independently licensed clinical social worker trained in suicide prevention and trauma treatment. With over ten years of experience working with justice-involved youth and trauma-affected communities, Charde' formerly served as a social worker in schools, health care, corrections, and advocacy for court-involved youth. She is highly regarded for her ability to gain rapport and culturally adapt efficacious interventions that have been shown to work but remain in need of cultural refinement. As a result, she thrives in increasing client engagement and stakeholder buy-in through her evidence-based, culturally competent, and innovative strategies.  Charde' is skilled in leading community stakeholders within health care, education, mental health, and for-profit organizations in creating a strategic plan for addressing racism to ensure equal access to quality care and culturally specific treatment. She is currently a grants manager overseeing non-profit, behavioral health, addiction, and prevention agencies. She is also the owner of Relevant Connections, LLC, where she assists nonprofit, corporate, and faith-based agencies in increasing community impact through procurement, culturally competent services, behavioral health education, and civic engagement 

Lakisha (Kish) Hudson, Homeless Outreach Specialist, Certified Peer Specialist

LaKisha (Kish) Hudson has served as a Homeless Outreach Specialist & Certified Peer Specialist at Independent Living Resources in Lacrosse, WI since June of 2018. As a Homeless Outreach Specialist, her lived experience guides the services and peer support she provides to those currently experiencing homelessness. She is always looking for ways to help others as they re-establish themselves in the community. Kish is a mother of 7, grandmother to 7 grandchildren, and an active member at Bountiful Harvest of Faith Ministries where she teaches Sunday School and is a part of the Worship team. She is also a member of the Lacrosse Community Foundation board and committee. Kish is active in a local Moms Group, Women of Melanin with Hope Restores, and performs in Lacrosse Historical Society re-enactments.  She enjoys spending time with her friends and family as well as singing karaoke.

Andrea Jacobson

Ben Janssen.jpgBen Janssen, CSW, BSW, Youth Justice Social Worker Portage County, Stevens Point, Wis.

Ben Janssen (CSW, BSW) earned his Bachelor of Science degree in Social Work and Sociology in 2011 from UW-Stevens Point. He has worked as a social worker in both Sheboygan County and Portage County in the areas of CPS Initial Assessment, CPS Ongoing, and Youth Justice. Ben currently coordinates the Youth Enrichment Services (YES) Program, a youth justice diversion program developed through an extensive community collaboration funded by a DHS grant. He is very skilled in utilizing screening, assessment, and intervention in this program and is adept in partnering with law enforcement and area schools to avoid referring students with mental health and substance use issues for formal youth justice involvement.

Tracy Johnson.pngTracy Johnson, Psy.D. ; Co-Director for the Certified Peer Specialist Program in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections

Dr. Tracy Johnson has worked in the Wisconsin Department of Corrections (DOC) for the last 25 years.  She has held positions as Psychologist, Psychology Supervisor, and Psychology Manager.  She assisted in implementing the first pilot peer mentoring program in the Wisconsin DOC in 2016 and she became a Certified Peer Specialist State Trainer in 2017.  She co-facilitated the first Certified Peer Specialist training in the DOC in 2017.  She is currently a Co-Director for the Certified Peer Specialist Program in the Wisconsin DOC and she has had the honor and joy of helping grow and expand the CPS program across the prison system. 

Mai Kue Krasucki, PsyD, LCSW, Psychotherapist at The Hmong Institute 

Lalena Lampe.jpgLaleña Lampe, B.S.

Laleña Lampe has been working in community mental health treatment as a Case Manager, Peer-Run services in a variety of roles locally, statewide and nationally, and within the State of Wisconsin as the Recovery Coordinator, Community Services Quality Improvement Specialist, and an IPS State Trainer and technical assistance provider since 1996. She has maintained a deep commitment to the concept that clinical and peer services can work side by side in partnership with respect and curiosity while striving to deliver both to the person engaging with service and support. 

Jenny Lee.jpgJenny Lee, LCSW, Behavioral Health Therapist & Grant Coordinator, UW Health Behavioral Health Youth and Family, Madison, Wis.

Jenny Lee (LCSW) has worked with families throughout the country as an Early Childhood Education Specialist and Family Life Educator before completing a Master of Social Work degree. After graduate school she began working with at-risk Teens and their families. As a Behavioral Health Therapist at UW Health Behavioral Health Youth and Family, she has seen both court mandated youth, as well as teens who are at risk for juvenile justice. As the Community Partnerships for the Diversion from Youth Justice grant coordinator, Jenny is piloting a school based mental health program at Verona Area and West High School in Dane County.  Jenny is trained in Multi-Dimensional Family Therapy, Eye Movement Desensitization Preprocessing (EMDR), Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Seeking Safety, Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR), and Alignment Yoga. 

Tenzin Lhawang.jpgTenzin Llawang, M.S.W., Service Facilitator at The Hmong Institute 

Lynn McLaughlin.jpgLynn McLaughlin, CPS, Owner/Members of Ebb & Flow Connections Cooperative

Lynn McLaughlin is an entrepreneur, author, peer, trainer, connector and consultant. Her life experience, education, and training in emotional wellness, peer support and trauma make her an exceptional leader, provider and trainer. Lynn has a vibrant passion for life and deep empathy for the stories of others, which shows up in all facets of her work. She received her bachelor's degree in organizational communication from Marian University. Lynn is an Emotions Education 101 trainer, Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist trainer, as well as a lead trainer of Emotional CPR for the State of Wisconsin. 

Alison Miller.PNGAlison Miller, DO

Alison Miller is an assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Madison Department of Family Medicine and Community Health and Board Certified in both Family Medicine and Addiction Medicine. She has a special interest in treating substance use disorders within the field of primary care. She is on faculty at the UW Addiction Medicine Department. She recently implemented UW Health's Hub and Spoke Team, expanding treatment and access of care for patients with OUD within primary care. She is also the Principal Investigator for Wisconsin Voices for Recovery. She advocates, educates, and supports patients who struggle with addiction. 

Amy Molinski.jpgAmy Molinski, CSAC/Certified Peer Support Specialist

Amy Molinski is a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor and Certified Peer Support Specialist. She has been abstinent from illicit substances for 12 years. Amy is currently employed by Community Medical Services and provides services to individuals with opioid use disorder experiencing incarceration at Milwaukee County Jail and House of Correction and individuals who experience non-fatal overdoses in Milwaukee County with Milwaukee Fire Department as part of their Milwaukee Overdose Response Initiative task force. "In my position, harm reduction is a key part of our daily work." Harm reduction keeps people alive while they develop a path of recovery that suits them and reduces the risks to our communities. "I did not always believe in harm reduction until I saw the lives it improves and saves."

Kaitlyn Nichols.jpgKaitlyn Nichols, Mental Health Navigation Advocate, BS in Psychology and Sociology

Kaitlyn Nichols is a Mental Health Navigation Advocate through CAP Services, a Make It OK Ambassador, and a Certified Laughter Yoga Leader. She is passionate about stopping the stigma surrounding mental illness and sharing skills for everyone to live more joyfully. The topics of this conference are near and dear to Kaitlyn as she has lived experience of Mental Illness and is the daughter of someone with a substance use disorder. She earned her B.S. in Psychology and Sociology from the University of Wisconsin - Stevens Point and has gained professional experience through her work with CAP Services for a few years. She understands mental health, the impacts of trauma, and the potential of positive psychology thanks to her educational and professional experiences. 

Nze Okoronta.jpgNze Okoronta, CPS, Peer Services Manager, SOAR Case Management, Inc., Madison, Wis.

Nze Okoronta is a CPS Trainer, TA Consultant and the current Peer Services Manager for Soar Case Management, Inc. Under Soar, Nze is responsible for managing the Solstice House Peer Run Respite & Peer Run Warmline, Recovery Dane Peer Support Program and The Wellness Studio. Prior to peer support, Nze has experience in housing stabilization programs, marginalized community specific substance use counseling and SUD program development, harm reduction and diversity & equity strategic planning. Nze is passionate about peer support in Wisconsin and views peer support work as a fundamentally restorative practice. She believes peer work has the power to reduce and prevent systemic harm, support marginalized communities in a more complete way, and bring radical acceptance to the forefront of mental health and substance use care. 

Deirdre Osiomwan

Patrick Pellett.jpgPatrick Pellett, B.S., M.A. Behavioral Health, AODA Counselor for Clark County

Over Thirty-Eight years in recovery. Have seen the progression of treatment and counseling modalities on a continuum from a 1979 inpatient stay at a naval hospital where treatment consisted primarily of AA meetings to leading mindfulness groups in an outpatient setting.  We have seen significantly improved outcomes in DUI court in Spokane WA with clients who engaged in mindfulness practices, both individually and in a group setting. Developed a fourteen week evidenced based mindfulness curriculum for use as an outpatient group. Led this group for two years and worked with clients in this group with substance use, gambling, and generalized anxiety disorders to great success. Developed a sixteen week evidence based mindfulness relapse prevention curriculum with co-facilitator Michelle Remillard. 

Bridget Plautz, MSW, Emergency Services Coordinator and Mobile Crisis Screener

Bridget Plautz has her master’s in Social Work and is working toward becoming a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. She has 14 years of experience working in the behavioral health field and currently serves as the Emergency Services Coordinator and a Mobile Crisis Worker through The Human Service Center. Bridget has developed a three-month comprehensive onboarding process for new crisis staff including role playing and interactive training opportunities. Bridget collaborates with community partners, especially the local schools to help improve mental health support for students and raise awareness of crisis prevention and intervention resources. She has worked with the Children’s Office on Mental Health to pilot a crisis card, which later were modified to meet the local crisis needs within the schools. Bridget partners with Nicolet College to offer students and community members a live mental health simulation as well as education and support to the Law Enforcement classes. Bridget strives to bring awareness to her community so that those who need mental health support know how to access resources.

Kim Propp.jpgKim Propp, Crisis Services Manager

Kim graduated from UW-Whitewater with a bachelor’s degree in social work and minor in sociology. She received a master’s degree from Southern New Hampshire University in Community Mental Health. Kim is a licensed professional counselor and has been employed with Jefferson County Human Services for 25 years. She has worked in the Community Support Program, Comprehensive Community Services and became the supervisor for that program. For the past 12 years Kim has been the manager of crisis services. Kim is a faculty member for Zero Suicide training, has been a trainer for Youth and Adult Mental Health First Aid, and is a trainer for Strengthening Families curriculum.

Dennis Radloff.jpgDennis Radloff, Harm Reduction Response Team Coordinator – Harm Reduction Unit / Bureau of Communicable Disease – Division of Public Health

Dennis Radloff has worked in the substance use services field for over 25 years with a background including AODA Counselor, Clinical Supervisor, Director of Behavioral Health Services, and Harm Reduction Services Coordinator. Increasing drug user health supports through state systems, decreasing stigma for people who use drugs, and overdose prevention has been the main focus of Dennis’ work activities the past 10 years. Dennis currently works at the Bureau of Communicable Disease – Harm Reduction Unit for the State of Wisconsin as the Harm Reduction Rapid Response Team Coordinator increasing drug user health supports throughout the state.

Patrick Reilly.jpgPatrick Reilly, BA/Clinic Manager

Patrick Reilly is a Clinic Manger at Community Medical Services who identifies himself as a person in long term recovery from alcohol and cocaine. He personally practices abstinence for the last 12 years and early in recovery, "the only thing I knew was abstinence; and because of that I believe I had blinders on to harm reduction." Over the years he has been focusing on educating himself to other views and has moved to embracing harm reduction. "I am an example that you can practice abstinence personally and advocate for harm reduction." His personal definition of recovery is "any positive change" as a reference to Dan Big of Chicago Recovery Alliance. 

Michelle Remillard.jpegMichelle Remillard, AAS in Addiction Studies, BA in Music Therapy, Reiki Master Teacher Seichim Tradition. Substance Use Disorder Professional New Horizons Care Center Outpatient Spokane, WA.

My introduction to mindfulness and meditation began when I was introduced to Siddha Meditation while in substance use treatment 30 years ago. I began introducing mindfulness, meditation techniques and music therapy in 1998 as a Program Coordinator for men’s recovery house and women’s transitional housing program (programs for men and women in early recovery, mental health disorders and positive HIV status) as a means of coping with post-acute withdrawal syndrome (PAWS), depression, anxiety, physical and emotional pain associated with individual diagnosis. I am currently facilitating a weekly men’s and a women’s mindfulness group and co-ed mindfulness relapse prevention group using a curriculum developed by my co-facilitator and myself. I am currently developing an eight-week evidenced based Music Therapy curriculum: Rhythm, Movement and Music to heal the mind, body and spirit in recovery. I have continued my own personal growth by completing a two-year mentorship with Shaman JoBeth Eckerman, Soul Coach in the Pacific Northwest studying Advanced Healing Arts, Neuro Release Technology for trauma release, Akashic Records readings and Merkaba Meditation techniques. I am using my recovery skills, life journey skills and education to facilitate individual healing sessions and group settings in substances use treatment, mental health treatment and trauma informed care.

Tyler Rickers.jpgTyler Rickers, D.O.

I am an adult psychiatrist at Rogers Behavioral Health in Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. I specialize in treatment resistant depression as well as borderline personality disorder. I am currently the director of the Transcranial Magnetic Stimulation program here at RBH and have spoke on this subject previously. There seems to be interested in the subject and my presentations are certainly energetic. 

Karen Iverson Riggers.jpgKaren Iverson Riggers, CPS, Owner/Members of Ebb & Flow Connections Cooperative

Karen Iverson Riggers is a writer, survivor, advocate, entrepreneur, and community volunteer. She owns her own nonprofit consulting practice. She was most recently the founding director of Iris Place, the first peer run respite in the state of Wisconsin. Her almost 20 years of experience in the nonprofit sector includes working with organizations such as LEAVEN, Wisconsin Milkweed Alliance, Rise Together, African Heritage Inc, NAMI Fox Valley, United Way Fox Cities, Harbor House Domestic Abuse Shelter, etc. to name a few. In 2013, she was awarded NAMI Wisconsin's Peer of the Year and was recently recognized by the Fox Cities Chamber of Commerce as a "Future 15" young professional. 

Amanda Maria Rodriguez.jpgAmanda Maria Rodriguez, MS, SAC-IT, Community Programs and Integration Manager, Community Medical Services, Milwaukee, Wis.

Amanda Rodriguez has dedicated herself to helping people with substance use disorders for over 12 years. She was instrumental in developing and managing Wisconsin’s first ‪24/7 OTP in West Allis. Amanda serves as Community Programs and Integration Manager and has excelled at developing collaborative community projects such as the Milwaukee Overdose Response Initiative (MORI), the implementation of HOPE Kits in the City of Milwaukee Fire Department, the Opioid Fatality Review Team, providing MAT supportive services to Milwaukee County jails, corrections, and prisons, supporting therapeutic courts, and educating the community around medication-assisted treatment.  Amanda continues to identify gaps in services and find solutions for individuals struggling to navigate recovery systems. Amanda graduated from Alverno College with a bachelors in Psychological Drug Counseling and graduated at Concordia University specializing in Masters of Science in Education with an emphasis on counseling. Amanda currently holds a Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor and Clinical Supervisor in Training licenses.

Heather Ross.jpgHeather Ross, MSSA, LCSW Rawhide Clinic and Community Resource Manager, New London, Wis.

Heather joined Rawhide in December 2013 as a residential case manager. She has a master’s degree in social administration from Case Western Reserve University and a bachelor’s in social work from Cedarville University. Before Rawhide, Heather worked with nonprofit agencies in community support programs and foster care for several years in Ohio before returning home to Wisconsin where she began working at Rawhide. Heather has had several positions during her time at Rawhide, including residential therapist, intake manager, and client care manager. Now she works as the clinic and community resource manager where she oversees the outpatient clinics and out-of-home care programs that include therapy, occupational therapy, and nursing, as well as youth diversion programming. Heather is also trained in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), Brainspotting, CHAPS Equine-Assisted Therapy and other treatment modalities to help youth and their families work through issues, such as trauma, depression, behavioral challenges, ADHD, and anxiety. “I wanted to work for Rawhide because it offered youth, their families, and community providers the positive, engaging resources necessary to help those at risk be able to grow and develop as individuals and as a family unit. I love to see youth feel confident in who they are as they positively engage in their communities and daily lives.” 

Elizabeth Rudy.jpgElizabeth Rudy, Youth Crisis Coordinator, Department of Health Services Wisconsin

Beth serves as the Youth Crisis Coordinator in the Children Youth and Families section in the Bureau of Treatment and Recovery for the Department of Health Services.  Beth oversees DHS 50 and the Youth Crisis Stabilization Facilities as well as the Collaborative Crisis Intervention Services for Youth grant.  Previously, Beth served as the ongoing CPS specialist and a business analyst for the eWiSACWIS project at Department of Children and Families.  Beth has over 20 years of experience working in the fields of childhood mental health and school based crisis stabilization.  Beth is passionate about improving the crisis continuum for youth and outcomes for youth in the crisis system.

Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC, Program Manager, Illinois for Great Lakes ATTC

Mark Sanders, LCSW, CADC is the Program Manager, Illinois for Great Lakes ATTC. He is an international speaker in behavioral health whose presentations have reached thousands throughout the United States, Europe, Canada, West Indies and Guam. Mark is the recipient of 3 lifetime achievement awards including the prestigious NAADAC Enlightenment Award. He is the author of 5 books and has had two stories published in the New York Times Bestselling Book Series, Chicken Soup for The Soul. He has taught at the University of Chicago, Loyola University of Chicago, and Illinois State University Colleges of Social Work. He is co-founder of Serenity Academy Chicago. The only recovery high school in Illinois.

Lynelle Saunders.jpgLynelle Saunders, CPS

Lynelle Saunders is a Certified Peer Specialist with over 12 years of experience working with individuals experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders. She is currently the Co-owner of Compassionate Peer Support and Training, LLC after 7 years as the Executive Director at the Racine Friendship Clubhouse. Lynelle is dedicated to making compassionate peer support available to all who desire it as well as building and supporting the profession. Lynelle is an experienced trainer and facilitator and has served as the Co-Chair of the Recovery Implementation Task Force.

Grover Scanlan Jr, Jr. MSW, CAPSW, SAC-IT, Assistant Director, Therapeutic Milieu, Dousman, Wis.

Mr. Scanlan is originally from Chicago, IL and relocated to Wisconsin about 21 years. He is employed by Lad Lake, Inc, a RTC in Dousman, WI  for troubled youth 12-17. Grover served as the Youth and Family Therapist for over 10 years before advancing to his current position as Assistant Director of Therapeutic Milieu. In addition, Grover is also an adjunct professor at UWM where he teaches Social Work 665: Cultural Diversity for the past three years. Grover is a husband, father, and Deacon at the church where he worships. Grover says, “At Lad Lake, it’s an absolute pleasure to teach life skills to the youth who struggles with ACE’s and providing support for their families while they prepare for reunification.”  

Andrew Schreier.jpgAndrew Schreier, ICS, CSAC, LPC, ICGC-I/Clinical Coordinator

Andrew J. Schreier is the Clinical Coordinator for Wisconsin at Community Medical Services. With eighteen years of professional experience the landscape of this profession has changed. "When I started in this profession you thought it would be a couple of necessary tools in your bag to help provide treatment to those with a substance use disorder. Now, it really means having an entire garage full to help all of those who need it." With the different substance epidemics and fatalities to overdoses, Andrew discovered that harm reduction was constantly being identified as saving lives and yet found it to be difficult to talk about amongst professionals. "Give me whatever you have that is evidence-based, patient-centered, and can help improve their overall wellbeing and I'll use it (including harm reduction)."

Felicia Behnke Shaw.jpgFelicia Behnke Shaw, MSW LCSW CSAC CS-IT, Clincial Therapist

Felicia Behnke Shaw (Pronouns: She/Her/Hers) MSW LCSW CSAC CS-IT, is a member the Bad River Band of Lake Superior Chippewa, and a descendant of the Menominee Nation. Felicia, received her MSW from George Williams College of Aurora University and her undergraduate degree from the University of Minnesota, Twin Cities. Currently, she works on many grant funded projects, providing outreach, harm reduction, prevention, naloxone training, oversite of a women’s specific recovery program, and she utilizes a trauma responsive and culturally responsive lens.  She also has experience working on many agency wide projects and specializing in data analysis and strategic planning. Since she started her journey to becoming a clinical therapist, she values and prioritized culturally responsive, cultural humility, and justice, equity, diversity, and inclusion (JEDI) into the services she provides to the community. Felicia is a firm believer that culture can assist in the healing aspects of treatment, and believes in the importance of connectivity.

Dei Fleary Simmons

Luann Simpson.JPGLuann Simpson, MSW, CAPSW, CPS

Luann Simpson is a Certified Peer Specialist and Advanced Practice Social Worker with over 30 years of experience working with individuals experiencing mental illness and substance use disorders. She is currently Co-Owner of Compassionate Peer Support and Training. LLC after 23 years of employment with NAMI Racine County. She is a Lecturer at UW-Parkside and an experienced Trainer in topics related to mental illness, peer support and compassion. Luann holds certificates in Life Coaching, Motivational Speaking, Family Mediation and Train the Trainer. She has a special interest and additional training in working with individuals experiencing psychosis. 

Dannel Skalecki, Supervisor Youth Justice Services Unit, Brown County Human Services, Green Bay, Wis.

Dannel has been in the field of child welfare for 26 years and currently the Youth Justice Services Supervisor for Brown County since 2015. He has obtained his bachelor’s degree in social work with a child welfare emphasis from the University in Green Bay. Before his partnership with Brown County, he worked in direct practice in child protection services, independent living, and youth justice services through Shawano County Department of Health and Human Services. Dannel has worked in several capacities within the child welfare system.  Since 2007, He focused his attention on youth justice services.  Since his role as supervisor, he has been committed in advancing the practice of youth justice services. “Being in the child welfare field allows me to reach and collaboratively journey with youth and their families while assisting meeting their desired goals.”

Pahoua Thao

Wa Yia Thao.pngWa Yia Thao, B.S. Industrial Technology, Service Facilitator at The Hmong Institute 

See Thao, B.A. Psychology, Service Facilitator at The Hmong Institute 

Marco Torrez Miranda.jpgMarco Torrez-Miranda, MSSW, LCSW, SUDS, Faculty Director of Equity & Inclusion

Marco Torrez-Miranda is a licensed psychotherapist, substance use disorder, and trauma treatment specialist in Wisconsin. He has over fifteen years of experience working in the behavioral health field as a case manager, clinician, clinical supervisor, mentor, consultant, program director, and faculty. In addition to his clinical experience, Marco is faculty and program director of the Human Services program at Madison College and most recently took on the role of Equity & Inclusion Faculty Director for the Institute for Equity and Transformational Change, a newly established unit within Academic Affairs charged with promoting, studying, and implementing equity-minded practices in curriculum and professional development.

Mai Zong Vue

Allison Weber

Sheila Weix, MSN, RN, CARN, Director of Substance Abuse Services, FHC Alcohol & Drug Recovery Center, Marshfield, Wis

Sheila Weix is the director of Substance Abuse Services for Family Health Center of Marshfield, Marshfield Clinic Health System. With a background in addiction treatment spanning the full continuum of services, she is in her fifth decade of practice in both public and private environments.

Victoria Welle.jpgVictoria (Vic) Welle, Certified Peer Specialist, Master of Theological Studies, Menomonie, Wis.

Victoria (Vic) Welle is an activist, peer support trainer, and Wisconsin certified peer specialist. Vic has over 20 years of experience in grassroots activism and systems change advocacy. Vic is an advocate for crisis alternatives such as peer run respite and other non-coercive community supports, and has served on a number of regional and state advocacy initiatives, including the Western Region People with Lived Experience (PLEX) Committee, Western Region Advocacy Committee, and the Wisconsin Certified Peer Specialist Advisory Committee 

Brianne Zaborowske.jpgBrianne Zarborowske, LCSW, Lead Crisis Coordinator, Division of Care and Treatment Services

Brianne Zaborowske works as the Lead Crisis Coordinator in the Division of Care and Treatment Services at the Wisconsin Department of Health Services. Having started her crisis career as an overnight phone worker, Brianne now has almost 10 years of crisis specific experience and has worked in all areas of the crisis continuum.