Indiana CHW/CRS Annual Conference

The Indiana CHW/CRS Annual Conference is an opportunity for Community Health Workers and Certified Recovery Specialists to connect and network with other helping professionals and learn knowledge and skills beneficial to the important work that they do.

Date: March 15, 2019

Location: Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Airport

8910 Hatfield Dr, Indianapolis, IN 46241

Cost: $35 for currently certified CHWs and CRSs ¦  $50 for all others

CEUs: 5.0 hours for full day attendance

Registration for currently certified CHWs and CRSs is now open. Registration for the general public will open on February 11, 2019.

Conference Schedule

8:00 AM: Registration opens; light breakfast served; visit exhibitor booths

8:45 AM: Welcome
9:00 AM: Morning Keynote – Dr. David Suzuki
10:00 AM: Break; visit exhibitor booths
10:15 AM: Round 1 Breakout Sessions
11:15 AM: Break
11:30 AM: Lunch & Award Ceremony
12:50 PM: Break
1:00 PM: Afternoon Keynote – Kelly Davis
2:00 PM: Afternoon snack break; visit exhibitor booths
2:20 PM: Round 2 Breakout Sessions
3:20 PM: CEU Sign Out


Keynote Speakers

Morning Keynote – Dr. David Suzuki, Director, Equity Institute on Race, Culture & Transformative Action (IUPUI)

Fostering Trusting Communications for Culturally Responsive Service and Care – Click here to view presentation

Many CHWs & CRSs share some lived experiences with individuals that they serve. Both service providers and clients may be from the same community and/or have experience with misusing drugs, incarceration, being the targets of stereotypes, or dealing with stigma, to mention a few possibilities.  The overlap of shared lived experiences often results in communication that fosters trust-building.  However, differences can, but need not, impede trusting communications.  Such differences and the behaviors that reflect these differences will be the focus for today’s discussion.

Growing up or spending many years in the United States results in a cultural conditioning of the way we look at people who are different from ourselves.  Individuals may differ from ourselves based on race, religion, sex, sexual orientation, the neighborhood they live, birth place, etc.  This cultural conditioning results in implicit biases – biases that we are not aware of – that get in the way of productive, trust-building communication with clients. Note that we all have biases – including the presenter! The aim is to recognize these biases and work to counter those that are counter-productive to effective and culturally responsive delivery of services and care.

About the Speaker: David A. Suzuki, Ph.D., is on the Advisory Board of Building Networks for Recovery, a project of the Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition.  He also serves on the Board of the Fair Housing Center of Central Indiana that seeks to counter discrimination in housing.  Suzuki works with the NAACP to implement two state laws that mandate cultural competency training for teachers and administrators in Indiana schools, and the offering of ethnic studies courses in high schools throughout Indiana.  With funding from the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction, he directs a project to conduct online cultural competency training to service providers throughout Indiana.

Professor Emeritus Suzuki is a former Neuroscientist in the IU School of Medicine and currently directs the Equity Institute on Race, Culture and Transformative Action at IUPUI. In 2010, he established and taught Asian American Studies at IUPUI.  His current interests are in mental health and healthcare disparities in minority and refugee communities.

Afternoon Keynote – Kelly Davis, Director of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services, Mental Health America

Positive Psychology for Peers: More than Just Happy Thoughts – Click here to view presentation

More than just promoting happy thoughts, the growing field of positive psychology looks at what makes life worth living. It not only examines how people flourish but also how we can learn and teach flourishing to ourselves and others. This presentation will focus on key themes in positive psychology including topics like positive emotions, relationships, purpose, and vitality. You’ll learn about the foundations of the growing discipline and how to incorporate these researched tools into your life and your work supporting others.

About the Speaker: Kelly’s lived experience with mental health diagnoses and trauma are at the center of her passion for transforming how we support individuals and change systems and services. She currently works as the Director of Peer Advocacy, Supports, and Services at Mental Health America, where she is involved in promoting peer support, peer certification, youth and young adult leadership, and college mental health.

She is passionate about trauma-informed care, peer support, consumer-led transformation, positive psychology, and civil rights. She has spoken at many events, including The White House Making Health Care Better Series on Mental Health, and has been featured in media outlets including NBC Nightly News, The Mighty, Yes! Magazine, and Mashable.

Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session 1: 10:15-11:15 AM

Session 1A: IAPRSS – An Association to Advance the Peer Support Profession – Click here to view presentation

Speaker: Justin Beattey, Manager of Peer Supports, Indiana Association of Peer Recovery Support Services/Indiana Addiction Issues Coalition

This presentation will educate the attendees on the Indiana Association of Peer Recovery Support Services (IAPRSS) and the role IAPRSS plays in advocating for the peer support profession. IAPRSS strives to educate the community, organizations and the peer profession on best practices and proper supervision and the evidence-based effectiveness of peer supports. A key component of the Association is to work towards uniting all peer supports through support for each other and the profession at the local, state and national level.

About the Speaker: Justin Beattey is a person in long-term recovery who is actively involved in peer support education, policy development, role implementation and the advancement of the peer support profession. Justin hold credentials as a CHW/CRS-GA, CAPRC II, MATS and ICPR. He works within the behavioral health field to advocate and educate the community and organizations on the evidence-based effectiveness of peer supports and best practices for the role, including proper supervision.

Session 1B: Using ACEs as a Framework for Addressing Trauma – Click here to view presentation

Speaker: Stephanie Bridges, Coordinator, Student Services, South Bend Community School Corporation

Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) include abuse, divorce, neglect, and other negative experiences which can have a profound effect on children throughout their entire lives. Participants will understand the purpose of the ACES Interface Presentation, how to use evaluation in identifying a common language around Adverse Childhood Experiences, and will identify next steps in developing community capacity in building

About the Speaker: Stephanie Bridges received her Master of Social Work degree from Indiana University of South Bend. She has spent over 20 years working in higher education as an advisor for TRiO and in both academic and student affairs working with student leadership development. Stephanie is currently the Coordinator for Student Services for the South Bend Community School Corporation. Previously she served as the project director for the Community Resilience Center and ACE Interface for Beacon Health System where she became an ACE Interface Master trainer.

Session 1C: Advancing the Role of Peers in Suicide Prevention, Intervention, and Postvention

Speaker: David Berman, Director, Indiana Suicide Prevention Network

This presentation will focus on the role that peer specialists, equipped with their learned recovery and support skillset, can play in suicide prevention, intervention, and postvention.

About the Speaker: David Berman directs the Depression and Bipolar Support Alliance of Indiana, and the Indiana Suicide Prevention Network, both subsidiaries of Mental Health America of Indiana, and leads their mood disorder, mental health recovery, and suicide prevention advocacy, support, and education efforts. He’s a certified trainer for QPR, SafeTALK, ASIST, and CALM, and chairs DMHA’s Indiana Recovery Council, sits on both their Mental Health and Addiction Planning and Advisory Committee and Recovery Support Workgroup, and is a member of Indiana’s Disaster Mental Health Resilience and Emotional Support Team. David graduated from the University of Maryland with bachelor’s degrees in biology and psychology, and master’s degrees in Public Health and Public Administration.

Breakout Session 2: 2:20-3:20 PM

Session 2A: FSSA Resources to Help Families in Need – Click here to view presentation

Speaker: Benjamin Evans, Director of External Agency Affairs, Indiana Family and Social Services Administration

This session will highlight state resources that can be found through Indiana Family and Social Services. FSSA covers early childcare, Department of Family Resources ( HIP, SNAP, TANF), Mental Health and Addiction, and Disability and Aging. Attendees will get a look at an online website that will help them to connect their clients to services in their area and websites that will help them assess the needs of the communities they serve.

About the Speaker: Ben has served in a variety of federal and state government positions over the last 8 years. He currently is serving as the Director of External Agency Affairs for Indiana Family and Social Services. In this role he helps connect faith-based and nonprofit ministries with state resources. Although the state has the resources, it is these organizations that bring community, hope and healing to the individual. Prior to this he served for over 10 years as a youth pastor, executive pastor and teacher for a ministry in Anderson, Indiana. He currently lives in Pendleton with his wife Debbie and their two children, Lincoln and Mariana.

Session 2B: Understanding and Responding to the Opioid Epidemic – Click here to view presentation

Speaker: Raven Helmick, Prescription Drug Overdose Epidemiologist, Indiana State Department of Health and Audrey Rehberg, Naloxone Program Manager, Indiana State Department of Health

In 2017, 1,809 Hoosiers died from drug poisoning, marking an 883% increase since 1999. Of these deaths, approximately 63% involved opioids. (Source: Indiana State Department of Health, Division of Trauma and Injury Prevention; Vital Records). The severity of the opioid epidemic makes it clear that all hands on deck are necessary, especially of Community Health Workers (CHW) and Certified Recovery Specialists (CRS) – two groups who are working on the frontlines of the opioid crisis. This presentation will focus on drug mortality trends in Indiana, the risk factors and circumstances surrounding drug overdose, important naloxone information, and a hands-on naloxone administration training providing certification.

About the Speakers: Raven graduated from Rogers State University in 2014 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Sociology and received her Master’s degree in Epidemiology in 2016 from the University of Oklahoma. She worked within the Oklahoma State Department of Health’s Acute Disease Service prior to joining the Indiana State Department of Health (ISDH). In her current role as the Prescription Drug Overdose Epidemiologist in the Division of Trauma and Injury Prevention at ISDH, she is responsible for managing and analyzing drug overdose-related data for the state of Indiana.

Audrey Rehberg graduated from Purdue University with her Bachelor of Science in Public Health and a minor in Human Development and Family Studies. She continued at Purdue in an accelerated program to obtain her Masters of Public Health with a concentration in Family and Community Health. Prior to joining ISDH December of 2017, Audrey worked with Purdue Extension Marion County in the Health and Human Sciences division and at the Military Family Research Institute.

Session 2C: Whose Trigger Is It? – Click here to view presentation

Speaker: Susan Elsworth, Director of INOFAS, Perinatal Use and Family Advocacy, INOFAS

Participants will explore trauma based triggers, answer the question whose trigger is it, and be encouraged to implement self-care strategies. To provide context for the presentation, the speaker will also provide a brief overview of Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs).

About the Speaker: Susan has a BA in Business Management from Anderson University and an AS in Criminal Justice and Corrections from Ball State University. She is a Surrogate Parent for IN*Source. Susan was a licensed foster parent from 2002-2014 and mentors both foster and adoptive parents. A mother to 13 children, she and her husband Duane adopted 9 foster children: 5 with FASD, 1 with Celiac Disease, and 3 with Reactive Attachment Disorder (RADS). Susan formed and serves as director of Indiana NOFAS, Inc, a not for profit corporation serving families and individuals with prenatal exposure to substances and alcohol. She serves on the Family and Youth Committee for Indiana’s Systems of Care Council. Susan served as the Indiana Title V Family Delegate from 2013-2016. She Co-Chaired the Family Advisory Council for Children’s Special Health Care Needs which empowers family leaders. Susan serves on several state committees which include Project Launch focused on improving mental health for youth, the Prenatal Substance Use Committee which seeks to reduce the number of children exposed to substances and alcohol, the Indiana Perinatal Quality Improvement Committee and Governing Council. She was a family fellow with Riley Child Development Center LEND program. Indiana NOFAS is a subsidiary of Mental Health America of Indiana, who seeks to provide support and services to individuals and their families, while advocating for positive system change a holistic across the lifespan.

Join us for additional pre-conference training opportunities!

For the first time ever, additional trainings are available at the pre-conference on March 14, 2019 at the Hilton Garden Inn Indianapolis Airport. Space is limited, so register now!

Substance Abuse Endorsement

If you are a current Certified Recovery Specialist (CRS) and are in recovery from substance abuse, then you are eligible for a special endorsement. These endorsements can provide a CRS with unique opportunities and open the door to career advancement. Upon the successful completion of the course and exam, you can earn the designation of Indiana Community Health Worker/Certified Recovery Specialist – Substance Abuse (CHW/CRS-SA).

Typically only offered through an online course, this is a unique opportunity to obtain your Substance Abuse endorsement through an in-person training. You will need to complete the application process in order to attend this training.

Date: March 14, 2019
Time: 1:00-3:00 pm
Cost: $85/person

Question Persuade Refer Suicide Prevention Training

QPR stands for Question, Persuade, and Refer — the 3 simple steps anyone can learn to help save a life from suicide. Just as people trained in CPR and the Heimlich Maneuver help save thousands of lives each year, people trained in QPR learn how to recognize the warning signs of a suicide crisis and how to question, persuade, and refer someone to help. Each year thousands of Americans, like you, are saying “Yes” to saving the life of a friend, colleague, sibling, or neighbor.

This training is offered at no charge through a grant from the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

Date: March 14, 2019
Time: 10:00 am – 12:00 pm
Cost: No charge


Click the buttons below to register for the conference, pre-conference, or as an exhibitor.

Registration for Community Health Workers and Certified Recovery Specialists and exhibitors opens January 14, 2019. Registration for the general public opens on February 11, 2019.

Exhibitor registration opens January 14, 2019.

Accommodations are available through Mental Health America’s hotel block at this link.