The Trauma-Informed School Workshop! TRAINING COMPLETED

May 12th, 2017 – Great Falls, MT    Holiday Inn – 1100 5th St. South

Registration is now open! Click here to register for the conference! Only $200 per person!

This workshop is sold out. Thank you for your interest!

Because of the tremendous demand, and because Montana has hundreds of schools that could benefit from understanding how toxic stress and ACEs can affect a child’s behavior and their ability to learn, ChildWise is considering presenting this workshop in other areas of Montana soon. STAY TUNED and watch our website!

*Cancellation Policy: Full refund (less $30 processing fee) if canceled 72 hours prior to the conference. No refund after this deadline.

Agenda (click)

Plus! —

special screening of “Paper Tigers”  on Wednesday, May 11th at 6:30 p.m. at C.M. Russell High School, followed by an exclusive Q & A Session with Jim Sporleder

THIS WORKSHOP IS a comprehensive one-day trauma-informed workshop that is designed to give School Leadership Teams the understanding, knowledge, and tools they need to successfully create a trauma-informed learning environment that will reach into the future for decades. Schools are encouraged to send “Leadership Teams” of 2 to 8 (or more) members. The workshop is designed to be interactive and time will be provided for Leadership Teams to create their own action plan to take back to their schools. This workshop will enhance the work you are doing with the MT Behavioral Initiative (MBI). This is not simply another conference. This is the beginning of long-term, sustainable positive change for our students, schools staff, and our school systems.  *Each participant will be given “The Trauma-Informed School Guide” (pictured), which is included in the registration cost.

About the Trainer
Jim Sporleder

Jim Sporleder, former Principal of Lincoln High School in Walla Walla, WA. Lincoln High School was one of the first high schools in the country to create a “Trauma Informed” school.  Lincoln High School gained national attention due to the significant decrease in out of school suspensions, increased graduation rates and the number of students going on to post-secondary education. These dramatic changes caught the attention of Jamie Redford, who spent a year filming a documentary, Paper Tigers, which tells the Lincoln story.

Heather T. Forbes co-authored the Administrative Guide and has published other books on helping students who struggle with traumatized lives. Her powerful book “Help for Billy”, will be available for a discounted purchase at the workshop.

What Can I Expect From This Workshop?

  1. A review of evidenced-based research on how trauma impacts brain development and student behavior.
  2. Participants will learn about their own self-regulation and identify their “triggers” that impact their students coming from toxic home environments.
  3. Participants will be encouraged to look at a “New Approach” to student behavior that is supported by evidence-based research.
  4. Effective systems will be introduced to successfully work with our most challenging students, yet is good for all students.

Leadership Team Activities

Assessing Personal and School Perspectives

  1. What are my “Triggers” that lead me to be dysregulated, or not responding well to student behavior?
  2. How does your school handle noncompliant students who are disrupting the learning environment?
  3. How would you assess your main office’s service to parents, staff, and students?
  4. Motivation of staff to move towards trauma-informed practices.
  5. Does your school have “Calm Room” elementary schools, or In School Suspension Room secondary schools?
  6. Are your consequences traditional or trauma-informed?

Effective Trauma-Informed Systems

  1. How to effectively use a Calm Room for Elementary Level Students.
  2. How to effectively use an In School Suspension Room for Secondary Level Students.
  3. Student of Concern meetings with action plans.
  4. Pre and Post Staff Surveys
  5. Pre and Post Student Surveys
  6. How to use a School Resource Officer Effectively
  7. Tracking Student Infractions.
  8. Intervention and Prevention Strategies when working with students who are struggling and disrupting the learning environment.


Failed by Montana’s foster care, man succeeds despite long odds

Our own Bord Member, Schylar Baber highlighted in the Bozeman newspaper!

We are proud to have a man like Schylar on the Board of ChildWise Institute.
Is it because he is a very intelligent man? YES!
Is it because he has a passion to elevate the well-being and futures of our children? YES!
But also because Schylar has a unique point of view that he brings to the table. Read about it below and click on the headline!

Failed by Montana’s foster care, man succeeds despite long odds

Schylar Canfield Baber remembers everything about the moment he was taken away from his family.

Business Leaders in the ACE and Resilience Movement: A Different Kind of Bottom Line

ChildWise Institute is one of fourteen organizations in the nation to have received a two-year grant from the Health Federation of Philadelphia (with support from the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation) to advance awareness of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study, and to accelerate trauma-informed actions with a purpose of becoming resilient-building communities all across Montana. This cohort of fourteen organizations is part of the Mobilizing Action for Resilient Communities (MARC). We launched an initiative called Elevate Montana in 2013 in hopes of it becoming a message that would resonate and spread throughout the state… and it is gaining more and more traction every day!

One of the areas we are focusing on is growing a network of for-profit businesses that want to become ACE-aware and trauma-informed in the process of creating a resilient-building work environment. We are not alone in this effort! As you’ll see in this article, which is gaining national attention, there are other members of our MARC cohort engaging businesses in their communities. Together, we will all learn from each other to help create a movement in the business sector all across the nation! Imagine businesses everywhere that have increased their productivity, reduced absenteeism, enhanced the health of their employees, and increased their Return On Investment (ROI) — all because they understand the importance of how childhood adversity can affect us as adults, and became change-makers in their own workplace by supporting their employees in ways that increase their other ROI — Return On Impact!

Thanks to the Health Federation of Philadelphia andRobertt Wood Johnson Foundation for being leaders of positive change in our nation!





Anxiety, Depression, and the Modern Adolescent – Kids are overexposed!

Intermountain (the founding organization of ChildWise Institute that started the movement, Elevate Montana) was honored to be a source for a TIME cover story this week: “Anxiety, Depression and the Modern Adolescent.”

From the article: “Daniel Champer, the director of school-based services for Intermountain in Helena, Mont., says the one word he’d use to describe the kids in his state is overexposed. Montana’s kids may be in a big, sparsely populated state, but they are not isolated anymore.

A suicide might happen on the other side of the state and the kids often know before the adults, says Champer. This makes it hard for counselors to help.

“And nearly 30% of the state’s teens said they felt sad and hopeless almost every day for at least two weeks in a row, according to the 2015 Montana Youth Risk Behavior Survey. To address what they consider a cry for help from the state’s teens, officials in Montana are working on expanding access to school-based and tele-based counseling.”

Look for this issue, coming out soon, online and in newsstands, and thank you, as always, for your kind support of Intermountain and your generosity to children, teens, and families in need.

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ACEs program to start in Bitterroot

The Bitterroot Cares For Kids Network is the “backbone organization” of the newly established Elevate Montana Bitterroot Affiliate, and they are on the run!


The Bitterroot Cares for Kids Network is starting support programming as a follow-up to their August conference on Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) “ACEs in the Bitterroot.”

The conference was on identifying, preventing and alleviating the consequences of childhood abuse and neglect.

The first support programming is a book-club type of discussion group that meets from noon to 1 p.m. on Wednesdays Oct. 12 – Nov. 16.

The conference in August talked about… (read the article here)

Everything is NOT fine…

Has your church heard about ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences)? If not, I am sure you have seen the effects in your communities and your worshipping communities. Those in our congregations, as well as those in our neighborhoods, are struggling under the weight of unresolved trauma, persistent toxic stress, and the dysfunction that results from broken relationships. No matter what we might want to tell one another, “Everything is NOT fine.”


In our home state—where 17% of children have experienced three or more ACEs, and 1 in 10 have four or more—faith communities should be especially aware of how their ministries can make a difference. Is your youth ministry concerned about teen suicide? Consider that the 10% of children with four or more ACEs have a 1200% greater chance of attempting suicide than their peers, and I think you’ll see why addressing the prevalence of ACEs in Montana is a good idea! (1)


In an effort to pull together the tremendous resources our faith communities possess, I’ll be facilitating a conversation at ChildWise’s Fall Conference in Helena on Resilience, September 29th and 30th. Our “faith-based breakout” will be one of many offering that will challenge you as well as encourage you to address the greatest public health crisis our state and nation faces. My hope is that dozens of congregations from across Montana could be represented, and their involvement would start a much-needed conversation in their churches, synagogues, and fellowships.
I am excited to share this time with Kimberly Konkel, MSW, who has worked in the Department of Health and Human Services in Washington D.C. for the better part of two decades. Kim has been the assistant director of the Partnership with Faith-based communities and has a wealth of knowledge about how God is using congregations and faith communities across the country to effect social change and are living out the prayer, “Thy Kingdom Come, on earth as it is in heaven!”
So, do whatever you need to do to get to Helena for this conference! At $185 for two days (lunch included on the first day!), this conference would be an excellent use of continuing education funds for your pastor, a personal investment in your missions and outreach team, or a way to encourage your youth and children’s ministry to be better equipped for ministry. In fact, if your only reason for not attending the Resilience Conference is the cost, please contact me… I will work hard to get you a scholarship or whatever it will take to make it happen.
It’s that important. I’m that passionate about this issue. Because, “Everything is NOT fine.”
Chaplain Chris Haughee


(1) Vanessa Sacks, M.P.P., David Murphy, Ph.D. and Kristin Moore, Ph.D. “Adverse Childhood Experiences: National and State-Level Prevalence.” ChildTrends Research Brief, July 2014; Publication #2014-28; page 2.

Resilience Fall Summit 2016 TRAINING C0MPLETED

Resilience Logo

Sponsors graphic

Silver Sponsor

Date: Sept. 29th & 30th, 2016
Where: Great Northern Hotel, Helena
Cost: $185 (2-Day Summit)
Time: 8:30am – 4:30pm each day

Course Description:

In 2015, ChildWise Institute presented a critically important Summit based on the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. This is changing how systems of care respond to health problems in a more comprehensive manner; communities & schools across the nation are becoming ACE informed to promote better physical and mental health among children & adults. What is Resilience? Resilience is the process of adapting well in the face of adversity, trauma, tragedy, threats or significant sources of stress. Why is Resilience Important? Research shows the ability to use resiliency-building factors increases the likelihood that individuals will be able to reach their full potential, and mitigates the damaging effects that adverse childhood experiences can have over the lifespan. This 2-day Summit will accelerate your knowledge of practical resiliency-building strategies and actions to elevate the well-being of the children and families you serve and care for.

Featured Speakers:

Keynote Speaker: Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D., M.S. Ed  

ginsburgDr. Ken Ginsburg is a pediatrician specializing in Adolescent Medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He works to translate the best of what is known from research and practice into practical approaches parents, professionals and communities can use to build resilience. His research over the last two decades has focused on facilitating youth to develop their own solutions to social problems and to teach educators, clinicians, parents…everyone working with children how to better serve them. Dr. Ginsburg has more than 125 publications, including 34 original research articles, clinical practice articles, five books, a multimedia textbook for professionals, and internet-based and video/DVD productions for clinicians, parents and teens. Dr. Ginsburg has received over 30 awards recognizing his research, clinical skills, or advocacy efforts. These include The Young Investigator Award and a visiting professorship from The Society for Adolescent Health and Medicine, The Lindback Award for distinguished teaching from The University of Pennsylvania, and The Humanism in Medicine Award given to the Penn faculty member who “demonstrates the highest standards of compassion and empathy in the delivery of care to patients.” The theme that ties together his clinical practice, teaching, research and advocacy efforts is that of building on the strength of teenagers by fostering their internal resilience. He is currently The Associate Medical Editor of The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Parenting Web Page, a trusted web source for parents seeking guidance on effective parenting and healthy child and adolescent development. To advocate for parents’ critical role in raising resilient children and teens, he has appeared on CNN, NPR, The Today Show, Good Morning America, The CBS morning show, FOX and Friends and ABC, NBC, and CBS Nightly News programs. Dr. Ginsburg lectures widely to national and international parent and professional audiences. His most recent books are, “Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings,” and “Raising Kids to Thrive: Balancing Love with Expectations and Protection with Trust”, both published by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) as well as “Letting Go with Love and Confidence,” published by Avery, Penguin Press. The AAP has also published a multimedia toolkit “Reaching Teens: Strength-Based Communication Strategies to Build Resilience and Support Healthy Adolescent Development” that offers up to 65 continuing education credits for youth serving professionals.

On day 2, this Summit will provide 6 breakouts on Resiliency-building Strategies for:

  • Healthcare Providers: Brie Oliver, RN – Program Manager for Healthy Families Home Visiting at the Lewis and Clark City-County Health Department; Christine Schultz, RN Shodair Children’s Hospital
    Title: “Building Resiliency in Health Care Workers”
    Description: Christine Schultz and Brie Oliver are both nurses with tremendous passion for ensuring health care workers and their clients deliver and receive care with a trauma-informed lens.  They also know that trauma effects providers and clients alike, and building resiliency must be central to the care we give and receive. Learn more about this in the break out session: Building Resiliency in Health Care workers.  Increase your knowledge on how to build resiliency capacity for the families you work with and also in your own work place and personal life.  Also, discover tools to assess for trauma, resiliency, and compassion fatigue and create strategies to increase safe, stable, and nurturing relationships and environments for families and family health and support providers.
  • Faith Based Organizations: Rev. Chris Haughee, BA, MDiv., Chaplain, Intermountain; Elizabeth Kohlstaed, PhD Chief Clinical Officer, Intermountain; Kimberly Konkel, Associate Director for Health, HHS Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships, Washington D.C.
    Title: “Building Resilience through Addressing ACEs in Your Faith Community”
    Description: Wondering how adversity in childhood has impacted the community your church or faith community ministers to? Looking for practical ideas for building resilience through faith-based approaches? Join Rev. Chris Haughee, chaplain for Intermountain Residential Services and Kimberly Konkel, Associate Director for Health at the HHS Center for Faith-based and Neighborhood Partnerships based in Washington D.C., in a breakout session that will be both informative and provide you with the tools to make a difference for struggling youth and families in your community. Dr. Liz Kohlstaedt, Chief Clinical Officer at Intermountain, will set the stage, framing the discussion to follow. For any ministry or faith-based group desiring to connect their ministry with the mission of building resilient communities, this breakout is a must! Offered twice in the morning hours of September 30th.
  • Native American Communities: Maegan Rides At The Door, Director, National Native Children’s Trauma Center, IERS
    Title: “Recognizing Resilience for American Indian Youth”
    Description: What is resiliency and how does it look in American Indian communities? Often we tend to focus on the intergenerational transmission of trauma rather than the intergenerational transmission of trauma and resiliency. Maegan will present an hour-long presentation that focuses on a comprehensive review of the literature regarding resiliency factors for American Indian (AI) youth, their families, and community wide. And will discuss strategies toward changing AI youth perspectives about themselves, their families, and recognize strengths in our communities. This session have an interactive component where participants will gather in small group discussions to discuss a case study of an AI youth to recognize resiliency factors and what they might be able to encourage as they move forward with working with the youth.
  • Mental Health Professionals: Katharina Werner, MSW Gender-Based Violence/Trauma Consultant
    Title: “Trauma Stewardship – Building a Meaningful Way to Address Trauma Exposure Response”
    Description: Vicarious Traumatization, Secondary Traumatic Stress, Compassion Fatigue, Trauma Exposure Response – various terms are used to describe the cumulative transformative effect on professionals working with people, families, groups and communities that have experienced traumatic events. “When we refer to trauma exposure response, we are talking about the ways in which the world looks and feels like a different place to you as a result of your doing your work” (Van Dernoot Lipsky, 2009). Utilizing the framework of Trauma Stewardship, this workshop will explore the causes and signs of trauma exposure response and offer hands-on ideas for prevention, mitigation, and recovery. This session will have a reflective/ interactive component and participants will leave the training with a plan for further exploration of how they can address their own trauma exposure response personally, professionally, and organizationally.
  • Juvenile Justice, Judges, Family Law, Child Welfare, Family Violence, Law Enforcement + more: Victoria Sweet, Program Attorney at National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges, Reno, Nevada
    Title: “Modifying Environments, Policies, and Practices in Court Systems to Help Build Resilience”
    Description: Despite the growing attention to the needs of children exposed to violence, progress toward ameliorating adverse childhood experiences is slow, particularly in the juvenile and family court systems. Yet, judges and system stakeholders have the capacity to respond effectively to victims of trauma by creating a healing environment that promotes safety, agency, and resilience through meaningful pro-social connections. The National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges has conducted trauma assessments on 11 courts around the country in both urban and rural settings to learn more about practices that need to be changed and to develop recommendations on how to promote healing and resilience in the children, youth, and families who go through the court system. Participants will learn about the findings of these trauma assessments and be given recommendations on how to modify environments, policies, and practices in court systems to meet the needs of traumatized persons.
  • Schools: Stephanie Thennis, Principal of PAL (Project for Alternative Learning), Helena
    Title: Building Resilience through Addressing ACEs in the Public School Setting
    Description: As educators, most of us have found ourselves making the statement or engaged in a conversation “student X is lazy” or, “student X doesn’t care”.  We reach for our toolbox of strategies to re-engage the student only to find ourselves working harder than what the student seems to be working.  Why does this happen and what can be done to remain patient and empathetic yet not lower academic standards and support our students through tough times?  Stephanie Thennis, assistant principal at Helena High School (former principal at Helena’s alternative high school, Project for Alternative Learning) will share ways staff can help to develop resiliency in the lives of their students while maintaining high academic expectations.  Strategies will also be provided on building resiliency in your own life.


A documentary by James Redford and Karen Pritzker will be screened during the 2-day Summit.

The child may not remember, but the body remembers.

Researchers have recently discovered a dangerous biological syndrome caused by abuse and neglect during childhood. As the new documentary Resilience reveals, toxic stress can trigger hormones that wreak havoc on the brains and bodies of children, putting them at a greater risk for disease, homelessness, prison time, and early death. While the broader impacts of poverty worsen the risk, no segment of society is immune. Resilience, however, also chronicles the dawn of a movement that is determined to fight back. Trailblazers in pediatrics, education, and social welfare are using cutting-edge science and field-tested therapies to protect children from the insidious effects of toxic stress-and the dark legacy of a childhood that no child would choose.

Jaime RedfordJamie Redford has many documentary and feature filmmaking credits to his name. He started his collaboration with Karen Pritzker. He started his collaboration with Karen Pritzker on HBO’s The Big Picture: Rethinking Dyslexia, a film that gave hope to millions of families around the world who have struggled to educate their dyslexic children. From there, they turned their story-telling eye on the hidden Jaime Redfordmenace of adverse childhood experiences. Paper Tigers, currently on the festival and screening circuit, will air on PIVOT TV near the end of 2015. James also co-founded and is current Chair of The Redford Center, a film production non-profit that translates complex environmental challenges into human stories that inspire. Recent honors include the 2014 WildCare Environmental Award, 2015 filmmaker envoy for USC/US State Department’s American Film Showcase as well as serving the leadership circle for the UN’s second annual Media for Social Impact Summit.


Thurs, Sept. 29th

7:30 a.m. – 8:30 a.m. Registration
8:30 a.m. – 8:45 a.m. Welcome & Introduction – Todd Garrison, ChildWise Institute Director
8:45 a.m. – 9:45 a.m. “Resilience” screening
9:45 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. TBD
10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m. Break
10:30 a.m. – 12:00 p.m. Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg
12:00 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. Working Lunch (served)
1:30 p.m. –3:00 p.m. Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg (continued)
3:00 p.m. – 3:15 p.m. Break
3:15p.m. – 4:30 p.m. Dr. Kenneth Ginsburg (continued)

Friday, Sept. 30th

“Resilience Strategies -Healthcare Community” Breakout Session 1
8:30 am – 10:00 am; 10:15 am – 11:45 am
(*Each session repeated 2 x during times listed above, 15 min. break between each)

“Resilience Strategies for Faith-based org.” Breakout Session 2
8:30 am – 10:00 am; 10:15 am – 11:45 am
(*Each session repeated 2 x during times listed above, 15 min. break between each)

“Resilience Strategies for Native Americans” Breakout Session 3
8:30 am – 10:00 am; 10:15 am – 11:45 am
(*Each session repeated 2 x during times listed above, 15 min. break between each)

Lunch 12:00 pm – 1:15 pm (on your own)

“Resilience Strategies for Mental Health Professionals” Breakout Session 4
1:15 pm – 2:45 pm, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
(*Each session repeated 2 x during times listed above, 15 min. break between each)

“Resilience Strategies for Schools” Breakout Session 5
1:15 pm – 2:45 pm, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
(*Each session repeated 2 x during times listed above, 15 min. break between each)

“Resilience Strategies for Juvenile Justice, Judges, Family Law, Child Welfare, Family Violence, Law Enforcement” + more
Breakout Session 6
1:15 pm – 2:45 pm, 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm
(*Each session repeated 2 x during times listed above, 15 min. break between each)

*Conference ends at 4:30 pm

*Cancellation Policy: Full refund (less $30 processing fee) if cancelled 72 hours prior to the conference. No refund after this deadline.

Our own Board member, Dr. Arzubi, is changing Montana for good!

Billings Clinic aiming to get psych patients out of emergency rooms

All too often, patients in psychiatric crisis end up in a hospital emergency room where they have to wait sometimes for hours to receive care.

Once there, they get checked out by doctors and nurses and often wait to either receive treatment, sometimes resulting in admission to psychiatric department, or get discharged to go home.

With that in mind, Billings Clinic announced Monday that its Clinic Classic fundraiser would go toward expanding its psychiatric department while building a new psychiatric stabilization evaluation unit that would get patients out of the emergency department and in front of psychiatric health workers who can better meet their needs.

“We would have a psychiatric emergency service that is designed for psychiatric patients instead of jamming those patients into a medical room in the emergency department,” said Dr. Eric Arzubi, a child and adolescent psychiatrist and chair of Billings Clinic’s psychiatric department.


The Power of Collaboration & Connection to Build a Healthier Community – TRAINING COMPLETED


When: Friday, May 20th 2016
8:30am – 4:45pm
Kalispell Hilton Garden Inn (1840 US 93S)
Cost: $99 *Includes up to 6.5 CEU’s, OPI Renewal Units, Healthcare Provider Hours, & Child Care Provider Hours (pending approval)

Course Description:

ChildWise Institute & Intermountain present a Spring Conference 2016 focusing on the power of collaboration and connection to address the most critical public health issue of our time – Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs). Participants will hear from leading experts paving the way with effective and innovative collaborative tools, and learn from Montana community examples how to implement successful and effective collaborative approaches. The conference attendees will participate and connect with a unique network of peers in cross-sector learning groups, share collaborative challenges and gain practical tips, tools and “how-to” knowledge for immediate application in their own practice and community. Based on collective input, Ned Cooney, Facilitator/Consultant based out of Bigfork, will wrap-up the conference by leading attendees through a proven framework to develop their own actionable collaborative “plan” in which to utilize in their target communities. The objective of this conference is to identify, discuss and plan ways to expand community awareness of the impact of ACEs on health and mental health across the lifespan, identify new collaborative relationships (local or distant), and enhance existing ones though a workshop environment to create a plan of future actions.

We are expecting an engaged and lively cohort of professionals representing a broad sector including: Corporate and Small Business Executives, Workforce Development Professionals, Educators, Mental Health Professionals, Healthcare Providers, Health Reform Administrators, Juvenile Justice Professionals and Officers of the Court, Chemical Dependency Professionals, Policy Makers, Parents, Foster Parents, Early Care and Education Professionals, Leaders of Philanthropy and the Non-profit sectors.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify, discuss and plan ways to expand community awareness of the impact of ACEs and trauma on health and mental health across the lifespan.
  2.  Explore the power of community partnerships and collaborations to address ACEs and build resiliency.
  3. Identify new collaborative relationships (local or distant), and enhance existing ones through a workshop environment.
  4. Understand what trauma-informed care is and why it is important.
  5. Define the essential common activities that communities have used to become trauma-informed.
  6. Understand the purpose of the Consented Referral System and how it can better assist children, families, and individuals who are in need of a referral or multiple referrals to other agencies in the community.
  7. Introduce concepts of Project ECHO model.
  8. Discuss moving toward a trauma-informed community and the strategic framework needed to develop first steps toward a “plan of action”.

Who Should Attend?

Corporate and Small Business Executives, HR Directors, Workforce Development Professionals, Educators, Mental Health Professionals, Healthcare Providers, Health Reform Administrators, Juvenile Justice Professionals and Officers of the Court, Chemical Dependency Professionals, Policy Makers, Parents, Foster Parents, Early Care and Education Professionals, Leaders of Philanthropy and the Non-profit sectors.

Featured Speakers:


JaneJane Ellen Stevens, Founder and Publisher of the ACEs Connection Network. ACEs Connection, an online social network that accelerates the global movement toward recognizing the impact of Adverse Childhood Experiences on our children and youth, shaping adult behavior and health, and reforming all communities and institutions. From schools to prisons to hospitals and churches – they are helping to develop resilience, rather than to continue traumatizing already traumatized people. The network achieves this by creating a safe place and a trusted source where members share information, collaborate solutions and actions, explore resources, and access tools that help them. A journalist for more than 30 years, Stevens focuses on health, science and technology. Her articles have appeared in the Boston Globe, the New York Times, the Washington Post, the Los Angeles Times and National Geographic. She began reporting about the ACE Study and related research in 2005.

EricDr. Eric Arzubi, a child and adolescent psychiatrist, and Chair of the Department of Psychiatry at the Billings Clinic will give an overview of Project ECHO. ECHO (extension for community healthcare outcomes) model is the first of its kind in Montana. This model is a medical education and care management collaborative that empowers clinicians in remote settings to deliver better care to more people locally. This project puts local mental health and primary care clinicians together with a specialist team at larger medical centers in weekly virtual clinics or teleECHO clinics. Project ECHO shares knowledge, expands treatment capacity and offers peer support to otherwise regionally isolated clinicians.

PaulaPaula Hunthausen, Referral Coordinator, Youth in Crisis Grant Facilitator, Lewis & Clark Public Health will present on the Consented Referral System (CRS) implemented to ensure individuals and families are connected to the support services they need. CRS is a secure, web-based system for sending and receiving referrals and is administered by Lewis and Clark Public Health on behalf of and for the benefit of communities throughout the state. CRS is quick and easy to use. Who is Eligible to use CRS? It’s available statewide to social service agencies, both public and private, Schools, Medical and Mental Health providers, and any agency or individual offering a needed support service to families, children, and adults. CRS encourages continuity and coordination of care between agencies which translates into better care for clients. It also provides reports an agency can use to evaluate service delivery.

NedNed Cooney Facilitator/Consultant has been serving Montana organizations as an independent consulting practice since 2005. Ned specializes in organizational development and facilitation for nonprofits, community groups, public agencies, and businesses. Since 2012. Ned has served as facilitator for the Flathead Best Beginnings Community Council.

Most of his career has been in the nonprofit sector, as executive director, program staff, volunteer, and board member. Now, Ned serves many organizations by following his passion for helping people learn and make better decisions together. Ned’s company specializes in organizational planning, board education and development, program development, funding strategies, support for executives and board members, and meeting and retreat facilitation.

Ned is lucky to live in Bigfork, Montana with his lovely wife Cathy. Ned is a former member and Board Chair of the Board of Directors of the Montana Nonprofit Association and has served as a member of MNA’s Nonprofit Public Policy Council since its start in 2006. Ned is adjunct faculty at Flathead Valley Community College in nonprofit and board development topics, and formerly taught in the Nonprofit Management Certificate program at University of California, Riverside.

NathanNathan Stahley, holds a BA in Business Management and currently coordinates a community grant-based project focused on the development of systems for trauma response and education in Yellowstone County. He works on behalf of the Alliance (Billings Clinic, St. Vincent Healthcare, and RiverStone Health) in conjunction with Healthy By Design, a community-wide coalition. Nathan is passionate about public health and previously worked as a Prevention Health Specialist at RiverStone Health, the local health department. While his current focus is coordinating local trauma-informed care efforts rooted in the ACE (Adverse Childhood Experiences) Study, he has also worked on suicide prevention and tobacco prevention. He currently chairs the Suicide Prevention Coalition of Yellowstone Valley and is a certified Gatekeeper Instructor in Question Persuade Refer (QPR), national best practice training for suicide prevention.


Friday May 20, 2016

8:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m. Jane Ellen Stevens – Keynote Address “ACEs Connection”
10:00 a.m. – 10:15 a.m. Break
10:15 a.m. – 11:00 p.m. Small Group Discussion/Activity
11:00 p.m. – 12:00 p.m. Paula Hunthausen – Consented Referral System
12:00 p.m. – 1:15 p.m. Lunch (on your own)
1:15 p.m. – 2:00 p.m. Nathan Stahley – The Billings Alliance
2:00 p.m. – 2:45 p.m. Dr. Eric Arzubi – Project ECHO
2:45 p.m. – 3:00 p.m. Break
3:00 p.m. – 3:45 p.m. Small Group Discussion/Activity
3:45 p.m. – 4:45 p.m. Ned Cooney – Now What? From Understanding to Vision through Action

Maltreated children’s brains show ‘encouraging’ ability to regulate emotions.

Fascinating article by Deborah Bach from the University of Washington… especially if you’re a therapist to children and their families! Here’s a glimpse of why you should read this article:

Children who have been abused or exposed to other types of trauma typically experience more intense emotions than their peers, a byproduct of living in volatile, dangerous environments.

But what if those kids could regulate their emotions? Could that better help them cope with difficult situations? Would it impact how effective therapy might be for them?

A University of Washington-led team of researchers sought to address those questions by studying what happens in the brains of maltreated adolescents when they viewed emotional images and then tried to control their responses to them. The researchers found that with a little guidance, maltreated children have a surprising ability to regulate their emotions.

Regions of the brain where maltreated children had greater activity than non-maltreated children when looking at negative images.

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