General Sessions

Wednesday, September 6, 2017 1:00 PM - 2:30 PM

Plenary 1: Why Do We Have the VA System… And What’s Rural Got to Do With It?

Harold Kudler and Sonja Norman, Department of Veteran's Affairs

This plenary session will provide a brief history of the Veteran’s Administration, its reason for existing and the importance of its mission for Rural America.

Harold Kudler serves as VA’s Chief Consultant for Mental Health Services. He received his M.D. from Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, trained in Psychiatry at Yale and is Adjunct Associate Professor at Duke. Harold co-chaired VA’s Special Committee on PTSD which reports to Congress and founded the International Society for Traumatic Stress Studies’ (ISTSS) PTSD Practice Guidelines taskforce and has served on the ISTSS Board of Directors. He co-led development of the joint VA/Department of Defense Guideline for the Management of Posttraumatic Stress and serves as advisor to Sesame Street’s Talk Listen Connect series for military families.

Sonya Norman, PhD, is clinical psychologist and directs the PTSD Consultation Program at the VA National Center for PTSD. She is also an Associate Professor of Psychiatry at the University of California, San Diego. Sonya previously directed the PTSD clinic for Veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan at the San Diego VA and is a VA certified Prolonged Exposure consultant and Cognitive Processing Therapy therapist. She conducts research on PTSD treatment and has over 50 publications related to PTSD and associated problems. Sonja has a grant to compare exposure therapy to coping skills therapy for treating comorbid PTSD and alcohol use disorder. She received her PhD from Stanford University.

Thursday, September 7, 2017 8:30 AM - 9:30 AM

Plenary 2: Housing the Hardest to Serve in Rural Communities: Innovations and Best Practices

Jenn Lopez (Project Moxie and Cardinal Capital) and Zoe Lebeau (LeBeau Development, LLC)

This session will provide an overview of housing resources available in rural communities and best practices in developing housing first models for SMI and homeless populations. Specifically, participants will learn about effective partnerships with housing authorities and development entities, how to identify available housing resources and key programmatic elements in the design of supportive housing programs in rural communities. Several rural project examples will be shared including projects co-developed with tribal entities.

Jenn Lopez is president of a small consulting firm, Project Moxie, and also works with Cardinal Capital on supportive housing developments throughout the Southwest. Prior to these roles Jenn was the Director of Homeless Initiatives for Governor John W. Hickenlooper. Jenn worked across state agencies to implement outcome-based policies and programs that prevent and end homelessness in Colorado. Her initiatives included managing the Pathways Home Supportive Housing Toolkit, implementing the first-ever Medicaid Academy to train service providers on ways to bill Medicaid for supportive services, serving as a social innovation bond fellow through the Sorenson Impact Center at the University of Utah, sponsoring the Coming Home Colorado Action Lab series to reduce veteran’s homelessness in Colorado and managing a joint underwriting initiative between the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority and the Colorado Division of Housing (CDOH) to increase permanent supportive housing statewide. Her efforts resulted in over 200 million in housing investments and over 530 units of Permanent Supportive Housing investments over 2 years.

Zoe LeBeau, is the President of LeBeau Development LLC, a woman owned small business that specializes in assisting communities to develop, manage and provide quality harm reduction focused services in supportive housing around the country. Over the last eight years, LeBeau development has helped to develop over 250 Permanent Supportive Housing Projects across the country. Zoe has been working in communities around issues of homelessness since 1995. Her work has involved direct service, program and housing development, and training and technical assistance. In 1999, she started an employment program in a large transitional housing program that included a Woman in Construction Training Program targeting homeless, low-income women and training them in construction trades. In 2001 Zoe became the Development Director of Women’s Community Development Organization, a non-profit that develop, owns, manages and provides services to 100 units of transitional and permanent supportive housing. In 2005, Zoe started working at the Corporation for Supportive Housing as the Greater Minnesota Program Officer. Her work included providing technical assistance, training and development assistance in order to build a pipeline of permanent supportive housing projects in rural communities, small towns and tribal nations around the state and nationally.

Friday, September 8, 2017 8:30 AM - 11:30 AM

Where Rural Health Stands in the Current Washington Healthcare Debates: The Challenges and Opportunities Ahead Keynote and Panel Discussion

Keynote: Alan Morgan, BJ (National Rural Health Association); Panel Moderator: Ron Manderscheid, PhD (NACBHDD); Panel members: Alan Morgan. BJ (NRHA); Wayne Lindstrom, PhD (New Mexico Division of BHS); Nick Macchione, FACHE (County of San Diego); Noel O'Neill. LMFT (Trinity County Behavioral Health Services)

This is a combined session with NARMH, CIBHS (California Institute for Behavioral Health Solutions) and CBHDA (County BH Directors Association of California). Alan Morgan, the CEO of the National Rural Health Association (NHRA) will share his insights on the federal scene and impacts emerging for rural health and behavioral health. Alan will then join a panel, moderated by Ron Manderscheid, to have a dialogue about the federal landscape relating to rural health and behavioral health and how that in playing out through the lens of rural communities.

Alan Morgan joined NRHA staff in 2001. He has more than 20 years of experience in health policy development at the state and federal level. He previously worked for U.S. Congressman Dick Nichols and former Kansas Gov. Mike Hayden. Alan’s experience also includes tenures with the American Society of Clinical Pathologists and the Heart Rhythm Society, where he established a D.C.-based government affairs office. Prior to joining NRHA, he served as a federal lobbyist for VHA Inc. Alan’s health policy articles have been published in The Journal of Rural Health, The Journal of Cardiovascular Management, The Journal of Pacing and Clinical Electrophysiology, Cardiac Electrophysiology Review and Laboratory Medicine. He also served as a co-author for the 6th edition of “Policy and Politics in Nursing and Health Care.” He earned a bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Kansas and a master’s degree in public administration from George Mason University. In 2011, he was selected by readers of Modern Healthcare as one of the top 100 most influential people in health care.

Wayne Lindstrom serves as the Director of BHSD and the CEO of the BH Collaborative for the State of New Mexico. His last position was the president and CEO of Mental Health America (MHA). Wayne has 46 years of behavioral health experience and his doctoral degree is from Case Western Reserve University and his MSW from the University of Pittsburgh. Before joining Mental Health America, he was the CEO of a children’s behavioral health provider organization in Ohio and managed a national organizational development consulting practice. His organizational clients included public authorities, service providers, health systems, pharma, and private companies. In the 1980’s he directed addiction services for the State of Ohio and subsequently held a variety of leadership positions in managed behavioral health care. He went on to function nationally as the Director of Public Sector Operations for United Behavioral Health (UBH) which included overseeing the implementation of public sector contracts. His career began in the 1970’s when he served in the United States Air Force where he implemented and managed a drug treatment program during the Vietnam War. He has worked in community mental health settings, hospitals, emergency departments, corporate environments, and private practice while also teaching at the undergraduate and graduate levels.

Nick Macchione has 30 years’ experience in the delivery, management and public policy of health and human services, Nick serves as San Diego County’s Director of the Health and Human Services Agency. He directs a professional workforce of 6,200 employees with a $2+ billion annual operating budget, including 166 citizen advisory boards/commissions and 1,000 contracted community service providers. Under his leadership, the Agency has earned state and national recognition for its innovative, cost effective solutions in improving the health, safety and well-being for its one million clients.

Noel J. O’Neill, LMFT, has been the Agency Director for Trinity County Behavioral Health Services since 2008. Prior to Trinity County he worked in various management and direct provider positions for Mendocino County for 23 years. Noel Co-Chaired the Small Counties Committee for the County Behavioral Health Directors Association (CBHDA) and served on its Executive Team for six years. He is currently serving a second term as a member of the California Mental Health Planning Council. Noel has been a nine-year commissioner on both the Trinity County First Five and the Mendocino County Juvenile Justice Commissions.