Presenter Bios – Pre-Con Session A

Pre-conference sessions are open to registered conference participants. Come in early and join us!


Pre-Conference Session A

Sunday, March 3, 2019
1:00 pm – 3:00 pm

Developing a Strategic Communications Plan to Advance Policy, Research, and Practice
Jeana Bracey, Phd, Director of School and Community Initiatives; Julie Tacinelli, Vice President for Communications; Jeffrey Vanderploeg, PhD, President and Chief Executive Officer, Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut, Farmington, CT

In this two-hour interactive workshop, the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI) will help organizations to develop and apply effective communication strategies to advance their overall mission and goals of improving children’s behavioral health. Workshop participants will learn how to develop elements of a strategic communications plan, including goal setting, identification of core audiences, implementation of effective strategies, development of clear messaging, and evaluation of key metrics and indicators of success. CHDI will share examples of how we have developed and utilized products such as videos, public events, reports and publications, media outreach, and social media across local and national audiences to inform policy and practice change.

Designed for representatives of academic departments, research centers, service providers, community organizations, and advocacy groups, participants will meet the following learning objectives:

  • Review their organization’s mission, vision, and values
  • Identify key audiences for reaching target goals
  • Develop SMART goals and communications objectives
  • Apply strategic communications framework to strengthen messaging and impact.

About the Presenters

Jeana R. Bracey, PhD
Dr. Bracey is Director of School and Community Initiatives at the Child Health and Development Institute of Connecticut (CHDI). She oversees several school and community-based systems development activities and her work focuses on developing effective systems, policies, and best practices to improve behavioral health outcomes for children, youth, and families through school-family-community partnerships. Currently she coordinates the CT School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI), a model designed to reduce school-based arrests among youth and to improve linkages to appropriate community-based services and supports. She also directs the Connecticut Network of Care Transformation (CONNECT), a four-year SAMHSA-funded Systems of Care initiative, where she oversees planning and implementation of an integrated statewide Network of Care for children’s behavioral health. While she officially joined the CHDI staff in July 2011, Dr. Bracey has worked with CHDI since 2008 through her predoctoral internship and postdoctoral fellowship at The Consultation Center at Yale University. She earned her PhD in Clinical/Community Psychology in 2010 from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

Julie Tacinelli
Julie Tacinelli is the Vice President for Communications at CHDI where she oversees communications strategy and outreach. She joined CHDI in 2012. She began her career in Washington, DC working in politics and government, including for the Clinton Administration at the White House Domestic Policy Council. Later, Ms. Tacinelli promoted women’s sports opportunities through the WNBA’s Washington Mystics and went on to lead a media outreach team for the National Youth Anti-Drug Media Campaign to help reduce youth drug use nationwide. She earned her bachelor’s degree in political science from Bryn Mawr College in 1992.

Jeffrey J. Vanderploeg, PhD
Dr. Jeff Vanderploeg is President and Chief Executive Officer of CHDI. Since joining CHDI in 2009 as a Program Associate, Dr. Vanderploeg has played a central role in developing effective policies, systems, and practices for the prevention and treatment of mental health conditions among children and adolescents and their families. He was the lead author of the Connecticut Children’s Behavioral Health Plan, a comprehensive blueprint for addressing the behavioral health needs of youth, which has remained a significant guiding framework for state-wide reform. He was also the co-developer of the Connecticut School-Based Diversion Initiative (SBDI) model and was instrumental in creating a quality improvement system for the state’s mobile crisis system. Dr. Vanderploeg serves on several statewide committees and councils in children’s behavioral health policy development. He holds faculty appointments in Psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and the University of Connecticut Health Center School of Medicine. He earned his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from Bowling Green State University, completed Predoctoral and Postdoctoral training at Yale University School of Medicine, and was a research faculty member at Yale before joining CHDI in 2009.


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