Confirmed Keynote and Plenary Presentations 

Monday, March 5, 2018 

A Vision for Moving Health Care in the United States Toward a 'Prevention-Based Society'
Vivek Murthy, MD, 19th Surgeon General of the United States

murthyDr. Vivek Murthy served as the 19th Surgeon General of the United States (from December 2014 to April 2017). As The Nation’s Doctor, he brought both passion and innovation to the challenges of leading America’s national healthcare initiatives. Throughout his career, Dr. Murthy has led the way in medical education, social action, and healthcare dialogue. He has co-founded several healthcare community organizations and grassroots citizen movements, including Visions, a peer-to-peer HIV/AIDS education program in India and the United States that reached tens of thousands of students and Swasthya, a community health partnership that trained women in small villages in India to become healthcare providers and educators. He also co-founded TrialNetworks, a software company that developed collaborative technology for accelerating clinical trials, and a nonprofit organization, Doctors for America, that organized physicians in all 50 states to advocate for high quality, affordable health care for all.

As the Surgeon General, he issued the first Surgeon General’s Report on Substance Use and Addiction, calling the nation to action to address this deadly disease. He launched the national TurnTheTide campaign to address the opioid crisis, and he was the first Surgeon General to issue a letter to health professionals across America calling them to action to reduce opioid addiction and overdose deaths. His final Surgeon General’s Report was on E-cigarettes and Youth and was the first federal report on the topic. As Vice Admiral of the Public Health Commissioned Corps, Dr. Murthy was the youngest active duty flag officer in federal uniformed service.

Dr. Murthy brings a unique, nonpartisan perspective and deep experience to the debate about healthcare reform. He understands the concerns of all the stakeholders and how the system works — and how it could work better. Dr. Murthy emphasizes emotional wellbeing as the unexpected key to a healthier and stronger America. He talks about the science behind emotional well-being and it’s implications for the addiction crisis in America, chronic disease, community violence, education, creativity, workplace productivity, and educational outcomes.

Before serving as Surgeon General, Dr. Murthy practiced and taught internal medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital and Harvard Medical School. He also has an MBA from Yale.

Monday, March 5, 2018 

A Troubling Prognosis: Race Disparities and Health Outcomes
Garth Graham, MD, MPH, 
President, Aetna Foundation

grahamGarth Graham, MD, MPH, is president of the Aetna Foundation. In his role, Dr. Graham is responsible for the Foundation’s philanthropic work, including its grant-making strategies to improve the health of people from underserved communities and increase their access to high-quality health care.

Dr. Graham previously served as deputy assistant secretary in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, where he also led the Office of Minority Health. His numerous achievements include implementing key health equity provisions of the Affordable Care Act and guiding the development of the first federal action plan to eliminate health disparities under the Obama administration.

Immediately prior to joining the Aetna Foundation, Dr. Graham was the assistant dean for health policy and chief of health services research at the University of Florida School of Medicine in Gainesville. There he was the principal investigator on a number of grants related to improving health outcomes in underserved populations.

Dr. Graham is a widely recognized researcher, writer and editor on health disparities. He has authored articles that have been published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Health Affairs and Circulation. He has served on the faculty of the University of Florida School of Medicine and Harvard Medical School. He has also served on a number of boards including Institute of Medicine Board on Population Health, World Health Organization Scientific Group on Equity Analysis and Research, Board of Directors of Physicians for Human Rights and he was appointed to the Federal Coordinating Council on Comparative Effectiveness Research. He was also named the Distinguished Millennium Visiting Scholar at Columbia University.

Dr. Graham holds a medical degree from Yale School of Medicine, a master’s in public health from Yale School of Public Health and a bachelor of science in biology from Florida International University in Miami. He completed clinical training at Massachusetts General Hospital and Johns Hopkins where he trained in cardiology and interventional cardiology. He holds three board certifications including internal medicine, cardiology and interventional cardiology. He also serves as an Associate Professor of Medicine at the University Of Connecticut School Of Medicine.

Tuesday, March 6, 2018 

Equity in Practice, One Child at a Time: Emotional Support in The Lives of Marginalized Young People
Victor Rios, PhD, Professor, Department of Sociology, University of California, Santa Barbara

riosDr. Victor Rios is a Professor in the Department of Sociology at the University of California, Santa Barbara. His book, Punished: Policing the Lives of Black and Latino Boys (NYU Press 2011), analyzes how juvenile crime policies, punitive policing, and criminalization affect the everyday lives of urban male youth. Professor Rios conducts research on inner-city youth experiences with policing, education, and adversity. His forthcoming book Human Targets: Schools, Police, and The Culture of Control (forthcoming with University of Chicago Press) examines the quality of interactions between gang associated youths and authority figures across institutional settings. He received his Ph.D. at the University of California Berkeley in 2005. Professor Rios has worked with local school districts to develop programs and curricula aimed at improving the quality of interactions between authority figures and youths. Using his personal experience of living on the streets, dropping out of school, and being incarcerated as a juvenile—along with his research findings—he has developed interventions for marginalized youths aimed at promoting personal transformation and civic engagement. These programs have been implemented in Los Angeles, California (Watts); juvenile detention facilities; and alternative high schools. He is also the author of Project GRIT: Generating Resilience to Inspire Transformation (2016); Street Life: Poverty, Gangs, and a Ph.D. (2011); and Buscando Vida, Encontrando Éxito: La Fuerza de La Cultura Latina en la Educación (2016).

 Tuesday, March 6, 2018 

Plenary Presentation

Can You Afford (Not) to Improve Workforce Development for Providers Working with Youth and Young Adults?

Janet Walker, PhD, School of Social Work and the Regional Research Institute at Portland State University in Portland, OR; Ashli J. Sheidow, PhD, Senior Research Scientist, Oregon Social Learning Center, Eugene, OR; Malisa Pearson, Project Coordinator, Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA), Lansing, MI; Johanna Bergan, Executive Director, Youth MOVE National; Caitlin Baird, Research Assistant and Trainer, Pathways Research and Training Center, Portland State University, Portland, OR

About the Presenters

janetJanet Walker, Ph.D., is a Research Professor in the School of Social Work and the Regional Research Institute at Portland State University in Portland, Oregon. Currently, she serves as Director of the Research and Training Center on Pathways to Positive Futures—a multi-project research center focused on improving outcomes for older adolescents and young adults with serious mental health conditions—and Co-Director of the National Wraparound Initiative and the National Wraparound Implementation Center, as well as Principal Investigator on a number of other grants and contracts. Dr. Walker’s research aims to improve outcomes for children, youth, and young adults who experience serious mental health conditions. Her work focuses on developing and evaluating interventions based on principles of positive development and recovery, and on improving organizational and system capacity to implement and sustain effective interventions through workforce development and the use of fidelity and quality assurance tools. Dr. Walker’s research and related activities are guided by a commitment to collaborating with stakeholders, particularly including young people who have received services and supports intended to meet their mental health and related needs; and the families of these young people.

ashliAshli J. Sheidow, Ph.D., is a Senior Research Scientist at the Oregon Social Learning Center (OSLC). Prior to joining OSLC, she was Professor in the Family Services Research Center of the Medical University of South Carolina. She received her Ph.D. in 2001 in clinical psychology from the University of Illinois at Chicago, where she trained at the Institute for Juvenile Research and Cook County Hospital. Dr. Sheidow researches treatments for mental health and substance abuse problems in adolescents and emerging adults, particularly those who have co-occurring problems. She’s also focused on effective dissemination of evidence-based practices, particularly training practices for community-based counselors. Her interests have focused broadly on the development, prevention, and treatment of adolescent and young adult psychopathology and delinquency from an ecological perspective, with concentrations in co-occurring disorders, effective dissemination and implementation of evidence-based practices, and advanced quantitative methods. Her work, funded primarily by NIDA and NIMH, has included intervention development and evaluation projects, as well as services and implementation research.

Recent publications include: Parent and Youth Engagement in Court-Mandated Substance Use Disorder Treatment; Evidence-Based Psychosocial Treatments for Adolescents with Disruptive Behavior; Juvenile Justice, Mental Health, and the Transition to Adulthood: A Review of Service System Involvement and Unmet Needs; and Multisystemic Therapy for Emerging Adults (MST-EA) with Serious Mental Illness and Justice Involvement.

malisaMalisa Pearson is the parent of two children; ages 18 and 22; both of whom have behavioral health needs. Ms. Pearson’s experiences accessing services and supports for her children, coupled with her years of experience working within a family-run organization, have given her the insight, skills, and understanding necessary to be an effective family leader in the field of Children’s Mental Health for the past 17+ years. Malisa currently works as a Project Coordinator for the Family-Run Executive Director Leadership Association (FREDLA). FREDLA is a national family-run nonprofit whose mission is to strengthen the leadership and organizational capacity of family-run organizations. 

johannaJohanna Bergan, (YMN) is an advocate for youth with lived experience in the mental health system who is now working in the field of youth engagement to promote and encourage the inclusion of youth voice in policy change. Ms. Bergan has nine years of experience advocating for important changes in the mental health system to improve the care options and treatment availability for youth adults with mental health challenges. Her voice has been heard on several national platforms including advising technical assistance and research and training centers which support and promote the value of youth voice.  As the Executive Director for Youth MOVE National, Ms. Bergan assists chapters of the Youth MOVE network in creating and promoting successful youth driven organizations working to unite the voices and causes of youth at the local, state and national level. This work covers a diverse array of expertise areas including youth engagement in systems change, policy, youth adult partnerships, issues specific to transition aged youth, youth leadership, youth driven evaluation, and applying lived-experience as a resource to inform policy and systems change.  Ms. Bergan intentionally provides ongoing support, coaching, and mentoring to emerging youth leaders and the leaders of youth driven organization to further strengthen the national youth movement. 

caitlinCaitlin Baird is a Research Assistant and Trainer at the Pathways Research and Training Center at Portland State University. Caitlin has experience as a youth peer support specialist, wraparound and systems of care trainer, and a trainer and coach for youth-driven practices. As a young adult, Caitlin struggled with mental health challenges and finding services that met her needs. These experiences motivate her work today to improve systems that serve youth with serious mental health challenges. 


Wednesday, March 7, 2018 

Addressing the Impact of a Changing Health Care Environment through Behavioral Health Research and Policy

Larke Huang, PhD, Director, Office of Behavioral Health Equity, Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration, Rockville, MD


Dr. Larke Huang will discuss the impact of a changing health care environment on behavioral health evaluators, researchers, policy-makers and practitioners. With the increasingly difficult economic climate facing our nation, it is imperative that research and policy leaders examine effective approaches to serving children with behavioral health challenges and their families. Now, more than ever, it is critical that we begin a national discussion on funding strategies that support an evidence-based approach to meeting the behavioral health needs of children and families.

Larke Nahme Huang, PhD,a licensed clinical-community psychologist, is a Senior Advisor in the Administrator’s Office of Policy Planning and Innovation at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. In this position she provides leadership on national policy for mental health and substance use issues for children, adolescents and families and leads the Administrator’s strategic initiative on Trauma and Justice. She is also the Director of SAMHSA’s Office of Behavioral Health Equity which was legislated by the 2010 health reform legislation. In 2009, she did a six months leadership exchange at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) where she was the Senior Advisor on Mental Health.

For the past 26 years, Dr. Huang has worked at the interface of practice, research and policy. She has assumed multiple leadership roles dedicated to improving the lives of children, families and communities. She has been a community mental health practitioner, a faculty member at the University of California, Berkeley and Georgetown University, and a research director at the American Institutes for Research. She has worked with states and communities to build systems of care for children with serious emotional and behavioral disorders. She has developed programs for underserved, culturally and linguistically diverse populations, evaluated community-based programs, and authored books and articles. In 2003, Huang served as an appointed Commissioner on the President’s New Freedom Commission on Mental Health.

Recent publications include: Children of Color: Psychological Interventions with Culturally Diverse YouthTransforming Mental Health Care for Children and Their FamiliesThe Influence of Race and Ethnicity on Psychiatric Diagnoses and Clinical Characteristics of Children and Adolescents in Children’s Service; and Co-Occurring Disorders of Adolescents in Primary Care: Closing the Gaps.

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