Discovering Greatness in Ourselves, Organizations, and Communities

May 9, 2024


Cost: $75/per person.
Tickets include a full day of personal and professional development, with light breakfast and lunch provided.

*Limited scholarships available. If interested, submit inquiry HERE.

Since 2011, The Yampa Valley Wellness conference has drawn participants from professional backgrounds such as behavioral health and associated disciplines, non-profit organizations, education, and business, as well as interested community members in Routt County and beyond. During presentations, experts share cutting edge information, methods, and tools to support the work and lives of participants.

We’re excited to be holding the Wellness Conference at a new venue this year – Strings Music Pavilion. We will not have breakout sessions as we have in the past, but instead, every attendee will have the opportunity to participate in ALL conference sessions. We have an exciting lineup of experiential presentations and workshops to help you learn and apply new wellness practices in real time. We’re so thrilled for you to experience this new format of the Wellness Conference.

Schedule at a glance:

  • 7:45am-8:30am Registration
    light breakfast and coffee will be available
  • 8:30am-8:45am Welcome
  • 8:45am-10am Presentation 1
    Sue Schneider, PhD:
    Going on a bear hunt and other lessons in mindfulness, compassion, and resilience
  • 10:15-10:20am Self-Care in Seconds
    Amanda Buckner
  • 10:20am-11:35am Presentation 2
    Kerrie Joy, Adams County Poet Laureate:
    The Art of Daydreaming
  • 11:35am-12:10pm Lunch
  • 12:10pm-1:10pm Presentation 3
    Nicole Mes Cotter, MD, FACR, ABOIM:
    The Intersection of Medicine, Lifestyle, and Community

  • 1:25pm-2:40pm Presentation 4
    Anthony (Tony) Edelblute, LPC, MT-BC & Hillary Sinn, LPC, R-DMT and Somatic Psychotherapist:
    Resilience Through Creativity & Connection: The CORAL Program

  • 2:55-3pm Self-Care in Seconds
    Amanda Buckner
  • 3pm-4:15pm  Presentation 5
    Jerry Hernandez:
    Cultural Humility
  • 4:15pm-4:30pm Closing Remarks
  • 4:45pm-6pm Bonus Session
    Meghan Francone, MHA, BS SLP/Aud., FI, CISM:
    Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR) suicide prevention training

2024 Presenters:


Sue Schneider, Ph.D. (she/her)

Extension Professor and State Health Specialist
Colorado State University Office of Engagement and Extension

Going on a bear hunt and other lessons in mindfulness, compassion, and resilience

In our precarious, conflicted world, it is easy to experience overwhelm as we go about our daily lives. When obstacles show up, our instinct may be to distract and avoid, rather than facing what is difficult. Yet, life may require something different from us in order to grow. As a child’s tale about a bear hunt wisely instructs: “We can’t go over it, We can’t go under it, We’re just gonna have to go through it.” As daunting as facing life’s challenges can be, the inner resources that we need to tap into our strength, courage, and resilience are readily available to help us navigate even the most difficult circumstances.

In this experiential workshop, we will explore our inner resources like mindfulness and compassion, specifically delving into practices that support the five mind states essential to emotional resilience – Calm, Centered, Curious, Caring, and Connected. Drawing from perspectives within psychology, neurobiology, and contemplative science, participants will be introduced to tools that can help us stay present with difficult emotions, decrease our reactivity, build stress resilience, and create new pathways for compassionate self-care. We will find that this inner work contributes directly to what we bring to our homes, organizations, and communities, and it is at the heart of our capacity for discovering greatness within ourselves and around us.

Sue Schneider, Ph.D., is a medical anthropologist, integrative health coach, certified meditation instructor, and author. She leads community health and wellness initiatives across Colorado as an Extension Professor and State Health Specialist with Colorado State University’s Office of Engagement and Extension and is a faculty member of the Colorado School of Public Health.
For the last decade, Sue has been teaching mindfulness in university and community settings across the country and has been implementing and evaluating community health programs for over 20 years. She is the author of  Meeting the Moment with Kindness: How Mindfulness Can Help us Find Calm, Stability, and an Open Heart.


Photographer: Ryan Landell

Kerrie Joy (she/her/hers)

Adams County Poet Laureate

The Art of Daydreaming

Our dreams are power. Sometimes, creating a world that we all deserve begins with the simplicity of resting, opening your mind’s eye, and exploring your imagination. Through the guiding words of Tricia Hersey and Thich Nhat Hanh, the vibrations of sound healing, and the creative energy of Kerrie Joy, let us journey inward together and learn just how powerful we already are.

Kerrie Joy is a poet, singer/songwriter, storyteller, educator, and revolutionary. She is based in Denver, CO where she channels her creativity through poetry, hip-hop, song, graphic design, and fashion. She is an organizer of ideas and a facilitator of critical thinking through art. Kerrie Joy has performed at Red Rocks, TEDx Mile High, City Winery DC, Atlanta, & Charlotte, the Denver Womxn’s March, Dazzle Denver, The Soiled Dove Underground and much more. In 2022 Kerrie Joy was named the Creative-in-Residence at the Denver Art Museum and continues to challenge herself as a master creator. In 2023, Kerrie Joy made history as she was named the Inaugural Poet of Adams County, CO. She recently released her very first EP “ ‘Preachin’ To Myself” and is working on her next project, focused on love, to be released soon. Learn more at www.kerriejoy.com.


Nicole Mes Cotter, MD, FACR, ABOIM (she/her)

Board-certified Rheumatologist and Integrative Medicine Physician

The Intersection of Medicine, Lifestyle, and Community

There is more to health than what is found in a doctor’s office or hospital. Most of what keeps us healthy are the things to which we are exposed and surrounded by in our daily lives. Optimal Health can be found at the intersection of modern medicine, lifestyle, and community.

Dr. Nicole Cotter is an Integrative Rheumatologist practicing in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.  She is a graduate of the University of the South (Sewanee) and Louisiana State University School of Medicine. She completed a residency in Internal Medicine at Baylor College of Medicine in the Texas Medical Center of Houston, was inducted into the Alpha Omega Alpha Honor Medical Society after nomination by the Baylor medical students for excellence in teaching, and returned to Louisiana for a fellowship in Rheumatology where she was Chief Fellow in her final year.  She has been in private practice Rheumatology since 2009.  Because of her belief that there is more to health than what is learned in medical school, she completed a fellowship in Integrative Medicine through The University of Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine and was a recipient of the Jones/Lovell scholarship in Integrative Rheumatology.  Dr. Cotter is one of the few Integrative Rheumatologists in the country.

Professional Affiliations: UCHealth, Yampa Valley Medical Center, American Board of Internal Medicine, American Board of Integrative Medicine, American College of Rheumatology


Anthony (Tony) Edelblute, LPC, MT-BC (he/him) &
Hillary Sinn, LPC, R-DMT and Somatic Psychotherapist (she/her) 

Resilience Through Creativity and Connection: The CORAL Program

In this presentation, we will present on the work of the Colorado Resiliency Arts Lab (CORAL), and its research studying the efficacy of creative arts in reducing burnout and increasing resilience in healthcare workers. The presentation will combine information and research outcomes of the program with demonstrations and experiential activities to illustrate the work done in the research protocols. The major theme that has come from this research is the efficacy of combining creative expression with a sense of community in reducing anxiety and depression, and increasing employee retention.

Tony Edelblute, LPC, MT-BC has worked as a Music Therapist and psychotherapist at Children’s Hospital Colorado since 2003, and previously for HospiceCare of Boulder County.  As a member of the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapies Program, he has worked with children with psychiatric and medical diagnoses in units throughout the hospital. From 2013-19, he also co-led the CHCO mental health Youth Action Board, guiding Denver-area teens through the creation of advocacy projects related to de-stigmatizing mental health issues. He led DBT groups for a decade, and is a member of the CORAL research team, working to reduce burnout in health-care workers.

Hillary Sinn, LPC, R-DMT received her MA in Somatic Counseling Psychology, with a specialization in Dance/Movement Therapy, from Naropa University in 2013. Previously she studied dance and theatre at Sarah Lawrence College in New York and went on to work as a professional actress. Most recently she worked as a dance/movement therapist at Children’s Hospital Colorado with the Ponzio Creative Arts Therapy Program and then as a clinical therapist in a community clinic in Denver. With her background in performance and career in mental health, Hillary is passionate about supporting others to remember that their first home is their body. She works in private practice in Aurora, CO and is a member of the CORAL research team studying how participation in the arts supports resilience.


Jerry Hernandez (he/él)

Executive Director and DEI Practitioner for Integrated Community

Cultural Humility

In this insightful session, Jerry Hernandez will explore the application of Cultural Humility principles to enhance healthcare outcomes. He will demonstrate how embracing Cultural Humility can lead to more effective, inclusive, and equitable healthcare services. By acknowledging and addressing biases, fostering mutual respect, and continuously learning from diverse communities, healthcare professionals can significantly improve patient care. Jerry will share practical strategies for integrating Cultural Humility into healthcare practices, showcasing its impact on building trust, promoting understanding, and ultimately improving health outcomes for all community members. Attendees will leave with actionable insights on advancing healthcare through the lens of cultural respect and inclusivity.”

Jerry Hernandez, Executive Director of Integrated Community, brings over two decades of dedicated service in the non-profit sector, with a strong focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) practices. As a seasoned DEI Practitioner, Jerry has spearheaded initiatives aimed at fostering inclusive environments within healthcare settings, both domestically and internationally. His extensive work with international NGOs has been pivotal in advancing healthcare services and accessibility in underserved communities. Jerry’s commitment to health equity and his innovative approach to integrating the principles of cultural humility into healthcare practices have made him a respected leader and advocate in the field. 


Amanda Buckner

Milieu Manager at The Foundry, Auricular Acupuncture Technician and Certified AYP Yoga Instructor

Self-Care in Seconds

In today’s fast-paced world, it’s easy to overlook the importance of prioritizing our mental and physical well-being. However, by incorporating simple yet effective techniques into our daily routines, we can unlock our full potential and discover the greatness that resides within each of us.

Between conference sessions, we’ll spend a few minutes together delving into practical strategies of self-care, mindfulness, and resetting. We’ll explore a variety of methods tailored to suit different preferences and lifestyles that can be implemented in just a few moments, allowing for rejuvenation and mental clarity throughout the day.

Amanda Buckner joined the Foundry Treatment Center Steamboat Spring in September 2015 where she has served in numerous roles, and currently works as Milieu Manager, supporting a trauma-informed integrated care approach. She has facilitated multiple programs for Foundry clients and staff that have focused on building cross agency and community partnerships, employee wellness, and lasting recovery from addiction. Amanda is an Auricular Acupuncture Technician and certified AYP yoga instructor emphasizing trauma-informed yoga. She is passionate about cultivating connections, collaborations, and self-care practices and environments for individuals to uncover their true potential.


Bonus Session

FREE – conference attendance not required

Question, Persuade, Refer (QPR)

What does QPR mean? 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.

Through her personal and professional experiences and careers, Meghan seeks to promote the notion that every individual has the right to a safe, productive, and responsible life. Mental Health and Addiction challenges are largely present in Moffat County as Moffat County has some of Colorado’s highest rates of domestic violence, alcoholism and suicide. Meghan realizes the need for agencies to come together to create established referral processes to widen safety frameworks for individuals in crisis and is passionate about being a part of positive effective movements towards this outcome. Restoring hope to the hopeless has, does and will save lives.

Meghan Francone (she/her/hers) is the Moffat County Coordinator for Reaching Everyone Preventing Suicide (REPS). She has also been a Master Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training Trainer (ASIST), safeTALK and Question, Persuade, and Refer (QPR) Trainer since 2011. In this role she has trained over 7,150 individuals in multiple counties in evidence-based suicide prevention and intervention skills. Meghan has been a certified Forensic Interviewer since 2020.

2024 Sponsors

Interested in Sponsorship Opportunities? Email: sgainsley@ncchealthpartnership.org

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