ReConnected: From Separation and Loneliness to Connection.


Thursday, April 27th
Steamboat Grand Hotel, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Check-in 7:45am, Conference 8am-4pm

*Limited scholarships available. If interested, contact Info@ncchealthpartnership.org

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 keynote and breakout sessions, experts share cutting edge information, methods, and tools to support the work and lives of participants.

This conference aims to:

  • Engage participants in active learning experiences and connection
  • Acknowledge the impact of COVID-19 on behavioral health in general
  • Examine separation and loneliness for individuals, and across relationships and systems
  • Highlight connection and community as antidotes to COVID-19-associated experiences specifically, and in other areas

Schedule at a glance (details about each presentation below):

  • 7:45am Check-In
  • 8:00am-8:30am Vendor Booths, Coffee, Snacks
  • 8:30am-8:45am Opening Remarks
    Tom Gangel, MA, Mind Springs Health, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
    Tom Gangel (he/him/his) is in his twenty-fourth year as a Director/Manager for Mind Springs Health, the community mental health center covering the ten counties in the northwest corner of Colorado. He has been in the mental health field for 36+ years and has worked in private practice, as a professional speaker, in a California state hospital, as director of the forensic psychiatric unit of a mega jail in Houston, and four different community mental health centers and has been a professor at two universities and an adjunct instructor at a community college.
  • 8:45am-9:45am Morning Keynote
  • 9:45am-10:00am Break
  • 10:00am-11:10am Breakout Session #1
  • 11:10am-11:20am Break
  • 11:20am-12:30pm Breakout Session #2
  • 12:30am-1:05pm Lunch
  • 1:05pm-2:05pm Lunch Keynote
  • 2:05pm-2:20pm Break
  • 2:20pm-3:30pm Breakout Session #3
  • 3:30pm-3:40pm Adjourn to Ballroom
  • 3:40pm-3:50pm Closing Remarks
  • 4:00pm-5:15pm Bonus Session

Keynote Speakers:


Danielle Varda PhD

CEO and Founder, Visible Network Labs
Associate Professor, University of CO Denver, School of Public Affairs

Dr. Danielle Varda (she/her) is a scientist turned start-up founder, leading Visible Network Labs as CEO and Founder.

Her combination of 25 years as a network scientist studying social connectedness and health, published author, 15 years as a tenured professor at the University of CO Denver, and her successful launch and scaling of the Center on Network Science came together in one big idea to start VNL. She is an entrepreneur, technologist, network scientist, fundraiser, and mother to three spirited girls. She is a nationally known expert and keynote speaker on applied network science, with specific expertise in health system, public health systems, entrepreneurial
ecosystems, and educational system approaches.

Danielle has published over 30 peer-reviewed articles on networks and their impact. She leads VNL’s strategic partnership approach, is the company’s lead fundraiser, and has a vision for how to utilize network science to solve our most pressing and intractable problems.

Visualizing Social Connectedness as a Pathway to Stronger Social, Mental, and Behavioral Health:

We know that social support is a factor in better health, mental health, and well-being outcomes. And yet, it is almost impossible to know if someone has the support they need. While we are all embedded in our own social support networks, they are often invisible not only to us, but the people trying to help us.
Traditional assessments are not able to truly uncover the complexities of understanding loneliness, isolation, and other types of adverse social connectedness. Despite ample evidence that the quality and quantity of a person’s social connections significantly influence health and mental health outcomes, the factor of social connectedness at both personal and community levels is almost entirely absent from the conversations that determine a person’s care.
Network science is an innovative and novel approach that brings visualizations, data, and interactive technologies into the workflow as a way to understand whether a client or patient is at risk of adverse social connectedness. In this session, Dr. Varda will demonstrate how assessing the strengths and gaps in personal networks and systems of people, organizations, and other resources can be simplified to become a part of our everyday provider visits to create person-centered social care plans.
You will leave the session with a mindset shift in how we think about connectedness, have the chance to practice new ideas in real time, and learn about innovations in the field that improve patient and client outcomes, strengthen provider-patient relationships, and increase the chances of meeting the needs of people experiencing adverse social connectedness.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Develop a new mindset in thinking about social connectedness, using visualizations and network science concepts.
  2. Practice new skills in network science in real time.
  3. Develop a network strategy for building collaborative approaches to your work.
  4. Learn how to integrate social connectedness assessments into your workflow for treating people.
  5. Develop skills for understanding the strengths and opportunities for people experiencing adverse social connectedness.

*Eligible for 1 CPA-approved Continuing Education (CE) credit.
**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance.
All conference participants welcome. Instructional level for early career psychologists: introductory.


Justin Ross, PsyD

Licensed Clinical Psychologist
Director, Workplace Wellbeing Program

Dr. Justin Ross (he/him) is a licensed clinical psychologist who specializes in health, wellness, and human performance psychology.

He has spent the bulk of his career aiding in mental health and wellness initiatives for those performing in stressful, high demanding environments, including those in healthcare as well as professional athletics where he is vetted as a provider for both the NFL and

He has served as a clinical psychologist for UCHealth since 2010, formerly in the Center for Integrative Medicine and is currently the Director of Workplace Well-being for the UCHealth system.

From Trauma to Resilience and Growth: Reconnecting to Values, Passions, and Self

The past few years have impacted psychological health and general well-being for individuals across the globe. Accompanying significantly high rates of burnout, anxiety, stress, and depression, is a deep sense of loss and uncertainty. Adversity exposes us not only to these hardships, but also to an opportunity for deeper understanding and connection. From trauma, to resiliency, to growth explores the ways in which we can enhance our well-being because of (not despite) these challenges.

Learning Objectives:

The learner will be able to:

  1. identify the 3 core symptoms of burnout;
  2. identify the sources of compassion fatigue;
  3. describe Post Traumatic Growth;
  4. list the 5 methods for engaging in Post Traumatic Growth;
  5. implement an introductory mindfulness-based practice into their daily life.

*Eligible for 1 CPA-approved Continuing Education (CE) credit.
**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance.
All conference participants are welcome. Instructional level for early career psychologists: intermediate.

Breakout Session #1, 3 Presentations Offered

Connecting Community: Building Inclusive Practices for Affirming Spaces

In this interactive training, participants will explore what it means to provide affirming and inclusive services for diverse communities. Topics will include identity terminology, creating inclusive documentation practices, looking at what makes a Safe Space”, addressing microaggressions, and empowering community voice. This intersectional-focused training will support the knowledge of medical and mental health providers and those who work with communities through non-profit work.

Learning Objectives:

Participants will be able to:

  1. define and use relevant terminology for building affirming services;
  2. identify at least three practices in building affirming services;
  3. identify and address common microaggressions experienced by historically marginalized communities.

*Eligible for 1 CPA-approved Continuing Education (CE) credit.
**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance.
All conference participants are welcome. Instructional level for early career psychologists: Introductory.

Andrew Miller, MA, LPC, Manager of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Education, Organizational Development Consultant, Human Resource Services, UCHealth, Aurora, Colorado

Andrew Miller (he/him/they/them) is a former clinical therapist specializing in working with LGBTQ+ communities. Andrew is now focused on educating on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion within the healthcare systems. Prior to joining UCHealth, they worked as a consultant training on LGBTQ+ Affirming care practices and Building LGBTQ+ Health systems nationally. Andrew has been a keynote speaker and facilitator at national health conferences for over six years including, National Clinical Nurse Specialist Conference, National Advance Practice Providers Conference, National Dermatology Conference, National Pediatric Behavioral Health Conference, and National Health Equity Conference.

From Burnout to Resilience: How to Reduce Stress and Regain Mastery Over Your Mental Health

This workshop will help participants understand the signs of burnout and develop strategies that will help decrease the factors that lead to on-going stress cycles. As a trauma expert, Marisol will discuss the impacts of trauma and stress, how the brain responds to trauma, and how those responses manifest in the landscape of the present-day workplace as burnout. She will then provide audience members with concrete skills to address the natural course of the brains responses and help build resilience in themselves and their team members with these skills. This workshop will support participants in creating more connection with self and others.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Increase one’s ability to identify the signs of burnout and how they are connected to the stress cycle;
  2. Learn the skills necessary to mitigate burnout;
  3. Develop new patterns of self-care to increase resilience.

*Eligible for 1 CPA-approved Continuing Education (CE) credit.
**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance.
All conference participants are welcome. Instructional level for early career psychologists: Intermediate.

Marisol Solarte-Erlacher M.A., LPC, Psychotherapist, Trauma Expert, Denver, Colorado

Marisol Solarte-Erlacher (she/her) is an award-winning trauma expert, keynote speaker and corporate consultant. She facilitates programming that strengthens employee resilience and enhances team performance, working with nonprofit organizations, mid-sized corporations and public service entities. She is also the creator and host of the podcast Resilience and Resistance. A leader in her field, Marisol was a therapist in private practice, clinical supervisor for Master of Counseling students at the University of Colorado at Denver and is currently President of the Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing (EMDR) International Association. She and her family live in Denver, CO.

What makes Connection Fulfilling?: Research and Practical Applications Regarding the Health Benefits of Interdependence

We humans are biologically hardwired to connect to others. The longest study done on happiness through Harvard University (The Study of Adult Development) found that the most powerful factor that contributes to a long, healthy and happy life is secure relationships. In midlife, the level of satisfaction with relationships was proven to be more important than genetics for living a long and healthy life. Of note is that these relationships do not necessarily have to be romantic, but rather an interdependent relationship which allows both parties to benefit from being able to rely on and support one another. In the field of psychotherapy and relationship, studies are being conducted to show the health benefits of co-regulation between people who we can fully be ourselves with. This presentation will show ways in which to create this connection with a partner as well as through intimate friendships. With another person present we feel better more quickly and it takes stress out of the mind and body, and we can live a longer, happier and healthier life.

**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance
All conference participants are welcome.

Caelen Cann, MA, LPC, LAC, ADS Psychotherapist, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Caelen (she/her/hers) is a Licensed Professional Counselor, Licensed Addiction Counselor, and PACT Level 3 couples counselor, located in Steamboat Springs, serving clients in Steamboat and on the front range. Caelen has trained directly with Dr. Stan Tatkin, the developer of PACT (Psychobiological Approach to Couple Therapy) and co-founder of The PACT Institute. Through the course of her over a decade of experience as a psychotherapist, Caelen has given presentations on Mindfulness and Psychotherapy, Mindfulness and Addiction Recovery, Motivational Interviewing, Attachment Theory, and EMDR therapy. She is excited to share her passion for the field of couples therapy and the rewarding gifts that a secure functioning relationship creates!

Breakout Session #2, 3 Presentations Offered

Helping Families Reconnect: A Trauma-Integrated Model for Treating Families with Addiction and Trauma

When families struggle with addiction and its associated traumatic stress, it is common for the system members to splinter into factions, conflict, and disconnection. Clearly, chronic diseases like addiction, impact every member of the family. In keeping with the 2023 theme of Reconnecting, this presentation will provide a model of Chronic Disease Management that removes the focus from the Identified Patient” and supports family healing, recovery and reconnection. Mike Barnes and Annie Camacho will present a trauma-integrated, multi-phase clinical model that incorporates multi-family and individual family activities. Interventions targeted at re-connection and healing are provided in the form of education, coaching, and social-support. Attendees will be able to integrate aspects of the model into a wide variety of treatment environments, including those that treat Chronic Medical, Psychiatric, and addiction disorders.

**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance
All conference participants are welcome.

Michael Barnes, PhD, MEd, LAC, LPC, Foundry Treatment Center, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Dr. Michael Barnes (he/him/his) is the Chief Clinical Officer at Foundry Treatment Center in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. He is also the founder and director of the Michael Barnes Family Institute. Dr. Barnes earned his Ph.D. in Marriage and Family Therapy at Florida State University, his M.Ed. in Rehabilitation Counseling at the University of Pittsburgh, and his BA in Psychology at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. He is a Licensed Addiction Counselor (Colorado), Licensed Professional Counselor (Colorado) and Diplomate in the American Academy of Experts in Traumatic Stress.

Annie Camacho, MS, LAC, LPC, Foundry Treatment Center, Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Annie Camacho (she/her/hers) is the Director of the Foundry Steamboat Family Program. She earned her bachelors degree in Sociology from Colorado College and her masters degree in Counseling Psychology and Counselor Education from the University of Colorado Denver. She is a Licensed Addictions Counselor (LAC) and a Licensed Professional Counselor (LPC) in Colorado. Annie believes in the power of the family system and her work is driven by the understanding that the degree of appropriate support our participants receive from family and friends is foundational to their success.

Queer Community Panel: Contextualizing the 2022 LGBTQIA2S+ Roundtable and Survey Results

In 2021, a group of LGBTQIA2S+ people who were seeking community with folks like them decided to plan the first large-scale public pride event in the Yampa Valley. This led to the formation of an organization called Yampa Valley Pride. Connecting queer people with shared lived experiences who had previously been isolated from each other led to a number of issues coming to light that had been unspoken. Yampa Valley Pride worked with the Social Justice Coalition, a collaboration of organizations and individuals with an interest in issues impacting marginalized people, to organize a survey and roundtable that captured key issues impacting LGBTQIA2S+ people in Routt County. In this session, a panel of queer speakers will provide context and share their personal experiences to give us a deeper understanding of the results, and inform action steps we can take as a community.

**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance
All conference participants are welcome.

Facilitator, Graham Hackett

A lifelong educator and justice advocate, Graham (he/him) spent years working with high-risk” youth and juvenile inmates as part of a regional gang violence initiative in North Carolina, which instilled a deep understanding of social conditions, impacts of trauma, and the roots of toxic behavior. In 2014, he designed and led a touring program Culture of Consent serving colleges across the United States, before becoming Director of Prevention Programs for the rape crisis center for Buncombe County, NC. In his current position with Advocates of Routt County, Graham designs and leads original workshop programs and events for schools, businesses, and the community. Graham took the lead on the writing process for the 2022 Survey and Roundtable Report, sifting through the statistics and information to create a compelling and comprehensive summary.

Panelist, Marco Borja, Treasurer of Yampa Valley Pride and Outreach Coordinator for Northwest Colorado Health, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Born in a Mexican American home to limited-English speaking parents in rural Colorado, Marco (he/him) knows the importance of community, thats why his philosophy in life is pay it forward and help others.” This has led him to work with a wide variety of populations from youth to older adults; having experience in behavioral health, social work, and agriculture he has experienced firsthand the lack of support for certain racial and ethnic minority groups. Marco enjoys being available to connect with friends & family through outdoor activities and cooking.​

Panelist, Chelsie Holmes, Board Chair of Yampa Valley Pride and Director of Advocates of Routt County, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Chelsie (she/they) is a proud bisexual activist. She is the chair and one of the founders of the local LGBTQIA2S+ organization Yampa Valley Pride and the Program Director of Advocates of Routt County. Throughout her years of advocacy on behalf of survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault, Chelsie has become passionate about the disproportionate impact this type of violence has on the LGBTQIA2S+ community; particularly bi+ and trans folks. She was instrumental in bringing Yampa Valley Pride and the Social Justice Coalition together to make the 2022 Survey and Roundtable Report an accurate reflection of the experiences of the local LGBTQIA2S+ community.

Panelist: Alex Osias, Board Member of Yampa Valley Pride and a therapist at Minds in Motion, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Alex (she/her) graduated from the University of Colorado Boulder with a BA in Psychology and then pursued a Masters in Social Work at the University of Denver. Her clients include families, couples, and individuals with issues related to relationships, LGBTQIAS2S+, trauma, and performance anxiety. Alex also co-facilitates a support group for LGBTQIA2S+ youth in the community. Regardless of who you are, what you think of your state of mind, or your struggles, she is here to help you through.

Panelist: Chris Ray (he/him), Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Chris Ray (he/him) found a life of long-term recovery after almost 25 years of active addiction and searching for a more connected life.   In May of 2019 Chris started Soboat Steamboat as way to connect people searching for connection and growth through recovery. In August of 2020 Chris came on with The Health Partnership as their first member of the recovery team and head of Clean and Sober Steamboat Events.  Chris now enters hospitals for Direct Client Care and works directly with law enforcement to talk about harm reduction and recovery resources within various outlets of the community.  Chris also teaches yoga to the men at The Foundry  where he was a client in 2018. Chris continues to share his presence & student mindset in underserved communities in Steamboat Springs, including the LGBTQ+  population, through conscious awareness of his privilege and experience.

Panelist: Jack Baxton DeCrette, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Jack (he/they) is a queer 10th grader, born and raised in Steamboat Springs. Jack is celebrating over a year on testosterone. They have faced challenges in the healthcare system in Yampa Valley, and with so much controversy and misinformation out there, Jack hopes folks will pause and listen to the voices of trans teens.

Assessment and Treatment of Women with ADHD: Connecting Women with their Communities, Self-Efficacy, and Goals

Dr. Richey will initially discuss signs of ADHD among women that are very often overlooked, such as feeling dismissed, isolated, or inadequate due to distressing symptoms. Second, Dr. Richey will provide an overview for how women may be assessed and treated for ADHD through a trauma-informed and feminist lens in order to be sensitive to and affirming of patientsexperiences with these challenges. Lastly, Dr. Richey will review how the assessment and psychotherapy process for ADHD has the potential to enhance womens connectedness both intrapersonally, interpersonally, and at the systemic level.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Identify two ways in which COVID-19 specifically impacted womxn who struggle with ADHD.
  2. Articulate three DSM-V symptoms of ADHD and, further, three signs of ADHD specific to womxn.
  3. Identify specific trauma-informed techniques to use in practice around amended assessment procedures for ADHD during COVID-19.
  4. Describe the focus of each of the four sessions of a brief modality mindfulness treatment for women who struggle with ADHD.
  5. Identify and utilize supplementary resources for women who struggle with ADHD.

*Eligible for 1 CPA-approved Continuing Education (CE) credit.
**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance.
All conference participants welcome. Instructional level for early career psychologists: intermediate.

Rebecca Richey, PsyD, LCSW, CAC III, MBA, Clinical Director, Colorado Women’s Collaborative Healthcare, Denver, Colorado

Dr. Rebecca Richey (she/her), previously worked as an Assistant Professor in the University of Colorado’s School of Medicine (CUSOM) as the Director of Behavioral Health for the Women’s Integrated Services in Health Clinic and the Director of Didactics for the CUSOM Psychology Internship Program. She is a Past President of the Colorado Psychological Association as well as the Immediate Past Chair for American Psychological Association’s Committee on Early Career Psychologists. Dr. Richey is Master’s-prepared in Business Administration and is triple-licensed in the mental health field, holding Clinical Psychologist, Clinical Social Work, and Certified Addiction Counselor licenses in Colorado. She has been a clinician for nearly 20 years and is passionate about integrated care, leadership and advocacy in psychology, and women’s health. She specializes in psychological testing for women, including ADHD diagnosis.

Breakout Session #3, 3 Presentations Offered

Connecting Within & Without: A Spiritual Perspective

Exploring the Sacred presents a panel of religious leaders from Steamboat Springs to offer insights into how we can connect to ourselves as a foundation for connection to others. They will explore how we have become disconnected, and we can find our way back to ourselves and each other.

**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance
All conference participants are welcome.

Exploring the Sacred, Panelists:

Tim Olmsted, Spiritual Director, Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Tim Olmsted (he/him/his) is the founder and Spiritual Director of the Buddhist Center of Steamboat Springs. For the past 30 years, he has studied with many of the most renowned Tibetan Buddhist teachers of our time. He is a co-founder and senior instructor for Tergar, an international meditation community and President of the Pema Chodron Foundation.

Tim Selby, PhD, Pastor, Heart of Steamboat, United Methodist Church, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Tim Selby, PhD (he/him/his) has been the Pastor at Heart of Steamboat Methodist Church for over 20 years. Tims education background includes a Doctorate Degree in Pastoral Ministry from the University of Creation Spirituality. While at UCS, Tim had the opportunity to study with teachers from many of the worlds great faith traditions.

JoAnne Grace, PhD, Pastoral Theologian, Hospice Chaplain, Northwest Health Colorado, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Jo Anne Grace, PhD (she/her/her) is a pastoral theologian, a spiritual director, a hospice chaplain, and a health educator. Her private practice focuses on Pneumasomatic Care™-a ministry of reconciliation and healing. This ministry integrates Spirit and body to bridge the gap between theology and physiology, between faith and health. She is also a member of St Paul’s Episcopal Church.

Kolby Morris-Dahary, Rabbi, Har Mishpacha, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Kolby Morris-Dahary (she/her/hers) is the Rabbi at Har Mishpacha, Steamboat Springs’ Jewish Congregation. Rabbi Kolby made Aliyah in 2014 and began her studies at the reformed Hebrew Union College. She finished her training in the ALEPH Ordination Program, which is part of the renewal movement. She worked at HEA as a rabbinic intern and joined the team at Judaism Your Way for several years. She became the Rabbi at Har Mishpacha in August of 2022.


Tim and Marchele McCarthy, LPC, Steamboat Springs, Colorado

Tim (he/him/his) and Marchele McCarthy, LPC (she/her/hers) founded Exploring the Sacred in 2004 to bring together spiritual leaders from diverse background in an effort to overcome divisiveness in the world. Over the years, they have enjoyed seeing the leaders develop relationships with one another and the ripple effects of inter-faith dialogue in the community and beyond. Marchele is a psychotherapist in private practice and Tim is in real estate & property management.

Engaging Rural Audiences Around Stigmatizing Health Topics: Lessons from CSU Extension

Mental health can be a stigmatizing topic for rural communities putting those dealing with mental illness at increased risk for feelings of loneliness and disconnection. CSU Extension has been successfully connecting with rural communities for over a century and is beginning to address issues of behavioral health. This panel will discuss four case studies in unique populations including older adults, Latinos, and adolescents, wherein Extension is paving the way to engage rural communities around stigmatizing mental health topics, increasing a sense of connectedness and decreasing loneliness.

**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance
All conference participants are welcome.

Panel Chair: Sue Schneider, PhD, State Health Specialist, Colorado State University Office of Engagement and Extension, Fort Collins, Colorado

Dr. Sue Schneider (she/her/hers) is an Extension Professor and Extension Health Specialist at Colorado State University in the Office of Engagement and Extension (CSU OEE) where she provides leadership and builds strategic partnerships for Extension’s health and wellbeing initiatives across Colorado. She is also the statewide health lead for OEEs Rural Engagement Initiative which offers programming, education and support for rural Coloradans across the state.

Panelist: Dr. Calandra Lindstadt, Ph.D., Regional Health Specialist, Western Region, Colorado State University Office of Engagement and Extension, Grand Junction, Colorado

Dr. Calandra Lindstadt (she/her/ella) is the Colorado State University Office of Engagement and Extension Regional Health Specialist for the Western Region, including the Yampa Valley. Calandra will discuss the development of a suicide postvention support plan designed with collaboration between Extension and the community. The suicide postvention support plan addresses how CSU OEE can prepare to support communities in the event of rural suicide.

Panelist: Jennifer Aengst, Ph.D., Regional Health Specialist, Mountain Region Colorado State University Office of Engagement and Extension, Fort Collins, Colorado

Dr. Jennifer Aengst (she/her/hers) is the Colorado State University Office of Engagement and Extension Regional Health Specialist for the Mountain Region. Jenn holds a doctorate in Cultural Anthropology and has over 15 years of experience researching health in domestic and international settings. She will discuss the issue of healthcare access in rural Colorado communities.

Ginger Williams, MHA, Regional Health Specialist, Eastern Region Colorado State University Office of Engagement and Extension, Sterling, Colorado

Ginger Williams (she/her/hers) holds a masters in healthcare administration, specializing in strategic innovation and change management, from Colorado State University Global. Ginger will discuss the creation of a support network and programming for older adults in Northeastern Colorado during the pandemic. This community-responsive program socially connected older adults online during the pandemic and has since expanded to a successful hybrid model.

Megan Stetson, County Director, Moffat County Colorado State University Office of Engagement and Extension, Craig, Colorado

Megan Stetson (she/her/hers) is the County Director for CSU OEE in Moffat County and provides programming in many areas including 4-H, Youth Development, Horticulture and Natural Resources, Food and Agriculture, Family and Consumer Sciences, and Community and Economic Development. Megan will discuss opportunities to engage adolescents around mental health through 4H programming. 4H is a longstanding youth development program offered by Extension that is approaching mental health with evidence-based programming designed for rural populations.

Human-Centered Design to Support Connection and Belonging: Multiracial Families and Youth

Multiracial youth often experience isolation – feeling like ‘not enough’ when they seek belonging. At Samahra, we are dedicated to celebrating, connecting, and uplifting multiracial families and youth. Lynn’s presentation will describe the process of creating a community-identified solution of a free mobile app that is designed to affirm, validate, and celebrate the multiracial experience for multiracial youth in addition to a space for parents and caregivers of multiracial kids for daily evidence-based reading, actionable reflection, and connection with other parents/caregivers. Technology can be a solution for connecting communities and individuals that are geographically dispersed but share common experiences and desire for belonging.

Learning Objectives:

  1. To learn about experiences shared by multiracial families and multiracial individuals.
  2. To learn about multiracial identity formation and how it differs from monoracial identity formation.
  3. To learn about a process for community-driven solutions to solving challenges of belonging.

*Eligible for 1 CPA-approved Continuing Education (CE) credit.
**Eligible for basic documentation of attendance.
All conference participants are welcome. Instructional level for early career psychologists: introductory.

Lynn VanderWielen, PhD, MPH, Samahra, Denver, Colorado
Dr. Lynn VanderWielen (she/her) is a social science researcher and mom to two incredible multiracial kids. Lynn founded Samahra built on the intersection of her lived and professional experience. In addition, Lynn is an evaluator who is dedicated to rural community health, with intentional dedication to participatory methods and supporting
community-identified solutions. Lynn received her PhD from Virginia Commonwealth University and her MPH from Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.


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, MHA, BS SLP/Aud., FI, CISM, Director of Open Heart Advocates, Craig, Colorado
Meghan Francone (she/her/hers) joined Memorial Regional Health (MRH) as the Executive Director of Open Heart Advocates in June of 2019.  In this position, Meghan offers free assistance to all victims of crime through services, such as: a 24-hour hotline, counseling and support, an emergency safe shelter, referrals and information, protective order assistance, personal advocacy and support, criminal justice and judicial advocacy, community education, and safety planning. Additionally, Meghan 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.


Continuing Education Credits

*Six Continuing Education (CE) credits are available at this conference and are approved by The Colorado Psychological Association (CPA). The Colorado Psychological Association is approved by the American Psychological Association to sponsor continuing education for psychologists. CPA maintains responsibility for this program and its content.

CPA charges $30 per CE credit. To obtain your CE certificate for an approved session, you will be provided with a QR code and link to a payment form with directions on how to claim your CE. You will need to take an online evaluation of the session before your certificate is sent to you.

**For sessions without CPA approval, basic documentation for attendance is available by signing in and out for each session and upon request.

All conference sessions are noted with one and/or two asterisks (*) for your planning convenience.

Thank you to our current sponsors!

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

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Breakout Sponsors:


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