NASW ALASKA CHAPTER, 2013 ANNUAL CONFERENCE
Transcending Life's Challenges
Location: Egan Center, 555 West 5th Avenue
October 10-12, 2013
Transcending Life's Challenges is the 2013 NASW-AK Annual Conference topic!
See below for information on our keynote presenters, and watch this space for information about early registration and presentation schedules.
2013 Keynote Presenters
83 arrests, 66 convictions, and hundreds of requests to serve as the keynote speaker in front of audiences that include the United Nations , the President and Commander in Chief of the United States, government agencies, teachers, community and civic organizations, and convicted felons. Featured in the documentary “Behind Closed Doors: Trauma Survivors and the Psychiatric System,” and the subject of the award winning film “Healing Neen.”
After surviving a childhood of unspeakable abuse, unrelenting violence, and betrayal by systems that were charged with helping, Ms. Tonier Cain stands before her audiences today, a testimony to the resiliency of the human spirit exemplifying the innate human instinct to survive.
Tonier “Neen” Cain lived on the streets for twenty nightmarish years. Years filled with hunger, brutality and a lifestyle when described seems unconscionable. Incarcerated and pregnant in 2004, someone finally took the time to ask: “what happened to you” instead of “what’s wrong with you.” It is at that moment she began her journey to become a survivor and for the first time in her life began to live with more hope than fear.
The impact of trauma is realized by every age group, race, ethnicity, socio-economic group, gender, community, and workforce. As Ms. Cain shares her story, audience members find themselves challenging their professional and personal beliefs. Her experience illustrates the consequences that untreated trauma has on individuals and society at-large, including mental health problems, addiction, homelessness and incarceration. Her story evokes anger, frustration, sadness, and despair. It often triggers past traumas. It motivates, it empowers and it restores faith in humanity. It reminds us of the tremendous impact one individual can have on the life of another.
Ms. Tonier Cain is
- the team leader for the National Center for Trauma-Informed Care, with the National Association of State Mental Health Program Directors;
- a consumer advocate who speaks all over the world on trauma, incarceration, and recovery;
- The CEO and founder of Healing Neen.
- featured in the documentary “Behind Closed Doors: Trauma Survivors and the Psychiatric System”;
- the subject of “Healing Neen,” a documentary distributed on five continents and based on her life as she moved through multiple systems of care;
- a trauma champion and;
- a wonderful mom.
Linda Chamberlain, Ph.D. MPH
Scientist, author, professor, dog musher, and founder of the Alaska Family Violence Prevention Project with the State of Alaska, Section of Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, Dr. Linda Chamberlain is an internationally recognized keynote speaker and champion for health issues related to domestic violence, children exposed to violence, brain development and trauma, and the amazing adolescent brain. She is known for her abilities to translate science into practical information with diverse audiences and convey a message of hope and opportunity. Dr. Chamberlain holds faculty appointments at the University of Alaska and Johns Hopkins University. She earned her public health degrees from Yale School of Medicine and Johns Hopkins University. The author of numerous publications and domestic violence training resources including the Public Health Toolkit, the Amazing Brain booklets for parents, the Reproductive Health and Violence Guidelines, and a national train-the-trainer curriculum for home visitors, Dr. Chamberlain serves on several national advisory groups including the National Advisory Board for the Institute for Safe Families. Awards and recognition for her work include a National Kellogg Leadership Fellowship and an Alaska Women of Achievement Award.
Gretchen Schmelzer, PhD
Gretchen Schmelzer, PhD is a licensed psychologist, trained as a Harvard Medical School Felow. She is a trauma survivor, who has worked for twenty-five years with the complex issues of trauma, integration and behavior change across every level of system from individuals, to groups, to large systems and countries, including her role as the expert consultant Frontline for their documentary on Alaskan survivors of priest sexual abuse (aired April 19, 2011).
She has worked with individuals and groups in large clinics, and clinics in housing projects, in residential treatment facilities, on psychiatric units and medical hospital units, and in private practice. Her work includes over a decade of working with traumatized children and adolescents in residential treatment and psychiatric units.
She completed her psychology training internship as a Harvard Medical School Fellow at the Cambridge Health Alliance, and completed her post-doctoral training with adults at UMASS Medical Center, specializing in mindfulness-based treatment completing a fellowship at the Center for Mindfulness started by Jon-Kabat Zinn. Her trauma work integrates the developmental attachment work from treating children and the mindfulness work from treating traumatic health issues. In 2001, Gretchen was featured in the Mass Psychologist for her work on Women’s Wellness—a groups that integrated treatment of mind-body-spirit across a wide range of psychiatric diagnoses.
Since 2002, Dr. Schmelzer has also been a senior consultant with Teleos Leadership Institute, an international consulting firm serving leaders of fortune 100 businesses and major not-for-profit organizations such as the United Nations. Her expertise in long term trauma was used to inform the design and delivery of a four year large scale intervention for the UN in Cambodia. She and her colleagues worked with 150 leaders each year who were survivors of the Khmer Rouge in a large scale leadership initiative to strengthen the county’s response to HIV/AIDS. The program integrated work in self-awareness and self-regulation, gender issues, communication skills, relational skills and action learning. This program was rated one of the most successful leadership development programs run through the United Nations Development Programme by an independent research team. She is currently working on a book on healing from long-term trauma. She lives in Natick, MA.