Jodan’s Hope for Recovery had the honor of attending the 2017 conference of affiliates in Washington DC. Kerry Strickland, founder and president along with board member Leetha Parham flew to Washington DC to attend the conference and advocate for our cause.
“Out of the Age of Silos” was the theme for the 2017 Conference of Affiliates, which was held near the Nation’s Capitol and again included an Advocacy Day. The first day’s Keynote address was given by Kimberly Johnson, PhD, Director of SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment. Dr. Johnson spoke of the barriers to access of care, including lack of coverage for providers and services, insufficient capacity and discrimination; what can be done to expand access, such as identifying those in need; how to ensure and improve quality of care; and how to measure outcomes.
A panel on “Housing Needs for Recovery” featured John Lehman from the Florida Association of Recovery Residences, Renee Wyatt, a housing specialist working with marginalized populations in Los Angeles County and Paul Stevens of Oxford House. Sis Wenger, President and CEO of the National Association for Children of Alcoholics, spoke about Addiction’s Impact on Family.
Following a PACE (Professional Association of Council Executives)-hosted buffet lunch, Greg Williams showed clips of his documentary film, “Generation Found,” about Archway Academy, a recovery high school in Houston, TX. The principal of Archway, Sasha McLean, spoke the following day about the school’s success and the need for such schools throughout the country.
Day Two’s keynote was given by Gregory Goldstein, Deputy Director SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Prevention. Director Frances Harding, who was to have spoken, was called to a high-level meeting and Greg stepped in for her, doing an excellent job. He talked about Prevention in 2017 and Beyond: Collapsing Silos and Collaborating for Better Health. Shirley Summers, CEO of Behavioral Health Services, presented on BHS’s initiative in opening an ACE Hardware franchise to provide a vocational training program for their clients.
The Conference also showcased the Affiliate Prevention & Education Award-winning program “Beach Cities Prevention Community Council (PCC)” from the Gardena, CA Affiliate, Behavioral Health Services, Inc. Raunda Frank, Prevention Coordinator, and Heather Longridge, Prevention Outreach Specialist, presented about the program and also accepted the award at the Awards Luncheon, where Executive Service Awards for length of service also were presented. The Awards Luncheon was sponsored by Mutual of America.
NCADD Advocacy Day, on Wednesday, March 29, capped the Conference with participants making visits to their congressional representatives. With the help of Carol McDaid, Holly Strain and Sarah Herbert of Capitol Decisions, Inc., NCADD advocates had been coached in how to be an effective advocate and went to the Hill with two “asks”: Support for full funding in the Fiscal Year 2018 appropriations bills for both the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act (CARA) and the 21st Century Cures Act; and assurance that any replacement of the Affordable Care Act include meaningful coverage for addiction treatment that complies with the Mental Health Parity and Addiction Equity Act.