Reaching the Rural Population: Meet Our Speakers

Meet the expert speakers you'll hear from at the conference.

The world around us is rapidly changing, as is the way we reach and ultimately treat members of rural communities. Let’s work together to ensure we’re succeeding.

We’ve invited world-class speakers to come and share fool-proof ways to effectively reach those in rural areas. You’ll leave the conference with a wide range of new, impactful information, free CEUs, and a renewed sense of excitement to expand your reach.

Meet our speakers below.

Meet Our Keynote Speaker

Dr. Ken Minkoff

Dr. Minkoff is Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Senior at ZiaPartners, Inc., a behavioral health system consultation firm in Tucson, AZ. He is Board-Certified as an addiction psychiatrist and community psychiatrist.  Dr. Minkoff has been recognized as a national and international leader in the strategic development of quality-driven managed behavioral health care systems and integrated services and systems for complex populations for over 25 years, through the development of the Comprehensive Continuous Integrated System of Care approach, initially developed in the 1990’s as a system design model for implementing integrated services for individuals with co-occurring mental illness and SUD.  He is Board Member and Products and Services Committee Chair of the American Association for Community Psychiatry, playing a leading role in the development and dissemination of the LOCUS Family of Tools, as well as the Self-assessment for Modification of Anti-Racism Tool (SMART) for which he is co-author. He was one of the original members of the federal Interdepartmental Serious Mental Illness Coordinating Committee (2017-20).  He is Co-Chair of the Community Psychiatry Committee of the Group for Advancement of Psychiatry, and one of the lead authors of the 2021 Report: Roadmap to the Ideal Crisis System, published by the National Council for Mental Wellbeing. He is a member of the National Council’s Medical Director Institute and consults to the National Council Centers of Excellence on Integrated Care and CCBHCs.

Keynote Address:

Changing the World:  Welcoming, Integrated Systems and Services for People with Co-occurring MH/SUD and complex needs

Dr. Minkoff will describe how systems – including diverse rural and frontier systems – can organize themselves at every level to be about the needs and hopes of the people and families with co-occurring MH, SUD, and other complex health and human services challenges who are the expectation in all settings. He will describe the six principles and associated interventions for successful integrated services in any setting and show how all programs and staff can be organized to provide welcoming, hopeful, integrated services to populations with complex challenges in diverse communities.  

Day Two:

Implementing Welcoming Integrated Systems and Services: Practical Strategies for Programs and Communities

In this interactive, hands-on learning experience, Dr. Minkoff will illustrate the services and interventions provided by welcoming, hopeful, co-occurring services in SUD settings, and in adult and child MH settings, and then discuss practical strategies for implementing those services in any county or community system, in any program or team, with a focus on diverse cultures in rural settings. These strategies include integrated longitudinal strength-based screening, assessment, and case presentation, integrated treatment planning, programming, and stage-matching, skill-building interventions, as well as change management strategies to help programs and systems make progress. Participants will be engaged in small group exercises with their colleagues to identify next steps that will support continuing progress following the conference, so participants leave with the ability to improve welcoming service delivery for people with complex challenges “back home”.

Behavioral Health in Rural Settings

Thad Shunkwiler

Thad Shunkwiler is an Associate Professor in the Department of Health Science at Minnesota State University, Mankato. In addition to his academic work, he is a licensed behavioral health provider with over a decade of experience in treating people with mental health and substance use disorders in rural Minnesota. His academic research is focused on growing the behavioral health workforce and he is the Founding Director of the Center for Rural Behavioral Health. In 2021, he was named a Presidential Teaching Scholar and one of seventeen healthcare professionals in the country named a Rural Health Fellow of the National Rural Health Association. Having been an invited speaker at international and national conferences on behavioral health, Professor Shunkwiler is well known for his dynamic and engaging presentation style.

Session description
At a time in which the demand for mental health services has never been greater, access to the professionals who are trained to provide care has never been more challenging. This workshop will examine the behavioral health workforce issues while introducing practical and data driven solutions for our underserved communities.

Panel: Using Technology to Reach the Rural Population

Kelsey Knowles, MSW

Kelsey’s own recovery journey began in 2012 and launched her career in substance use and mental health services. Her experience includes providing direct services, leading state-wide programs, and consulting and presenting nationally on best practices. Kelsey is passionate about raising the bar for behavioral health services with a recovery-oriented, evidence-based approach.

Kelsey received an MSW from Florida State University and is a RCSWI, Certified Recovery Peer Specialist, Certified Community Health Worker, and Certified Recovery Support Specialist. Along with a group of dedicated leaders in the field, she co-authored the “National Practice Guidelines for Peer Specialists and Supervisors”, published by Psychiatric Services in 2021. She is committed to Shatterproof’s mission of eliminating the stigma associated with substance use and expanding access to quality treatment and currently serves as the Director of State Engagement for Shatterproof Treatment Atlas.

A first-of-its-kind online platform, Shatterproof Treatment Atlas identifies all addiction treatment providers in the state, assesses their use of evidence-based best practices, and publicly displays the information to support those in need and their loved ones navigate to appropriate, quality care. Individuals across Wisconsin can use this free-to-the-public, confidential, best-in-class platform to take a user-friendly needs assessment that was developed in collaboration with the American Society for Addiction Medicine (ASAM) and search for care using robust filtering tools. Individuals can also search based on criteria such as location, use of best practices, types of treatment offered, accepted insurers, payment options, specialty populations served, and more.

Panel: Using Technology to Reach the Rural Population

Hans Morefield

Hans Morefield is the CEO of CHESS Health, a collection of behavioral health smartphone recovery apps that identifies individuals at risk for substance use disorders, provides engagement and supports, connecting people to treatment, closing gaps in care, helping people stay in recovery, helping to reduce readmissions to treatment, and helping to save and improve lives.

Hans will speak on how technology is enhancing the delivery and outcomes of behavioral health, with a focus on substance use disorder. He will share results from projects in Wisconsin and elsewhere in which smartphone apps reduced readmissions, referral platforms got more individuals to treatment, and self-screening is used to prevent the onset of SUD. The projects he will review cover many special situations/populations including early recovery, re-entry and justice-involved, pregnant and post-partum women with SUD, teens, and rural communities. Hans will also speak about the impact it has had on the behavioral health system and consumers, and future directions CHESS brings to the table when it comes to enhancing the connectivity and support to those in early recovery and beyond.

Panel: Using Technology to Reach the Rural Population

Rod Holum

Rod Holum is the CEO/president of Coulee Tech Inc, a leading provider of cybersecurity protection, IT support, and software development, specializing in serving healthcare and manufacturing clients in Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Iowa, with offices in Eau Claire and La Crosse.

Featured on the Fortune 5000 Fastest-Growing Private Companies two years in a row in 2019 and 2020, Rod is the author of 7 Biggest Cyber Security Mistakes Your IT Guy Is Making and Colonial Pipeline Hack: What Your Small or Medium Business Can Do to Protect Yourself.

When he's not kicking cybercriminals' butts, defeating slow computer networks, or writing amazing software solutions, he enjoys hanging with his wife and family in their backyard by the pond, investing in the youth group men at First Free Church, or having his cybersecurity & IT rock star team over for the grilling of some meat product and beverages.

Rod will be speaking on the topic of Artificial Intelligence (AI) and how it can intersect with the field of behavioral health.

Panel: Providing Remote Tele-Health

Sonja McQuiston

Sonja McQuiston has a bachelor's Degree in Social work and a Master's Degree in Counseling. She is also a Licensed Professional Counselor with Mental Health Service Provider Designation. LPC-MHSP Dually Licensed in Tennessee and Wisconsin.

Sonja will discuss her experiences as a fully remote tele-health provider providing therapy to clients with co-occurring mental health disorders.

Panel: Telepschiatry Services for your Practice

David Prabhu

David Prabhu is the Director, Business Development for Array Behavioral Care. Array is the nation's leading virtual behavioral health practice with a mission to transform access to behavioral health care services. In his role, David focuses on building innovative partnerships that help vulnerable populations access behavioral health services via telehealth. He leads partnerships with Federally Qualified Health Centers, community behavioral health organizations, and Native American tribes. Prior to Array, David competed a year of service through the Jesuit Volunteer Corps Northwest. During this time, he lived in a rural part of Washington state and worked as a case manager for a community mental health center. This experience ultimately led David to join Array as he saw up close the challenges that individuals face in accessing healthcare services and the disparities in rural areas. David has a Bachelor of Arts in Economics from DePauw University. He is a Midwesterner at heart.

David will discuss how to effectively provide modern telepschiatry services that fit your practice, scale, and make a difference in your community.

Panel: Using Technology to Reach the Rural Population

Brianna Cieslewicz

Brianna works as a marketing specialist and has a unique passion for supporting behavioral healthcare providers. Working at wpDuo, a full-service marketing agency and website hosting company, she has supported clients in a range of projects, including prevention, family support, post-treatment care, and client/patient outreach. Her approach prioritizes creating compelling content, high-converting digital ads, robust referral programs, and more.

The future of marketing is here, but it doesn't have to be scary. Brianna will discuss how you can utilize digital marketing to expand your reach while ultimately saving you time and money. You'll also learn how to review digital data to help guide your marketing and messaging decisions. With these tips, you'll be able to elevate your voice and maximize your mission so you can reach those who need it most.

Ethics for Rural Behavioral Health

Jill Gamez, MSPH, MBA, CSAC, PS

Jill Gamez has worked in the behavioral health field for over 23 years and has served as Executive Director for Arbor Place, Inc. over the past 15 years. She obtained an undergraduate bachelor of science degree in Community Health and Exercise Science from Winona State University and has also obtained a Master’s of Science in Public Health and a Master’s of Business Administration from Walden University. Ms. Gamez holds credentials of Clinical Substance Abuse Counselor and Prevention Specialist.

Ms. Gamez tries her best to let gratitude guide her approach on a daily basis and looks to positively contribute to her environment. She works to earn her title of a leader by her actions and not by her job title. Ms. Gamez has three kids that she feels are her number #1 contribution to this world. When she isn’t at a youth activity for her kids, she might be with her other family and friends, working in her yard, scrolling on her phone, or she might actually be at work.

Professional Ethics through a Rural Lens: Providing behavioral health services is an essential component of healthcare, and providing those services within an ethical standard of practice is vital. Ethical issues related to such areas as therapeutic boundaries, dual relationships, using technology in practice, and social media will be explored through the lens of a rural provider. A decision making model will be used while reviewing case examples to highlight common ethical dilemmas.

Multiculturalism in Rural Populations

Keith B. Wilson, Ph.D., CRC, LPC

Dr. Keith B. Wilson is a tenured Professor, Program Chair and Director of Graduate Studies in Counselor Education in the Department of Early Childhood, Special Education, and Counselor Education at the University of Kentucky. He served as administrator and faculty member at The Pennsylvania State University (Penn State) for 15 years and Dean of the College of Education and Human Services at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. He received his B.A., M.Ed., and Ph.D. degrees from Wilberforce University, Kent State University, and The Ohio State University, respectively. As a professor, he routinely teaches undergraduate, masters, and doctoral level students. His research interests include examining vocational rehabilitation outcomes in the United States, phenotype discrimination based on hue, the Multicultural Counseling Competencies (MCC) and the lack of application present in the MCC, and how identity (e.g., gender, disability, ethnicity) affects advocacy based on social variables like disability and gender. Committed to the ideals of research, teaching, and service, he has been honored with several service, research and lifetime achievement awards including the Virgie Winston-Smith Lifetime Achievement Award, presented by the National Association of Multicultural Rehabilitation Concerns and the James F. Garrett Distinguished Career in Rehabilitation Research Award, presented by the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association, to name a few.

Dr. Wilson will co-present with Dr. Carrie Acklin on multicultural competencies in rural areas; specifically how there is a strong connection between knowledge, awareness, and skills, but a lack of application in practice. Drs. Wilson and Acklin will address the lack of application and the critical implications it has on individuals with one or more demographic variables of discrimination in rural areas and how paraprofessionals, professionals, practitioners, and administrators can address these critical implications to improve service gaps and health disparities among and across underrepresented and underserved rural communities.

Katherine Drechsler, DSW, LCSW-SA

Dr. Katherine Drechsler is an Associate Professor, the Field Coordinator for the Bachelor and Master of Social Work Program, and the School Social Work Certificate Program Coordinator at the University of Wisconsin Whitewater. She teaches in both the Bachelors and the Master’s programs primarily social work practice courses and substance use disorder courses. Dr. Drechsler is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with a specialty authorization in Substance Abuse in the state of Wisconsin and has her school social work license in Wisconsin. Dr. Drechsler has 30 years of social work experience including experiences in child welfare, juvenile justice, and working with individuals with mental health and opioid use disorders in an integrative community-based program. Katherine’s research interests include field education, evidence-based practice in social work education, teaching pedagogy of diversity in social work education, and self-care in social work practice.

Katherine's presentation, Step into a Journey of Understanding and Treating Co-Occurring Disorders, will overview the importance of understanding and treating co-occurring disorders. A 4-Step Approach to Treating Co-Occurring Disorders developed by Ted Izydor will be reviewed. An opportunity to get additional free training on treating co-occurring disorders will be provided.

Multiculturalism in Rural Populations

Carrie L. Acklin, Ph.D.

Dr. Carrie L. Acklin is the Program Development Coordinator for Arbor Place, Inc. She has worked in the behavioral health field for fifteen years in several settings: mental health, drug and alcohol, hospital-based, non-hospital based, community-based, and in the school systems. She has also worked with adults, adolescents, children, and families as both a case manager and therapist. Dr. Acklin received her Ph.D. in Rehabilitation from Southern Illinois University – Carbondale in 2016, her Master’s in Rehabilitative Sciences and her Bachelors in Sociology from Clarion University of Pennsylvania (2010, and 2007, respectively). Dr. Acklin specializes in advocacy for underrepresented and underserved populations, working with rural communities, grant writing, program development and evaluation, and statistics.

Dr. Acklin will co-present with Dr. Keith B. Wilson on multicultural competencies in rural areas; specifically how there is a strong connection between knowledge, awareness, and skills, but a lack of application in practice. Drs. Wilson and Acklin will address the lack of application and the critical implications it has on individuals with one or more demographic variables of discrimination in rural areas and how paraprofessionals, professionals, practitioners, and administrators can address these critical implications to improve service gaps and health disparities among and across underrepresented and underserved rural communities.

Change begins with us.

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Join Us August 16-17

Register for the 2023 Arbor Place Conference, Reaching the Rural Population: Making a Difference Together today!

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