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Workshop Descriptions

Morning Workshops

1. New Ethical Dilemmas in the Digital Age

Presenter: John Ellis, University of Akron School of Social Work

This session will provide information on how practitioners can keep pace with new ethical dilemmas born from digital technology. Participants will become familiar with the presence of different types of technology in the social work field and their own “digital type”, as well as ethical models and how to apply them. This interactive training will provide participants the opportunity to consider and respond to specific ethics scenarios.

2. An Analysis of the Changing Political Climate and Its Impact on Refugees in Cleveland
Presenters: Mead Wilkins, Clinical Director, Catholic Charities, Migration and Refugee Services; Tara Knight; Mitchele Taylor

Recent political changes have created new challenges and uncertainty for refugees. This session will work to increase participant’s awareness about the changing political climate for refugees and strategies to affect positive outcomes. The presenters will analyze underlying macro policy issues in the current political climate and assess their impact for refugees immigrating into the Cleveland Area. Presenters will review the current state of immigration in Cleveland, frame the new reality in the Trump era, and look at defining the new “we”.


3. Alzheimer’s Disease Today: Fighting Stigma and Future Crisis
Presenter: Cheryl Kanetsky, Vice President of Programs & Services, Alzheimer’s Association Cleveland Area Chapter

This session will educate attendees on the current challenges of Alzheimer’s disease faced by individuals, the healthcare system, and the economy and help folks understand what can be done to prepare for the crippling incidence of the disease by 2050.

4. A Community Response to Gang Violence: Collaborating Across Systems
Presenter: Benjamin Miladin, Andrea Martemus-Peters, Sharyna Cloud, and Jeff Crosby of United Way of Greater Cleveland

A rise in violence in the city of Cleveland was punctuated by a string of young children being shot during apparent gang violence. These events shocked the conscience of the community and sparked dialogue on how we might lessen the impact of violence in the community. Using emerging best practices, attendees will learn factors to successful cross-sector collaboration, violence as a public health issue, the strengths and limitations of medical systems' responses to community violence and explore how to make changes.


5. The Value of Alternative Therapies in Mental Health Treatment for Incarcerated Youths
Presenter: Lynn Williams, Psychologist, Ohio Department of Youth Services; Teresa Cody-Hannah; Anthony Glass; Heather Pugh

A growing concern of the criminal justice system is how to effectively treat the high percentage of incarcerated youth who suffer from mental health disorders and substance abuse issues. This session will examine the increasingly high percentage of incarcerated youth who have co-occurring mental health and substance abuse issues, explore how the benefits of mindfulness based practices can serve as complementary therapy and how they contribute to a general sense of well-being, greater self-awareness, stress-reduction, and increased physical and mental vitality.


6. Advocacy in Motion: Be the voice. Take action. Together.
Presenter: Dr. E. Douglas Beach, CEO, Western Reserve Area Agency on Aging; Cyndi Rossi, William Tarter, Jr.

The goal of this session is to empower participants with advocacy skills to make a difference in the community. Attendees will be able to explain how an organization may implement an advocacy initiative like “Advocacy in Motion”, understand the dynamics of effective advocacy, and utilize learned skills to communicate effectively with elected officials to improve the quality of life for specific populations.

7. The importance of us all advocating on the Ohio State budget
Presenter: Larry Bresler, Gail Long, Bryon Solomon, Northern Ohioans for Budget Legislation Equality (NOBLE)

This session will allow for attendees to become knowledgeable and active advocates for critical needs funding that is being determined in the Ohio State budget process.

8. In Solidarity: Mobilizing an Intersectional Resistance
Presenters: representatives from various local “rights” groups

This workshop is an in-depth follow up to the plenary convocation. In this workshop, emerging activists, long-time activists and re-activists (recently resumed activists) will discuss with participants how the concept of intersectionality can inform resistance to injustice, can promote human rights and social justice, and can identify and address unmet human needs. Activists from a range of current and ongoing rights activism will briefly present and distribute material: animal rights, children’s rights, civil rights, clean water rights, constitutional rights, disability rights, environmental rights, equitable and adequate education rights, health care rights, homeless person’s rights, immigration rights, LGBTQI rights, Native American rights, older person’s rights, prisoner’s rights, refugee rights, reproductive health care rights, tenant’s rights, transportation rights, voting rights, women’s rights, worker’s rights and more.


9. Rethinking Streets as Community Spaces
Presenter: Angie Schmitt, Editor, Streetsblog USA


Participants will learn about activities that took place in the street right-of-way historically and why that's mostly changed; explore examples of strategies other cities employ to reactivate and improve underused or dangerous spaces for social, business or sustainable modes of transportation; and discuss consideration of what ideas might be locally feasible.

Afternoon Workshops


10. Untangling the Safety Net: Understanding the Past, Present, and Future of Medicaid Policy
Presenter: Loren Anthes, Public Policy Fellow, the Center for Community Solutions

The highest of any Ohio county, Cuyahoga has approximately 390,000 individuals covered by Medicaid and annual spending is over 2.1 billion dollars. The financial and social influence of Medicaid cannot be understated as the program touches nearly every element of our community. This session will educate and inform attendees about where Medicaid has been and where it is going. Attendees will be equipped with the tools needed to adopt changes and be advocates in the public policy process.

11. Person-Centered Clinical Supervision
Presenter: MorRondo Roberts, Clinical Supervisor, Murtis Taylor Human Services System

With constant change, we must address how we have traditionally provided supervision. This session will help supervisors and/or potential supervisors become more effective with productivity of supervisees. Attendees will learn to utilize motivational interviewing approaches with resistant supervisees, to identify and discuss common problems in supervising counselors and clinicians, and will discuss stages of counselor development as they relate to the person-centered approach.

13. Connecting Hearts: A New Way to Fix an Old Problem
Presenter: Crystal Wallace, Co-Founder/Consultant, S.O.S. Caregiver Resource Services, LLC and Gail Romine, BTAS


This interactive workshop focuses on relationship building to offer attendees new approaches to view and apply solutions in residential care.

14. Emotional Intelligence and Why It Matters in Public Child Welfare Practice
Presenter: Melissa McCollister, Child Welfare Coordinator, University of Akron School of Social Work

This workshop will discuss results of a recent study on the topic of emotional intelligence among public child welfare workers. Attendees will learn the importance of emotional intelligence skills in public child welfare practice, discuss possible opportunities or challenges to incorporating emotional intelligence training in public child welfare practice, and discuss additional key challenges faced by public child welfare practice that relates to emotional intelligence.

15. Ohio Medicaid Behavioral Health Redesign
Presenters: Douglas Day, Chief, Bureau of Health Integration, Ohio Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services; Mary Haller, Ohio Department of Medicaid

This session will provide an overview of the Ohio Medicaid Behavioral Health Redesign project. Attendees will be provided with information on the timing of benefit changes, including additional, enhanced and new services, and timing of managed care “carve in”.

16. When Policy Prohibits Family Progress: Nonprofits as Advocates for Clients
Presenter: Natalie Leek-Nelson, CEO and President and Annette M. Iwamoto, Strategic Initiatives Manager, Providence House, Inc.

This session will present the impact of public policies on low income and working poor families. Attendees will obtain knowledge on how public policies create barriers to families achieving stability. Presenters will share how clients at the Providence House are affected by these current policies. There will be discussion on how to translate policy barriers into client experiences and how nonprofits and social service agencies can share this information with stakeholders and policy makers.

17. From Cleveland Streets to the Coal Mines: Understanding Cultural Competence and Social Work Practice in Urban and Rural Environments
Presenters: Maria Dimengo, Program Administrator, Community Grants Coalition

Each of us has our own personal stories to tell, but do we understand the true meaning of cultural competency? The goal of this session is to encourage self-reflection through personal stories while reviewing the NASW Standards and Indicators for Cultural Competence in Social Work Practice. The presenter will provide research and offer tips on methods to adapt our skills to different ethnicities in urban and rural populations.

18. Everything Changed? Cleveland Police Challenges are Opportunities for Transforming Perception and Response to People with Mental Illness or Behavioral Health Crisis: A New Recovery Oriented System of Care
Presenters: Larry Heller, Chair, Community Outreach Committee, Mental Health Response Advisory Committee; William M. Denihan, CEO ADAMHS Board of Cuyahoga County; Scott Osiecki, Chief of External Affairs, ADAMHS Board; Carole Ballard, CIT Program Officer, ADAMHS Board, Captain James Purcell, Cleveland Division of Police

This workshop will explore how the Mental Health Response Advisory Committee (MHRAC) views the challenges as described in the Investigation as opportunities to make Cleveland a city where everyone – including people living with mental illness and addiction - is treated safely with dignity and respect. Participants will learn about the formation of the MHRAC and its work to improve the mental health and addiction services continuum of care, address gaps and make improvements to Cuyahoga County’s mental health and addiction treatment and recovery system - including the Crisis Intervention Team (CIT) Training program - to ensure that the Cleveland Division of Police and the citizens of Cleveland have the resources available to assist people in crisis, as well as access to services that maintain recovery from mental illness and/or addictions.

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