Keynote and Workshop Descriptions

Keynote Presentation

Eliminating Health Care Disparities in Our Communities
Rima Shah, MD, MBA

In the keynote address, Dr. Shah explores the following questions: How can we as providers go beyond what we see on the surface and work toward understanding how social determinants of health can affect a patient’s health and well-being? Why is it important to be culturally competent and know the whole person? What can we do to help eliminate health care disparities?


Keynote Presentation

Awareness – Insight – Action and the Journey of My Mental Health and Wellness
Cassandra Hankins, BS, MA, LLPC

This keynote address will guide participants through the various sources that influence positive and negative experiences which impact emotional wellness. The first step to emotional wellness is to engage in personal discovery by looking through a mental health lens. The session will conclude with identifying rationale and strategies for a healthy mind and spirit.


Building Community Partnerships to Increase Awareness About Health Disparities
Irving E. Vega, PhD

With the goal of addressing health disparities, Dr. Vega will discuss the importance of developing and sustaining community partners. He will draw upon his own experiences from an underrepresented ethnic group in science and introduce the audience to the benefits of community research on health disparities, especially Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias.

Culinary Medicine – Knowledge + Skills for a Healthy Life
Kristi Artz, MD, CCMS and Krista Gast, RD

Explore a culinary medicine program which pairs the science of medicine and the art of cooking with education on foods that can prevent and possibly reverse chronic diseases. Learn about
Spectrum Health’s Culinary Medicine program and resources available to share with your clients.

Latino Population and Issues that Contribute to Mental Health
Adnoris “Bo” Torres

This workshop will focus on the benefits of utilizing your skills, connections and training to obtain professional growth. As mental health attracts more attention, the role of the CHW is vital in the Latino Community. Utilizing the skill sets of a CHW, Mr. Torres discusses how the CHW can assist with mental health issues in the Latino community.

MiCHWA’s Year of Evolution and Expansion: Growing Our Capacity, Efforts and Voice
Priscilla Hohmann, LLMSW, MDIV

The Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance (MiCHWA) staff will discuss this year’s exciting developments, such as applying for 501(c)3 status to become an independent non-profit organization, hiring of Interim Executive Director, Deidre Hurse, to lead MiCHWA as an independent organization and expanding their educational capacity. This presentation will also include reflection on CHW advocacy efforts, voices from the MiCHWA CHW Network and review of the MiCHWA CHW Certification and grandparenting process for MiCHWA Certification. Finally, MiCHWA staff will provide updates about MiCHWA’s participation in CHW sustainability efforts with key stakeholders at the state level. NOTE: There will be a brief viewing of the MiCHWA CHW Registry and an overview about how it ties to MiCHWA CHW Certification, including Continuing Education for MiCHWA-Certified CHWs. Participants will be encouraged to come to the MiCHWA table for further discussion about the MiCHWA CHW Registry and for technical assistance

Panel – CHW Career Ladder
Tania Bermejo, BA, Dionne Chivis, LLMSW, BS, Belinda Cunningham, BSBA and Bridgett Gray, BS, RN

Join this panel of former CHWs as they discuss their career advancement journey, bringing with them the grass-roots knowledge of best practices for working with diverse populations. The panelists will share how they are able to bring the voices of the masses to areas where they are not normally present. They will share strategies for CHW career advancement and overall professional development.

Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders: What Every Care Provider Must Know
Nancy Roberts, RN, CBC, CCE

The goal of this presentation will be to assist the attendees in understanding, identifying and treating women who experience Perinatal Mood and Anxiety Disorders, so they can effectively and holistically support and assist the affected mother and her family toward wellness.

Recognizing Cultural Differences When Serving Mothers and Children
Rebecca Spann, Ed.S, LPC, NCC

Participants will engage in role playing and hands-on activities to help them gain insight and self-awareness. They will learn to recognize how mental health beliefs may vary by race. The desired outcome is for each participant to deliver quality, culturally appropriate and professional services to the families served.

Suicide Awareness
Valencia Agnew, PhD

This workshop will focus on learning about risk factors and recognizing warning signs of suicide. Participants will be given the language to communicate with someone who acknowledges having suicidal thoughts, the next steps to take and recommendations of resources for suicide prevention.

The Connection Between Work Culture and Mental Health: How Do We Navigate?
Jamon Alexander

This presentation will introduce the audience to the psychological connection between work and worth and the impact of this on mental health wellness. The speaker will explore how the dominant cultural view on work and mental/emotional health plays a role in this conversation. Strategies will also be discussed for mental health support and wellness in the work environment

The Role of Race and Ethnicity in Public Health
Tempest Warfield, MPH, CHW

The focus of the discussion will be on distinguishing race from ethnicity and the use of these demographics in health care. We will look at the pros and cons of these demographics as indicators and brainstorm ways that we can be intentional and inclusive health care professionals.