Keynote and Workshop Descriptions

Keynote Presentation

The Power in Your Story
Mariano Avila

This keynote address focus is on elevating voices from marginalized communities through the power of story.  Each person has a story and that story determines how they see life and how other sees them.  This keynote will help participants learn how to unlock and tell their story to build powerful individuals and communities. 

Keynote Presentation

The “IT” Factor – Making the Difference
Ken Wasco

The message in this program is one of personal power awareness and empowerment. We will share some research into what consumers are looking for from service providers, and how that can be delivered through a focused frame of mind. All of us have businesses we readily support again and again, and equally all of us have those places we gave a chance to, but never will again. This program is about what is at the core of that. "The "IT" Factor"!

Equitable Opportunity, Affordable Homes and Thriving Neighborhoods: Transforming Our Community’s Housing Narrative
Ryan VerWys

When our housing situation is stable, all other aspects of our lives can improve. This workshop will explore the historic patterns of housing injustice and recent market trends which have led to our recent affordable housing crisis. The workshop will also highlight promising community-based efforts to ensure that our community can be a place where people of all walks of life can find a safe and affordable home in which they can thrive. 

Hoarding: A Community Approach
Stephanie Hecksel, Officer Jeremy Huffman, Eric Jordan, Officer Shelly Weiss and Kate Wert

Meet The Grand Rapids Area Hoarding Task Force (GRAHT), a collaboration of public and private organizations working to raise public awareness and to ensure safe housing for individuals struggling with hoarding behavior. This presentation will include identifying and measuring hoarding behavior, effective interventions, and resources for help.

LGBTQ, Cultural Competency
Leslie Boker

LGBTQ populations often face significant barriers to accessing healthcare and social services due to stigma and lack of understanding of community-specific needs. This workshop aims to provide tools and knowledge needed to better serve LGBTQ community members, from gendered pronouns to legal protections and beyond.

MiCHWA’s Year of Growth: CHW Certification, CHW Education, and CHW Sustainability Efforts
Priscilla Hohmann, MSW, MDIV and Rebecca Lindsay-Smith, MPH, CHES

The Michigan Community Health Worker Alliance (MiCHWA) staff will discuss the exciting changes and additions occurring during the past year. This presentation will include exploration of the new CHW Registry and the second CHW Instructor Training Program. MiCHWA staff will also discuss MiCHWA CHW Certification and the grandparenting process for recognizing CHW experience for MiCHWA Certification. Finally, presenters 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. Participants will be encouraged to come to the MiCHWA table for further discussion about the MiCHWA CHW Registry and for technical assistance.

Organizing for Emotional Health
Kate Wert, LLMSW

Explore the cognitive and emotional connection to clutter, as well as how to assess individuals holistically to better understand the drive to acquire and need to save stuff. Topics include clinical implications for hoarding and chronic disorganization, case studies, and best practices for treatment.

Panel: The True Value of Food and Mental Health
Terri Kirkpatrick, CHW, Jennie Mills, and Erin Skidmore, MEd
The focus of the discussion is centered around barriers many of our clients must face before being able to address their health needs.

Sleep 101
Kim Delafuente, MA, ACSM-CPD

Do you ever wake up tired, or have a hard time falling or staying asleep? In this session you will learn how sleep is vital to good health. During the class you will develop a personal sleep plan and discover ways to get a better night’s ZZZs.

Strengthening Families and Fathers: Understanding the Impact of the Criminal Justice System on the Lives of Children and Incarcerated Fathers or Fathers on Probation/Parole
Cole Williams, BS

This workshop will use the Strengthening Families Framework as a tool on ways to effectively engage fathers who are incarcerated, on probation or on parole.

We will explore the impact of the Criminal Justice System on low income families and look at the obstacles to father involvement when fathers return home on probation or parole. This workshop will also explore the challenges that children face when fathers are absent from families, homes, and communities.

Top Nutrition Trends and the Truth Behind the Label
Jessica Corwin, MPH, RDN

Diets come and go but which ones are actually worth your time? Food and nutrition expert, Jessica Corwin, MPH, RDN, has looked into the latest nutrition trends of 2018, so you don't have to. Register for this session if you would like to learn more about the good (or bad) when it comes to topics such as the keto diet, coconut oil, kombucha, and more!

Uncovering the Refugee Process

Erik Fermin, LMSW, MPA

In this workshop, we will look at how the status of refugee fits in the conversation about immigration, what is involved in the resettlement process, who the refugee populations are in the West Michigan area, and how knowing these things can impact the way we practice.

What’s Diabetes Got to Do with It? With Cardiovascular Disease, A Lot!
Kristina Dawkins, MPH, Tina Malcolm, RN and Emily Welles, RD

Many Americans are managing type 2 diabetes and cardiovascular disease but are unsure how the two relate. What does my heart health have to do with my diabetes? We will find out!