16 Presentations on Peer Services Featured at NYAPRS Conference!

NYAPRS Note: Peer run services and supports are getting unprecedented interest and value from national and state system redesign initiatives. 

This fall’s NYAPRS Annual Conference will offer 16 plenary and workshop presentations on how peer services and staff are revolutionizing healthcare reform initiatives.

There’re only 5 weeks until NYAPRS’ information and inspiration packed Annual Conference to be held this September 10-12 at the Hudson Valley Resort in Kerhonkson, NY!

Registrations are beginning to flow and, once again, priority room arrangements at the Hudson Valley and the nearby Honors Haven will be available on a first come basis.


The NYAPRS conference is only 5 weeks away so please register today at



NYAPRS 31st Annual Conference:
Keeping the Focus on Recovery and Rights

September 10-12, 2013

Hudson Valley Resort and Conference Center, Kerhonson, NY



Register Today!



Tuesday, September 10

Round 1 ~ 1:15PM - 2:30PM


Wellness Workforce Coalition: Uniting Peer Services Across Mental Health and

                     Addiction Recovery Communities

                        Julie Brisson, Vermont Center for Independent Living, Montpelier, VT

                               Karen Lorentzon, Vermont Psychiatric Survivors, Rutland, VT

This workshop will offer an opportunity to learn about Vermont's statewide initiative to bring peer support communities in both substance use and mental health together and advance an unprecedented level of collaboration towards their mutual goal of growing and sustaining peer support in the context of healthcare reform. Participants will learn about the process for bringing these diverse communities together, the role of Vermont state government in supporting peer support and grassroots communities and the development of a Wellness Workforce Coalition (WWC). The WWC includes a focus on developing training opportunities in a number of peer support approaches, systems level advocacy for peer support, marketing peer services and developing collaborations between peer support services and traditional providers. 


From Professional to Personal: Maximizing the Use of Lived Experience

Amanda Saake, LMSW, The Center for Rehabilitation and Recovery, The Coalition of Behavioral Health Agencies, Inc., New York, NY

This workshop will focus on the intersection of professional work and the peer experience (“prosumers”).  The presenter will discuss her dual status as a program director and a person with lived experience.  She will talk about her experience with traditional academic training that discourages self-disclosure, contrasted with the potential power of the lived experience in the therapeutic relationship.   She will also talk about her personal decision to self-disclose, and the impact this had on peer staff, professionals, and program participants. Interwoven into the discussion will be supervision that capitalizes on the unique strengths of the “prosumer.”

NYPeer Operated Warmlines: Success Stories, Tips and Lessons Learned

            Shari Stallone, James Ennis, Tammy Burrows, and Donna Quackenbush, Otsego County RSS, Oneonta, NY

The Otsego County Warm line will share their firsthand experience on the elements of a successful peer-operated warm line, including the start-up phase, recruitment, training, operations, outreach/promotion, and ongoing support of warm line operators.

Tuesday, September 10

Round 2 ~ 2:45PM - 4:00PM


Bringing Trauma-Informed Practices to Peer Support: MHEP’s ‘Creating a Trauma-Informed Community’ Project

                            Darby Penney and Eva Dech, Mental Health Empowerment Project, Albany, NY

This presentation will offer an overview of key concepts in Engaging Women in Trauma Informed Peer Support, a SAMHSA TA document. Participants will gain information, tools and resources to increase their understanding of trauma and its impact, cultural considerations, and the principles and values of trauma-informed peer support.    


SAMHSA’s Recovery to Practice: Next Steps in Training the Peer Workforce

                          Rita Cronise, MS, iNAPS, Victor, NY

                          Colleen Sheehan, NYAPRS, Woodstock, NY

                          Noelle Pollet, Heart Circle Consulting, West Camp, NY

A preview of the SAMHSA Recovery to Practice training for experienced psychiatric, trauma, and/or substance use recovery peer supporters.  This highly interactive and experiential training explores challenges related to peer recovery support with powerful opportunities for reflection and sharing of group wisdom by those who are actually doing the work.


Wednesday, September 11

Round 3 ~ 9:00AM - 10:15AM


New York State Peer Services Credentialing; an Update

  Joseph Swinford, NYS Office of Mental Health, NY

There are tremendous opportunities to expand peer support services as New York is moving rapidly towards new Medicaid managed care and health home driven system redesigns. In order to participate, peer practitioners will have to demonstrate their expertise and competencies by getting credentialed by the state. Come learn about where OMH is in finalizing the online curriculum and credentialing program!


10:30AM - 11:15AM

Keynote             Larry Fricks, SAMHSA-HRSA Center for Integrated Solutions, Cleveland, GA


Wednesday, September 11

Round 4 ~ 11:30AM - 12:45PM


Dignity and Recovery Now! Lived Expertise at the front lines as Innovation for Community Health, Wellness and Social Change

Eduardo Vega, MA, MHA of San Francisco, San Francisco, CA

Consumer-run programs and researchers represent great partners for moving and shaking healthcare systems and driving a focus on recovery under heath care reform. The Center for Dignity, Recovery and  Stigma Elimination, the world's only consumer-run technical assistance research and training center (TARTC), brings consumer-run agencies, leading researchers and ethnic communities together to effectively challenge stigma, reduce suicide and advance leading-edge recovery programs with a focus on the larger health-care system and cultural responsiveness.


Housing Options Welcome Home Consumer Integration

                              Joe Woodward, CASAC, Housing Options Made Easy, Inc., Gowanda, NY

This workshop will describe: peer-run business principles; how to develop innovative programming to assist individuals to find their “spark of life” integrated into the community; and how to train staff to assist individuals to gain independence. The panel discussion will include sharing of experiences of developing new peer-run programs.


Rapid Transit: In and Out of the Hospital with Peer Support  

                                        Gayle Bluebird, Delaware Psychiatric Center, New Castle, DE


1:30PM - 2:15PM

                  Keeping the Focus on Recovery and Rights: A Conversation with the “Mothers of our Movement”

                            Pat Deegan, Ph.D., Pat Deegan & Associates, Byfield, MA

                            Sally Zinman, California Association of Mental Health Peer Run Organizations, Berkeley, CA

                            Gayle Bluebird, Delaware Psychiatric Center, New Castle, DE

                            Jackie McKinney, Consultant, Philadelphia, PA
                            Moderator: Harvey Rosenthal, NYAPRS, Albany, NY


Wednesday, September 11

Round 5 ~ 2:30PM - 3:45PM


Peer Bridging Now

Von A. Grubbs, PsyD, Behavioral Solutions Affordability, Atlanta, GA

  Stella Pappas, LCSW-R, ACSW, New York City BHO, New York, NY

Peggy Elmer, LMSW, Optum New York City BHO, Albany, NY
Tanya Stevens, NYAPRS, Albany, NY

                               Sara Goodman, Baltic Street AEH, Inc., Brooklyn, NY

This session will briefly discuss the Peer Bridger model and the multiple different ways this model has been implemented in programs throughout NYS.  The panel will also discuss outcomes for Peer Bridger services and ways that current roles for peers can be incorporated in to a larger Peer Bridger context.


Moving from a Traditional Medical Model Oriented Organization to a Peer Informed Organization

Kathy Lynch, Richard Frelock, Ulysses Harrell, Kara McCunn, Thomas Dodson, Buffalo Psychiatric Center, Buffalo, NY

Members of peer staff, medical staff and administration of a psychiatric center seeking to continue its lengthy journey of change into a truly peer-informed organization will share the Buffalo Psychiatric Center's story of inclusion of, learning from, and reliance on peers. Peer driven strategies for change, necessary paradigm shifts, administrative support, peer-operated programs, roles and opportunities for peers, and associated organizational change will be discussed.


Exploring the Value of Religion, Spirituality and Cultural Competence for Peer Specialist Group Leaders

                                          Frances Priester, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

                                          Christina Pratt, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY

The workshop aims to help peer specialists be better aware of the role religion and spirituality plays in multicultural communities and identities.


Wednesday, September 11

Round 6 Mini Plenary ~ 4:00PM - 5:00PM


                      Peer Staff as Disruptive Innovators

                                Pat Deegan, Ph.D., Pat Deegan & Associates, Byfield, MA


Thursday, September 12

Round 7 ~ 9:00AM - 10:15AM


NYS Recovery Centers: Peers Helping Peers Pursue Passionate Recovery

Joseph Swinford, NYS Office of Mental Health, Albany, NY


10:30AM - 11:15AM


Keynote               Making Healthcare Reform Enhance Recovery and Rights!

                        Larry Davidson, SAMHSA Recovery to Practice; Yale University,

                        Maura Kelley, Western New York Independent Living, Buffalo, NY