Dr. Robert Anda

ACE Interface, LLC Co-Founder and ACE Study Co-Founder and Co-Principal Investigator 


Laura Porter 

Co-Founder of ACE Interface, LCC 

Understanding ACEs: Building Self-Healing Communities

This presentation will include a review of how adversity gets embedded in neurodevelopment and affects the way our genome may be used and affected.

The public health and communitywide implications of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study will be reviewed and specific examples of how this science has shown how ACEs affect the goals and practices in human service systems (education, justice, health care) in community will be provided.

Self-Healing Communities use this science—and the understanding and compassion that flows from it-- as a platform to engage the creativity, minds and hearts of all people in community—that can lead healing at the individual level and to a culture of change.


This change brings people who have been affected by ACEs and the systems that serve them together to bring hope, new meaning, and understanding that is necessary for moving beyond old ways of thinking about trauma, ACEs, and their related outcomes. These changes unlock the latent potential and creativity in communities that lead to new ways to interrupt the
intergenerational cycle of ACEs and reduce exposure to ACEs for the generations to come.




Charles Hunt

Turning ACEs into a Winning Hand

While aces are the start of a great poker hand, ACEs (Adverse Childhood Experiences) are the equivalent of the worst hand to be dealt. But just as in poker, bad hands can and do win all the time. This talk provides a roadmap on how to play with ACEs and be positioned to win in life.


10:45 a.m.-12:15 p.m. 

Workshop A: Robert Anda, MD, MS
Co-Principal Investigator ACE Study/ Co-Founder, ACE Interface
Laura Porter, Co-Founder, ACE Interface

Leading Transformative Solutions in Self-Healing Communities
ommunities that build hope and healing mobilize common resources in uncommon ways. Building the capacity of communities to solve complex problems requires helping people to intentionally generate a culture that prevents adversity and promotes
flourishing.  This workshop will detail the principles of Self-Healing Communities’ work and illustrate each with fun and interesting stories from communities that have been successful reducing the rates of many health, safety and social problems. We will explore leadership practices and processes that generate transformational change.   This is an interactive workshop that focuses on culture, culture change, and the importance of creating safe environments that support participation in health-promoting activities.

Workshop B: Katie Dant

Suicide Prevention in the LGBTQ Community

The Safe Space training has been designed by Grassroots as a suicide prevention and intervention model that focuses on the LGBTQ+ population and their increased risk for suicide. Through a dynamic combination of teaching, multimedia, activities, and open
discussion, the training delves into the following topics:
- Challenges specific to LGBTQ+ people based on stigma, life experiences, and societal pressures
- Suicide risk in the LBGTQ+ population
- Talking to a person-at-risk about suicide
- Support these individuals and their loved ones in accessing care and treatment
- Differences in acceptance and tolerance
- History and evolution of language in the LGBTQ+ community
- Sexuality and gender specific issues, and their impacts on mental health

-Resources for those seeking to provide support to LBGTQ+ people
- How to create Safe Space within organizations and communities
The training program combines cultural competence with prevention and intervention strategies to reduce stigma, reduce suicidality, and ultimately save lives.  This workshop will be a shortened"rash course" of the typically 8 hour version of the training.  At the
conclusion of the workshop attendees will be able to:

- Identify at least 3 suicide risk and protective factors for LGBTQ+ individuals
- Understand the importance of becoming an LGBTQ+ ally
- Learn ways to use language that is inclusive and supports LGBTQ+ individuals
- Learn strategies to engage in conversations with LGBTQ+ people

Workshop C: Shawn Partain, Harford County Health Department
Bethany Fisher, Harford County Department of Social Services
Jen Thomas, University of Maryland Upper Chesapeake Health

Substance Exposed Newborns (SENS) Panel
The panel will present the latest information relevant to the impact of the opioid epidemic and other substances on the growing number of substance exposed newborns in Harford County. Panel members will explore consequences, interventions, and the
importance of prevention as the next generation is being impacted by substances even
before birth.
Workshop D: Maria Costabile, MSW, Harford County Health Department Teen Diversion Program
Sharon Lipford, LCSW-C Mental Health Association of Maryland
Paula Nash, LCSW-C Harford County Health Department Teen Diversion Program

Motivational Interviewing Refresher

Most clinicians and human services practitioners have been exposed to Motivational
Interviewing (MI), a brief evidenced-based approach which uses certain techniques and
a person-centered "MI Spirit" to help elicit in individuals change talk and commitments
to actions of change.  MI began with smoking and tobacco use, but has been found to be 
effective with substance abuse and addiction, mental health and some chronic medical conditions like diabetes and heart disease, as well as with lifestyle choices.  In this workshop,  we will have a brief refresher of MI and change, and you will be able to return to your important work with several implementable techniques you can use right away
to help your clients move from ambivalence to motivation!  This workshop is appropriate for practitioners who have some knowledge of MI but have forgotten the details, and also for those curious to learn about MI and pick up a few new effective
Afternoon Breakout Sessions
1p.m. - 2:30 p.m.
Workshop E: Charles Hunt

Principles of Resilience

Change is a constant in life, and nothing gives us immunity from it. In this talk, Charles explores some of the obstacles faced as a child and into adulthood while highlighting critical elements in overcoming them. Given that resilience isn't a binary, on/off or have-it-or-not resource, the talk will provide practical principles that we all can use to
grow our own resilience and thrive beyond what happened to us.
Workshop G: Detective C. Gerres #695

Internet Safety and the Dark Web

A beginner level class covering the dangers found on the internet. The class will include up-to-date information on social media, surface web and the dark web.
Workshop F: Amie Myrick, LCPC

Problem Sexual Behavior in School-Aged Children

Problematic sexual behavior in school-age children is a common occurrence, yet
many communities have struggled to identify the best way to manage such problems for both the child who sexually acted out and the child who was acted upon. In this training, attendees will learn the differences between normative and problematic sexual behavior and common reactions from parents and other adults. Attendees will also learn about an evidence-based, comprehensive management and intervention strategy for addressing these behaviors for children and their families.
Workshop H: Deepa Patel, CSOTP, LCSW

Working for the Crew: Understanding Gang Controlled Sexual Exploitation

Gang Controlled Exploitation is the exploitation of individuals utilizing fear,
intimidation and pack mentality. Gang Members have been accustomed to exploiting individuals, at their own financial motive, at any cost possible. The traumatic effects of these individuals have long term serious damage to their behavioral, emotional, physical, social and interactional functioning. The victim’s loyalty to the gang, as well
as their exposure to violence, psychological control and substance abuse creates barriers for recognizing and serving these victims. Often times it is these individuals that are overlooked or not offered treatment, leaving them susceptible to further


Jennifer Redding


Conference Location:

Mountain Christian Church

New Life Center

1802 Mountain Road

Joppa, Maryland 21085


November 8, 2019

8:00 a.m. - 3:45 p.m.