The Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute for Community and Behavioral Health (MARTI-CBH) Conference, “Promoting Recovery and Wellness: For Individuals, Families and Communities,” will be held July 10–14, 2017, at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
This cross-disciplinary conference will provide an in-depth focus on the opioid epidemic and suicide prevention.
For each of the five days of training, there will be nationally renowned keynote speakers as well as a variety of breakout sessions focused on both research and clinical training. Daily panels within the larger conference are organized according to sub-themes.
Afternoon sessions will focus on in-depth training on special topics, including ethical practice in clinical work with opioid users.
Conference proceedings are beneficial for practitioners and researchers in social, behavioral, and medical science disciplines, agencies, and professions. Continuing education units for teachers, social workers, counselors, psychologists, and nurses are
being offered. Approved Continuing Education Units include APA, PA SW, PCB, NBCC, CRCC, and Act 48.
Christian Vaccaro, associate professor in the Department of Sociology at IUP and one of the organizers of this event said, “I have had seven—yes seven—close friends
and family members die from opioid-related overdoses. The conference planners hope to achieve full attendance capacity and invite anyone who may—through their work or daily routine—come into contact with someone abusing or addicted to opioids. We
hope our training helps stop this crisis.”
Melissa Swauger said, “We cannot overemphasize the quality of national and international renowned researchers and practitioners who will be speakers presenting at the conference. We are hopeful there is robust attendance.”
The organizers have developed undergraduate and graduate academic courses in sociology to be offered in conjunction with the conference. The courses will require attendance at the conference and will feature supplemental material on the topics of Opioids
Course participants must attend all five days of the MARTI conference at IUP; the rest of the course will occur online. The cost of attendance for registered students will be covered in their tuition.
Non-tuition paying attendees can select from single day registration ($100 per day) to full conference registration ($425). Some scholarship funds are available to help defray costs. IUP students, faculty, or staff not taking the conference for academic
credit will receive a discounted rate of $100.
Preregistration is required and can be made by contacting the IUP Office of Conference Services at 724-357-2227. Programmatic questions can be made to Crystal at 724-357-1288. The complete conference schedule is available at the Mid-Atlantic Research and Training Institute for Community and Behavioral Health Conference website.
Financial sponsors for the 2017 Summer Conference include Community Care and UPMC Health Plan.
Keynote faculty and their presentations are:
Other presenters include comedian Gary Owen, reality television star and movie actor from Think
Like a Man 1 and 2, who will share his personal tragedy of losing his brother to heroin in a free session open to the public on July 12 at 4:45 p.m. in room 225 of the new Humanities and Social Sciences Building on the IUP campus.
Ryan Brannon, an IUP graduate and 2015 winner of the Pennsylvania System of Higher Education
Business Plan contest for My New Leaf, a computer app to chart recovery, will present “Can Recovery Be Fun? My New Leaf, a Gamified Addiction Recovery App Targeting Millennials Using Best Practices, Feedback Loops and Rewards.”
Erick Lauber, associate professor in the Department of Journalism and Public Relations, director of Community Health and Leadership at MART-CBH,
and author, will present “What Are They Telling Us, and What Are We Telling Them: How Local Media Can Frame Addiction Issues and What Can Be Done About It.”
Other workshop and panel topics include:
The 2017 program is the 27th annual MARTI summer conference. MARTI (founded in 1988 as the Mid-Atlantic Addiction and Training Institute), is one of 40-plus
centers and institutes at IUP. For decades, MARTI has been a powerhouse organized around a consortium of academic and professional experts in the field of alcohol abuse treatment, domestic violence intervention, and related mental health issues.
Since 2012, the institute’s new director, associate director, and research associates have expanded the institute’s early focus to include new initiatives—among them, alcohol and drug research, veterans’ reintegration, family and mental health issues,
training conferences for health professionals and educators, and community outreach. During the next three years, MARTI will take a three-pronged approach to addressing the opioid and suicide crises by obtaining research grants, community outreach,
and professional development and training. This year’s summer conference kicks off the professional and training efforts.