Austin, TX
Marriott Austin Downtown
From  Fri, April 26, 2013 at 7:00AM (Central)
To  Sun, April 28, 2013 at 1:00PM
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Thank you to all the conference attendees, volunteers and IMAlive supporters for making this conference the best one yet!

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Third Annual IMAlive Virtual Crisis Center Conference
3rd Annual IMAlive Training Conference - Press Release

Thanks to the PBS Television show Austin City Limits (ASL) Austin, Texas, has come to be known as the “Live Music Capital of the World.”  Since 1976, ASL has delivered both established and, more importantly, innovative music to us.  
In holding its 3rd Annual Intervention Training and Education Conference in Austin, IMAlive hopes to not only revisit the established in suicide intervention but to also provide a forum for the examination of the innovative in the field. Our vision of the conference is that what we will  learn in Austin has no limits, and the “music” we hear becomes the music of life for those in our own communities who are at risk of suicide. So, like the Austin City Limits theme song suggests, “Come to the land of the armadillo, good country music, and friendly people” and become inspired by Texas independence… Boots and hats optional.
Previous training/experience is NOT required.
The conference is open to the public and we welcome everyone!

REGISTRATION: Please click the [+] next to each registration option ABOVE to find the selection that is most convenient for you.
 Friday, April 26th - Workshops and Evening Reception

7:30 AM - 8:00 PM
Registration  - Meet colleagues, new friends and network at the registration desk.
9:15 AM - 10:45 AM
Strategic Positioning For Crisis Centers  - Charles Ray, M.Ed.
Charles will provide an update on the most recent developments affecting both national and state markets in healthcare reform, the challenges the public and private sector face, the strategies and tactics emerging for ACOs and CCOs, the critical role of the Federal Essential Health Rule for behavioral consumers and providers, and essential survival issues for smaller, specialty NPO providers such Crisis Specialty Organizations (CSOs).
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Advocacy and Follow Up: Eliminating Military (and Civilian) Suicides - What Are We NOT Doing! - COL-Ret George Patrin, M.D. 
Successful suicide prevention programs have been established around the country yielding zero suicides over prolonged time periods. A review of the best clinic practices begins with development of the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) within the military and other Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs). Patient-centered practices are highlighted to assist patients (veterans and family members) in accessing compassionate care when crises occur. Bureacratic (stigmatic) barriers unique to the military are explained. Inclusion of mental health specialists within primary care clinics is discussed to including advising patients and family members to gain access to mental health care in a timely manner. Use of a pr-e and postvention informed consent forms is discussed as a way to bring family members onto the team. Current "Standard of Care" is reviewed, especially regarding pharmacology and why current practices are leading to more suicides. Appropriate medication intervention advice is given for those in crisis. Warm hand-offs to Tricare consultants, VA Providers, and the Primary Care Provider Team are discussed. What "right" looks like in today’s successful Accountable Care Organizations (ACOs) and PCMH clinics is given (Henry Ford Initiative In Detroit: Depression Care Program Eliminates Suicide; Randi Jensen - Soldier's Project NW; Dr. Sue Jamison - JH; (Former Air Force Program). Attendees are encouraged to bring examples of other innovative programs to share - what has worked for them!
11:00 AM - 12:30 PM
Recognizing The Limits:  Focusing On the Can's and Cannot's - John Plonski
Unconditional positive regard does not mean throwing common sense out the window.  Sometimes when the music of an interaction becomes dissonant we need to be pragmatic in accepting that what we want to do has boundaries. This workshop will engage participants in a focused discussion of what we can and can not do within interventions. Be ready to discuss those times the music of intervention hurts your ears.
12:30 PM - 1:30 PM
Lunch on your own.
1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
Unlimited Information and Referral: Blending Crisis Intervention and I&R Services - John Plonski - I&R and Crisis Intervention are not mutually exclusive. Crisis is precipitated by change and most of our consumers contact us when they have experienced changes in their lives.  This workshop will examine the roots of crisis and demonstrate how the 5 step I&R Process and the active listening skills described in the ABCs of I&R provide us with the tools to do basic crisis intervention.  Using these basics and familiar skills attendees will be able to de-escalate those in crisis and identify the core issues, allowing for appropriate referral.

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
CEO and Board Roles During HealthCare Transformation  - Charles Ray, M.Ed.
Charles will examine the issues facing Non Profit Boards and executive management and leadership teams in developing effective, aligned, and effective Executive Partnerships in the volatile and chaotic movement into health care reform. He will use the Carver Policy Governance model as an example of a proven methodology that creates a synergy of mission, values, checks and balances of policy/operational roles, focus and accountability.

3:15 PM -  4:45 PM
Managing People, Processes and Quality in the Virtual Environment - Phil Evans, MBA
A decade of rapid advances in telephony, cloud services, internet bandwidth makes the vision of a truly seamless network of crisis centers more achievable than ever. The challenge we face now is how manage the people and processes in distant locations to ensure a consistent operating culture across remote call centers and “work at home” locations.  The workshop will address:

-Strengthening your operating culture so it can be effectively “exported”
-Engaging your IT organization in the vision
-Providing supervision in real time
-The role of real time chat, video supervision
-Peer call monitoring and documentation reviews 
-Ideas for simple “inter-rater reliability” methods that you can easily add to you QA routines

3:15 PM - 4:45 PM
The Most Considerate Suicide: Andrew's Story - Lessons Learned in Preventing Suicide From the Other Side - COL-Ret George Patrin, MD
The suicide of a 21-year-old young man, the son of an Army pediatrician and healthcare consultant, is reviewed as a psychological autopsy that includes the victim's own writings, journal entries, videos and music. Important history data (bread crumbs) are laid out, items missed as the result of a lack of continuity among healthcare providers laboring under a constant pressure to be productive versus establishing a trusting relationship with the patient. Events leading to the suicide are detailed with suggestions how communities can come together and implement effective policies and programs to prevent missing the next "Andrew" in their community.

6:00 PM - 8:00 PM
Open bar reception in the newly renovated Gatehouse. Patch Adams, MD will attend and will be available for photo ops and book signing. Get ready to have a great time!
Saturday, April 27th - Workshops and Awards Banquet

7:30 AM - 6:30 PM
Registration  - Meet colleagues, new friends and network at the registration desk.
9:15 AM –  10:45 AM
Suicide Risk Assessment in the Chat Environment - Chandra Sanders
Risk Assessment in the Chat Environment follows many of the same guidelines as other client interactions. By providing insight into some of the challenges faced in an online emotional support medium, counselors can more accurately and effectively assess suicidality in chat clients. This presentation will equip attendees with the necessary knowledge and skills to implement this type of assessment in their own center or organization.

9:15 AM –  10:45 AM
Suicide Intervention, Advocacy and Follow-Up – Putting It All Together 
•COL-Ret George Patrin, MD, MHA (Moderator)
•John Plonski, National Trainer, IMAlive Director of Supervisors 
•COL-Ret Bruce Crow, PhD, Psychologist
•Dee Lasater, RN, Nurse Case Manager, Chief Quality
•Dan King, JD, PhD, Theologian
•Julie Kelly, BGS, Organizational Leadership, Military Family Readiness Group Leader

A multidisciplinary panel discusses how to set up a safety net after the initial crisis call to achieve quality outcomes after a crisis call to prevent suicide. Successful communities have expanded the limits of suicide intervention through memorandums, advocacy teams, and warm-hand-off policies. Existing United States healthcare policy for civilian and military (Tricare) programs that assist and thwart achieving outcomes in suicide reduction are discussed. Crisis educators and medical and spiritual clinicians highlight what is needed for successful interventions. A representative from each component of the "wrap-around team" discuss how to operate as a health care team to make warm-hand-offs possible (medical provider, nurse case manager, family member, mental health professional, chaplain, educator). Pitfalls to success are addressed to include health insurance and payer barriers as well as legal issues (HIPAA). The panel delivers a picture of "what right looks like" for successful suicide intervention community programs.

11:00 AM – 12:30 PM 
Improving Your Bottom Line By Integrating Chat, Text And Telephony Services  - Joel Bockovich and Alvin Butler
Northwest Vox will address some of the many challenges crisis centers face in regard to their communications. Learn how, through a fully hosted and managed solution, you can reduce your labor expense, change call flow on demand, eliminate the headache of connecting multiple locations, while reducing the cost of implementation, maintenance and overhead of your call center. We will also address utilizing remote agents transparently using cell phones and laptop based phones.

12:30 PM - 1:30 PM 
Lunch on your own.


1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
Building a Peerless Peer Program - Chandra Sanders
Building an effective Peerless Peer Program takes more than just willing people.  The challenges teens face are unique, as are their preferred methods and styles of communication, which can present obstacles to even the most well-meaning organizations.  One of the harder aspects of an effective teen peer-to-peer program is knowing how to balance the use of teens and adults when offering support via telephone, chat, and text. This presentation examines an already successful teen hotline program and explains techniques and strategies designed to meet today’s youth where they are. 

1:45 PM - 3:00 PM
The Missing Piece: Spirituality - Crisis Intervention and the Faith Community
•COL-Ret George Patrin, MD, MHA (Moderator)
•Dan King, JD, PhD, Theologian
•Julie Kelly, BGS, Organizational Leadership, Military Family Readiness Group Leader
Successful crisis intervention for severe depression and suicidal ideation ideally must address physical, mental, and spiritual health issues. The growing epidemic of suicide in the United States suggests we are missing key aspects of spiritual intervention and follow-up after the successful crisis call, instilling faith and hope for a successful future. The crisis interventionist would like to ensure a specific plan and warm hand-off is done in all three areas for every call. Identification of spiritual health and ways to initiate an integrated team safety plan in both civilian and military communities is discussed by a panel of theologians who have dealt with this issue professionally and personally.


3:15 PM - 5:00 PM
"Humor and Health" (Lecture Discussion) - Patch Adams, M.D.
Dr. Hunter “Patch” Adams, dresses in loud, colorful clothing, with long blue hair, in a ponytail, everyday. For Patch, a medical doctor, clown, performer, social activist, founder and director of the Gesundheit! Institute, clowning around is serious business. Use of humor in clinical settings was documented in the 1998 film Patch Adams starring Robin Williams, but how about in everyday life? For several decades, Dr. Adams has brought his unique brand of “laughter therapy” to more than 50 countries, including war-torn nations like Bosnia and Afghanistan. Recently back from his annual trip to Moscow and St. Petersburg hospitals, orphanages and nursing homes, this time with 37 international clowns, Patch discusses and demonstrates use of humor in daily life - whether conducting a crisis intervention or simply showing compassion and love to another human being in daily life.

3:15 PM - 5:00 PM
Crss Ntervention: Taking the "I" Out of Crisis Intervention – John Plonski
The personal pronoun “I” can seem to be an innocuous word. One letter. A vowel. We use it all the time. However, in providing crisis intervention we can increase our effectiveness if we try to avoid its use. In this workshop we will look at how we use “I” and how our use of the word impacts our work with those in crisis and limits our ability to help. Understanding all that we will then look at alternatives to using "I." The goal is to empower us to empower those reaching out without being I. But not to worry -- we will be leaving the “I” in Austin. 

6:00 PM - 9:00 PM
Kristin Brooks Hope Center/IMALIVE 13th ANNUAL AWARDS BANQUET
6:30-7:15 "Let's Try Love" Keynote by Patch Adams, M.D (in the Brazos Ballroom).
IMAlive Volunteers who finished the OCSIS Course and passed the Competency Exam will receive the IMAlive Crystal Hero Award commemorating their achievement, presented by IMAlive Network Director of Supervisors John Plonski.
KBHC Founder H. Reese Butler II will present National Hopeline Network Community Crisis Center Hero Award, Hope in Action Award, Jack Hoffpauir III Memorial Award, John F. Kennedy Inspiration Award and the Mental Health Advocacy Lifetime Achievement Award.

Brazos Ballroom
Sunday, April 28th - Schedule and Closing Ceremony

7:30 AM - 9:00 AM
Registration - Meet colleagues, new friends and network at the registration desk.
8:00 AM -10:00 AM 
The Joy of Caring - Patch Adams, M.D.
Dr. Patch Adams, director of the Gesundheit! Institute in Arlington, Virginia, has devoted his life to the study of what makes people happy, believing the most revolutionary act one can commit in our world is to be happy. Patch incorporates experience as a street clown to working with healthcare providers and their teams, crisis interventionists, and program administrators, exploring the relationship between humor and therapy using a unique blend of knowledge, showmanship and hands on teaching techniques. This inspirational workshop-lecture expounds on the thrill of helping others, including much dialogue exploring burnout prevention for caregivers. Attendees will focus on the magic and power of care, not only in the patient's life, but also in the caregiver's life. 

10:30 AM - 12:30 PM 
From Columbine to Newtown vs The Good Behavior Game - Dennis Embry, Ph.D.
When children enter the first grade, most don’t know how to read, to write or to do math. By the time they finish their first year in elementary school, most can read a book, write a sentence, and do simple math.  As a society, we teach teachers to enable their students to read, write and do arithmetic – in itself a small miracle. But, we can do more: We can help teachers create another, equally important, miracle in young children, “PAX.”
With PAX disturbing, disruptive, destructive and inattentive behaviors typically drop by 50% in weeks. Long-term studies in 30 school districts prove that playing PAX helps reduce suicidal thoughts, drug and alcohol abuse levels and violent and criminal behavior in students. Attend this workshop to find out how this game is changing American schools, one student at a time. 


Patch Adams, M.D., the real person behind the hit movie Patch Adams starring Robin Williams, has been described as "Extraordinary! Incredibly mind blowing and memorable, inspiring, an amazing human being, invaluable to hear him first hand."
A nationally known speaker on wellness, laughter, and humor as well as on health care and healthcare systems, Patch approaches the issues of personal, community, and global health with zestful exuberance." - Time Magazine.
His formative years were not easy, however. His father was killed in combat during the Vietnam War, and Adams suffered from depression, spending several stints in a mental hospital. The experience convinced him to dedicate his life to serving humanity. In 1972, he started the Gesundheit! Institute, a free medical clinic in an impoverished area of West Virginia. Since then, he has worked to expand the clinic and turn it into a permanent facility. As both a medical doctor and a clown, he is also a social activist who has devoted 30 years to changing America's health care system, a system which he describes as expensive and elitist. Patch brings laughter, joy and creativity, integral to the healing process, to bear on the difficult topics of public violence and suicide, addressing four major issues in health care delivery: the rising cost of care, dehumanization of medicine, malpractice suits, and abuses of third-party insurance system.

Dennis Embry, Ph.D., is the CEO/president of PAXIS Institute in Tucson, Arizona; co-investigator at the National Center on Early Adolescence in Oregon, and co-investigator at the Center on Prevention and Early Intervention at Johns Hopkins University. His work on prevention of health, safety, substance abuse, violence and mental illness among children has been featured in national media such as the Today Show, Good Morning America, Life Magazine, People Magazine, the New York Times, the LA Times, the Associated Press and others. He has been a policy and program consultant for very diverse organizations on child and family issues, from Sesame Street to the Pentagon, from state governments to foreign governments, from foundations to corporations. 
Dr. Embry and PAXIS have prevention and research projects in Arizona, Maryland, Wisconsin, Kansas, Oregon, Washington, Maine, Florida, Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, California, Texas, Virginia and various Native American sites. His recent prevention work focuses on low-cost evidence-based kernels and behavioral vaccines. 
Dr. Embry is the author of more than 40 books and training materials for science-based prevention of children’s injuries, parenting and family difficulties, violence, substance abuse and mental health and on positive youth and child development. He is the scientist and creator behind PeaceBuilders®, the PAX Good Behavior Game™ and other “best practices.” Dr. Embry writes extensively on behavior and the brain, with publications in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine, Intervention in School and Clinic, Developmental Psychology, Brain and Mind, Clinical Child and Family Psychology Review, and the Journal of Community Psychology. Dr. Embry and his colleagues have recently completed the first prevention project with a scientific evaluation of success across states.

Chandra Sanders, Hotline Manager, Crisis Intervention of Houston. Chandra Sanders started with Crisis Intervention of Houston, Inc. in 2011.  She is currently the Hotline Manager and oversees more than 90 staff and volunteer counselors who offer crisis counseling on thirteen telephone hotlines, as well as online emotional support via text and chat.  Having graduated summa cum laude with a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Liberty University in Lynchburg, Virginia, and she is currently pursuing a master’s degree in professional counseling.  Chandra has lived in Houston, Texas since 2009, is married to James, and loves chocolate.

Charles G. Ray has led community behavioral health organizations in Missouri and Florida and has served as CEO of the National Council for Community Behavioral Healthcare. In his 41-year career spanning clinical and executive work, he has earned a national reputation as a coalition builder and advocate in the areas of managed care effects on providers and consumers, evidence-based practice and public-private partnership models. Most recently he served as interim CEO of the Norfolk Community Service Board and is a Principal of Criterion Health, Inc. Given his long history in the field, we sought his counsel on what specialty providers, Board members and executives should be doing to prepare for health care reform. 

COL (Ret) George Patrin, MD, MHS, FAAP, FACHE. An army pediatrician, healthcare process improvement administrator, and staunch family advocate in military and civilian communities for over 35 years, Dr. Patrin speaks on suicide and child abuse prevention, parenting (discipline), school learning behavior challenges, and healthcare transformation via the Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH) and Accountable Care Organizations (ACO)

Phil Evans, MBA, President and CEO of ProtoCall. Philip Evans joined ProtoCall’s parent organization, Metro Crisis Intervention Service, in 1993 as a Crisis Team Supervisor. As the local crisis line’s “ProtoCall Division” grew within the agency, Phil assumed the role of Contract and Sales Manager, playing an early and instrumental role in expanding the reach of ProtoCall’s mission to a nationwide audience.  In 1997, Phil became ProtoCall’s vice president and a shareholder in the newly spun-off organization. In 1999, he became its president and CEO.
Prior to joining ProtoCall, Phil gained work experience in psychiatric inpatient settings as well as a comprehensive community mental health center in Newport News, VA. He has an undergraduate degree in psychology from Lock Haven University and a Masters in Business Administration from the University of Oregon. Phil has been on the Board of Directors of the Employee Assistance Society of North America since 2002 and has served as the Chair of its Annual Institute for several years and is currently its treasurer.
In the role of CEO, Phil has sought to create an effective and inclusive organization that delivers unparalleled value to our clients, customers, and employees. At the forefront of this effort has been a commitment to remain true to the organization’s original mission of ensuring quality access to behavioral health services while growing a sustainable business model that will give back to the community for years to come.

John Plonski
 has over 27 years experience in the fields of Crisis/Suicide Intervention and Information and Referral on local, state, and national levels using a person-centered approach to assist individuals with varied needs, diverse backgrounds and inexperience with navigating the social service system. Over the years he has helped callers facing the entire spectrum of life’s stressful situations to look objectively at their situations and then develop plans and skills to move beyond their anomie. His 20 years of employment at a national hotline for youth and their families, and prior experience as a volunteer at a local crisis intervention hotline gives him an insight into the unique needs of both professional and volunteer staff.

John has created comprehensive training curricula, seminars and workshops for developing and established organizations that address agency and staff development as well as emerging needs, technologies and issues. He has presented at the national, state and local levels as well as internationally, as witnessed by a recent training for the Child Helpline in Tirana, Albania. John’s value as a trainer is that he trains not only the methods and processes of a task but also explains the reasons for the use of those methods. This leads to a fuller understanding by the trainees helping them to feel confident in their abilities to apply what was taught.

John is currently the Director of Online Supervisors for the IMAlive Network. He is also a trainer with the Suicide Prevention Center of New York State. He is a board member of the Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (AIRS), the AIRS/United Way 2-1-1 Disaster Response Team, and past President of the New York State Alliance of Information and Referral Systems (NYSAIRS).

After losing his wife, Kristin Brooks Rossell, to suicide on April 7th 1998, H. Reese Butler II founded the Kristin Brooks Hope Center and the National Hopeline Network 1.800.SUICIDE.  In the last 14 years more than 6 million callers to 1-800-SUICIDE   have been routed to help and hope through the National Hopeline Network and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline Network. 
Reese has been featured on NBC Nightly news, Fox News, countless articles from the NY Times to Rolling Stone and the Washington Post. 
In 2005 he was recognized by the National Mental Health Association (now known as Mental Health America) with a special award for his contributions to the prevention of suicide. In 2007 he was honored by Contact USA for his pioneering efforts to create the National Hopeline Network 1-800-SUICIDE and 8 other national hotlines. 
On April 12th 2011, KBHC launched the world’s first virtual crisis center,  and in 2012 the Youthline Eastern Shore YES-IMALIVE, the nation’s first teen peer counseling hotline to launch in over 20 years. 
On October 26th 2012 Governor O’Malley declared the 26th as YES-IMALIVE Day to commemorate the launching of the Youthline Eastern Shore. The First Lady of Maryland the Honorable Katie O’Malley presented the proclamation and cut the ribbon on the new call center in Stevensville.

IMAlive is a program of the Kristin Brooks Hope Center (KBHC), a non-for-profit 501(c)3 organization. Our focus is suicide prevention, awareness and education. We provide help and hope through our crisis hotlines, online crisis chat, a music outreach tour and college campus awareness events. To learn more about KBHC, please visit

We'd love to see you on April 26-28, 2013 in Austin!

If you or someone you know would like to make a donation to support IMAlive, please choose  "I can not attend but I want to DONATE" option above. Every supporter will receive a gift as a sign of our appreciation!


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