2013-06-25 08:19:57.933

Regional Conference Provides Training and More for Treatment Providers

More than 200 addiction experts, treatment providers and representatives of the gambling and substance abuse industries are gathering tomorrow in Kansas City for the 10th Annual Midwest Conference on Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse.
The theme of the conference, hosted at the Hilton Kansas City Airport, 8801 NW 112th St. in Kansas City, June 26-28, is “Understanding the Past and Embracing the Future.” It will feature more than 15 workshops and general session presentations from problem gambling, substance abuse and co-occurring disorders experts.
The three-day summit is the result of the planning efforts of the Midwest Consortium on Problem Gambling and Substance Abuse (MCPGSA), a committee comprised of addiction specialists, problem gambling program coordinators and organizations throughout a five-state region – Iowa, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska and Oklahoma. 

MCPGSA President Bob Kerksieck said, “The Midwest Conference is a unique partnership of volunteers coming together to plan a non-profit training event, mostly via conference calls between all of the representatives from our different membership states, more than a year in advance.

“Our goal is to provide high quality and affordable training,” Kerksieck explained, noting that all of the general sessions are free and open to the public. “Most of our attendees are counselors working with those in recovery from gambling and substance abuse addictions. We’re proud to be able to offer continuing education for these counselors, so they can continue to help those in need.”

Kerksieck concluded that the committee is excited to be back in Kansas City to celebrate their 10th anniversary.

Since the inception of the Consortium, conferences have alternated between St. Louis and Kansas City. The first conference was held at the Hyatt Regency Crown Center in Kansas City in 2004. 

This year’s event kicks off at 9 a.m. on June 26 with a keynote address presented by Dr. H. Westley Clark, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Conference Highlights – General Sessions Located in Shawnee A & B:

June 26            

  • 9 a.m. – Dr. H. Westley Clark, director of the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA)
  • 1 p.m. – Julie Hynes, program director of problem gambling prevention at Lane County Public Health in Oregon
  • 4 p.m. – Thomas Hall, Ph.D., professor and addiction counseling program coordinator at Kansas City    Kansas Community College, and chairman of the National Post-Traumatic and Stress Disorder and Substance Abuse committee

June 27           

  • 9 a.m. – Pat Stilen, director of the Mid-America Addiction and Technology Transfer Center                        
  • 12:45 p.m. – T. Marni Vos, humorist, motivational speaker and former finalist in the San Francisco International Stand-Up Comedy Competition

June 28           

  • 11 a.m. – Lisa Najavits, Ph.D., clinical psychologist, psychiatry professor at Boston University School of Medicine and lecturer at Harvard Medical School

For a complete list of workshop sessions, presenters and conference information, visit MCPGSA.org.

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