Keynote Speaker: Dr. Nadine Burke Harris

Dr. Nadine Burke Harris is founder and CEO of Center for Youth Wellness (CYW). She was just recently named the first surgeon general of California. Dr. Burke Harris has earned international attention for her innovative approach to addressing adverse childhood experiences as a risk factor for adult diseases such as heart disease and cancer. Her work has demonstrated that it’s time to reassess the relationship between poverty, child development and health, and how the practical applications of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study can improve health outcomes.

The goal of the Center for Youth Wellness is ambitious: to create a clinical model that recognizes and effectively treats toxic stress in children and to change the standard of pediatric practice in our nation. Her areas of interest are in health disparities, child trauma, nutrition and asthma. Particularly, her focus is serving communities where issues of poverty and race present challenges to conventional health care and education.

Dr. Burke Harris has over 1 million views of her TEDTalk on “how childhood trauma affects health across a lifetime”. She has recently published The Deepest Well.

Breakout Session Information

  1. Perspectives on Introducing ACEs and “Trauma 101” to Communities

Hear several trauma 101 trainers’ perspectives across localities and different disciplines of the child-serving field about how they are developing best practices to meet the needs in their communities.

Moderator: Chloe Edwards, Outreach Coordinator, Voices for Virginia’s Children


  1. Keith Cartwright, Behavioral Health and Wellness Consultant with DBHDS
  2. Denise Studeny, LCSW, Director of The Foundations Program, Fairfax
  3. Brandy Smith, LPC, President of The Virginia Alliance for School Counselors, Roanoke
  4. John Richardson-Lauve, LCSW, Director of Mental Health and Lead Trauma and Resilience Educator, ChildSavers
  5. Denise Purgold, LCSW, UMFS, Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community Network Trainer
  6. Jenna White, Fairfax County PTA Liaison to the Fairfax Trauma-Informed Community Network

Chloe Edwards is Voices’ outreach coordinator, responsible for connecting local and regional partners and Voices’ policy team. With the Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia, Chloe works with Trauma-Informed Community Networks and coalitions across the state of Virginia. Her goal is to jumpstart strategic conversations and mobilize advocates in implementation of trauma-informed policy and practice at the state level through Voices’ unified policy agenda. Her work is informed by her personal connection to foster care (she entered kinship foster care at age 14) and by her previous job as director of Connecting Hearts, a nonprofit that strives to find permanent, loving homes for every child living in foster care.

Keith Cartwright has worked with Eckerd Youth Alternatives in a residential therapeutic wilderness program as a counselor and then as a Regional Director of Operations. He is a certified to instruct Mental Health First Aid, as well as the NEAR Science curriculum developed by one of the principal investigators of the original ACE study.

Denise Studeny is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker with over 19 years of experience working with adolescents and families.  She is currently with Fairfax County Juvenile and Domestic Relations Court, as the Director of the Foundations residential program, and part of the Court Trauma Team.

Brandy Smith has worked to serve children for 18 years. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor specializing in working with children and adolescents impacted by trauma. She is a co-owner of Connected Child Consulting which has delivered trainings about trauma-informed care to educators, counselors, and parents in Southwest Virginia.

John Richardson-Lauve is a licensed clinical social worker with over 25 years of experience working in the field of community mental health. He is the Director of Mental Health and Lead Trauma and Resilience Educator at ChildSavers. He and his wife have worked with over 50 children in foster care in their home.

Denise Purgold is the Lead Adoption Therapist with Adoptive Family Preservation (AFP) at UMFS, where she has worked since 2002. Denise provides clinical services to families working through adoption, attachment and trauma related issues. Denise is a member of the Greater Richmond Trauma Informed Community Network and she provides free trainings on trauma and resilience.

Jenna White is on the Executive Board of the Fairfax County Council PTA, which supports 40,000 members of PTA’s across the County. Last April, she requested the Council create a new position as the liaison to the Fairfax County Trauma Informed Community Network.

  1. Trauma-Informed Schools: Techniques and Tips from Practical Experience

Discuss with local trauma-informed school leaders their work to make schools more trauma-aware and trauma-sensitive. The panel of local leaders will highlight: the Virginia Tiered Systems of Support and Positive Behavioral Interventions and Supports, techniques for engaging grassroots and grasstops audiences, tips for incorporating equity, and resilience building, and conducting school-wide trauma trainings.

Moderator: Mary Beth Testa, NOVA Consultant, Voices for Virginia’s Children


  1. Patrick Farrell, Intervention and Support Coordinator, Charlottesville City Public Schools
  2. Ram Bhagat, EdD, Educator, Manager of School Climate and Culture Strategy, Richmond City Public Schools
  3. Taisha Steele, Ed.S, Director of School Counseling, Roanoke City Public Schools
  4. Maria Genova, PhD, School Psychology Supervisor, Fairfax County Public Schools
  5. Kim Dupre, Program Manager, Project AWARE Coordinator, Virginia Tiered Systems of Support Systems Coach, VCU (VTSS RIC)

Mary Beth Salomone Testa is Voices’ consultant in Northern Virginia. Mary Beth became a part of the Voices team in 2014 to connect the organization’s work with agencies, programs and advocates in the Northern Virginia localities. As part of the Campaign for a Trauma-Informed Virginia, Mary Beth advocates for smart policies and investments for child and family well-being; to ensure policy makers are considering the whole child and family; and encouraging advocates to tell the stories behind the data. Mary Beth works with Trauma-Informed Community Networks in the Northern region, as well as advisory councils, work groups, and coalitions of providers and families.

Patrick Farrell is the Intervention and Support Coordinator for Charlottesville City Schools. He is also behavior specialist, co-facilitator of the division’s Mental Wellness Action Team, and federal program coordinator.

Dr. Ram Bhagat is an educator, arts innovator, and peacebuilder who has been teaching and transforming communities for 35 years. He is an expert in culturally responsive circles, specialist in arts integration, certified in restorative justice, trauma healing & resilience, and yoga & mindfulness. Dr. Bhagat is the Manager of School Culture & Climate Strategy for Richmond City Public Schools.

Taisha Steele is the Director of School Counseling with Roanoke City Public Schools. She is also the division’s equity coordinator and has an Education Specialist Degree in Educational Leadership and Policy Studies from Virginia Tech.

Maria Genova is a School Psychology Supervisor with Fairfax County Public Schools. Maria also supervises the clinical practice of school-based psychologists, serves as a certified crisis intervention trainer for school-based mental health professionals, and leads departmental equity initiatives.

Kim Dupre has worked in education for 20 years. She is currently a Program Manager for Project AWARE; supporting mental health alignment within the Virginia Tiered System of Support. In addition, Kim serves as a Systems Coach for Virginia Tiered Systems of Support.

  1. Evaluating Evidence-Based Practices: Leveraging Stakeholder Expertise to Inform the Implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act (FFPSA)

Participate in an overview of Virginia’s implementation of the FFPSA. This session will highlight a review of a recent stakeholder survey, and gaps in child welfare programs with regard to evidence-based services statewide. The workshop will include a tool to evaluate the implementation of evidence-based services in the community.

Moderator: Nicole Poulin, Executive Director, Family and Children’s Trust Fund


  1. Dillon Wild, University of Virginia Batten School of Public Policy graduate student
  2. Lisa Jobe-Shields, PhD, University of Richmond
  3. Sunni Shin, PhD, Virginia Commonwealth University
  4. Laura Reed, LCSW, Virginia Department of Social Services

Dillon Wild is a Master of Public Policy Candidate at UVA’s Frank Batten School of Leadership and Public Policy. He spent last summer interning with Voices for Virginia’s Children focusing on implementation of the Family First Prevention Services Act. After graduating, Dillon will be an Assistant Legislative Analyst with the Joint Legislative Audit and Review Commission.

Lisa Jobe-Shields, Ph.D. is an assistant professor at the University of Richmond in the Department of Psychology and a licensed clinical psychologist. Her research and clinical work focus on evidence-based treatments for traumatic stress at multiple generations, as well as the impact of parental trauma-related mental health on parenting experiences and child outcomes.

Sunny Shin is an associate professor in the VCU School of Social Work and the VCU School of Medicine Department of Psychiatry. He is also the Director of the Innovative Child and Family Wellness at VCU. Shin’s research team has focused on developing and testing theoretical models that explain the developmental mechanisms that link childhood trauma to adolescent substance abuse.

Laura Reed joined the Virginia Department of Social Services in May 2017. Laura is facilitating Virginia’s Three Branch Initiative to implement the child welfare system changes that accompany the signing of the Family First Prevention Services Act.

  1. Becoming a Trauma-Responsive School: A Guide for Virginia School Leaders

Gain an understanding of the research-based factors contributing to a successful trauma-responsive culture shift within a school. Learn how schools have embraced research-based, trauma-responsive practices to improve student outcomes and staff experiences. Practical examples will be anchored to the multi-tiered system of supports framework to emphasize the importance of a systemic approach.

Moderator: Margo Buchanan, LCSW, TFT Program Child and Family Therapist, Greater Richmond SCAN


  1. Shawn Abel, Principal, Midlothian High School, VCU Doctoral Candidate
  2. Kirk Eggleston, Principal, Colonial Trail Elementary School, VCU Doctoral Candidate
  3. Erinn Green, Program Specialist, VDOE Training and Technical Center at VCU, VCU Doctoral Candidate
  4. Stephanie Poe, Principal, Hopewell High School, VCU Doctoral Candidate

Shawn Abel is the principal at Midlothian High School. Shawn has conducted extensive research in an effort to provide an equitable and inclusive education for all students. He believes establishing trauma-responsive schools is an important step toward supporting students who are negatively impacted by ACEs.

Kirk B. Eggleston is the principal of Colonial Trail Elementary School. He serves a diverse population of students who speak 30 different languages. Trauma-responsive discipline has been an essential skill throughout Eggleston’s career – supporting and empowering children affected by physical, social, academic, and emotional challenges.

Erinn J. Green began her educational career as a Group Counselor at a residential therapeutic wilderness school for at-risk youth. Ms. Green is now an external systems change coach at the Virginia Department of Education’s Training and Technical Assistance Center at VCU.

Stephanie L. Poe has over 30 years of experience in education.  Mrs. Poe taught high school science and was a technology resource teacher before becoming a school administrator. She is currently the principal of Hopewell High School.

  1. Richmond’s Experience Making Law Enforcement More Trauma-Informed

Hear from Richmond leaders about the Richmond Police Department’s Road 2 Resilience and LIFE projects, and the Oliver Hill J&DR Court’s TILT program.  Presenters will share assessment methods, implementation of pilot projects, and barriers to implementation. These programs aim to prevent the school-to-prison pipeline by providing support and education for at-risk youth, focusing on agency leadership, and building relationships with youth and officers.

Moderator: Lisa Wright, LCSW, RPT-S, Greater Richmond SCAN and Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community Network


  1. Captain Don Davenport, Richmond Police Department
  2. Lieutenant Anthony Jackson, Richmond Police Department
  3. Mary Langer, Judge, Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court
  4. Kelli Burnett, Deputy Commonwealth Attorney for Richmond City, Juvenile and Domestic Relations Trauma-Informed Leadership Team
  5. Elaine Minor, Life Program Manager, Richmond Police Department
  6. Officer Farrhard El-Amin, Community Relations Officer, Richmond Police Department

Lisa Wright, LCSW, RPT-S, received her Master’s degree in Social Work (MSW) from VCU in 1993, is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Registered Play Therapy Supervisor, Certified Trauma Practitioner and certified therapist in Trauma Focused-Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Lisa has an extensive professional background in trauma assessment, treatment and community collaboration. Through her work as the Coordinator of the Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community Network, she has led efforts with trauma-informed assessment and project implementation with the Richmond Police Department and coordinated overall efforts of the TICN.

Captain Donald Davenport He spent several years on active duty serving in the US and Korea.  Don credits the Army for instilling in him a sense of service and leadership. In the fall of 1996 with a newborn son in tow, he and his wife Angela relocated to Richmond where he was hired by the Department of Juvenile Justice.

Lieutenant Anthony Jackson is a Homicide Sergeant with the Richmond Police Department. He currently leads a group of detectives that investigate homicides, suicides, and overdoses. Through his position, Anthony was introduced to the Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community Network to support and advocate for trauma-informed care for all children, families, and professionals.

Mary E. Langer is a judge in the Richmond Juvenile and Domestic Relations District Court.  Prior to her appointment in 2016, Judge Langer worked as a Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney in the City of Richmond and Chesterfield County, as an Assistant Public Defender in the City of Richmond and in the Office of the Virginia Attorney General.

Kelli Hall Burnett is the Deputy Commonwealth’s Attorney supervising the Juvenile and Domestic Relations (JDR) Court division of the Office of the Commonwealth’s Attorney for the City of Richmond. She has been a prosecutor since 2004, and has specialized in JDR practice since 2006.  She currently leads the Oliver Hill Courts Building Trauma Informed Leadership Team.

Elaine Minor has a background in school counseling and has worked with youth for the past 10 years.  It was in her work with a nonprofit that Elaine became involved with the Richmond Police Department doing outreach work with youth in the community.

Officer Farrhard El-Amin is a Police Officer with the Richmond’s Community Care Unit. He has been with the department for ten years and a Community Police Officer for four years. Farrhard specializes in working with the youth in the City of Richmond.

  1. Building Resiliency Through Home Visiting

Hear the Lynchburg Trauma Informed Community Network Chair will present on their early childhood system and its multigenerational support of families with children ages 0-5 years. The presentation will focus on building parental resilience and using the parents’ experiences and motivation to teach them how to prevent ACEs in their children.

Moderator: Lisa Specter-Dunway, Executive Director, Families Forward

Presenter: Ashley Graham, MSW, HumanKind and Lynchburg Community Network Chair

Ashley Graham, MSW has been in nonprofit leadership since 2011, overseeing HumanKind’s continuum of home visiting, early childhood education, and parent support services in Central Virginia. This includes continuously assessing effectiveness and adapting programs to maximize community impact. Ashley has presented to national audiences regarding innovative collaborative partnerships. She is also the chair of Lynchburg’s Trauma Informed Community Network.

  1. Burnout, Compassion Fatigue, & Vicarious Trauma: Caring for the Helping Professional

Learn about techniques for professionals, in both the mental health and school settings, who work with vulnerable populations of children and adults who have experienced trauma. Participants will discuss the differences between burnout, compassion fatigue, and vicarious trauma. Information will be provided about the development and maintenance of healthy boundaries and self-care strategies in a fun and interactive format.

Moderator: Laurel Aparicio, Early Impact Virginia Director, Families Forward


  1. Dr. Connie Honsinger, NBCT, Intervention Training Specialist for Trauma-Informed Care, Chesterfield County Public Schools
  2. Trish Mullen, LPC Clinical Supervisor, Child and Adolescent Services Team, Chesterfield Community Service Board

Connie Honsinger has worked in education for over 25 years as a special education teacher, school counselor, and as an intervention and training specialist for trauma informed care.  She holds a doctorate in counselor education and supervision with a specialization in crisis and trauma, is an active member of her local trauma informed community network, and sits on the Governor’s Children’s Cabinet for trauma informed care.  Connie works part time as a counselor in residence for Greater Richmond SCAN providing trauma-focused therapy for children who’ve experienced abuse and facilitating groups for parents.


Patricia “Trish” Mullen has been practicing as a Licensed Professional Counselor for over 18 years. Trish is currently the Clinical Supervisor for Child and Adolescent Services at Chesterfield CSB. She is a member of the Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community Network. Trish consults with private and public mental health providers to ensure principles of Trauma-Informed Care are utilized. In 2009, Trish was appointed by Gov. Timothy Kaine to the Board of Counseling.

  1. Trauma-Informed Collaborations Among Health Systems

Gain insight about how Richmond based hospitals and health plans imbed trauma-informed practices through the help of Greater Richmond SCAN and the Greater Richmond TICN. Presenters will share lessons learned along the way, and will highlight trauma-informed practice changes as they detail their journey toward becoming trauma-informed.

Moderator: Melissa McGinn, LCSW, Project Manager, Greater Richmond SCAN


  1. Shaleetta Drawbaugh, MPH, Project Manager, VCU Health System
  2. Cleopatra Booker, PsyD, Virginia Premier Health Plan/VCU Health System
  3. Carly Barrows-Compton, LCSW, Children’s Hospital of Richmond at VCU/VCU Health System
  4. Kelsey Williams, MS, CCLS, Chippenham Hospital/HCA Virginia Health System
  5. Blair Bell, RN, MSN, CPN, CNL, St. Mary’s Hospital/Bon Secours Richmond Health System

Melissa McGinn is Greater Richmond SCAN’s Community Programs Coordinator and Coordinator of the Greater Richmond Trauma Informed Community Network. Melissa is responsible for the management and coordination of all SCAN’s prevention programs, training, and consultation on becoming a trauma informed organization.

Shaleetta Hicks Drawbaugh is a Senior Business Development Associate for VCU Health System.  Shaleetta also served as the Administrative Resident for the CEO of VCU Hospitals and Clinics. Shaleetta has managed special projects for internal core operations and external strategic partnerships.

Cleopatra Lightfoot-Booker is a Licensed Clinical psychologist and the Associate Vice President of Behavioral Health Services for Virginia Premier Health Plan. She is responsible for traditional behavioral health services, Community Mental Health Rehabilitation Services, Addiction and Recovery Treatment Services, and integrated care value-based purchasing agreements.

Carly Barrows is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker. Since beginning her work at VCU Health in 2015, Carly has recognized the need for trauma-informed practices within the health system and established the Trauma-Informed Leadership Team to advocate for the needs of patients, families and staff.

Kelsey Williams is the Certified Child Life Specialist with HCA Healthcare at CJW Medical Center. She is co-chair for the CJW Trauma-Informed Leadership Team (TILT) and a member of the Greater Richmond Trauma-Informed Community’s Healthcare Committee.

Blair Bell is a certified pediatric nurse and clinical nurse leader with the Bon Secours Pediatric Specialty Practices at St. Mary’s hospital.  Blair is involved in the trauma-informed leadership team with Bon Secours and has focused her DNP project work on how to develop and implement trauma informed care principals at St. Mary’s hospital.

  1. The Intersection of Racial Inequity and Trauma

Identify and discuss the challenges of racial inequities and how trauma may later present within people of color. Facilitators from Petersburg and the Southside TICN will dispel myths and help participants identify and better address situations that cause cultural adversities to help unite diverse communities.

Breakout Session One Moderator: Olivya Wilson, RPS Resiliency Project Parent Engagement Coordinator, Greater Richmond SCAN

Breakout Session Two Moderator: Michelle Powell, Healthy Families Virginia Director, Families Forward Virginia


  1. Dr. Alton Hart, Jr. MD, MPH, District Health Director, Crater Health District
  2. Brian Little, Sr. Special Projects Coordinator, Crater Health District, Southside Trauma-Informed Community Network Leader
  3. Theresa Caldwell, Chair, Petersburg Wellness Consortium

Alton Hart has served as the District Health Director for the Crater District Health Departments/Virginia Department of Health since 2012. While at VCU, Dr. Hart’s research focused on working with African-American men in 30 barbershops Richmond. He was recently selected as a mentor in the National Cancer Institute’s Research to Reality Mentoring Program, a program focused on evidence-based public health practice.

Brian C. Little, Sr. is currently the Special Projects Coordinator with the Virginia Department of Health’s Crater Health District and Chair of the Southside Trauma Informed Community Network (STICN) in Petersburg, Virginia.  He brings over thirty years of business management, leadership and program development to the district.

Theresa Caldwell is a communications professional who leads a variety of workshops, including those about Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) with the Virginia Department of Health-Crater District and Integration Solutions. She is a Certified Trauma Professional.