Brain Science and Updates From the Field

Conference highlights important topics

Wednesday, June 21, 2017
Earlier this month, the expertise of an impressive collection of distinguished mental health professionals was on display for the benefit of their peers.

On June 22, Erie hosted the fourth annual Challenges & Innovations in Rural Psychiatry Conference at the Bayfront Convention Center. The conference is a way for professionals, students, consumers and family members to discuss important topics relating to mental health.

The keynote on the topic of the opioid epidemic was given by Dr. Donald S. Burke, Dean of the University of Pittsburgh Graduate school of Public Health. Burke was also part a roundtable panel discussion on the topic of the opioid epidemic that included County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper and drug and alcohol professionals from Stairways Behavioral Health.

In addition to the opioid epidemic, additional issues were discussed during the conference, including a case study examining the importance of art in recovery given by BLOOM Collaborative Director Lee Steadman, right, and Rochelle Youkers, director of Assertive Community Treatment at Stairways; best practices in Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT); and a look at how peers have been effective in helping treat substance use.

Speakers who presented at the conference possessed diverse experience from clinical, academic and government backgrounds.

Stairways medical director Dr. Penny Chapman has spearheaded the annual event that made its debut in Erie. Dr. Chapman is also the Director of Rural Psychiatry Fellowship for the University of Pittsburgh’s Western Psychiatric Institute and Clinic, the main sponsor of the conference.

The conference was free of charge for individuals who use services and their families, as well as medical residents and students.


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