Prevention Talk # 5 - Professionalizing the Prevention Workforce: What Will It Take?
Thu, Feb 11 | Zoom Meeting

Prevention Talk # 5 - Professionalizing the Prevention Workforce: What Will It Take?

Registration is Closed

Time & Location

Feb 11, 1:00 PM – 2:30 PM EST
Zoom Meeting

About the Event

Growing a professional prevention workforce is a longstanding and evolving challenge. The recent articulation of a science foundation to prevention planning and programming has highlighted the need to establish the knowledge, skills and competencies needed to deliver highly effective prevention to communities around the world. Although there has been great progress in gaining recognition for professionalizing the field of prevention, there has been a long history of barriers to overcome. The limited recognition of prevention as a career option and a deficit in degree programs focused on prevention science and practice create early disadvantages. Furthermore, once professionals are working in the field, salary limitations, inadequate supervision, and limited advancement opportunities impede individual and systems development. Limited diversity within the prevention workforce and a lack of cognizance of prevention expertise and prevention credentials among other professionals, organizations, and communities create barriers, as well. Despite these challenges, prevention is increasingly valued among many systems, stakeholders, and communities, and younger populations’ increased exposure to prevention in recent years are promising signs for workforce development.

We invite you to this Prevention Talk to engage in dialogue about workforce development. The February 11 Prevention Talk features Tracy Flinn, Ed.D., Senior Research Analyst, National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors, Inc. (NASADAD), Sandra Del Sesto, M.ED., ACPS,  Delegate to and former Co-chair of the Prevention Committee of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium, member of the Advisory Boards of the Latino PTTC and the National PTTC, and Julie Stevens, MPS, ACPS, ICPS, Board Member of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium and Advisor to the Prevention Committee, Member of the Advisory Board of the National PTTC, Adjunct Professor, University of Oklahoma’s Masters of Prevention Science degree, and, Jim Ryan, APSI’s Director of Training, who will moderate the panel. Join us for an invigorating conversation on prevention workforce development.

Guest Speaker Bios: 

Tracy T. Flinn, Ed.D. is a Senior Research Analyst with the National Association of State Alcohol and Drug Abuse Directors (NASADAD). In this role, Dr. Flinn works with state substance use prevention directors by providing technical assistance; coordinating topic calls and webinars; facilitating communication and a model of “states sharing with states;” developing fact sheets and other resources; and coordinating the annual National Prevention Network (NPN) Research Conference and Prevention Leadership Summit between NASADAD, NPNs, and the Center for Substance Abuse Prevention (CSAP) at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).

Dr. Flinn has more than 20 years of experience working in prevention at the national, state, and local levels, and is a senior expert in substance use prevention strategies, project management, training and technical assistance, and alcohol and drug research, trends, and policies. She was previously the Associate Director of the U.S. Department of Education’s Higher Education Center for Alcohol, Drug Abuse, and Violence Prevention. Dr. Flinn also directed the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation funded “A Matter of Degree” coalition at the University of Delaware, where she implemented environmental prevention strategies to reduce alcohol and other drug use among students and established a statewide coalition of colleges and universities. She received her doctorate in higher education administration and educational leadership from the University of Delaware in 2007.

Sandra Puerini Del Sesto, M.Ed, ACPS, is a delegate to and the former Prevention Committee Co-Chair of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium (IC&RC), the international organization that certifies professionals in behavioral health, including prevention. She is a consultant and master trainer who has provided community and strategic planning, program development, and capacity building in all areas of prevention practice throughout the United States. She was the founder and for 30 years the executive director of a statewide, multi-service prevention program, and a founder of RI’s largest non-profit treatment program. She has worked extensively at both the community and state levels developing strategic prevention/behavioral health care plans, creating curriculum and programs for at-risk youth and families as well as instructional guidelines for substance misuse and mental health education. She has worked within the Latino community in RI for 20 years. In addition to her prevention work, she was the founding director of the Institute for Addiction Recovery at RI College. She is a member of the faculty and advisory board of the New England School of Addiction Studies, a member of the Advisory Board for the National PTTC , the National Hispanic/Latino Prevention Technology Transfer Center (PTTC) and the New England PTTC. Sandra is a co-author of SAMHSA’s Substance Abuse Prevention Specialist Training (SAPST) and its Basic and Advanced Prevention Ethics as well as many other courses and webinars. Sandra received her Bachelor’s degree in psychology from Boston College (Newton), and her Master’s degree in counselor education from Rhode Island College. She also completed a certificate program in nonprofit management through Brown University in Providence. Ms. Del Sesto is an advanced certified prevention specialist.

Julie Stevens, MPS, ACPS, ICPS is an Advanced Certified Prevention Specialist and was a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor for 20 years. She has served as Director of Prevention for the Texas Commission on Alcohol and Drug Abuse, and Training Specialist for the University of Oklahoma’s Southwest Prevention Center, and most recently as Executive Director of LifeSteps Council on Alcohol and Drugs. She is currently Member At Large of the Board of the International Certification and Reciprocity Consortium. Ms. Stevens serves on the Texas Certification Board of Addiction Professionals and is chair of the Prevention Subcommittee. She has a bachelor’s degree in psychology from Baylor University and a Masters of Prevention Science from the University of Oklahoma. In addition, Ms. Stevens is an adjunct professor for the University Of Oklahoma College Of Liberal Studies.

Jim Ryan is the Training Director of APSI. He is is an Ohio Certified Prevention Consultant and Internationally Certified Prevention Specialist with 35 years of experience in substance use prevention, behavioral health, systems development, training, and technical assistance. His work has spanned local, state, national, and international arenas and various community sectors, from schools and provider systems to business, community, and government systems. Educated at The Ohio State University, Jim has devoted his career to individual and community health, evidence-based prevention practice, and development of the prevention profession. In addition to his role with APSI, Jim serves as the executive director of ADAPAO, the professional membership association for prevention professionals in Ohio and chairs the ADAPAO Prevention Think Tank, a leadership group of Ohio prevention professionals. Jim is also senior trainer for Working Partners®, a national leader in drug-free workplace and workplace-based prevention services and has worked with innumerable public and private employers on workplace-based prevention for nearly 20 years. Jim co-founded Outlook, an award-winning newspaper targeting the LGBT population, in 1996, and served as the editor of the publication until 1999. Jim also has a lifetime history of community engagement and volunteerism: He served as an inaugural member of The Ohio State University English Department Alumni Advisory Board, has co planned and implemented multiple national sporting events, and has mentored youth and provided training and guidance to professionals within the child welfare system for 30 years.Jim serves on the Prevention Committee of the Ohio Chemical Dependency Professionals Board and was Ohio’s nominee for the International Credentialing & Reciprocity Consortium’s 2014 Prevention Professional of the Year Award. Jim’s primary goal as a veteran prevention professional is the continued development of the prevention professional field and prevention practice through high quality training, professional mentoring, peer networking, systems linkages, and practitioner innovation.

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