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Governor Tomblin and Cabinet Secretary Bowling Announce Inaugural Integrated Behavioral Health Conference

Press Release

Location: Charleston, WV

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, in coordination with Department of Health and Human Resources (DHHR) Cabinet Secretary Karen Bowling, today announced registration is open for the inaugural Integrated Behavioral Health Conference scheduled for September 17 -- 19 at the Charleston Civic Center. The West Virginia Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities, a division of DHHR, and 29 partners are organizing the continuing education conference for members of the behavioral health community across the state and nation.

"This first-of-its-kind conference is a wonderful opportunity for health care professionals, in West Virginia and across the nation, to collaborate across disciplines," Gov. Tomblin said. "Not only will participants explore treatment options, such as those we're pursuing in our fight against substance abuse; they will come together in one place to share their best practices."

"By bringing together medical professionals, substance abuse prevention specialists, educators, families and survivors, we have the opportunity to engage in meaningful discussion and explore the options for successfully treating many behavioral health related disorders," Cabinet Secretary Bowling said. "This comprehensive conference will not only provide participants with valuable knowledge, it has the potential to change lives for the better."

The Integrated Behavioral Health Conference--part of the Bureau's commitment to invest in, build and strengthen statewide services--will provide attendees the opportunity to engage with other members of the behavioral health community, create partnerships, and earn Continuing Education Credits (CEU's). Nationally- and locally-recognized presenters will explore current trends in integrated health care, clinical supervision, and evidence-based practices to increase engagement and outcomes. Keynote speakers include licensed clinical psychologist and counselor Dr. Nora J. Baladerian, nationally known author and substance abuse treatment expert Dr. Dennis Embry, and more.

"Our goal is for attendees to leave this conference more equipped and committed to promoting recovery and resiliency in their work and lives," said Kimberly Walsh, Deputy Commissioner for Programs and Policy of the Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities. "We believe that educating and investing in West Virginia's behavioral health professionals provides limitless possibilities for success, and we hope all of those who provide these fundamental, yet vital services throughout the state will join us in September."

Participants will have the opportunity to choose from nearly 100 plenary and workshop sessions. Topics to be covered include: drug diversion, integration and collaborative care, inclusion, evidence-based programs and practices, stigma reduction and behavioral health awareness and person- and family-centered practices.

For more information about the conference, the agenda, registration options or speaker information, visit or call Stephanie Southall at (304) 356-5064.

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