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2013 Conference Faculty


Angie Avella, is Coordinator of the Substance Abuse Program Santa Fe South Schools Inc., Oklahoma City, OK.

Carl R. Backes, DO, is the president of Kiddie West Pediatric Center. He is board certified in pediatrics and neonatology. For over 30 years, Dr. Backes has greatly enjoyed caring for children including several generations within families.

Bill Banner, MD is Board Certified in Pediatric Critical Care Medicine and Medical Toxicology and his clinical practice is at Integris Baptist Medical Center in the Pediatric Intensive Care Unit.  He is the Past President of the American Academy of Clinical Toxicology and the Past Chair of the American College of Medical Toxicology.  Dr. Banner is an Adjunct Clinical Professor at the University of Oklahoma College of Pharmacy and the Medical Director for the Oklahoma Poison Control Center. 

Elizabeth Bard, PhD,is a Post-Doctoral Fellow at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  She received her doctorate in counseling psychology from the University of Oklahoma.  Her primary clinical and research interests include the assessment and treatment of youth who have experienced child maltreatment and youth with problematic parent-child relationships. She has provided training and consultation nationally to PCIT providers through the Oklahoma’s national training program for Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).  

Kathy Bell, RN, MS, is Forensic Nurse Administrator with the Tulsa Police Department.  Ms. Bell provides day to day operations management for the forensic nurse examiner programs.  She is also responsible for development of replication strategies and training programs that will facilitate other communities in providing forensic nurse examiner services.  Ms. Bell is also certified as a Sexual Assault Nurse Examiners of Adults and Adolescents and Pediatrics (SANE-A and SANE-P) by the International Association of Forensic Nurses.

Dolores Subia BigFoot, PhD, is Professor and Director of the Native American Programs at the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect, Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  Dr. Bigfoot directs the Indian Country Child Trauma Center that is part of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network and provides consultation, training and technical assistance to tribal, state, and federal agencies on child trauma.

Ryan Brown, MD,is a Clinical Associate Professor in the Section on Pediatric Emergency Medicine at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Dr. Brown is also an attending physician in the Emergency Department at Children’s Hospital, OU Medical Center.  He also is a member of the Child Death Review Board and the Board of Child Death Examination for the state of Oklahoma, along with being the assistant director of the Child Protection Committee at Children’s Hospital.

Cristi Cain, “MPHin progress”, is a certified Prevention Professional at the University of Kansas and has worked in prevention for over eighteen years.  She has provided trainings at the local, state, and national levels and provided testimony at a Congressional hearing.

Christopher Campbell, PhD, is a Post-Doctoral Researcher at the Center on Childabuse and Neglect in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma HealthSciences Center.  His clinical and research interest includes the assessment and treatment of youth with problematic parent-child and/or teacher-child relationships, youth with sexual behavior problems, and youth who have experienced child maltreatment.

Bethany Case, LCSW, is currently a Visiting Fellow at the US Department of Justice, Office for Victims of Crime (OVC).  She currently works within the National Training and Program Development Division, and is responsible for advising OVC on child victimization issues that impact federal policies and programs.  Ms. Case also works closely with non-governmental agencies to develop training and technical assistance initiatives.

Ira Chasnoff, MD,serves as the president of the Children’s Research Triangle andProfessor of Pediatrics at the University of Illinois College of Medicine in Chicago, IL.He is one of the nation’s lead researchers in the field of maternal drug use during pregnancy and the effects on the newborn infant and child.

Janet Cizek, MS LPC LADC, is CEO of The Center for Therapeutic InterventionsTulsa OK.

Vicki Cook, LPC, is the Assistant Director of the A Better Chance Clinic at the ChildStudy Center in the Department of Pediatrics, University of Oklahoma Health SciencesCenter.  The clinic sees young children with prenatal substance exposure. Ms. Cook also provides Parent Child Interaction Training (PCIT) and consultations.

Kevin Collins,joined the Partnership in December, 2000 as the Deputy Director of Community Education ProgramsMr. Collins is responsible for the marketing and development of this program.  He is also responsible for alliances and markets in New York State and Virginia.  Immediately prior to his current position, Kevin served as a Regional Manager for the Partnership.

Christine O. Corken, JD, is a First Assistant County Attorney in Dubuque, Iowa.  She has been a practicing attorney for several years and primary focus is on sexual abuse prosecution.  She also prosecutes homicides, felony assaults and drug endangered children cases. 

Don Coyhis, is a member of the Mohican Nation and currently lives in Colorado Springs Colorado.  He is founder and President of White Bison, Inc., an American Indian non-profit charitable organization which offers sobriety, recovery, addictions prevention, and wellness/Wellbriety learning resources to the Native American community nationwide.  Many non-Native people also use White Bison’s healing resource products, attend its learning circles, and volunteer their services.

Kay Doughty, MBA, is the Vice-President, Family and Community Services of Operation PAR, Inc.  Ms. Doughty has worked in the substance abuse field for over 25 years with her focus on prevention and treatment, specializing in childrenand their families.

Dan Dubovsky, MSW, is a Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders Specialist and Senior trainer at the SAMHSA Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders (FASD) Center for Excellence in Rockville, MD.  Mr. Dubovsky provides content expertise to the project, including materials development and information systems development, and train personnel in FASD.  In addition, he has developed a consultant database of people in the field with expertise in FASD for training and technical assistance purposes.

Detective Tony D. Foreman,is a native of Oklahoma City and joined the Oklahoma City Police Department in March, 1999 as a second-generation police officer.  In 2005, Detective Forman transferred to the Investigations Bureau where he was assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit.  Investigations are of physical abuse, sexual abuse and neglect cases involving children 12 years old and younger.  He is also responsible for conducting child death investigations including child homicides as a result of abuse.

Beverly Funderburk, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Research at the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  She conducts treatment and training in Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT).  Dr. Funderburk’s research interests include issues of training and dissemination in PCIT and cultural applications of PCIT.

Melissa Gallardo, BA, is Manager for the Colorado Adult Parole office.  She has worked in the justice system for the past 19 years and is also a firearms instructor and trainer for the Department of Corrections.

Stephen Gillaspy, PhD,is a licensed psychologist and Associate Professor of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and serves as the Director of Research for the Section of General and Community Pediatrics. His research interests are in the area of pediatric obesity, parental smoking cessation, and postpartum depression.  Additionally, he has both clinical and research interests with respect to the accessibility of medical and mental health care to children.

Cassie Goldberg,joined The Partnership at Drugfree.org in August, 2011 as Manager of Public Affairs.  Ms. Goldberg is responsible for the promotion and marketing of the organization’s Community Education programming.  In addition, she serves as a PACT360 trainer and worked to write, edit and develop the Community Education website, pact360.org.

Michael Gomez, PhD,is a Licensed Psychologist at the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  Dr. Gomez’s research and clinical interests include child maltreatment, disruptive behavior disorders, Trauma-Focused Cognitive-Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), treatment of adolescents with inappropriate/illegal sexual behaviors, and acculturation in families.

Jenae Holtz, MS,Director of the Desert/Mountain Children’s Center (DMCC) for the past 17 years. 

Debra Knecht, BS, MSW, works as the CPS Programs Manager for Oklahoma Department of Human Services.  She currently oversees the writing of CPS policy for compliance with state statue, training new and seasoned workers on policy and practice related to CPS, reviewing all child death and near death investigations in the state of Oklahoma and the release of public information related to child deaths and near deaths.

Esther Larsen, JD,is a licensed attorney in the states of Washington and Idaho.  Ms. Larsen is currently the Project Director, Spokane County Drug Endangered Children Project, Spokane County Sheriff’s Office.   She has been actively involved with issues regarding substance abuse and health and safety of children.

Susan Leavell, BA, is the Program Administrator for Washington State Department of Corrections.  Ms. Leavell has spent the past 25 years in law enforcement and corrections. 

Bonnie J. McBride, PhD, is an Associate Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center and Director of Early Foundations.  Dr. McBride is a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and her specialty is in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Representative Jeannie McDaniel was elected to the House of Representatives in 2004. She has spent the past 9 years working on issues constituents said were important.  A member of the Health Committee, she hosted an interim study on mental health in 2005 which resulted in funding Tulsa’s Mental Health Court.  She pushed for anti-texting with hand held devices while driving, health education for youth, more funding for schools, and parole for aging prisoners (over 65) legislation.   She also worked to establish a position at the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth to coordinate efforts to address the needs of children of incarcerated parents. Representative McDaniel is a strong advocate for women and children’s rights.

John Molina, MD, JD, is the Chief Executive Officer for Phoenix Indian Medical Center  Indian Health Service.  Dr. Molina is of Pascua Yaqui and San Carlos Apache heritage.  Prior to medical school, he worked as a social worker in the Yaqui community of Guadalupe, addressing social needs and alcohol addictions through various community groups and partnerships.  For the past 20 years, Dr. Molina has been actively involved in Native community partnerships to integrate clinical medicine as a venue to intervene with youth who have addictions.

Steve L. Nelson, JD, PhD, is the Unit Chief of the Violent Felonies of the Salt Lake County District Attorney’s Office and cross-designated as a Special Assistant United States Attorney for the District of Utah.  Mr. Nelson currently serves as the Chair of National DEC’s Needs Assessment and Data Collection Work Group.

Cherise Nielsen, is a Corrections Fields Supervisor at Wisconsin Department of Corrections. She has also been the chairperson for the local DEC program since its inception seven years ago. 

Chrissi Nimmo, JD, is the Assistant Attorney General for Cherokee Nation who has represented the Nation in tribal, state and federal courts since 2008.  She primarily focuses on the Indian Child Welfare Act and in-house counsel duties for the Nation.  She represented Cherokee Nation in Adoptive Couple v. Baby Girl before both the United States Supreme Court and the South Carolina Supreme Court and in Nielson v. Ketchum before the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. Ms. Nimmo  also serves as the Adam Walsh Act Sex Offender Registration and Notification Compliance Office for Cherokee Nation.

Sharla J. Owensserves as the Chief Executive Officer for Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma since 2009.  Ms. Owens is a current member of the Children of Incarcerated Parents Advisory Council and the Oklahoma Drug Endangered Children Council.  She has several years’ experience working for non-profit organizations and is committed to community improvement through her leadership role at Big Brothers Big Sisters and her volunteer efforts.

Laura J. Pitman, MBA, PhD, is Deputy Director of the Division of Female Offender Operations in the Oklahoma Department of Corrections.  Dr. Pitman’s responsibilities are for the Female Offender Operations, Grant Funded Female Offender Division and Reentry Programs, Volunteer and Religious Services system-wide and Classification and Population system-wide.   She has a Master’s degree in Business Administration, Master’s and doctorate in Clinical Psychology.

Vanessa Price, is a retired Police Officer (Inspector) from the Oklahoma City Police Department. She was instrumental in the development of the Oklahoma County Drug Court Program, including policy manual development, budgeting, and staff training. Ms. Price currently serves as faculty for National Drug Court Institute, Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Institute and consults on a number of community development projects.

Kiti Freier Randall, PhD, is a Pediatric Neurodevelopmental Psychologist and the Director of Psychological Services in the Department of Pediatrics, Loma Linda University Health Care.  Dr. Randall has extensive experience, spanning over 26 years, with high-risk infant and youth populations. She has specialized expertise in the area of pre and post natal substance exposure and childhood trauma. Currently, she is a consultant expert on high risk 0-5 year olds who have experience trauma and/or drug endangered environments, for Children’s Network and First Five of San Bernardino County’ California. 

Christie Reed is the Kid Crew Coordinator at Area Mental Health Center.  She has worked in the field of mental health for 28 years and is a licensed provider in the state of Kansas.  She has also been instrumental in implementation of Second Step.

Elizabeth Risch, PhD, is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  Dr. Risch’s clinical work involves assessment and treatment of trauma-exposed youth and children with sexual behavior problems.   She also provides training and consultation in trauma-focused cognitive behavior therapy.     

Arlene B. Schaefer, PhD,has been practicing forensic and clinical psychology for over 30 years.  Dr. Schaefer frequently presents, serves as expert witness, and publishes in the areas of ethics, standards of practice, forensic psychology, and the intersection of mental health practice and the law. 

Susan Schmidt, PhD,is a licensed psychologist and Assistant Professor at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  Her clinical and research interests include children exposed to domestic violence, evidence-based interventions for trauma-exposed children, treatment outcome and program effectiveness, and treatment of adolescents with inappropriate or illegal sexual behavior.

Paul Shawler, MS, is a Graduate Research Assistant at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in the section of Developmental and Behavioral Pediatrics.  His research interest is in Autism Spectrum Disorders.

Rashi K. Shukla, PhD, is an Associate Professor of Criminal Justice in the School of Criminal Justice at University of Central Oklahoma.  Dr. Shukla’s research interests include examining drug use and decision-making, and drug policy.  Since 2005, she has served as PI of a multi-method study of the methamphetamine problem in Oklahoma.

Deborah Shropshire, MD, MHA, is a pediatrician and an advocate for foster children.She provides medical care for children in the Oklahoma County emergency foster shelter and through the Fostering Hope clinic at Children’s Hospital.  She also provides technical expertise for OKDHS case workers.

Lisa Smith, is the Executive Director of the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.  Ms. Smith’s career spans 26 years with the State of Oklahoma which began with the Oklahoma Department of Corrections, then Oklahoma Department of Human Services and then joining the Oklahoma Commission on Children and Youth.  She holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Criminal Justice with a minor in Political Science and a Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Management.

Antony Stately, PhD, is Director of the Mental Health, Chemical Health and Employee Assistance Programs at the Shakopee Mdewakanton Sioux Community in Minnesota.  He has provided clinical services to American Indian children and adults for over 15 years and has taught in numerous clinical, graduate programs in California and University of Washington.

Jacqueline Steyn, LPC, is the Chief Programs and Compliance Officer at the YWCA in Oklahoma City, OK, serving victims of domestic violence and their children.  Ms. Steyn serves on numerous boards and is the recipient of the Attorney General’s Distinguished Service Award for her statewide efforts to improve services for women and children impacted by domestic violence.

Mary Ellen Stockett, MD is a Board Certified Pediatrician in General Pediatrics at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  Previously she was a pediatrician in Florida and served on the Brevard County Child Protection Team and as Medical Director.

Michael F. Stratton, DO,is a Pediatrician in private practice.  Dr. Stratton’s primary interest is in child abuse and neglect and specifically drug endangered children. He has over 20 years of experience and is an Assistant Clinical Professor for Oklahoma State University College of Osteopathic Medicine and a Commissioner for the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and Dangerous Drugs and instrumental in establishing the Oklahoma Drug Endangered Children chapter.

John Stuemky, MD, is a Pediatrician at Children’s Hospital, OU Medical Center. Dr. Stuemky’s interest is in emergency medicine and child abuse pediatrics. 

William Tankersley, MD, currently works as Medical Director for the Children’s Recovery Center, specializing in the treatment of adolescents with co-occurring mental health and substance abuse disorders.  Dr. Tankersley is a professor of psychiatry for the Griffin Memorial Psychiatry Residency Program and also a diplomat of the American Board of Addiction Medicine. 

Leigh E. Tenkku, PhD, MPH, is an Associate Research Professor and Director for Research at the University of Missouri.  Dr. Tenkku for the past 30 years has designed, implemented and evaluated community mental health programs.  Currently, Dr. Tenkku is PI on two FAS-related projects.

Linda Thompson, MA,is the Executive Director of Greater Spokane Substance Abuse Council (GSSAC).  Over the past 20 years, Ms. Thompson has worked with community coalitions as well as local, state, and federal agencies to address the issues of substance abuse and its impact on the safety and health of children.

Rosemary Tisch, MA, is Director of Prevention Partnership International.  She was the lead author for “Celebrating Families!” which is available in English and Spanish for families.   Ms. Tisch is the author of numerous evidence-based curriculums for high-risk populations: children of alcoholics/addicts, sexually active teens, individuals with learning differences and those exposed in utero to alcohol and other drugs.

Theodore Wagener, PhD, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the Section of General and Community Pediatric and an Oklahoma TSET Tobacco Research Scholar with support from the Oklahoma Tobacco Research Center and the Stephenson Cancer Center.  Dr. Wagener’s research interests include investigating novel methods to reduce children’s secondhand smoke exposure, modified-risk tobacco products, and applications of Motivational Interviewing to smoking cessation andreduction.

Sue Webber Brown, is the Executive Director of Drug Endangered Children Training and Advocacy Center.  Ms. Webber-Brown has 26 years of law enforcement experience.

Sis Wenger,has served as President and CEO of National Association for Children of Alcoholics for the past 20 years. Through Ms. Wenger’s leadership, she has been instrumental in establishing NACoA as the unequivocal voice for children and families impacted by alcohol and drug use problems and supported resilience and recovery for these families.

April Sellers White, JD, is a retired judge who has 27 judicial years’ of experience.  In 2011, she served as Chair of the Oklahoma Children of Incarcerated Parents Task Force, and now serves as Co-Chair of the Oklahoma’s Children of IncarceratedAdvisory Committee.  In 2009, Judge White received Oklahoma’s prestigious Kate Barnard Award for her outstanding public service to Oklahoma’s women and children.

Jimmy Widdifield, Jr., LPC, is a Licensed Professional Counselor and a Developmental Pediatric Counselor at the Center on Child Abuse and Neglect at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center.  His clinical interests include the impact of parental substance abuse on children, evidence-based interventions for trauma exposed children, children with sexual behavior problems and adolescents with inappropriate or illegal sexual behavior.

Jennifer Wilburn LPC, LADC, NCGCII, CM,is Chief Operating Officer/Managing Partner The Center for Therapeutic Interventions, Tulsa OK

Craig Williams is Senior Agent with the Oklahoma Bureau of Narcotics and is currently assigned to the Human Trafficking Division. He has worked in a variety of assignments ranging from patrol, special response team leader, detective, narcotics investigator and field training officer. He also holds an Advanced Law Enforcement Certification from the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) and instructs Human Trafficking at the CLEET basic academy. 

Carisa Wilsie, PhD,is a Postdoctoral Fellow at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center. Ms. Wilsie provides trauma-focused therapy and assessment to children, adolescents and their families.

Geri Wisner, JD, currently serves as Tribal Prosecutor for the Native American Children’s Alliance Chief of Staff.  Ms. Wisner formerly was the Senior Tribal Attorney with the National District Attorneys Association (NDAA).   She trains law enforcement, prosecutors, advocates and allied professionals responding to child maltreatment, domestic violence, as well as criminal investigation and prosecution issues specific to Indian Country.

Jade Woodward, MPA, serves as the Executive Director of the Colorado Alliance for Drug Endangered Children.  In this role, she is responsible for the oversight of program implementation, increased awareness of drug endangered children issues, and the development of a solid DEC network statewide.   

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