Featured Speaker (keynote)

Dr. Robert J. Ackerman | Indiana University at Pennsylvania 

Dr. Robert J. Ackerman is a Professor Emeritus and the previous Director of the Mid-Atlantic Addiction Research and Training Institute and Director of the Alcohol and Drug Abuse Program, Department of Psychiatry, U.S. Army, Ft. Carson, CO. He is co-founder of the National Association for Children of Addiction. He is the former Editor of Counselor: The Magazine for Addiction and Behavioral Health Professionals and currently serves as Chair of the Advisory Board.

As an author he has published numerous articles and research findings and is best known for writing the first book in the United States on children of alcoholics.  Dr. Ackerman is internationally known for his work with families and children of all ages.  His books have been translated into fourteen languages. He is a veteran of numerous TV appearances and his work has been featured on CNN Headline News, the New York Times, Today Show, USA Today newspaper, Newsweek Magazine, Oprah and National Public Radio.

Serving on many advisory boards, Dr. Ackerman has worked with the National Institute of Mental Health, National Institute on Alcoholism and Alcohol Abuse, and the U.S. Department of Education and the White House Task Force on Resiliency and At-Risk-Youth.

Mary Ellen Copeland, Ph.D. | Wellness Recovery Action Plan & Recovery Services 

Mary Ellen Copeland, PhD  is nationally and internationally recognized for her work in studying how people recover from mental health challenges using simple, safe, non-invasive, widely available self-help resources.  She began these studies in 1988 as a result of her efforts to find acceptable answers to her own mental health issues.  In 1997, she worked with a group of people with lived experience to develop the well-known, widely used and now evidence-based Wellness Recovery Action Plan or WRAP. Her focus is on shifting from more traditional mental health treatment options including use of psychotropic medications to examining and considering alternative strength-based approaches that build upon personal empowerment, prevention and recovery through natural supports, education, training, and research.

Christopher Jones | Substance Abuse & Mental Health Services Administration

Christopher M. Jones currently serves as the Director of the National Mental Health and Substance Use Policy Laboratory at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA).  Prior to joining SAMHSA, Dr. Jones served as Acting Associate Deputy Assistant Secretary for Science and Data Policy and Director of the Division of Science Policy in the Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) at the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. The Office of Science and Data Policy is the HHS focal point for policy research, analysis, evaluation, and coordination of public health, science, and data policy activities, and provides authoritative advice and analytical support to HHS leadership on public health, science, and data policy issues and initiatives. He has also served as senior advisor in the Office of the Commissioner at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and led the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s (CDC) drug abuse and overdose activities where he focused on strategic policy development and implementation, engaging national and state partners, and conducting research to improve policy and clinical practice. During his career, Dr. Jones has served as Senior Public Health Advisor to the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy, led the FDA’s Drug Safety and Risk Communication team, and served on the Science Team in the CDC’s Strategic National Stockpile. He received his Bachelor of Science degree from Reinhart College, his Doctor of Pharmacy degree from Mercer University, his Master of Public Health degree from New York Medical College, and is currently completing his Doctorate of Public Health in Heath Policy at The George Washington University Milken Institute School of Public Health. Dr. Jones has authored more than 50 peer-reviewed publications on the topic of drug abuse and overdose