23rd Annual Conference Agenda, Keynote and Plenary Speakers
The National Federation of Families is proud to announce Elizabeth Smart as it's 23rd Annual Conference Keynote Speaker.
ELIZABETH SMART, Abduction survivor, ABC News Contributor and Founder of Elizabeth Smart Foundation The abduction of Elizabeth Smart was one of the most followed child abduction cases of our time. Elizabeth was abducted on June 5, 2002 and her captors had controlled her by threatening to kill her and her family if she tried to escape. Fortunately, the police safely returned Elizabeth back to her family on March 12, 2003 after being held prisoner for 9 months. Through this traumatic experience Elizabeth has become an advocate for change related to child abduction, recovery programs and National legislation. Elizabeth triumphantly testified before her captor and the world about the very private nightmare she suffered during her abduction, which lead to conviction. Elizabeth is currently involved in the “Elizabeth Smart Foundation”, and she has helped promote The National AMBER Alert, The Adam Walsh Child Protection & Safety Act and other safety legislation to help prevent abductions. Elizabeth is also a News Correspondent for ABC News. Elizabeth’s abduction and recovery has motivated and continues to motivate parents, law enforcement and leaders worldwide to focus on children’s safety. Emphasizing the vigilance of every day people in finding missing children and the belief that there is always hope and we can never stop searching for each and every missing child. Two years ago, Elizabeth worked with the Department of Justice and four other recovered young adults in creating a survivors guide, entitled – “You're Not Alone: The Journey from Abduction to Empowerment.” This guide is meant to encourage children who have gone through similar experiences to not give up and know that there is life after tragic events. Elizabeth’s example and life now is a daily demonstration that there really is life after a tragic event. Her speech not only tells her story, but also discusses topics such as overcoming extreme adversity and not allowing your past to dictate your life's future. Elizabeth is studying music at Brigham Young University with an emphasis on harp performance.
Sheila A. Pires is a founding partner of the Human Service Collaborative of Washington, D.C., a policy and technical assistance group specializing in child and family service systems. Ms. Pires has over 30 years of experience in national, state, and local government and non-profit agencies serving children, youth and families at risk. She has held senior staff and management positions in the U.S. House of Representatives, the U.S. Department of Health, Education and Welfare and the Carter White House. She co-chaired the children’s mental health and substance abuse committee of President Clinton’s Task Force on Health Care Reform, and co-authored the children’s issue brief and policy recommendations for President Bush’s New Freedom Mental Health Commission. She serves as the Senior Consultant to the Children in Managed Care and Child Health Quality Programs at the Center for Health Care Strategies and is on the boards of the National Federation of Families for Children’s Mental Health and the National Wraparound Initiative. At the state and local level, Ms. Pires served as Deputy Commissioner of Social Services for the District of Columbia and, prior to that, led a reorganization of the city’s child mental health system as head of child mental health services. She has consulted with many states, counties, cities, neighborhoods, and family organizations and has authored numerous publications on systems change, including Building Systems of Care: A Primer. Ms. Pires received her B.A. from Boston University and a Master in Public Administration from Harvard University.
Co-Founder & Executive Director, The F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids' Mental Health
Founding Director, National Institute of Families for Child & Youth Mental Health
Keli has a 23 year old son who was diagnosed with Bipolar Disorder and separation anxiety at the age of 10. This was the impetus for Keli co-founding the F.O.R.C.E. Society for Kids' Mental Health (www.forcesociety.com) 13 years ago in British Columbia Canada. Keli leads a network of other parents who have joined The F.O.R.C.E. in providing information, support, education and advocacy throughout British Columbia. Keli is also a member of the Child & Youth Committee of the Mental Health Commission of Canada and Co-Chair of the National Infant, Child & Youth Mental Health Consortium. Keli’s newest endeavor to bring families and systems together is the new National Institute of Families for Child & Youth Mental Health (www.instituteoffamilies.com) that she has co-founded with Dr. Jana Davidson.
For Keli’s leadership and commitment to Child and Youth Mental Health, she received the UBC Unsung Hero Award in 2005, the YWCA's Women of Distinction Award in 2007 and the CMHA Outstanding Volunteer in 2009.
Suzanne Fields, MSW, LICSW, joined SAMHSA as Senior Advisor to the Administrator on Health Care Financing in August 2012. As Senior Advisor, Ms. Fields serves as lead on the Health Reform, working closely with SAMHSA staff and stakeholders on preparation for and implementation of health reform as well as on critical SAMHSA relationships with other Federal agencies on health financing and related activities.
Ms. Fields has nearly 20 years of experience as a state and city administrator, provider, and clinician. Her work has spanned multiple settings including Medicaid, mental health and substance use, children's services, child welfare, and managed care. Previously, Ms. Fields worked at the Technical Assistance Collaborative (TAC), a national nonprofit consulting firm. In that role, she worked with over 20 states in numerous reform efforts, dissemination of best practices, financing, system design and delivery, and quality initiatives; she also consulted with numerous national advocacy and trade associations.
Prior to joining TAC, Ms. Fields was Director of the Office of Behavioral Health for Massachusetts Medicaid, where she was responsible for the purchasing, delivery, and quality of behavioral health services for 1.1 million recipients. In that role, she was responsible for service design and implementation of best practice services for children and youth under the Rosie D. lawsuit, a landmark class action EPSDT lawsuit that improved access to community based treatment options for children. As such, she has a deep understanding of how to utilize Medicaid to promote change in mental health and substance use systems. She is also the former director of a behavioral health managed care organization and served as the city of Boston's first director of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health.
Suzanne has provided technical assistance to initiatives for the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation, National Alliance for Mental Illness, National Technical Assistance Center for Child Welfare and Substance Use, Open Society Foundations, Center for Health Care Strategies, the Legal Action Center and the Annie E. Casey Foundation.
Suzanne's primary focus is in financing services and systems through creation of braided funding across funding streams, the development of federal Medicaid Waivers, Medicaid state plan amendments, designing and implementing best practice services and systems of care for individuals with behavioral health needs and their families; and designing and implementing managed care approaches that address the integration of physical health and behavioral health.
Suzanne is a former Director for a behavioral health managed care organization and also served as the City of Boston's first Director of Child and Adolescent Behavioral Health.