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WinR is a Winner!

On June 10, the Center of Alcohol and Substance Use Studies (CAS) hosted a conference titled Supporting the Supporters: Collective Action Through Research and Advocacy as part of the Wellness in Recovery (WinR) program. The program, held at the Rutgers Inn, was attended by a lively and diverse group of people in recovery, family members, peer supporters, behavioral health providers, researchers, and advocates.  Everyone was warmly welcomed by Dr Denise Hien, CAS Director, Ryan Kettler, Interim Dean, Graduate School of Applied and Professional Psychology, and Francine Conway, Chancellor-Provost, Rutgers University – New Brunswick.

The opening keynote speakers were Jass Pelland, Program Coordinator of Rutgers UBHC Intensive Recovery Treatment Program, and Carlton Witmore, Office of Consumer Affairs Director at the New York City Department of Health and Hygiene. Dr Amy Spagnolo moderated the keynote panel.

The morning panel moderated by Peggy Swarbrick highlighted the CAS community-engaged projects, including the establishment of the Community Advisory Board (CAB) and co creation of the Journey to Wellness Guide. The panelists were Robin Short, Arielle Estes, Barbara Stewart, and Corey Kuebler.

The six posters presented (listed below) included two by WinR Scholars and three by WinR CAB members. The WinR Community Advisory Board members were recognized at the conference for their exceptional service.

This conference provided an opportunity to explore sharing information, to create community, and to inspire collaborative action. Feedback was very positive, including this comment from one participant: “Congratulations on the outstanding event. I had a really great time in an environment that felt refreshing, and inspiring.” Other feedback shared “I really enjoyed, respected and appreciated the entire event! It was very well organized. I felt such an awesome connection to everyone in attendance.  The presenters were excellent, and I learned something new from each of them. Additionally, it felt very safe to share on personal experiences that are not always easy to discuss in a public forum. The entire conference was very relatable on so many levels.”

The best part of the event:

  • Hearing from the community advisory board members. They were inspirational!
  • The supportive and non-judgmental environment, with trust and respect for each other.
  • Broad representation of stakeholders

Photos are posted in the CAS gallery.

Poster Sessions

Co-Developing a Well-Being Model for Young Black Adults (Presenters: Crystal L. Brandow, PhD, WinR Scholar, & Peggy Swarbrick PhD, FAOTA)

Community Informed Approaches to Digital Trauma Intervention (Presenters: Tanya Lalwani, BA, WinR Schola,r & Alex Bauer PhD)

Mindfulness-Oriented Recovery Enhancement (MORE) as an Adjunct To Methadone Treatment For People With Opioid Use Disorder And Chronic Pain: A Stage 1 In-Person Pilot Study (R21) and a Stage 2 Virtual Efficacy Study (R33) (Presenter: Nina Cooperman, PsyD, (CAB member)

Shelf Help: Reading for Recovery (Presenters: Judith H. Ward, PhD, MLIS, New Brunswick Libraries, and William Bejarano, MA, MLIS, School of Communication & Information)

Vaccine Hesitancy and Trauma-Informed Care: Developing a Sensitive Organizational Response (Presenter: Gina DelJones, CAB member)

A Scoping Review of Gender-Expansive and Gender-Diverse People’s Experience with Mental Healthcare Services (Presenters: Corey Kuebler, CAB member (they/she), Madelyn Owens (Any Pronouns),  & Jordan Correia (he/him)