10th Annual Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference

Friday, October 5, 2018
Earn up to 7.5 CE Credits

Managing Conference Partner:

Conference Partners:

Conference Sponsors:
Individual Webcast at Your Computer
Group Webcast Sites*:
- Homer

- Kailua-Kona
- Lanai City

- Carbondale
- Logansport
- Hays
- Marquette
- Mankato
- Morris
- St. Cloud
- Willmar
- Newport
- Abingdon
*Sites subject to change
The mission of the Rural Behavioral Health Practice Conference is to make quality continuing education accessible locally and affordably to behavioral health providers and researchers about the practice issues involved in working with rural people and communities.
WHEN -- Friday, October 5, 2018

THEME -- This year’s theme centers on Promoting Resilience in Rural FamiliesThis program focuses on education and skills improving the wellbeing of families in rural areas. This conference will address clinical issues that clinicians face with patients and families across the age continuum. These sessions will enhance providers’ abilities to address the pressing clinical and ethical realities of rural practice with families. This program is designed for psychologists, social workers, counselors, psychiatric nurses, psychiatrists, and other behavioral health professionals with an interest in rural practice and is at the introductory to an intermediate level.

SITES -- Presenters will be webcasting in for this conference, and there are options to attend at group webcast sites or by individual webcast (see SITES in column to the right). More information on host organizations and location addresses coming soon!

For more information, please contact Conference Coordinator Jon Aligada at [email protected]


Click here to register online.

Click here for a PDF registration form.

General Registration - $110
Full-Time Student/Pre-Doctoral Intern - $25
Member of Partner Organization - $90
Group Webcast Staff - $25
Conference Committee Member - $25


Brief overview of opportunities and benefits:

Exhibitor - $200

Conference Sponsor - $500

Benefits to Exhibitor/Sponsor Organizations:

  • Leadership recognition among behavioral health providers across rural America
  • Marketing and recruitment opportunities
  • Webcasting your video materials or PowerPoint with voice/sound at 2-3 breaks in each time zone, with your contact information displayed prominently, so participants can contact you by phone or email. 
  • Exhibit materials will also be on the conference document site, and you will receive recognition on the conference agenda.

Additional Conference Sponsor Benefits:

  • Your logo prominently displayed on the agenda and conference website and before all speaker sessions
  • Recognition as a conference sponsor at the opening of the conference in each time zone
  • All exhibitor benefits, as explained above

Click here to become a sponsor or exhibitor!


Note the usual conference time for your zone: 9am-5:45pm EDT, 8:00am - 4:45pm CDT, 7am - 3:45pm MDT, 8:30am - 5:15pm PDT/MST, 7:30am-4:15pm AKDT, 7:30am-4:00pm HST. Because lunch time will vary across time zones, no breaks are greater than 30 minutes, and lunch can be obtained during any of the breaks (or arranged to arrive before the poster session) and eaten into the next presentation if you wish.  Individual webcast participants may follow any presentation times desired; you must show your presence and attention by entering on your evaluation the Attendance Verification Codes on all random slides to obtain credit for each presentation, including the poster session.  Group webcast participants can also choose to attend one or more presentations individually on their own computers, but only at the simulcast times, and they must follow the Attendance Verification procedure for those presentations.

Click here for the detailed conference schedule in each time zone.


Keynote Address: Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs): Practice Issues in Rural Healthcare

Afton M Koball, Ph.D., ABPP, LP; Gundersen Health System
Denyse Olson-Dorff, Psy.D.; Gundersen Health System
Judy Klevan, M.D.; Gundersen Health System

Summary: Gundersen Health System (GHS) provides medical care to individuals across 19 counties in Western WI, Northeast IA, and Southeast MN. Given its reach across a wide network of rural communities, the system as a whole has focused on moving healthcare beyond the reach of our hospital walls and out into communities. In particular, a variety of initiatives related to intervening on adversity in childhood and making known the long-lasting impact of these experiences on health have been undertaken. This presentation will describe a collection of research projects within GHS that have examined how individuals with high ACE-screening scores utilize the healthcare system and how patients and providers respond to discussion of adverse childhood experiences as a standard part of their healthcare. Resiliency strategies for better managing ACEs in a rural community will also be discussed.

Click here for more information.

Ethics & Boundaries in Rural America – A Practical Approach

Jennifer Andrashko, M.S.W., LICSW; Minnesota State University, Mankato
Kimberly Sommers, Psy.D., LP; Minnesota State University, Mankato

Summary: Considering the role of ethics and boundaries in rural behavioral health practice requires thoughtful and intentional assessment of the realities in small communities. Practicing in rural areas will frequently challenge the capacity and skills of providers in negotiating multiple relationships. This presentation will focus on what the research says about boundaries and ethics in rural clinical practice and offer practical tools for effective management of these often complex contexts. Case studies will be used for discussion and illustration.

Click here for more information.

Fostering Resilience in Rural Older Adults and Their families

Maggie Black, Psy.D., LP; Shore Neurocognitive Health
Elizabeth J. Parker-O’Brien, LCSW-C, Shore Neurocognitive Health

Summary: This workshop will focus on the unique needs of rural adults as they age and offer clinicians strategies to foster resilience among rural older adults and their families/caregivers. Topics such as memory screening, engagement in community, and therapeutic interventions for both patients and caregivers will be discussed.

Click here for more information.

Suicide and Drug Overdose Deaths: How is Postvention, Prevention?

Tonya Carter, B.A.; Minnesota Department of Health - Behavioral Health Care Liaison
Kate Erickson, M.S.W.; Minnesota Department of Health - Opioid Overdose Prevention Director

Summary: No provider wants to think about one of his or her patients dying. Unfortunately, they need to be prepared to effectively respond to promote healing and recovery after a client’s death by suicide or overdose - known as postvention. This presentation we will introduce and discuss postvention. How it is an effective suicide prevention strategy, how it is in a behavioral health organization to respond within the agency, and how the framework may be useful in response to overdose deaths –especially for providers and communities that may be experiencing multiple traumas or deaths in a limited time-period. Will also discuss the importance of self-care as providers.

Click here for more information.


1.0 Continuing Education Credit

Session Title: Integrated Behavioral Health in a Rural Pediatric Primary Care Setting: Challenges and Opportunities
Chelsea VanderWoude, M.A., Megan McCrary, M.A., & Karla K. Fehr, Ph.D.

Session Title: The Agrarian Distress: Factors Explaining the Will to Live Among Poor, Rural, and Distressed Farmers
Kandlur, R., Sardana, S., & Richardson-Vejlgaard, R.

Session Title: Barriers to Mental Health Care: Investigating Location and Impact on Rural Communities
Jensen, E. J. & Beehler, S. J

Session Title: Expanding Care: Workshop Outcomes to Enhance Behavioral Health Care for Rural Patients with Chronic Respiratory Conditions
McClain, M., Schopp, L., & Kouba, M.

Session Title: Are Cancer Survivors in Rural Hawaii Physically Active?
Ramos, C.M., Gotshalk, L.A., Verseput, M., Cabarloc, C., Queen, L., Martinez, K., Cranswick, B., Tom, J., Carvalho, C., & Schmelz, K.

Session Title: Differences in Psychological Flexibility and Inflexibility between Levels of Socioeconomic Status
Stone, B.M., & Drake, C.E.

Session Title: Addressing the Opioid Epidemic in Rural Hawai`i
Lavoie, A.M.; Logan, D.E.; Hanes, V.K; May, K.A.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Describe the research results in the posters.
  2. Describe the practice implications from the poster research.

CONTINUING EDUCATION CREDIT:  Psychologists and most other behavioral health professionals can earn up to 7.5 continuing education credits through the Minnesota Psychological Association's CE accreditation with APA.

This activity is pending approval from a National Association of Social Workers chapter.

Please note: You must attend the full session to receive continuing education credit for that session.

Contact the Conference Coordinator Jon Aligada at [email protected] with questions.

MPA Event Refund Policy:  A 100% refund will be made if the event is cancelled. Refunds, less a $5 handling fee, will be given if a written or emailed cancellation is received at least five working days before the scheduled program begins. No refund will be given after September 28.


Diversity Statement

The Minnesota Psychological Association actively encourages the participation of all psychologists regardless of age, creed, race, ethnic background, gender, socio-economic status, region of residence, physical or mental status, political beliefs, religious or spiritual affiliation, and sexual or affectional orientation.Although we are an organization of individuals from diverse cultures and backgrounds, the Minnesota Psychological Association also recognizes our core unifying identities as Psychologists who practice in America. We also recognize that we may hold unintentional attitudes and beliefs that influence our perceptions of and interactions with others. Within this context of unity and self-exploration, we are committed to increasing our sensitivity to all aspects of diversity as well as our knowledge and appreciation of the unique qualities of different cultures and backgrounds.We aspire to becoming alert to aspects of diversity, previously unseen or unacknowledged in our culture. In this spirit, we are committed to collaborating with multicultural groups to combat racism and other forms of prejudice as we seek to promote diversity in our society. To this end, we are dedicated to increasing our multicultural competencies and effectiveness as educators, researchers, administrators, policy makers, and practitioners.