2021 ACAAA Summer Conference • June 22

The Pandemic and the Opioid Crisis  •  9:00 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Presenter: Kirk Lane, Arkansas Drug Director

According to the American Medical Association, “The nation’s COVID pandemic made the nation’s drug overdose epidemic worse. Every state has reported a spike or increase in overdose deaths or other problems during the COVID pandemic.” Hear from the Arkansas Drug Director, Kirk Lane, about how the pandemic created new challenges in fighting the opioid crises in Arkansas and how you can help to reduce the impact of substance misuse in our state.

Arkansas Drug Director Kirk Lane was appointed by Governor Asa Hutchinson on August 7, 2017. Previously, Director Lane served as the Chief of Police for the City of Benton, Arkansas. Director Lane began his law enforcement career in 1982. In 1986, he worked for the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office for 22 years rising to the rank of Captain. His assignments during this time period included Patrol, Narcotics, Investigations, SWAT and Honor Guard. In January of 2009, Lane retired from the Pulaski County Sheriff’s Office as the Investigation Division Commander and was appointed the Chief of Police of the Benton Police Department.

He attended the University of Virginia and the University of Arkansas-Little Rock. He is a graduate of the Arkansas Law Enforcement Academy, the Drug Enforcement Administration’s Drug Commander’s Academy and the FBI National Academy 197th session.

He has served on boards representing Arkansas for the Regional Organized Crime Information Center, and was the Chairman of the Arkansas Chief’s Association Legislative Committee. Director Lane also served on advisory boards for the Criminal Justice Institute, the Arkansas Prescription Monitoring Program and the Arkansas Alcohol and Drug Coordinating Council.

Director Lane is an active member of the Arkansas State working group for Prescription Drug Abuse Prevention and received the 2012 Marie Interfaith Leadership Award for his work in this area.

Creating an Inclusive, Equitable Culture and Spaces for People with Disabilities  •  10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Presenter: Rev. Dr. Denise La Chelle Donnell, Consultant • Just Communities of Arkansas

There is arguably nothing more important in establishing a thriving, productive learning experience than every participant being able to bring their whole, authentic self to the space. Yet stereotyping and discriminating—even when done unconsciously— against individuals or groups on the basis of the way they look, present their identities and/or represent their cultures not only hurts those being impacted, it takes away from the your organization’s mission to support their all people’s capacity to reach their full potential. This workshop experience focuses on explaining what an inclusive and equitable culture looks like at work and in our everyday interactions. We also deep dive into the concept of bringing one’s whole self to a Community Action Agency work space and help participants learn effective tools to prevent and interrupt discriminatory and damaging behaviors.

Learning objectives:
•  Develop understanding of and difference between diversity, equity, and inclusion in the context of professional spaces and their individual significance in learning environments.
•  Develop understanding of and ability to foster cultural humility and strengthen capacity to leverage culturally diverse experiences.
•  Identify ways to co-create inclusive and equitable practices that are relevant and effective for the context of ACAAA stakeholders’ desired learning culture.

Denise is obsessed with the truth.
She is a truth-seer, a truth-seeker and a truth-teller.
She devotes all of her time and energy telling the truth about the truth.

The truth about her bio is that none of the academic accomplishments it boasts have anything to do with her personal goals. Denise is an unwilling victim of various systems of oppression that have inadvertently positioned her to be one who can engage people from all walks of life in ways that are meaningful, significant, memorable and transformative.

A Bachelor’s degree in English (Jackson State University, 1994)
A Master’s degree in Secondary Education (University of Mississippi, 1996)
A Master’s in Divinity (Perkins School of Theology, 2003)
A Ph.D. in Education Administration and Supervision (Jackson State University, 2008) are used to describe her as an extraordinary orator able to communicate to all people at all times in all places.

When Denise is not engaged in conversations about the truth, she spends her time reading, writing, sketching, playing the piano and throwing away all the food she cooks because is too nasty to eat.

You can find Denise live on Facebook at 9A Tuesday and Thursday mornings hosting and co-hosting local community radio talk shows and Tuesday nights at 7P for Bible study.


Adverse Childhood Experiences: Incorporating trauma-informed methods into all we do  •  10:00 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

Presenter: Sara Jones, Associate Professor • University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS)

Trauma at any time during our lives can have long-term consequences to not only our mental health, but also our physical, spiritual, and relational health. When this trauma occurs in childhood, there can be lifelong impacts that drive the rest of our lives. In this presentation, we will discuss 1) the definition and research surrounding adverse childhood experiences (ACEs); 2) their impact on our overall health and well-being; 3) why and how to identify ACEs in all individuals for which we provide support; and, 4) how to integrate trauma-informed methods into the care and support we provide.

Sara Jones, PhD, APRN, PMHNP-BC, FAAN, FAANP, is an Associate Professor and Specialty Coordinator of the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS). She has been a registered nurse since 2005, since which time she has worked in psychiatry. In 2010, she completed a PhD in Nursing Science and, in 2013, post-graduate studies to board-certify as a PMHNP. Dr. Jones’ practice and research has always been dedicated to individuals who experience trauma. She also owns Journey Wellness Clinic, PLLC. She cares for individuals across the lifespan with varying mental health conditions and specializes in pediatric populations and individuals that have experienced trauma. Dr. Jones is an active member of the American Psychiatric Nurses Association and has served as a Member-at Large on the Board of Directors (2017-2020). In 2019, she was inducted as a Fellow of the American Association of Nurse Practitioners and, in 2020, as a Fellow of the American Academy of Nursing.

Preparing to Measure Success: Strategic Planning  •  12:30 p.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Presenter: Shawn Howell, CEO • SA Howell, LLC

Establishing a strong strategic plan is critically important to an organization’s ability to define and measure success in the achievement of their mission. This session will lead participants through the basic elements of consideration for a strong organization-wide plan that will allow leaders to understand their impact on the people and communities they serve. We will also be sharing lessons that we have learned over the past year for developing these plans safely during a pandemic.

See Shawn Howell bio below, after 2:15 p.m. session

Mitigating Leadership Risks: Succession Planning  •  2:15 p.m. – 3:45 p.m.

Presenter: Shawn Howell, CEO • SA Howell, LLC

While it is always important to ensure your organization is prepared for the future, the recent pandemic calls for a renewed emphasis on certain risk mitigation policies that can help ensure your organization is able to maintain operations in the event of a temporary or permanent loss of key staff members. Join us as we discuss why your organization should embrace succession planning, examine the nation’s oldest succession plan, and review mandates/best practices from the Community Action network.

Shawn Howell is a Nationally Certified Results Oriented Management and Accountability (ROMA) Master Trainer with more than twenty years of experience developing, managing, and implementing award winning programs.

During his tenure with the Community Action network, Shawn worked in various positions in both Tennessee and Georgia that led to a strong expertise in the areas of program planning and development, data aggregation and analysis, and regulatory compliance. Throughout his career, Shawn has used this expertise to educate administrators, program directors, and board members on opportunities to improve organizational efficiency and effectiveness.

In 2017, Shawn left the nonprofit world to pursue a full-time career as a trainer and consultant. Today, he spends the majority of his time working with organizations to develop comprehensive community assessments, create measurable strategic plans, and identify opportunities to improve program performance and organizational compliance.

Shawn currently resides in the Atlanta areas with his wife, Angela, and three children Tyler (18), Thomas (17) and Andrew (12).