The Improving Behavior, Improving Lives Conference , held September 19th and 20th at the Summersville Arena and Convention Center, pulled together over 145 professionals and 14 vendors across systems including Behavioral Health, Public Health, Child and Family Services, Court System, Juvenile Justice , advocates and family members serving individuals with multiple challenges and/or who may have experienced trauma. The WV-APBS network successfully applied for and received the annual APBS Network for Event/Conference Support in retaining nationally recognized expert in Positive Behavior Support, Dr. Meme Hieneman for consultation and the opening keynote address. Dr. Hieneman provided the key thematic framework of Positive Behavior Support philosophy, which was distributed to each presenter at the conference requesting that these themes be incorporated within the content of their presentation. Using her opening keynote address, the framework key themes of PBS was presented and the prior consultation encouraged the integration of the key themes, core values into content presented throughout this two day conference. This was pivotal in ensuring the success of one of the first of its kind workshops.
Working collaboratively were members of APBS, WV-APBS network, HCPBS network leaders, Seneca Health Services, WVU/Center for Excellence in Disabilities, Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities and the WV DD Council. The stage has been set for an integrated perspective, practical approach for open dialogue, problem solving and collaboration in improve services in our state for individuals with behavioral challenges. With a relatively short time for planning (WV/CED and WV-APBS was notified in July 2017 of available resources), national leaders within APBS networks, stepped forward to support this conference. Overall conference evaluation data will be used to plan future events to promote philosophical framework of Positive Behavior Support.
Nationally recognized APBS leaders presenting at this conference included Dr. Meme Hieneman, Dr. Tim Moore, Dr. Rachel Freeman, Dr. Denny Reid, Dr. Marc Ellison.
The Association of Positive Behavior Support was promoted in several ways throughout the conference including: published in Conference program book as sponsoring agency, poster on display in lobby of conference hall explaining benefits of membership, within content of opening keynote address, flyers relating to International conference in San Diego , California in March and within the exhibitor booth of the WV-PBS Network brochures were distributed for APBS membership/info, WV-APBS Network information and HCPBS Network information. The WV-APBS Network also held a drawing and gave away a year paid membership to APBS.