Meet Our Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Professor and Vice Chair, Research
Indiana University School of Medicine

Stephen M. Strakowski, MD, is the Executive Director of the Mary O’Daniel Stone & Bill Stone Center for Child and Adolescent Psychiatry and Professor and Vice Chair of Research, Department of Psychiatry at the Indiana University School of Medicine. He also serves as Associate Vice President, Regional Mental Health at Dell Medical School, University of Texas, where he has served for the prior 6 years before returning to IU. Before coming to Texas, he spent 24 years at the University of Cincinnati, last serving as Senior Vice President of Strategy in the health system. He is an internationally recognized expert in the management of bipolar disorders, as a Best Doctor® and by US News and World Report® as a Top 1% Psychiatrist. His research focuses on the brain changes that occur at the onset of bipolar disorder as well as improving mental health care delivery for young people.

Keynote Speaker Panel

4C Health

State Senator (Indiana District 29)
Indiana General Assembly (State Senate)

Elected on his 36th birthday, Senator J.D. Ford represents Hoosiers of Senate District 29 which encompasses parts of Boone, Hamilton and Marion counties. Senator Ford’s interests turned to public service at an early age, largely due to the careers of his grandparents. His maternal grandfather was a city councilman and his paternal grandmother was a city auditor. Senator Ford is a son of a truck driver and an assisted care facility administrator for the elderly.

Senator Ford was the first person in his family to go to college. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Political Science and Criminal Justice from The University of Akron and earned a Master of Science in Education with an emphasis on Human Services from Purdue University. Senator Ford has spent much of his career in higher education, “paying it forward” from his own experience as a first-generation college graduate. He also has held numerous executive-level positions for non-profits located here in Central Indiana.

Senator Ford is the first member of the LGBTQ+ community ever elected to the Indiana General Assembly and is proud to represent millennials across the State of Indiana. In addition to his duties as a legislator, Senator Ford has also been appointed to numerous advisory committees and task forces, including but not limited to:

  • The Medicaid Advisory Committee
  • Civics Task Force
  • Redistricting Commission
  • Jail Overcrowding Task Force (2019)
  • Distressed Unit Appeals Board (2019)

Senator Ford enjoys swimming, basketball, reading, traveling and spending time with friends and family. He is also a proud member of Theta Chi Fraternity and resides in Wayne Township with his dog, Stella.

President & CEO
Indiana Council of Community Mental Health Centers

Ms. Frantz has worked in mental health for 20 years. For the last three years, she has worked at Valley Oaks with her most recent title being Chief Strategy Officer. She received her bachelor’s degree from the State University of New York at Brockport and her MBA from Indiana Wesleyan. She currently serves as a Board Member and Advisory Chair of Mental Health America of Wabash Valley Region. Ms. Frantz chairs the North Central Mental Health and Substance Use Disorder Legislative Group. She also chairs the Public Policy Advocacy Committee for the Mental Health Care Forum and sits on the Prevention Subcommittee for the Tippecanoe Resiliency Taskforce. She sits on the Indiana Behavioral Health Commission Workforce Committee and on the Indiana Behavioral Health Transformation Coalition. She is a Brand Ambassador for the Greater Lafayette Chamber of Commerce. You might also be familiar with her involvement as a member of the Indiana Council Public Policy Committee.

Working in mental health and substance abuse has been her lifelong career passion and she has seen firsthand treatment work and save lives. Through her work in the local community and statewide, she has won a number of awards. Most recently, she was named Tippecanoe County Recovery Advocate of the Year.

Ms. Frantz resides in West Lafayette with her husband, two kids, and a slew of animals. She enjoys spending her free time co-chairing the Klondike Middle School Parent Teacher Organization and is actively involved in her kids dance and sports hobbies.

Sheriff – Boone County
Boone County Sheriff’s Office

Testimonial Speaker

Lieutenant Governor
State of Indiana

Proud to have been born and raised in Evansville, Indiana, Suzanne previously served as Indiana’s State Auditor since January 2014.

Before becoming Auditor, she served as the State Representative for House District 78 which encompasses parts of Vanderburgh and Warrick counties. She was elected to the seat in 2005, and served as the Vice Chairman of the Ways and Means Committee and on the Public Health Committee. Throughout her years of public service, Suzanne has been focused and committed to programs and services for people with disabilities.

Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Suzanne spent eight years as Auditor of Vanderburgh County. During that time, her office received its first clean bill of health in decades from the State Board of Accounts. She then went on to serve as a Vanderburgh County Commissioner until joining the Indiana House of Representatives. She presided as president of that body during her third year in office.

Prior to serving in the House of Representatives, Suzanne spent eight years as Auditor of Vanderburgh County. During that time, her office received its first clean bill of health in decades from the State Board of Accounts. She then went on to serve as a Vanderburgh County Commissioner until joining the Indiana House of Representatives. She presided as president of that body during her third year in office.

  • Trine University Woman of Distinction (2021); Indianapolis Business Journal Woman of Influence (2021);
  • Purdue University College of Liberal Arts Distinguished Alumna (2018);
  • Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (INARF) Lifetime Achievement Award (2015)
  • Arc of Indiana Public Policy Award (2012);
  • National Coalition of Capital Champion of Small Business Award (2012); and
  • Indiana Association of Rehabilitation Facilities (INARF) Legislator of the Year (2011).

Constitutionally, as lieutenant governor, Suzanne serves as the President of the Indiana Senate.

Statutorily, the Lt. Governor oversees a portfolio that includes the Indiana State Department of Agriculture (ISDA), Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA), Office of Community and Rural Affairs (OCRA), and Indiana Destination Development Corporation (IDDC).

Additionally, she chairs the Roundtable on Mental Health, the Intellectual and Development Disabilities Task Force and the Civics Education Commission.

Other initiatives she and her office oversee include the Next Level Connections Broadband Grant Program, the Golden Hoosier Award, Hoosier Women Artists and Brilliant Firefly.

Suzanne graduated from Mater Dei High School in Evansville. She went on to receive her Bachelor’s Degree from Purdue University, majoring in Political Science. She is married to Larry Downs and together they have a grown daughter, Courtney.

Professor of Pediatrics
Director of the Adolescent Behavioral Health Research Program

Matthew C. Aalsma is a Professor of Pediatrics and Director of the Adolescent Behavioral Health Research Program. Trained as a forensic psychologist, Dr. Aalsma focuses on research with vulnerable populations, including youth and adults in the behavioral health and criminal justice systems. He has been involved in research and public efforts to improve the health of children, adolescents and adults through public health care collaboration and transformation in the public sector, including criminal justice, behavioral health, and public policy. More recently, he has conducted cross system collaborative implementation projects to improve the screening and connection to substance use services with youth in juvenile justice.

Clinical Psychologist & Assistant Professor of Psychiatry
IU Department of Psychiatry and IU Health/Riley Children’s Hospital

Dr. Zachary Adams is Assistant Professor and licensed clinical psychologist in the IU Department of Psychiatry and IU Health/Riley Children’s Hospital. His clinical and research interests center on improving care and promoting healthy outcomes for young people with co-occurring mental health and substance use problems, with a particular emphasis on youth and families impacted by trauma and adversity. Dr. Adams leads several grant- and contract-funded programs designed to increase the accessibility and availability of evidence-based behavioral health services through workforce capacity building initiatives and evaluation of technology-facilitated care models. Of particular relevance to this presentation, he is Program Director for the newly created Indiana INTREPID Center, which is part of the SAMHSA National Child Traumatic Stress Network.

Addictions Treatment Recovery Center
IU Health Bloomington Hospital

Camila Arnaudo (pronounced R-Now-Doe) is an addiction psychiatrist based in Bloomington for the past 14 years. She completed medical school at the University of Maryland School of Medicine in Baltimore, Maryland. She then completed her residency in psychiatry at Harvard Longwood Psychiatry Training Program in Boston, Massachusetts. After relocating to Indiana and working as a psychiatrist for a few years, she returned to training and competed a fellowship in addictions psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine in Indianapolis. Her current work focuses on mental health and addictive illnesses in pregnant and postpartum people with a particular focus on increasing equity and accessibility to quality care. She is currently the medical director of the Addictions Treatment Recovery Center at IU Health, and a member of the Indiana Maternal Mortality Review Committee. She is also adjunct faculty at the Bloomington Regional Campus of IU School of Medicine where she teaches first year students about clinical aspects of medicine especially how to interview patients, and three-year students the basics of psychiatry.

Director Pathways to H.O.P.E
One CommunityUSA

My name is Tom Cruz, Retired Army 1SG, 26 years, deployed to Kosovo in 1999 then to Iraq 05-06, 06-07, 07-08 and Jordan in 2017. Stationed at locations from Ft. Bragg, Ft. Campbell, Puerto Rico, the Maryland/DC area and Tampa, Florida and Belgium. I was a Soldier that thought I could take care of everything on my own, had all the answers for everyone else until 3 November 2010 when that came all crashing down. That day changed my life and those around me forever, I realized I could not handle the pressure of doing everything on my own and “One” person stopped me from not being able to tell this story today.

I have gone through the (MRT) Master Resilience Training Level One at UPenn, (ASIST) Applied Suicide Intervention Skills Training, (ASIST T4T) ASIST Training for Trainers, (QPR) Questions, and Persuade and Refer online, Crisis Intervention / Mental Health Training through Mid-Continent University, (ACE SI) Ask, Care Escort Suicide Intervention Trained, and (safeTALK) Safe Tell, Ask, Listen, and Keepsafe; amongst others because I want to be that “One” for someone else, so no one has to go through what I went through.

Over the past 12 years I have been a part of multiple organizations, two I helped start from the foundation that deal with the social media realm particularly Facebook. I now work with incarcerated Veterans and Civilians getting their lives on track after coming out of prison.

Executive Director of Prevention, Suicide Prevention and Crisis Response
Division of Mental Health & Addiction/FSSA

Dr. Christopher Drapeau is a licensed psychologist and the state Executive Director of Suicide Prevention. He was a university research professor at Valparaiso University and director of their SAMHSA GLS Campus Suicide Prevention grant. He has published suicide-focused research articles in high-impact journals and national suicide mortality data sheets for the American Association of Suicidology since 2012. He has given numerous presentations at professional conferences and chaired the American Association of Suicidology’s annual conference in 2019. Dr. Drapeau has also been involved in statewide suicide prevention efforts since 2009 as a suicide prevention trainer, coalition volunteer, and co-founder and leader of a regional coalition in east central Indiana.  His suicide prevention work has been recognized through awards received from the Indiana Suicide Prevention Network, Indiana University South Bend, the National Association of School Psychologists, and the Delaware County Chapter of the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

Peer Support Coordinator, Media and Comms L416
Indianapolis Professional Firefighters Local 416 and Wayne Township Fire Department

Veteran Firefighter with twenty plus years of experience and multiple national certifications. Peer Support Coordinator and team leader with Certifications in peer support and sleep coaching with a focus on peer to peer relations and traumatic interventions and response. IAFF Local and State communications and media director. Executive officer to the President and Vice President of the Local 416. 

Regional Program Manager – Indiana
Bring Change to Mind

Karin Gilbert, CYC-P is a passionate leader and educator with 23 years of experience developing quality in people and programs. Her specialties are youth development leadership, training and coaching, and community engagement with a focus on mental health education and advocacy. Karin currently serves as the Indiana Regional Program Manager for Bring Change to Mind (BC2M), a nonprofit organization co-founded by award-winning actress Glenn Close, dedicated to encouraging dialog about mental health, and to raise awareness, understanding, and empathy. The BC2M High School Program empowers teens to educate their peers on topics surrounding mental health in order to fight stigma – through student-led high school clubs, teen advisory boards and retreats, trainings for club officers, and regional student summits.

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Indiana University School of Medicine

Emily Gifford Holmes, MD, MPH is an Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine. She earned her undergraduate degree from North Carolina State University before obtaining her MD/MPH from the University of North Carolina. She stayed on at UNC for residency in general adult psychiatry and fellowship in consultation-liaison psychiatry. At IU she is the Medical Director of the Changing Health Outcomes through Integrated Care Excellence (CHOICE) program, a collaborative care program that integrates mental health care treatment into primary care clinics. She is also the Program Director of the Consultation-Liaison Psychiatry Fellowship program. She is particularly interested in the convergence of psychiatric symptoms and medical illness, physician wellness, and clinical ethics.

Professor, Psychiatry Dept
Indiana University School of Medicine

My lab is deeply interested in circuits and molecules in the brain that underlie our ability to have adaptive and maladaptive thoughts and actions. We are especially interested in alcohol addiction and related anxiety conditions, and potential differences among individuals and between females and males, since our field has recognized, in recent decades, the importance of personalized therapeutic interventions.

The Black Mental Wellness Lounge

Brandon J. Johnson, M.H.S., MCHES is a tireless advocate for positive mental health and suicide prevention services for youth and adults across the country and within the local community of Baltimore, MD. He is a subject matter expert in suicide prevention, with a particular focus on suicide prevention planning and suicide prevention strategies for Black youth. Brandon earned a Bachelor of Science Degree from Morgan State University in 2008 and a Master of Health Science Degree from Johns Hopkins University in 2012. In 2020, Brandon earned the Master Certified Health Education Specialist (MCHES) credential from the National Commission for Health Education Credentialing. Brandon is the creator of “The Black Mental Wellness Lounge,” a YouTube channel dedicated to discussing Black mental health and healing. The Black Mental Wellness Lounge is YouTube page dedicated to the promotion of Black mental health tips, education, and resources for the community. The mission is to create content on Black mental health that anyone, whether a professional in the field or not, can use to increase their knowledge and awareness of the specific mental health needs, challenges, and assets of Black people. Each video comes with strategies and resources for Black people on their own path to mental wellness or to help someone else on their journey. Previously, Brandon served as the Director of Suicide and Violence Prevention for the State of Maryland where he worked in communities throughout the state to help develop strategies to end violence in various forms, such as community violence and human trafficking. In this role, Brandon also worked on the MD Governor’s Commission on Suicide Prevention as well as organized the annual Suicide Prevention Conference.

Purdue University Fort Wayne – Behavioral Health and Family Studies Institute

Alice received both her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Indiana University (IU) Bloomington. Alice currently wears numerous hats at Purdue University Fort Wayne (PFW) and in life: Faculty in the Department of Human Services with an intentional focus on advising and mentoring first-generation, minority students; Director of the Behavioral Health and Family Studies Institute; Project Director of the Indiana Suicide Prevention Coalition (ISPC); Director of Bienestar Sin Fronteras (Wellness Without Borders); Co-Director of the Indiana Statewide LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Teams Network; Chair of the Equity and Inclusion Committee with the American Association of Suicidology (AAS); and past chair of the Indiana State Suicide Prevention Advisory Council. Alice is a state suicide prevention specialist where she travels the state to provide trainings and consultation in suicide prevention, intervention and postvention, Mental Health First Aid, and Cultural Competency and Mental Health; and a master trainer for the QPR (Question Persuade Refer) Institute.

Her current position provides leadership statewide and beyond state lines on concerns related to behavioral health. Her responsibilities also include professional trainings for public and private school districts, colleges/universities, faith communities, and the United States judicial system. Alice provides presentations, resources and trainings in suicide prevention and intervention to groups, organizations and communities to increase awareness of the importance of mental wellness and to eliminate the stigma towards help-seeking behaviors. As the Director of ISPC, she coordinates monthly statewide meetings while also providing resources and technical assistance to Hoosiers across Indiana. Additionally, Alice co-leads the implementation of the first-ever statewide Indiana LOSS (Local Outreach to Suicide Survivors) Team Network that provides outreach and support to survivors of suicide loss in their communities. More importantly, Alice has worked tirelessly to help make suicide prevention efforts more culturally competent through spearheading two initiatives: suicide prevention and intervention in the African American and Latino communities where she promotes and encourages wellness and resilience through various cultural lenses. 

Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator
Purdue Extension – Kosciusko County

Emily Kresca is the Agriculture and Natural Resources Extension Educator in Kosciusko County with Purdue Extension. She is a member of the Purdue Farm Stress Team which was created in response to an increase in farmer suicide rates in Indiana. The Purdue Farm Stress Team provides relevant educational programming, promotes mental health awareness, and stigma reduction among farm families, and agricultural and rural communities. Through ongoing grant support from the North Central Farm and Ranch Assistant Network and the Indiana Department of Agriculture, the Purdue Extension Farm Stress Team has been able to empower agricultural communities and those who work in those communities to bridge the gap of mental health awareness.

Director of Training
Wildflower Alliance

Caroline Mazel-Carlton has laid her head in a number of places, from Indiana jail cells to Texas psychiatric units, but now channels her lived experience with crisis into creating innovations in support at the Wildflower Alliance based in Western Massachusetts. The Wildflower Alliance includes Afiya House, a World Health Organization recognized best practice in crisis alternatives, among many other supports offered in community and inpatient settings. Since moving out of a staffed psychiatric residential facility in 2009, Caroline has worked tirelessly to create change in the mental health system and has also developed and re-defined crisis support in a number of settings across the globe from Australia to Israel to Brazil.

Caroline’s passion is centering and exploring the experiences that are often the most silenced, such as suicide, trauma and non-consensus reality states. Her work with “Alternatives to Suicide” and the Hearing Voices Network has been featured in popular media outlets such as the New York Times, Foreign Policy and O magazine. Caroline has contributed to multiple academic publications on the topic of suicide and one book on her experience skating on a roller derby team as #18 “Mazel Tov Cocktail”. She was recently profiled in NYT best-selling author Daniel Bergner’s latest book “The Mind and the Moon.”

Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Indiana University School of Medicine

Dr. Parker has been on the faculty of the Indiana University School of Medicine, where he is a Professor of Clinical Psychiatry, since 2001, and he has been an Adjunct Professor of Law at the IU McKinney School of Law at Indianapolis since 2009. Dr. Parker is a forensic psychiatrist who specializes in evaluations of insanity and competence to stand trial, and he has done these evaluations for courts across Indiana. He is board-certified in general and forensic psychiatry and is a Distinguished Fellow of the American Psychiatric Association. He was the Medical Director of the Indiana Division of Mental Health & Addiction from 2003 to 2015 and he was named an Exemplary Psychiatrist by NAMI in 2011.Dr. Parker has spoken on forensic psychiatry topics to medical students, psychiatry residents, law students, police and jail officers, lawyers, and judges.

Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry
Indiana University School of Medicine

Gabriela M. Rodríguez, PhD, HSPP is a licensed clinical psychologist and Assistant Professor of Clinical Psychiatry at Indiana University School of Medicine. She is Clinical Director of the ADHD and Disruptive Behavior Disorders Program at the Riley Hospital for Children Child & Adolescent Psychiatry Clinic. Dr. Rodríguez earned her BS in Psychology from Indiana University Bloomington. She earned her PhD in Clinical Child & Adolescent Psychology from Florida International University, where she was a Worlds Ahead graduate. She completed her clinical internship at the Kennedy Krieger Institute and Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and her postdoctoral fellowship at Harvard University. Dr. Rodríguez’s research interests include effectiveness and implementation of evidence-based interventions for youth mental health problems within community settings. Currently, she is directing a statewide implementation of Multisystemic Therapy (MST), an effective treatment for youth with severe conduct problems. Dr. Rodríguez’s clinical work involves assessment and treatment of ADHD, disruptive behavior disorders, and comorbid disorders using evidence-based treatments, including Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) and the Modular Approach to Therapy for Children with Anxiety, Depression, Trauma, or Conduct Problems (MATCH-ADTC).

Director of the Indiana Recovery Network
Manager of Recovery Community Development with Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition

Heather Rodriguez is the Director of the Indiana Recovery Network, Manager of Recovery Community Development with Indiana Addictions Issues Coalition and is a graduate of Indiana Wesleyan University with a bachelor and master’s degree in Social Work. Heather is a Certified Alcohol and Drug Addiction Consultant (CADAC) II, and a Certified Addiction Peer Recovery Coach (CAPRC) II.

Heather has a passion for working with underserved and marginalized populations and loves working with organizations and individuals throughout the state of Indiana to develop and strengthen recovery ecosystems. Heather helped create and oversees the statewide Regional Recovery Hub program which consists of 20 organizations providing free peer recovery support services to all 92 Indiana counties.

Heather is a person in sustained recovery and believes that recovery supports are an integral part of an individual’s journey to overcome challenges associated with substance use and or mental health concerns and that individuals have the right to choose which pathway of recovery works best for them.

Assistant Professor
Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health

Heather L. Taylor, PhD, MPH, RDH is a health services researcher, clinical dental hygienist, and Assistant Professor in the Department of Health Policy and Management at the Indiana University Richard M. Fairbanks School of Public Health. Her research work focuses on commonly untreated or undertreated conditions, such as mental illnesses and oral diseases. She is passionate about low-income populations, who are disproportionally affected by access to care barriers and overall disease burdens.

Ariel Abbott, Emersyn Hill, Simon Wilson, and Payne Terry (Teachers: Erin Dillingham and Emily Vanderwall)
Student Leaders
Rossville Middle/High School

This group consists of students that are involved in a number of activities at Rossville School and within the community. Some activities their activities include: class officers, student council, FCA, FFA, National Honors Society, and they participate in a variety of sports.