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Adolescent Health Summit 2021

Maternal and Child Health is holding a free virtual Summit to provide youth-serving professionals with interdisciplinary training and tools to improve the health of adolescents in their communities. The Summit's theme is Strengthening Connections for Adolescent Health Resilience and will focus on the following topics: adolescent mental health, LGBTQ+ youth, sexual health, healthy relationships and violence prevention, and youth involvement and engagement. The Summit will also feature a Youth Panel comprised of youth leaders in Oklahoma.

Registered attendees will receive access to Summit materials via e-mail.

Day 1 - Wednesday, june 23, 2021
Day 2 - Thursday, june 24, 2021
Keynote Speaker Youth Panel
Breakout Session #1 Keynote Speaker
Breakout Session #2 Breakout Session #3
  Call to Action

Keynote Speaker 1:10 p.m. - 2:10 p.m. CT

Dr. Miguel Vazquez-Rivera, PsyD, MS (Psicoalternativas)

Dr. Miguel Vázquez-Rivera has a Masters in Research in Clinical Psychology from the Barcelona Autonomous University, and a Masters and Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from Carlos Albizu University in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He has dedicated his career to research surrounding sexual and gender diversity, suicide, psychotic disorders, youth risky behaviors, and substance abuse. Dr. Vázquez-Rivera wears many hats, he is a psychotherapist, clinical director, consultant, international speaker, published author, co-founder and President of multiple psychology-related companies and foundations.

Effective Strategies for LGBT+ Youth in School Settings

This presentation will cover LGBT+ basic concepts and a general scope of health disparities of said population. Evidence based strategies will be presented as a way of addressing affirmative practices that can support LGBT+ youth and create safe spaces. 

Breakout Session #1 2:20 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. CT

Gabe Yandell, MS, LMFT 

Gabe Yandell is a Licensed Marital and Family Therapist and licensure supervisor in private practice, an adjunct professor, and the host of Passion Imperfect, a podcast about diversity, mental and sexual health, and self-acceptance.

Cultivating Safety in Developing Sexual Relationships

Many people develop patterns of how they engage partners sexually through the trial and error of past experiences. What happens if these past experiences are rife with subtle pressures to please a partner at the cost of one’s own comfort or with gendered expectations that excuse manipulation and coercion? This presentation will seek to deconstruct how and why sexual relationships become unsafe, to address how to promote durable safety in developing and long-term relationships, and to apprise educators on how to assist youth in cultivating healthy relationships.

Breakout Session #1 2:20 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. CT

Kris Williams (Cedar Ridge Behavioral Hospital, The NEST Program)

Kris Williams has worked in mental health and social services for over twenty years. Upon graduating from Southern Nazarene University in 1995, Kris knew two things—first, she wanted a fierce haircut, and secondly, she was meant to serve people. Coming from a deeply religious family involved in mission work, she hoped to create a community similar to her childhood church, but founded on inclusion and diversity. From HIV testing and prevention, to homeless services, to coordinating a thriving psychiatric social rehab program, to developing the first of its kind LGBTQ+ adolescent inpatient residential program, Kris has been a part of that community. But that vision of a place of validation and safety came to full realization in her work with LGBTQ+ youth and their families. Sharing and expanding upon the ideals that brought her to the field in the first place, Kris is grateful to be a part of an ever expanding team committed to the same vision: That each child and young person be celebrated, supported, and empowered--and have the haircut that makes them feel fabulous!

Birds of a Feather

Health disparities continue to disproportionately affect the LGBTQ+ community. This presentation will explore how we can provide a safe space for our LGBTQ+ youth to land and find protective factors that not only celebrate their beauty and diversity, but teach them how to soar through a world that has not traditionally held safe nests to foster their growth and strengths.

Breakout Session #1 2:20 p.m. - 3:50 p.m. CT

Tosin Akande, MPH, CHES® (Oklahoma State Department of Education)

Tosin Akande is the Bullying Prevention Specialist for the State Department of Education (OSDE), responsible for preventing and addressing bullying and its associated effects. She has a keen interest in the child and adolescent population, and is diligent in addressing school violence through public health and public education strategies. She focuses on the potential causes, scope, characteristics, and consequences of bullying. Prior to joining OSDE, she served as a Health Education Specialist with the State Department of Health (OSDH) where she addressed adolescent health behaviors through preventative education efforts. Tosin holds a Master of Public Health Degree from Oklahoma State University. She is a Certified Health Education Specialist (CHES®) and a recipient of the NextGen Under 30 Oklahoma Award - for individuals who demonstrate talent, drive, and service to their communities. She is a registered election official and a Pre-entry screener for COVID-19 prevention at SSM Health St. Anthony Hospital.

Feeling Safe in School

This session focuses on the fundamentals of bullying and school safety. Participants will learn comprehensive strategies for identifying, preventing, and addressing bullying - with a focus on enhancing school climate and culture to promote safety and resilience.

Breakout Session #2 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT

Casper Colbert-Martin (Operation Aware of Oklahoma)

Casper Colbert-Martin is a Tulsa native, Oral Roberts University graduate and 3rd year Prevention Educator. She loves teaching and mentoring youth and enjoys seeing others thrive. With a background in ministry, she has worked at different churches in the U.S. as well as Uganda, Africa. She has also volunteered with Young Life as a mentor and camp counselor – she once crowd surfed at YL camp! When she’s not in the classroom, Casper loves spending time with friends, watching movies, and creative writing. A true people person, she values relationships and good conversation and loves getting to know others well. Casper would like to be remembered for being herself, bringing value, and calling others to be their best.

Beyond the physical relationship: What teens are asking

Students asked for relationship education beyond the physical component. Operation Aware took the challenge to shape conversations with High School students to build healthy relationships. In this session, we will discuss the questions HS students have asked, the tips and tools to facilitate these conversations that empower teens to build healthy relationships from the start.

Breakout Session #2 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT

Bliss Brown (University of Oklahoma, Gender + Equality Center)

Bliss Brown (she/her) began her career in gender-based violence prevention as a volunteer peer educator during her undergraduate years at the University of Oklahoma. She graduated from OU in May 2016 with her Bachelor of Arts in both Human Relations and Women and Gender Studies and now works at her alma mater as the Gender-based Violence Prevention Program Coordinator for the OU Gender + Equality Center. The first person in her role, Bliss has significantly expanded the role of a peer educator and now manages a staff of 30 undergraduate peer educators who teach their peers about consent and healthy relationship dynamics. Prior to this role, Bliss worked as a Prevention Educator at the Women’s Resource Center in Norman, OK. In her spare time, Bliss enjoys travel and volunteering with Big Brothers Big Sisters of Oklahoma.

Creating Culture Change with Peer Education

Peer Educators can be an invaluable resource when trying to influence social norm change within your student population. When well executed, peer education programs are an essential component of health promotion initiatives on campus. Starting a peer education program may seem daunting at first, but this session is designed to give educators a foundational understanding of the skills and resources needed for creating and sustaining a successful peer education program to best meet the educational needs of their students.

Breakout Session #2 4:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m. CT

Rachele Eskridge, AAS, CDSVRP (YWCA)

Rachele Eskridge serves as Director of Prevention Education for YWCA Oklahoma City. She holds an Associates of Applied Science in Crime Victim/Survivor Services from Oklahoma State University-OKC and is a Certified Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Professional. She has served over ten years in the field of sexual assault, domestic violence, and stalking services and prevention. Rachele is most proud of her work with YWCA Oklahoma Prevention Youth Advisory Committee. Rachele contributes as a member of the Oklahoma Prevention Leadership Committee, Homeless Youth Alliance, Thrive, as well as several other community prevention programs and working groups across the state of Oklahoma.

Porn Literacy: Complex Conversations for Difficult Discussions

The average age youth are first introduced to porn is eight years old. Discussions about how to critically think about porn must start much earlier than expected. This workshop will help provide tools to help guide discussions that are informative, age appropriate, and shame-free

Plenary 2:45 p.m. - 4:05 p.m. CT

Dr. Niobe Way, PhD, Ed.D, BA (NYU)

Niobe Way is Professor of Developmental Psychology and the founder of the Project for the Advancement of Our Common Humanity at New York University. She is also past President of the Society for Research on Adolescence (SRA) and co-director of the Center for Research on Culture, Development, and Education at NYU. She received her undergraduate from U.C Berkeley, her doctorate from Harvard University, and she completed an NIMH postdoc at Yale University. Her research focuses on the intersections of culture, context, and human development. Dr. Way has authored nearly a hundred peer-reviewed journal articles and books, and her research is regularly featured in mainstream media outlets.

The Crisis of Connection: Roots, Consequences, and Solutions 

Dr. Way's developmental research over the past thirty years reveals that youth are experiencing a crisis of connection in which they are increasingly disconnected from themselves and each other. Rates of loneliness, depression, anxiety, suicide, and violence are rising dramatically, especially among boys and young men. Dr. Way will discuss the roots and consequences of this crisis of connection among youth, and effective solutions for addressing the crisis and helping young people thrive socially, emotionally, and academically.

Breakout Session #3 4:15 p.m. - 4:45 p.m. CT

Carlie Stout Deatherage, MPH, CHES (University of Central Oklahoma)

Carlie Stout Deatherage is the Assistant Director of the Office of Health Promotion at the University of Central Oklahoma. She is passionate about working with college students to create programming around mental health and well-being, interpersonal violence prevention, and substance and alcohol abuse prevention to help students live, learn, and play well. Carlie co-chairs UCO's Healthy Campus Initiative, coordinates the Broncho Barkers therapy dog program, and works with the campus and community to create comprehensive, evidence-informed health education programs for students, staff, and faculty.

Honoring Ourselves Through Challenging Times

Honoring ourselves helps us do more than bounce back from challenging times, it helps us bounce forward. This presentation will discuss how mindfulness, boundaries, and gratitude can help us navigate life’s challenges and provide participants with tools to honor themselves. This presentation will also provide an opportunity to engage in a mindfulness practice.

Tammie Burlison, NFPA CPT, CFI (Oklahoma Family Network)

Tammie is a Nationally Certified Personal Trainer, group fitness leader and yoga instructor for 26 years. She is also a Family Support Partner with Oklahoma Family Network. She has a passion for helping people on their fitness journey, finding strength, balance as well as peace and calm along the way. Tammie is married and a mother of two, both are currently students at Oklahoma State University. Her son, a college freshman, was diagnosed with a severe to profound bilateral sensorineural hearing loss at 4 weeks of age. She has been his advocate and has helped him navigate his journey with hearing loss for the past 19 years. She is excited to be a part of Adolescent Health Summit

Guided Exercises:

Tammie will be guiding you through gentle stretches and deep breathing techniques, both seated and standing, to help release stress and tension throughout your body.

Youth Panel

  • Abby Tow (she/her/hers) – YAS - Youth Panel Co-Facilitator and Panelist
  • Dulce Gallardo-Owens (she/they) – Teen Empower - Panelist
  • Hope Robirts (she/her/hers) – Empowered Voices - Panelist
  • Linus Culp (he/him/his) – former UCO Peer Health Leader - Panelist
  • Maddie Keel (she/her/hers) – YAS – Panel Moderator and Call to Action Video Producer
  • Ricardo Chavez (he/him/his) – Youth Advising Youth (YAY) - Panelist
  • Sara Raines (she/her/hers) – YAS - Panelist
  • Michelle Stansel, M. Ed. (she/her/hers), OSDH - Co Moderator
  • Emily Nicholls (she/her), OSDH - Youth Panel Co-Facilitator

We’re Ready to Talk: Cultivating Spaces that Center & Amplify Youth Voice

Youth being engaged and becoming stakeholders in their own health and wellness requires an emphasis on adult allies cultivating spaces for youth to be affirmed. In order to do this, adult allies must focus on centering youth voices by seeing them for their lived experiences, hearing what they need, and valuing their involvement in all facets of making change on both personal and systemic levels. In this session, you will hear from a diverse panel of youth leaders from around Oklahoma who will speak on what it means to have real autonomy, authentic partnerships with adult allies, and empowerment on their terms.

  • Amplify
  • Association of Maternal and Child Health Programs
  • Carter County Health Department
  • Lincoln County Health Department
  • Maternal and Child Health Bureau
  • Mental Health Association Oklahoma, Empowered Voices
  • Northeastern State University
  • OKC-County Health Department
  • Oklahoma Department of Mental Health and Substance Abuse Services
  • Oklahoma Family Network
  • Oklahoma Public Health Association, Maternal and Child Health Section
  • Oklahoma State Department of Education
  • Operation Aware of Oklahoma, Inc.
  • Teen Empower
  • Tulsa Health Department
  • University of Central Oklahoma
  • University of Oklahoma
  • Variety Care Teen Clinic
  • Youth Advisory Subcommittee with the Oklahoma Prevention Leadership Committee
  • YWCA & Youth Advising Youth

Contact Information

For more information or registration questions, please contact: