News Releases and Media Advisories

Fourth Annual Kansas Prevention Conference Scheduled for Next Week: "Strong for the Next Generation"

For Immediate Release

October 14, 2021

For more information, contact:
Cara Sloan-Ramos

Public Information Officer

 Rae Levin
Communications Coordinator
Wichita State University

Fourth Annual Kansas Prevention Conference Scheduled for Next Week
Strong for the Next Generation

TOPEKA, Kan. – The Kansas Department for Aging and Disability Services (KDADS) has partnered with the Kansas Prevention Collaborative (KPC) to host the fourth annual Kansas Prevention Conference October 21-22, 2021, with a pre-conference session October 20. This year’s conference, “Strong for the Next Generation,” is a virtual event and welcomes two nationally recognized keynote speakers. Last year, the conference drew more than 175 virtual attendees who joined for educational opportunities designed to help them in their prevention work throughout the state.

The KPC Conference will provide attendees with educational opportunities to increase awareness of emerging trends in prevention, build skills and knowledge to prevent suicide, alcohol, tobacco, and other drug abuse and advocate for best practices. Participants in the conference will also learn ways to connect and network with their community and advocate for best practices in prevention.

“Each year this conference attracts people across that state who understand that the work we do around prevention is a fundamental part of the larger public health conversation we must have in our state,” KDADS Secretary Laura Howard said. “Bringing everyone together is one of the ways we can share our knowledge with coalitions and communities across the state in an effort to empower them to move forward with some of the strategies presented in the diverse breakout sessions offered.”

The conference will kick off October 21 with opening remarks by Secretary Howard followed by a keynote address by speaker Dr. Wanda Boone, founder of Together for Resilient Youth (TRY). Dr. Boone’s presentation will reveal how traumatic events and experiences impact prevention as she also takes a dive into the importance of identifying trauma as a social determinant of health and how to apply a resilience-based, equity informed, and community driven lens to prevention.

National Director of Children’s Programs at Betty Ford Center, Jerry Moe, MA, will also give a keynote presentation, “Through a Child’s Eyes,” on the second day of the conference. He will discuss how children are impacted in a family with alcoholism and drug addiction and uncover specific prevention strategies that can make a real difference in their lives.

KDADS’ Behavioral Health Services (BHS) Commission and the KPC are excited to provide this learning opportunity to communities across Kansas. To learn more about the conference, view the schedule and read more about the keynote speakers, visit

KPC is a group of eight partner organizations funded by KDADS working to integrate and innovate behavioral health prevention efforts. This conference is part of KPC’s strategy to ensure that Kansans get the tools they need to prevent underage drinking, substance misuse, problem gambling and suicide. Partner organizations are KDADS, Kansas Suicide Prevention HQ, Wichita State University Community Engagement Institute, DCCCA, Learning Tree Institute at Greenbush, and Life Span Institute University of Kansas.

These eight partner organizations along with these nine conference sponsors make this year’s event possible: Aire Recovery Center, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Kansas, United Behavioral Health, Mirror, Opioid Response Network, Valeo, C.E. Mendez Foundation, Inc., Verde Environmental Technologies, Inc., Valley Hope Addiction and Recovery.

About the Kansas Prevention Collaborative:

The Kansas Prevention Collaborative was created in 2015 in an effort to integrate and innovate behavioral health prevention efforts. A partnership of several different state, educational, and provider agencies, the KPC’s goal is to expand prevention efforts to be more inclusive of mental health promotion, suicide prevention, and problem gambling education and awareness, as well as to increase the availability of resources to adequately fund local-level prevention and promotion strategic plans. For interviews, media inquiries, or more information, please contact the Kansas Prevention Collaborative at [email protected].