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Stay up to date with our events near you. We’ll share events coming up for the whole community, as well as those just for members.

Community events

Here you’ll find events in our Arizona community. Everyone is welcome.

Did you miss the event on June 21, 2023? You can still get resources and info about the 2023 conference. 

Thank you to everyone who attended this year's conference. It was two days of inspirational and educational sessions on innovative paths to recovery. We're committed to breaking down barriers to health care for members through our network of dedicated providers and community partners.

Conference sessions  

The owl and me: recovery across the lifespan (keynote) 

Presenter: Pat Deegan 

The owl and me (PDF)  

I am a person, not an illness – English (PDF)   

I am a person, not an illness – Spanish (PDF)  

Pat Deegan quotation (PDF)

Patricia E. Deegan, PhD, will share stories of her own recovery after being diagnosed with schizophrenia as a teenager. Pat will describe specific challenges on the journey of recovery and will discuss strategies she has used to overcome these challenges. The big message is that those of us who have been diagnosed can live our lives, not our diagnosis.

The power of personal medicine: moving through challenges 

Presenters: Allison Stiles and Missy Rufo 

The power of personal medicine handout (PDF)    

Personal medicine is what we DO to get well and stay well. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn how to harness the power of personal medicine to support their own well-being. Participants will engage in small breakout groups to explore and discover new personal medicine through personal medicine cards. 

Evidence-based practices 

Presenters: Cami Parker, Anthony Carrillo, Andy Wambach, Noemi Zaragoza 

Join us to learn about evidence-based practices members can receive through the Mercy Care network, such as: 

  • Assertive community treatment (ACT)

  • Permanent supportive housing 

  • Supported employment 

  • Consumer-operated services 

Mercy Care members will share their success stories in these programs. 

Recognizing abilities, creating opportunities: vocational rehabilitation 

Presenter: Monica Amaya 

Vocational rehabilitation (PDF)

In this session, the vocational rehabilitation behavioral health coordinator and behavioral health specialist will present the Interagency Service Agreement between the Arizona Department of Economic Security (ADES) and the Arizona Health Care Cost Containment System (AHCCCS).  

Presenters will discuss: 

  • The history and purpose of the agreement and the collaboration between the two entities 

  • How to engage in services with vocational rehabilitation  

  • How VR collaborates with behavioral health for successful employment outcomes 

Creativity in recovery with CHR 

Presenter: Marni Ritch 

This is a guided art project for members using canvas and acrylic paints. We'll guide members through a project painting a colorful recovery tree using supplies CHR provides. Topics will include:  

  • Roots of recovery 

  • Weathering storms 

  • Growing recovery 

  • Change 

  • Balance in recovery 

  • Resources and support 

Building resiliency through well-being management (for members) 

Presenter: Mike Tripp 

Building resiliency through wellbeing management – members (PDF)

Life is a marathon, not a race. Having a sense of resiliency can help ensure we stay the course. Investing in efforts to support our sense of well-being contributes to our resiliency by: 

  • Decreasing risk of illness 

  • Improving overall system functioning 

  • Increasing our healthy longevity 

This session explores the benefits of managing personal well-being. We’ll also provide a tool to make a meaningful personal action plan. 

Civic leadership training 

Presenter: Kristina Sabetta 

Civic leadership training (PDF)  

How to advocate effectively for yourself (PDF)   

How a bill becomes a law in Arizona (PDF)

This training will:  

  • Discuss how to advocate for behavioral health rights and services within the Arizona behavioral health system of care 

  • Help people learn what civic leadership is 

  • Identify resources and opportunities to become an advocate at local and state levels, as well as the skills to do so 

  • Discuss principles of care and individual rights 

  • Share info about how the Arizona State Legislature works and how to advocate in person or virtually 

  • Empower participants through advocacy, to help improve the quality of care for behavioral health service recipients 

Writing your own story 

Presenter: Bonnie G. Danowski 

Writing your story (PDF)   

Writing your own story: four questions (PDF)

Writing your own story is based on my book published in 2022, The Path Beckoned. The session will share an approach for caregivers, families and families of choice who are supporting someone with a physical or mental illness. The session: 

  • Discusses how to share your story with others 

  • Explains why sharing stories is important  

  • Encourages advocacy 

  • Furthers the mission of stigma reduction 

Taking care of our workforce, ensuring quality care for members (keynote) 

Presenter: Hayley Winterberg 

Taking care of our workforce (PDF)

Learn to recognize the signs of an unhealthy workplace and unattainable expectations. This keynote will: 

  • Explore how, as supervisors, we can improve our team and organizational culture 

  • Explain how to develop realistic techniques to create a positive work culture  

  • Help people understand the importance of employee well-being, retention, professional development, skills-based training and career advancement opportunities 

Personal medicine: a pathway to recovery 

Presenters: Allison Stiles and Missy Rufo 

The power of personal medicine (PDF)

Personal medicine is what we DO to get well and stay well. In this interactive workshop, participants will learn how personal medicine cards can support people in working through common challenges on the journey of recovery. Participants will engage in small breakout groups to explore and discover personal medicine for themselves. 

Building resiliency through well-being management (for health care providers) 

Presenter: Mike Tripp 

Building resiliency through wellbeing management – health care providers (PDF)

Life is a marathon, not a race. Having a sense of resiliency can help ensure we stay the course. Investing in efforts to support our sense of well-being contributes to our resiliency by: 

  • Decreasing risk of illness 

  • Improving overall system functioning 

  • Increasing our healthy longevity 

All of these things help us stay the course. This session explores the benefits of managing personal wellbeing. We’ll also provide a tool to make a meaningful personal action plan. 

The critical role of peers in crisis behavioral health care 

Presenter: Joel Conger 

Peer support — a look from the other side (PDF)

The premier behavioral health crisis care provider (PDF)

Recovery support specialists, or “peers,” are an invaluable part of the treatment team involved in caring for someone in a behavioral health crisis. At Connections Health Solutions, peers bring lived experience to their work. They’re part of the five-discipline care team that helps stabilize people in crisis when they present for care. Peers are central to engagement of people through the course of treatment with: 

  • Motivational interviewing 

  • Sharing their stories of recovery 

  • Acting as a support as people prepare to return to the community  

The role of recovery support specialists in crisis behavioral health care in Arizona is unique compared to many other regions of the country. These regions are only beginning to explore the many ways that involving peers in treatment can improve outcomes.  

Connections is one model that shows the critical role that peers have had across all levels of our treatment model for over 10 years. The data shows improved treatment outcomes for people getting care when peers are actively involved in the interdisciplinary care team that treats those in crisis. 

Beyond primary care: the value of integrated total patient wellness 

Presenter: John Elliott, MD 

Many medical or mental health clinics focus specifically on their assigned specialty, which leads to gaps in patient care. Patients may seek out medical care when they don’t know where else to turn. But what happens to patients when their medical concerns are co-occurring with a mental health condition, such as substance use during pregnancy? Or when they seek behavioral health care but are too afraid to seek medical care for fear of a possible medical diagnosis? 

Here at Alium Health, we integrate all aspects of a person's wellness to ensure we can identify and treat both medical and mental health. Integration involves two or more providers who have specialized disciplines and work together to address the patient’s total health needs and wellness. 

Contingency management: using rewards to drive recovery 

Presenter: Dr. Jon Peeples, MD 

Contingency management (PDF)

Contingency management is a form of addiction treatment that activates the brain’s reward system to promote healthy behaviors and bridge the gap between drug use and sustained sobriety. Despite decades of evidence supporting contingency management as the best treatment for stimulant use disorders (e.g., methamphetamine, cocaine, prescription stimulants), operational and insurance challenges have largely limited its use to: 

  • Research studies 

  • The Veterans Health Administration 

  • State programs 

Within the last few years, innovative technology has been developed to expand access to this much-needed treatment to people nationwide. Affect Therapeutics: 

  • Has developed an all-digital treatment program that is delivering contingency management nationwide, along with medical, counseling and case management services 

  • Is using technology to revolutionize addiction care delivery, quality tracking and outcome measurement 

  • Meticulously monitoring the progress of people in our program through our advanced digital platform, to drive better results than traditional treatment 

Medication-assisted treatment (MAT) on the road

Presenter: Stephanie Robinson 

Intensive Treatment Systems Mobile MAT Unit (PDF)
Intensive Treatment Systems Mobile MAT clinic (PDF)

This session discusses the first Arizona Mobile MAT unit, the development of the unit, the services provided on the unit and the impact it can make to the community experiencing homelessness and substance use issues. 

Housing programs in Arizona 

Presenter: Kris Weaver-Gould and Anna Verdugo 

In this presentation, you’ll learn about: 

  • The AHP program 

  • The application process, if you’re applying on a participant's behalf 

  • The partnerships and collaboration to help members have and keep housing stability 

Bridging peer support services and high-risk populations in a behavioral health setting 

Presenter: Jennifer Bose 

This presentation will describe Copa Health’s response to the systematic increase of emergency room and hospital usage in the behavioral health community. Copa Health began its Bridge Program, a specialized peer support intervention program, to serve the mental health community and provide more support to our high-risk, high-needs population.  

Goals of our Bridge Program include: 

  • Increasing quality of life for our members and their families 

  • Reducing inpatient and emergency room utilization  

We understand that not all life challenges require inpatient care. Our uniquely trained recovery coaches help people develop resiliency and learn how to connect to resources within their communities while building a larger supportive network. These coaches use intervention strategies in peer support services as well as the Critical Time Intervention model. 

NAMI — In Our Own Voice 

Presenter: Ariel Biscoe 

NAMI “In Our Own Voice” is an interactive presentation that provides insight into what it’s like to live with mental illness. Two adults living with mental health conditions lead the presentation, which also includes video and discussion. The audience has a safe place to ask questions and gain understanding of an often-misunderstood topic. Through dialogue, we help grow the movement to build better lives and cure stigma. 

Provider panel — workforce challenges 

Presenters: Michael Burnett, Kimberly Craig, Tara Daffern, Sarah Hauck, Laura Larson, Shar Najafi Piper 

Join Mercy Care's workforce development administrator and Horizon Health and Wellness, Center for Health and Recovery, Copa Health, and Lifewell for an open discussion on key topics impacting our providers today. 

Questions? Email the Office of Individual and Family Affairs (OIFA) team.

Member events

Are you a Mercy Care member? Watch this space for events coming up just for you. 


Not yet a member?

Learn about becoming a member in Mercy Care Medicaid plans or Mercy Care Advantage.