Voinovich School hosts return of statewide prevention and recovery conference

Ohio University preparing to welcome nearly 500 attendees

June 8, 2016

Nearly 500 prevention and recovery professionals from throughout Ohio will soon return to Athens as the Voinovich School of Leadership and Public Affairs hosts the Ohio Promoting Wellness & Recovery (OPEC) Conference for the second time, June 27 – 29, 2016 at the Ohio University Baker Center.

“Enhancing Access, Quality and Connection,” is the theme of the 27th Annual OPEC Conference.  The goal of the conference is to promote collective impact through building the capacity of Ohio’s prevention, early intervention and treatment workforce for children, families and communities through continuing education.

“It is an honor to welcome the OPEC Conference back to Ohio University this year. The Voinovich School has worked collaboratively with OhioMHAS to feature over 80 speakers representing a diverse range of perspectives, expertise and roles in prevention, early intervention, treatment and recovery,” Dr. Holly Raffle, Voinovich School assistant professor, said.

The OPEC Conference will offer six subject tracks this year with more than 60 sessions, including alcohol literacy, school safety, prescription drug misusage, and helping children heal from trauma.  An interactive awareness exhibit titled, “Hidden in Plain Sight” will be featured on June 28 to model the signs of potential drug habits in a teenager’s bedroom.

Ohio University’s own delfin bautista, director of the LGBT Center at OHIO, will be featured in the Cultural Competency track, focused on creating a more welcoming, safe and inclusive environment that contributes to improved health care quality for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals and their families. Also speaking at the conference from the Voinovich School are Master of Public Administration alumni David Keller and Justin Kirschner, research associate Mary Haines, and Voinovich Scholar Kate Pellegrini. Additional speakers from Ohio University include Christine Bhat, associate professor of the Patton College of Education; Steve Evans, professor of psychology; and members of the Career and Leadership Development Center.

The conference, traditionally held in Central Ohio, shifted to Athens in 2015 in order to expand the outreach to other areas of the state. To accommodate organizations on a limited budget, the conference registration fee has been held to $100 for the four days, and participants are offered an opportunity to stay in the residence halls on campus for an additional fee.

For information about the conference, visit opecconference.com or follow the conference on Twitter @OPECConference / #OPEC16.