Resilience is group’s topic

November 21, 2018

The future prosperity of the Watertown community depends on its members’ ability to foster the health and wellbeing of the next generation, and Every Child Thrives invites business and community leaders on Dec. 12 to examine the impact of adversity on health, occupational and community outcomes, then learn the new science of “resilience.”

The program “Leadership for a Strong, Resilient Community” will feature two nationally recognized speakers and will be held Wednesday, Dec. 12, from 8-9:30 a.m. Breakfast will be served starting at 7:30 a.m. at Turner Hall. Those interested may register for this no-cost program at watertownhealthfoundation.com/events.php. Registration is required by Dec. 3.

Attendees will learn how policymakers and leaders across the state are taking actions to positively effect outcomes for young children and families.

“When individuals experience extreme adversity, their brains are physically and negatively altered,” Carol Quest, Watertown Department of Public Health director and Greater Watertown Community Health Foundation board member, said. “This can lead to aggressive behaviors, difficulty learning, increased rates of substance abuse and poor health.”

Recent science has proven that positive interaction with a trusted adult can heal the brain and create resilience. Resilience can be fostered at both the individual and community level.

“Studies have proven that our interactions with individuals who have endured toxic stress experiences will either heal or harm them,” Kathi Cauley, Jefferson County Human Services director, said. “Safe and nurturing relationships can provide the healing and resilience an individual needs to thrive.”

Table dialogue during the program will help leaders explore how personal actions and business policies influence successful engagement and support of children and their families.

Featured speakers are:

-- Dr. Dipesh Navsaria, UW School of Medicine and Public Health, “The Science of Adversity and Resilience.” An associate professor of pediatrics, Navsaria practices primary care pediatrics and is the founding medical director of Reach Out and Read Wisconsin. He regularly writes op-eds on health-related topics, does radio and television interviews, and frequently speaks locally, regionally and nationally on early brain and child development, early literacy and advocacy.

-- Fredi-Ellen Bove, administration, Wisconsin Department of Children and Families, “Impact of Adopting a Trauma Informed Approach.” Bove serves as administrator for the Wisconsin Department of Children and Families -- Division of Safety and Permanence, which oversees the state’s child protective services and juvenile justice systems. She has previously served as both the deputy administrator and budget director for the Wisconsin Department of Health Services -- Division of Long Term Care and has worked for the University of Wisconsin Board of Regents. Bove has also held a number of policy positions in the federal government.

Discussion will be facilitated by Lisa Dunham and Kelly North of Jefferson County Human Services.

Dunham is a child and adolescent therapist at Jefferson County Human Services. She provides evidence-based mental health therapies for survivors of trauma and adversity, and values helping community members improve their ability to foster resiliency in youths.

North is an emergency mental health behavioral health specialist at the Jefferson County Human Services Department. She received her bachelor of social worker degree from the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater and her master’s in school work from University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. During her tenure, she has worked extensively with children, families and adults in various areas of direct practice. She is also a trained functional family therapist whose primary concern is trauma informed care for consumers and helping systems become trauma informed. North has trained on trauma throughout the state of Wisconsin. Aside from her practice she also is an adjunct professor in the social work departments at George Williams College and University of Wisconsin-Whitewater.

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