The Speakers

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Keynote Speaker
Alex Elswick, MS, PhD

Voices of Hope

Alex Elswick is a tireless advocate for people with substance use disorders. He earned a B.A. from Centre College, an M.S. from the University of Kentucky, and is currently finishing a PhD at UK where his research focuses on long term recovery from addiction.

Alex's knowledge and experience with addiction is multifaceted. As a professional, Alex is the Extension Specialist for Substance Use Prevention and Recovery at the University of Kentucky. As an advocate, he has lobbied before local, state, and federal government for legislation that supports recovery.

As a volunteer, he co-founded a non-profit organization called Voices of Hope that promotes recovery from addiction.

As a therapist, he counseled individuals with substance use disorders. But most importantly, Alex is himself a person in long term recovery from the chronic disease of addiction.

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Morgan Kirk
Workforce Recovery Program
Kentucky Chamber of Commerce

Morgan Kirk is a native of Harlan County, driven by connecting the right people to the right resources. She has worked in child services and the healthcare industry for more than a decade, identifying and helping to remove social determinant of health barriers. Through her role as Director of the Workforce Recovery Program with the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Foundation, Morgan works directly with businesses to focus on economic stability for individuals in recovery and with justice history, along with eliminating barriers for individuals who experience disparities.


Employers are feeling the impact of the addiction epidemic as they struggle to recruit and retain employees.

The Workforce Recovery Program is working to reduce the stigma of addiction, addressing criminal justice reform, and assisting employers in proficiently shifting their culture to become transformational and fair chance employers. Morgan received her undergraduate degree in Sociology from Morehead State University and currently resides in Perry County, supporting local non-profits through multiple committee and volunteer


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Laura Click
White House Clinics

Laura Click graduated from Texas A&M University with a Bachelors' Degree in Psychology and went on to earn her Masters' of Social Work degree from The Catholic University of America. Laura has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker in the State of Kentucky since 2013 and has provided behavioral health treatment in a variety of settings throughout her career.


Laura joined White House Clinics in 2017 as a Behavioral Health Provider and stepped into the Director of Behavioral Health Services role in 2018. In joining the White House Clinic team, Laura has seen the unique value and opportunities available by providing behavioral health services in the context of a Primary Care Practice. Laura is passionate about expanding behavioral health services and improving the integration between disciplines to better promote the whole person health of patients and communities.

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Geoff Wilson, LCSW
Offices of Paul Dalton

Geoff Wilson is a licensed clinical social worker and licensed clinical alcohol and drug counselor. He has been practicing in the mental health and substance abuse treatment fields in Kentucky for over 25 years. He currently is in full-time private practice with The Offices of Paul Dalton in Lexington, KY. Geoff treats adults, adolescents, and families and provides numerous trainings throughout the year to a variety of different organizations. He was previously employed with The Ridge Behavioral Health System in Lexington, KY for fourteen years, where he held the positions of Director of Addiction Services, Director of Business Development and Director of Clinical Operations for their 110-bed inpatient psychiatric and chemical dependency treatment hospital and their outpatient department.


Prior to The Ridge, Geoff was the Program Director for Hillcrest Hall, a long-term residential, adolescent substance abuse treatment program in Mt. Sterling, KY. He served as the president of the Kentucky Adolescent Substance Abuse Consortium for over 10 years. In 2004, he received the Robert Straus Award for Outstanding Service in the Field of Substance Abuse Treatment in Kentucky. In 2008, Geoff was appointed by Governor Steve Beshear to the Kentucky Board of Alcohol and Drug Counselors, serving for 10 years. In 2013, he was selected by NASW-KY as the Social Worker of the Year. In 2019, Geoff became the President of the Kentucky Association of Addiction Professionals.


Alex Clark, MA, MDiv, LMFT
Secondary Traumatic Stress Innovations and Solutions Center

Alex Clark, MA, MDiv, LMFT is the Project Coordinator for the SAMHSA funded Secondary Traumatic Stress Innovations and Solutions Center (STS-ISC), a category II site of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN). In this role, he supports the goals and objectives of the STS-ISC grant related to developing, implementing and testing interventions to address secondary trauma to a variety of organizations, supervisors, resource parents, and other professionals nationwide.


Alex is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with clinical experience working with trauma, early childhood, adolescents, adults, couples, and families across various settings including psychiatric residential treatment facilities, outpatient community mental health centers, children's advocacy centers, and in his private practice with his wife. He earned his Master of Arts in Marriage and Family Therapy and Master of Divinity from Asbury Theological Seminary.


Jeremy Carpenter
Executive Director of Groups Recover Together

Jeremy Carpenter is the Executive Director with Groups Recover Together. His organization offers outpatient(OP) counseling services designed to support adults struggling with addiction. The program is uniquely designed to bring the entire care team (client, counselor, prescriber, and care navigator) together for a one-hour shared medical appointment that leverages the benefits of addiction medicine (Suboxone), counseling, and care coordination (to address SDOH) through a value-based care model aimed to regain a sense of belonging for our population, help clients feel valued as human beings, and ultimately give that person a voice in their treatment. 


In this role, Jeremy provides strategic direction on market development, policy enhancement, and ensures both operational and clinical excellence. Jeremy joined Groups in 2017 and has since helped to expand the organization across the country to more than 100 locations in 12 states serving more than 9,000 clients. Most recently, Groups has opened their 11th location in Kentucky serving 700 clients in just over 1.5 years.  Jeremy began his career as a licensed clinician and has spent the better part of a decade helping to create access to affordable, quality addiction treatment. Jeremy also serves as an Advisory Committee Member for the Wellcare Health Plan.


Dr. Anastasia Jandes
Groups Recover Together 

Dr. Jandes earned a Bachelor of Science in Biology and Chemistry, graduating with honors from Western Kentucky University. She went on to earn doctorates in both medicine and pharmacy at the University of Kentucky, graduating with honors from both programs. After earning her Doctorate of Pharmacy, she went on to complete a clinical pharmacy practice residency at The Medical University of South Carolina, where she focused on Infectious Disease clinical research and clinical pharmacy practice.


After completing her medical degree, she then attended internal medicine residency at the University of Kentucky Medical Center, followed by a research fellowship with the Department of Anesthesia which began her study of addiction. Having trained and grown up in a state with high rates of prescription drug abuse and opiate use disorder, she has concentrated her practice, research, and consulting work on the treatment of addiction using opiate-sparing and functional medicine practices. In 2018, Dr. Jandes became a certified practitioner from The Institute of Functional Medicine and infuses functional medicine concepts into the treatment of addiction. Functional medicine is personalized medicine that deals with the root causes of disease instead of just treating symptoms. 


Dr. Jandes focuses on providing high-quality, personalized addiction care and has worked with Groups as a Medical Director since launching the program in June of 2020. She is also a laboratory and pharmaceutical industry consultant and speaker on the topics of addiction and functional medicine.  Dr. Jandes has a strong belief in the global community of health. She lived in Asia as a child and saw first-hand the great medical need of the areas of the world lacking healthcare services. She has given her time as a medical volunteer in several underserved countries and has provided care in the United States as a Salvation Army volunteer physician.


Cooper Zelnick
Groups Recover Together

Cooper is responsible for negotiating and executing value-based contracts with commercial, Medicaid and Medicare managed care organizations across the country as well as expansion and partnerships. Previously, he served as Executive Director for Groups: Recover Together, where he was responsible for financial performance and operational management of sites across New England, North Carolina, and California, alongside new market entry. Prior to joining Groups, Cooper was an Analyst at RRE Ventures in New York, where he focused on Financial Technology and Healthcare.


He served as a Board Observer for ten portfolio companies, including Groups, OneDrop, Nomad Health, Redox, Workit Health, Avant Credit, Bread, and Clarity Money. Cooper was born in California and has lived in New York and Massachusetts, where he attended Williams College. He graduated Magna Cum Laude with degrees in English and History, and a concentration in Leadership Studies. He is a member of Phi Beta Kappa Society and a Class of 1960 Scholar.


Cooper is a Trustee of Hunter College’s Foundation Board as well as the Pre-Business Advisory Board; he also serves as a Trustee of the Tenement Museum. Cooper's primary passions include expanding access to behavioral healthcare with a strong focus on uninsured populations, Medicaid populations, and rural/ underserved communities. Cooper also founded and manages a bespoke and vintage wristwatch business, Cloister Watch Company, where he restores vintage watches and builds custom timepieces. Cooper is an avid skier, cyclist, photographer, writer, and reader. 

Forest Road


August 17, 2022

9:00 am

Welcome and Overview Remarks 

A brief overview of the trainings followed by an introduction to the MORE program by program staff.

9:15 am

Understanding OUD/SUD and the Importance to Recovery

What do people need to recover from addiction? The purpose of this workshop is to describe recovery capital as a predictor of long-term addiction recovery. In part one, we begin by characterizing substance use disorder (SUD) as a chronic condition. In part two, we lean into the complexity of the heterogeneity of SUD and recovery as a process of change. Finally, in part three, we focus on building community recovery capital to promote recovery in our communities.

10:15 am

The Role of Workforce Systems in Addressing the Opioid Crisis

Kentucky businesses have become acutely aware that the state’s substance use epidemic is more than a public health issue, it is also a serious workforce issue. Employers are feeling the impact firsthand as they struggle to recruit, hire, and retain employees. The Kentucky Chamber Foundation’s Workforce Recovery Program was created to support businesses, as they focus on creating a fair chance environment. This session will highlight how the Workforce Recovery Program supports Kentucky businesses with valuable training, information, and resources to foster fair chance employment opportunities for individuals in recovery from substance use disorders who are ready to re-enter the workforce.

11:00 am

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment 

Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) is an evidence-based service delivery model intended to improve health outcomes by engaging primary care patients in understanding and addressing problematic alcohol or drug use. This training will discuss the use of SBIRT to identify high risk alcohol and drug use behaviors in primary care patients and provide primary care teams with the tools to address these concerns during the primary care visit. Participants will understand the evidence basis for this model, the clinical implications, and examples of workflows to support SBIRT in primary care.


Lunch Break 

KET Special Presentation: Kentucky Tonight 

Renee Shaw and guests discuss strategies for reducing opioid addiction rates in Kentucky. Guests: Van Ingram, Kentucky Office of Drug Control Policy; Tiffany Hall, Volunteers of America; Tim Robinson, Addiction Recovery Care; Sen. Ralph Alvarado (R-Winchester), chair of the Senate Health & Welfare Committee; and Rep. Joni Jenkins (D-Shively), House Minority Floor Leader.

Forest Road

1:00 pm

Parental OUD/SUD Effects on Youth/Risk of Addiction 

This training will provide attendees with an in-depth review of the effect that parental substance use disorders may have on youth. The prevalence of parental substance use disorders will be highlighted. The effect on youth mental, physical, and behavioral health, including adverse childhood experiences will be discussed. The risk of youth developing addictive behavior during adolescence and later in light will also be highlighted. 

2:00 pm

Secondary Traumatic Stress

In this presentation, attendees will be introduced to the concept of Secondary Traumatic Stress.  A working definition, along with sources, symptoms, and risk factors for STS will be identified and discussed.  Attendees will be able to be identify observable responses to being exposed to the traumatic experiences of others.

3:00 pm

MOUD and Clinical Practice: The Local Kentucky Experience

This session will provide participants education and awareness on the importance of Medications for opioid use disorder (MOUD), an approach to addiction treatment that combines addiction medicine with counseling. The workshop is intended to reduce stigma associated with addiction treatment while raising awareness around the impact addiction has on the brain. We will explore the efficacy of MAT when paired with counseling and further discuss how the [Groups Recover Together] evidence-based model uses counseling paired with Care Navigation & Targeted Case Management to address the social determinants of health - providing industry leading outcomes. Finally, the session will conclude with exploring the different ways to build reimbursement models around outpatient addiction treatment.

4:30 pm

Closing Remarks


Conference Presented through Zoom Webinar 

MORE Staff

Madison Opioid Response and Empowerment


Karen Atkins

Karen Atkins is the Public Information Officer at Kentucky River Foothills Development Council, Inc. as well as the MORE Project Director.  Karen is an accomplished senior-level Public Relations professional with 22 years of demonstrated experience working in the public/media relations and marketing fields.  Karen is experienced in crisis management, speech writing, employee communications, branding, social media, event sponsorship/marketing, fundraising, grant writing, and research. She is skilled in working with government, elected officials, community members, stakeholders, donors, clients, and other nonprofit organizations. Karen holds a B.A. in public relations from Eastern Kentucky University (Go Colonels!).  She has a big heart for learning and people.   She is passionate about traveling, hiking, and yoga.  In her free time, Karen enjoys exercising, reading, cooking, and spending time with friends.  Karen is a member of Southland Christian Church.  She is married to Kevin Atkins and resides in Lexington. 

Jeri Allison


Jeri Allison is the Business Administrator for Liberty Place Recovery Center for Women and Project Coordinator for the MORE program. With over 36 years of experience in administration and fundraising for higher education, health care, and social services, Jeri focuses on the administrative and funding needs of both Liberty Place and MORE. She is a graduate of the University of Washington, the Fund Raising School, and the National Institute on Planned Giving, which have all helped to mold her career. Jeri has lived in Richmond since 1999 and has 2 beautiful grandchildren and 2 dachshunds to love and spoil.


Traviss Witt, MPH

Traviss Witt, MPH, has a long track record of research and advocacy for those impacted by OUD/SUD. Traviss is a part-time faculty member of Eastern Kentucky University in the Sociology department. His Master's thesis, published in 2013, focused on the changing landscape of the illicit drug market as the Appalachian region shifted focus towards limiting the amount of opioids being prescribed. Nine years later, the landscape has shifted drastically as we entered the third wave of the opioid crisis with overdose deaths being increasingly and overwhelmingly tied to illicitly manufactured fentanyl.


Among the courses he teaches at Eastern Kentucky University are Social Statistics, Social Problems, and Introduction to Sociology. He has held many titles within Kentucky River Foothills Development Council including Senior Technical Writer, Case Manager, IT Director, and Policy Analyst. All of these roles have required Traviss to focus on using statistics and research to improve the conditions of low-income individuals in his community. Currently, he serves as the Data Manager and Events Coordinator for the MORE Project. Outside of work, Traviss can typically be found at a campground enjoying one of Kentucky’s many national and state parks. 


Alisha Wilhoit

Alisha Wilhoit is the Program Director for Liberty Place Recovery Center for Women and the Harm Reduction Coordinator for the MORE program. Alisha has over 10 years of experience working in a peer-based long-term recovery program. She is a person with lived experience and is celebrating 11 years of sobriety. Alisha has an associate degree and is enrolled at Eastern Kentucky University pursuing a bachelor's degree in Social Work. Her work at Liberty Place allows her to provide invaluable support to clients working to overcome OUO/SUD. She is skilled at administration and management and is volunteering as the                 vice- president of the Board of Directors for the Kentucky Crusade, a non-profit focused on homelessness and recovery.


Jackie Dean Rousey, MSW

Jackie Dean Rousey, MSW, has spent most of her career working to address OUD/SUD. She is the Kit Carson Commons and Eastern Scholar House Director. She also serves as the RCORP-Implementation (Rural Community Opioid Response Program) Liaison at Kentucky River Foothills Development Council, Inc.  Among her professional accomplishments are receiving the Leadership Madison County Outstanding Class Member Award and the EKU Notable Social Work Alumni Award. In addition to presenting at the virtual National Rx Drug Abuse & Heroin Summit in April 2020, Jackie’s other achievements include being a graduate of the inaugural Foothills Leadership Academy; serving as the coordinator of the MORE (Madison Opioid Response and Engagement) Community Stakeholders Network; Treasurer of the Madison County Agency for Substance Abuse Policy: and Medication for Opioid Use Disorder (MOUD) and advocates for the University of Kentucky HEALing Communities Study. Ms. Rousey has provided direct services to those experiencing OUD/SUD (including co-occurring disorders), homeless veterans, and people impacted by poverty. Jackie holds a BSW in Social Work from Eastern Kentucky University (where she is an Adjunct Professor) and an MSW in Social Work from Campbellsville University.