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Making Healthful Decisions Conference

Envisioning a Culture of Community: Supporting families and the individual needs of their children.
Envisioning a Culture of Community: Supporting families and the individual needs of their children
  • March 21st 2023 8:30AM-5:15PM
  • Event Gallery
  • $65 | $45: Seniors/Student Discount

Immerse yourself for a day in stress-reducing, regenerative, and practical content.

 Keynote: Mindfulness-based programming for health promotion in school and community settings - Presented by Dr. Joshua Felver 10:30 AM

Stress is a risk factor for a range of health problems, behaviors, and disparities. This presentation will describe the relationship between stress, MBPs, and health. The keynote address will present findings from recent studies highlighting targeted MBP for students with disabilities, MBP’s relation to bias reduction, and contextual factors to consider when implementing MBPs in school and community settings.

Healing Happens in Relationships - Jaye Holly 1:15PM
Each child needs one caring and supportive adult…and it can make all the difference. We will explore how trauma impacts the developing brain and how caregivers/service providers can support resilience in children.

Meaningful Parental Engagement - Jaclyn Miller 1:15PM
Based on New York State Social Emotional benchmarks, children require parental support to explore further how to develop social awareness and self-management skills.

Re-Thinking In School Suspension - Candace Rivela 1:15PM
A review of Bethel Woods' innovative pilot program that brings art therapy to at-risk students at Fallsburg Central School in Sullivan County. The program aims to reduce the number of student disciplinary infractions and support youth in their mental health and wellness by teaching creative, mindfulness-based tools for self-expression, distress tolerance and emotional regulation. Workshop attendees will be led in Creative Arts Therapy activities that will give them insight into the strategies being used in the In-School Suspension room and experience the healing power of art first-hand.

The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement - Scarlett Lewis 3:20PM
A comprehensive journey in understanding how Choosing Love in any circumstance, situation or challenge is the BEST solution. Discussions of Courage, Gratitude, Forgiveness and Compassion in Action will enhance the journey as the formula for Choosing Love. Activities will be shared to demonstrate tools for educators, caregivers and community members.



8:30 AM: Registration and light breakfast

9:30 AM: Welcome, Reflection & Land Acknowledgement - Julika von Stackelberg & Malinda Ware

10:00 AM: Update on the State of Parenting - Presented by Dr. Anjana Poonthota

10:30 AM: Mindfulness-based programming for health promotion in school and community settings - Presented by Dr. Joshua Felver

11:45 AM: Lunch

12:15 PM: Introduction to Designing a Sensory Experience - Bethel Woods Center for the Arts

1:15 PM: Afternoon Workshops

Healing Happens in Relationships – Jaye Holly

Meaningful Parental Engagement – Jaclyn Miller

Re-thinking In School Suspension – Candace Rivela

3:00 PM: Somatic Experience – Adrienne Jensen

3:20 PM: The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement – Scarlett Lewis

4:15 PM: Summary & Closing - Susan McCormack

4:30 PM: Anniversary Reception

Meet Your Speakers

Dr. Anjana Poonthota, MD, MPH, FAAP

Dr. Poonthota is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics and a Pediatric Hospitalist for Garnet Health Doctors, and Medical Director of Women and Children’s Services at Garnet Health. She received her Medical Degree from Guntur Medical College, NTR University of Health Sciences, in India. She completed her Pediatrics Residency at Albany Medical Center. She has a Master’s Degree in Public Health in Epidemiology and is currently pursuing an MBA Degree.

Dr. Joshua Felver, PhD ABPP

Dr. Felver is an extension associate of the ILR School’s Yang Tan Institute and a visiting scholar in the Bronfenbrenner Center for Translational Research at Cornell University. He has a longstanding interest in mindfulness as a practitioner, researcher, clinician and educator. He will discuss the Soles of the Feet (SOF) mindfulness program which teaches a simple self-regulatory strategy to reduce aggressive and disruptive behavior.

Jaye Holly, ANDRUS Sanctuary Institute

Jaye Holly is a full-time faculty member for the ANDRUS Sanctuary Institute. Jaye has been designing and delivering training for more than 20 years on a wide array of topics, including performance management, adult learning, and DEI. Her career includes working in an eclectic mix of settings, from human services to academia to government. In 2010, Jaye began working with the Sanctuary Model by leading the implementation process for a child welfare agency serving communities across New York State. Since then, she has worked across the country and worldwide to help build trauma-informed communities. She has an M.S. in Human Resources Development from McDaniel College. 

Jaclyn Miller, Maternal Infant Services Network

Jaclyn Miller is a Comprehensive Adolescent Pregnancy Prevention (CAPP) Youth Services Program Manager for Maternal Infant Services Network (MiSN). Through the CAPP program, Jaclyn supervises health educators who implement evidence-based programming for youth aged 10-21 years old. Programs are founded on educating youth on personal and professional development while encouraging them to follow their dreams. In addition, reducing at-risk behaviors through the empowerment of healthy habits and sexual health education. Jaclyn has previously facilitated programs on the importance of meaningful parent engagement to parents within the Newburgh community.

Candace Rivela

Candace Rivela is the Lead Teaching Artist and Senior Program Manager in the Museum Education and Creative Programs department at Bethel Woods. She received a B.S in Fine Arts from SUNY New Paltz and an M.P.S. in Art Therapy and Creativity Development from Pratt Institute. Candace is a licensed, board-certified Creative Arts Therapist who has been practicing in the field for 13 years. She brings her clinical experience and unique perspective on the healing power of the art to her work with diverse populations across education programs at Bethel Woods.

Adrienne Jensen, Executive Director, Human Rights Commission, Sullivan County

The Human Rights Commission was created in October 2005 to foster good relationships among communities and groups of people in Sullivan County. We all have a shared purpose, to make Sullivan County the best possible place to live regardless of race, color, religion, national origin, creed, gender, age, disability, actual or perceived sexual orientation/preference, marital status or a criminal conviction only to the extent provided by Correction Law 752

Scarlett Lewis, The Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement

Scarlett Lewis founded the nonprofit Jesse Lewis Choose Love Movement after her six-year-old son’s murder in the Sandy Hook tragedy in 2012. She became part of the solution to the issues in society -- and that also caused the tragedy -- and is a Character Social-Emotional Development Advocate. The Movement's Choose Love for Schools Program is a no-cost, comprehensive, lifespan, next generation, SEL and character development program, empowering educators and students to choose love, handle adversity, and manage their emotions. Choose Love programming is extended into homes, communities, athletics, and the workplace, and has been accessed in all 50 states and over 120 countries. Speaking across the US and internationally to diverse audiences, Scarlett urges everyone to become part of the solution, dedicating her life to helping children and adults around the world to thrive mentally, socially, and emotionally, and she has been instrumental in changing legislation to incorporate SEL into schools. In 2021, Scarlett was named a Forbes 50 over 50 Impact Honoree, one of 50 women leading the way with impact and changing their communities and the world in ways big and small through social entrepreneurship, law, advocacy and education.