Born in North Texas, raised in North-eastern Pennsylvania, Robert Ashford is a certified Peer Recovery Coach, Peer Recovery Support Specialist, and an advocate for all individuals seeking long-term recovery. Robert is a person in long-term recovery himself, which for him means that he has abstained from all mind-altering substances since May 2013. Robert is President and Founder of the UNT student driven Collegiate Recovery Community, Eagle Peer Recovery, and chapter lead of Young People in Recovery - Texas, the Texas state chapter of the national advocacy organization, Young People in Recovery. Robert, along with a small core group of students, created the collegiate recovery community at UNT in 2013, and has grown the program to include over 600 students and faculty members at the university. Robert is currently pursuing a double Bachelor’s of Social Work and Psychology with a minor in Addiction Studies. Robert has been the recipient of many prestigious awards, most notably NADAAC’s Young Emerging Leader Award (2014), Young People in Recovery’s Advocate of the Year (2014), and the University of North Texas Soaring Eagle Award (2014). Robert also serves on multiple non-profit organizations board of directors in the North Texas community, the Council for Advising and Planning for The Texas Department of State Health Services, and is a current National Planning Partner with SAMHSA.
Wendy Latham is still standing, despite a long struggle with complex trauma. Love for and from her family and friends, a darn good therapist and her conviction that healthcare is a human right keep her going on days when she would rather not. Aside from time spent as a medic in the Air Force, professionally, Wendy works with transformation of systems to become transparent vehicles for compassionate change, This experience included the coordination and management of an $80 million dollar technology infrastructure upgrade to healthcare/behavioral health systems in Texas, serving as one of five national directors for an 11 state region of federally qualified health centers participating in a project funded by the Bureau of Primary Health Care and Partnering with the Innovative Institute for Healthcare Improvement to implement best practices and develop outcomes for a “New approach” to chronic disease management called client activation, which has now emerged as person centered planning. Wendy and her staff in each of the 11 states worked closely with teams to become recovery oriented and person centered. In practice this means clearing away old patterns and organizational habits to create openings for compassion, empathy and connection within care delivery systems that translates to the same attitude with system clients and trying to capture measures that demonstrate recovery. Currently Wendy works at the Division of Mental Health Services and Substance Use at the Department of State Health Services and among other duties is the contract manager for Texas Mental Health Resources: Via Hope, a non-profit program of that strives to support LMHAs and state Hospitals through the transition from a medical model to a trauma informed, recovery based, person centered care, peer and family partner certification and integration and working with the University of Texas Center for Excellence in Mental Health to build a research base to demonstrate the effectiveness of peer and family partner integration, recovery education and awareness and person centered planning. Wendy is also serving as the consumer/peer coordinator for the Texas Technology Transfer Initiative, or Self Directed Care pilot project which allow consumer participants the manage a predetermined budget to purchase items that will actively support their recovery. Wendy believes that involving persons served by the system to help with the redesign is critical at every level. Certified Peer specialists, Certified Family Partners and Recovery Coaches and people participating in the system can change everything by speaking out. Wendy is a disabled Veteran, a complex trauma survivor and vocal advocate for person-centered systems change, from the inside the administrative complex out into the field and ultimately to the people in service to which we are accountable.
Philander Moore, Sr.
Philander Moore is currently the Unit Manager for the Substance Abuse Program Services Unit within the Mental Health Substance Abuse Division at Texas Department of State Health Services, (DSHS). Philander has been employed with State of Texas for over 23 years. Prior to his employment with the State of Texas, Philander served in the United States Air Force for 9 years as a Certified Chemical Dependency counselor.
Philander and his staff has the responsibility for the implementation and development of all funded treatment programs statewide. He also has management responsibility for the Statewide Tobacco program. He and his staff are currently working on the development of the Recovery Orientated Systems of Care (ROSC) and the integration of recovery into the behavioral health system. In addition he’s responsible for the Annual Behavioral Health Institute Conference (BHI), which provides continued education and CEUs for professionals in the field of Behavioral Health.
He’s a licensed chemical dependency counselor and holds a Master’s degree of Arts in Human Services from St. Edwards University in Austin, Texas.
P. O. Box 191186
Dallas, TX 75219
Executive Director, Association of Persons Affected by Addiction
Joe Powell is in long term recovery with twenty four year’s free of alcohol and other drugs. Joe is the Executive Director of APAA-Association of Persons Affected by Addiction in Dallas, a recovery community organization for people seeking or in Recovery, family members, peers with mental health challenges and the community. APAA was one of the first Peer to Peer RCO funded by SAMHSA in 1998. Mr. Powell is a licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor who has served the community for 22 years in Dallas, TX. He has a broad base of expertise regarding all aspects of behavioral health recovery service delivery systems and their impact on families and specializes in areas regarding recovery community support services, Recovery Oriented Systems of Care and the wholistic recovery management Approach. Joe continues to provide recovery consulting and support for SAMHSA, CSAT, CMHS, BRSS TACS, Recovery Month Planning Partners, Texas Department of State Health Services, North Star/Value Options manage care to integrate recovery health systems. He is originally from Harlem N.Y.C., from a family of seven brothers and one sister. All eight siblings suffered with addictions and 5 with dual recovery.
“America Honors Recovery Award” 2010 Faces and Voices of Recovery/Hazelden - Vernon Johnson Award
Founding member of APAA – Association of Persons Affected by Addiction in Dallas, TX (1997)
Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor for 20 years
Certified Acudetox Specialist
SAMHSA/CSAT - APAA/RCSP grant is the reason for Katrina Survivors to receive culturally congruent recovery community support services in Dallas,
APAA signs contract with manage care company, Value Options for Peer to Peer Recovery Community Support Services.
Mr. Powell started the first African American NAMI (National Alliance for Mental Illness) in Dallas in 1998, and is now, active board member for NAMI-Southern Sector, Dallas.
“African American Community Strategies”, HHS, Office of Minority Health on African Americans
Behavioral Health Integration
SAMHSA-CHMS/CSAT Behavioral Health Dialogue
SAMHSA/ONDCP National Summit on Recovery from Substance Use Disorders
*Served on these Board of Directors;
Founding member of National Faces and Voices of Recovery and former Board member
*NAMI-SSD – National Alliance on Mental Illness – Southern Sector Dallas
*NLC - National Leadership Council on African American Behavioral Health - President
*Mental Health America (MHA) Texas
*ATTC - Addiction Technology Transfer Center Regional Board
*ATTC – Addiction Technology Transfer Center National Advisory Board
*SAMHSA/CSAT Recovery Month Planning Partners
Betty Ford Institute Definition of Recovery, External consensus consultant
National Council on Alcohol and Drug Dependence (NCADD) affiliate.
SAMHSA Co-occurring Substance Use and Mental Illness Report to Congress
SAMHSA/CMHS/EMHD – Eliminate Mental Health Disparities Workgroup
Dallas County Transformation of Mental Health System Taskforce
*Texas Department of State Health Services, Texas Recovery Initiative
Social Work/Substance Abuse Advisory Board at Eastfield College in Dallas, TX.
Mr. Powell is the Executive Director of the Association of Persons Affected by Addiction (APAA) is leading a peer-driven, peer-led and peer-ran recovery community support project to encourage and support personal recovery by offering peer to peer assistance in finding services that help support recovery, reduce relapse, and promote high-level wellness in individuals and their families. This project is by and for the recovery community.
Bluebonnet Trails Community Services
Andrea Richardson joined Bluebonnet Trails Community Services in November 2005 as the Chief Administrative Officer. During 2007, she assumed the role of Chief Operating Officer and was selected as Executive Director in 2008. Andrea has over 20 years of experience serving both the public and private sectors in the fields supporting behavioral health, intellectual and developmental disabilities and physical healthcare. Strategic focal points for the Center under her leadership include collaborative planning, community development, program innovation, administrative efficiencies, financial management and staff development.
Before joining Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, Andrea served as the Director for Behavioral Health Services for the Texas Council of Community Centers, Inc. Her key responsibilities included collaboration with the 39 Community Centers in Texas on behavioral health and substance abuse policy and practices affecting healthy and fulfilled lives. Andrea holds a Bachelor of Business Administration degree and a Masters of Science degree as well as certifications for healthcare quality and healthcare administration.
Bluebonnet Trails Community Services was formed in 1997 and now serves an eight county region, including Bastrop, Burnet, Caldwell, Fayette, Gonzales, Guadalupe, Lee and Williamson Counties. Bluebonnet Trails provides community-based behavioral health and developmental disabilities services and 24-hour access to crisis care for individuals and families in Central Texas. For more information about Bluebonnet Trails Community Services, please visit: www.bbtrails.org.
Henry Salas has a Master’s in Education from UTSA and 10 years of experience in management as a COO and CEO at two federally qualified health centers, Atascosa, and Gonzales. In addition, He has 20 years experience in various management positions in mental health at the Center for Health Care Services in San Antonio, Texas and Gulf Bend Center in Victoria, Texas. He isrtified as a Certified Medical Practice Executive (CMPE) through the American College of Practice Executives (ACMPE), Medical Group Management Association (MGMA)
He spent the first 20 years in management in mental health having responsibility at different times for residential, vocational, case management, service coordination, crisis stabilization, dual diagnosis, intellectual disabilities, and substance abuse. In 2003 I became the COO for an FQHC in Pleasanton, Texas. In 2007, He became the CEO for an FQHC in Gonzales, Texas. While serving at Community Health Centers of South Central Texas (CHCSCT) in Gonzales he developed many relationships. The relationship with the local mental health authority Bluebonnet Trails Community Services has been very effective for the people we serve. We are two organizations with a similar mission working as one to serve the community. CHCSCT has grown from two sites in 2007 to 7 sites covering an area that extends from Bastrop County east of Austin to southeast in Victoria Texas. We have instilled in staff and the people we serve a culture of access to care that is affordable and of high quality.
Richard Spence, Ph.D., MSSW
Richard Spence, Research Professor in the School of Social Work at the University of Texas at Austin, is director of the Addiction Research Institute in the Center for Social Work Research and also the principal investigator for the Gulf Coast Addiction Technology Transfer Center which serves HHSC Region 6. Dr. Spence has been principal investigator or co-investigator for numerous research projects in the field of substance use disorder treatment, intervention, epidemiology, and research implementation. These studies have included a study of drug use and service utilization on the U.S./Mexico Border, a study of heroin usage patterns, and a research development program with several sub-studies focusing on African American and Mexican American issues in service delivery, and a randomized study of implementation of evidence based practices. He serves as the chair of the DSHS Institutional Review Board.
SAMHSA related projects have included screening and brief intervention for patients in a general hospital setting, assessment of clients with co-occurring psychiatric and substance use disorders, quality improvement measurement in managed care, and study of employment outcomes of enhanced behavioral treatment and support. Dr. Spence also managed statewide ATR evaluations for Texas and Louisiana.
Over the past few years he has collaborated with CDC to develop a culturally sensitive curriculum and provide training and technical assistance in brief motivational interventions by health workers in several countries in sub-Saharan Africa. His international interests stem from a tour of duty in the Peace Corps in Tanzania.
He formerly served on the staff of the National Institute on Drug Abuse as well as the National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism. He currently works with the Texas Department of State Health Services (DSHS) on a ongoing projects including current initiatives for developing Recovery Oriented Systems of Care and supporting statewide systems for Recovery Support Services.