Caption–Sherri Layton, right, leads panel discussion about “Letter to My Mother” at NAADAC conference in Houston. Panelists, from left, are Jaime Loera with the Levenson Foundation of Austin, producer Goran Macura, and artist Branislav Jankic.
Sometimes the best way to learn is to hear about what others in your profession are doing. When those peers number more than 100,000, the educational possibilities are impressive.
That’s why La Hacienda staff were among more than 950 treatment professionals from the U.S., Canada, Iceland, Taiwan, and Saipan gathered in Houston for the 46th annual NAADAC, The Association for Addiction Professionals, conference.
Sherri Layton, our Outpatient Services Administrator, had official roles in several capacities during the conference the first weekend of October at the Westin Galleria Hotel.
As co-chairs of NAADAC’s Public Policy Committee, she and Michael Kemp led a session on national policy and legislation affecting the treatment field. They also met with participants who came by the Public Policy booth in the exhibit area.
Sherri moderated a discussion of federal policy developments following presentations by Onaje Salim, Director of the Division of State and Community Assistance at SAMHSA’s Center for Substance Abuse Treatment, and Tim Casey, a policy advisor with the Polsinelli firm, which represents NAADAC in Washington.
A more personal undertaking led her to moderate a discussion of the award-winning short documentary “Letter to My Mother” and the ongoing related body of work by artist Branislav Jankic.
Jankic was looking for a way to artistically express his troubled relationship with his dying mother when one of Sherri’s sons suggested he call her because of her professional background. As a result, she played a role in the development of his photographic exhibit and short documentary and its August 2017 showing at the Texas Association of Addiction Professionals annual conference.
Opportunity to Learn, Re-energize
Other La Hacienda staff taking advantage of the national association meeting in Texas included Carla Allen, Program Director of La Hacienda Solutions in Austin, and Mary Reyes, Program Director of the La Hacienda College Station.
Carla said attending a national conference gave her an opportunity to hear nationally recognized speakers such as Carlo DiClemente, Ph.D., a Presidential Research Professor at the University of Maryland Baltimore County.
“I quote and reference Dr. DiClemente many times when I give the Stages of Changes lecture and cited him often when I was in graduate school.”
Carla Allen and Mary Reyes, our Austin and College Station program directors, took advantage of the national conference close to home. Mary, who was attending her first NAADAC conference, also enjoyed the speakers and the wide variety of session topics.
“Conferences always help re-energize me, as well as update me on important things going on in our field,” she said.
Patti Sullivan, who joined our Marketing staff as a Business Development Representative in January, talked with a stream of conferees visiting the La Hacienda booth.
“I enjoyed connecting with people and telling them about La Hacienda,” said Patti, who directed a Houston area treatment center before joining our staff. “I know a lot of people in the field, and I like being a resource for those who are looking for assistance.”
NAADAC represents more than 100,000 addiction counselors, educators and other addiction-focused health care professionals in the United States, Canada and abroad. It was founded in 1972, the same year as La Hacienda Treatment Center.