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Alumni Professionals Meet

June 16, 2011
by Lorie Obernauer
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TPAS, Treatment Professionals in Alumni Development, had it’s 2nd annual meeting at the WCSAD (West Coast Symposium on Addiction Disorders) in Palm Springs. On Friday June 3rd, 25 alumni professionals, from organizations across the United States, met at the WCSAD conference to share ideas about services and programming for treatment center alumni.

Using an open space format for the meetings, participants created the agenda in the morning and clarified topics for discussion. Topics included social media marketing programs, life skills training options, development of alumni chapter groups, peer support as a means to enhance recovery efforts, workshop and retreat programs for alumni, and metrics to assess the effectiveness of treatment programs and alumni activities.

Participants then volunteered to take the lead in those discussions by presenting ideas about how they handled those activities at their own facilities. Lively conversations followed these informal presentations and participants came away with many new ideas.

A summary of all discussions is being prepared and will be sent to each attendee along with contact information from all participants. In this way, people can continue to reach out and collaborate with others whose ideas are most relevant to their own work. This will be the start of an archive of information and resources for those interested in alumni programming and other options to support patients who are leaving the safe environments of our primary and aftercare facilities.

This provocative platform of topics illustrates the range of interests and activities that are being untaken by addiction alumni professionals across the United States. The open space discussion forum created opportunities for participants to get to know one another and share their ideas in a supportive environment. This format, as opposed the traditional lecture presentation, models the comradery and support techniques that we hope to create in our alumni programs.

TPAS leaders greatly appreciate the support of WCSAD and Dee McGraw who has generously underwritten TPAS meetings at WCSAD over the past two years. This year, over 500 professionals from the addiction treatment industry attended the WCSAD conference, and had opportunities to visit over 90 exhibitor booths and hear stellar presentations from experts in the field.

Discussions are underway for TPAS meetings to be held at the upcoming the CCSAD conference (Cape Cod Symposium on Addictive Disorders) in Cape Cod, September 8 – 11 and the NCAD (National Conference on Addiction Disorders) conference, September 17 – 21 in San Diego.

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Lorie Obernauer

Alumni Coordinator at CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction & Rehabilitation, University of Colorado Hospital

Lorie Obernauer

www.cedarcolorado.org

Lorie Obernauer, PhD, is the Alumni Coordinator at CeDAR (Center for Dependency, Addiction...