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2017 Annual Conference Keynote Sessions
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Performance of Shenanigans and Talk Back
(3 General CE Credits)
Monday, May 1 from 9:00 AM – 12:00 PM




After her mother’s unexpected death, a devoted daughter struggles to adjust to her newfound matriarchal duties. An intimate, dramatic, and humorous look at family systems theory from a “menopause baby”; who embraces her inherent dysfunction to care for her eccentric 82 year-old father and Smokey, the affable family pet.

Following the play will be an interactive discussion on the play writing process and the use of dramatic arts to examine generational diversity, grief, loss, resiliency, and family life cycles.

About Helena:
Helena D. Lewis is an award winning actress, poet, and playwright. Her one-person show, “Call Me Crazy: Diary of A Mad Social Worker,” chronicles her work in the social service field, portraying twenty-five characters from pimps to menopausal women. Call Me Crazy has had over fifteen sold-out performances and was profiled on the National Association of Social Workers’ (NASW) Social Workers Speak website and Rutgers Alumni Magazine. Call Me Crazy is the winner of the AUDELCO 2014 Best Solo-Performance Award, Best Short at the Downtown Urban Theater Festival in NY, and was festival Pick at the inaugural DC Black Theater Festival. Helena has also performed Call Me Crazy at the NASW-NJ 2012 Annual Conference, Wurzweiler School of Social Work, Kumble Theater at Long Island University, Rutgers University School of Social Work Field Day, and was produced by Urbintel, Inc. in conjunction with the New York Public Library at the Schomburg Center in NY. Lewis has performed at numerous universities and colleges across the country and has been featured in the Peabody Award Winning series, “Russell Simmons Presents Def Poetry.” Lewis is currently a member of the performance troupe HERStory, the host of VERSES at the Nuyorican Poets Café in NY, and the host of the Midnight Poetry Jams at the National Black Theater Festival (NBTF) in Winston-Salem, NC. Lewis was a featured performer at the 2015 Mother Tongue Monologues produced by Black Women’s Blueprint, and can be seen in the television series, “The Cipher;” the Hip-Hop horror movie, “Golddigger Killer,” which won Best Short at the Odyssey Awards; “What Goes Around Comes Around;” Freshman Seminar; and is a featured artist in “Art of Love & Struggle: Women in Hip-Hop.” Her new one-person play, Shenanigans, debuted at the 2015 Downtown Urban Theater Festival in NY at the HERE Arts Center.

In addition to her career as a performer, Lewis obtained her MSW from Rutgers University. After obtaining her BA in Biology, Lewis became a certified HIV/AIDS health educator and developed, implemented and supervised a drop-in center for drug-addicted prostitutes for the Community At Risk Reduction (CARR) Program in Newark, New Jersey. She also spoke at the New Jersey Women and AIDS Network Annual HIV/AIDS Symposium and her work with prostitutes has been featured on New Jersey News Network. Ms. Lewis currently works in the prisoner re-entry field. She helped develop a vocational rehabilitation component for a Department of Corrections (DOC) Community Release Program for women. She also spent three years working on a CDC/HRSA Correctional Demonstration Project providing prevention case management to HIV positive male inmates. Lewis is the former program manager of three transitional housing programs for formally incarcerated men and women. She is currently the Sociology and Criminal Justice Internship Coordinator for William Patterson. She is also the Substance Abuse Treatment Director for a residential facility for women inmates. For additional information about Helena D. Lewis, please visit


The Science of Compassionate Care
(2 Clinical CE Credits)
Tuesday, May 2 from 9:00 AM – 11:00 AM

President and CEO of Carrier Clinic

Donald Parker currently serves as the President and CEO of the Carrier Clinic, the largest private, not-for-profit Behavioral Hospital in New Jersey. In business for 105 years, Carrier operates a 278 bed acute care mental health hospital, along with an 80 bed residential treatment center for adolescents, a 120 student middle school for special needs students and a 40 bed inpatient unit focused on addiction recovery. During his tenure at Carrier, Don has launched a 60 bed addition to the hospital along with a remodeling of all of the hospital’s patient care space. Some of Don’s other Carrier initiatives include improving Customer Engagement scores to 70%, growing the hospital volume by 30%, developing a Compassionate Care Index, a Healing Art Program, a new electronic medical record system, accomplishing 50% reductions in restraint and seclusion used in the hospital, and initiating multiple clinical trials for treatment innovations

Prior to Carrier, Don served two years as Vice President of Physician Services and Ambulatory Care at St. Joseph’s Health System in Paterson, New Jersey and as President of AtlantiCare Health Services and Behavioral Health from 1986 until 2010. Don’s responsibilities in AtlantiCare included developing and providing leadership to over 20 ambulatory businesses with 42 locations, including inpatient and outpatient behavioral health, home care, a federally qualified health center, hospice, 8 daycare centers, physician practices, a medically integrated fitness center and 12 urgent care/convenient care sites. Don’s capstone accomplishment at AtlantiCare was his participation on the leadership team as it earned and was awarded the Malcolm Baldrige Award in 2010. He chaired system process improvement, strategic planning and innovation teams during the Baldrige journey.

Don has served on numerous public and private boards, including public and college school boards, chairing New Jersey’s Association of Mental Health Centers for two terms, being a founding member and chair of Gilda’s Club of South Jersey, and chaired a New Jersey Supreme Court Committee responsible for rewriting divorce regulations for the State. He currently serves as a board member on the New Jersey Hospital Association, The National Association of Psychiatric Health Systems and the Somerset County Business Partnership and the Atlantic Cape Community College Board of Trustees.

Don has also served on the faculty of the Richard Stockton University School of Social Work for 12 years, teaching graduate and under graduate classes. He received his BA and MSW from the Rutgers School of Social Work and maintains an LCSW. He has lectured extensively on the design of ambulatory care, managing physician groups, operating medical and behavioral health urgent care, hospital and mental health center mergers and behavioral health center redesigns. His latest presentations have focused on “The Science of Compassionate Care” and “Innovation in Brain Stimulation.”

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