Substance Abuse Prevention Conference

March 18, 2016

BayCare Behavioral Health and Pasco ASAP to Host Fifth Annual Substance Abuse Prevention Conference

New Port Richey, Fla. (March 18, 2016) – BayCare Behavioral Health and the Pasco County Alliance for Substance Abuse Prevention (ASAP) will host the Fifth Annual Substance Abuse Prevention Conference Friday, April 29, from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Saddlebrook Resort, 5700 Saddlebrook Way, Wesley Chapel. The conference is designed for anyone who is interested in learning how to create a safer and healthier community.

Throughout the day, speakers and presenters will share their expertise, solutions and tools that address the theme “Strengthening Our Community: Creating Healthy Solutions.” More than 20 vendors representing behavioral health providers and businesses also will have exhibits.

“This is an opportunity for those in the Tampa Bay area to learn about innovative health and wellness solutions that can be implemented in our communities as we work together on the issue of substance abuse prevention,” said Gail Ryder, vice president, BayCare Behavioral Health Services.

“Substance use disorders affect all aspects of our community not just the families of those who suffer from the disease,” adds Monica Rousseau, Pasco County ASAP Coordinator and conference co-chair. “As the conference title suggests, to strengthen our communities we must all work together on creating healthy solutions that will propel lasting change.”

Pasco County Tax Collector Mike Fasano, who served in the Florida House of Representatives and the Florida Senate for almost two decades, will emcee the conference.  BayCare Health System’s CEO Steve Mason will speak at 9 a.m.  

At 9:30 a.m., Lieutenant Commander USMC Michael Muni will deliver the keynote speech.  Muni is a public health officer with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services. He serves as a Federal Project Officer at the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) Center for the White House’s Office of National Drug Control Policy’s (ONDCP) Drug Free Communities Support program.

Kurt Browning, superintendent, Pasco County Schools; Doug Leonardo, executive director, BayCare Behavioral Health; Kelly Mothershead, owner, A Focus on Fitness Transformation Studio and Salon; Michael J. Napier, administrator, Florida Department of Health Pasco County; Chris Nocco, Pasco County Sheriff, and Kathryn Starkey, Pasco County Commissioner will participate in a panel discussion at 11 a.m. addressing the community’s response to substance abuse in Pasco County.

The afternoon will feature breakout sessions covering the themes of Community Connectedness, Workplace Health/Organizational Learning, and Health Care Quality and Integration. Presenters will be representatives of local, state and national organizations with an interest in promoting population health and health care initiatives. 

Sessions are scheduled to include:
  • The Future of Healthcare: How the Affordable Care Act Impacts Florida and Behavioral Health 
  • Helping Employees Quit Tobacco: Good For Business, Great For Health
  • Innovative Uses of the Trauma Informed Care Model
  • Plug Into E-Therapy: Today’s Alternative Counseling Solution 
  • The Impact of Changing Marijuana Laws
  • Why Your Voice Matters: How You Can Help to Drive State and National Conversations
  • Integrating Behavioral Health and Child Welfare Practice: A Treatment Based Framework 
  • Resources + Resilience = Retention 
  • Afraid of Burn Out? How to Create Balance
  • Collaboration as a Solution – This is why we CHAT!

Presenters include former U.S. Congressman Jason Altmire; Summer Robertson, district director for Congressman Gus Bilirakis; Amy Ronshausen, deputy director, Drug Free America Foundation, and Victoria L. Hummer, director of training and outreach, Crisis Center of Tampa Bay.
Registration is $15 until April 20. After that, it is $25. CEUs/CHES will be offered, and lunch will be provided.

Pasco ASAP was founded in 2006 and has become a large prevention coalition in Pasco County. The mission is to develop, motivate and encourage strategic relationships that reduce countywide risk factors, thereby preventing and decreasing substance abuse in a comprehensive and long-term manner. For more information about Pasco ASAP initiatives and meetings, please visit

To learn more about the conference and to register, please visit

About BayCare Behavioral Health
As part of BayCare Health System, a leading community-based health system in the Tampa Bay area, BayCare Behavioral Health is committed to clinical excellence, innovation, and access to a continuum of recovery-focused therapeutic services. Care options include: inpatient; outpatient; early intervention and prevention; an employee and student assistance program; and case management services. Convenient treatment sites are located throughout the Tampa Bay area. For more information, go to

About BayCare Health System

BayCare is a leading not-for-profit health care system that connects individuals and families to a wide range of services at 14 hospitals and hundreds of other convenient locations throughout the Tampa Bay and central Florida regions. Inpatient and outpatient services include acute care, primary care, imaging, laboratory, behavioral health, home care, and wellness. Our mission is to improve the health of all we serve through community-owned, health care services that set the standard for high-quality, compassionate care. For more information, visit BayCare on the Web at