National Substance Use Disorder Summit


Upcoming Events

Before they can speak, babies have stories to tell. As families in recovery learn to listen to those stories and to retell their own — beyond SUD and substance exposure — they can reclaim their personhood, their joy, and their futures. 

At BTC’s 2024 National Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Summit, The First 1,000 Days: The Stories We Tell about SUD and Healing, we listened to the stories that harm or heal — from parents in recovery, family members, peer recovery coaches, and health and mental health professionals. Our own stories, and those of our families, communities, and cultures — including the mainstream medical culture — can hinder or help us on our way to finding hope.

Watch a Video of the Summit Opening & Conversation 1

For more Conversation 1 videos, visit the Agenda tab.


11 AM – 11:30 AM ET / 8 AM – 8:30 AM PT

Dr. Kathy Etz, Director of the Native American Program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, and Rebecca Haffajee, Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE), will kick off the 2024 National SUD Summit with their insights into the opportunities for healing that shifting the narrative are opening up.  

Dr. Kathy Etz

Director of the Native American Program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse

Kathy Etz, Ph.D., serves as the Director of Native American Programs and Acting Director of the Native Collective Research Effort to Enhance Wellness Program at the National Institute on Drug Abuse, National Institutes of Health. Previously, she held the position of Senior Advisor for Tribal Affairs in the Immediate Office of the Director at the National Institutes of Health. With a career spanning over two decades, Dr. Etz has dedicated her efforts to supporting and advancing community-based research for American Indian and Alaska Native populations, emphasizing processes that respect and uphold Tribal sovereignty. Her specific research interests include wellness, substance misuse, and related factors. Dr. Etz earned her Ph.D. in Human Development from the University of North Carolina, Greensboro, in 1997.

Dr. Rebecca Haffajee

Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE)

Rebecca Haffajee, J.D., Ph.D., M.P.H., was appointed Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (ASPE) on March 8, 2021. She also served as Acting ASPE from March 8, 2021, through May 9, 2022. Before joining ASPE, she was a policy researcher at the RAND Corporation and an assistant professor of health management and policy at the University of Michigan School of Public Health. A lawyer and health policy researcher, Dr. Haffajee’s work combines detailed legal analyses with empirical investigations of the relationships between policy and health. Her main research interests are behavioral health, drug policy, and public health policy.

She is the recipient of multiple awards, including the AcademyHealth Outstanding Dissertation Award. Her work has been published in the New England Journal of Medicine, Journal of the American Medical Association, Annals of Internal Medicine, Health Affairs, and JAMA Psychiatry and covered in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and National Public Radio. She received her Ph.D. in Health Policy (concentrating in evaluative sciences and statistics), J.D., and M.P.H. from Harvard.

Conversation 1: “Good Relatives” – Healing Soul Wounds with Indigenous Story Work  

11:30 AM – 1:00 PM ET / 8:30 – 10:00 AM PT
Moderated by Dr. Joshua Sparrow, Executive Director at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center, and presented by the Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative Institute

Trauma can be like a wound to the soul resulting in misuse of substances to ease the hurt. Indigenous families are healing by reconnecting with their cultures’ original knowledge about pregnancy, birth, and being good relatives. They are retelling their stories to revitalize the strengths they’ve always had, that ensured their survivance, to envision love and belonging for their babies, the generations yet to be born, and to remember the prayers from their ancestors’ breath and dreams. Join Danica Brown, Dolores Jimerson, and Lakota Scott from the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board to learn about the “original instructions”, reclaiming relational ways of being, and Indigenous story work that guides us all in being good relatives to families in recovery. 

Dr. Danica Brown

Behavioral Health Programs Director at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board

Danica Love Brown, PhD, MSW, is a citizen of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma born and raised in Northern New Mexico. Dr. Brown is the Behavioral Health Programs Director at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board and has worked as a mental health and substance abuse counselor, social worker and youth advocate for nearly 30 years. She has a history of working in the areas of prevention, drug and alcohol/mental health treatment, community and restorative justice, and sexual health with Native American and adjudicated youth. She specializes in working with culturally and socio-economically diverse populations and Tribal communities.

Dr. Brown is an Indigenous Wellness Research Institute ISMART fellow alumni and current INSPIRE fellow, Council of Social Work Education, Minority Fellowship Program fellow alumni, and Northwest Native American Research Center for Health, fellow alumni. Her research has focused on Indigenous Ways of Knowing and Decolonizing Methodologies to address historical trauma and health disparities in Tribal communities, and she loves puppies. 

Dolores Jimerson

Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board’s Behavioral Health Program

Dolores Jimerson, LCSW, ADS (Seneca) serves the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board’s Behavioral Health Program. She is an advocate of ‘nothing about us without us’ and the importance of growing our own to bring healing to tribal communities. Her passion for behavioral health comes from witnessing the impact of boarding schools and trauma on her own family. Dolores has over three decades of experience in behavioral health, twenty with tribes. Her career includes inpatient psych, community mental health, tribal behavioral health, integrated care with previous administration experience as CEO of an FQHC then Quileute Health Director.

Dolores serves on the Northwest ATTC Advisory Board in addition to being a member of the Portland Area CHAP Certification Board. Some of her more rewarding experiences included indigenizing therapy with those she served, becoming an acudetox provider, creating integrated care programs, and witnessing children grow into thriving adults thanks in part to culturally resonant prevention and the presence of “Good Relatives.”

Lakota Scott

Professor at the Center for Indigenous Midwifery’s Cedar School of Midwifery and the VacciNative Program Manager at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board. 

Lakota Scott is Ashiihi and born for Todichiinii. Her maternal grandfathers and paternal grandfathers are Tlizilani. She is Diné from White Mesa, Arizona. She is a mother, doctor, and educator. She earned her Bachelor of Arts in Native American Studies from Dartmouth College and her Naturopathic Doctor degree from the National University of Natural Medicine.

She is a professor at the Center for Indigenous Midwifery’s Cedar School of Midwifery and the VacciNative Program Manager at the Northwest Portland Area Indian Health Board.


1:00 – 1:30 PM ET / 10 – 10:30 AM PT

Conversation 2: Sharing Babies’ Behavior to Co-Construct Stories of Healing – Reflections on the Stories Told within Systems of Care about Infants Exposed Prenatally to Substances 

1:30 PM to 3 PM ET / 10:30 AM – 12 PM PT
Moderated by Dr. Jayne Singer, Ph.D., IECMHC-E®, Director of Developmental and Relational Health at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center and a clinical psychologist at Boston Children’s Hospital

The stories providers tell about birthing parents in recovery can harm or heal. Yet long before they can talk, infants’ behavior brings us stories that connect us with their birthing parents and guide us -together with them- along the recovery journey for the infant, parent, and their relationship. This conversation will focus on the opportunities for uncovering harmful narratives and co-constructing healing ones through observation of newborn behavior and support for early infant-parent interactions. 

Angela Reina

Program manager of CGE’s Permanent Supportive Housing program

Angela Reina, MS, NCC serves as the program manager of CGE’s Permanent Supportive Housing program. Angela earned a bachelor’s degree in psychology and sociology from Kean University and a master’s degree in rehabilitation counseling and clinical mental health from Rutgers University. She began her career at CGE as a counseling intern in the Adult and Adolescent Residential programs. Upon completion of her graduate degree, Angela was hired as the Early Relational Health clinician in the Adolescent Residential program where, working closely with the young mothers, she strengthened her clinical understanding and expertise.

Prior to joining CGE, Angela spent over a decade in corporate banking, where she strengthened her skills and experience in overseeing internal operations, customer service, and employee development. In her role as program manager, she leverages her broad experience in both the for-profit and non-profit sectors to ensure quality and comprehensive care is being delivered to the mothers and children of CGE’s supportive housing community.

Carolyn Flynn

Director of Early Relational Health at The Center for Great Expectations

Carolyn Flynn, LPC, CD, IMH-E® is the Director of Early Relational Health at The Center for Great Expectations.  She earned her Master’s in Mental Health Counseling from Kean University, is a licensed professional counselor in New Jersey, and is a level III endorsed Infant Mental Health Specialist. Her passion for working with families began at the YMCA where she led parent-child programming and provided adventure-based counseling for Veterans in recovery and families who lost loved ones on September 11th.  Her specialization in pregnant persons began in 2006 with her work as a doula, serving families in both private practice and community-based models.

She is experienced in model and program development, having co-created START, The Center for Great Expectations’ community-based home visitation program, and co-leading the development of CGE’s unique model for parents in recovery, Relational Recovery. As a senior trainer at The Institute of the Center for Great Expectations, she has presented both locally and internationally on topics including early relational health, trauma-responsive childbirth, and trauma-informed care, and is a trainer for New Jersey’s Child Trauma Training Consortium site.

Carolyn is rostered in Child Parent Psychotherapy and certified in Brazelton Touchpoints and trained in Brazelton Newborn Behavioral Observation.  She is a graduate of the University of Massachusetts Infant-Parent Mental Health Post-Graduate Certificate Program and is a trained reflective supervision practitioner.

Carolyn owns a small private practice and is a mother to three spirited boys. She refills her cup by writing, drumming, and being in nature.

Erica Pulliam

Manager of Community Engagement and Relations at The Center for Great Expectations

Erica Pulliam is the Manager of Community Engagement and Relations at The Center for Great Expectations. Erica is a graduate of Pillar College with an Associate degree in Biblical Studies and a Bachelor of Arts in Counseling and Psychology, a marriage and family concentration. Erica is a certified Domestic Violence Response Team member and a Perinatal Doula. She has worked at The Center since 2012, with advancing experience in our Adolescent Residential program and the START Program. Erica is a Trainer at the Institute of CGE, and she facilitates “Abuse Across the Spectrum” at CGE’s New Employee Orientation. Erica is a demonstrated change agent for populations who are marginalized, mistreated, and subjected to silence.

Additionally, Erica serves as an Advisory Member for several committees, including DMHAS Multicultural Services, New Jersey Birth Equity Funders Alliance, Federal Maternal Mental Health Task Force, and the HOPES CAP, Inc. Head Start Policy Council Chair. Erica values self-care and prioritizes spending time with her husband and two children.

Lavinia Adams

Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and Certified Recovery Specialist Practioner for the Center of Great Expectations

Lavinia Adams is a Certified Peer Recovery Specialist and Certified Recovery Specialist Practitioner for the Center of Great Expectations. She is a person in Long Term Recovery from Substance Use and has worked in the Treatment and Recovery Field of my Recovery on the professional level and within a 12-step program.

Lavinia decided to work as a Peer Recovery Specialist because she thought who better to understand someone with Substance Use than someone who has prior experience and understands the struggle getting to willingness to Change and finally finding freedom. She chose to work with START which is a community-based in-home program, working with pregnant or postpartum mom’s working through Substance Use. Working with moms and in powering with as Mom’s who are the experts in their recovery journey and raising their children.


3:00 – 3:30 PM ET / 12 – 12:30 PM PT

Conversation 3: Stories of Healing and Recovery within Health and Mental Health Care Systems – Countering the Narrative

3:30 PM to 5 PM ET / 12:30 PM – 2 PM PT
Moderated by Dr. Eurnestine Brown, Director of Relational Equity and Belonging at the Brazelton Touchpoints Center.

This conversation will focus on understanding medical and community narratives that shape the pathways of recovery and healing for pregnant and birthing people (pre-peri and postnatal), their babies, families, and communities. Learn with us, as health and mental health professionals discuss substance use disorders as a medical condition situated within social determinants of health and mental health. SUDs are deserving of culturally responsive, respectful, and compassionate care that counters the historically stigmatizing and criminalizing narratives that perpetuate racial, ethnic, economic, and social oppression. Together, we will discuss the ways in which implementing an integrated, multidisciplinary, holistic, and medically supported approach can lead to a more inclusive future. This new narrative can be retold to foster recovery as individuals reclaim their personhood, hope, and joy.

Phaedra Moore headshot

Phaedra Moore

Project RESPECT Peer Recovery Specialist, Boston Medical Center

Phaedra Moore is a Peer Recovery Specialist at Boston Medical Center’s Project RESPECT program. Phaedra has worked closely with pregnant and postpartum women with SUD in both residential treatment settings and through one-on-one peer coaching. She uses her lived experience to reach across boundaries to find places of identification and understanding that inform each outreach.

Dr. Kelley A. Saia

Medical Director for Project RESPECT, Substance Use Disorder in Pregnancy Treatment Program at Boston Medical Center, and Faculty Advisor for Boston Medical Center’s Maternal Health Addiction Medicine Fellowship

Dr. Saia is board-certified in both Obstetrics and Gynecology and in Addiction Medicine. She serves as the Medical Director for Project RESPECT, Substance Use Disorder in Pregnancy Treatment Program at Boston Medical Center, Boston MA, and Faculty Advisor for Boston Medical Center’s Maternal Health Addiction Medicine Fellowship. She provides direct clinical care and advocacy for birthing persons with substance use disorders.

Her clinical research focuses on innovations in pharmacologic treatment for substance use disorders in pregnancy and post-delivery. Her advocacy centers on promoting dignified and trauma-informed care for birthing persons with substance use disorders, health equity, and legislative action.

Dr. Mishka Terplan

Medical Director and Senior Research Scientist, Friends Research Institute, Inc.

Dr. Mishka Terplan is board-certified in both obstetrics and gynecology and addiction medicine and is the Medical Director and Senior Research Scientist at Friends Research Institute, Inc., in Baltimore, Maryland. His primary clinical, research, public health, and advocacy interests lie along the intersections of reproductive and behavioral health.

Dr. Terplan has published extensively on health inequities, discrimination, and access to treatment and is internationally recognized as an expert in the care of pregnant and parenting people with substance use disorder.


5 PM – 5:30 PM ET / 2 PM – 2:30 PM  PT

The 2024 National SUD Summit will conclude with Jeanette Betancourt, Senior Vice President for U.S. Social Impact at Sesame Workshop giving a few remarks to introduce Sesame Workshop’s new videos on children’s questions about family members living with SUD, and how to answer them, followed by a musical finale.

2023 SUD Summit

BTC held its second National Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Summit, Families in Recovery: The First 1,000 Days – Pregnancy, Newborns, and the First Years, on Wednesday, February 1, 2023. Participants engaged in three nationwide conversations on: 

  • Preconception and Pregnancy: In this conversation, parents with lived experiences and frontline providers shared what they have learned on the recovery journey before and during pregnancy. Together, we spotlighted strengths-based approaches that value birth equity, are inclusive, and create communities of belonging while also addressing the isolation, fear, trauma, loss, and grief experienced by expectant and birthing families as they move toward healing and transformation.
  • The Newborn: Newborns showing signs of withdrawal can be challenging to care for, undermining new parents’ confidence and trust in their skills and relationship. Yet the new responsibility of caring for a newborn can motivate parents to seek treatment and strive for recovery. Unfortunately, when seeking support for themselves and their infants, birthing families in recovery all too often face stigma — stigma that can reactivate stress responses of distrust and withdrawal.
  • Infants and Toddlers: The first years of life can be challenging and exhausting for all parents. Children are just learning how to regulate their feelings and behaviors, require more time and energy than many parents feel they have, and need access to concrete, material resources, such as food, safe housing, and health care. For parents living with SUD, these challenges can feel overwhelming. Adults with SUD need time and energy for their own recovery, often struggle with their own self-regulation due to prior or ongoing trauma, and may be catching up on their own development that SUD and trauma have derailed.

Download the 2023 Summit Program

Download the 2023 Summit Resources

Thank You to Our 2023 Summit Sponsor

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2022 SUD Summit

At BTC’s inaugural National Substance Use Disorder Summit, Innovating Partnerships with Families in Recovery, in January 2022, participants engaged in three nationwide conversations on: 

  • Peer-to-Peer Supports: Recovery coaches with lived experience of SUD, and their parent and professional partners will describe how and why peer-to-peer approaches work, and why they are critical to equitable and inclusive recovery interventions that center family voice, shift power, and build on families’ strengths, resources, and wisdom.
  • Comprehensive Systems Approaches: Leaders innovating organizational, community, county, and state-based system changes will share what they are learning about how to strengthen whole communities by assembling, connecting, and coordinating the broad array of sustainable supports, services, and resources for parents in recovery whose disease so often disrupts even basic survival needs.
  • Transdisciplinary Collaboration: Frontline providers and parents will distill the key ingredients of effective approaches for building therapeutic relationships based on safety, trust, and hope that promote parents’ motivation for recovery, children’s well-being, and healing, and resilient responses to the relapses and recurrences that characterize this chronic disease’s course.

Download the 2022 Summit Program Guide

Thank You to Our 2022 Summit Sponsor

Perigee Fund logo

Join the Brazelton Touchpoints Center for its third annual National Substance Use Disorder (SUD) Summit — The First 1,000 Days: The Stories We Tell about SUD and Healing — on Wednesday, February 7, 2024.

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Learn With Us

Babies and children, families and communities do the research on what it takes for them to flourish. Listen with us to what they’ve been learning. Watch a webinar. Check out the Indigenous Early Learning Collaborative. Join the Brazelton Touchpoints Center Learning Network. Join the conversation.

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