2009 Presenters at Drugs, Pregnancy and Parenting: What the Experts in Medicine, Social Work and Law Have to Say include:

January 07, 2009

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Presenters at Drugs, Pregnancy and Parenting: What the Experts in Medicine, Social Work and Law Have to Say include:


Deborah Frank, M.D., is the Founder and Director of the Grow Clinic at Boston Medical Center, and Principal Investigator of the Children's Sentinel Nutrition Assessment Program ("C-SNAP"). C-SNAP's goal is to monitor the impact of policy changes on nutrition, growth and development of low-income children, ages 0-3 years. She also conducts research funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and has given testimony to the United States and Massachusetts House and Senate. Dr. Frank has written numerous peer-reviewed scientific articles and papers including, Deborah A. Frank et al., Maternal Cocaine Use: Impact on Child Health and Development, 40 ADVANCES IN PEDIATRICS 65 (1993) and Deborah A. Frank et al., Growth, Development and Behavior in Early Childhood Following Prenatal Cocaine Exposure: A Systematic Review, 285 JAMA 1613 (2001). Dr. Frank has also served on numerous committees and advisory boards and has received many awards recognizing her dedication and advocacy for children in need. Dr. Frank has been a Professor of Pediatrics at Boston University School of Medicine since 1981 and received her M.D. from Harvard Medical School.

A video of Dr. Frank's Presentation at the conference is available now online!

Barry M. Lester, Ph.D., is Professor of Psychiatry & Human Behavior and Pediatrics at Brown Medical School. He is founder and Director of the Brown Center for the Study of Children at Risk at Women & Infants Hospital and Brown Medical School. The Center provides research and clinical services for infants at risk and their families, as well as research and clinical training. Dr. Lester received his Ph.D. in Developmental Psychology from Michigan State University in 1973. He also completed a postdoctoral fellowship in pediatrics at Harvard Medical School. His specialty is developmental processes in infants at risk, including infants with prenatal substance exposure. He is particularly interested in the interplay between the biological, parenting, and social environmental forces that drive development. His research has been supported by NIH grants for over 30 years. A past member of NIH study sections, Dr. Lester is currently a member of the National Advisory Council on Drug Abuse. He is past president of the International Association for Infant Mental Health. He is the author or co-author of more than 200 scientific publications and 16 books. Among his articles are: Lynne M. Smith, Linda L. LaGasse, Chris Derauf, Penny Grant, Rizwan Shah, Amelia Arria, Marilyn Huetis, William Haning, Arthur Strauss, Sheri Della Grotta, Jing Lui, Barry M. Lester, The Infant Development, Environment, and Lifestyle Study: Effects of Prenatal Methamphetamine Exposure, Polydrug Exposure, and Poverty on Intrauterine Growth, 111 PEDIATRICS 1149 (2006); Barry M. Lester & Jean E. Twomey, Treatment of Substance Abuse During Pregnancy, 4 WOMEN'S HEALTH 67 (2008).

Newman.jpgRobert G. Newman, M.D., M.P.H., was, until January, 2001, President and CEO of Continuum Health Partners, Inc., a $2.2 billion hospital network in New York City. Prior to the creation of Continuum in 1997 he was CEO of the Beth Israel Health Care System for 20 years. He is now President Emeritus of Continuum and Director of The Baron Edmond de Rothschild Chemical Dependency Institute of Beth Israel Medical Center. For the past 35 years Dr. Newman has played a major role in planning and directing some of the largest addiction treatment programs in the world - including the New York City Methadone Maintenance and Ambulatory Detoxification Programs, which in the mid-'70s treated over 33,000 patients annually. Dr. Newman graduated with honors from the University of Rochester (NY) School of Medicine and Dentistry, and has a Master's Degree in Public Health from the University of California, Berkeley. He is Professor of Epidemiology and Population Health and Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York. Dr. Newman is the recipient of numerous awards including the David E. Rogers Award of the Association of American Medical Colleges for major contributions to improving the health and health care of the American people, is an Adjunct Member of the Drugs & the Law Committee of The Association of the Bar of the City of New York, and is on the editorial board of Heroin Addiction and Related Clinical Problems and the American Journal of Drug and Alcohol Abuse. He is also the author of numerous peer reviewed articles including R.G. Newman, Methadone: Prescribing Maintenance, Pursuing Abstinence, 30 INT’L J. ADDICTIONS 1303 (1995), and books including R.G. NEWMAN, METHADONE TREATMENT IN NARCOTIC ADDICTION (1977).

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Harolyn Belcher, M.D., M.H.S., is an Associate Professor of Pediatrics at Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and jointly appointed in the Department of Mental Health at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. She received her M.D. degree from Howard University College of Medicine in 1982 and her Master's in Health Science focusing on Mental Health in 2002 from the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health. Dr. Belcher is the Principal Investigator on an National Child Traumatic Stress Network (NCTSN) Community Treatment Services grant (6 U 79 SM 56215), entitled “Kennedy Krieger Family Center-Integrated Trauma Program and completed a K-award from the National Institute of Mental Health that evaluated a parenting curriculum that was designed to promote parental emotional well-being and knowledge of child development for young parents of children enrolled in Early Head Start. Dr. Belcher is currently the Program Director of a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Grant designed to promote public health research among under-represented minority and ethnic graduate students (U50/CCU325127-01-1). She served as a co-investigator on a community-based Head Start substance abuse and mental health prevention intervention grant funded by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Dr. Belcher has collaborated in community based initiatives to support recruitment and education of African American parents in church-based foster care for children with drug exposure and HIV infection. She is currently President of the Board of Dayspring Programs, Inc. a community-based program that provides housing and a wide array of treatment and social services for homeless parents in recovery from drug dependence and their children. Dr. Belcher received the Meritorious Civilian Service Award from the Department of Navy for her work as Assistant Medical Director of the Exceptional Family Member Program.

Peter Fried, Ph.D., graduated from the psychology program at the University of Waterloo in 1967 and was recognized as the youngest student to earn a Ph.D. from the university. Dr. Fried, Professor Emeritus and Distinguished research professor of the Psychology Department at Carleton University has been studying the effects of marijuana and pregnancy for over 30 years. Funded primarily by the National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) in Washington DC, this work has, over many decades, yielded a wealth of information that has formed the basis of several books, over 200 scientific articles and hundreds of talks to scientific and professional organizations. Dr. Fried has received several awards over the years including a NIDA Merit Award. In 2002, the May/June issue of the Neurotoxicology and Terratology Journal honored Dr. Fried by dedicating the issue to him for his research undertakings. From 2006-2007, Dr. Fried served as President of the Neurobehavioral Teratological Society. Dr Fried retired from Carleton University, Ottawa Canada in 2006 after being a member of the Psychology Department since 1968.

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Alan Abramowitz, J.D., M.P.A., currently serves as a Department of Children and Families Regional Director in Florida’s Southern Region. Abramowitz has been with the Department since 2000 when he served as the Chief Legal Counsel for the Central Florida area. Prior to then, he was Assistant General Counsel for the Florida Department of Juvenile Justice for four years. Abramowitz also worked as an assistant state attorney and an assistant public defender for the State of Florida. Alan has argued before the Florida Supreme Court on child welfare rules on three occasions as the Chair of the Florida Bar’s Rules of Juvenile Procedure. He co-authored a chapter on Postdisposition in Dependency Cases in the 10th edition of Florida Juvenile Law and Practice. He has been awarded the Serenity House “16th Annual Samuel P. Bell Award,” the “2005 Florida Prevention Leadership Award,” Davis Productivity Awards, Adoption Performance Awards, and other advocacy awards. He currently serves on the Florida Bar’s “Legal Needs of Children Committee” and the “Department’s Task Force on Child Welfare.” He was recently selected to be a member of Florida’s delegation to the National Governors Association Policy Academy. Alan has been a Guardian ad Litem, Human Rights Advocacy Member and a Crisis Intervention counselor.

Mr. Abramowitz holds a Juris Doctorate from Florida State University, Master’s degrees in Public Administration and Sociology and a Bachelor's degree in Psychology. Alan’s career in child welfare has been covered extensively in newspapers throughout Florida. “Dubbed a “firefighter” for his dispatches to the state’s trouble spots, Abramowitz, has won considerable praise for his openness and efforts to keep kids from languishing in foster care.” DCF Transfers its ‘Firefighter,’ ORLANDO SENTINEL, Jan. 11, 2008.

Martin F. Guggenheim, J.D., is the Boxer Family Professor of Clinical Law at New York University School of Law. One of the nation’s foremost experts on children’s rights and family law, Martin Guggenheim has taught at NYU School of Law since 1973. He served as Director of Clinical and Advocacy Programs from 1988 to 2002 and also was the Executive Director of Washington Square Legal Services, Inc. from 1987 to 2000. For 15 years, he taught the Juvenile Rights Clinic in which students represented accused juvenile delinquents in New York’s Family Court. He then created the Family Defense Clinic, which represents parents and other adult relatives of children in foster care in New York City.

Professor Guggenheim has been an active litigator in the area of children and the law and has argued leading cases on juvenile delinquency and termination of parental rights in the Supreme Court of the United States. Guggenheim is also a well-known scholar, having published more than 40 book chapters and articles in leading law reviews in the United States, including Columbia, Harvard, Michigan and NYU Law Reviews. His research has focused on adolescent abortion, First Amendment rights in schools, the role of counsel for children in court proceedings, empirical research in child welfare practice, juvenile justice and family law. He is the author of five books on children and parents. His most recent book, What’s Wrong with Children’s Rights was published by Harvard University Press in 2005.
Guggenheim is a 1971 graduate of NYU School of Law where he was an Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Scholar. After law school, Guggenheim worked at the Juvenile Rights Division of New York City’s Legal Aid Society as a staff attorney and in its special litigation unit. He also was a staff attorney for four years in the Juvenile Rights Project of the American Civil Liberties Union Foundation.

Deborah Peterson Small, J.D., is the Executive Director and founder of Break the Chains. Before founding Break the Chains, Ms. Small was Director of Public Policy for the Drug Policy Alliance where she led a variety of community-based initiatives for progressive drug policy reform. She became an ardent advocate for drug policy reform as she became increasingly aware of the grossly disproportionate number of people of color incarcerated for drug offenses. As part of the work of BTC she is privileged to speak regularly to the public, including elected officials, religious, community leaders and parents about issues relating to our government’s failed drug policies. She has also served as Legislative Director for the New York Civil Liberties Union. She is a native New Yorker and a graduate of the City College of New York and Harvard University School of Law.

Tracey Carter, Parent Advocate at the Child Welfare Organizing Project, Highbridge Communtiy Life Center, parent and contributor to Rise and Represent magazines.

Barbara Rittner, Ph.D., M.S.W., is an Associate Professor at the University of Buffalo, Director of the Ph.D. Program in Social Welfare and the Associate Dean for External Affairs. She has been on faculty at the University of Buffalo, the University of Georgia and the University of Nevada-Reno. Dr. Rittner graduated from the University of Connecticut with a degree in English and Philosophy. She earned her M.S.W. and Ph.D. at Barry University. Dr. Rittner has worked as a social worker and administrator in child welfare, mostly in Miami, Florida. She has also been a hospital social worker, a mental health social worker, and a community organizer. Dr. Rittner is the co-author of Barbara Rittner & Chery D. Dozier, Effects of Court-Ordered Substance Abuse Treatment in Child Protective Services Cases, 45 SOCIAL WORK 131 (2000).

Brenda D. Smith, Ph.D., is an Associate Professor in the School of Social Welfare at the University at Albany. As of January 2009, she will be an Associate Professor at the School of Social Work at the University of Alabama. She received her Ph.D. in 1999 from the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Her research centers on service delivery in child welfare and substance abuse settings. She teaches courses in social welfare policy, community practice, and organization-based practice to MSW and Ph.D. students in social work. Professor Smith is interested in transporting evidence-based service delivery models to routine community practice. Current projects focus on how institutional demands and organizational factors, such as workplace policies and work climate, affect service delivery. Dr. Smith is the co-author of Brenda D. Smith & Mark F. Testa, The Risk of Subsequent Maltreatment Alegations in Families With Substance-Exposed Infants, 26 CHILD ABUSE & NEGLECT 97 (2002).

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Alma J. Carten, D.S.W, A.C.S.W., L.M.S.W., earned the Bachelor of Arts degree from Ohio University, the Master of Social Work degree from Atlanta University School of Social Work, and the Doctorate in Social Welfare from Hunter College School of Social Work of the City University of New York. She is currently an Associate Professor at the New York University, School of Social Work, teaching in the Social Welfare Programs and Policies Area as well as the Human Behavior in the Social Environment sequences, and elective courses in child welfare. She has held a number of faculty appointments, including Director and Chair of the Westchester Social Work Education Consortium, adjunct professor for the Hunter College School of Social Work, teaching in the School’s Distance Learning Program for city employees, and Visiting Professor with the Behavior Science Department of the New York City Police Academy.

Dr. Carten has professional experiences in both private and public sector agencies, and serves as board member and consultant for a number of New York City voluntary social welfare agencies, and for the USDHHS Administration of Children and Families, and Children’s Bureau at the federal level. Her work in City government includes the Director of the Office of Adolescent Services for the New York City Human Resources Administration, responsible for policy, program and services development for pregnant and parenting teens, Interim Commissioner of the Child Welfare Administration, special advisor to the Human Resources Commissioner/Administrator, and appointed member of the Mayor's Commission on the Foster Care of Children. She provides consultant services to a number of voluntary social welfare agencies focusing on staff development/training and program planning and evaluation. She has conducted research and published on family preservative programs, maternal substance abuse, child survivors of the HIV/AIDS epidemic, and independent living services for adolescents. Her most recent publications include a co-edited book entitled: Removing Risk from Children: Shifting the Paradigm, and articles examining the dimensions of child abuse among Caribbean families, neighborhood based services for African American families, and culturally competent child welfare practice with immigrant families. She was elected in 1999 to serve a two-year term as President of the New York City Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers.

Panel_tatarskiall.jpgAndrew Tatarsky, Ph.D., received his doctorate in clinical psychology from the City University of New York. He has a private practice in New York City as a psychologist specializing in harm reduction psychotherapy with substance users and their families. He is co-director of Harm Reduction Psychotherapy and Training Associates, a treatment and training organization in New York City. He has specialized in the field of substance use treatment for over 25 years working as a counselor, psychologist, program director, trainer, advocate and author. He has taught at the New School, The City College of New York, The Alcoholism Council of New York, National Development and Research Institute and the Harm Reduction Summer Institute at Jagellonian University. He is a founding member and past president of the Division on Addiction of New York State Psychological Association, Chairman of the Executive Board of Moderation Management Network, founding executive board member of the Association for Harm Reduction Therapy and founding chairman of Mental Health Professionals in Harm Reduction. He is also on the board of directors of the Positive Health Project and the editorial boards of the Harm Reduction Journal and the International Journal of Drug Policy. His book, Harm Reduction Psychotherapy: A New Treatment for Drug and Alcohol Problems has recently been released in paperback in the United States and published and distributed in Poland by the Polish Office of Drug Prevention.

Lynn M. Paltrow, J.D., is the Founder and Chief Executive Director of National Advocates for Pregnant Women. A graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law, Ms. Paltrow has served as a senior staff attorney at the ACLU's Reproductive Freedom Project, Director of Special Litigation at the Center for Reproductive Law and Policy, and Vice President for Public Affairs for Planned Parenthood of New York City. Ms. Paltrow is a frequent guest lecturer and writer for popular press, law reviews, and medical journals. Her honors include the Arthur Garfield Hays Civil Liberties Fellowship, the Georgetown Women's Law and Public Policy Fellowship, the Justice Gerald Le Dain Award for Achievement in the Field of Law and the 2008 National Women’s Health Network’s Barbara Seaman Award for Activism in Women's Health. Women’s E-news selected Ms. Paltrow as one of 21 Leaders for the 21st Century in 2005.