Join the IU Center for Rural Engagement for a two-day conference focused on the issues of greatest importance to Indiana’s rural communities. Connect with leaders from across Indiana, Indiana University researchers, and colleagues from a variety of fields as you learn and share your perspective on the opportunities and needs facing rural Indiana. The conference is designed for community leaders, residents, and professionals who seek to create a stronger Indiana.
Join us for both days or a single day of this fully virtual conference, which will be held on Zoom. September 29 programming will take place from 9 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. with an optional evening session from 5:30-6:30 p.m. September 30 programming will take place from 1 p.m. to 4:30 p.m. with an optional evening session from 5:30-6:30 p.m.
The full conference rate is $15 per person. The rate to attend only one day is $10 per person. Registration includes all sessions and materials. Scholarships are available but limited; contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Registration has closed for this event.
Day One: Taking Action for a Healthier Indiana
September 29, 2020
Breakout sessions will include rural mental health, local food systems and initiatives, substance use disorder interventions, and public health planning topics.
Day Two: Collaborating for a Stronger Indiana
September 30, 2020
Breakout sessions will include arts and economic development, regional collaborations, environmental resilience, placemaking, and local arts topics.
Day 1: Tuesday, September 29
Kerry Thomson, Executive Director, Center for Rural Engagement
Kerry Thomson leads the Center for Rural Engagement's efforts to improve the lives of Hoosiers. Kerry’s work as a community builder began at a young age through her service with several charitable organizations, including Habitat for Humanity where she held many roles at local affiliates in Lynchburg, Virginia and Twin Cities, Minnesota, and later at Habitat for Humanity International. Kerry moved to Bloomington, Indiana in 1997 where she led the affiliate to unprecedented growth and success. Kerry’s focus, and the hallmark of her work, is on building community across lines which too frequently become barriers, creating relationships which span boundaries of race, culture, and income.
Steve Long, President and CEO, Hancock Health
Steve Long has spent more than 20 years working in healthcare, serving in a variety of leadership positions across the country in places including University of Iowa Health Care in Iowa City, Iowa; MD Anderson Cancer Center in Houston, Texas; and Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Steve also served as president and CEO of Skiff Medical Center in Newton, Iowa. Steve has been with Hancock since 2014.
Breakout 1: Trauma-Informed Care: An Online Community Resource
Trauma-informed care has emerged and developed in response to an awareness of the pervasiveness of human adversity and trauma. Guided by five principles, trauma-informed care seeks to promote healing from trauma through safety, trustworthiness, choice, collaboration, and empowerment. This presentation will provide an overview of trauma-informed care and its utility among several different populations, including children, Veterans, and people with intellectual/developmental disabilities. In addition, it will describe a multidisciplinary team approach to creating an accessible community training to promote workforce development on trauma-informed care.
Presenters: John M. Keesler, Ph.D., LMSW, IU School of Social Work; Alex Purcell, MPH, IU School of Public Health-Bloomington; Jen Thomas-Giyer, MSW; and Meredith Struewing
Breakout 2: Community Health Improvement Planning
Based on local health assessment data, community health improvement plans (CHIPs) help communities set goals to meet a range of health objectives, from addressing gaps in services to preventing and treating chronic conditions. These plans, which contain goals that are SMART—specific, measurable, achievable, relevant and time-bound—maximize existing resources and networks and also include interventions that address root causes beyond the immediate needs. Dr. Priscilla Barnes, her team, and community partners are actively creating and implementing CHIPs that also consider emerging COVID-19 needs. Learn more about the steps toward building a healthier community in this session.
Presenters: Priscilla Barnes, Ph.D., IU School of Public Health-Bloomington; Katarina Koch, Southern Indiana Community Health Care; Rossina Sandoval, Southwest Dubois School Corporation; Ashlee Sudbury, Molly Marshall, and Cindy Barber, Purdue Extension; Bethany Daugherty, Schneck Medical Center; Amy Todd, St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church
Breakout 3: Community-led Food Systems Projects
This year, the Indiana Uplands Food Network launched in the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic and with several critical initiatives that bolster local resilience. We will examine the critical components of how complex community-led food projects can happen for your community. We will discuss partners, capacity-building, resource finding and impacts in a mini-training session.
Presenters: Jodee Ellett, MS, Julia Valliant, Ph.D., and Claire Frohman, IU Sustainable Food Systems Science; Brandon Query Bay, Lost River Market and Deli
Breakout 1: Building Parent-Child Attachment Through Community-Based Arts Integration and Art Therapy
We will examine a community-based program led by the Eskenazi Museum of Art that explores pairing art therapy and arts integration to foster parent-child attachment for survivors of domestic violence. Learn more about the Museum's shift in our rural outreach approach, which was necessitated by the global pandemic. In particular, the session highlights low-tech distance-learning that bridges the digital inequities gap in rural communities. You will learn about specific partnerships, program components, and look at a work of art together as a way of exploring attachment research.
Presenter: Heidi Davis-Soylu, Ph.D., Eskenazi Museum of Art at Indiana University
Breakout 2: Addressing Gaps in Rural Mental Health Care
Learn about feasible alternatives for mental health care in rural Indiana. Recommended models will address barriers to mental health care common in rural areas, treatment models informed by a community-based participatory framework, and building mental health care capacity based on existing infrastructure and resources.
Presenters: Sara Farmer, MA, LSW, and Kristi Schultz, MSW, IU School of Social Work
Breakout 3: Behavioral Health in Indiana: Impacts of COVID and a New State Strategy
Join Jay Chaudhary and Rachel Halleck, director and chief of staff of the Indiana Division of Mental Health and Addiction, for a discussion about the new state strategy for addressing needs at the local and statewide level, as well as the impacts of COVID-19.
Presenters: Jay Chaudhary and Rachel Halleck, State of Indiana
Breakout 4: Project UNITE: Assessing Rural Community Contexts to Understand Readiness for Teen Pregnancy Prevention and Supporting Parenting Teens
Indiana has the 39th highest teen birthrate in the United States and the teen birthrate in rural communities typically exceeds the State's rate. Project UNITE (Uncovering New Initiatives for Teen Empowerment) assists rural Indiana communities in developing and implementing effective interventions aimed at preventing teen pregnancy and supporting parenting teens. A critical step in Project UNITE's partnership-based approach is understanding community readiness and contexts related to teen pregnancy and parenthood. In this presentation we will describe the processes we have used, in partnership with community coalitions, to learn about how two rural communities perceive teen pregnancy and parenthood.
Presenters: Susan Kavaya, Dechen Sangmo, and Michaella Ward, School of Public Health-Bloomington, with project support from Alison Greene, Catherine Sherwood-Laughlin, Lisa Greathouse, Jonathon Beckmeyer, and Paul Levy
In This Together: Addressing Substance Use Disorder in Our Communities
Join us for this free discussion, open to the public, to learn more about resources that support conversations about substance use disorder and interventions that fit community needs. In a collaborative effort to reduce the harmful impacts of substance use disorder, attendees will learn how to administer naloxone, an emergency treatment used to reverse opioid overdose, through both nasal and injection methods. An opportunity to ask questions will be provided after the training session. Following the training, attendees will be asked to complete a brief knowledge check and will receive two free doses of naloxone in the mail.
Naloxone is provided in partnership with Indiana Recovery Alliance, Indiana State Department of Health, and the Indiana Rural Opioid Consortium. This session is provided in partnership by the IU Center for Rural Engagement, the IU Responding to Addictions Crisis Grand Challenge, and the IU Interprofessional Practice and Education Center.
To register for this session without registering for the conference, RSVP here.
Day 2: Wednesday, September 30
Lauren Robel, Executive Vice President and Provost, Indiana University Bloomington
Lauren Robel was named provost of Indiana University Bloomington and executive vice president of Indiana University in 2012. She is the Val Nolan Professor of Law in the Maurer School of Law, where she served as dean from 2002 to 2011 and as associate dean from 1991 to 2002.
In fall 2013, Robel initiated a strategic planning process aimed at reimagining and invigorating academic programs across the Bloomington campus in anticipation of Indiana University’s Bicentennial in 2020.
Robel’s Bicentennial Strategic Plan for Indiana University Bloomington includes ambitious initiatives for the Bloomington campus such as a new School of Art, Architecture, and Design, a new program in engineering, the Center for Rural Engagement and IU Corps, and the integration of health sciences programs into a new on-campus Regional Academic Health Center. The plan also calls for initiatives to promote student and faculty success in a variety of areas, from financial literacy and career development to work-life balance and diversity recruitment.
Matthew Fluharty, Founder and Executive Director, Art of the Rural
Matthew Fluharty is a visual artist, writer, and field-based researcher living in Winona, Minnesota, a town placed along the Mississippi River. He is the Executive Director of Art of the Rural, a member of M12 Studio, and he serves on the Board of Directors for Common Field. Matthew’s poetry and essays have been widely published in the US and abroad and are present within the field-establishing publication A Decade of Country Hits: Art on the Rural Frontier (Jam Sam, 2014), as well as in To Make a Public: Temporary Art Review 2011-2016.
Breakout 1: Hoosier Housing Ready Toolkit
Communities rely on quality, affordable housing to attract new residents and retain families who have local roots. The Center for Rural Development recently launched a toolkit to help communities assess their readiness for housing, determine the cost and benefit of new housing units, and plan for next steps. Learn the ways the toolkit is currently in use and how it can support your community's housing goals.
Presenters: Kerry Thomson, Center for Rural Engagement; Justin Ross, Ph.D., IU O'Neill School of Public and Environmental Affairs
Breakout 2: Activating Natural Spaces for Community Resilience
Learn more about the ways our natural landscapes are encouraging residents to explore our region, increase their physical activity, travel between communities, and learn about the environment that surrounds us. Several community groups are currently working on developing significant recreation asset projects. We will explore the evolution of some successful project examples and share lessons we can take back to our own communities.
Presenters: Mark Rogers, Director of MYPath Trail System, Owen County Community Foundation and Larry Pejeau, Ready Communities Grant Manager, Regional Opportunity Initiatives, Inc.; Bryce Himebaugh, IU Luddy School of Informatics, Computing, and Engineering
Breakout 3: Elevating Our Art Heritage: Traditional Arts Indiana
In 2020, Traditional Arts Indiana (TAI) published Memory, Art, and Aging, a resource and activity guide for older adults living in southern Indiana. This presentation explores the research and programs that led to this resource, and explains how communities can partner with TAI to bring these resources to their home community. The guide features elders who have become exemplary artists and tradition bearers by doing what they enjoy and find meaningful, and shows older adults how their creative and cultural practices can improve their overall wellbeing. Each unit also includes approachable activities to help readers begin their own creative journey.
Presenter: Jon Kay, Ph.D., Traditional Arts Indiana
Breakout 1: Sense of Place: Arts and Rural Economic Development
Celebrating the story of arts and culture and its connection to economic development with both urban, rural, and suburban perspectives. This session will inform participants on creative resources from the Indiana Arts Commission and discuss in depth what rural economic development and the arts looks like in a local approach.
Presenter: Sean Starowitz, City of Bloomington, and Anna Tragesser, Indiana Arts Commission
Breakout 2: Growing Regional Partnerships in the Indiana Uplands Region
Get an update on regional development efforts in the Indiana Uplands and have an opportunity to share your own insights. Learn about notable indicators of progress and also discuss opportunities for improvement and growth. Join an interactive discussion and share your thoughts on how to grow regional collaborations.
Presenters: Joe Carley, IU Center for Rural Engagement; Tina Peterson, Regional Opportunity Initiatives; Kyle Werner, NSWC Crane; Jeff Quyle, Radius Indiana; Greg Jones, Southern Indiana Development Commission
Breakout 3: Using the Hoosier Resilience Index to Ensure the Well-Being of Your Hometown
This summer, Indiana University is partnering with the Center for Rural Engagement to aid cities, towns, and counties as they complete the Hoosier Resilience Index (HRI) Readiness Assessment. The HRI is a tool to guide local governments as they take their first steps in preparing for the increasing number of flood events, extreme heat days, and corresponding impacts that communities are already experiencing. The Readiness Assessment will help participants prioritize response actions, making them more resilient to storms, floods, droughts, and increasing temperatures. Attend this session to learn how IU can provide staff capacity and guidance to address these issues.
Presenters: Janet McCabe, JD.; Bill Bianco, Ph.D.; and Andrea Webster, MPA, MS, IU Environmental Resilience Institute
Building Resilience Through Writing: A Free Creative Writing Workshop Session
Learn more about initiatives to strengthen our sense of community and resilience through creative activity during difficult times. Follow award-winning poet and Provost Professor Catherine Bowman through a writing exercise to expand your creativity and channel personal expression in this free workshop.
Presenter: Catherine Bowman, MFA, IU Department of English Creative Writing Program
To register for this workshop without registering for the conference, RSVP here.
Technology requirements and support
We will use Zoom to conduct virtual sessions for the IU Rural Conference. If you need help installing or getting started with Zoom, please visit their help center.