2021 Spring Teleconference Series

In lieu of the Annual Training conference, AABH is presenting a series of webinars from prominent speakers. The Spring 2021 Series focuses on Best Practices for Child and Adolescent Programs. The seminars will be presented on Thursday June 10th and June 17th at 3pm EST. You can register for the full series for choose to attend only one or two.  

Youth Suicide: Improving Prevention, Identification and Care

June 10th, 2021

3 PM EST/12 noon PST

For over five years the Rural Veterans Telerehabilitation Initiative Creative Arts Therapies Project has offered art therapy, dance/movement therapy and music therapy through clinical video telehealth to meet the needs of veterans who have difficulty accessing care. This project has since partnered with Creative Forces: NEA Military Healing Arts Network and expanded to four additional VA sites, with three more scheduled in the coming year. This presentation will discuss how home tele-health has allowed for veterans to connect more fully with support systems, particularly during COVID-19. Examples of veterans' creative works will also be shared.   

Steven C. Rogers, MD, MS-CTR


Attending Physician - Division of Emergency Medicine


Medical Director - Emergency Behavioral Health Services

Connecticut Children's 



Research Scientist

Connecticut Children's Injury Prevention Center

Associate Professor

University of Connecticut School of Medicine


Steven C. Rogers, MD, CPST, is an attending physician in the emergency department and serves as co-principal investigator for the Injury Free Coalition for Kids of Hartford, a community-based childhood injury prevention program. Dr. Rogers is an assistant professor at the University of Connecticut School of Medicine and is currently enrolled in the masters’ program for Clinical and Translational Research. He is a Child Passenger Safety Technician (CPST) and focuses much of his academic and research efforts on child motor vehicle safety. Dr. Rogers is also the emergency department’s behavioral health and psychiatric coordinator, working to improve care for this unique patient population including expanded support for suicidal patients and their families.

Measurement-Based Care in the Adolescent Partial Hospital Setting: Implementation, Challenges, & Future Directions

June 17th, 2021

3 PM EST/12 noon PST

This presentation will describe the rationale for and a process for implementing measurement-based care in the adolescent partial hospital program setting. We will outline the initial implementation of standardized assessments into our programming, including key initial considerations and challenges during implementation. We will also present data describing providers’ attitudes towards and knowledge of measurement-based care following implementation. We found providers had an overall positive perception of the use of measurement-based care, reporting they perceived it to be helpful to both their clinical practice and patient outcomes. Finally, we discuss future directions for best utilizing standardized assessments in intensive treatment settings.

Jessica Merritt MD, Assistant Professor of Psychiatry, Assistant Training Director, Adult Psychiatry Residency, Division of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry, Vanderbilt University Medical Center


Jessica Lavender, LPC-MHSP, Director of PHP and IOP, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital





Rachel Gibson LMSW, Social Worker II, Vanderbilt Psychiatric Hospital Adolescent PHP

Dr. Jessica Merritt is an Assistant Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences. She received her medical degree from Joan C Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University and completed her clinical training in Adult Psychiatry and Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at Vanderbilt University. In addition to working with teens in the Partial Hospitalization Program, she has roles in both medical student and resident education as well as clinical partnerships to serve transitional age youth experiencing homelessness.

Jessica Lavender is a Licensed Professional Counselor with 15 years of experience as both a therapist and administrator of behavioral health programs.  Jessica received her Master’s degree in Counseling Psychology from Lipscomb University.  She joined the Vanderbilt Partial Hospitalization team in September 2017.  Prior to that, she worked as a therapist in a substance use treatment program, an administrator of a residential treatment program and an administrator for a large hospital system’s integrated behavioral health services.  Jessica has particular interest and training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT), Motivational Interviewing and Integrated Behavioral Health Care.

Rachel Gibson received her Master of Social Work degree from the University of Michigan School of Social Work (GO BLUE!). Rachel has clinical therapeutic experience in several diverse settings which include: multiple acute-inpatient psychiatric hospitals, acute-outpatient program, admissions and assessments, private practice, and a community non-profit agency. Though she has experience working with both adult and child/adolescent populations, she loves to work with the adolescent population and their families. Rachel has training and interest in Trauma-Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, Attachment-Based Psychotherapy, Adventure/Experiential-Based Therapy, and more.