Action Meets Compassion

Fargo, North Dakota
Tuesday, April 04, 2017
Action Meets Compassion
Tuesday, April 04, 2017 9:00 AM -
Friday, April 07, 2017 11:00 AM (Central Time)

Holiday Inn
3803 13th Ave S
Fargo, North Dakota 58103
United States

Map and Directions

Please see below for speaker biographies and session descriptions.
Or open the conference brochure on the ND Family Based website

Tuesday, April 4, 2017


Sponsored & presented by ND Family Based Services Association & Sanford Health

“Chronic Illness and School Reintegration: How We Can Help” - Melissa Schmautz, RN, MS, CCLS & Karen Norman, RNC

Chronic illness can be devastating for not only the child and family going through it, but also the school and community. Friends and teachers are often at a loss for what to say and how to help children with chronic illnesses. This session will describe how Sanford Children’s school reintegration program helps to bridge that gap by providing education of the illness and offers ways to support the child and family.

Melissa Schmautz, MS, CCLShas a Bachelor of Science in Child Development and Family Science 2003 from NDSU, Master of Science in Child Development and Family Science 2007 from NDSU, Certified child life specialist at Sanford Children’s Hospital for 11 year, ENHANCE pediatric palliative care program coordinator for almost 6 years, Sanford’s School Re entry program coordinator for 10 years, Pediatric ELNEC (end of life nursing education consortium) trainer – 8 years

Karen Norman, RNC has a Bachelor of Science from St. Luke’s School of Nursing 1983, Pediatric Nurse – 35 years, Works primarily with pediatric oncology patients, Part of the ENHANCE pediatric palliative care team, School Re Entry nurse - 10 years, Pediatric ELNEC (end of life nursing education consortium) trainer – 8 years

"Child Maltreatment: A Lifetime of Recovery" - Valerie Erickson, NP

This session will discuss child maltreatment as it affects the child throughout their lifetime. The Adverse Childhood Events (ACE) study, as well as subsequent research that has been completed in this area will be examined. An overview of the medical evaluation of child maltreatment such as sexual abuse, physical abuse, neglect, and exposure to domestic violence will also be given.

Val Erickson is a Nurse Practitioner at Sanford Children's Child Abuse Referral and Evaluation (CARE) Clinic in Fargo, ND. The Sanford Children's CARE Clinic cares for children who may have been victims of physical abuse, sexual abuse, or neglect. They receive referrals from area medical providers, social service representatives, and law enforcement representatives. The CARE Clinic staff members are also part of the multidisciplinary team at the Red River Children's Advocacy Center and are present at forensic interviews to help determine if medical exams are needed. Val graduated from NDSU with a doctorate of nursing practice in 0216 and has a background working in family planning and STI treatment and prevention with adolescents in our community.

*Lunch on your own*

“Compassion Fatigue and Self Care” - Cheryl Hysjulien, RN, LCP

  • Define compassion fatigue
  • Identify the impact of compassion fatigue on self and others
  • Describe the foundations of self-care
  • Describe the benefits of self-care

Dr. Cheryl Hysjulien is an RN and clinical psychologist specializing in integrative health care at Sanford Health. Dr. Hysjulien graduated from nursing school in 1979 and remains licensed as a registered nurse. She obtained her doctorate in clinical psychology in 1997 and has done extensive training and education in mind/body and integrative health care. She has spent her medical career as a champion of holistic integrated approaches to patients and training medical staff about integrative healthcare. Dr. Hysjulien practiced with a wide range of fields including eating disorders, cardiac, neurological disorders, genetic disorders and other medical disorders. However, her passion lies in working with oncology patients and teams. She has spent the last 15 years developing cancer, especially breast cancer, as a specific area of expertise.

“Tools for Helping Children and Families Understand the Bereavement and Death Process”  - Melissa Schmautz, RN, MS, CCLS & Karen Norman, RNC

Talking about death can be the “elephant in the room;” people generally know what’s happening, but don’t always have the words to talk about it or simply don’t want to talk about it. This session will provide some tools to assist in talking about death: what it looks like, how to explain it, and how to cope.

Please see speaker’s biography under “Chronic Illness and School Reintegration: How We Can Help”

This event is sponsored & presented by ND Family Based Services Association; Sanford Health; & NDFBSA members like you.

The 2017 NDFBSA Conference is sponsored by

the North Dakota Department of Human Services

Children & Family Services Division; Music Therapy in Motion; & NDFBSA members like you

Wednesday, April 5, 2017


“Everyday Hero: Remember your Power to Make a Difference” –Amy Dee

Who you decide to be in this world matters. That’s why —with the right attitude—no job is small and profound satisfaction can come from finding meaning in everyday actions. You will learn how you are responsible for your actions and your attitude. We will explore how to bring a positive attitude from “inside” rather than trying to extract it from external events during the day. You will realize that for every act of violence and horror we hear about there are thousands of unheralded acts of kindness. You’ll discover delightfully practical ways to develop kindness, positivity and deal more effectively with negative people and situations.

Amy Dee can engage audiences of all kinds because she’s lived all kinds of lives!

Author, musician, life coach, comedian, Psychiatric RN

TV News Guest expert

Entrepreneur (creator of a top mail-order company) in Scandinavia

Manager of businesses (cheese, exercise, you name it!)

Managing 500 nonprofit volunteers/production of an 8-hour multi-state telethon

Starting life over as a single mom of two beautiful daughters

Returning to college at 43 as a nursing student

Renovating a century-old house

Amy Dee has more than 20 years of experience as a professional motivational speaker. Based in the Midwest, she has earned a national reputation for keynotes, closing programs and breakout sessions featuring her signature brand of side-splitting humor to explain how to harness the science of behavior and remember their power to choose everything from how they deal with difficult people at work to how they maintain positive relationships at home.

A first-rate comedian and a psychiatric RN Amy Dee is also a powerful motivational speaker with a deep understanding of behavioral science. She uses her hilarious “We've all been there” stories to help audiences connect, laugh and open up to the science of how we behave and the power we have to make different choices about how we treat each other (and ourselves). Audiences never forget Amy Dee’s stories. That’s why they never forget the messages behind those stories: We have the power to choose our attitude. We’re accountable for our choices. Obstacles can be problems or opportunities. We can use negative emotions as fuel for positive changes. And kindness always matters … especially in today’s rapidly changing and often frightening world. Audiences leave laughing, ready to make profound changes in their life at home and work. What a remarkable arc of experience—all from one delightful session!


A-1 “Self-Compassion: Remember the Power of Being Kind to Yourself” –Amy Dee

Most of us feel compassion when we see a friend struggling.  How wonderful it would be to receive the same caring attention from yourself when you needed it the most?  All that’s required is a change in thinking— realizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of grace. Self-kindness is learned, by connecting with our inborn compassion and developing self-compassion expands our capacity to be compassionate with others. You’ll understand the science behind your negative, critical inner troll and access tools and techniques that bring about positive change in your mind.

Please see Wednesday’s Keynote for speaker biography

A-2 “Rock, Roll, Rap and drum with Music Therapy: School Age, Youth & Trauma” –Emily J. Wangen

We will discuss what music therapy is, how it is used with at risk youth, teens, and those whom have faced trauma.  We will discuss the outcomes of music therapy drum circles, music therapy sessions and the positive aspects that affect our youth through music therapy.  Participants will brain storm ways music can be used within their school, homes and settings.  Participants will take home musical ideas, positive aspects of how to incorporate music and will make music during the session. Music Therapists will also discuss funding options and third party payment options as well.

Emily J. Wangen is a board certified and licensed music therapist and founder of Music Therapy in Motion, LLC of Grand Forks and Fargo. Emily is the director of clinical services in Grand Forks and Fargo.  She is the appointed Music Therapist to the ND Board of Integrative Health licensing board and is the chair of the Music Therapy Association of North Dakota and on the American Music Therapy Association Government Relations and Reimbursement Boards.  Emily is a UND graduate and was raised in Cayuga, ND.

A-3 “Communicating with Humanity” –Karianne Wolfer

Sharing stories and experiences of hearing how Scandinavian countries interact with people that most people avoid.  The evidence demonstrates that applying non-complementary behavior, respect, humanity, and the same characteristics of any good friendship results in positive results in engaging people in the criminal justice system and keeping the public safe.

Karianne Wolfer has served as the Director of Correctional Practices for the North Dakota Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation (ND DOCR) since 2008.  Karianne’s professional goal is to help people in prison become better neighbors rather than making them better prisoners.  Karianne holds a Master of Arts Degree in Forensic Psychology and contracts with correctional agencies across the country.   Karianne interprets, trains, and implements the ‘what works’ principles of reducing recidivism to all levels of correctional staff from directors to counselors, probation officers to correctional officers and every position in between.  The objective is to make rehabilitation the focal point of the DOCR, rather than being the second string to punishment.     Having recently had the opportunity learn about more humane and effective approaches to rehabilitation while in Norway, Karianne strives to implement the universal concepts of respect and humanity at the ND DOCR and any correctional agency who will let her in the door.   Karianne’s experience includes training and implementing Motivational Interviewing, Core Correctional Practices, Cognitive Behavioral Interventions, behavior modification programs, Effective Practices in Community Supervision, gender responsive curriculum development, the redesigning of restrictive housing units, and evidence based treatment programs.  Karianne also evaluates correctional program effectiveness from prison settings to community corrections and thoroughly enjoys working directly with both the people who work in and live in/report to correctional facilities on a daily basis. 


A-4 “Self-Compassion: Remember the Power of Being Kind to Yourself” –Amy Dee

(repeat of A-1)

Most of us feel compassion when we see a friend struggling.  How wonderful it would be to receive the same caring attention from yourself when you needed it the most?  All that’s required is a change in thinking— realizing that as a human being, you, too, are a worthy recipient of grace. Self-kindness is learned, by connecting with our inborn compassion and developing self-compassion expands our capacity to be compassionate with others. You’ll understand the science behind your negative, critical inner troll and access tools and techniques that bring about positive change in your mind.

Please see Wednesday’s Keynote for speaker biography

A-5 “Let’s Move and Groove with Music Therapy: Music Therapy for the Young Child, Birth–Five Years and how can Music be Incorporated into the Home, Work, School and Play” –Emily Wangen

“Let’s Move and Groove with Music Therapy” will cover the aspects of how music therapy is used with young children birth-5 and the implications that music has on the development of our children.   Participants will make music, brainstorm ideas of how music can be used in their current setting/family and how to develop a music therapy program in their community, home, school or setting. Music Therapist will discuss funding options to start a program and third party payment options.

Please see session A-2 for speaker biography

A-6 "Creating an Affirmative Environment for LGBTQ Youth" - Amanda Logan

A discussion on how to create a more LGBTQ affirmative environment for our youth.

Amanda Logan, MSW, LCSW, earned her Masters of Social Work Degree from St. Catherine University/University of St. Thomas, in St. Paul, MN. She is certified Trauma Focused Cognitive Behavioral Therapist at PATH; a treatment foster care and family-based services organization located in Fargo, ND. All of her previous work has been in children's mental health in various capacities. Her passion runs deep for area LGBTQ youth. In November 2011, Amanda and a colleague, established the area's first and only LGBTQ youth group called Kaleidoscope. Although she no longer facilitates Kaleidoscope, the group continues to be a strong support for youth in the area at times reaching 25 youth each week.


"Overdoses and Illegal Opiate Use in the Fargo Area" - Lieutenant Shannon Ruziska, Fargo Police Department

Overview on the rise of opiate use and resulting overdoses in our community. Focus on legal issues and identifying and responding to illegal drug use and overdoses.

Lieutenant Ruziska holds a BA in History from University of Minnesota in 1985. Services in the US Navy, retiring in 2009 from the Navel Reserves at the rank of Captain. He was hired by the Fargo Police Department in 1992 and was promoted to current rank of Lieutenant in September 20015. Currently supervising the Fargo Police Department Narcotics and Intelligence Units and also supervises the Metro Area Street Crimes Unit.

Officer Ruziska was born in Fargo, raised in Moorhead, and currently lives in Fargo.

"Gangs Presence and Crime in the Fargo/Moorhead Metro Area" - Lieutenant Shannon Ruziska, Fargo Police Department

Overview on criminal gang presence in our community to include outlaw motorcycle and street gangs. Focus on identification and their impact on our community.  

Please see above for the speaker biography.

Thursday, April 6, 2017


“The Impact of Physical and Sexual Violence: A Personal Journey Revealed” –Olga Trujillo

Olga Trujillo watched as her father abused her mother for years. As she was drawn into his abuse of her mother she was also sexually abused by her father and brothers. Ms. Trujillo, now an attorney, advocate and author, underwent a journey to understand the impact the violence she witnessed and endured - from the child abuse to rapes she suffered as an adolescent and young adult – had on her life. In this presentation she reveals what she has learned so far and although tragic, her story of survival is inspiring and hopeful. She shows how each person can and does make a difference in the lives of others.

Olga Trujillo, Director of Public Policy at Casa de Esperanza’s National Latin@ Network. She is an attorney, speaker, author and survivor. Her experience over the past 27 years has been as a private attorney, an attorney for the U.S. Department of Justice, and a consultant to many local, state and national organizations. Olga is an internationally sought speaker and author and is featured in the video “A Survivor’s Story”, a documentary and training video based on her personal experience of violence. Olga has authored a number of articles and publications. Her memoir for New Harbinger Publications entitled “The Sum of My Parts” was released in October 2011. She also co-authored a Handbook for Attorneys “Representing Domestic Violence Survivors Who Are Also Experiencing Trauma and Mental Health Challenges” which was released in January 2012.


“Dissociative Identity Disorder: Healing” –Olga Trujillo

Olga Trujillo was diagnosed with Dissociative Identity Disorder (formerly known as Multiple Personality Disorder) at the age of 31. Over the past 20 years she has undergone an intense journey to understand what Dissociative Identity Disorder (DID) is, how she developed it, the impact on her life, and she began to address the challenges she faced in healing.  In 2011 Olga’s memoir, The Sum of My Parts: A Survivor’s Story of Dissociative Identity Disorder was released by New Harbinger Publications. In this workshop, she will bring her experience of DID to help participants expand their knowledge from an inside out perspective. Participants will explore what the healing process from DID can look like. We’ll examine trust building, psycho-social therapy, addressing other mental health disorders while healing from DID, and other related topics.

Please see Thursday’s Keynote for speaker biography.


B-1 “The Neurobiology of Trauma: Understanding Victim Behavior” –Olga Trujillo

In this workshop Olga will combine her lived experience of violence with the science of trauma and violence on the brain to help participants explore how they may enhance their trauma-informed responses. This is interactive session that will examine the struggles criminal justice professionals face in handling domestic violence, sexual assault and child abuse cases and explore efforts that can be undertaken to improve their ability to investigate these cases and assess credibility.  This will be a blend of question and answer and case study. 

Please see Thursday’s Keynote for speaker biography.

B-2 "McKinney-Vento Letter of the Law Spirit of the Law: Educational Stability and Implications for Practice for Foster children"  – Jennifer Modeen

Participants will learn the basics of the McKinney-Vento law and the rights of children and families experiencing transition (homeless families and student). Participants will better understand and be educated regarding children in foster care and their rights as it relates to educational stability.

Participants will be able to identify the main tenants for the rights for children and how this affects their educational well being, what the school is responsible for providing and how to best meet the needs of students experiencing homelessness.

In addition participants will be provided a special focus with the spirit of the law. Participants will better understand how to advocate for students and families and assist in providing for their educational stability and wellbeing.

Jennifer Modeen, MSW LCSW is a School Social Worker & District Homeless Liaison with Grand Forks Public Schools. Jennifer has worked in detention, psychiatric residential treatment, inner city residential youth programs and served as program director for transitional housing programs since 1994 and been with the public school system the past 9 years. In addition to her role as school social worker she manages McKinney-Vento program through the Grand Forks Public Schools. She also serves the district as a partnership case manager for children with Severe Emotional Disturbance as a contract employee with Northeast Human Service Center. In her role for the GFPS she established a nine module curriculum for educations regarding social and emotional learning. She is a certified Olweus bullying prevention trainer and serves on the district Olweus/PBIS team.

B-3 “Supervising Creatively from a Developmental Perspective” –Jodi L. Tangen & James S. Korcuska

Supervisees often progress through a fairly predictable series of developmental stages, from the beginning stages where they are typically more anxious and insecure, to intermediate stages where their confidence levels fluctuate, to more advances stages where their counselor identities stabilize. Without understanding these stages, supervisors may miss important opportunities to empathize with supervisees and provoke further development. In this presentation, we will outline the stages of supervisees’ development and offer creative intervention strategies based on developmental level. Audience participation will be highly encouraged.

Jodi L. Tangen is currently an Assistant Professor in the Counselor Education program at North Dakota State University. She has supervised school counseling and mental health counseling students and enjoys discovering new ways to help students capitalize upon their counseling potential.

James S. Korcuska is an associate professor of counselor education. He is the Clinical Director for Community Counseling Services, the program’s training clinic NDSU. In addition to teaching a doctoral course on supervision, he has published in the area of supervision. He is the current editor of the journal, Counselor Education and Supervision.


B-4 “Accounting for Culture and Trauma in your Services and Responses” –Olga Trujillo

Through this workshop, the role culture can play in an individual’s trauma and healing will be explored. Participants will examine the role that language, food, customs, status, spiritual beliefs and other cultural realities can play in an individual’s experience of violence and trauma.  Participants will explore the intertwining nature of culture and violence and steps to take to engage culturally diverse communities in their responses and services and to develop amore culturally-informed and trauma informed program.

Please see Thursday’s Keynote for speaker biography.

B-5 “Current Issues in Social Work Ethics” –Katie Krukenberg

This session will explore the need for and value of ongoing ethics training for social workers, as well as current issues related to ethics encountered in social work practice and supervision. 

Katie Krukenberg, LCSW is an Assistant Professor of Social Work and Field Director at the University of Mary.  Katie teaches classes on social work theory, generalist practice, practice with families, and working with diverse populations, as well as overseeing the senior field placements and teaching senior seminar.  Prior to teaching Katie has over ten years of experience working as a social worker at Home on the Range, Charles Hall Youth Services, and Bismarck Public Schools, and is former PATH foster parent.   

B-6 “Stress Management” –Dr. Robert Nielsen

-Introduction/Ice Breaking – “A place called Earth”

-Dynamics of Stress/Stress Curve

-Sources of Stress/Assess Your Stress

-Symptoms of Stress/Physical & Emotional

-Personality and Stress/A vs B personality

-Managing Internal Stress/Cognitive Restructuring

-Managing External Stress/Assertiveness

-Lifestyle and Stress/Nutrition Evaluation

-Appraisal of Lifestyle Habits

-Stuck on an Escalator/Private Practice

Having been a clinical counselor and counselor educator at North Dakota State University (NDSU) for the past 42 years, I retired in May of 2015 as a counselor educator and am now advancing my clinical practice.  The following are some of the strengths of my work and my credentials:

My doctorate is in Psychology and Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado.

I coordinated the Counselor Education Program at NDSU for many years.  It is recognized by the national accreditation body (CACREP) as an excellent program.

I am licensed as the first Professional Clinical Counselor in North Dakota.

I chaired the North Dakota Board of Counselor Examiners for seven years.

I am registered in the state of North Dakota as a Parenting Investigator.

My counseling specialties are stress management and anxiety reduction.

I have been the president of the following professional organizations:

*North Dakota College Personnel Association

*Red River Valley Mental Health Association

*North Dakota Association for Counselor Education and Supervision

*North Dakota Counseling Association

*American Association of State Counseling Boards

My professional research and presentations have been extensive, having published many articles, book chapters and reviews.  My professional presentations number in the hundreds and they have been well received from audiences throughout the United States from Maine to Hawaii.  Throughout my professional career I have received numerous state, regional, and national awards.

Although local, state, regional and national recognitions are nice, my real passion is in helping others recognize their own worth and move ahead in their lives to be more capable of empowering themselves to live happier and healthier lives.

Friday, April 7, 2017


Youth In Crisis & Real Life Journeys; Q&A – Jessica Fleck, Facilitator/Speaker & Foster Care Alumni Panel Kayla Weston & Tesa Curtiss

This session will address the challenges that transition age youth face when leaving the child welfare system to become independent adults.

Jessica Fleck, LCSW, has worked at Youthworks for the last 7 years. During that time she has facilitated Runaway Prevention Services, Transitional Living Services, Family Reunification, and Crisis Intervention. Prior to Youthworks, Jessica worked at Grand Forks County Social Services as a foster care case manager. Jessica provides training in street culture, human trafficking, and mentoring.

Please check in with  for more information on this presentation.


Make your reservations directly with the Holiday Inn at 701-282-2700.

A block of single rooms & double rooms have been set aside at the Holiday Inn for conference attendees. The Convention Rate is $106.00 for a standard room. Blocked rooms will be held at conference rates until March 4th, 2017. 

State Rate: when you book the reservation, you initially will get the block convention rate. Upon check-in, you must provide a State ID Card to get the state rate of $84.70 for a single occupant and $96.90 for double occupancy. There are a number of hotels in the area that offer state rates if you'd prefer to stay elsewhere.  If you intend to use a county voucher, please make clear, prior arrangements with the Holiday Inn.

 Holiday Inn Layout


Contact Information

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    If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to contact NDFBSA & a representative will respond as soon as possible.

    North Dakota Family Based Services Association
    PO Box 9114
    Fargo, ND 58106

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