Speakers

Paul Alves, Mary Ann Gapinski, Alexandra Heinz, Wanda Visnick

Paul Alves

Paul Alves recently became a Nationally Certified Peer Recovery Support Specialist NCPRSS through the National Association for Addiction Professionals NAADAC Paul has guided individuals in prevention as a Drinking Driver Program Instructor in treatment as a Substance Abuse Counselor CASACT in a Cooccurring Medication Assisted Treatment Program and in recovery maintenance as a Peer Recovery CoachPaul is also a care coordinator for the Access to Recovery Program in Hampden County As a Recovery Coach Academy Trainer with the Bureau of Substance Abuse Services he supervises Recovery Coaches across the state

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Mary Ann Gapinski, MSN, RN, NCSN

Mary Ann Gapinski, MSN, RN, NCSN, is the Director of School Health Services for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health. In this role, she has the responsibility for the overall delivery of health services, including behavioral health, in the Commonwealth’s private and public schools. She has been the lead presenter for the National Association of School Nurses professional development programs in behavioral health services for school nurses and is a past President of the National Board for Certification of School Nurses. She is a graduate of the University of Pittsburgh School of Nursing and received her Master’s degree from the University of Massachusetts in Amherst.

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Alexandra Heinz

Alex Heinz is a trainer for the MASBIRT Training and Technical Assistance (TTA) Program at Boston Medical Center. Her past experience includes seven years of direct service provision in the non-profit sector with youth and adults in areas of intimate partner violence, sexual health, mental health, substance use, and infectious disease. She has master’s degrees in Public Health and Social Work from Boston University. Throughout her career, Alex has gained valuable skills in training, health education, group facilitation and public speaking. Prior to working with MASBIRT TTA, Alex was a Medical Case Manager for the Hepatitis C Clinic in the Boston Medical Center Adult Primary Care practice.

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Wanda Visnick, BSN, RN, NCSN, HN-BC

Wanda Visnick, currently serves as MASBIRT Training Consultant providing education and planning for the implementation of substance abuse screening in schools throughout the Commonwealth. She is also attending the Psychiatric Mental Health Nurse Practitioner program at Northeastern University.

The 15 year experience as a School Nurse Leader in Massachusetts public schools allowed for knowledge acquisition and understanding of the complexity of implementing programs to meet diverse needs of the school/community within the guidelines of legal, educational and nursing practice criteria. Collaboration between students, families, school administration, local and statewide representatives, legislature and the MDPH School Health Unit provided a strong basis for understanding the breadth of investment from each population as it pertains to the safety, development and well-being of our youth.

As a registered nurse in Massachusetts for over 26 years, Wanda’s experiences have given insight to the human condition through the lens of a post-trauma surgical nurse, geriatric-rehabilitation and end-of life caregiver, and most recently, pediatric in-patient psychiatric nurse. She provides safe and nurturing holistic care to people experiencing their most vulnerable moments with evidenced based practice in theory, science, and the art of holistic caregiving. She has also developed and presented Holistic Stress Management seminars and looks forward to integrating these strategies into practice within schools and primary care.

Certifications and training include; Massachusetts Board of Registered Nurses; Registered Nurse (RN), Massachusetts Department of Education; School Nurse Certification, ANCC; National Certificate in School Nursing (NCSN) and National Holistic Nurse Certification (HN-BC), Certified Holistic Stress Management Instructor, Lesley University; Certificate in Trauma Based Learning, US Department of Homeland Security; ICS 100, 200, 700, Birchtree Center for Transformational Leadership; Holistic Nursing, The Bridge Training Institute; Dialectical Behavior Therapy Skills Training Series

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