Brief Bio`s of Speakers for

Brief Bio’s of Speakers for
December 15th, 2005 Webcast
Peer Support: Disaster Preparation for
People with Psychiatric Disabilities
Debra LaVergne
Executive Director of Meaningful Minds of Louisiana
Meaning Minds of Louisiana is the State recognized Mental Health advocacy
organization for Louisiana. Meaningful Minds of Louisiana is part of the
Louisiana Consumer Organization of Relief Katrina/Rita (LACORK) which
provides training in: trauma informed peer support, WRAP, warmlines, group
process, and establishment of consumer-run recovery centers.
Debra is a mental health consumer and a part-time Consumer Affairs Liaison for
the Office of Mental Health. She is the NAMI Louisiana State Consumer Council
Representative and a member of the NAMI Walk planning committee for
southwest Louisiana. She markets and plans the fundraising event. She is also
a member of the Mental Health Planning Council, the Region V Advisory Council,
the Mental Health Review Commission and the PAIMI Advisory Council. She is a
BRIDGES facilitator for a weekly held consumer peer to peer support group as
well as a BRIDGES educator that teaches a bi-annual 15-week mental health
recovery class. Finally, Debra works closely with the Louisiana Office of Mental
Health, providing advocacy services as well as input in regards to the
development of policies affecting individuals with mental illness statewide.
Kaye Rote
Executive Director,
Oklahoma Menat Health Consumer Council
Kaye Rote has been the director of the Oklahoma Mental Health Consumer
Council since December of 1996. She spent 22 years as a Tax Accountant,
auditor and Tax Law Instructor for OSU before coming to the Council. She holds
a Bachelor Degree in Accounting and has recently completed her Masters in
Business Administration. Kaye is a consumer of mental health services as well
as a family member and now dedicates her life to advocacy for mental health
survivors in Oklahoma and Nationally.
LaVerne Miller, Esq.
Director of Howie the Harp Peer Advocacy Center
A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and Northeastern Law School,
LaVerne has worked as a prosecutor and tenant advocate.
LaVerne has been the Director of the Howie the Harp Peer Advocacy Center
since 1996. Since that time the Center has grown from a small supported
employment program with a budget of $150,000 to a multifaceted Center
providing a wide range of services to consumers and providers. Their current
budget is $900,000.
From February 2002 until August 2003, the Center managed a FEMA funded
Peer Support Initiative that provided crisis services to mental health consumers
impacted by 9/11. This initiative provided services to thousands of consumers
and their families.
LaVerne’s journey to her current position was a long and complex one.
Following years of severe depression, she realized that finding meaningful work
and peer support were critical to her own personal recovery and they are also
critical to the support of many other consumers.
Daniel B. Fisher, M.D., Ph.D.
Executive Director National Empowerment Center
Recovering from Mental Illness and becoming a Commissioner - Dan is a person
who has recovered from schizophrenia. He was hospitalized several times prior
to becoming a psychiatrist. He is one of the few psychiatrists in the country who
publicly discusses his recovery from mental illness. He is a role model for others
who are struggling to recover, and his life dispels the myth that people do not
recover from mental illness. His recovery and work in the field were recognized
by his selection as a member of the White House Commission on Mental Health.
Education and Practice - Dan received his AB. from Princeton University, his
Ph.D. in biochemistry from the University of Wisconsin and his M.D. from George
Washington University. He is a board-certified psychiatrist who completed his
residency at Harvard Medical School. He is presently an Executive Director of
the National Empowerment Center and a practicing psychiatrist at Riverside
Outpatient Clinic, Wakefield, MA.
Speaker/Teacher/Researcher - Dan travels to all parts of the country to conduct
workshops, give keynote addresses, teach classes, and organize conferences for
consumers/survivors, families, and mental health providers to promote recovery
of people with labeled with mental illness by incorporating the principles of
empowerment. He has been featured on many radio and television programs,
including CNN Special Report. In addition he is a researcher having carried out
research into neurotransmitters at the National Institute of Mental Health and on
the ways that people recover. Along with Laurie Ahern, he developed the
Empowerment Model of Recovery and the PACE/Recovery program to shift the
system to a recovery orientation. He was recognized for this work by being
selected to Clifford Beers, National Mental Health Association Award and the
Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law's advocacy award.
Author - Dan has written chapters in many books, as well as a number of articles
in professional journals such as Hospital and Community Psychiatry and the
Psychosocial Rehabilitation Journal In addition to recovery, his focus is on how
consumer/survivors can gain a voice in managed care, for which he has
produced a video, "Self-Managed Care." He has produced a video and booklet
about important aspects of recovery, "Recovery is for Everyone" as well as a
video on "Consumers Working as Providers."