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Presenter Bio's


7:30-8:30 a.m.

Registration and Continental Breakfast


 Welcome, Invocation and Presentation of Colors

8:15-8:30 a.m.

Conference MC: Mary Mitchell serves as Senior Associate, Community Engagement for Girl Scouts—Arizona Cactus-Pine Council.  She has served the council for over 20 years. Mary currently serves on the organization’s leadership team, and provides oversight for the strategy and innovation for the council’s community engagement framework, as well as co-leads the organization’s strategic direction related to diversity, equity, and inclusion.





Invocation: Sangam Thapa

Sangam Thapa, is from Kathmandu, Nepal. He received his education at St. Joseph’s College, where he received lessons in Open Air guitar. Sangam certified in 2013 as an Open Air teacher for the Playing for Change Foundation, a “global non-profit organization created to inspire, connect, and bring peace to the world through music”. Sangam is an interpreter for the International Rescue Committee (IRC), in Tucson AZ, volunteers at the Butanese Mutual Assistance Association of Tucson (BMAAT), and actively serves the Nepali community of Tucson, with his beautiful music.

Presentation of Colors: Cesar Chavez High School JROTC


 Opening Remarks: Peggy Chase, Melinda Kovacs

8:30-8:40 a.m.

Peggy J. Chase is the President and CEO of Terros Health, a growing integrated, whole health care company providing
services to Arizonans since 1969 and today touching more than 50,000 lives annually. Peggy leads more than 1,100
employees statewide with a compassionate leadership style that seeks to mentor, coach and grow new leaders.
Peggy has been a progressive health care leader and innovator for more than 30 years. Her commitment to service leadership has positively impacted public policy. Peggy has an extensive background in finance and operations and has served as Chief Financial Officer and Chief Operations Officer for several companies overseeing: finances, electronic health records, claims and billing, information technology, data analytics, human resources, facilities and contracts.



Melinda Kovacs has been an active member of the Terros Health Board of Directors since 2014. She became chair in January 2018. She has practiced law since 2000, the last 12 years in private practice and prior to that with the Maricopa County Attorney's Office. Melinda holds a Juris Doctor degree from Arizona State University and a Bachelor of Arts degree from Purdue University.




 Keynote Presentation: Migration, Militarization and Criminalization - The Arizona Experience

8:45-9:30 a.m.

Isabel Garcia, a fourth-generation Tucsonan, is a longtime human rights advocate and organizer with Coalición de Derechos. She attended Pueblo High School before graduating from the University of Arizona with a BA in 1975 and her JD in 1978. After being accepted into the Arizona State Bar, Isabel was awarded a Reginald Heber Smith Fellowship which took her to Del Rio, Texas, to work with migrant farm workers as an attorney with Texas Rural Legal Aid in Del Rio, Texas. Isabel returned to Tucson in 1980 to work as an Assistant Pima County Public Defender, then as an Assistant Federal Public Defender until 1986, when she began private practice where she focused on criminal and immigration defense litigation. In 1992 Isabel was named Director of the Pima County Legal Defender where she fought against the injustices in the criminal justice system and the incarceration of our communities until her retirement in July 2015. Isabel has simultaneously championed migrant rights, and has fought against the militarization of the US/Mexico border, bringing international focus on policy-driven death along US/Mexico border. Among her many awards and recognitions, in 2006 Isabel was awarded the Human Rights Award from Mexico’s Human Rights Commission, representing the first person not born, nor living in Mexico, to receive the honor.


9:30-10:00 a.m.


 Plenary Presentation: The Promise of Family

10:00-10:50 a.m.

January Contreras is a former county prosecutor for the Maricopa County Attorney's Office, and Assistant Attorney General.  She served as an Assistant Director at AHCCCS and Interim Director of the Arizona Department of Health Services. She also was appointed as an advisor to Janet Napolitano in the Governor’s Office and the Department of Homeland Security. January is a champion for vulnerable kids and youth. In 2013, she founded a non-profit, Arizona Legal Women and Youth Services, known as ALWAYS, so kids and young adults impacted by abuse, human trafficking, homelessness, and the foster care system can have a lawyer by their side as they seek safety and stability. January is the product of public schools. She earned her undergraduate and law degrees from the University of Arizona in Tucson, Arizona. She and her husband of 23 years have two teenage sons.  She has served as a board member of numerous organizations including Los Abogados Bar Association, the Arizona Coalition to End Sexual and Domestic Violence, and Mujer, Inc. Today, January is running to become Arizona’s next Attorney General to fight for our state and all Arizonans. Her race was recently named as one of the Top Five Attorney General Races to Watch. Learn more about January's background at


 Plenary Presentation: Evidence Based Treatment for Substance Use Disorders: Reducing the Risk

11:00-11:50 a.m.

Dr. Michael Dekker was born and raised on the South Side of Chicago, the son of Anthony Dekker, DO. Dr.  Dekker trained at Nova Southeastern College of Osteopathic Medicine in Ft Lauderdale FL, Banner Good Samaritan Psychiatric Residency Program in Phoenix AZ, and Boston University Addiction Psychiatry Fellowship Program in Boston, MA.  Dr. Dekker is dedicated to the treatment of Addiction disorders in underserved populations, patient and provider education, and advancement of the treatment of Addiction Disorders.  Dr. Dekker currently works at Southwest Network as Director of Addiction Medicine.



  Lunch and Sponsorship Recognition: 

11:50 a.m. – 12:50 p.m.

Entertainment: Miguel Serrano & Mariachi Mexico Nuevo








1 - 3:45 p.m. 

Breakout Sessions


1 - 2:15 p.m.

2:30 - 3:45 p.m.

3:45 - 4:15 p.m. 

Closing Remarks and Raffle