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Child Advocacy

2016 Speaker Biographies

Marlanda Dekine 

Marlanda DekineMarlanda Dekine is a licensed master social worker, published poet and facilitator. She has a Bachelor of Arts in Psychology from Furman University and a Master of Social Work from the University of South Carolina. Marlanda is the Founder and Executive Director of Speaking Down Barriers (www.speakingdownbarriers.org), a nonprofit organization that transforms space and co-creates community beyond the intersections of difference, i.e. race, gender, class, religion, sexual orientation and national identity. She has facilitated and performed among various groups at trainings, seminars and poetry slams across the nation. Most of her clinical experience is in conducting therapy and forensic evaluations with children who have suffered child abuse or severe neglect. She is a transformer of space, using her poetry and gift of healing to organize people for powerful individual and community transformation.

Kenneth Ginsburg, M.D. 
Kenneth-GinsburgKenneth Ginsburg, M.D., is a pediatrician specializing in adolescent medicine at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and a professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. He also serves as director of health services at Covenant House Pennsylvania, an agency that serves Philadelphia’s homeless and marginalized youth.

In Dr. Ginsburg’s adolescent medicine practice, he cares for a wide variety of medical conditions, while simultaneously addressing adolescent behavioral issues. He practices social adolescent medicine – medicine with special attention to prevention and the recognition that social context and stressors affect both physical and emotional health. At Covenant House Pennsylvania the clinic addresses client’s risk by first acknowledging that most worrisome behaviors stem from an individuals reaction to stress. Then, it guides each young person to build upon existing strengths to address problem behaviors.

His research over the last two decades has focused on facilitating youth to develop their own solutions to social problems and to teach clinicians how to better serve them. He co-developed the Teen-Centered Method, a mixed qualitative/quantitative methodology that enables youth to generate, prioritize and explain their own ideas. Dr. Ginsburg has more than 120 publications, including 30 original research articles, clinical practice articles, five books, a multimedia textbook for professionals and internet-based and video/DVD productions for clinicians, parents and teens.

The theme that ties together his clinical practice, teaching, research and advocacy efforts is that of building on the strength of teenagers by fostering their internal resilience. He works to translate the best of what is known from research and practice into practical approaches parents, professionals and communities can use to build resilience. He is currently The Associate Medical Editor of The American Academy of Pediatrics’ Parenting Web Page Healthychildren.org, a trusted web source for parents seeking guidance on effective parenting and healthy child and adolescent development.

Dr. Ginsburg lectures widely to national and international parent and professional audiences. His most recent books are, Building Resilience in Children and Teens: Giving Kids Roots and Wings, published by The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) and Letting Go with Love and Confidence: Raising Responsible, Resilient, Self-Sufficient Teens published by Avery, Penguin Press. The AAP has published a textbook/film project Reaching Teens: Strength-Based Communication Strategies to Build Resilience and Support Healthy Adolescent Development that offers up to 65 continuing education credits for youth serving professionals.

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Nancy Henderson, M.D.   
Nancy HendersonDr. Henderson serves as the medical director of the Division of Forensic Pediatrics at Greenville Hospital System. She graduated from Bowman Gray School of Medicine and did her pediatric residency at TC Thompson Children’s Hospital in Chattanooga, Tenn. She is board certified in Pediatrics and Child Abuse Pediatrics. She spends many of her days addressing one of the most difficult issues facing children: child abuse. For a decade, this pediatrician has performed child abuse medical exams at the Children’s Advocacy Center. She has the skills, patience, warmth and compassion to calm an anxious child, while gathering facts and medical evidence without further traumatizing the child. Just as importantly, she serves as an expert witness in Family and Criminal Court. Her testimony is often instrumental in the prosecution of child molesters.

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Bruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D.

Bruce PerryBruce D. Perry, M.D., Ph.D. Dr. Perry is the Senior Fellow of The ChildTrauma Academy, a not-for-profit organization based in Houston, TX and adjunct Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Feinberg School of Medicine at Northwestern University in Chicago.

Dr. Perry is the author, with Maia Szalavitz, of The Boy Who Was Raised As A Dog, a bestselling book based on his work with maltreated children and Born For Love: Why Empathy is Essential and Endangered. His most recent multimedia book, BRIEF: Reflections on Childhood, Trauma and Society was released in 2013. Over the last thirty years, Dr. Perry has been an active teacher, clinician and researcher in children’s mental health and the neurosciences holding a variety of academic positions.

Dr. Perry was on the faculty of the Departments of Pharmacology and Psychiatry at the University of Chicago School Of Medicine from 1988 to 1991. From 1992 to 2001, Dr. Perry served as the Trammell Research Professor of Child Psychiatry at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas. During this time, Dr. Perry also was Chief of Psychiatry for Texas Children's Hospital and Vice-Chairman for Research within the Department of Psychiatry. From 2001 to 2003, Dr. Perry served as the Medical Director for Provincial Programs in Children's Mental Health for the Alberta Mental Health Board. He continues to consult with the government of Alberta on children’s issues and serves as a founding member of the Premier’s Council of Alberta’s Promise.

Dr. Perry has conducted both basic neuroscience and clinical research. His neuroscience research has examined the effects of prenatal drug exposure on brain development, the neurobiology of human neuropsychiatric disorders, the neurophysiology of traumatic life events and basic mechanisms related to the development of neurotransmitter receptors in the brain. His clinical research and practice has focused on high-risk children. This work has examined the cognitive, behavioral, emotional, social, and physiological effects of neglect and trauma in children, adolescents and adults. This work has been instrumental in describing how childhood experiences, including neglect and traumatic stress, change the biology of the brain – and, thereby, the health of the child.

His clinical research over the last ten years has been focused on integrating emerging principles of developmental neuroscience into clinical practice. This work has resulted in the development of innovative clinical practices and programs working with maltreated and traumatized children, most prominently the Neurosequential Model©, a developmentally sensitive, neurobiology-informed approach to clinical work (NMT), education (NME) and caregiving (NMC). This approach to clinical problem solving has been integrated into the The ChildTrauma Academy www.ChildTrauma.org programs at dozens of large public and non-profit organizations serving at-risk children and their families.

His experience as a clinician and a researcher with traumatized children has led many community and governmental agencies to consult Dr. Perry following high-profile incidents involving traumatized children such as the Branch Davidian siege in Waco (1993), the Oklahoma City bombing (1995), the Columbine school shootings (1999), the September 11th terrorist attacks (2001), Hurricane Katrina (2005), the FLDS polygamist sect (2008), the earthquake in Haiti (2010), the tsunami in Tohoku Japan (2011) and the Sandy Hook Elementary school shootings (2012).

Dr. Perry is the author of over 500 journal articles, book chapters and scientific proceedings and is the recipient of numerous professional awards and honors, including the T. Berry Brazelton Infant Mental Health Advocacy Award, the Award for Leadership in Public Child Welfare, the Alberta Centennial Medal and the 2014 Kohl Education Prize.

He has presented about child maltreatment, children's mental health, neurodevelopment and youth violence in a variety of venues including policy-making bodies such as the White House Summit on Violence, the California Assembly and U.S. House Committee on Education. Dr. Perry has been featured in a wide range of media including National Public Radio, The Today Show, Good Morning America, Nightline, CNN, MSNBC, NBC, ABC and CBS News and the Oprah Winfrey Show. His work has been featured in documentaries produced by Dateline NBC, 20/20, the BBC, Nightline, CBC, PBS, as well as dozen international documentaries. Many print media have highlighted the clinical and research activities of Dr. Perry including a Pulitzer-prize winning series in the Chicago Tribune, US News and World Report, Time, Newsweek, Forbes ASAP, Washington Post, the New York Times and Rolling Stone.

Dr. Perry, a native of Bismarck, North Dakota, was an undergraduate at Stanford University and Amherst College. He attended medical and graduate school at Northwestern University, receiving both M.D. and Ph.D. degrees. Dr. Perry completed a residency in general psychiatry at Yale University School of Medicine and a fellowship in Child and Adolescent Psychiatry at The University of Chicago. 

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Machelle D. Madsen Thompson, Ph.D., LCSW

Machelle D. Madsen ThompsonMachelle Madsen Thompson received her Ph.D from Florida State University, MSW at University of Utah and B.S. in Social Psychology minoring in Music Therapy at Brigham Young University. She has been advocating for children who have experienced Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) most of her life. At the Utah Division of Child and Family Services, she worked in family preservation. She created a preschool group intervention model incorporating cognitive-behavioral therapy coupled with play and music therapy models. At Primary Children’s Medical Center, Center for Safe and Healthy Families and The Children’s Justice Center of Utah County, she worked as a Clinical Social Worker with children who had experienced non-accidental traumas, primarily young children who had experienced abuse. She supervised implementation of the preschool programs she created. She began Kids Connect, an urban prevention program in the most impoverished neighborhood schools of Utah. Using an empirically and ecologically based model, she brought together teachers, parents, young students and counselors to promote early detection and prevention of ACEs.

At FSU, she obtained a doctoral certification in statistics and measurement helping her to co-author the Trauma Resilience Scale for adults (Madsen & Abell, 2010). Using the information from this work, she created the Trauma Resilience Scale for Children (Madsen Thompson, 2010) which earned her the Harrison Award. Both have been used nationally and internationally with those experiencing ACEs. Although she primarily focuses on courses relating to children and adolescents, she has taught most Council on Social Work Education (CSWE) required graduate and undergraduate practice and field courses for which she has earned Teaching Awards. She has served on several teaching and syllabus development committees.

She remains involved in the community working and volunteering at the individual, family, school and community levels. She has served on the Safe and Nurturing Environment action team for children in her county. She serves as a committeewoman for the local Democratic Executive Committee. She served on the board of directors and currently works as supervisor of the social service team for Love at Work Missions, a faith-based, rural outreach and empowerment organization for families living in extreme poverty. She is the mother of three biological children and three long-term foster children. She enjoys music, dance and mountain biking.

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