This post is written by Dede Montgomery, Senior Research Associate – Outreach & Education of Oregon Healthy Workforce Center and Oregon Institute of Occupational Health Sciences at OHSU. She is also a member of the School Employee Wellness Conference Planning Committee. You can meet Dede at the School Employee Wellness Conference; she’ll be exhibiting on Sunday, March 25, and Monday, March 26.

I have had the good fortune for the past 4 years to attend Oregon’s School Employee Wellness Conference, sponsored by OEA Choice Trust. Talk about energy: enthusiasm and learning opportunities abound! Attendees are among the most motivated conference attendees I have encountered, and I attend a lot of conferences. Supporting this effort and absolutely contributing to its success is a stellar group of planning committee members, thoughtfully selected to represent organizations critical in evaluating, assessing and contributing to the health and well-being of Oregon educators, staff and communities.

You might be asking, how does this event benefit attendees?

  • Ample opportunities to network with school employees from around Oregon, eager to share their own challenges and successes
  • Carefully selected exhibitors to match the needs and interests of attendees
  • Captivating, passionate and sought after keynote speaker
  • Concurrent engaging sessions carefully vetted and selected for quality and content
  • Fun, enriching and health-supporting breaks to keep the blood and oxygen flowing and enhance learning opportunities
  • A safe environment to ask questions, express concerns and seek advice from others
  • A beautiful conference setting and facility
  • A hosting organization exuding kind, caring and innovative staff and volunteers
  • No cost event with scholarship opportunities for lodging

What have I learned during my last few years of attendance? First, from a professional continuing education perspective, I have learned a lot about many topics: trauma informed practice and care, challenges and opportunities of school staff, students and communities; the extensive support network related to but outside schools, including health and wellness partners and professionals. Secondly, the importance of taking time to breathe, smile and laugh. And finally, the value of spending time with people who appreciate and understand the challenges, interventions and successes of those working in and supporting the health and well-being of school communities.

Might you join us at the 2018 School Employee Wellness Conference? Learn more.