2019 Chicago Regional Conference

Thursday, Apr 11, 2019 – Friday, Apr 12, 2019

8:00am – 5:00pm

Join us in Chicago for our powerful wellness conference featuring a panel discussion with friends and family members who have lost their LEO to suicide.


Passing PTSD Legislation in Florida – Geoffrey Bichler, Esq., Bichler, Oliver, Longo & Fox

The full impact of PTSD in First Responders was keenly felt following the Pulse Nightclub attack in Orlando.  The need to have both medical and monetary benefits provided under the workers’ compensation system for PTSD was at the center of the 2018 Florida Legislative Session.  Join Attorney Geoff Bichler as he discusses his efforts and the process that resulted in the PTSD bill for First Responders being unanimously passed under workers’ compensation in the State of Florida.

Navigating the Healthcare System: Separating Facts from Fiction – Nicholas Greco, M.S., B.C.E.T.S., C.A.T.S.M., F.A.A.E.T.S.

All too often, law enforcement officers and their families are faced with life changing events. These events bring forth decisions which have to be made under intense emotional stress. You and your family need to know what to do and have a plan before the unimaginable occurs. Understanding and navigating the ever-changing, ever-complicated healthcare system is an important first step to ensuring peace of mind both for your family and yourself. In this session, we will explain the importance of HIPAA and EMTALA, how to protect your family and what your family needs to know in the event of loss, how privacy laws protect officers who need treatment, separate the myths from facts about mental health treatment, explain the difference between inpatient and outpatient mental health care, and why getting helping on your own may be a preferred option. Finally, we will put everything together to form an actionable plan that you and your family can put into place immediately.

Facts and Fallacies of officer wellness, FOID reporting and therapy – Dr. Carrie Steiner, First Responders Wellness Center

Research has found that officers see more trauma in one month than most people do in their entire lifetime. This course will help officers understand how constant exposure to trauma can effect your overall physical and mental health. Officers will learn how to build resiliency against trauma and the ever-changing police lifestyle. The facts and fallacies of getting mental health treatment, confidentiality laws as well as new FOID reporting laws in Illinois will be discussed. The course will also help officers be able to find mental health treatment for themselves with knowledge of what to look for in a therapist who understands police culture. After this course, officers will be able to describe pre-event, event and post-event factors that affect the trauma response. Once an officer understands their risk factors they can do more to control their risks and build more resiliency to the ultimate goal of retirement and enjoyment of life.

Living the Resilient Life – Tim Perry, Nationwide Chaplain Services

10-41 Incorporated provides officer wellness across the country with innovative approaches that are impacting the numbers for Suicide, Traumatic Injury, Anxiety, and Officer Stress. We are a forward-thinking group that uses Emotional Intelligence, Perspectives, Resilience, and an exciting new approach to diagnosing and managing brain related events. We will teach attendees about a highly effective model called the 10-41 PIES Approach to WellnessTM that is being used by Law Enforcement Officers & Leaders, Counselors, and even shared with families with effective results. Don’t miss this futuristic view of how we can help our officers begin a successful pathway.

Surviving Critical Incidents and Marriage – Cathy and Javier Bustos, Law Enforcement Peer Counselors, TX

Javier and Cathy are peer support officers for their police departments. Throughout their careers they have experienced many critical Incidents separately and together. On August 18th, 2010 they experienced the trauma of a line of duty death for a fellow officer and friend at Cathy’s police department in Cedar Park, TX. A month later on September 25th, 2010, Javier was in an Officer Involved Shooting in Austin, TX. Cathy & Javier were thrust into a new and changed world. They had to adjust their lives for the “new normal”. It is important officers get help in the early days after a critical incident. The days of the macho “shaking it off” are in the past. With a combined 40 plus years of law enforcement experience their mission is to help other officers and their families deal with the stress of Critical Incidents. They serve as Peer Support Team members at the Bill Blackwood Law Enforcement Management Institute of Texas, Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, TX for quarterly Post Critical Incident Seminars, have several Texas certifications and publish articles for Law Enforcement Today.

Impact of Police Work and PTSD – Sara Gura, The NIPSTA Foundation

Law Enforcement Behavioral Health is an introductory presentation provided by Sarah Gura; it covers how important it is to self-assess and understand (or detect) your symptoms.  There are additional concerns for law enforcement personnel due to career duties and experiences.  Those concerns and other self-help ideas will be discussed.  The following topics will be covered: potentially traumatic events, cumulative effects of stress (SICness), vicarious traumas, compassion fatigue, burn out, leadership needs, 6 major categories of problematic symptoms shared by law enforcement, marriage and family issues, and suicide.  How to find a therapist and what kind of therapist or treatment modality to seek out will be discussed at the end of the presentation.

Impact of Employee Wellness on Performance and Organizational Culture – Scott Nayendoff, Deputy Chief – Cary (Illinois) Police Department

In this session, Deputy Chief Naydenoff will present policy considerations from his experiences that will aide in bridging the gap between law enforcement officers and mental health professionals and present a case for making officer wellness a proactive initiative rather than the traditional reactive approach.

DISCUSSION PANEL – Learn about suicide loss from family members and loved ones who have lost an officer to suicide


    Joy Wilson                              Chris Fisher                          Anne Follmer                   Officer Nicole Embury  
           Parent                                   Friend and Former LEO                              Parent                                              Partner

Continental breakfast and lunch included.

Co-Hosted by 1st Responder Conferences

Event Location

Holiday Inn Express
1550 E Dundee Ave.
Palatine, IL

Event Fees

Single Admission
$ 95.00