The Three Aims of Healing Invisible Wounds Summit:
Healing Invisible Wounds Champion
Matt Burton has been a pioneer and entrepreneur from day one of his vocational life. However, the road to leading this revolutionary focus around evidence based trauma and loss recovery for men didn’t start in behavioral health. Surprisingly, it started in the media.
By the age of 19, Matt launched a ground breaking for-profit endeavor called Romeo Productions. This multimedia entertainment company quickly rose to become the largest of its kind in the state of Oregon by his 21st birthday. During the same time he was running his own company, Matt was also an on-air personality for Z100 Radio in Portland and KZMG, Magic 93.1 in Boise, Idaho.
Several years later, tired from the demands of the media and entertainment industry, Matt was ready to make a change. He began a new career in the Insurance and Healthcare Industry. Over the next several years, Matt worked for Regence BlueCross BlueShield and Denkor in roles focused on Marketing and Communication. During this same time, he earned his Bachelors of Science in Business Management from Concordia University.
Despite much early life success, Matt didn’t find that anything he had done to date fulfilled his more central passion; serving those who were hurting and overlooked. In a step of courage and faith, he walked away from financial security and, instead, Matt took a job in a group home for teenage boys. From there, he began to work with men that were in prison. Men who had only known trauma, loss, addiction and pain; men that were paying for the consequences of their actions. What became apparent to him is that most of the criminal behavior he was seeing seemed to stem from unresolved trauma and loss. With that knowledge, he became an advocate for men wishing to understand and heal from their wounds and the resulting addictions and acting out behavior. Matt was one of twelve men that, in the early 90’s, helped launch what is now a worldwide program to help men break free from pornography and related addictions.
Matt’s next project became a 10-year commitment to the Native American community. He founded Extraordinary Young People (EXYP); a non-profit focused on serving traumatized and hurting Native American young people and their families on Indian Reservations. As President and CEO, Matt grew EXYP into a multi-state organization that provided critical services in the areas of physical, emotional, spiritual health and recovery to thousands of Native American youth and their families. Because of this work, Matt was recognized by Concordia Universities Board of Regence and Board of Directors as an Alumni Ambassador exemplifying organizational & non-profit leadership success.
After 10 years of leading EXYP, Matt took a break from non-profits to lead projects focused on affordable housing. In his spare time, he did consulting for non-profits in the area of fund-raising and development. In 2011, Matt was drawn back into his true passion; helping the hurting and overlooked. He began the work that would fulfil a lifelong vision of creating an innovative, evidence based Trauma and Loss recovery and healing model that would link the healing of the symptoms of trauma and loss (such as addictions) with the healing of the root traumas themselves. He founded Helping Men Heal (HMH), a non-profit with a mission to help male trauma survivors heal and in 2014, founded Healthy Minds Group (HMG) as a for-profit social purpose corporation with a mission to improve the health and wellbeing of those who keep our community safe. In 2017, HMG became an official LLC and broadened its product portfolio of services.
Matt’s greatest accomplishment – his strongest credential – is that of surviving a childhood of horrific trauma and loss. He always begins his public speaking engagements by saying “I’ve spent the last 22 years of my life recovering from the first 24.”
Many people have the educational credentials to do the work Matt has started, but few of them have worked through tremendous personal trauma and loss and are ready to share their experience with others. Matt combines his personal experiences and healing with his depth of business acumen within the behavioral health industry. He says regularly “This is the hardest, toughest, deepest work anyone will ever face. It’s not enough to have the clinical tools to help folks heal. People need someone to walk beside them that has both the education and the empathy to help them get through it.” According to Matt, “because we and others doing this work have lived it, we are dedicated to making sure that all within HMH and HMG take a trauma informed approach in every aspect this work.”
Healing Invisible Wounds Pioneer, Catalyst and National Keynote
Sam Simmons, AA, LADC
Sam is an Adverse Childhood Experience Interface Trainer in the state of Minnesota. He was awarded the 2009 Governor’s Council on Faith and Community Service Initiatives Best Practices Award for his work with MN Department of Veterans Outreach Services, prison reentry and in the African American community. Sam received the 2016 Black Tear Drop Award for his vision and leadership at the first annual Invisible Wounds of Black Men and Boys Summit in Portland, Oregon. He is co-host of “Voices” radio show on KMOJ FM that addresses issues of the urban community.
Sam is co-creator the Community Empowerment Through Black Men Healing conference called “Groundbreaking and Visionary”. He is respected for his African American historical trauma work around the country.
Program Developer and National Keynote
Delishia Pittman, Ph.D.
Dr. Pittman’s research centers on three areas within the context of health disparities — substance use, coping behavior, and stress (chronic and traumatic) with the intent to further our understanding of how these factors, independently and collectively, affect behavioral health (mental health and substance use) outcomes among African Americans. She employs life course epidemiological frameworks to study behavioral and psychosocial processes that link adult health and disease risk to physical or social exposures during emerging adulthood.
Current projects extend this work in two interrelated directions: 1) a focus on HIV infection risk behaviors in heterosexual Black women and 2) the impact of trauma on health behaviors and outcomes in men and boys of color. The first of these two projects seeks to model the complex relationships between psycho-socio-cultural contextual factors in HIV infection risk among Black college women. The 2nd effort, The Male Addiction and Trauma study (MATs), is a 2-year study funded by Helping Men Heal, examines the role traumas and adverse life experiences play in critical quality of life indicators (e.g., educational attainment, employability, criminality, addictive behaviors, and suicidality) for men and boys of color between the ages of 15-25.
Broadly, Dr. Pittman’s publications address critical behavioral health disparities in African Americans across the lifespan, including predictors and consequence of intimate partner violence, individual, environment and contextual factors that shape alcohol use behavior and alcohol use behavior and its relationship to stress, violence and coping behavior. Dr. Pittman is a practicing licensed psychologist in the District of Columbia specializing in addiction treatment and African American mental health. Her clinical experiences exert strong influence on her teaching pedagogy and research paradigms in behavioral health disparities.
Prior to joining the faculty of the George Washington University, Dr. Pittman worked as an Assistant Professor of Counseling Psychology at Lewis & Clark College in Portland, OR. Dr. Pittman holds a B.A. in Psychology from Concordia University, Portland, a M.A. in Counseling Psychology from Lewis & Clark College, and Ph.D. in Counseling Psychology from the University of Georgia.
- Pre-conference continuing education course on Male Trauma
Healing Invisible Wounds Summit Day One
- Welcome Announcement and Introductions
- Morning – National Keynote
- National/General Topic Breakout Workshops
- Lunch – National Guest Speaker
- Afternoon – National Keynote
- National/General Topic Breakout Workshops
- Local Town hall/Cafe style discussion w/audience interaction local trauma healing need; community healing, individual healing
- Social event and presentation of the Samuel Simmons Award – Awarded to an individual voted on by local leaders who continues to pursue and achieve excellence in addressing Black male Trauma healing in their region
Healing Invisible Wounds Summit Day Two
- Welcome Announcement
- Open mic discussion about what audience heard from day one
- Morning – Local Keynote
- Local Topic Breakout Workshops
- Lunch – Local Panel Discussion
- Panel Breakout Discussion
- Group Discussion Recap of Panel Breakout Discussions and Final call for sign ups for Local Healing Invisible Wounds – Breakthrough Committee
- Concluding thoughts – What’s Next?