Experts on Strengthening Families Gather for Summit

News Date: 
Thu. 05/26/2011

The Family Strengthening Coalition is joining forces with educational institutions, community leaders and public and private agencies to present a two-day summit designed to help leaders who help Kansas families.

The Kansas Family Strengthening Summit will take place Wednesday, June 8, on the campus of Newman University, 3100 McCormick, and Thursday, June 9, on the campus of Friends University.

The Wednesday sessions will include a keynote address by Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and national presenters on healthy marriage research including Dr. Bill Doherty, LMFT, from the University of Minnesota. The presentations are followed by workshops on Thursday lead by national, state, and local experts and designed to provide participants more interaction with the latest research and effective, innovative approaches to making Kansas families stronger and healthier.

The event will gather together national, regional and state experts, policy makers, community leaders, and social service practitioners and clinicians who are committed to taking informed action to help strengthen Kansas families. The summit is designed to highlight the social and economic impact of healthy family relationships, learn about current evidence-based practices to strengthen families, and build new connections for state and community collaboration.

“A large focus of the summit will be to connect significant national efforts supporting healthy marriage and family relationships with equally important good work already happening locally,” said Dr. Dan Lord, a summit organizer who is a professor of marriage and family therapy at Friends University and co-chair of the Visioneering Wichita Family Strengthening Alliance. “We have a lot to learn from each other, and a lot we can accomplish by harnessing new research and building new initiatives together.”

Dr. Mike Duxler, a summit organizer who is associate professor of social work at Newman University and program manager of Marriage for Keeps, Catholic Charities, Wichita, said as many as 400 people are expected to attend the summit, representing many professions, groups and fields of interest, including medical, faith, therapists, early childhood, youth, special needs families, African-American, Hispanic, business, government, legal system, education and many others.

The event is open to the public. Registration is $45, which includes two lunches and continuing education units (CEUs) for qualified participants. View the summit schedule and register at

The summit is funded entirely from in-kind support from universities and financial contributions from local businesses and non-profit groups. The Family Strengthening Coalition is an emerging group of Kansas community leaders and professionals committed to strengthening the family relationships children depend on to thrive. The Coalition aims to connect and collaborate with businesses, agencies and services through pro-active research based community initiatives with both immediate and generational impact. Partners in the Family Strengthening Summit are: EMPAC; Friends University; Kansas Healthy Marriage Institute; Kansas State University Research and Extension; Kansas Coalition Against Sexual Assault and Domestic Violence; Meritrust; Newman University; Pure and Simple Health Education, Inc.; The Rolph Family; University of Kansas School of Medicine – Wichita; Wichita State University; and Visioneering Wichita.

For more information
Diane Longfellow, Wichita Chamber of Commerce