Behavioral Health Initiative Wellness Day 2024

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The Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing's (ODHH) third annual Wellness Day.

This year’s event offers many learning opportunities and activities, including workshops designed for individuals within the deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind community, behavioral and mental health clinicians, and interpreters.

April 13, 2024, 8:30 a.m.–4 p.m.
Waukesha County Technical College (WCTC)
Building S, Anthony J. Natalizio Center (AJN)
800 Main St., Pewaukee, WI 53072

Registration is now closed

Please contact Stacie Heckendorf to be added to the wait list. Stacie can be reached at 608-234-2046 or email


Lunch is provided and will accommodate a variety of dietary needs.

American Sign Language and voice interpretation and CART captioning will be provided.

Please contact Stacie Heckendorf, BHI Project Coordinator, at 608-234-2046 or email to request additional accommodations or to be added to the BHI email list to get Wellness Day updates sent directly to you.

Schedule of events

  • 8:30 – 9 a.m.: Check-in
  • 9 – 10:30 a.m.: Welcome and keynote address
  • 10:30 a.m. – 4 p.m.: Workshops and activities

Keynote address

The Chameleon Effect: Medical Conditions that Look Like Psychiatric Illnesses

Presenter: Dr. Jaime A.B. Wilson, PhD, ABN, ABPP Postdoctoral MS in Clinical Psychopharmacology

Join us for a dynamic keynote presentation by Dr. Jaime A.B. Wilson, an expert in the intersection of the physical and mental health, especially within the deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind population. Participants attending this keynote will deepen their understanding of medical conditions that often mimic psychiatric disorders like anxiety, depression, and schizophrenia. Participants will gain essential skills in differentiating these complex conditions and enhance their diagnostic acumen. The keynote will include real world case studies and offer strategies for effective identification and management, making it an invaluable learning experience for all attendees.

Dr. Wilson is a prescribing medical psychologist and board-certified neuropsychologist in full-time private practice inside and outside of Washington state. He holds privileges at several area hospitals and has worked extensively with physicians, other health care providers, and forensic experts, providing neuropsychological evaluations across the U.S. The field of neuropsychology is dedicated to learning about and diagnosing conditions related to the brain and nervous system.

Born with a profound hearing loss, Dr. Wilson grew up wearing bilateral hearing aids and primarily communicated using spoken language, although he is also an American Sign Language user. Dr. Wilson resides in Olympia, Washington, with his wife (a registered nurse who is also deaf), three kids, and a King Charles Spaniel named Pepper Jack. Learn more about Dr. Wilson.


Hybrid is NEW for 2024!

Attend workshops in person at WCTC or via Zoom. All workshops will be available for participants attending in person. The keynote and the three workshops will also be offered virtually via Zoom. If attending by Zoom, you still need to register for Wellness Day so we can share the link with you and track participant numbers.

Morning workshops

Descriptions will be provided in a future announcement.

  • Keynote: The Chameleon Effect: Medical Conditions that Look Like Psychiatric Illnesses Jaime A.B. Wilson (both in-person and virtual)
  • Becoming Hearing Empowered - Katherine Rybak (both in person and virtual)
  • Breaking Barriers: A Conversation on Suicide Awareness for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind Community - Katy Hagmeyer and Alisha Bronk
  • The Power of Power of Attorney (POA) - April DeValkenaere

Afternoon workshops

  • Impactful Advocacy: Your Wellness Matters - Leah Simmons and Denise Johnson (both in-person and virtual)
  • Breaking the Silence: Mental Health Awareness in Deaf LGBTQIA+ Spaces - Ash Radonski
  • Highlighting DHS Programs: 988 and Wisconsin Well Woman
  • Unraveling the Deaf-Dementia Connection: New Insights and Strategies - Jaime A.B. Wilson (both in-person and virtual)

Book giveaway

This year's conference offers in-person participants an opportunity to select a book from one of two presenters, Katherine Rybak or Dr. Jaime A.B. Wilson. The first 100 people to register to attend the conference in person (not by Zoom) will receive a book of their choice.


Bus transportation option has been cancelled, not enough riders.


If you are interested in an exhibit space at Wellness Day, please contact Caroline Ludka at or 262-565-6349.


If interested in staying at a hotel, there is a room block reserved under BHI wellness Day at Tru by Hilton Milwaukee Brookfield, 20925 Watertown Road, Waukesha, WI 53186. Call the hotel at 262-336-8800 with questions or to reserve a room.

Continuing education

Continuing Education Units (CEUs) will be available from Wisconsin Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (WisRID), Wisconsin Board for Evaluation of Interpreters (BEI) Continuing Education Program, and Wisconsin Chapter of the National Association of Social Workers (NASW).


Last revised April 8, 2024