Attending WACHSA this year was truly a transformative experience!

The 2023 WACHSA conference centered around the complex and often overlooked aspects of individuals experiencing incarceration -- their health, mental well-being, and the journey towards recovery and rehabilitation. With a profound emphasis on themes of equity, inclusion, redemption, and healing from trauma, the conference emerged as a beacon of hope and enlightenment.

The roster of presenters was a testament to excellence. Each speaker delivered high-quality, engaging sessions that left an indelible impact. The pinnacle of this event was undoubtedly the panel featuring formerly incarcerated men, showcasing stories of resilience, triumph, and successful reintegration into society. Their narratives were not just stories; they were beacons of inspiration, igniting hope and serving as a guiding light for those navigating similar paths. 

WACHSA conference organizers effectively used this platform to remedy the burnout experienced by service providers working in carceral settings. The conference reignited our sense of purpose, evoking passion, and rekindling the spirit of compassion. It offered a refreshing perspective, unveiling the potential for transformation and societal change.

The WACHSA conference this year was more than a gathering of minds; it was a transformative experience. It provided a renewed sense of optimism, understanding, and a clear vision for a more compassionate and inclusive society.

Heidi M. Bauer, MD MS MPH, DME for Public Health, CCHCS