The Department of Social Work at California State University, Fresno will present a conference entitled “Community Synergies: Finding a Common Ground” on March 17 at the Radisson Hotel in downtown Fresno.

The daylong session, which starts at 8 a.m., will focus on community-building, a trademark of social work practice. The conference will examine new ways to engage others and create strategies for community-building that promote economic and social development.

Guest speakers will include David Berns, Deborah Nankivell and Sergio Aguilar-Gaxiol

Berns, director of the Arizona Department of Economic Security, will speak about “Delivering What is Needed When it is Needed.” He will describe a model using a framework called “The 7Ps” – protection, prevention, preservation, placement, permanency, partnerships and proficiency.) Under this model, assistance payment programs become the primary prevention and early intervention approaches for child welfare. Berns will explain how the model was developed and what lessons he has learned to make the approach more useful in new areas.

Nankivell, CEO of the Fresno Business Council, will discuss how multisector collaboratives in Fresno are tackling the long-standing challenges of unemployment, low-cost economy, poverty and poor academic achievement. Using the examples of the Regional Jobs Initiative and the effort to transform the Fresno Unified School District, Nankivell will address affinity partnerships and overcoming dysfunction, among other topics.

guilar-Gaxiola, professor of clinical internal medicine at the University of California, Davis and former Fresno State professor, will focus on access, engagement and retention in delivering services to Latinos. He will discuss challenges to health systems posed by demographic growth and issues related to Latinos’ accessing mental health services.

For more information, call 559.278.3992 or visit the following Web site:

(Copy by University Communications student-intern Megan Jacobsen.)