Michelle Burns, RN, NP
Michelle Burns RN, NP has dedicated her entire professional career to making it possible for disadvantaged youth to have a voice in achieving their desired personal and health goals.
Most recently, Michelle served as the first Transition Age Youth Director at Alameda County Behavioral Health Care Services, where she developed 14 new mental health programs for young people aged 14-22. In this position she worked with community and professional partners to start PREP Alameda, a program for young people experiencing their first episode of psychosis. After speaking with youth she felt this program was important as it offered hope for the first time for young people diagnosed with schizophrenia. Michelle also spear-headed the Early Periodic Screening, Diagnosis, and Treatment build-out which allowed for a 40% increase in mental health services to low income children and youth. She is very proud to have developed a youth board, the TAY initiative (TAYi) that has gone on to become active pubic speakers and advocates for young people experiencing mental health challenges.
Prior to her work in California, Michele directed the Borum Health Center in Boston, which served homeless and marginalized youth. While at the Borum she was named as an outstanding community leader by the Harvard School of Public Health for her work with street youth.
Michelle is a graduate of the Johns Hopkins School of Nursing and Boston College School of Nursing. She is a licensed Pediatric Nurse Practitioner, and holds graduate degrees from Seton Hall University and the Harvard School of Public Health.
With her recent retirement and relocation to Portland, Oregon Michelle plans to continue her advocacy for youth and to spend valuable time with her new grandson Theo.
Adriana Furuzawa, MFTI, CPRT
Adriana Furuzawa, MFTI, CPRT is division director for Prevention & Recovery In Early Psychosis (PREP), a multi-site early treatment program at the Felton Institute. Prior to joining the Felton Institute, Adriana has been serving individuals diagnosed with severe and persistent mental illness for over 10 years in community mental health settings in California and Brazil. A native Brazilian, Adriana began her career as a clinical psychologist and psychotherapist in Brazil. She also received training on organizational and school psychology.
Patrick Gardner, JD
Patrick Gardner, founder of Young Minds Advocacy Project, specializes in children's mental health law and policy, and its impacts on youths involved with child welfare, juvenile justice, special education, health/mental health, and other systems. For more than twelve years Patrick was a senior attorney and the deputy director at the National Center for Youth Law (NCYL) in Oakland, California. At the Center, Patrick led efforts to improve access to appropriate mental health care for at-risk youth in California and other states. He served as co-counsel on statewide class action lawsuits seeking improved access to mental health care for Medicaid-eligible youth in Arizona, California, and Washington. He initiated and oversaw NCYL’s work to develop and improve juvenile mental health courts, and he was the catalyst for its advocacy against sex trafficking of foster children. Patrick also worked on issues involving special education related services, children’s SSI, zero tolerance in schools, developmental disabilities, children with special health care needs, child abuse and neglect, and privacy and consent.
Prior to joining NCYL in 1999, Patrick spent 17 months directing a national campaign for Consumers Union in San Francisco to protect billions in non-profit public assets controlled by lenders in the student loan industry. Previously he was Hawaii County Managing Attorney for the Legal Aid Society of Hawaii (LASH), focusing on a range of public benefit programs, domestic violence, and consumer issues. From 1995-96, he also worked for the Hawaii Justice Foundation and was instrumental in securing passage of the nation’s "most liberal" welfare reform legislation, according to the Washington Post. After leaving LASH, Patrick served as a member of its Board of Directors for eight years.
Patrick began his career with the Chesapeake Bay Foundation as a legislative and policy advocate specializing in non-point pollution. He graduated from the University of Virginia School of Law, where he was an Editor of the Journal on Law and Politics, and he earned his B.S. degree in Agricultural Economics, Magna Cum Laude, from Virginia Tech. Patrick presently serves on the California Child Welfare Council. He is also a founding board member of the Hawaii Appleseed Center for Law and Economic Justice. Last year Patrick and his co-counsel received the California Mental Health Advocates for Children and Youth’s “Advocate of the Year” award for their work on the Katie A. v. Bonta lawsuit.