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2024 First3Years Conference
February 29 – March 1, 2024  

For Sponsorship Opportunities please email to learn more.

About the Conference

First3Years is excited to announce our upcoming Conference, centered around the theme of “Reflective Relationships.” With a focus on early relational health and interpersonal connections, this conference aims to delve into the profound influence these factors have on the lives of young children. By gathering experts, and early childhood providers, the event seeks to shed light on the significance of nurturing and supportive relationships during a child’s formative years. Through insightful discussions and workshops, attendees will gain valuable knowledge and tools to foster positive and impactful connections that can shape the trajectory of a child’s development for years to come. 


To honor of the legacy of Tasha Muhammad, First3Years is excited to name the first lecture of each conference The Tasha Muhammad Memorial Lecture. Tasha was the epitome of an infant mental health pioneer and her reach stretched far and wide, even to those she did not meet. Although her legacy lives on in the hearts of her colleagues, we will honor her legacy with every conference to come.

Conference Agenda

Day 1 Agenda:

9:00 – 09:10 Welcome

09:10 – 10:10 Compassionate Conversations Keynote with Anna Sturgeon, MS, BCBA

10:10 – 10:20 Break

10:20 – 10:30 Welcome Back and Regroup

10:30 – 12:00 Compassionate Conversations Workshop Anna Sturgeon, MS, BCBA

12:00 – 01:00 Lunch

01:00 – 02:00 Reflecting Brilliance: Nurturing Early Relationships Through the Mirror of Mindful Care led by Heather Pugh, MS, Infant/Child Specialist, IMH-E®

02:00 – 03:00 Supporting Families Through Reflection and Sensitivity led by Renee Mirick, MS

03:00 – 03:10 Break

03:10 – 04:00 Networking

Day 2  Agenda:

9:00 – 09:10 Welcome

09:10– 10:40 Family Engaged Developmental Monitoring Workshop led by Faith Rivera

10:40 – 10:50 Break

10:50 – 11:00 Welcome Back and Regroup

11:00 – 12:00 Connecting the Dots: Systemic Relationships led by Sarina Naik

12:00 – 01:00 Lunch

01:00 – 02:00 Using Trauma-Informed, Reflective Practice in Our Engagement with Families Keynote led by Peggy MacLean, PhD, IMH-E®

02:00 – 2:15 Break

02:15 – 03:45 Trauma Informed Reflective Approach Workshop led by Peggy MacLean, PhD, IMH-E®

03:45 – 04:00 Closing

Virtual Pricing

Member: $40.00
Non-Member: $65.00
Student: $25.00

Bundle: Membership + Conference Entry: $90.00

Meet Our Keynote Speakers

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Anna Sturgeon, MS, BCBA

Anna received her degree from Texas A&M University in Psychology followed by a master’s degree in Human Development and Early Childhood Disorders from the University of Texas at Dallas. In 2014 Anna and her husband moved to Baton Rouge, Louisiana where she took courses in Applied Behavior Analysis from Nicholl’s State University. In 2016 she passed the necessary exams to become a Board Certified Behavior Analyst and Licensed Behavior Analyst. She has worked in clinical and educational settings with children ranging from 18 months to 12 years of age and various developmental needs. Anna’s biggest passion is compassionate care for not only her clients but the family as a whole. The process for autism diagnosis can be overwhelming, scary and isolating and Anna’s goal is to shine a light for families and guide them through that process and beyond.

Anna lives in Katy, Texas with her husband, Aaron, and two children. She is active in the Katy community and is thrilled to serve Katy families and businesses through these services.

Anna says, “After continually talking to families who have felt confused, overlooked or overwhelmed in their search for answers and support, I felt the desire to make a more streamlined and accessible process. Shine was created from a desire to fulfill the need for families to have compassionate guidance throughout their child’s diagnostic journey. To truly “shine a light” on your family’s journey and reveal the incredible potential behind each and every child.”

Keynote Session: Anna Sturgeon’s keynote on “Compassionate Conversations”illuminates the pivotal role of communication in early childhood care. By advocating for compassionate engagement, demystifying medical terminology, and recognizing the influence of communication ontreatment outcomes, professionals can create a more holistic and effective care experience for families. Additionally, her accompanying workshop will deepen this understanding by providing practical tools and insights to navigate complex conversations with empathy and finesse, Ultimately, attendees will learn how their daily interactions foster positive transformations in child development and their caregiving dynamics.

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Peggy MacLean, PhD, IMH-E®

Peggy MacLean, Ph.D., IMH-E®, is a Clinical Psychologist and Associate Professor at the UNM Center for Development and Disability. Dr. MacLean completed her M.S. and Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology with Distinction at the University of New Mexico and her B.A. in Psychology at McGill University with Great Distinction. She completed an APA-accredited internship in Clinical Psychology in the UNM Department of Psychiatry in the Early Childhood Track, followed by a two-year post-doctoral fellowship in Early Childhood/ Infant Mental Health at the UNM Center for Development and Disability. 

As the Clinical Director of the UNM FOCUS Program, an integrated family medical home and early childhood program focused on serving families of young children with substance use disorders; her work has focused on developing and implementing integrated trauma-informed, comprehensive services that address the layered needs of families, including the behavioral health/psychiatric, health, and parenting needs of caregivers struggling with adversity, substance use disorders and complex trauma and the developmental and socio-emotional needs of young children impacted by prenatal substance use and trauma. As faculty, her work also focuses on building the professional capacity of early childhood, behavioral health, and medical providers in providing trauma-informed care that addresses the impact of intergenerational trauma and the socio-structural disparities affecting access/engagement in care. Her clinical expertise includes trauma-focused, dyadic early childhood interventions that address attachment difficulties associated with childhood and parental trauma. Most of her research has been on the developmental outcomes of young children at high risk due to medical and adversity factors.

Keynote Session: Dr. Peggy MacLean will present on trauma-informed reflectivepractice within our work with families. She will discuss how foundational infant mental health skills and capacities underlie atrauma-informed, thoughtful approach. The presentation will also explore the importance of self-awareness and self-regulation and how intentional practices that attend to our vicarious trauma and vicarious resilience relate to trauma-informed, reflective practices. She will also present additional workshop time where specific practices that support a trauma-informed, reflective approach will be examined, including how the Facilitating Attuned Interaction (FAN) engagement model can help such an approach.


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