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Heartbeat International Conference

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45th Annual Heartbeat International Conference

Atlanta, Georgia | March 29 - March 31, 2016



Note: Registration has not yet opened for attending or exhibiting at the 2016 Conference  


Hotel Information for 2016 Conference

Sheraton Downtown Atlanta
165 Courtland Street NE
Atlanta, GA 30303
Heartbeat is finalizing a group rate which will be announced at a later date. 

Note: The hotel will reqire a deposit equal to one night room and tax when you make your hotel reservation. Upon check-in, the deposit will be applied towards your hotel bill. Deposits paid are refundable, if notice is received by the Sheraton Atlanta at least three (3) days prior to arrival and a cancellation number is obtained. The hotel will require an early departure fee of $100 if you check out prior to the confirmed reservation check-out date.

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Schedule at a Glance for 2016 Conference

Tuesday, March 29
Pre-Conference In Depth Day (paid registration is separate)
8:00am - registration
9:00 to 5:00pm - In Depth Day training
2:00pm - Conference Attendee Registration Opens
2:30pm - Exhibit Hall Opens
6:00pm - Annual Conference Opening Session (Dinner & Keynote)

Wednesday, March 30
8:30am - Morning Session & Keynote
Workshop Session A
12:00pm - Lunch & Keynote
Workshop Session B
Break & Prayer Time

Thursday, March 31
8:30am - Morning Session & Keynote
Workshop Session C
12:00pm - Lunch & Keynote
Workshop Session D
Workshop Session E
6:00pm -- Closing Banquet (Dinner & Keynote)

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Access the following information from Heartbeat International's 2015 Annual Conference

Audio RecordingsKeynotes Workshops In-Depth Day 

 Prayer and Worship | Conference Program | 2015 Conference Sponsors


We are glad to have welcomed Keynote speakers for the 2015 Heartbeat International Annual Conference, who are key leaders in the pregnancy help movement, as well as prolife leaders from around the United States.

Bridget VanMeans, President, ThriVe St. Louis

Bridget is an accomplished management professional with over 20 years' experience leading an array of high profile corporate and faith-based projects. She is known for her radical faith and bold pro-life stance.

Brad Mattes, Co-Founder & Executive Director, Life Issues Institute 

Brad is a veteran of the pro-life cause, with over 38 years' educational, political, and humanitarian experience. Currently, he serves in many ways to protect innocent human life, including counseling men, acting as a media spokesperson, and speaking at pro-life banquets and educational events.

Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, Executive Director, Los Angeles Pregnancy Services 

In addition to her work as an Executive Director, Astrid is also President of Hispanics for Life and Human Rights, an organization that assists the Archdiocese of Los Angeles to form Hispanic Respect Life groups in local parishes.

Freda M. Bush, M.D., F.A.C.O.G., National Black Pro-Life Coalition 

Dr. Bush serves as Medical Director to the Center for Pregnancy Choices, Metro Jackson, and the Women's Resource Center of Jackson. To help women "raise a standard," she teaches and encourages a lifestyle of abstinence until marriage, and fidelity within marriage.

Chuck Donovan, President, Charlotte Lozier Institute

Chuck, a member of Heartbeat's Board of Directors, has played key roles in the development of public policy, including legal protection for the unborn, public financing of abortion, compassionate alternatives to abortion. Chuck's role as President of Charlotte Lozier Insitute grew from his previous post at the Susan B. Anthony List.

Kristan Hawkins, President, Students for Life of America, Susan B. Anthony List Young Leader Award honoree 

Since launching SFLA's full-time operation in 2006, Kristan has helped more than tripled the number of campus pro-life groups in the United States, from 181 to almost 800 in 49 states, and grown the SFLA National Conference from 450 in 2007 to 2,000 in 2012.

Jor-El Godsey, Vice President, Heartbeat International 

Jor-El jumped into the pro-life arena in 1988, volunteering with a Florida pregnancy help center in its start-up stage. After serving in many different roles there and as Executive Director at a center in Colorado, he relocated to Columbus, Ohio to join Heartbeat International in 2006.

Brad Stine, Actor, Author 

Brad Stine is "the most media covered Christian comedian in the country." He tours nationally on a regular basis performing in clubs, churches, and fundraisers for pregnancy help organizations, ministries and conservative causes and candidates.


The 2015 Heartbeat International Annual Conference offered another historically rich lineup of workshops, with a total of 78 workshops organized in 13 distinct tracks. Two tracks (Medical Matters and Ultrasound Advancement) were tailored for nurses and medical professionals in the pregnancy help community, and offered Continuing Education Nursing Contact Hours provided through Heartbeat International. Provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number CEP 16061 for 1.25 contact hours each workshop. All courses are eligible for Life-Affirming Specialist credit hours. All courses are eligible for Life-Affirming Specialist credit hours.

Board Business

Designed for board members and primary leaders who govern and gude, Board Business will challenge both veterans and novices alike.

Dysfunctional Boards

Peggy Hartshorn, Ph.D.

7 Truths Your Board Needs to Know

Mike Williams

Measuring the Value of Your Free Services

Connie Ambrecht, RDMS, CMB

Converting Demographic Data into Strategy

Dennis Fromhozer, Ph.D.

Setting a Mark for Success

Lori DeVillez

Gaining Perspectives

Go deeper by discovering how abortion is affecting - and is affected by - the bigger picture of our world in Gaining Perspectives.

Exploring Abortion's Role in Intimate Partner Violence*

Martha Shuping, MD

Making Friends with Pro-Choice "Enemies"

Samuel Lee

What a Difference a Mobile Unit Makes!

Michele Chadwick

4 Ways a Coalition Impacts Your Center

Sommer Hansen

Discussing Abortion and Race in Polite Company

Pat Upchurch & Connie Eller

Staff Stuff

Leading a staff of any size can be every bit as challenging as reaching and serving a client. Take the next step forward as a leader, or sharpen your existing abilities, with Staff Stuff.

Building the Best YOU

Lori DeVillez

The 3 C's: What Your Staff Needs to Know

Ellen Foell, J.D.

Personal and Organizational Accountability

Tony Gruber, CPA

Developing a Dynamic Team

Jenny Langness

Everyday Lifesaving Superheroes!

Dan Kulp

Setting Up Your Organization for Success

Nile Abele

Fundraising Dynamics

Fundraising and friend-raising are critical for ministry and mission. Fundraising Dynamics offers essential tips for engaging new donors and increasing long-term support.

The Power of Story: What Makes You Different?

Mike Williams & Gordon Douglas

Beyond Survival: Generating Sustainable Gifts

Jim Kebe, MPS

Behind the Scenes of a Blow-out Banquet

Kirk Walden

Fundraising in the Hispanic Community

Astrid Bennett Gutierrez, MEV

Crafting the Message Your Donor Wants to Hear

Tammy Kocher

Extending the Invitation to Give

Debbie Nieport, LAS

Advancing Leaders

Whether you've been a pregnancy help leader for 20 years or 20 minutes, Advancing Leaders is designed to give you the tools you need to walk out the door the best leader you can be.

The Cardiac Test for Biblical Leadership

Tom Lothamer

Stuck in the Season Between Dreams

Pat Layton

Fixing the 3 Biggest Leadership Mistakes

Betty McDowell, LSW, LAS

Visioneering: The Power to Inspire, Increase, and Fuel

Mark Vermillion, M.A. & Joe Baker

Followership 101

Julie Moore, LAS

Taking Care of YOU

Barb Gosa

Marketing Ministry

Marketing is key in connecting to a community, particularly as you seek to extend your reach to the women and families in your sphere.

Secrets of Persuasive Presentations

Bruce Smith

Making a Difference with Generation Z

Dawn Marie Perez, LAS

Making Friends with Online Marketing

Jeffrey Paulette

Transforming Churches for Life

Mike Brady, M.A.

Search Engine Marketing 101

Chirsty Poloni & Bri Laycock, LAS

Google Basics

Bri Laycock, LAS

Sexual Integrity

Reflecting the core of Heartbeat International's Sexual IntegrityTM Program, Sexual Integrity features presentations that reinforce the proper expression of the gift of sexuality.

Promoting Chastity in the Latino Community

Fr. Agustino Torres, CFR

Embracing the Amazing Cycle of Fertility

Emily Sederstrand

Envisioning Her for a Lasting Marriage

Catherine Wood, LAS, SRA

Building Skills for Life and Love

Joneen Mackenzie, RN, BSN, CPS, SRAS

Milennial Madness

Jeffrey Dean

Resisting the Rhetoric of "Abstinence Intimidation"

Valerie Huber & Mary Anne Mosack

Client Interventions

Dealing with clients is no simple task. Increase your awareness and deepen your understanding of your client's behavior, culture, and needs with Client Intervention.

Essentials for Breaking the Poverty Cycle

Joneen Mackenzie, RN, BSN, CPS, SRAS

Project Blueprint: A Model for Engaging Men

Clarke Cayton

How Adoption Practices Have Changed

Kristin Meyer, LMSW

Removing the Masks of Relationships

Catherine Wood, LAS, SRA

The Power of Possibility

Kristin Wermus

Human Trafficking and Predatory Relationships

Cindy Collins, BCBT

Spiritual Refreshment

The heart of our work is spiritual. That's why Spiritual Refreshment addresses the spiritual dynamics pregnancy help leaders like you face every day.

Who, Me, Lord?:Overcoming Reluctant Leadership

Cindy Hopkins

Answering the Call of the Incarnation

Thomas Frei, M.A.

Love Your Life: Turning Obstacles into Opportunities

Derrick & Julie Tennant

Filled Up to Pour Out

Anne Pierson

Defined by the Heart of God

Debra Neybert, MA, LAS

Crazy Expectations: Increasing Your Faith

Daphne Dahlem, LAS

Healing Care

How does your organization minister to women and men dealing with long-term effects and guilt often associated with abortion? Sharpen your approach with Healing Care.

Invitation to Healing: A New Model for Milennials

Michaelene Fredenburg

Healing the Shockwaves of Abortion

Fr. Frank Pavone, Janet Morana, M.A. Ph.D. & Kevin Burke

Sharing the Gospel with a Post-Abortive Woman

Mary Gibson & Julie Parton, Ph.D.

What to Say When She's Had an Abortion

Kim Olsen, LAS

Creating a Safe Place for the Latino Client

Evangely Aliangan Ward

Medical Matters

Gain insight from medical professionals covering a wide range of topics related to your pregnancy help organization while earning nursing contact hours in Medical Matters.

Recognizing the Effects of Emotional and Sexual Trauma

Helen Risse, RN, MSN

"It's Just Us, Right?" Understanding the STI Epidemic

Mischa Long, RN, BSN

Reducing the Risk of HIV, STI, and Unintended Pregnancy

Freda Bush, MD, FACOG

Abortion Pill Reversal and Your Clinic

Debbie Bradel, RN, BSN, PHN

Medical Ethics in Your Center

James Harden M.Div

Recruiting Great Medical Professionals

Audrey Stout, RN, RDMS

Ultrasound Advancement

Make the most of your ultrasound services and gain nursing contact hours thanks to Ultrasound Advancement.

Is this Pregnancy Viable?

Shari Richard, RT, RDMS

Flipping Uterus . . . With a Twist

Roxanne Ertel, CNMT, RDMS

Ultrasound Scanning: Achieving a High Standard

Dotsy Davis, BSRT, RDMS, RVT

Routine, Advanced, and Abnormal Scans

Jim Scheffler, RDMS and Karen Porter, RN, RDMS

Image Optimization: Getting the Perfect Picture

Kim Hardy, MA, RT(R), RDMS

The Impact of Professional Organizations on Imaging

Connie Ambrecht, RDMS, CMB

Housing Helps

Presented by pregnancy help housing experts, Housing Helps highlights the process of extending care beyond the first visit, solidifying a life decision for a lasting impact.

3 Key Ingredients to Make a Home

Anne Pierson

Intervening in the Midst of Trauma

Belinda James, MOFDC, MSW

Adoption: A Choice Everyone Can Live With

Grace Dulaney

Creating Culture and Building Traditions

Mary Peterson

Healing Relationships After Abortion

Theresa Bonopartis

Helping Her Make A Lasting Change

Callie Neff

*Also provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 16061 for 1.25 contact hours.


In-Depth Day (April 7)

The 2015 Annual Conference experience got off to a great start with 12 different In-Depth Day opportunities. This exclusive all-day training went from 9 am to 5 pm with an inspirational keynote at lunch.

Creating a Life-Affirming Home (Mary Peterson, Heartbeat International)

Housing ministries at any stage of development will enjoy this day themed around "Basic Principles that Foster Innovation." Content will include organizational life cycles, leadership styles, and fundraising for housing programs, plus a panel discussion that will spark your imangination!

Volunteer Training: The L.O.V.E. Approach (Betty McDowell LAS, LSW, Heartbeat International)

This interactive training is for new volunteers, trainers of new volunteers, and will be a refresher for experienced client services staff. This training in effective and compassionate outreach is used by pregnancy help organizations all over the world. Those in attendance will receive The LOVE ApproachTM Training Manual.

Media Relations Training and Consulting (Bruce Smith, Alliance Defending Freedom)

Media relations is truly relationship-based. In Media Relations, prepare and equip yourself to establish and maintain productive relationships with a variety of media contacts, as well as successfully manage interviews to persuade and motivate the court of public opinion.

Sexual Integrity Training (Helen Risse, RN BSN, Our Lady's Inn and Belinda James, MOFDC, MSW )

Whether your clients are teens or adults, married or single, this training equips you to grow a Sexual Integrity Program customized to your community. Through Sexual Integrity Program Essentials, your center can empower a client to make positive choices for her future. Thos in attendance will receive Sexual IntegrityTM Program Essentials.

H.E.A.R.T. & Healing from Abortion (Debra Neybert MA, LAS, Heartbeat International)

H.E.A.R.T. (Healing the Effects of Abortion Related Trauma), in-depth day will help you implement the H.E.A.R.T. Program in your pregnancy help center. The material will cover God's provision for healing, effective leadership, the group process, spiritual opposition, post-abortion stress, and tasks of healing for both men and women seeking recovery. Those in attendance will receive H.E.A.R.T. Training Manual.

For Men Only - Men's Round Table (Sol Pichon, New Life Solutions & Jor-El Godsey, Heartbeat International)

Facilitated by ministry veterans, Sol Pitchon and Jor-El Godsey, this gathering will explore strategic, tactical, and practical opportunities and challenges facing the men in a so-called "women's issue." For any man actively serving in a leadership, support, paid staff, or volunteer role.

Spiritual Refreshment (Anita Keagy, JoyShop Ministries)

Preparing our hearts for pro-life work presents particular challenges for each of us, but those challenges are best met by continuing to seek God first. Anita will lead a day of understanding what our hearts seek and challenging us to always seek God first.

Ultrasound: Strengthening Foundations (Jim Scheffler BS, RDMS & Karen Porter, RN, RDMS, Innovative Imaging Technology)

Participants in this interactive in-depth day will get a review of basic didactics, routine imaging, and model scanning on 4 machines. Basic and advanced scanning techniques as well as general ultrasound principles will be covered. This training is provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 16061 for 6 contact hours.

Making a Difference with STI Services (Karlolyn Schrage RN, BSN, LifeChoices Medical Clinic)

This course gives a proactive medical response to equip and empower health care providers in defining and refining strategies for positive healthy outcomes among individuals facing a sexual health crisis. Come learn how to establish a care-connection so you can move to the top of the list as the clinic of first choice. This training is provider approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing, Provider Number 16061 for 6 contact hours.

Cultivating Relationships with Major Donors (Howard and Jill Taylor, Rediger Taylor Group LLC)

Regardless of the size of your center's budget, there are steps that you can take to help you secure major contirbutions for operations, programs and capital needs. This seminar will focus on how to identify, research, cultivate, and invite major contirbutors to invest in your life-saving endeavors.

Making the Case for Life (Mike Spencer, Life Training Institute)

Do you ever find yourself struggling for the words to defend your pro-life stance? Mike will equip you to respond to popular "pro-choice" arguments and to expose the logical fallacies of abortion-choice rhetooric without the need for vitriol and angry dialogue.

Prayer Team and Worship

We are pleased to thank our on-site prayer team and worship leader for the 2015 Heartbeat International Annual Conference. Missouri Prayer Global Ministries joined us for individual times of prayer and encouragement, while actress and newly recorded artist Lauren Roman led worship throughout the week.


Order Recordings from the Conference

Heartbeat International also thanks the following 2015 Conference partners:

Innovative Imaging
Hand 'n Hand Pregnancy Help Center
Fontebella Maternity Shelter
Alliance For Life Missouri
Egami A/V