Speaker Series

Speaker Series

Community. Commitment. Collaboration.

Meridian’s Speaker Series was developed to bring community leaders, professionals, educators, and the general public together to discuss and identify issues surrounding community health. Through poignant guest speakers immersed in experiences related to identified topics and a discussion panel following, we enable and engage conversation and discuss potential collaborative opportunities where people within the community can work together to build healthier outcomes for those in need.

Guest Speakers

(Click on Guest Speaker name to view bio and more event information)


Ryan Leaf—The Struggle with Addiction and Mental Illness

Former NFL player Ryan Leaf shared his poignant and brutally honest personal story to a full-capacity audience at the Ball State Alumni Center as part of Meridian’s Community Health Speaker Series. Leaf, selected as the second overall pick in the 1998 NFL draft after Peyton Manning, had a career full of expectations he didn’t live up to. That failure, coupled with his inability to live life on life’s terms, led to drug addiction and landed him in a prison cell—both physically and emotionally.

Leaf has since become a symbol of peace and inspiration for those who struggle with substance use and mental illness.

Following Leaf’s presentation, a discussion panel comprised of community leaders and officials followed and engaged the audience discussing issues related to substance use, recovery, and ideas for local solutions.

Thank you to the following Moderator and Panelists who participated in this Speaker Series event


Juli Metzger, MSJournalism Professor, Ball State University


Dr. Kristina BoxOB/GYN, Indiana State Health Commissioner
Tim LananeIndiana State Senator
Dr. Brent DamerOrthopedic Surgeon, Central Indiana Orthopedics
Dan RidenourMayor-Elect, City of Muncie
Lisa Suttle, RN-BC, MSRegional Vice President Clinical Services, Meridian Health Services
Zach CraigChief Deputy Prosecutor, Delaware County
Rhea GrahamSuccess Patient & Peer Recovery Specialist, Meridian Health Services





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