Children and teens have been far less likely to be hospitalized by COVID-19, but the pandemic has had a “profound” affect on their lives regardless – and this week’s COVID Questions forum will gather a group of panelists offering help, organizer said.

The virtual forum Tuesday will feature three area professionals who will offer advice to help families cope with COVID-19 related issues, including quarantining, remote learning, isolation – and external stressors such as political unrest.

Tuesday’s forum is scheduled for 7 p.m. and will once again enable local community members to engage with the panel via the web conferencing site Zoom.

Participants can visit to log in and join.

The presentation also will be live-streamed on In This Together Cambria’s Facebook Page,

In This Together Cambria is a volunteer group engaged in advocacy, storytelling and sharing of information to combat the pandemic. The group organized the series of forums alongside The Tribune-Democrat and the University of Pittsburgh at Johnstown.

“Typically we’ve been presenting a forum every two weeks,” said Ashlee Kiel of In This Together Cambria. “But as we were planning last week’s forum on mental health, we realized that a forum devoted to children and families was in order.”

Panelists are as follows:

• Heidi Niebauer is a member and family advocate with Magellan Health, where she facilitates the “MY LIFE” program for teens and young adults.

Niebauer has worked in many sectors of social services since 2005, including mental health, developmental disabilities, youth and families, secondary and elementary education, and workforce development.

• Tracy Tredennick, MSW, LCSW, is a licensed therapist with Pediatric Care Specialists Behavioral Health Services in Johnstown. She specializes in the treatment of anxiety, mood disorders and PTSD.

A Johnstown native, she has many years of experience working with child, adolescent and adult populations.

• Martha Faust, M.Ed., is the program director for Beginnings Parents as Teachers in-home visiting program.

Faust helps families with young children build on their strengths and understand their children’s actions. She has 20 years of experience working with young children and their families.

Chip Minemyer, editor of The Tribune-Democrat, will moderate the forum.

Tuesday’s event will be the fourth COVID Questions forum presented to date. Additional COVID Questions forums are planned as follows:

Feb. 23: Medical Specialists Forum

March 9: Local Leaders

March 23: Economic Impact

David Hurst is a reporter for The Tribune-Democrat. He can be reached at (814) 532-5053. Follow him on Twitter @TDDavidHurst and Instagram @TDDavidHurst.

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