Joining Forces Conference Workshops


A1. Lessons Learned in the Battlefield: Implications for Civilian Trauma Centers

The objectives of this workshop are to describe lessons learned on the battlefield that can be translated and used in civilian trauma centers, outline key concepts in training advanced nursing skills to manage multiple patients with traumatic injuries and identify principles for successful training of emergency staff for disaster management.

Presenter: COL John T. Groves Jr., B.S.N, M.S.N, CEN, USA MEDCOM, Ft. Drum,NY

COL John T. Groves has over 25 years of clinical, educational, and managerial experience. His clinical experience includes Trauma, Emergency, and Medical-Surgical nursing. He served as Course Director and Instructor of the Army’s elite Special Operations Medical Sergeants Course. In 2001, he was hand-selected to be the first Directorate of Trauma for the Army Trauma Training Center, a congressionally mandated military and civilian partnership with the Ryder Trauma center at Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, Florida where he trained Forward Surgical teams to provide care for the wounded Solider near the battle.

COL Groves has published his teams’ experience in several articles including the Advanced Emergency Journal of Nursing. In 2006, COL Groves completed a yearlong tour of duty with the 10th Combat Support Hospital in Iraq as the emergency department head nurse. The emergency care delivered there was featured in National Geographic in December 2006 and on CNN in the documentary “Combat Hospital” in October 2006. COL Groves has given numerous local and regional presentations on emergency and trauma care. In 2008, he was named Manager of the Year by the Emergency Nurses Association.

COL Groves’ education includes a bachelor’s degree from Indiana University and a master’s degree in nursing from the University of Kentucky.

A2. Care of the Generation Y Veteran - What Civilian Clinicians Need to Know

It is estimated that only 40% of 20-30 year old veterans utilize VA health care services. This leaves 60% of the most vulnerable population to seek care through civilian medical providers. This demographic has the highest rates of unemployment, poverty, and homelessness. Young veterans experience different medical conditions from their civilian peers that a civilian provider might miss during a routine encounter. This presentation will address common medical conditions that affect young veterans to include: PTSD, traumatic brain injury, insomnia, post-concussion headaches, substance abuse, infertility, and suicide. Clinicians will be provided screening and referral recommendations for their young veterans.

Presenter: Kate E. Mitchell, FNP, Lieutenant Colonel, U.S. Army. Medical Director, Fort Drum Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic

LTC Kate Mitchell was born on a rural Vermont dairy farm. She graduated from the University of Vermont with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 1995. In 2007, she graduated with an MSN from Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD, as a Family Nurse Practitioner. During her 16+ year career in the Army, she has served as head nurse in two Airborne Forward Surgical Teams, has been a company commander for over 300 medical personnel at Fort Bliss, Texas, and deployed to Iraq. She currently serves as Medical Director of the Fort Drum Traumatic Brain Injury Clinic. Mitchell has run 17 marathons.

A3. The VA’s Multidisciplinary Approach in the Polytrauma System of Care

From FY 2002 through FY 2012, 1.6 million OEF/OIF/OND veterans (including members of the Reserve and National Guard) left active duty and became eligible for VA health care. With signature wounds and injuries such as Traumatic Brain Injury and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs has developed a multidisciplinary approach to caring for these Veterans. Discussion will include the VA Polytrauma Program, which provides a comprehensive and interdisciplinary system of care to Veterans with a particular focus on the role of Nursing.

Presenters: Bethany Joncas, LCSW, CCM, Polytrauma Case Manager, VA Medical Center, Syracuse; Margaret Daggett, FNP-BC, OEF/OIF/OND/Polytrauma Nurse Practitioner, VA Medical Center, Syracuse

Ms. Bethany Joncas is a licensed social worker in the OEF/OIF/OND & Polytrauma Programs at the Syracuse VA Medical Center and has been in this position since 2007. She received her graduate degree from Syracuse University. Her main duties include providing ongoing transition and case management services to OEF/OIF/OND veterans and service members who have sustained multiple injuries as a result of their military experiences.

Ms. Margaret Daggett is a family nurse practitioner in the OEF/OIF/OND & Polytrauma Programs at the Syracuse VA Medical Center. She has worked at the Syracuse VA Medical Center since 2005, and has been in her current position since 2007. She received her graduate degree from Syracuse University. Daggett’s role in the OEF/OIF/OND and Polytrauma program is to provide the clinical oversight to returning combat veterans and active duty service members transitioning from military healthcare to VA healthcare. She is a member of the National Office of Nursing Service Polytrauma Field Advisory Committee, which provides guidance on clinical nursing practice for the VA nationally by identifying and developing recommendations for evidence-based practice, best practice guidelines, standards of patient care, and policy guidance.

A4. Resourcing Transitions

This workshop will discuss how the Army is resourcing the transition of America’s wounded ill and injured soldiers. Come learn what the military is doing for those transitioning from service and how you can support those going through the transition and reach out to those who have recently become veterans.

Presenter: Kristen Shear, CPT, Army Nurse Corps, CCRN, CCM

CPT Kristen Shear has seven years of nursing experience. She has spent four years working in Surgical Trauma Intensive Care units in both the United States and Iraq. For the last three years, she has worked in Case Management at Fort Drum supporting the Warrior in Transition Unit. She holds board certification in Critical Care (CCRN) and Case Management (CCM).

B1. Update and Review of Evidence-Based Somatic Interventions for PTSD

Despite being a fairly new diagnostic term, PTSD captures responses and symptomatologies that span the entirety of the human existence. As the conceptualization of this condition improves, the scientific and clinical communities are able to develop more effective interventions. This presentation begins with succinct reviews of the relevant neurobiology and evidence-based psychotherapies, but focuses on current psychopharmacotherapy strategies, and the evidence supporting their application, utilized in the treatment of PTSD.

Presenter: Matthew J. Barry, DO, Lead Clinical Psychiatrist, Rochester VA Outpatient Clinic

Dr. Matthew Barry began his career in mental health services in 1994 as a psychiatric technician at Strong Memorial Hospital in Rochester, N.Y. He is now a clinical psychiatrist board certified by the American Board of Psychiatry and Neurology in Psychiatry and a diplomat in the subspecialty of Child and Adolescent Psychiatry. He completed undergraduate degrees with honors at Clarkson University and State University of New York College at Brockport before attending medical school at the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine. Barry completed his internship, psychiatric residency, and child and adolescent fellowship at Tripler Army Medical Center in Honolulu. After completing his training, Barry served in the United States Army as the Division Psychiatrist and Chief of Psychiatric Services at Fort Drum, home of the 10th Mountain Division, for four years including a 12-month deployment to Afghanistan where he was the sole Army psychiatrist in the country. He has remained active in the U.S. Army Reserve and completed a three-month deployment to Kosovo in 2011 supporting the NATO Peace Keeping mission in the Balkan Peninsula. Barry has received multiple military awards including the Bronze Star. He currently resides in Rochester, and holds teaching appointments at the University of Rochester and Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences. He is employed by the Veterans Administration, and serves as the Lead Psychiatrist and Associate Chief of Staff for Education at the Rochester VA Outpatient Clinic.

B2. New Trajectories in Substance Abuse Treatment

This workshop will address recent, large-scale developments and trajectories within substance abuse treatment that are likely to move the field in new directions over the next decade, especially within the VA, but also in community treatment. The workshop will focus on evidence-based treatments, the movement of substance use disorder (SUD) treatment into new population arenas, treating co-morbidities and SUD problems from an integrated perspective, measurement-based adaptive treatment, new developments in technology for SUD treatment, and continuing care.

Presenter: Jim Bridges, Ph.D., Clinical Chief, Psychology, Canandaigua VA Medical Center

Dr. Jim Bridges received his Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Houston, where he focused on cognitive and behavioral aspects of depression under Lynn Rehm. He has worked as a program coordinator for the Social Learning Program at Fulton State Hospital, and as a psychologist in Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Psychosocial Rehabilitation, and Substance Use Disorder programs. He is currently the Clinical Chief, Psychology at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center, and does clinical and program design work in their substance abuse and mental health treatment programs. His enduring interests are in personality assessment, treatments for depression, treatment of substance use, motivational interviewing, program design, unfashionable philosophies, and shred guitar.

B3. Suicide Prevention is Everybody’s Business: A Candid Conversation

Operation S.A.V.E. is a veteran-specific training program designed to give VA staff and community members a way to remember the steps in the process of identifying a potentially suicidal veteran, confirming the veteran's status, reassuring the veteran that he/she is being heard, and leading the veteran to help. The training will address current risk factors specific to veterans, ways to address veterans in crisis and how to access resources specific to the veteran population.

Presenter: Sarah Levis, LCSW, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Canandaigua VA Medical Center

Ms. Sarah Levis is a clinical licensed social worker and currently serves as the Suicide Prevention Coordinator (SPC) and Local Recovery Coordinator (LRC) at the Canandaigua VA Medical Center. In the SPC role, Levis has conducted numerous trainings for VA staff, veterans, community partners, and family members of veterans. She has worked in the mental health field for the past 12 years with experience that includes working with veterans with serious mental illnesses and substance use disorders. In the role of LRC, Levis works with staff and veterans in behavioral health and the Medical Center to engage and promote patient-centered care. She is also a National Consultant for Social Skills Training for Schizophrenia, and currently holds the position of VISN 2 Master Trainer in Social Skills. Levis received a Master in Social Work degree from Syracuse University and a Bachelor of Social Work from Keuka College.

B4. Healing on the Home Front: The Intersection of Domestic Violence, Sexual Trauma, and Military Culture

The learning objectives of this workshop are to gain an understanding of the etiology and the analysis of domestic violence/abuse, to be able to identify the characteristics of a domestic violence (DV) offender, to learn about the prevalence of DV among military personnel and veterans, to become familiar with the ways that military service/culture may impact the issue, and to be able to identify resources, including evidence-based interventions, treatments, and strategies to address DV.

Presenters: Jack Brennick, LMHC, Supervisor, Domestic Violence & Abuse Course For Men and the RESPECT DV Program, Delphi Drug & Alcohol Council, Inc., Rochester, N.Y.; Debra Hoffman, Ph.D., Staff Psychologist and Military Sexual Trauma Coordinator, Canandaigua VAMC and Rochester Outpatient Clinic; and Justin Russotti, B.S., MSW candidate ’13, University of Southern California, Facilitator, RESPECT DV Program, Delphi Drug and Alcohol Council and Project Coordinator of SOLAR, Mt. Hope Family Center, Rochester, N.Y.

Mr. Jack Brennick is a New York State Licensed Mental Health Counselor and is currently the supervisor of both the Domestic Violence & Abuse Course for Men and the RESPECT Domestic Violence (DV) Program at Delphi Drug & Alcohol Council, Inc. in Rochester, N.Y. As a former school counselor with over 20 years of experience providing domestic violence education and training, he is also co-founder of Stand Up Guys, a collaboration of men and women working together as allies to eliminate men’s violence against women and children. He was DV trained by V.A. psychologist, Dr. Anne Ganley, in the Hawaiian Islands, and he brought his passion for this work to Rochester’s MEN’s Education for Non Violence Workshop in 1992. Since that time, Brennick has also been an active member of the Rochester/Monroe County Domestic Violence Consortium.

Dr. Debra Hoffman completed her undergraduate education at Cornell University. She received her Ph.D. from the University of Rochester in 2006. Her clinical and research focus was on understanding the connection between relationship functioning and women’s mental health. Hoffman completed clinical internship and post-doctoral training at the University of Rochester Medical Center. Her main interest was trauma treatment and the promotion of women’s health. She has received training in Interpersonal Psychotherapy, Dialectical Behavior Therapy, Prolonged Exposure Therapy, Cognitive Processing Therapy, and Cognitive Behavioral Therapy. Since 2008, she has worked as a staff psychologist and military sexual trauma coordinator at the Rochester Outpatient Clinic and the Canandaigua VAMC.

Mr. Justin Russotti is a facilitator for the RESPECT batterer intervention program at Delphi Alcohol and Drug Council, and the Educational Prevention Coordinator for Stand Up Guys. As a member of Stand Up Guys, he works to engage well-intentioned men to “stand up” against domestic violence. Russotti is also the Project Coordinator of SOLAR (Study of Late Adolescent Resilience). This project, which takes place at Mt. Hope Family Center, is funded by the National Institute on Drug Abuse and explores the relationship between childhood maltreatment and subsequent substance use.

C1. The Impact of Traumatic Stress on Children’s Development

Children in military families sometimes experience traumatic stress related to loss of a loved one, exposure to violence, separation from parents, accidents, or other frightening experiences. This traumatic stress can affect children’s brains, bodies, emotions, and behavior in ways that can be challenging to understand and manage. This workshop will discuss how to recognize signs of traumatic stress and how to respond sensitively to children’s needs.

Presenter: Jody Todd Manly, Ph.D., Clinical Director, Mt. Hope Family Center, University of Rochester

Dr. Jody Todd Manly is currently the Clinical Director at the Mt. Hope Family Center and an assistant professor in the Clinical and Social Sciences in Psychology Department of the University of Rochester. Mt. Hope Family Center is a unique setting affiliated with the University of Rochester that integrates innovative research, evidenced-based prevention and intervention, and education of future mental health leaders to promote resilience and avert maladjustment and psychopathology in the life course of high-risk children and families. Mt. Hope Family Center is a member of the National Child Traumatic Stress Network, where Manly works with national trauma experts on provision of evidence-based trauma treatments. She has been a Principal Investigator or Co-Principal Investigator on several federally-funded research projects on the linkages among trauma, depression, child maltreatment, poverty, domestic violence, and community violence with preschool, school-aged children, and adolescents. She received her Ph.D. in clinical psychology from the University of Rochester in 1990. Manly has more than 25 years of experience in providing clinical services to children who have experienced trauma and their families, and in conducting research with children exposed to violence and maltreatment. She is committed to training professionals, and has supervised graduate students in psychology, counseling, and social work, as well as provided workshops locally, nationally, and internationally. In conjunction with Dante Cicchetti and Douglas Barnett, she developed a maltreatment classification system that is now being used by research laboratories around the world to operationally define dimensions of child maltreatment. Manly has a number of publications in the area of child maltreatment, and is a licensed psychologist in New York State.

C2. Children and Deployment: What the Research Says

This workshop will review the research literature regarding the impact of deployment on children based on children’s age. The session addresses the challenges of children of both active duty military and reservists. From a theoretical base of resilience, this session will present additional data from several different vantage points: children, teachers, parents, and service members and their spouses.

Presenter: Deborah B. Johnson, Ed.D., Director of National Services, Children’s Institute, Rochester, N.Y.

Dr. Deborah Johnson has worked for over 30 years in schools and communities to support the emotional health of children. She is co-author of Same Sky Sharing, a curriculum-based program for children experiencing the deployment of a parent or sibling. She is involved in several studies regarding military deployment with a goal to better understand how families prepare and support children. She presents nationally on development and strategic planning for early intervention programs, systems change and the impact of military deployment on children. At the Children’s Institute, her work includes the establishment of Primary Project programs around the country, a focus on supporting children who have a parent in the military, and the implementation of research-based programs which are designed to promote the emotional health of young children.

C3. America at War: Families Under Fire

Ride the emotional rollercoaster with local veteran families as the presenter chronicles their personal feelings, emotions, and lived experiences through the stages of deployment in a modern wartime era. This workshop will highlight and explore common family experiences and stressors. Participants will compare and contrast differences in wartime family dynamics from the 1960’s to the 21st century and consider strategies, resources, and techniques aimed at providing supportive care to the modern military family.

Presenter: Linda Johnson RN MS CCM COHN-s, Clinical Quality Coordinator, MVP Health Care and Adjunct Professor, Wegmans School of Nursing, St. John Fisher College

Ms. Linda Johnson is a Registered Professional Nurse with 32 years of experience. She obtained a Master of Science degree in Advanced Practice Nursing (Nursing Education) from St. John Fisher College and was awarded the College’s graduate Nurse Educator Award in 2011. In 2012, she was selected the Western N.Y. March of Dimes “Nurse of the Year” for Community Health/Public Health. Johnson is employed at MVP Health Care in the Quality Department and teaches “Patient Centered Care and Quality” to students in the RN-to-BS program at the St. John Fisher College Wegmans School of Nursing. Her clinical experiences includes critical care nursing, emergency nursing, occupational health nursing, case management, and managed care. In 2006, the Johnson family experienced first-hand the stressors of deployment when their son/brother served in Operation Iraqi Freedom in the Middle East. Johnson is a proud Air Force Mom and self- proclaimed “survivor” of modern wartime deployment.

Cancelled C4. Implementation of Trauma-Informed Care for Women Veterans

This workshop will discuss the unique experiences of women in the military and how adopting trauma-informed practices can influence women veteran success. The discussion will focus on the Women’s Bureau’s Trauma–Informed Care guide for service providers of female veterans and organizations that may have female veterans among their client population. The Trauma-Informed Care guide offers concrete suggestions, based on women veteran feedback and academic research, on how to ensure programs meet and understand their distinct experiences as women veterans. In this interactive session, organizations will be asked to identify their strengths and areas for improvement in delivering trauma-informed care for women veterans.

Presenter: Grace Protos, LCSW, Regional Administrator, Women’s Bureau, U.S. Department of Labor, Regions II & V, New York, N.Y. and Chicago, IL

Ms. Grace Protos is the Regional Administrator for Regions II and V of the U.S. Department of Labor, Women’s Bureau. In her role at the Women’s Bureau, Protos designs and oversees the implementation of policy, research, and projects devoted exclusively to promoting the advancement of working women. Her role also includes developing organizational channels for Women’s Bureau resources and partnership opportunities with companies, community-based organizations, and state and local governments. In her capacity as Regional Administrator, she represents the interests of several million working women in New York, New Jersey, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands, as well as six Midwestern states. She is responsible for all contracts, programs, and activities of the bureau in these states and territories. Before joining the Women’s Bureau, Protos was a senior vice president at MacKenzie Partners, Inc., a corporate advisory services firm, where she worked for 13 years on corporate mergers, acquisitions and stakeholder identification, and communications for clients who were Fortune 500 companies. She has a Master of Science degree in social work from Columbia University with a focus on women’s issues and the world of work.

D1. The Case for Primary Care – Mental Health Integration (PC-MHI)

This workshop will review the VHA-wide initiative and rationale behind this strategic goal. The workshop will review the two main components of the initiative, namely Co-located Collaborative Care (i.e., on-site MH providers within the PC arena) and Care Management (i.e., phone-based diagnostic managed protocols).

Presenter: Bruce F. Nelson, Ph.D., Behavioral Health Network Careline Director for the Department of Veterans Affairs, Region #2, Upstate New York Integrated Healthcare Network

Dr. Bruce Nelson completed his doctorate at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1990, and has devoted his entire career to working for the Department of Veterans Affairs. He started off as the staff psychologist on the Albany VA Acute Inpatient Psychiatry Unit for his first six years and then served in their outpatient general mental health clinic for the next two years. In 1998, he was selected to serve as the Co-manager for Behavioral Health programming at the Albany VAMC. In 2005, he moved into a Senior Psychologist role with the regional office, working directly with the facility Mental Health Leads and facility program supervisors. In 2010, he was promoted to the network lead position. In this role, he serves as a liaison to VA Central Office working with both the policy and operational offices. In addition, he represents all mental health and behavioral health programming on the Network Executive Council.

D2. Provider Resiliency

This workshop is designed to bring attention to the signs of Provider Fatigue and Burnout; the five areas (mental, physical, behavioral, spiritual, emotional, and social) of resiliency; and the ethical necessity of self-care.

Presenter: Robert J. Nussbaum, MSHRM, Provider Resiliency Instructor, USA MEDDAC, Fort Drum, N.Y.

Mr. Robert J. Nussbaum is a member of a MEDCOM community of trainers specializing in the mitigation of Provider Fatigue and Burnout. He educates and provides resources with the intended goal of helping professionals be more effective in their respective roles as caring, compassionate, and skillful practitioners. He is certified/trained in a number of resiliency models including: The Resiliency Advantage: Dr. Al Siebert; Level One Master Resiliency Trainer: UPENN- Dr. Martin Seligman and Dr. Karen Reivich; Compassion Fatigue Educator Certified: Figley Institute & Green Cross; Oasis In The Overwhelm: Millie Grenough; Mind Body Medicine: Dr. Herbert Benson- Harvard Medical; and Traumatic Resiliency Model/Community Resiliency Model – Traumatic Resources Institute.

D3. Art Therapy: A Creative Approach to Treatment

Art therapy engages veterans in an alternate form of psychotherapy as a means to heal from the wounds of war. This presentation will offer an overview of art therapy work happening in the veteran community locally and nationally. Best practices for using art therapy as a treatment for PTSD will be discussed. Veteran artwork will be included throughout the presentation, documenting the journey toward healing.

Presenter: Jennifer DeLucia, MS, ATR-BC, LCAT, Director, Wellness & Supportive Services, Veterans Outreach Center, Rochester, N.Y.

Ms. Jennifer DeLucia currently serves as Director of Wellness & Supportive Services at Veterans Outreach Center, an independent community-based non-profit agency providing premier supportive services to veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. DeLucia initiated art therapy at VOC in October 2010 and, since its inception, the program has expanded to include two additional creative arts therapists and was developed as an internship site for Nazareth College art therapy and social work students. She provided training at Fort Drum, “Resiliency through Art: Training by the American Art Therapy Association for the United States Army Arts and Crafts Managers,” an initiative designed to promote resiliency for soldiers, veterans, and family members through art making. An avid artist and advocate for the field and practice of art therapy, DeLucia is currently working on a Doctorate in Art Therapy at Mount Mary College with a focus on expanding the evidence-base of art therapy with military populations.

D4. Resilience in the Army Community

This workshop will explain the Army’s Comprehensive Solider Fitness program, focusing specifically on Resilience Training (RT). It will provide an overview of evidence-based research related to resilience and the current effect on soldiers. Resilience will be reviewed as an intervention and prevention tool. Additionally, resources will be provided to further understand these programs and how soldiers, family members, and army civilians can gain access to these tools.

Presenter: CPT Sarah Eccleston, RN, CCRN, United States Army Nurse Corps.

CPT Sarah Eccleston began her Army service in 2004. The past eight years in the Nurse Corps have provided her the unique opportunity to work in several Military Treatment Facilities throughout the country. In 2009, she was deployed with the 10th Combat Support Hospital to Baghdad Iraq. While deployed, she provided nursing care to trauma and critical care patients sustaining traumatic injuries only seen in a war-time environment. Eccleston is a graduate of the Army approved Master Resilience Trainer Course. As a trainer, she plans and provides Resilience Training to soldiers, families, and Army civilians.

Map & DirectionsA-Z Site IndexPeople Directory

Copyright © St. John Fisher College • 3690 East Avenue, Rochester, New York 14618 • (585) 385-8000
Questions/Comments? - Email the Webmaster Website Terms of Use