Warrior Summit Session Descriptions

WI Warrior Summit



November 13 & 14, 2013 - Bishop O'Connor Center - Madison WI

Wednesday Keynote  |   Veterans Panel   |   Wed., Breakout #1   |   Wed., Breakout #2   |   Wednesday Evening

Thursday Keynote  |   Thursday Breakout

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Wednesday Keynote: Dr. John E. Mundt
Understanding Deployment & Homecoming: What Civilians May Not Know & What Veterans May Not Say

More than two million Americans have now returned from military service overseas in Iraq and Afghanistan. In this workshop, participants will learn about the experience of these new veterans, with a primary goal being to provide them with understanding and perspective necessary to support an optimal outcome to this major life transition. Given the prevalence of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) and other adjustment problems in veterans, emphasis will be on the typical deployment experiences of our troops, including by linking specific warzone experiences with the psychological symptoms and behavior that they may produce. There will also be substantial focus on the psychological experience of "homecoming", which impacts not only the returning serviceman or woman but also resonates throughout the extended family system.     

John E. Mundt, Ph.D  

Dr. John Mundt is a Licensed Clinical Psychologist.  His primary professional focus is on veterans' mental health issues, particularly the range of problems impacting the returning veterans from Iraq and Afghanistan.

Dr. Mundt has been a Staff Psychologist at the Jesse Brown VA Medical Center (Chicago, Illinois) since 1992, providing both long-term and time-limited psychotherapy, as well as psychological assessment and case management for veterans. Since 1996, Dr. Mundt has been the psychologist in the Medical Center's acute-care partial hospitalization program, with a focus on the stabilization and brief treatment of traumatic reactions stemming from combat, sexual assault and inner-city violence as well as other types of trauma. His approach to treatment in this setting emphasizes intensive psychoeducation as well as aggressive case management and community advocacy for veterans in the program.  

Dr. Mundt  is passionate about veterans mental health issues and has dedicated his career to working with this population. Learn more at http://drjohnmundt.com/


Veterans Panel

Veterans, The Arts, and Healing

Focus on how veterans are able to say/express through art what they're often not able initially to talk about. There will be a mix of vets from Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq/Afghanistan discussing how they use stories, music, memoir, poetry and art to express their war experience.


Wednesday, Breakout #1 Descriptions

Challenges to the Treatment of PTSD

The prevalence of PTSD and related adjustment problems in the returning warzone veterans has received lots of professional attention, and there are a number of highly effective, well-established approaches and techniques available to be utilized by therapists treating trauma. The process of treating PTSD in war veterans, however, can be fraught with unique challenges.   This brief breakout presentation focuses on what mental health clinicians need to know about the particular challenges and obstacles that may complicate the treatment process in this population, including suicide, substance abuse, and Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI), among others. 

Presenter: Dr. John Mundt, Keynote Speaker 

Family Life, Military Style

Session attendees will be able to: 1) Identify differences faced by the military community living in civilian communities without the support of a nearby military installation, 2) Recognize the impact on individuals and families and their interactions, 3) Bring this understanding to those in the civilian world, i.e. physicians, educators and others.

Presenters: Karen Degner, Family Assistance Specialist, Military Family Assistance Center/WI National Guard Contractor
                   Nan Gardner, Military & Family Life Counselor, Joint Family Assistance Program

                  Tina Jeffords, Lead Child and Youth Program Coordinator, WI National Guard Service Member Support Division

Agencies Advocating on Behalf of Veterans: Advocacy Panel

Directors from WDVA, American Legion, VFW and our Dane County Veterans Service Office will be serving on a panel to discuss veterans benefits and eligibility as well as how to navigate the array of benefits.

     Dan Connery, Dane County Veterans Service Officer
     Kim Michalowski, Wisconsin Dept. of Veterans Affairs
     James Fialkowski, American Legion
     David Goeldner, VFW

Animal Therapy

For those unable to stay for the Wednesday evening program or would like a sneak preview, there will be opportunity to hear from a local organizations using services animals to support veterans in their healing.

     Lou and Karen Matjasko, Circle of Change
     Barb Knopf, Veterans Equine Trail Service

VA Programs for Women Veterans

Panel will discuss issues relevant to women veterans, including a woman vet's perspective on reintegration, female roles in the military, mental health issues, homelessness, and overview of VA health services.

Gail Gunter Hunt, LCSW, Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
     Susan Knoedel, LCSW
     Meghan Snitkin, APSW
    Jennifer Sluga, Dane County Veterans Service Office

Suicide Prevention Among Veterans and Service Members

This session will provide information about the National Veterans Crisis Line plus suicide and crisis intervention services for veterans and service members.  Participants will become familiar with current trends regarding suicide risk factors in this population plus intervention strategies including suicide prevention safety plans and coaching into care. There will be discussion about resilience and vulnerability.

Presenters:  Nancy Krug, MSW, LCSW, Suicide Prevention Coordinator, Wm. S. Middleton Memorial Veterans Hospital
        SFC Grundy, Wisconsin National Guard Suicide Prevention Coordinator


Wednesday, Breakout #2 Descriptions

What Vets and Their Family Members Need to Know About PTSD in War Veterans

Many returning warzone veterans may find the readjustment process to be a challenge, and some of those may actually experience psychological distress that is severe and persistent enough to merit treatment. Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD) is one possible response to trauma, and this condition receives lots of attention but is frequently misunderstood. This brief breakout presentation will focus on what veterans and their families need to know about PTSD, in terms of how the condition manifests, how it is diagnosed, and how it can be treated.

Presenter: Dr. John Mundt, Keynote Speaker

Recovery: Helping Veterans with Substance Use Problems

Veterans will share their recovery stories and whathelped them with their recovery journey. ADTP Staff will share effective approaches to identify, engage and treatveterans with substance use disorders and co-occurring mental health issues.Trends in substance abuse prevalence and prevention for veterans and active militarypersonnel will be reviewed. Objectives: 1. Gain a better understanding of the challenges veterans face indealing with substance abuse issues in the military and after service; 2. Learn best practices for prevention andintervention with substance use and co-occurring mental health disorders; 3. Learn about VA resources for treatment.

     Randall Chipman, LCSW, Manager, Addictive Disorders Treatment Program (ADTP) Wm. S. Middleton Veterans Hospital
     Madison VA ADTP Treatment Staff & Veterans

After the War Zone: How We Heal

Veterans often lose their moral compass- their spiritual grounding - after returning from war.  Learn about ways faith communities are reaching out to support veterans and their families.

     Zelleane Joyner, Facilitator     
     Chaplain  Simonis, American Legion
     Chaplain  Hedman, Wisconsin National Guard
     Elder Jerolyn Robinson, Catholic Charities
     Father Patrick  Norris
     Chaplain  Hekel
     Chaplain  Keiner
     Pastor  Adams, Madison Mennonites
     First Lt. Eric Bakko, Wisconsin National Guard

Helping Homeless Veterans Transition from the Streets to a More Stable Environment

This workshop will be a panel discussion between several individuals from several organizations who assist homeless Veterans. They find ways to provide a path for the Veteran to move to permanent housing. Transitional housing and subsidized housing will be discussed.

    Sue Wallinger, City of Madison
    Meghan Snitken, HUD/VASH
    Karla Jameson, Porchlight
    Cicely Robinson, HUD/VASH
    Shirley Clayborne, City of Madison
    Doug Loumos, Housing Initiatives of Madison
    Matt Heldman

Military Culture for Clinicians

Clinicians who are not veterans can put themselves in a better position to respond to individuals who are by learning about military culture. This panel will help clinicians understand how the cultures of the different service branches differ and what they need to know about the military experience that can allow them to communicate more effectively and credibly with veterans.

     Jennifer Sluga, Dane County Veterans Service Office
     Ken Prust, Madison Vet Center
     Sarah Yahnke, NAMI Wisconsin
en Gruba
     Julie Murray, Madison Vet Center
     Michael Gillitzer, USMC Wounded Warrior Regimen
     Gabriel LePierre, Agrace
     Joe Rasmussen, UW Madison

Vets Helping Vets

Veterans are assuming a variety of roles to assist their pers. This panel will provide information about various organizations that make peer support a part of their mission and their practice.


Calvin Tucker, Dryhootch Madison
Richard Machotka, Veteran Peer Support Specialist
Dave  Hosking, Madison Vet Center
Alice  Pauser, Wisconsin Peer Support Specialist Program Coordinator



Wednesday Evening (5:15 - 8:00)
Animal Therapy: Captain Luis Montalvan

The Wednesday evening session is open to anyone in the community at no charge; even if not registered for the summit.

Meet Capt. Luis Montalvan and his service dog, Tuesday. Hear about his reintegration into civilian life, the difficulties he faced, and how he healed during the process.  Participants will also have the opportunity to learn about local organizations that promote the use of service animals to support veterans in their healing.

Also includes short presentations from local organizations that promote the use of service animals to support veterans in their healing, including: Circle of Change; Dogs on Call; Freedom Stables; Occupaws; Pets for Vets; Stepping Stones Stables; and Veterans Equine Trail Service (VETS)

Also in attendance - Consultants regarding service animal laws, including: Alicia Boehme, Disability Rights Wisconsin; Steve Hardenbergh, Veteran, Circle of Change; Sue Steinbeck, mental health consumer, dog trainer and service dog owner



Thursday Keynote - Nicole McCoy
Military Sexual Assault

Former Marine, Lance Corporal Nicole McCoy, is a survivor of multiple sexual assaults while in the military. She has been interviewed by Dan Rather and her story has appeared in many magazines and on National Public Radio. She will talk about her experiences in the military and since and what has helped her to heal. Nicole is currently petitioning the Department of Defense to create a national registry for service members convicted of sexual offenses while on active duty in the military.


Thursday Breakout Descriptions

For Clinicians: Post Traumatic Stress Disorder: Development and Treatment

An overview of PTSD will be provided with focus on development of combat-related symptoms, Current scientific evidence-based treatments will be provided. Participants will learn how and why PTSD develops and how current therapies are believed to help in the recovery process.

  Presenter: James Lickel, PhD


The Aging and Disability Resource Center (ADRC) will discuss being the place to go to get accurate, unbiased information on all aspects of life related to aging or living with a disability. Individuals, concerned families or friends, or professionals can all contact the ADRC for information tailored to their situation. The ADRC provides information on a broad range of programs and services, helps people understand the various long term care options available to them, helps people apply for programs and benefits, and more.

The VA Caregiver Support Program provides a wide range of services to caregivers of eligible veterans of all eras. Objectives: 1) Provide brief overview of the services available and how to apply, 2) Identify ways to partner with healthcare providers to promote veteran well-being, 3) Learn about opportunities for self-care.

     Deb Solis, Program Specialist at the Aging and Disability Resource Center
     Marcos Rios, Information and Assistance Specialist at the Aging and Disability Resource Center

    Jennifer Jaqua, MSW, Caregiver Support Coordinator, Madison VA


Legal Resources for Veterans

The legal resource panel will be composed of professionals from (UW-Madison Law  Program, State Bar of Wisconsin, Veterans Justice Outreach, etc) who work with veteran issues and are able to provide information on a variety of civil legal needs as well as information about available resources for veterans.  Members of the panel will discuss ways to locate services available to veterans and their family members while navigating through legal issues they are experiencing.  Legal panel will not be able to give any personal advice, but may be able to connect you with the proper resources.


     Ann Zimmerman
     Ed Zappala
     David Dupree, Rock County Vet Court
     Jeff Brown, State Bar of Wisconsin
     LTC David Dziobkowski


Campus Programs for Veterans

Panel discussion regarding VA-endorsed and sponsored services for student veterans, dealing with unique challenges, needs and preferences; also the strengths they bring to the campus community.

     Krisin Bull Lyon, LCSW, VITAL Madison
     Sarah Francois, LCSW, VITAL Madison
    John Bechtol, UW Madison
    Joe Rasmussen, UW Madison

Financial Support Resources for Veterans

Whether or not you believe that money is the source of all evil, money (or lack of it) is certainly the source of considerable stress. But some of this stems from a lack of skills about money and its management. This workshop will cover financial basics and how to get assistance with money concerns.



     Ken King, Consumer Credit Counseling Service (statewide)
     Theresa Walker, Office of Financial Literacy, WI Dept. of Financial Institutions 


Military Sexual Trauma

Participants will view a 30 minute version of The Invisible War, a documentary about military sexual trauma. Afterwards Nicole will engage in discussion with participants about military sexual trauma and healing resources.

Presenter: Nicole McCoy


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