2018 Conference Schedule

 

7-8 am: Registration & Breakfast

8-8:15 am Welcome and Introductions

8:15 - 10 am James McCloughan, Medal of Honor Recipient, Brian Gripentrog and screening of the first half of Project 22

10-11 am Breakout Sessions

11:30 am-1 pm Lunchtime Keynote Address by Dr. Vincent Felitti

1-2 pm Breakout Sessions

2:-3 pm Breakout Sessions

3-4:30 pm Finish the screening of Project 22 and legislature appreciation

4:30-6 pm Networking session with exhibitor booths and cash bar

**This agenda is tentative and session times and topics may change.
 
 

Download the printable program descriptions HERE.

Social Work CEUs are being offered for some of the conference presentations. 
To learn which ones include social work CEUs, download the full agenda above. 

"I saved lives in Vietnam and he's saving many lives now"- McCloughan about Gripentrog

"I saved lives in Vietnam and he's saving many lives now"- McCloughan about Gripentrog

 
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Breakout #1

10am - 11am

 

Military Sisterhood Initiative

Zaneta Adams of WINC: For All Women Veterans (Women Injured iN Combat) will share the pioneer effort that is bringing woman of the military together to join the Military Sisterhood Initiative. This collaborative project between nonprofit partners -- Challenge America and WINC -- is forging a national peer support network for women who have served. The Sisterhood Initiative is bringing individuals together to mold a shared vision and strategy for this peer support network, overcoming challenges, and promoting ambassadors to garner support.

Using Mindfulness and Compassion to Strengthen Resilience

Dr. William Fitzgerald is a Clinical Psychologist at the Veteran’s Administration Medical Center in Battle Creek, MI. Dr. Fitzgerald will provide a better understanding of how to increase emotional awareness, which allows individuals to respond by choice as opposed to reacting to situations. Learn principles associated with mindfulness that can be used to strengthen one’s ability to be resilient. Experience how being self-compassionate bolsters one’s capability to be kind to others. Strengthen a core ability to cope with difficult situations. Learn how mindfulness and self-compassion have proven results fostering emotional tolerance.

7 Things Not to Say to a Veteran

Jason Moon, an Iraq War veteran, will highlight the seven things people say to veterans that alienate and anger them. Things like, “Glad you made it back home okay,” and, “What did you do over there?” may seem like pleasantries, but Moon will explain how these comments can trigger trauma. He will tell his story of denying and then facing PTSD, as well as share what he has learned through music. Moon is the founder of the non-profit Warrior Songs, which brings hope and healing to veterans through the creative arts.

Understanding the Different Levels of the VA

Muskegon County Veteran Affairs Liaison Michael Baauw, M.P.A., will explain the differences in services provided by the three levels of the VA: Federal, State, and County. This session will be helpful for Veteran's trying to better navigate the benefits at the various systems and service providers working with Veteran's to help them maximize their benefits.

 

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Breakout #2

1pm - 2pm

 

Operation S.A.V.E. for Suicide Prevention

Operation S.A.V.E. is a training program provided by VA suicide prevention coordinator Derik Vanbaale to Veterans and those who serve Veterans. Optional role-playing exercises are included.

Operation S.A.V.E. consists of the following components:
1. Brief overview of suicide in the veteran population
2. Suicide myths and misinformation
3. Risk factors for suicide
4. Components of the S.A.V.E. model (Signs of suicide, Asking about suicide, Validating feelings, Encouraging help and Expediting treatment)

The Benefits of Veterans Treatment Court (Panel)

This panel of individuals directly involved with Muskegon County’s Veteran Treatment Court (VTC) will show how Veteran’s treatment courts acts as a "one-stop shop," linking veterans with the programs, benefits, and services they have earned. The VTC Panel will explore the impact, the needs, and some of the important experiences that have assisted Veteran offenders to be successful in transitioning out of the criminal justice system through proper supports. This team of panelists will consist of:
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Moderator, Muskegon District Court Chief Judge Raymond Kostzewa
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John Koch - LMSW, J.D., CAADC Veterans Healthcare Administration
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David R. Eling – US Air Force (Retired)

Tools of Resilience

Common thinking traps, which particularly arise when under stress, are problematic. Thinking traps undermine mental toughness and performance, and lead to an inaccurate understanding of the situation. Mental cues and critical questions will be addressed as methods of avoiding thinking traps.

Veteran Supports & Caregivers Tell All (Panel)

This panel brings together an experienced team of caregivers, trauma-informed Veterans, and supports for military families. Panelists will address pillars to overcoming Veteran challenges related to direct support needs. This team of panelists will consist of:
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Lizzie Sperry - Social Worker for Out Side In, Inc., equine therapy
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Chris Graff - Peer Support Specialist at Veterans Healthcare Administration
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Pastor Wes & Lil Spyke - Vietnam Veteran and spouse & Veteran Treatment Court Advocates
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Moderator April Clipper - Military OneSource.

Hiring Veterans: A Panel of Employers

This panel brings together an experienced team of employers led by Moderator Captain Paul J. Ryan. They will be diving into the many different highly sought traits of Veterans while also promoting a culture in which military service is valued by every civilian employer in the United States. This team of panelists will consist of:
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Moderator Paul J. Ryan - Captain, US Navy Reserve (Retired), State Chair Emeritus, Michigan
Committee for Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve
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Julie Davidson – SHAPE CORP. Talent Acquisition Manager
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Paula Perkins - PHR Herman Miller Talent Acquisition Manager
»»
Margaret Gulinska - L-3 Communications

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Breakout #3

2pm - 3pm

 

7 Things Not to Say to a Veteran

Jason Moon, an Iraq War veteran, will highlight the seven things people say to veterans that alienate and anger them. Things like, “Glad you made it back home okay,” and, “What did you do over there?” may seem like pleasantries, but Moon will explain how these comments can trigger trauma. He will tell his story of denying and then facing PTSD, as well as share what he has learned through music. Moon is the founder of the non-profit Warrior Songs, which brings hope and healing to veterans through the creative arts.

Tools of Resilience

Common thinking traps, which particularly arise when under stress, are problematic. Thinking traps undermine mental toughness and performance, and lead to an inaccurate understanding of the situation. Mental cues and critical questions will be addressed as methods of avoiding thinking traps.

Veteran Supports & Caregivers Tell All (Panel)

This panel brings together an experienced team of caregivers, trauma-informed Veterans, and supports for military families. Panelists will address pillars to overcoming Veteran challenges related to direct support needs. This team of panelists will consist of:
»»
Lizzie Sperry - Social Worker for Out Side In, Inc., equine therapy
»»
Chris Graff - Peer Support Specialist at Veterans Healthcare Administration
»»
Pastor Wes & Lil Spyke - Vietnam Veteran and spouse & Veteran Treatment Court Advocates
»»
Moderator April Clipper - Military OneSource

Hiring Veterans: A Panel of Employers

This panel brings together an experienced team of employers led by Moderator Captain Paul J. Ryan. They will be diving into the many different highly sought traits of Veterans while also promoting a culture in which military service is valued by every civilian employer in the United States. This team of panelists will consist of:
»»
Moderator Paul J. Ryan - Captain, US Navy Reserve (Retired), State Chair Emeritus, Michigan
Committee for Employer Support of the Guard & Reserve
»»
Julie Davidson – SHAPE CORP. Talent Acquisition Manager
»»
Paula Perkins - PHR Herman Miller Talent Acquisition Manager
»»
Margaret Gulinska - L-3 Communications

Transitioning Out of the Military (Panel)

This panel will bring real-life Military transitioning experience from some heroes located right here in West Michigan. This panel will share knowledge with those seeking to understand or overcome challenges faced during this transition period, which could be swift or last 20 years. Panelists will include:
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Jeff Lohman (US Army)
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Eric Miller (US Navy)
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Autumn Hartpence (US Air Force)
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Donny Davis (US Army)
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Moderator Robert R. Near (US Army)