Conference Program

Download the full PDF program with abstracts

Time Activity
8:30-8:50AM Registration
Networking activities with light breakfast
8:50AM-9AM Welcome and Overview of Conference Day
Brief welcome and introductory comments:

9AM-9:30AM Keynote Speaker

9:30-9:45AM Question & Answers with Dr. Semaan
9:45-10:00AM Break/Networking
10:00-10:45AM Immersive Veteran Experience Session

  • Session Facilitator: Dr. Leslie Ruffalo, MCW & Dryhootch Partnership for Veteran Health
  • Session Leader: Dr. Mike McBride, Milwaukee VA Healthcare System
  • Discussant: Dr. Katinka Hooyer, MCW
  • Veteran Table Facilitators:  Daniel Kafka, Sean Bante
10:45-11:00AM Break/Networking
11:00-11:45AM Lived Experience of Student Veterans – Best Practices & Perspectives from Higher Education

  • Josh Sheeran, Veteran & student
  • Nathan Jon Derge, Veteran & student
  • Samuel Rodgers, Veteran & student
  • Ruben A. Burgos Faculty Perspective
  • Rae Anne Frey, MS, Veteran, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Clement J. Zablocki VAMC
  • Jayne Holland, Director, UWM Military and Veterans Resource Center (MAVRC)
  • Session Facilitator: Heidi Plach, MS OTR
  • Co-Facilitator: Zeno Franco, PhD
Noon-12:30PM Lunch/networking
Hot lunch, informal discussion and networking


Extended Poster Session with Dessert & Coffee

1:30-3:00PM  Collaborative Breakout Sessions

Breakout Session 1: Using Photovoice, Educational Comics and Storytelling to Illuminate Veteran Lived Experience in Research

  • Kara Zamora, MA, San Francisco VA Healthcare System
  • Raymond Facundo, MSW, US Army Veteran (OIF), Southeast Louisiana VA Healthcare System
  • Caitlin Dobson, BS, UW-Milwaukee
  • Ginny Stoffel, PhD, UW-Milwaukee
  • Facilitator: Katinka Hooyer, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin

Breakout Session 2: Veteran Engagement Five Ways: Insights and Lessons Learned from Engaging Veterans at Five VA Research Centers

  • Kenda R. Stewart, PhD, Medical Anthropologist,  Iowa City VA Health Care System, Iowa City, IA (in person)
  • Lindsey Ann Martin, PhD, Medical Anthropologist, Michael E. DeBakey VA Medical Center, Houston, TX (remote)
  • Kathryn LaChappelle, MPH, Connecticut Healthcare System, West Haven, CT (remote)
  • Leah Wendleton, MPH, MSW, VA Eastern Colorado Health Care System, Denver, CO. (remote)
  • Karen Berte, PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Milwaukee VA Medical Center (Ret.)
  • Bob Curry, President, Dryhootch of America, Milwaukee Wisconsin
  • Facilitator:  Zeno Franco, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin

Breakout Session 3: Female Veterans, Children & Family of Veterans and Active Duty Military:

  • Cindy Brosig, MSN RN, USAF Nurse Corps Veteran
  • Kiersten Downs, Ph.D., Health Science Research Specialist, Center of Innovation on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, Tampa VA Medical Center, Tampa, FL.
  • Rae Anne Frey, MS, Veteran, University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Clement J. Zablocki VAMC
  • Facilitator: Leslie Ruffalo, PhD, Medical College of Wisconsin
3:00-3:15PM Break/Networking
3:15-3:30PM Summary of day by Dr. Jeff Whittle


3:30-4:00PM Response to Jeff’s Summary from participants