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Baystate Health to launch virtual veterans healthcare lunchtime series

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SPRINGFIELD — Baystate Health will launch a free Military Veterans Virtual Healthcare Lunchtime Series on Wednesday, Nov. 3, with “Overview of Military Culture and the Health Risks of Military Service.”

Led by Janet Fraser Hale, professor emeritus of UMass Medical School, she will explain how military service may impact a veteran’s behavior and health.

The Wednesday virtual lecture series — featuring experts in military culture and health care — will begin at noon and end between 1 or 1:30 p.m. depending on the topic and session.

The series is a collaboration with VA Central Western Massachusetts Healthcare System, Central Hampshire Veterans’ Services, and the Western Massachusetts Veterans Outreach Project.

It is Baystate’s second project with the community partners.

Additional dates and topics and presenters include:

  • Nov. 10: “Community Reintegration: On Homecoming and Belonging” – John Paradis, member of the Western Massachusetts Veterans Outreach Project. Paradis will describe how the impact of military service contributes to a veteran’s sense of self and the veteran’s need for continued meaning and purpose when returning home from service.
  • Nov. 17: “VA Suicide Prevention” – Kate Nye, a suicide prevention coordinator with the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will explore the issues concerning suicide and mental health in the veteran community and talk about important ways to take part in suicide prevention and how to help veterans in crisis.
  • Dec. 1: “Traumatic Brain Injury in Combat Veterans” – Jill Thurman and Lee Ashendorf, experts who work with veterans with TBI, will discuss what has been called the “signature wound” of the recent conflicts in Southwest Asia and will review treatment coordination and management of veterans with persisting symptoms following a TBI.
  • Dec. 8: “Achievements and Challenges Facing Military and Veteran Families” – Kathryn Basham, professor emeritus at Smith College School of Social Work, will discuss the impact of military service and deployments on military families and children and the corresponding factors in supporting them.

January sessions will review how the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs works with local community providers in scheduling health care for veterans and will look at the unique environmental health exposures related to military service. A future session on the use of mediation training to help veterans resolve conflict is also being planned.

Continuing education credits are available. Advance registration is required by visiting https://education.baystatehealth.org/2021-military-veterans-healthcare/series/2021-military-veterans-healthcare-virtual-lunchtime-series.


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