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Wegmans School of Nursing to Hold “Joining Forces” Conference Aimed at Promoting the Health of Veterans, Military Personnel, and their Families


The St. John Fisher College Wegmans School of Nursing today announced the inaugural “Joining Forces” Conference, which will promote the health of veterans, military personnel, and their families. The conference will be held on the Fisher campus on May 13 and 14.

The conference will provide a venue for health care professionals to engage with clinicians, educators, researchers, and persons who have experienced physical and/or emotional conditions associated with military service to explore strategies for promoting the physical and mental health of veterans, military personnel, and their families. It represents a regional initiative that follows the lead of the national “Joining Forces” effort led by First Lady Michele Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, which calls attention to critical health care issues facing members of our armed forces, our veterans, and their families.

“Faculty members in the Wegmans School of Nursing recently made a commitment to address the issue of military cultural competence and pay more attention to meeting unique health and wellness needs of veterans and their families in course work and in the acquisition and dissemination of veteran-specific learning materials. The conference is one of the many initiatives already underway to support that commitment,” said Dr. Dianne Cooney Miner, Dean, Wegmans School of Nursing.

David WallaceOn Monday, May 13, keynote speaker Lieutenant Colonel David M. Wallace, MD, MPH, Chief, Primary Care Clinic in Fort Drum, will present “What’s Walking Through the Door: Relating to Members of the Military, Veterans, and Their Families.” His presentation will begin at 7:00 p.m. in Cleary Family Auditorium in Kearney Hall.

Wallace, a native of Rochester, attended the University of Notre Dame for undergraduate studies, and completed medical school at the Uniformed Services University of Health Sciences in Bethesda, MD. He went on to complete his residency in Family Medicine at Fort Benning, GA in 1998, and spent three years in Germany during his first military tour. As part of Task Force Falcon IB, Wallace spent five months in Kosovo in support of the stabilization force from November 1999 through April 2000. He completed his Master’s in Public Health at the University of Washington, and served for four years as the Program Director of the Darnall Family Medicine Residency at Fort Hood, TX. He has deployed in support of Operation Iraqi Freedom in 2005-2006 with the 10th Combat Support Hospital, and again in 2008-2009 with the 10th Mountain Division (LI) Headquarters as part of Multi-National Division South. He has served as the Division Surgeon to the 10th MTN DIV (LI), as the BN Surgeon to the 3-85th IN BN (P) Warrior Transition Battalion, and currently serves as the Chief of the Primary Care Clinic, Guthrie Army Health Clinic.

MillerThe opening session on Tuesday, May 14, will feature Thomas W. Miller Ph.D., ABPP, Professor Emeritus & Senior Research Scientist, University of Connecticut, Center for Health, Intervention & Prevention; Professor, University of Kentucky, College of Medicine, Department of Psychiatry. He will present “Veterans Healthcare: Twenty-first Century Issues & Directions.” His presentation will begin at 8:30 a.m. in Cleary Family Auditorium. Miller is a 1965 graduate of St. John Fisher, and the editor of a 2012 handbook on veterans’ health.

A total of 16 workshops will be offered throughout the day on Tuesday in the Wegmans School of Nursing. Workshops will focus on issues related to physical health, mental health, children and families, resiliency training, provider self-care, military culture, polytrauma care, and women veterans.

Registration for the conference is $55 for attendees, $40 for students and includes all meals, materials, and a video CD of the presentations. A certificate of attendance will also be provided.

The Conference is co-sponsored by the 10th Mountain Division and the Canandaigua VA Medical Center. For a full list of workshops and locations, or to register, visit or call Carolyn Martin, Wegmans School of Nursing, 585-385-8468.

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