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5th Annual Veterans Disability Symposium

The Invisible Wounds of War
the unseen moral, mental, and physical injuries challenging today's veteran
Disability for Veterans Symposium
Friday, November 3, 2017
Lakeshore Foundation Conference Center, Birmingham, AL
8:30 am- 3:30pm

Co-sponsored by
The Deep South Center for Occupational Health & Safety at the University of Alabama at Birmingham
The University of Alabama, School of Social Work
Friedman Law Firm, P.C.

This year’s symposium will inform the business and professional community about veterans’ “unseen” injuries including traumatic brain injury (TBI), moral injury, and psychological injury such as PTSD. We will focus on causes, treatments, and implications at home and work. We will also share initiatives for helping veterans return to work.

Speakers:Traumatic Brain Injury Panel

Stuart W. Hoffman, PhD, Scientific Program Manager, VA/ORD Rehabilitation Research and Development Service -  Dr. Hoffman is the point of contact and subject matter expert for VA/ORD on traumatic brain injury research and provides oversight for two VA TBI Research Centers. He is the co-chair of the government steering committee for the VA/DoD Chronic Effects of Neurotrauma Consortium, as well as a co-author and VA TBI lead for the National Research Action Plan for improving access to mental health services for veterans, service members, and military families. Dr. Hoffman has more than 30 years of combined translational research and program experience on neuroprotection and recovery of function after brain injury.
Randy Moore, DNP, RN, CCRN, VA Nursing Academic Partnership with UAB School of Nursing, University of Alabama at Birmingham - Having served as an officer in the U.S. Navy, Dr. Moore is now working to develop VA Nursing Academic Partnerships with VA Medical Centers across the country to help ensure that RN students graduate competent to care for veterans and their complex health needs, particularly PTSD and mild TBI.
Jarred Younger, PhD - Associate Professor, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Departments of Psychology, Anesthesiology, and Medicine; Director of the Neuroinflammation, Pain and Fatigue Laboratory - Dr. Younger investigates how low-level inflammation in the brain can cause pain, fatigue, cognitive, and mood disorders. He currently directs a laboratory of 25 scientists, who are working on new ways to detect and treat brain inflammation.
Moderator: Brett Robbins, MPA, Public Affairs Officer, Salem VA Medical Center, Veterans Health Administration, United States Department of Veterans Affairs -  Mr. Robbins, an Army veteran, is the primary spokesperson for Salem VA Medical Center in Salem, VA representing the medical center director at public and civil events with an interest in improving the perception of the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Health Administration, and Salem VA Medical Center. He also serves as Salem VA Medical Center’s congressional liaison meeting with members of Congress and Senate and their staff to provide updates on issues affecting the medical center.

Speakers: Moral Injury Panel
Marilyn A. Cornish, PhD, LP Assistant Professor, Auburn University, Department of Special Education, Rehabilitation, and Counseling.  Dr. Cornish is a licensed psychologist and assistant professor of counseling psychology. Dr. Cornish researches processes and outcomes of psychotherapy, with a particular interest in forgiveness, self-forgiveness, and culturally-sensitive care. Dr. Cornish previously served as a counselor at the Iowa Veterans Home. Her research on self-forgiveness counseling has been applied to veterans who have experienced moral injury and/or substance abuse concerns.
Joseph M. Currier, PhDAssistant Professor, University of Southern Alabama, Department of Psychology; Director of Clinical Training in the Combined Clinical & Counseling Psychology Doctoral Program - Dr. Currier researches psychological, spiritual, and physical health consequences of trauma and stressful life events including military combat. His current research focuses on the construct of moral injury in military populations, identifying culturallysensitive strategies for increasing help-seeking in military veterans and other trauma-exposed groups, and illuminating ways in which spirituality can both help and hinder recovery from PTSD and other mental health concerns (e.g., suicide risk).
Jeremy C. Fletcher, PT, DPT, OCS, CSCSAssistant Professor, University of Southern Alabama, Department of Physical Therapy-  Pat Capps Covey College of Allied Health Professions. Dr. Fletcher’s current research focuses on defining the psychosomatic aspects of moral injury and their relation to chronic pain management. He uses a mind-body approach to reduce chronic pain and improve quality of life for all service members. Dr. Fletcher brings extensive experience working directly with veterans through his active duty in the U.S. Army, which included one deployment to Afghanistan, and in the Army Reserves where he is currently a Major.
Moderator: David L. Albright, PhDThe University of Alabama School of Social Work, Hill Crest Foundation Endowed Chair in Mental Health - Dr. Albright’s research and scholarship focuses on the health promotion and education of military personnel, veterans, their families, communities, and the organizations that support them, with particular interest in the role of the social environment on mental health and mental illness. He serves on the Alabama Executive Veterans Network, as well as the Alabama Council on Opioid Misuse and Addiction. A veteran himself, Dr. Albright gathers, integrates, and educates state- and national-level support networks helping veterans
reintegrate into society.

Aid and Attendance  
William Nolan, Esq. - Nolan Elder Law and Estate Planning, LLC - Mr. Nolan advises seniors in planning to maximize eligibility for government benefits, such as Medicaid, nursing home and VA Aid and Attendance. He will provide an update about any recent changes or proposals, especially as to Aid and Attendance.



Reintegration Panel

Evan R. Seamone, LL.M, J.D., M.P.P.Clinic Attorney, Veterans Law Clinic at Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School  - Mr. Seamone has written extensively about treatment-based sentencing alternatives in military courts- martial and civilian veteran's treatment and mental health problem-solving courts. He is currently developing a standardized curriculum to assist family court judges in better understanding the unique needs of military families.  Mr. Seamone is a Major in the U.S. Army Reserve with duties as a Senior Defense Counsel. During his tours in Iraq, Germany, and at domestic installations, he has participated in sexual assault, complex death penalty, and other felony criminal cases involving PTSD as a prosecutor and defense attorney. He is a member of the Bar of the U.S. Supreme Court and the District of Columbia Court of Appeals. He is also licensed to practice in the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces and the U.S. Court of Appeals for Veterans' Claims.
Lawrence H. Ross, MG (Ret.)- Coordinator, Alabama Veterans Network (AlaVetNet) - Major General Ross retired as the Director of Manpower and Personnel, National Guard Bureau, in July 2011. He served 30 years as an infantry officer in the Georgia Army National Guard, commanding at every level from platoon leader to Brigade Commander. Major General Ross also retired in 2006 as the Director of Security and Business Continuity from BellSouth Corporation. He had 35 years of service with BellSouth in a variety of line and staff positions, primarily at the corporate level, in network, fleet management, strategic analysis, corporate planning, contracting, environmental services, safety and real estate. He was appointed by Governor Robert Bentley in 2014 as the Coordinator of the Alabama Veterans Network (AlaVetNet), a public/private organization with the mission of improving the health and well-being of all Alabama veterans and their families.
Kate Hendricks Thomas, PhD, MCHESAssistant Professor of Public Health, Charleston Southern University, Department of Health Sciences; Director of Public Health Program - Dr. Hendricks Thomas is a teacher, speaker, writer, and military behavioral health researcher whose research focuses on resilient reintegration for veterans, with specific focus on military and veteran women. Her interest in this work is informed by personal experience: she is a former Marine Corps Military Police Officer with service in Iraq. Dr. Hendricks Thomas is also a speaker and yoga teacher who travels the country teaching resilience-building and mental fitness.
Sherri Moultrie, MA, CRCHuman Resources Disability Representative, University of Alabama at Birmingham -  Ms. Moultrie coordinates the AWARE (Always Working to Advocate, Retain & Employ) Program, which provides disability-management services when an employee’s job is affected by a physical, mental, or emotional impairment. Through a unique partnership between UAB and the Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS), the AWARE Program assists current employees, their departments, and job seekers going through the application process, and employees returning from long-term disability or medical leave.
Moderator: Douglas I. Friedman, Attorney at Law – Founding Partner, Friedman Law Firm, P.C. Mr. Friedman founded Friedman Law Firm, P.C., a law firm that represents clients nationwide for Social Security and Veterans Affairs disability cases. Doug is a nationally known speaker and author who lectures on disability issues for advocacy groups and insurers, including NOSSCR, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society and the Lupus Foundation of America. He is qualified to practice before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims, and the Department of Veterans Affairs. He is a member of NOSSCR, NOVA and the Alabama and Birmingham Bar Associations. He recently stepped down as Legal Counsel Pro Bono to Three Hots and a Cot, a domiciliary for homeless veterans with substance abuse problems.

CEU's and Professional Points:
As an AL Board of Nursing Approved Provider, the Deep South Center for Occupational HealthSafety awards 7.2 contact hours (expiration date 01/03/2019). Participants who attend the symposium will earn .6 Continuing Education Units (CEUs), the national standard of recognition for nonacademic professional education. 7.2 Alabama Social Work credits are available for this program.

Registration: Must be received in advance. A confirmation letter with details on parking (limited to the upper level of the parking lot) will be sent once registration has been received.

The symposium will be held at Lakeshore Foundation, Sington Room, 4000, Ridgeway Drive, Birmingham, Alabama 35209, from held 8:30 am - 3:30 pm. A continental breakfast and lunch will be provided. Register online at or mail in the registration form below.

► $55 - General Attendance ► $20 - Students ► $20 - VA employees► Free for Veteran's (but please register)

A limited number of scholarships are available. For more information email Chris Robinson,

(You will need Adobe Acrobat Reader to access this file.)
Registration fees must be received in advance. Refund requests must be made in writing two weeks prior to course.
A 20% processing fee will be deducted.

Make checks payable to: University of Alabama at Birmingham

Mail check with registraton form to:
The University of Alabama at Birmingham
Deep South Center for OH & S
1720 2nd Avenue South, RPHB 520D
Birmingham, AL 35294-0022


For this symposium, the Deep South Center for OH&S collaborated with Brett Robbins,MPA, Public Affairs Officer at the Salem VA Medical Center, the University of Alabama, School of Social Work and Doug Friedman, JD, Partner at Friedman Law Firm. The speakers for this symposium have been invited because of their knowledge and expertise in their fields. Please join us for this informative symposium to discuss challenges and options facing Veterans with disabilities.

The Deep South Center for Occupational Health & Safety is the only National Institute of Occupational Safety & Health Education & Research Center (NIOSH ERC ) in our region and is a critical resource to business, labor and industry in preventing work-related injury and illness. Housed within the University of Alabama at Birmingham and Auburn University, we offer academic programs in Industrial Hygiene, Occupational Health Nursing and Occupational Safety and Ergonomics.

The University of Alabama School of Social Work offers a BSW, MSW and a PhD licensure in Social Work.

Friedman Law Firm, PC is a law firm that represents disabled workers for veterans
disability compensation and Social Security disability. Mr. Friedman, founding partner, is a nationally known speaker and author and lectures on disability issues for advocacy groups and insurers. The firm’s attorneys are qualified to practice before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims and Department of Veterans Affairs.

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