LTG Horoho Offered Timely Keynote Address at Veterans Conference

Pitt Nursing alumna Lieutenant General Patricia D. Horoho (MSN ’92), Surgeon General of the Army, gave the opening keynote address at the School’s conference on The Veteran’s Journey to Achieving Wellness: Successful Reintegration into Civilian Life. The conference featured more than 20 presenters discussing the challenges facing veterans and their families upon returning to civilian life. The conference covered TBI, the unique needs of female veterans, homelessness and addiction, and educational efforts to improve care of veterans. It was organized by the School of Nursing’s Continuing Education Department and three doctoral students who are recipients of scholarships from the JONAS Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare: Tammy Eaton, MSN, FNP-BC; Brittany Gannoe, BSN; and Jonna Morris, BSN. The students created the conference program as part of their work as Jonas Scholars.

In LTG Horoho’s speech, “Odyssey: A Soldier’s Road Home,” she noted how the military was changing its attitude towards health care for its people, with the focus shifting from urgent care to health readiness. The system is placing more emphasis on improving health, in both the short- and long-term. She explained that the military strategically needs to make sure that currently-serving personnel are fit and able to serve, and that young people will be capable of serving in the future. She called upon the health care professionals in the audience to broaden their perceptions and views of veterans, recognizing that today’s veterans are different from those of other wars and conflicts. She exhorted attendees to push the limits of health care to help; for example, professionals should learn how to leverage disruptive technology to help veterans and to extend the capabilities of medicine. LTG Horoho also noted that we should “Never forget that every veteran has a story…and that people in the medical field should learn that story” to make sure that they are treating the patient as a person, not just a condition or disease. She ended her presentation by encouraging everyone to work to make sure each service person can live well

LTG Horoho was joined by many presenters from a broad range of disciplines: ·        

  • Patricia Watts Kelley, PhD, RN, FAANP, CAPT (ret) USN, Professor, Duquesne University; Former Executive Director of the TriService Nursing Research Program
  • Victor H. Wong, Jr. , PhD, Clinical Psychologist, Combat Stress Intensive Outpatient Program, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • Sonya Borrero, MD, MS, Associate Professor of Medicine & Clinical & Translational Science, University of Pittsburgh Center for Health Equity Research & Promotion (CHERP)
  • Jo-Anne Suffoletto, MD, MSc, Associate Chief of Staff for Education & Innovative Learning, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • Jennifer Rusiecki, MD, Associate Professor, Preventative Medicine & Biometrics, Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
  • Karianne D. P. Bilsky, PhD, Staff Psychologist, Combat Stress Recovery Clinic, Domestic Violence Coordinator, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • Jonathan Shay, PhD, Clinical Psychiatrist, Author, 2007 MacArthur Foundation Fellow
  • Ronald K. Poropatich, MD, Executive Director of the Center for Military Medicine Research, University of Pittsburgh
  • David Okonkwo, MD, PhD, Professor of Neurological Surgery, University of Pittsburgh, Clinical Director Brain Trauma Research Center – UPMC 
  • Adam Bramoweth, PhD, Research Health Science Specialist, MIRECC VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • Sanae Inagami, MD, MPH, Primary Care – Internal Medicine VA, Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • Edward Garay, MD, PhD,  Anesthesia, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • Thomas L. Plaitano, JD, Westmoreland Injury Lawyers LLC
  • Amy Boyles, MSW, LCSW, OEF/OIF/OND Program Manager, Department of Veterans Affairs, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • Lauren Matukaitis Broyles, PhD, RN, Center for Equity Research and Promotion, VA Pittsburgh Healthcare System
  • JulieHera DeStefano, Producer/Director, Journey to Normal, Women of War Come Home
  • Ivonne M. Daly, MD, FACS, COL, USAR