2016 Archives

SMU conference brings together clergy, physicians and attorneys on needs of American military vets

April 18, 2016

DALLAS (SMU) – Professionals in law, medicine and the clergy will gather to discuss how they can better serve the nation’s military veterans during the 30th annual Conference of the Professions from 9 a.m. to Noon Friday, April 22, at SMU’s Meadows Museum. 

Retired U.S. Army Col. Elspeth Ritchie, a forensic psychiatrist with special expertise in military and veterans' issues, will keynote the conference and focus her remarks on addressing veterans’ injuries resulting from trauma, or psychological or moral conflict.  An internationally recognized expert recently featured on the Peabody Award-winning podcast, Serial, Ritchie brings a unique public health approach to the management of disaster and combat mental health issues.

The keynote address will be followed by an interactive panel engaging all three professions. Retired WFAA-TV reporter and Army veteran Byron Harris will moderate the discussion, which will include Brian Farlow, partner at Gruber Elrod Johansen Hail Shank LLP; Lia A. Thomas, medical director of mental health trauma services at USVA North Texas Health Care System; and Rev. Canon Robert L. Young, assistant priest at St. Laurence Anglican Church.

“Attendees will recognize the psychosocial barriers faced by returning war veterans in integrating back into American society, and will be able to interpret what defines a ‘moral injury,” said physician John Sadler, director of the Program in Ethics in Science & Medicine and chief of the Division of Ethics in the Department of Psychiatry at U.T. Southwestern Medical Center, and member of the faculty advisory board for SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics and Public Responsibility. “Conference participants also will be able to articulate the primary services and responses that are offered to veterans by the professionals in law, medicine, and theology.”

“Coming Home: The Professions Supporting Veterans” is sponsored by SMU’s Maguire Center for Ethics & Public Responsibility, SMU Dedman School of Law, SMU Perkins School of Theology, UT Southwestern Medical Center, the Dallas Bar Association and the Dallas County Medical Society.

This event, which includes breakfast, is open to the public. Tickets can be purchased online. Attendance is free for SMU and UTSW students, though seating is limited, so RSVP’s are requested online.

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