Rear Admiral (RADM) Boris D. Lushniak, M.D., M.P.H., is the Acting United States Surgeon General. RADM Lushniak articulates the best available scientific information to the public regarding ways to improve personal health and the health of the nation. He also oversees the operations of the U.S. Public Health Service (USPHS) Commissioned Corps, comprising of approximately 6,800 uniformed health officers who serve in locations around the world to promote, protect, and advance the health and safety of our nation.
RADM Lushniak served as Deputy Surgeon General from November 2010, until July 17, 2013, when he assumed the duties of Acting Surgeon General.
RADM Lushniak was introduced to the USPHS in 1983 as a senior medical student when he completed an elective with the Indian Health Service in Winslow, Arizona. He began his USPHS career in 1988 as a Lieutenant, entering the service as part of the Epidemic Intelligence Service (EIS) at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and initially was stationed with the CDC’s National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) in Cincinnati, Ohio where he conducted epidemiological investigations of workplace hazards. In 1990, he was accepted for the CDC’s long-term training program and completed a three-year residency in dermatology at the University of Cincinnati after which he established an occupational skin disease program at NIOSH. During his time at the CDC, he also served on special assignments and disaster response activities in Bangladesh, St. Croix, Russia, and Kosovo, was part of the CDC/NIOSH team at Ground Zero (World Trade Center) and the CDC team investigating the anthrax attacks in Washington, DC. In 2004, he transitioned from the CDC to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) as the Chief Medical Officer of the Office of Counterterrorism, and in 2005 was appointed FDA Assistant Commissioner, Counterterrorism Policy and Director of the Office of Counterterrorism and Emerging Threats within the Office of the Commissioner. While at the FDA, he was deployed after Hurricane Katrina to serve as the Department of Health and Human Services representative in San Antonio and served as the FDA Deputy Incident Commander for the 2009 pandemic response. He was promoted to Rear Admiral, Lower Half in 2006 and attained the rank of Rear Admiral, Upper Half in 2010.
RADM Lushniak was born in Chicago to post-World War II immigrants from Ukraine. He was admitted to the six-year Honors Program in Medical Education at Northwestern University and completed his Bachelor of Science degree in Medical Sciences in 1981 and obtained his medical degree (M.D.) in 1983. In 1984, he completed the Masters of Public Health (M.P.H.) degree at Harvard University. He completed a residency in family medicine in 1987 at St Joseph Hospital in Chicago and a residency in dermatology at the University of Cincinnati in 1993. RADM Lushniak maintains board certifications in dermatology and preventive medicine (occupational). He served as a staff physician in dermatology at the National Naval Medical Center in Bethesda and is adjunct professor of dermatology at the Uniformed Service University of the Health Sciences.
RADM Lushniak served as the co-executive director of the USPHS Music Ensemble from 2007-2011 and is a member of many professional organizations including the American Medical Association (AMA), the American Academy of Dermatology, the American College of Preventive Medicine, the American Public Health Association, the American Dermatological Association, the American Contact Dermatitis Society, the Association of Military Surgeons of the United States (AMSUS), and the Ukrainian Medical Association of North America. He has received numerous USPHS awards including the Distinguished Service Medal, Surgeon General’s Medallion, the Exemplary Service Medal, two Outstanding Service Medals, a Commendation Medal, and two Achievement Awards. In addition, he has received the AMA Dr. William Beaumont Award in Medicine and the AMSUS Sustaining Member Lecture Award as well as DHHS Secretary and FDA Commissioner awards.
A firm believer in leadership by example, RADM Lushniak also promotes the core messages of the National Prevention Strategy via his active lifestyle. He is an avid long-distance bicyclist, runner, hiker, and kayaker. In 2012, he scaled the summit of the most heavily glaciated peak in the United States, Washington’s 14-thousand foot Mount Rainier. He also leads community Surgeon General’s Walks throughout the United States. He resides in Rockville, Maryland with his wife Dr. Patricia Cusumano and two daughters Larissa and Stephanie.
For the past 30 years, Dr. Elliott-Bynum has dedicated her life to helping the under-served; setting a standard for service, responsibility, and unconditional support for those in our communities who are most in need. In 1995, she and her late sister Pat Amaechi founded “Healing with CAARE, Inc.;” a non-profit organization that provides a wide variety of medical and social services, all catered to treating factors that contribute to long-term health and wellness deficiencies. Today, CAARE stands as the city of Durham’s first FREE comprehensive health care clinic for the region’s uninsured. Dr. Elliott-Bynum has worked to foster a culture of service by developing opportunities to create community supportive safety nets of care inclusive of a holistic approach to wellness; physical, social, psychological and spiritual. This endeavor has led to an expansion of services which include: the Jeanne Hopkins Lucas Education and Wellness Center (which provides nutrition classes and healthy recipes, case management services); Free pap smears and referrals for free mammograms; A Substance Abuse outpatient treatment program; GED and a Job-Link program; and Its latest program which seeks to address the housing and career needs of the area’s veterans community. In response to statistics showing that a growing number of NC’s homeless population consists of veterans, CAARE has carved out a 5,000 square foot unit in the ground-floor of its 23,000 square foot facility for 15-housing dormitories for displaced male veterans, in addition to a separate transitional housing facility for women veterans which will open in late-2014.
T.J. is the Founder & Executive Director of eMerging Entrepreneurs, Inc.; a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, that provides Career Transition Assistance, Small Business Training, and Entrepreneurial Developmental services to veterans, military spouses, and under-served minority communities. The organization employs a grassroots approach to assisting those who seek to advance their small business interests; partnering with state & federal agencies, universities, local chambers of commerce, and military installations in an effort to extend high-tech training & resource solutions to under-served communities. T.J. created the Champions Conference as a platform for leaders and creative thinkers to explore ways of collaborating with one another. This initiative comes in response to growing, regional and national efforts to spearhead job growth and economic stimulation, amidst what many consider to be one of the harshest periods of joblessness and socio-economic decline of this generation, particularly amongst our veterans, reservists, and military retirees. T.J. is a 2012 recipient of the White House’s “Champions of Change” award, as well as the US Small Business Administration’s 2013 “Veterans Entrepreneurship Advocate of the Year“ award for his efforts in advancing small business growth within the military community. He also serves on the City of Durham, NC’s “Small Business Advisory Committee” at the invitation of the Office of Employment & Workforce Development, is a former-member of the Board of Directors for the Greater Durham Black Chamber of Commerce, and was recently invited to serve on the NC Advisory Committee for the US Global Leadership Coalition; a broad-based network of 400 businesses and NGOs; national security and foreign policy experts; and business, faith-based, academic and community leaders in all 50 states who support a smart power approach of elevating diplomacy and development alongside defense in order to build a better, safer world. Lastly, T.J. is also the Program Director of the Urban Leadership Lab, a social-incubator that provides urban youth with access to mentorship and career development training.
Dr. Albright is a clinical psychologist and former Chair of the Dept. of Psychology at Baruch College, City University of New York. He is currently Director of Baruch College’s “Veterans and Active Duty Service Member Initiative,” where all New York City veterans, active-duty service-members, and family members from both groups will have free access to employment training, entrepreneurship consulting, mental health services, and workshops addressing financial management and legal problems. This initiative will also involve Baruch’s School of Public Affairs where qualified veteran students who wish to continue their service in government or the non-profit sectors can achieve a Bachelor’s Degree. Dr. Albright also directs a team of researchers in evaluating the impact of Kognito Interactive’s training simulation on changes in knowledge, skills, self-efficiency, and behavior in the fields of health & behavioral health. This research has led to publications that have evaluated innovative virtual “role-play” training simulation technology that resulted in several applications that support veterans, including: a PTSD and resiliency training for veteran families; military cultural competency training for university/college faculty, staff, and administrators; and peer-to-peer veterans training to enable veterans to better support each other in the transition process.
Ginger Miller is a native New Yorker and former homeless service disabled veteran. After taking care of her husband, a disabled veteran, who has suffered from Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder for over a decade and experiencing homelessness with her family, Ginger decided to form John 14:2, Inc.; a nonprofit organization whose core mission is to assist military veterans and their families experiencing homelessness, substance abuse, and mental illness to reintegrate back into the community, retain permanent housing, maintain sobriety and regain their pride, dignity, and most of all, hope. Since the inception of John 14:2, Inc in 2009, the organization has helped over 300 veterans. In the summer of 2011 Ginger started Women Veterans Interactive, a division of John 14:2, Inc that is dedicated to serving and supporting women veterans, while meeting them at their points of need. Since the inception of Women Veterans Interactive, the organization has supported over 500 women veterans through outreach and support services. In March of 2013 Ginger was honored with the White House Champion of Change Award for “Women Veterans,” and in 2014, Women Veterans Interactive was honored by the Clinton Global Initiative for its commitment to recruit military and veteran women who are seeking employment for a free, three-tier interactive workforce development program. The organization intends to reach 3,000 women and ultimately assist 1,000 military and veteran women in become gainfully employed; through a combination of dedicated resource and network partners. A deliberate and concentrated recruitment effort will be placed on, near and around military installations. inger served in the U.S. Navy from 1989 to 1992, received a Bachelor Degree in Accounting from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and a Masters in Nonprofit Management May 2013 from the University of Maryland University College.
Robert is a disabled combat veteran of Vietnam & Laos. His business career included management positions at IBM, AT&T, Lotus, & iEmagine, where he spoke internationally on new technologies. Like most veterans, the effects of his combat career eventually caught up with him, and he was forced to undergo extensive treatment for untreated PTSD & TBI. After treatment, Robert decided his efforts would be best spent helping our newest veterans to (as he put it) “avoid going down the same path as many of our nation’s Vietnam Vets have.” In response to his, he launched Dryhootch.org, a community-based Veteran Peer-to-Peer program that offers an array of resource services to transitioning service-members; ranging from individual and group mentorship, to “Warrior Summits,” and Veteran Legal Services. The program has expanded to multiple states with a community of over 1800 supporters, and earned him the White House Champion of Change Award for his innovative work in “helping our veterans & their families who have survived the was, to survive the peace.
Frantz Fortune has worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to generate a synergy between both the civilian and social service sectors in order to eradicate homelessness among our veterans. In 2008, he founded and currently serves as the Executive Director of Veterans Empowerment Organization (VEO), a “Housing-First” and wrap-around supportive service provider for homeless veterans. Mr. Fortune’s career includes various positions in Mental Health, Low-income Housing Management, and Substance Abuse/Behavioral Counseling. He began working professionally with the homeless population as a Resident Assistant, Employment Coordinator, Life Skills Instructor, Case Manager, Program Manager, and eventually as a Program Director prior to founding VEO in 2008. Mr. Fortune humbly displays a genuine sense of pride in making a vast difference in the lives of veterans. His hard work and extraordinary efforts have been recognized by numerous leaders on the local and state levels and he is incredibly grateful for the community’s collective support as he continues to build a national model to help end veteran homelessness in America. Mr. Fortune was recently acknowledged as a White House “Champion of Change” for Veteran Entrepreneurship.
Shannon Carroll, Chief, Human Resource Services at the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Veterans Employment Services Office (VESO) since 2011, is responsible for the design and execution of a Veteran-centric human resources management program to increase employment of veterans and uniformed service members within the Department and throughout the federal government. She leads a team of HR practitioners with oversight in recruitment and staffing; federal policy advisory services; agency policy development; learning and development; career services; Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act compliance and case management; and deployment life-cycle support services to VA’s over 300,000 employees. She also manages the Feds for Vets program and solution strategies to increase veteran employment for 18 federal agencies and one nonprofit organization. Prior to this appointment, Ms. Carroll led the Operations Division of the Corporate Senior Executive Management Office with primary responsibility for recruitment, staffing, and classification services for VA’s executive and senior professionals in the Title 5 and Title 38 occupations of U.S. Code. During Ms. Carroll’s 11-year tenure at the VA, she has held positions as Chief, Operations Division for the Office of Human Resources, Veteran Benefits Administration and Deputy Director of Human Resources for the VA Medical Center in Washington, DC. With over 25 years as a public servant, Ms. Carroll has distinguished herself as a leader on federal human resources and management policy. Ms. Carroll earned a Bachelor of Science degree from the University of Maryland, University College in Business Management (Human Resources) and graduated summa cum laude from Strayer University with a Master of Business Administration. She is a registered Mediator and is currently working toward SHRM certification as a Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR).
With a Bachelor’s in Computer Science and over a decade of grass-roots activism, Maria Silverhardt aspires to combine these two passions to enhance opportunities for positive social impact. Her interest in marrying innovate technology with positive social change has led her to the field of data science, where in 2016 she will graduate from NC State with a Master’s in Analytics. Driven by her personal research, Maria promotes data to be used in a responsible manner for the benefit of social good. As the Business Intelligence Analyst for New Century Planning, her proficiencies and skills contribute to consulting actionable insights from analyses. Her business strategic and financial acumen plays a key role in structuring and leveraging data to improve acquisition and engagement efforts as well as decision making and planning. As an educational advocate, Maria tutors math, language, and science subjects in her free time.
The Duke Interdisciplinary Social Innovators (or DISI) is a Duke University graduate student organization that builds interdisciplinary problem-solving teams to help existing social organizations better achieve their missions, by providing pro-bono technology and consulting services. The mission of DISI is to create a dynamic interdisciplinary graduate and professional student group at Duke that contributes its talents at the intersection of business principles, technological innovation, and effective policy to serve social organizations. The organization provides a variety of services for our partners, including but not limited to: (1.) Impact Evaluation: Comprehensively assessing and measuring changes in social, environmental, and financial outcomes as a result of programs and policies administered by the Partner; (2.) Integrating new tools and technology: Develop new tools or use current technology to help social organizations more effectively and efficiently provide services and goods to the community; (3.) Social change strategy: Help partners identify new visions that seek to achieve social change. DISI will help partners draw strategic plans and establish programs that help achieve these visions; (4.) Development and Finance: Help organizations identify areas of financial concern and implement fundraising and grant writing strategies; and (5.) Capacity building: Enable partner organizations to have greater capacity to deliver on their missions, with lasting impact.
Catherine Woyee-Jones is a native of Monrovia, Liberia West Africa, who currently lives in Apex, North Carolina with her husband (Courtney) and their 3 amazing children. Catherine has 17 years’ experience in mental health advocacy, community development, nonprofit fundraising, cause branding, community relations, strategic philanthropy, women’s activism, organizational psychology and corporate social responsibility. Due to Catherine’s husbands’ obligation as a Major in the United States Army, Catherine decided to join the ranks of her fellow military spouses to apply her professional background as a Director for Blue Star Families, where she is responsible for developing and supporting the company’s community engagement, philanthropy and sustainability initiatives while working to encourage “innovation for good towards military families.” Catherine has received honors from: her Alma Mater North Carolina Central University, the 40 Under 40, former Governor Beverly Purdue of North Carolina, Senator Kay Hagan of North Carolina, First Lady Michelle Obama, and appeared on Oprah’s “Favorite Things” in 2012 or her commitment to serving her military community. Catherine started her career with the state of North Carolina as the Project Manager of a program that provides local community resources such as GED, health, and housing, financial education and job placement to low income public housing residents in Durham, North Carolina. She then went on to serve as the Program Director/ Policy Analyst for the Georgia Department of Labor Jobs for Graduates Prisoners transition program in Savannah, Georgia. She served as the keynote speaker of the 29th Annual Clinical Conference of the American Diabetes Association. When Catherine isn’t changing the lives of those in her community, she is the publisher of Africa Is Beautiful Magazine; “MAB;” a bimonthly publication dedicated to the advancement and empowerment of African women. Catherine, is also a contributor to ABC 11, WNCN, The Huffington Post, Lifetime Moms, Better Homes and Garden, Military Spouse Magazine, the OWN Network, and OWN Magazine. She has also shared her own personal story as a civil war survivor and military spouse this summer in the Lifetime Movie Network Series “Faces behind the War.”
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) serves veterans and service members who incurred a physical or mental injury, illness, or wound, co-incident to their military service on or after September 11, 2001 and their families. On that date, America watched in horror as approximately 3,000 people died including hundreds of firefighters and rescue workers. Many warriors note a sense of duty to volunteer for the military following these tragic events. Sept. 11 also served as a stimulus for Operations Iraqi Freedom, Enduring Freedom, and New Dawn. Operation Iraqi Freedom refers to military operations in Iraq that began March 19, 2003 and officially ended August 31, 2010. Operation Enduring Freedom refers to combat operations in Afghanistan and other regions in support of the Global War on Terror. Operation New Dawn refers to the conclusion of operations in Iraq beginning September 1, 2010 and ending December 15, 2011. For WWP, there is a distinct difference between members and alumni; the term alumni indicates a mutual shared experience and denotes your place in an organization was earned. There are no dues here – those were paid by wearing the uniform and on the battlefield.
For over 30+ years, since becoming a member of her Majesties Armed Forces, Rick has always supported and engaged Veterans less fortunate than he. From St. Dunstan’s in the UK to full circle with Vets 360 and many hands on interactions throughout the years. Vets 360 was formed as a result of the tragic death of two friends to suicide in early 2011. Both were young, under 26 years of age, both were combat Marines and both had been civilians less than one year. These actions led to a period of study and research and in very little time the realization that our young, high school educated, short term military service, combat veterans are our most under-served, at risk and vulnerable when entering civilian life. Many for the first time as adults. This simple fact pushed Rick to dedicate his life to a process of prevention through education. Preventing, despondency, isolation, self-medication, frustration and suicidal ideation by a simple process of engagement, education, employment and healing.
“We know how formidable these young men and women are, when trained and educated, yet we send them forward into civilian life, and all that entails, with very little preparation or training.”
Rick and a powerful team of advisors, friends and strangers who understand the challenges is moving Vets 360 forward toward a program of Engagement in partnership with National CORE, Education in partnership with many schools across the country, Employment, in partnership with Launch Consulting and other veteran-centric staffing teams and Healing through anyone and everyone who is committed to help this demographic of veterans deal with the inevitable impact of combat trauma, without sole reliance on pharmacological support.
Paul A. Dillon is the president and CEO of Dillon Consulting Services LLC, a U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs certified Service Disabled Veteran-Owned Small Business, based in Durham, NC and Chicago, IL. He created and co-taught the highly successful course “Law and Veterans’ Issues: Policy Challenges and Best Practices” at the Harris School of Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Paul’s client engagements include a research assignment for Crain’s Chicago Business, for the highly acclaimed “Veterans in the Workplace” Focus section that was published in November, 2011. Paul is also the creator of the concept for a successful and widely adapted veteran’s startup incubator in Chicago, called The Bunker. He has been quoted in numerous publications about veterans issues, such as the National Federation of Independent Businesses newsletter (NFIB.com), eLearners.com, and USAA Magazine, and has been the subject of profiles, such as “A Veteran Fights Back”. Paul holds an A.B. Degree from John Carroll University, an M.S. Degree from Northern Illinois University, and has done advanced graduate study in Systems Management at the University of Southern California, Ft. Rucker, AL branch. He is a former trustee of the Chicago School of Professional Psychology, and a former Public Member and Commissioner of the national Commission for Case Manager Certification. Read Paul’s recent Op-Ed in Forbes Magazine, entitled: “Memo to Employers: Veterans Aren’t PTSD Basketcases, They’re Disciplined and Committed!” Mr. Dillon is a U.S. Army Reserve veteran, he served in Vietnam as a 1st Lieutenant, and was awarded 2 Bronze Star Medals.
Stop Soldier Suicide is the the first national civilian not-for-profit organization dedicated to preventing active duty and Veteran suicide. Every day 22+ Veterans and 1 Active Duty Soldier take their own lives. Burdened with the stigma associated with mental health issues and the military “shame” surrounding PTS (Post Traumatic Stress), they instead turn to suicide as their only option to relieve suffering. The organization consists of Veterans who understand the military mindset and training. That understanding, coupled with raising awareness of the issues and implementing a triage approach to help, is how Stop Soldier Suicide does the work of bringing fellow Veterans and Soldiers back from the edge during their greatest hour of need. A Veteran of both Air Force and Army, Shawn deployed four times in his Army role to Iraq and Afghanistan. Shawn received his Bachelors of Science in Psychology with a minor in military studies from Troy University and his Master of Social Work with a concentration in Mental Health and a sub-concentration in Military Social Work and Veteran Services from University of Southern California. He will lead the creation of the organization’s Contact Center and the strategic formation of its case management system for our Assessment, Triage and Followup model of care.
Anita Luthra is a Director of the Triad Developers Guild of North Carolina, and is an industry advisory board member at the University of North Carolina, Greensboro (UNCG). She holds an M.S. degree in Information Technology and Management from University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a B.A. degree in Communications. Anita has been involved in Information Technology for over 12 years across multiple industries; beginning her career as an Associate Professor and later as a Director of Training. This evolved into consulting and development of desktop and enterprise web applications. She has experience in systems architecture, n-tier web & database architecture, design and development across varied technologies; and has functioned in roles such as Information Architect & Systems Architect, Technical Lead, Technical Project Manager, developer/systems analyst for companies such as IBM, Wells Fargo, GMAC Insurance and Lucent. She speaks at various technology events, and aside for her passion for learning new things, she enjoys traveling, hiking, and photography.
In addition to being the Executive Director of the Congressional Black Caucus Veterans Braintrust (CBCVB), Mr. Armstead is a past consultant for former Secretary Jesse Brown’s Veterans Administration’s Advisory Committee on Minority Veterans. He has served as Executive Director of the CBCVB since its inception in 1988, first under Rep. Charles B. Rangel (NY-13); a decorated Korean War combat veteran and Dean of the New York Congressional Delegation; and currently under the his and Representative Sanford Bishop Jr.’s leadership(GA-02); ranking member of Subcommittee on Military Construction, Veterans Affairs and Related Agencies of the Appropriations Committee. Under his oversight, the Veterans Braintrust has expanded from its small core group to become the premiere forum for policy debate between veterans and representatives of government in the country. As well as being a Navy veteran, Mr. Armstead holds a Masters Degree in City Planning from Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), a license in social work (LSW) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, and is currently on an extended leave of absence from Howard University’s School of Social Work Doctoral Program. Mr. Armstead began his activist career at Boston State College in September 1975, as a campus organizer and later President of Student Government Association. During his time at BSC, he and several classmates incorporated the Veterans Benefits Clearinghouse, Inc. as an outgrowth of the Veterans Club on campus. His extensive background includes, but is not limited to issues of homelessness, mental health, social work, youth violence, affordable housing and community development.
Stephanie Weaver recently retired from the military with over 22 years of service in the New Hampshire National Guard, Active Army, and the California National Guard. She has been involved in substance use disorder reduction since 1999 and, in 2009, she accepted a position with the National Guard Bureau to assist all National Guard Soldiers and Airmen combat and prevent substance use disorder issues and in September of 2010 was selected as the National Guard Counterdrug Liaison to SAMHSA and continued on that capacity until her retirement in July 2014. She is currently a Public Health Analyst focused on Military Affairs at SAMHSA. Stephanie Weaver earned a Bachelor of Science in Business Management and is currently enrolled at the University of Baltimore for a Master in Public Administration degree.
ChampsCon™ is an independent conference, and a component of eMerging Entrepreneurs' “Economic Advancement project.” ISBN-13: 978-1441434227 | ISBN-10: 1441434224. © 2014. This program in no way suggests partnerships with any other federal program or initiative. Parallax Images courtesy of eMerging Entrepreneurs, Inc. Additional images courtesy of Getty Images and other internet sources. All Rights Reserved. Website Powered by the IbL Media Group.