In partnership with the City Colleges of Chicago, the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, the Gary Sinise Foundation, the University of Chicago’s Office for Military-Affiliated Communities, the Office of Civic Engagement, the UChicago Trauma Center, and the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice present a symposium for 'The Chicago Caregivers Course'
Event Presenters and Presentaions:
Dr. Selwyn Rogers - Gun Violence as a Public Health Crisis: Matter of Life and Death
Theresa Coomer - What is a Caregiver?
Katherine Miller - VA Caregiver Supports
Charles Small - Mental Health and Wellness in the Caregiver Community
Dr. Aaron Chatman - Vicarious Trauma in Helping Professions
Dr. Franklin Cosey-Gay - UChicago Medicine Violence Recovery Program
Colonel Gregory D. Gadson, a Chesapeake, Va., native; served our nation in the United States Army for more than 26 years.
Col. Gadson’s service culminated as the Garrison Commander of Fort Belvoir, where he oversaw the daily operations of the post, a strategic sustaining base where more than 50,000 military personnel and employees provide logistical, intelligence, medical and administrative support, and command and control for a mix of more than 140 commands and agencies for the Department of Defense.
A 25-year career Army officer, Col. Gadson’s life is a portrait of courage in the face of great adversity. In May 2007, as commander of the 2nd Battalion, 32nd Field Artillery, Col. Gadson’s greatest challenge came in Iraq, where an Improvised Explosive Device (IED) attack cost him both legs above the knees and normal use of his right arm and hand. Despite this, Gadson remained on active duty in the Army and continued to inspire many with his message of courage, perseverance, determination and teamwork. Refusing to be defined by the proverbial “hail of bullets,” he has since drawn upon the lessons of Pride, Poise and Team, learned as a West Point linebacker, and applied them to his life, career and family.
Commissioned as a 2nd lieutenant of Field Artillery in 1989 from the United States Military Academy at West Point, Greg served in every major conflict of the past two decades, including Operations Desert Shield/Storm in Kuwait; Operation Joint Forge in Bosnia-Herzegovina; Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan and Operation Iraqi Freedom. Greg served in various assignments throughout the world. He dedicated himself to leading the Soldiers, civilian employees and family members in living the Army Values of Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity and Personal Courage. Greg is a passionate advocate for wounded warriors, veterans and those with disabilities; sharing his experience and perspectives on several board of directors and advisory committees.
In 2007, Tom Coughlin, New York Giants head coach, asked Gadson to meet with the then-struggling team. Gadson talked to the players about service, teamwork, duty, perseverance and adversity. His message resonated and the New York Giants defeated the 18-0 New England Patriots in Super Bowl XLII. Greg made his silver screen debut in 2012 as a lead actor in the blockbuster movie Battleship; where he portrayed a war-injured veteran that helped save the world from an alien invasion. In 2015, he completed season one of The Inspectors, an educational television series on CBS.
Greg continues a very energetic and dynamic lifestyle where he continues to serve his nation as an entrepreneur and managing partner of Patriot Strategies, LLC, a government services company. He is also an accomplished photographer/artist and remains active in cycling, skiing, skydiving and scuba.
Greg’s military awards include the Distinguished Service Medal; Legion of Merit (2); Bronze Stars (3); Purple Heart; the Meritorious Service Medal (3) and the Army Commendation Medal (3). He is a graduate of Command and General Staff College at Fort Leavenworth, Kansas; and holds masters degrees in Information Systems from Webster University; and Policy Management from Georgetown University. He holds an honorary Doctorate of Laws from Webster University.
Nick, born and raised in Massachusetts, is an active-duty member of The United States Army Special Forces. Commonly known as the Green Berets, the Special Forces perform critical missions including direct action, counterinsurgency, foreign internal defense, special reconnaissance, and unconventional warfare.
In 2013, while deployed to Afghanistan, he and his Detachment fell victim to an insider attack ultimately resulting in the loss of his leg. Following a year of surgeries and initial recovery including the use of a prosthetic at Walter Reed National Medical Military Center, he returned to his unit. Refusing a military medical retirement, Nick set his sights on returning to operational status.
In 2015, at the conclusion of a challenging, comprehensive assessment designed to evaluate Nick's abilities to operate, he returned to his Detachment and was subsequently deployed once again to Afghanistan conducting full spectrum combat operations. Nick is considered the first Special Forces operator to return to combat as an above-the-knee amputee.
Nick is currently serving as a Special Forces Warrant Officer and is widely recognized as an experienced subject matter expert in special operations, intelligence fusion, mission planning and complex problem solving across all operational continuums. He is also the first amputee in military history to complete the Special Forces Warrant Officer Technical and Tactical Certification course, the Special Operations Combatives Program Instructor course, and the Special Forces Combat Diver Qualification course.
Nick's awards include the Silver Star, three Purple Hearts, two Bronze Stars, Bronze Star with “V” for valor, Defense Meritorious Service Medal, two Meritorious Service Medals, Joint Service Commendation Medal, Joint Service Achievement Medal, two Army Commendation Medals, Army Achievement Medal, the OSS Society Peter Ortiz Award, the Bruce Price Leadership Award, and the Special Operations Command Excalibur Award.
Nick is a warrior, leader, speaker, author and most importantly a husband and father of two young boys.
Joel Hamernick joined the University of Chicago in May 2022. As Interim Vice President for Civic Engagement and External Affairs, he is responsible for overseeing the Office of Civic Engagement (OCE), the Office of Federal Relations, the Office of Business Diversity, and Commercial Real Estate Operations. In this role, Hamernick builds civic engagement partnerships with academic and administrative units, works closely with South Side and civic partners, and identifies ways for the University to advance its civic and community engagement impact.
Prior to joining the University, Joel served as executive director at Sunshine Gospel Ministries in Woodlawn for more than 20 years, developing programming to advance youth outreach and enrichment, promote service learning, and reduce violence. In that role, he also founded Sunshine Enterprises, which has supported more than 1,000 neighborhood entrepreneurs on Chicago’s South and West sides since its inception in 2012.
Hamernick’s undergraduate studies were in Bible and Theology at Moody Bible Institute and graduate work was in Organizational Leadership at Cairn University.
After an extensive national search, Selwyn Rogers, Jr., MD, MPH, FACS, was named the section chief of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery at the University of Chicago Medicine in January 2017. He now serves as the Dr. James E. Bowman, Jr. Professor in the Biological Sciences at The University of Chicago Medicine. Dr. Rogers is an acclaimed trauma and critical care surgeon and public health expert who has served in leadership capacities at health centers across the country, including most recently as vice president and chief medical officer for the University of Texas Medical Branch at Galveston. Dr. Rogers has also served as the chair of surgery at Temple University School of Medicine and as the division chief of Trauma, Burn and Surgical Critical Care at Harvard Medical School. While at Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH), he helped launch the Center for Surgery and Public Health to understand the nature, quality, and utilization of surgical care nationally and internationally.
Dr. Rogers is a prolific researcher, and his work seeks to improve quality and access to care for all patients. Among other topics, his published research has looked at the impact of race and ethnicity on surgical outcomes. He is committed to improving the understanding of disparities in surgical care to close the quality chasm for underserved populations and provide the most patient-centered care possible.
Beyond trauma and surgical critical care, Dr. Rogers has been an advocate for treating intentional violence as a public health problem. In partnership with the Center for Community Health and Health Equity at BWH, he developed a violence intervention and prevention program that worked to address the social factors that put patients at increased risk for trauma and mortality such as poverty, hopelessness, and lack of opportunity. The program partners with organizations in Boston to educate youth about community violence and connects victims with the resources they need to heal. Here at The University of Chicago Medicine, he helped to launch the Violence Recovery Program in conjunction with the Urban Health Initiative.
Dr. Rogers earned his undergraduate degree at Harvard College magna cum laude and his medical degree from Harvard Medical School. He completed both his surgery residency and an NIH research fellowship in surgical oncology at BWH in Boston. He completed a surgical critical care fellowship at Massachusetts General Hospital and BWH. Additionally, Dr. Rogers has a master's degree in public health from Vanderbilt University.
A native of Baltimore, Dr. Wilson is an Emory University graduate who attended medical school at Howard University. He has worked for more than a decade as a trauma and acute care surgeon for both adult and pediatric patients, including most recently at Hurley Hospital in Flint, Michigan, as the director of Pediatric Trauma. He treats all related conditions, including giant ventral hernias, a condition that can occur after abdominal trauma and requires an extremely complex surgical approach. Dr. Wilson has a long history as a military surgeon and is currently a Colonel in the U.S. Army Reserves, where he has multiple deployments to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Dr. Wilson is an active researcher, and has been widely published on topics including military trauma and trauma surgical outcomes. He is interested in the association between race and socioeconomic status on trauma-related health outcomes. He currently serves as Director at the University of Chicago's trauma center.
LTC Timothy Plackett is a trauma surgeon assigned to the University of Chicago as part of the Army Military-Civilian Trauma Team Training Program and the Deputy Consult to The Surgeon General for Trauma. He hails from Lisle, Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois with a Bachelor of Science in Biology. He received his commissioning through the Health Professional Scholarship Program while attending Midwestern University, where we graduated with a Doctor of Osteopathic Medicine. He then completed a general surgery internship and residency at Tripler Army Medical Center, serving as the administrative chief resident. He also completed fellowships in Trauma and Surgical Critical Care at Loyola University Medical Center and earned a Master’s in Public Health and certificate in Disaster Management from Benedictine University.
Major (MAJ) Nathaniel DeCarli is a critical care nurse assigned to the University of Chicago Medical Center as part of the AMCT3 program. He is a member of the 759th (ABN) Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment, Fort Bragg, NC.
MAJ DeCarli received his commission as an Army Nurse Corps Officer through the Reserve Officer Training Corps at the University of South Alabama with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing.
MAJ DeCarli’s military education includes AMEDD Basic Officer Leaders Course, Critical Care and Emergency Nursing Course, Captain’s Career Course, Joint Forces Combat Trauma Management Course, Army Trauma Training Course, Clinical Nurse Officer in Charge Course, and Command and General Staff College.
MAJ DeCarli’s past military assignments include Tripler Army Medical Center medical/surgical and emergency department nursing. Assigned to William Beaumont Army Medical Center Intensive Care Unit, MAJ DeCarli was deployed with the 31st Combat Support Hospital. On return from deployment, MAJ DeCarli assumed Command of the 247th Medical Augmentation Detachment. MAJ DeCarli’s previous assignment was the Landstuhl Regional Medical Center (Germany) Intensive Care Unit prior to his assignment at UCMC.
MAJ DeCarli’s awards and decorations include the Meritorious Service Medal (1BLC), Army Commendation Medal (2BLC), Army Achievement Medal (1BLC), Armed Forces Service Medal, Overseas Ribbon, Army Service Ribbon, National Defense Service Medal, and the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal.
Captain (CPT) Alexandra “Alex” Barikian is an Emergency Room Nurse assigned to the University of Chicago Medical Center as part of the AMCT3 program. She is a member of the 759th (ABN) Forward Resuscitative Surgical Detachment, Fort Bragg, NC.
CPT Barikian graduated from Seton Hall University with a Bachelor of Science in Nursing in 2014 and was commissioned as a Second Lieutenant in the Army Nurse Corps. After attending Officer Basic Course in 2015, her first duty assignment was Dwight D. Eisenhower Army Medical Center (DDEAMC) in Fort Gordon, GA, where she worked as a Medical Surgical Nurse on the Telemetry Medical/Surgical floor and the Progressive Care Unit and the Emergency Department. In May 2020, she deployed to Iraq as a Medevac Enroute Critical Care Nurse, 28th Expeditionary Combat Aviation Brigade. Upon return, she as selected to serve as the Troop Battalion Executive Officer at Carl. R. Darnell Army Medical Center managing 19 personnel, both civilian and military, and was heavily involved in the logistical planning and execution of medical training, military training, and day to day operations within the battalion.
CPT Barikian’s military training and education includes the Army Medical Officer Basic Course, Air Assault School, Critical Care/Emergency Nurse Course, and the Enroute Critical Care Course.
CPT Barikian’s awards and decorations include the Air Medal, Army Commendation Medal, Army Achievement Medal, Armed Forces Service Medal, Army Aviation Badge, and Air Assault Badge.
Franklin N. Cosey-Gay Ph.D., MPH is the Director of the University of Chicago Medicine Violence Recovery Program (VRP) housed within the Urban Health Initiative. In this role, Franklin is primarily responsible for program development and managing internal and external partnerships integral to the VRP. Franklin has 20 years of research experience promoting prevention science, supporting the coalition functioning of community-based organizations and social service agencies, building community capacity for high-quality implementation and evaluation of local programs, and tested and effective interventions. Franklin’s research has emphasized using qualitative methods to access and understand the context connected to what factors increase risk and buffer youth from youth problem behaviors. Franklin’s work emphasizes emerging Public Health practice that goes beyond just looking at risk behaviors but researching upstream by examining root causes of violence, such as the social, economic, and political systems, to address social inequities tied to class and race. Franklin’s career is guided by a healing-centered approach that understands the importance of history, culture, faith, and civic engagement. Before joining the Urban Health Initiative, Franklin was the Executive Director of the Chicago Center for Youth Violence Prevention (CCYVP) housed at the Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy, and Practice at the University of Chicago School of Social Service Administration. Franklin maintains a contributing role at the Center and volunteers as the co-director of the Chicago Race Riot of 1919 Commemoration Project
Charles graduated from Loyola University of Chicago with a BA in Religious Studies and a Master of Social Work. The clinical focus for much of his career has been working with veterans of the US Armed Forces, particularly around issues of combat-related PTSD, Military Sexual Trauma, and moral injury. He has had the privilege of serving veterans as a clinician within the Department of Veterans Affairs, as well as the Road Home Program: Center for Veterans and their Families at Rush University Medical Center. Charles is a lecturer at Crown Family School of Social Work, Policy & Practice at the University of Chicago where he teaches courses on Social Work with Veterans, as well as Evidence-Based Therapies for Treating Trauma in Adults. From 2018-2022, Charles saw clients in private practice. In October 2022, Charles joined the TREAT Lab at Rush University Medical Center as a research therapist developing and improving the delivery of intensive evidence-based therapies to treat PTSD.
TREAT Lab: https://www.treatlabchicago.com/
Held, P., Klassen, B. J., Small, C. F., Brennan, M. B., Van Horn, R., Karnik, N. S., Pollack, M. H., & Zalta, A. K. (2019). A case report of Cognitive Processing Therapy delivered over a single week. Cognitive and Behavioral Practice.
“Understanding PTSD” (Presenter) C.G. Jung Center Education Program, Evanston, IL (6/2022)
“Approaches to Trauma Informed Care in Working with Veterans of the US Armed Services” (Presenter) University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration, Trauma Informed Care Workshop Series (12/2019)
“Working with Veterans of the US Armed Services: Cultural Competency and Clinical Intervention” (Co-presenter) Lawrence Chapman Memorial Seminar, University of Chicago, School of Social Service Administration Professional Development Program (11/2019)
“Moral Injury” (Presenter), C.G. Jung Center Public Education Program, Evanston, IL (4/2019)
“A New Approach to Treating the Invisible Wounds of War” (Co-presenter), 11th Annual Medical-Legal Partnership Summit, Indianapolis, IN (4/2016)
“ACT and Mindfulness with Veterans” (co-presenter), 3rd Annual ACBS Chicago Conference (2015)
Chancellor Juan Salgado has focused his career on improving education and economic opportunities for residents in low-income communities.
From 2001 to 2017, he served as CEO of Instituto del Progreso Latino, where he worked to empower residents of Chicago's Southwest Side through education, citizenship, and skill-building programs that led to sustainable employment and economic stability.
As Chancellor of City Colleges of Chicago, he oversees Chicago's community college system, serving nearly 70,000 students across seven colleges, 75 percent of whom are Black and Latinx students.
Under his leadership, City Colleges of Chicago has seen an increase in student graduation rates to the highest level on record, an unprecedented systems-level partnership with the Chicago Public Schools, the launch of Fresh Start, a first-ever debt forgiveness program, the completion of new two major state of the art facilities, a re-energizing of fundraising for student supports, and campus specific plans focused on equity in student outcomes, among other efforts.
Chancellor Salgado is a community college graduate himself, earning an associate degree from Moraine Valley Community College, prior to earning a Bachelor's degree from Illinois Wesleyan University, and a Master's degree in Urban Planning from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.
Chancellor Salgado has been nationally recognized for his work, including as a 2015 MacArthur Fellow. Among his civic commitments, he serves as a board member of the Obama Foundation.
Dr. Darryl A. Williams is a results-oriented, human-centered higher education leader with extensive experience across multiple institution types and structures.
He currently serves as the Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management for the City Colleges of Chicago. The City Colleges of Chicago has more than 4,000 faculty and staff serving 70,000 students annually district-wide. As Vice Chancellor of Enrollment Management, he has increased new student enrollment, advocated for marginalized communities, established external partnerships, expanded services for Veterans, and collaborated with faculty and staff to optimize student-impacting operations. His strategies yield enhanced student experiences and improve student outcomes.
As an inclusive leader with a student-centered focus, he builds community with students, faculty, staff, and key stakeholders to foster a collaborative environment that upholds shared governance and a shared vision that produces enduring, equitable change.
Dr. Darryl A. Williams earned a Bachelor of Science degree in marketing from Elmhurst College and a Bachelor of Science degree in telecommunications management from DeVry University, a master’s degree in business administration from Keller Graduate School of Management, a doctoral degree in organizational leadership from Argosy University.
Prior to Jesse Brown, he served as the Director for Robert J. Dole VA Medical Center in Wichita, KS. Mr. Ament is responsible for strategic leadership and operations of a complex level 1B hospital facility with approximately 3,000 employees who provide care to over 45,000 Veterans and family members. He is a Board-Certified Healthcare Executive with over 30 years of experience in both the private and public sectors.
Mr. Ament’s experiences include numerous CEO roles, organizational turnarounds, strategic consultations and multi-facility operations. As a consultant and operations improvement executive, he has positively impacted more than 30 hospitals. He has been the president of a tertiary hospital and the COO of a large healthcare system in Wisconsin where he led a team of six Hospital Presidents.
As the Regional Vice President and Market Manager for Quorum Health Resources, he had operational responsibility for 11 hospitals. He was CEO of Bay Area Medical Center where, in 1987 he and his team were recognized nationally as Hospital Magazine’s “Turnaround Hospital of the Year”. Mr. Ament has been the recipient of the Wisconsin Regent’s Award as the ACHE Young Healthcare Executive of the Year.
A proud, second generation, Air Force Veteran, Mr. Ament served six years active duty, including two years as a Medical Service Corps officer. A graduate of the Virginia Tech Corps of Cadets, Mr. Ament was commissioned a second lieutenant and received a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science. He later received his Master of Science in Hospital Administration from Central Michigan University.
Jessica Heise is a Licensed Clinical Social Worker and Community Engagement and Partnerships Coordinator at the Jesse Brown VAMC in Chicago. She began working in the community behavioral health and housing sectors in 2009 and has worked in a variety of inpatient and outpatient settings with adults and children alike. Jess is an alumnus of Jane Addams College of Social Work at UIC. She is also a registered yoga teacher, who completed trauma-specific training through the Veteran's Yoga Project.
Jess has been with the VA since 2017, previously serving as her facility's Suicide Prevention in Emergency Departments Champion, where she developed and maintained tracking methods for patient ED visits, Safety Plan documentation, and communication with providers to fortify patient safety outcomes. Suicide is part of Jessica's lived experience. She has a personal passion for reducing stigma around seeking mental health treatment and enhancing equal access to care. To that effect, Jess participates in the LGBT Special Emphasis Program, Social Work Service Diversity and Inclusion Task Force and Jesse Brown 4 Black Lives.
Katherine has been a licensed clinical social worker for over 20 years. Katherine has been a social worker at Jesse Brown VA Medical Center for 7 ½ years, working in the Homeless Program, Outpatient Mental Health as a therapist, and is currently the Coordinator of the Program of General Caregiver Support Services. Katherine was a family caregiver to her father, a WWII veteran, her mother and is currently a dementia caregiver to another family member.
Steve Schwab is a national leader and voice for the nation’s millions of military and veteran caregivers, and their families. He has closely advised senior leaders in every sector, addressed audiences across the country, and testified before Congress about the challenges faced by America’s military families while advocating for legislative and regulatory solutions to support them.
As CEO of the Elizabeth Dole Foundation, Steve spearheads the country’s preeminent organization empowering, supporting, and honoring military and veteran caregivers. He has grown the Foundation’s programs, staff, development, and partnerships over the past eight years, managed the launch of the Hidden Heroes campaign, established the Hidden Heroes Cities program, and successfully championed the expansion of the Department of Veterans Affairs’ (VA) Program of Comprehensive Assistance for Family Caregivers to caregivers of every war era. In 2021, Steve oversaw the launch of the Hidden Helpers Coalition, bringing together the White House and over 60 public and private organizations with the intent of supporting children in military and veteran caregiving families. In 2022, the Foundation expanded its no-cost national respite program and launched a new critical financial assistance program for caregivers. Since 2018, Steve has led the Foundation’s successful signature fundraising event, Heroes and History Makers, raising tens of millions of dollars for the organization’s mission.
Last year, Steve was nominated by United States Secretary of Veterans Affairs Dennis McDonough to serve on the Veterans' Family, Caregiver, and Survivor Federal Advisory Committee.
Steve is also an Executive Producer of both Sky Blossom and Hidden Wounds, two Academy Award qualifying films that provide a raw, uplifting window into 24.5 million children and millennials stepping forward as frontline heroes caring for a family member or veteran at home.
Steve serves on the Board of Prisoner Visitation and Support which offers people incarcerated in federal prison regular, face-to-face contact with the world outside to help them cope with prison life and prepare for a successful re-entry into society. He is the Chairman of the Board of Directors of PsychArmor, the nation’s premier non-profit for providing free education and support for all Americans to engage effectively with the military community. Currently, Steve is also chairing the 50th Anniversary Committee for Whitman-Walker Health, whose mission is to offer affirming community-based health and wellness services to all with a special expertise in LGBTQ and HIV care. Previously, Steve was head of external affairs for the National Cathedral, overseeing fundraising, marketing, and communications.
Steve came to the Washington, DC area after serving in three senior leadership roles in his hometown of Rochester, NY. He was Vice President for Development at the Rochester Philharmonic Orchestra after serving as Deputy Chief of Staff to Rochester, NY Mayor Robert J. Duffy and just prior as head of corporate development and relations for Rochester Institute of Technology. Steve started his career in New York City where he first worked in politics and then served subsequently as Special Assistant to the President and Director of Development for the New York City Partnership and Chamber of Commerce.
Theresa Coomer is an Illinois Fellow for the Elizabeth Dole Foundation. She cares for her partner, Marcus, who sustained physical and mental wounds from his tour in Iraq in the early 2000’s. Through her work at the foundation, she has been a fierce advocate for her fellow caregivers to help expand resources and continue to get the support they need. Theresa is also an accomplished educator with Masters in Educational Administration and Teacher Leadership and serves as a member of the Paw Paw School Board. Together, Theresa and Marcus are the proud parents of two little ones Timmy and Violet.
Dr. Aaron D. Chatman, Psy.D completed his Masters Degree at Roosevelt Univ. and his Doctoral degree at the Illinois School of Professional Psychology with a concentration in multicultural competency. Dr. Chatman provides both comprehensive psychological services and neuropsychological testing. He works with clients who struggle with a variety of problems, and provides couples therapy as well. Dr. Chatman has also obtained Certification in Addiction Counseling and worked for several years at a residential alcohol and substance abuse treatment facility. He is a retired United States Marine and provides psychological services to military service members, police officers and their family members. Dr. Chatman resides in Beverly and enjoys cycling, camping, jet skiing, traveling, and spending time with his Shih Tzu Terrier, “Milla”.
The first course will begin on September 9, 2023 at Malcolm X College, one of the City Colleges of Chicago.
*Please input 37289 as the course number for question number 13.