Media advisory: UB medical students reach out to veterans at Joining Forces event
Discussion features an alum who served in the U.S. Air Force, a former Army executive officer now a medical student, and UB research on barriers to veterans’ health care
Release Date: November 16, 2015
BUFFALO, N.Y. — Veterans’ unique medical needs and ways that health care providers can better serve them is the topic of a lunch and panel discussion at noon on Nov. 18 in Butler Auditorium, 150 Farber Hall on the University at Buffalo South Campus.
The event, which is free and open to UB students, faculty and staff, is being organized by students in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences at UB.
The purpose of the event is to provide medical students with a better understanding of the medical needs of veterans, according to Alexandra Reis, the lead organizer and a second-year student in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences. She also is a member of the Organization of Student Representatives of the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC), which represents medical student interests.
Reis and her UB colleagues received a grant to hold the event, one of 10 awarded nationally through the AAMC’s Joining Forces initiative. The initiative is part of Joining Forces, sponsored by the White House and launched in 2011 by First Lady Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden.
Speakers at the UB event include:
· Matthias Williams, a second-year student in the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who was an “XO,” (executive officer) for the First Forward Surgical Team deployed to Afghanistan from April 2013 to January 2014. Williams will discuss overseas service -- including trauma, loss and the immersive experience of deployment -- family issues, the veterans health care system and medical and psychological resources for veterans, including the suicide hotline.
· Shauna Zorich, MD, a 2005 graduate of the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, who has returned from service with the Department of Preventive Medicine and Public Health of the U.S. Air Force, where she led the Global, Laboratory-based, Influenza Surveillance Program. Zorich will discuss her career and her decision to join the military, even though it wasn’t part of her plan when she went to medical school. “I want the students to know that joining the military is an option for them, and that they could potentially benefit from joining,” she says.
· Susan Bruce, PhD, clinical associate professor in the UB School of Nursing and Lisa Butler, PhD, associate professor in the UB School of Social Work, who will discuss their recent research: “On Working with Veterans: What Social Work and Nursing Students Need to Know.”
Reis, a Buffalo native, is personally interested in exposing her fellow medical students to the stories and experiences of veterans since many may not have had the opportunity to learn about them.
“Veterans do so much for our country, so it’s very important for us, as future care providers, to learn about them,” she said. UB medical students do preceptorships at the Veterans Affairs Western New York Healthcare System, she said, making knowledge about veterans’ medical needs all the more relevant.
Daniel Ryan, director, UB Off-Campus Student Services and Veteran Services, will moderate.
The Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences is one of more than 100 medical schools around the country that have signed the AAMC’s Joining Forces pledge, recognizing the sacrifice and commitment of military service members, veterans, and their families, and committing to mobilizing their integrated missions in education, research, and clinical care to train the nation's physicians to meet the health care needs of this community.