Wednesday, April 17     Thursday, April 18

Wednesday, April 17, 2024

Opening Ceremony | General Session

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View the General Session from April 17, 2024, Day 1 of the 2024 Statewide Symposium in Support of Service Members, Veterans & Their Families hosted by Thomas Winkel, Director of the Arizona Coalition for Military Families. Hear from:

  • Lt. Col. Dana Allmond, Cabinet Executive Officer, Executive Deputy Director, Arizona Department of Veterans’ Services at 14:00

  • Carolyn Clancy, MD, MACP, Assistant Undersecretary for Health, Veterans Health Administration at 33:44

  • VA Director Round Robin Panel Discussion at 50:00

  • Lori Highberger, MD, Chief Medical Officer for Behavioral Health, TriWest Healthcare Alliance at 1:14:00

  • Nicola Winkel, MPA, Project Director, Arizona Coalition for Military Families at 1:21:12

This Symposium is the only statewide conference that brings together the military, government, and community to focus on strengthening services and support for Arizona’s 500,000+ service members, veterans, and their families. Enjoy this excerpt from a packed two-day conference that provided multiple tracks for attendees to engage, discuss and collaborate through breakout sessions, keynote speakers, exhibitors, and networking opportunities focused on providing knowledge, skills, and tools to serve and support the military and veteran community. For more information on attending, speaking, sponsoring, or hosting an exhibit at a future event, please email, call 866-4AZ-VETS (866-429-8387), or visit

1100-1215 BRIEFING I
VA Suicide Prevention 2.0

The VA’s Suicide Prevention 2.0 model combines the VA’s clinical focus with community-based suicide prevention efforts. As part of this effort, the VA Community Education and Partnership Coordinator team is reaching out across Arizona. Two community coalitions will share how their missions strengthen the community suicide prevention model.

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Fulfilling Basic Needs in the Community

Arizona non-profit champions are often called on to help meet the basic needs for veterans and their families in their communities. Learn how organizations use different approaches to solving similar problems and how those can be equally successful in navigating veterans and their families in addressing their basic needs.

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Creating Success for Veterans in Higher Education

Many veterans choose to pursue higher education. Learn to create an inclusive and supportive environment for veterans by understanding the challenges student veterans face. Identify and learn to navigate the college resources, services and programs offered to veterans at Arizona Veteran Supportive Campuses.

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Moral Injury Healing Methodologies

Moral injury is the soul wound service members and veterans receive when they voluntarily or involuntarily perform an act that violates their moral code. It’s time to take the discussion from moral injury to healing. Learn practical, proven approaches for healing.

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Healthcare Barriers for Rural and Native American Veterans

The healthcare experience for rural and Native American veterans in Arizona can have additional challenges to navigate. This issue will be presented from three perspectives for a well-rounded view of barriers and solutions. A tribal veteran will share their healthcare experience and how we can help others have a positive outcome. A healthcare organization will share their experience overcoming these barriers. Then, VA health coordinators will discuss what the VA has done to improve healthcare for native and rural veterans.

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Advocacy Without Lobbying: Engage for Impact

Engagement with policy makers can be an important aspect of a nonprofit’s work in the community. Advocating for nonprofit causes can provide policymakers with the information they need to advance legislation to address community needs. This session will de-mystify advocacy for nonprofits by separating it from lobbying and providing tangible examples of how these efforts can expand the impact of your mission.

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1315-1430 BRIEFING II
Postvention is Prevention

Postvention is an essential element of suicide prevention. The emotional, social and psychological effects of deaths by suicide can have a profound effect on individuals and communities. Learn how Be Connected and our federal, state, and community partners collaborate to strengthen postvention efforts throughout Arizona and how to access the available resources and support.

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Be Connected in Action

The Be Connected team fields thousands of calls a year across the social determinants of health. This interactive session will provide insight into how the team assesses needs and provides resource and care navigation to service members, veterans and their families across Arizona.

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Educational Opportunities & Support for Milspouses

Tailored comprehensive educational support is available for military spouses. This session will provide information on educational opportunities, certifications and career preparation programs available to military spouses through Be Connected partnerships.

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A Therapeutic Intervention to Address PTSD and Moral Trauma

This session will explore a unique approach to therapy. Some veterans have found healing using an induced therapeutic intervention therapy that walks the patient through the event that has caused post-traumatic stress disorder and moral trauma. This intervention attempts to assist the client in healing painful memories by creating an interaction in the traumatic moment that allows forgiveness and release of guilt. This session will explore this intervention from a clinical and faith perspective.

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Unhoused Again: Preventing a Return to Homelessness

Partners in assisting Arizona’s unhoused neighbors will share the latest information on why some veterans become unhoused again after successfully securing housing. They will share the importance of connecting veterans with family and friends to maintain their housing and to overcome mental and physical health barriers to prevent home loss.

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Funding the Mission

Learn effective grant writing application strategies and how to leverage online fundraising platforms straight from the field. Discover how to define your purpose and articulate the needs of your cause. Explore collaborative efforts with local organizations to maximize impact and gain insights into impactful storytelling, showcasing the real difference donor contributions are making.

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1445-1600 BRIEFING III
Innovations in Risk Reduction: Connection Coaching & Care Transition

Social isolation and care transitions are significant risks for suicide in the veteran population. Arizona’s Be Connected Risk Reduction program focuses on these two risk factors through our Coaching Into Connection and Care Transition services. Learn how VA grant funded programs complement clinical and crisis care to engage veterans, including those not enrolled in the VA, to provide support and navigation.

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Key State and Federal Benefit and Program Updates

Arizona service members, veterans and their families may be eligible for an array of federal and state benefits and programs. In this session, learn about updates on the federal Promise to Address Comprehensive Toxics (PACT) Act, Arizona Department of Economic Security programs and the Arizona Military Family Relief Fund.

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Building Support for Military Children: Purple Star Schools

Military children experience stressors like moves and separation that can create unaddressed educational and social-emotional challenges. The Purple Star School program is designed to teach schools how to support these students and help them succeed. An Arizona advocate and attorney will discuss her work with the Purple Star School program and how you can participate.

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The Magic of Mindfulness

Stress is gaining attention for the detrimental health effects it produces. The emergence of promising data is showing how the simple act of being self-aware can deregulate the body’s stress response - leading to a happier and healthier life. This presentation highlights the stress response physically and psychologically and is guaranteed to make you think, laugh and look at stress as an opportunity for growth.

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Housing & Employment: Understanding Legal Rights & Responsibilities

Knowing tenant rights and responsibilities and how to handle habitability issues can empower veterans and their families to resolve issues successfully. An attorney will discuss tips for handling tenant complications and provide resources for when they occur. Participants will also learn the steps to take to remove criminal convictions and drug-related charges from a record to minimize the impact of access to housing and quality employment.

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The Synergy of Public/Private Partnerships

Discover how public/private partnership and collaboration between local businesses, nonprofits and government agencies can enhance services. Learn how tapping into private sector expertise accelerates project delivery and creates impactful solutions.

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