VET-HEAL Summit: Help Heal American Veterans…

Name of Event:  Healthcare, Education, Advocacy, and Legislation (HEAL) Summit for Our Nation’s Defenders

Description of Event (Purpose):  To provide attendees with up-to-date education on promising innovations and breakthroughs in mental health, gender-based healthcare, the military transition experience, as well as the latest updates on legislation and advocacy that impacts service members and veterans. 

Benefits to Student Programs: The summit will advance UH West Oʻahu’s commitment to providing the 21st Century learner with insights on the latest in wellness, mental health, and fostering an environment in which current and former members of the military can successfully transition. The University promotes student success in an environment where students of all backgrounds are supported, which includes military veterans of all walks of life who face unique challenges.

Individuals for whom the Event benefits:  Active duty service members, student veterans, women veterans, family members of veterans, caregivers for disabled veterans, unit leaders, mental health professionals, and any corporations, foundations, and communities that support the military and veterans.

Need immediate assistance with a VA-related healthcare issues?

Contact the helpline by phone toll-free at 1-833-VET-HEAL (1-833-838-4325) from 8AM to 8PM (EST), Monday-Friday or any time by email at

AMVETS National Leadership:

Sherman Gillums Jr. (USMC, Retied), AMVETS Chief Strategy Officer of American Veterans, AMVETS National Headquarters Email:

Cherissa Jackson (USAF, Retired), Chief Medical Executive, AMVETS National Headquarters, Email: or 301-683-4074

AMVETS VET-HEAL Summit will be held at the University of Hawaii, West Oahu on Friday, 27th and Saturday, 2th March 2020 (10AM – 4PM), Address: 91-1001 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, HI 96707.

Point of Contact:

Commander Donova A. Lazarus (USA, Retired), AMVETS Dept. of Hawaii at or 808-382-6835.

VET-HEAL Summit Advisory Board:


John Henry Felix, PhD, Executive Chairman, Hawaii Medical Assurance Association, Email:

Advisory Board Member:

Latisha Robinson (USN, Retired), AMVETS Hawaii Post 3 Ladies Auxiliary President, EMAIL: 

VET-HEAL Summit Event Committee:

Danielle Nuszkowski (USA, Active Duty), AMVETS Dept of Hawaii, 2nd Vice Commander, Email:

Aurelie Mulcare (USA, Retired), AMVETS Dept of Hawaii, National Executive Committee (NEC) Officer, Email:

Judit Brissette, AMVETS Dept of Hawaii, Mental Health Advisor,

Guest Speakers includes:

Colonel Gregory D. Gadson (US Army, Retired), former US Army Wounded Warrior Director, Garrison Commander of the U.S. Army Fort Belvoir. He is also a bilateral above-the-knee amputee, actor, and motivational speaker. He served in the U.S. Army for more than 25 years as a field artillery officer and served on active duty for Operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm, Operation Joint Forge, Operation Enduring Freedom, and Operation Iraqi Freedom.

Women Veterans Experience

AMVETS VET-HEAL Summit we be hosting at the University of Hawaii, West Oahu on Friday, 27th and Saturday, 28th March 2020 (10AM – 4PM), Address: 91-1001 Farrington Highway, Kapolei, HI 96707.

Event Sponsor and Volunteers needed… to serve on the 2020 VET-HEAL Summit Advisory Board.  Point of Contact: Commander Donova A. Lazarus at or 808-382-6835.

Topic of Discussion would include the following:

1. Women Veterans Experience: Women who serve are statistically more likely to face a range of issues from sexual trauma to homelessness to domestic violence.   

AMVETS Journey Map illustrates the experiences women service members face while in uniform and once separated from the military. The journey map is designed to help users better understand the unique challenges associated with the women veteran experience, from induction to end of life. 


News Release

Women Veteran Journey Map 

2. Suicide Prevention and Awareness: resources available to help veterans in crisis, 22-a-day Veterans die from suicide

3. Homeless Veterans, Mental Health, TBI: We need the congress to do more!

4. Mission Act: Click on the link to watch the full version of the VA MISSION Act 101 video:

AMVETS VET-HEAL Program has assisted over 384 veterans with clinical, benefits, and financial issues since its inception (2018) through direct intervention and in coordination with other resources, such as Objective Zero, Veterans Crisis Line, VA Office of Mental Health, Cohen Veterans Network, and VA Veterans Experience Office.

The Four Pillars of the VET-HEAL Program Approach: Healthcare, Evaluation, Advocacy and Legislation.



Strategic Plan

VET HEAL Flyers 

Note. The VA is a partner with the AMVETS VET-HEAL program.  

VET-HEAL Team and Guest Speakers attending: 

Team Leader, Chief Medical Executive, Cherissa Jackson (USAF, Retired) is a combat nurse who served during Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom.  

AMVETS Chief Strategy Officer of American Veterans, Sherman Gillums Jr. (USMC, Retied). Four months after the September 11, 2001, attacks, as he prepared to deploy to Afghanistan with the 1st Marine Division, he was involved in a vehicle collision at Marine Corps Base Camp Pendleton and became severely disabled.

VET-HEAL Mission: Supporting a better tomorrow by fighting the socioeconomic factors that contribute to poor health outcomes in veterans and making a difference in the lives of those with mental and/or physical health challenges, one veteran at a time.

Collaboration: AMVETS believes serving and supporting veterans with the greatest physical and mental healthcare needs are the shared responsibility of federal, state, and local governments, communities, fellow service members and veterans, family members and caregivers, and service providers of all disciplines. Through open communication, we continuously build relationships and partnerships with local communities, government entities, and the medical community to meet the needs of veterans and their families.

Goals: Using the mission, vision, and values, the HEAL Team developed multi-year goals to address barriers to accessing quality healthcare, particularly as it contributes to veteran suicide, substance addiction, and other socioeconomic ills. These goals address the key issues of accountability at all levels, an accessible veteran-centered healthcare system, community services and supports, measurable outcomes, strategic partnerships, and exchange of information. The goals are as follows:

1. To markedly increase access to VA and community-based care and support for veterans with healthcare needs, particularly those at risk for poor health outcomes, through a network of AMVETS VET-HEAL program participants at the national, departmental, post, and local levels that are committed to a veteran-centered and recovery-oriented system of intervention for veterans in need

2. Through effective oversight, collaborative partnership, and legislative advocacy, ensure veterans receive quality health services in safe and dignified clinical settings, and use information/data management to enhance decision-making, shape and enforce laws, regulations, policies, and standards, and continuously improve service delivery

3. To promote the discovery and implementation of new interventions that build on lessons learned and markedly decrease the number of veteran suicides year to year, as well as ensure the integration and coordination of healthcare across clinical providers in all sectors that treat veterans, to include bilateral records exchange, reduction in the over-prescription of pharmaceuticals, and improved diagnosis and treatment of neuropsychological comorbidities, especially Post Traumatic Stress and moderate-to-severe Traumatic Brain Injury

For more information, please read the HEAL Strategic Plan

Contact the Helpline: Veterans, service members and family members who need immediate assistance with a VA-related healthcare issues can contact the helpline by phone toll-free at 1-833-VET-HEAL (1-833-838-4325) from 8AM to 8PM ET Monday-Friday or any time by email at