Military and Veterans Affairs Task Force 2013 Spring Forum Presentations

military task force notebook coverMay 4, 2013
Denver, Colo.

Special Briefing | State Options to Help Returning Veterans

Veterans coming home from recent conflicts face a host of challenges, including higher rates of injury, disability, unemployment, homelessness, post-traumatic stress disorder and suicide. This session highlighted state efforts to meet the growing need for effective treatment and services through new initiatives, coordination and efficiency measures, and partnerships with federal, local and private entities.
Presiding: Representative Tom Sloan, Kansas

  • Hilda R. Heady, MSW, ACSW, senior vice president and chair of the Rural Health Research and Policy Group, Atlas Research  PDF PRESENTATION
  • Representative Tim Cosgrove, Utah. Representative Cosgrove discussed the Utah Veterans Reintegration Task Force and lessons learned from the first year of inter-agency collaboration.
  • Kevin Cavanaugh, special projects and grants administrator, Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs. Cavanaugh spoke about the Illinois Warrior Assistance Program (IWAP), which provides confidential assistance for returning Illinois veterans.  PDF PRESENTATION
  • Manuel Urbina, program integrity manager, California Department of Health Care Services and PARIS Board of Directors . Urbina spoke about connecting veterans enrolled in Medicaid with federal VA benefits.  PDF PRESENTATION

Department of Defense (DOD) Programs Updates

Presiding: Representative Tom Sloan, Kansas


  • Bruce Beard, associate director, Institute of Renewable Natural Resources, Texas A&M University, Texas   PDF PRESENTATION
  • Cyrena Eitler, Compatible Use Program lead and project manager, Department of Defense, Office of Economic Adjustment, Virginia.   PDF PRESENTATION
  • Michael Behm, Stateside Associates, Virginia.  An update on the White House Licensing and Credentialing Forum.

Understanding Treatments for Veterans with Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD)

Presiding: Representative Tim Cosgrove, Utah


  • Dr. Lisa Brenner, director, Mental Illness Research Education and Clinical Center (MIRECC), VA Rocky Mountain Network, Colorado.  PDF Presentation. An overview of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), traumatic brain injury (TBI) and treatments available through the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). PDF PRESENTATION
  • Melvin Neufeld, program development director, Kansas Family PTSD Education and Counseling Pilot Project, Kansas. PDF Presentation. An update on a project to educate soldiers’ family members on PTSD and relevant coping strategies. PDF PRESENTATION
  • Dr. William A. Duncan, Ph.D., vice president for development, International Hyperbaric Medical Foundation, Virginia.  PDF Presentation. An explanation of hyperbaric treatments (the use of oxygen in hyperbaric chambers) to treat veterans with PTSD and TBI and a discussion of the “Oklahoma Plan” to rebuild veterans’ brains in 150 days. PDF PRESENTATION

Overview of the Use of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (Drones) and the State Legislative Role in Regulating Their Deployment for Civilian Uses

Presiding: Senator Elsie Arntzen, Montana
Senator Josh McKoon, Georgia, will discuss legislation he sponsored this year that would have regulated the use of unmanned aerial vehicles.
Michael Toscano, president & CEO, Association for Unmanned Vehicle Systems International (AUVSI), Washington, D.C.  PDF PRESENTATION
Dr. Kimon P. Valavanis, director, University of Denver Unmanned Systems Research Institute (DU2SRI), Colorado

Legislative Roundtable: 2013 Legislative Activity

Member legislators shared recent enactments in their states to assist veterans and service members. NCSL and DoD will present an overview of key 2013 legislation enacted in the states.

  • Jackie Harriman, Western Region State Liaison, Office of the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Military Community & Family Policy, Colorado  PDF PRESENTATION
  • Alice Wheet, NCSL, Colorado

State Initiatives to Help Veterans Experiencing Homelessness

Presiding: Representative Mark Takai, Hawaii

  • Representative Leroy Garcia, Colorado.  Representative Garcia sponsored legislation this year to fund the repurposing of the Ft. Lyon correctional facility into a transitional housing center for individuals experiencing homelessness, including military veterans.
  • Karla Maraccini, director of Community Partnerships and Richard Sandrock, project manager for Homeless Initiatives at the Office of Colorado Governor John W. Hickenlooper. Maraccini and Sandrockl spoke about “Pathways Home Colorado,” the state plan to end veteran homelessness in Colorado by 2015.  PDF PRESENTATION

Presentation on the U.S. Army Energy Initiatives Task Force

The Army Energy Initiatives Task Force serves as the central management office for partnering with Army installations to implement cost-effective, large-scale renewable energy projects, leveraging private sector financing. The Task Force focuses on projects—solar, wind, geothermal and biomass—that are 10 megawatts or greater and located on Army installations in the United States.
Presiding: Representative Tom Sloan, Kansas

  • Speaker:  Park Haney, deputy director, U.S. Army Regional Environmental and Energy Office—Region 9, Colorado  PDF PRESENTATION