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Veteran-Centered Care Conference

4th Annual Veteran-Centered Care Conference

The 4th Annual Veteran-Centered Care Conference took place on November 4, 2016 at 19 Foster Street, MCPHS University Worcester campus with distance education to the Manchester campus. More than 230 attendees, including nursing, pharmacy, physician assistant, and physical therapy students, explored the challenges of providing healthcare to Veterans who are homeless or have a substance abuse issue.Surrounded with red, white, and blue decorations, attendees welcomed New England Center and Home for Veterans representatives Sarah Lyons and Amanda Shaw. They presented on the new “Harm Reduction Service Model” being utilized at the NECHV to serve Veterans who are at-risk of homelessness.This year’s interactive “unfolding case” focused on a homeless veteran who, because of a medical issue, started abusing drugs to manage his pain. Students gathered in interprofessional groups to discuss the case and collaborate on how they would treat this patient. At this point the panelists were invited to the table to tell their stories. All of the stories were heartfelt and provided different perspectives and insight to Veterans who may struggle with homelessness, substance abuse, and access to healthcare. Students then returned to their interprofessional groups to review the unfolding case questions and discuss how their answers might have changed after listening to the panelists. Finally, the groups came together to discuss their various answers and viewpoints.

This annual interprofessional event was coordinated by representatives of the following programs/departments; School of Nursing, School of Pharmacy, the New England School of Acupuncture, and Library and Learning Resources.

A special thank you to all of our Veterans, your service is much appreciated!

Presentation 2016


Sarah Lyons, MA, CAGS, CRC

Sarah Lyons has been working at the New England Center and Home for Veterans since September of 2013, in the Safe Haven Program. She graduated with a Master’s Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Assumption College and is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor. Sarah has been managing the Safe Haven Program for two years.  Prior to this she was working at the Addiction Treatment Center of New England. Over the past several years Sarah has gained experience and knowledge working in the field of addiction services, most recently with a focus on harm reduction and housing first models for homeless Veterans.

Amanda Shaw, LCSW

Amanda Shaw is a licensed certified social worker that has been working at the New England Center and Home for Veterans since June 2016 as the coordinator of the Veteran Addiction Recovery Program. She graduated with her Master of Social Work with a certificate in Veteran’s and Military Families from Boston College. While at Boston College she completed her clinical hours at the Bedford Veterans Health Administration, and Hope House, a men’s residential addiction treatment program. In addition, Amanda recently completed six years of service in the Massachusetts Army National Guard. Amanda is passionate about decreasing mental health stigma among prior and current enlisted military service members.

Video Recording of Panelists


Guest Speaker Web Sites

Student Panelists

Joel Clark, School of Nursing '17

Sean Toomey, Schoold of Nursing '17

Faculty and Expert Panelists

Louis Frank, OD, FAAO, Associate Professor School of Optometry, MCPHS University

Christine Lee, RN, LAc, Board Certified Acupuncturist

Amanda Shaw, LCSW, Social Worker for the New England Center and Home for Veterans

Dan Tzizik, PA-C, Assistant Director of Clinical Education for the School of Physician Assistant Studies Program, MCPHS University



2016 Interprofessional Conference Team Members

Tammy L. Gravel, MSN, RN - Chair

Karen S. Lamson, MLS

Amanda M. Morrill, PharmD, BCPS

Sheila M. Seed, PharmD, MPH

Lisa Conboy, MA, MS, ScD

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