Speaker series addresses mental health, trauma in military

OSWEGO — Dr. Raul Perea-Henze, assistant secretary for policy and planning at the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, will speak on “Mental Health and Suicide Among Service Members and Veterans” June 11 at SUNY Oswego.

His talk is part of a series of speakers this month at the college. Future topics will include “Combat Stress” and “How the VA and Misguided Charity Cripple Veterans.” Talks will begin at 1:30 p.m. Tuesdays in Room 220 of Mahar Hall. All are welcome to attend; parking permits for visitors are $1.

SUNY Oswego’s psychology department in collaboration with Syracuse University hosts the series, which is sponsored by the National Science Foundation.

Perea-Henze has a long and distinguished career as a physician, corporate executive and government official.

Before his appointment at the Department of Veterans Affairs, he led global science and medical policy for the top two leading pharmaceutical companies, building partnerships with governments and U.N. agencies and industry on issues such as diseases of the developing world, bioterrorism and global research and development.

During the Clinton Administration, he served as deputy assistant secretary for management and budget at the U.S. Department of Commerce, senior health care adviser and White House Fellow.

Perea-Henze started his medical career as a clinician caring for under-served populations in developing countries, later moving to research and academia as an adjunct professor of health policy at New York University.

His work as a board member of prominent nonprofit and philanthropic organizations in the areas of HIV/AIDS, mental health, community leadership, Hispanic affairs and human rights spans many years and has been recognized with several awards.

He graduated magna cum laude as a medical doctor in Mexico at the age of 21. He obtained a master’s degree in public health with concentration in health policy and management from Yale University’s School of Medicine.

Series continues

On June 18, Dr. Douglas Scaturo, a psychologist at the Syracuse Veterans Administration Hospital, will speak on “Combat Stress.”

Most recently, Scaturo published an extensive review of explanatory factors in psychotherapy in the American Journal of Psychotherapy. He is also the author of the book “Clinical Dilemmas in Psychotherapy,” published in 2005 by the American Psychological Association, and numerous articles in journals, including “The Impact of Combat Trauma Across the Family Life Cycle,” written with Peter Hayman, in the Journal of Traumatic Stress.

The final speaker in the series will be Major Daniel M. Gade, who will speak via Skype on June 25, on “How the VA and Misguided Charity Cripple Veterans.” Gade is an instructor of social science at the U.S. Military Academy at West Point. His research focuses on combat exposure and mental health, vocational rehabilitation in veterans, and identifying public policies to increase veterans’ mental health.

Gade holds doctorate in public administration/public policy from the University of Georgia.

He was commissioned as an armor officer and has served in armor, armored cavalry and infantry units in Colorado, Korea and Iraq. His personal awards and decorations include a Bronze Star, two Purple Hearts and an Army Commendation Medal for Valor, as well as Combat Action Badge, Presidential Service Badge, Ranger Tab and Airborne and Air Assault wings.