Conference Agenda

Download printable agenda here

Thursday, April 26

  • 6 p.m. - Film screening of the award-winning documentary film "Lioness"
  • 7-9 p.m. - Pre-registration
  • 7-9 p.m. - Networking/Conference Reception

Friday, April 27

Saturday, April 28

Special Panels

Friday Morning: Women of Color Rising above Adversity in the US Armed Forces.

Conference attendees will hear from four women veterans of color from diverse backgrounds representing various military branches. Each panelist will speak about their experience of being a woman of color in the US military, the adversity they faced, and how they rose above the adversity. This panel presentation will be followed by a workshop, where attendees will be able to continue the conversation.

Friday Afternoon: Women Veteran Program Managers Informational Panel

Women Veteran Program Managers (WVPMs) work for the Veteran’s Healthcare Administration (VHA) and are an amazing resource for women veterans receiving healthcare at the VA. The WVPM position originated in 1985 and encompasses administrative, clinical and educational roles to accomplish the main goal of the program: quality and comprehensive care for women veterans.

A WVPM position is filled at each VA Medical center to ensure delivery of quality services to women veterans at all points of care in the facility. They function in a variety of roles that impact women veteran’s healthcare and organizational processes to improve outcomes and service for women veterans. 

The WVPM is an advocate for women veterans to ensure equal access to all VA services. The importance of a safe and welcoming environment is a focus of responsibility. The WVPM can also find creative approaches to management of complex care needs and other issues. This role keeps women veterans at the forefront of consideration in needed improvements, change processes, and daily functions of the VA medical facilities.



As women veterans, you are likely faced with unique work and home life challenges which make it difficult to prioritize your roles. Do you place work first? What about the needs of your partner and children? Why do you feel guilty after enjoying time to yourself?  The balance is often challenging, but it is possible to find a good rhythm.  In this session, you will actively learn how to assess your roles using a new lens, specific strategies to achieve a complementary work/life balance, and how to tackle some of the barriers you may face.

The Red Cross Mind Body Workshops consist of two short, one-time sessions that teach service members, veterans and their families’ simple tools to help them stay grounded and refocus during times of stress.

  • Introduction to Mind-Body Skills is perfect for those that are who are just getting started or are hesitant about trying mind-body awareness. The workshop covers breathing, mindfulness techniques, stretching and movement, body awareness and guided imagery.
  • Using Mind-Body Skills guides participants through techniques for personal and professional growth. The workshop covers drawing, journaling, meditation, body awareness and self-directed imagery.

Writing can ease physical pain, improve your emotional and mental health and help build your immune system. Scientific research repeatedly shows writing about emotional or traumatic events in your life have both immediate and long-term effects. This workshop will cover the basics along with a variety of specific techniques.  Using different techniques for different purposes can enhance and deepen the writing experience and change the writer’s life and perspective in the process. Participants will come away with the knowledge and ability to take themselves on a healing journey any time they like. The most personally effective journaling or writing involves more than just recording what happens in a day. In this experiential workshop, we’ll dive into some practical techniques including how to by-pass our internal editor and how to access our own inner wisdom.

Continued conversation from the panel discussion.

For most of our modern history, service in the United States military has been seen as an honorable profession; one that garners respect, admiration, and honor for the service member.  There are a number of benefits and resources available to those who served both during and after their enlistments.  However, if a veteran has a less than honorable it can endanger and sometimes completely negate these resources and even make them ashamed to admit they served.  This is especially true for one specific demographic of U.S. veterans; those lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBTQ) Americans who served their country with honor but were discharged based solely on their sexuality or gender identity. Join Nathaniel Boehme, Oregon’s LGBTQ Veterans Coordinator for a discussion about LGBTQ veterans and service members, access to benefits, and more.

During your military service did you serve at Fort McLellan, Camp Lejeune, in Vietnam, or in Iraq or Afghanistan?  Since coming home have you experienced challenges conceiving children, been diagnosed with cancer, or even had other unexplained respiratory or other health issues?  Are you interested in finding out if your service and these issues have any correlation? Then this session is for you.  Gus Bedwell is an Army veteran who has 15 plus years’ experience in helping the veteran community and training professionals to navigate VA Law and accessing deserved benefits.   During his session, you will learn the five ways to be service-connected and hear about the latest information on possible service-connected disabilities related to the afore-mentioned locations, including ideas for how to obtain service-connection for conditions that could be related to your time in the service.

This Employment Workshop is a joint facilitated event hosted by the US Department of Labor Veterans Employment and Training Service (VETS) and WorkSource Oregon. The purpose is to provide women veterans useful, up-to-date information on navigating the job market to obtain that ‘perfect’ career rather than just another job. Central Oregon employers will offer their insight on how to land a position with their company as well as those things that will guarantee one won’t get the job. The workshop also includes everything job related from labor market research to translating military acronyms and terminology into English, marketing You, writing effective resumes, preparing for the interview and negotiating through the salary landmines. Let us help you on your path to a new career!

Veterans may be eligible to receive benefits from Federal Veterans Affairs, State of Oregon and the county they reside in. Benefits for Service Members and Veterans range from Compensation, Pension, Health Care, Education, Life Insurance, and Home Loan. Dependents of Veteran could be eligible for benefits of DIC, Pension, Education and Burial. Carrie will help you navigate through all these benefits and resources that are available and how to obtain them.

In this breakout session Jeremy will discuss how Medicare, Medicaid and VA benefits work together, and some of the differences between the three.  He will also be sharing his experience with Hospice at the Oregon Veterans’ Homes.  Additionally, Jeremy will relay some options for aging veterans, specifically Assisted Living facilities, Nursing Homes, Retirement Communities, and Adult Foster Homes.  Finally, he will talk about caregiving for some of the more common needs of aging women veterans.

What happens when I ask for help? If I talk about it…. Won’t it just get worse?

Do you worry that if you open up about a scary memory from the military you will just be overwhelmed and feel like it’s all just happening again?  If I tell someone about what happened to me in the military won’t that just traumatize them too, what good would that do?  What happens when you walk into a Vet Center and ask to talk to someone, will they analyze me and find out what I’ve always known to be true…. Something is wrong with me.  Have you asked yourself these or other questions?  Has that kept you from seeking help.  Join me for the truth about therapy, and mental health counseling.  What are my rights?  What should I expect and would it be worth it?  We will answer all of these questions and more.

You are out. Now what? You don’t just want to get a j-o-b to earn enough money to pay the rent. You want to be something and you want to get meaning from what you do. Is it possible to actually get that in the civilian world after your valuable contributions in the military? Yes! The typical advice to start in the professional world is to jump right to school. In this workshop, we will walk you through four steps to accomplish first:

  1. Know yourself
  2. Define where you want to go
  3. Set milestone goals
  4. Execute

This will give you a strong starting point to focus on the vast options before you.

This mindful deep stretching class focuses on holding seated and floor postures to help with mobility of joints, and opening of muscles. This allows the practitioner to dive into deeper layers of connective tissue, mainly joints and fascia, while encouraging distribution of energy to flow throughout the body. Mindful deep stretching helps to increase one’s overall health and well-being of the muscles and joints. It’s the class to take if you want to develop flexibility and mental clarity.

Recent research suggests that veterans with comorbid PTSD and mild to severe TBI can benefit from PTSD treatment, including standard and modified versions designed to accommodate cognitive impairment. A better understanding of the type, severity, and prevalence of cognitive deficits among veterans referred for PTSD treatment is needed, and additional research is needed to examine the impact of cognitive impairment on treatment response, and to examine the extent to which cognitive impairment is addressed by PTSD treatment. This presentation will cover recent clinical research on assessing and treating the cognitive effects of PTSD and commonly comorbid conditions like TBI, particularly among veterans.

There are 469,000 family caregivers in Oregon caring for older parents or loved ones, helping them to live independently at home. And many of them are women. It’s a labor of love and it’s a huge responsibility. The Prepare to Care Workshop will provide information about local resources and steps you can take to make that big responsibility a little easier. For more information visit

According to the latest research from the VA 1 in 4 women and 1 in 100 men serving in the military are affected by Military Sexual Assault. However, only about 15% of those assaulted report the assault. This creates for some barriers when trying to establish service-connection for the residuals (PTSD, physical injuries, etc.) for said assault. Gus Bedwell, Veteran Service Officer with ten plus years’ experience working and training on these types of claims will show how to use VA law to overcome these barriers.