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Gulf War Registered Nurse to Deliver Keynote Address at Husson University Symposium on Veteran’s Health

Published on: March 20, 2014

BANGOR, MAINE – March 19, 2014 – Post-traumatic stress disorder, (PTSD), is a serious issue for hundreds of thousands of veterans. The U.S. Department of Veterans’ National Center for PTSD estimates that between 11 - 20 percent of veterans of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars 
suffer from a post-traumatic stress disorder. The percentage increases substantially among veterans of the Vietnam. Thirty percent of Vietnam veterans are estimated to suffer from PTSD.

Helping members of the armed services process unresolved combat trauma so they can pass away in peace is the life’s work Captain Mary-Ellyn Blake, RN, US Army (retired). She is the keynote speaker at Husson University’s upcoming 2014 Symposium on Veterans’ Health. Blake is currently the Veteran Liaison at Vitas Innovative Hospice Care in Waterbury, Connecticut.

“Captain Blake is a veteran of the first Gulf War and has seen first-hand how unresolved psychological trauma can devastate soldiers,” said Moira O’Neill, Ph.D., Assistant Professor, Husson University School of Nursing. “Veterans, students, health service professionals and anyone who provides post-conflict care to members of the armed forces will benefit from her insightful presentation.” 

Blake’s presentation “Wounded Warriors Resolving Battlefield Trauma at the End of Life” describes a powerful approach that helps veterans deal with unresolved combat trauma. By sharing this process, Blake hopes to help veterans traumatized by their combat experiences as well as the students and professionals who provide care and services to our military heroes. Included in the presentation will be a review of the combat experience and the armed forces culture.

Captain Blake has more than 20 years of experience in all levels of home health care, including clinical education. After a tour of duty during the Gulf War and 22 years of military service, she retired from the Army Nurse Corp. and the Connecticut Army National Guard. Blake is a registered nurse with a master’s degree in nursing education from the University of Hartford.

In addition to Captain Blake’s keynote presentation, the 2014 Symposium on Veteran’s Health at Husson University will provide participants with a variety of information about vital services, support, and post-conflict care available to veterans and their families. Representatives from a number of organizations will be in attendance and willing to meet and discuss resources available to veterans including:
• VA Maine Health Care System (Togus)
• Disabled American Veterans (DAV)
• Disabled Veterans Outreach Program, Bureau of Employment Services, Maine Department of Labor
• Veteran Administration’s Readjustment Counseling Services: Vet Centers
• Husson University Student Veterans’ Association
• Research Poster Presentation, School of Nursing, Family Nurse Practitioner Program
• Husson School of Pharmacy, Medication Education Station

The 2014 Symposium on Veteran’s Health will take place on Thursday, March 20th from 1:00 – 3:30 p.m. at the Richard E. Dyke Center for Family Business on Husson University’s campus in Bangor, Maine. The event is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

The Symposium is sponsored by the Husson University Student Veteran’s Association and the College of Health and Education Dean’s Office at Husson. The symposium is made possible through the combined efforts of the Husson School of Legal Studies, the School of Nursing, the School of Pharmacy and the Student Veterans’ Association.

For more than 100 years, Husson University has prepared future leaders to handle the challenges of tomorrow through innovative undergraduate and graduate degrees. With a commitment to delivering affordable classroom, online and experiential learning opportunities, Husson University has come to represent superior value in higher education. Our Bangor campus and off-campus satellite education centers in Southern Maine, Wells and Northern Maine provide advanced knowledge in business; health and education; pharmacy studies; science and humanities; as well as communication. In addition, Husson University has a robust adult learning program. For more information about educational opportunities that can lead to personal and professional success, visit

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