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Veteran and servicemembers health event Oct. 20

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Operation: Do Ask, Do Tell, a conference for GLBT veterans, servicemembers and their families, focusing on health needs and resources, is planned for Oct. 20, according to Lorry Luscri of the Hines Veterans Hospital.

The event will be held at the Northeastern Illinois University Student Union, 5500 N. St. Louis Ave., Chicago. Registration will begin at 8 a.m. and the conference will continue through 4 p.m. Attendance is free.

Speakers, exhibits and breakout sessions will cover topics including the mental health needs of LGBT veterans and service members, military sexual trauma, suicide prevention, transitioning home from active duty, an overview of the Women's Health program, and transgender health care in the Veterans' hospitals. Other topics include tips for caregivers and families, substance abuse in the LGBT population, veteran burial benefits and veteran health insurance.

Lee Reinhart, the first person in Illinois to re-enlist after being discharged under the Don't Ask, Don't Tell policy, is scheduled to speak at 9 a.m. Speakers at breakout sessions include Valerie Davis, M.D., Chief of Psychiatry, and Maryam Basmenji, LCSW, Military Sexual Trauma Program Coordinator, both associated with the Hines Veterans Administration Hospital.

Reception follows.

The conference is sponsored by Northeastern Illinois University, American Veterans for Equal Rights and the three area VA healthcare facilities; Edward Hines Jr. VA Hospital, Jesse Brown VA Medical Center and the James A. Lovell Federal Health Care Center.

For more information contact Lorry Luscri,, (708) 202-8387 x21228, or Mandi Evanson,, (708) 202-7875.

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