Headway of WNY, Inc.

A support and advocacy agency
for individuals with brain injuries,
disabilities and seniors.

Veterans Information

4th Annual WNY in Support of Veterans Symposium

Bridging the Gaps, Part II – A Discussion between Veterans and Community Providers

Thank you to all who attended the symposium on Wednesday, October 2, 2019 held at the Pvt. Leonard Post Jr. #6251  VFW

This year's speakers were as follows: 

Sgt. Max Donatelli, MS

Alyssa D. Vasquez

MSgt. Delcey Pulvino, LMSW

Tracy Schmidt, LMSW

Bonnie M. Vest, PhD

Click here for link to WBFO story featuring Sgt. Max Donatelli

Co-sponsored by Headway of WNY, Inc., People Inc. and Catholic Charities

Free event, lunch was provided by David's Catering 

Continuing Education Units (CEU) were available for interested participants

This was a positive interactive discussion aimed at helping participants gain a better understanding of obtaining community services for veterans and their families.  

Detailed Flyer Here

Watch for next scheduled symposium in 2020.  

Please check the Veterans Events Bulletin page for information about upcoming events in Western New York


Over the course of the last four years (2016 - 2019), Headway of WNY,  People Inc. and Catholic Charities have establised a Veterans Services Initiative and subsequentally offered a focus group and annual symposiums to help identify issues and needs of Veterans in WNY (with or without TBI and/or other cognitive difficulties).  Headway continues to reach out to Veterans organizations and partner with area Veteran leaders and agencies who also provide services for Veterans.

To date, the series of Veterans symposiums have helped to identify and address issues for Veterans and their families who are living with brain injuries or other cognitive disorders.

The following WNY in Support Veterans symposiums have been held at no cost to those who wished to attend:

Bridging the Gaps, June 22, 2016

Signature Injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan Wars:

Blast Induced TBI, June 14, 2017

Alternative Therapeutic Approaches for Successful Reintegration, June 13, 2018

Over 170 people have attended these symposiums and the presenters have included a U.S. Army Colonel Reintegration specialist, board-certified neuropsychologists, a NYS senator, licensed master social workers, certified practitioners of Emotional Freedom Techniques, Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing, Yoga and other alternative therapies.  

It is the intention of Headway of WNY to continue this successful symposium series. Our work in this area has identified further issues for our target group that we wish to address, including Suicide in the Veteran Community and reasons and solutions for Veterans who may be reluctant to access other helpful services in the WNY area.

Headway of WNY, Inc., People Inc. and Catholic Charities

Co-sponsored the 3rd Annual Veterans Symposium 

June 13, 2018


Sincere appreciation goes out to all who helped make this year's symposium successful:  

Keynote Speaker and Panelists

Holistic Fair Presenters


The Buffalo Museum of History 

Chef's Restaurant

It is our hope that the information shared was helpful to WNY Veterans and that the conversations ignited will lead to further discussions that address current community needs.

This year's event was designed to encourage feedback and discussion about alternative therapeutic approaches for successful reintegration for current and former service members.

Be There, Be Proud - Helping Current and Former Service Members and Their Families Find Peace

Keynote Speaker: Stephen McCloskey

Panelists: James Becker, Annette Romeo, Kimberly Warner and Wendy Guyker

WNY in Support of Veterans is an annual symposium held during the month of June. Please see information below about  previous year's themes.

Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) in Veterans

In partnership with the Service Collaborative of WNY, Inc. and as part of the Serve New York AmeriCorps VISTA program from 2013 - 2016, Headway developed initiatives which focus on helping Veterans in WNY with traumatic brain injuries and their families. These initiatives remain current and further development is ongoing. 

Our goal is to help veterans find the supports they need in order to manage their condition and overcome obstacles to help engage with their community.

A TBI results from a blow or jolt to the head that disrupts the normal function of the brain and produces a diminished or altered state of consciousness. Categories for TBI are mild, moderate, severe, or penetrating. The most common form of TBI in the military is mild, also referred to as concussion.

TBI has been described as the signature wound of the Iraq and Afganistan wars and is a significant health issue that affects service members and Veterans.

For More Information, please contact our us at 716-408-3110


Previous WNY in Support of Veterans Symposiums

Thank you to all who attended and participated in the 2nd Annual Veterans Symposium

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

WNY In Support of Veterans Signature Injury of the Iraq and Afghanistan  Wars: Blast Induced TBI

Assessment, Diagnoses and Treatment

Held at: Center for Tomorrow 

University at Buffalo, North Campus

Featured Speakers: Michael Santa Maria, Ph.D., Ronald Fernandez, RRDS, LMHC, Elisabeth Mann, LCSWR

Two Continuing Education Units (CEU) were available for pre-registered Licensed Mental Health Counselors (LMHC) and Social Workers (MSW) - $20 fee

This Free event was co-sponsored by:

Headway of WNY, Inc., Catholic Charities and People Inc.

Thank you to all who attended and participated in the Inaugural Veterans Symposium, Bridging The Gaps: WNY in Support of Veterans

Wednesday, June 22, 2016

This event was geared towards service providers and veterans

 Featured Keyonte Speaker: NYS Senator Robert Ortt

The goal was to identify key issues and service gaps to address community needs.

The event was held at The Ramada Hotel & Conference Center in Getzville, NY

Copyright © 2019 Headway of WNY, Inc.