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From Battlefield to Healing: 12th Annual Washington Health Law Summit

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The ABA Health Law Section hosted an event on Monday, December 8, 2014 and Tuesday, December 9, 2014 at the Ritz-Carlton in Washington, D.C. for the 12th Annual Washington Health Law Summit.  Sponsoring the presentation of the program is the Task Force on Substance Use Disorders and Mental Health.

12th Annual Washington Health Law Summit

This session was led by Former United States Representative of Rhode Island, Patrick J. Kennedy, who also co-founded One Mind for Research and founded the Kennedy Forum.  The lecture centered on the problems with health care issues caused by stigma and discrimination held against sufferers of mental health issues and substance use disorders.

Topics for the session included a discussion addressing how specific mental health conditions are brought on by combat-related brain injuries and that the stigma needs to be removed. Also, how a focus on the need for proper classification of these war-related brain disorders is necessary, so that these veterans and their families are able to receive the benefits that they rightfully deserve.  Achievements made by neuroscientists, brain researchers, and other honorable mentions deserving of recognition were also highlighted at the assembly.  Following the Keynote Address was a panel presentation on current policy issues that impact the nation’s veterans’ ability to access needed health care treatment services in both public and private sectors.  Additionally addressed in the discussion was the emphasis of the Veterans Administration’s efforts to remedy its difficulties with ensuring the delivery of adequate health care services to our veterans.

Who attended?

Anyone who is involved in in-house counsel, in private practice, government attorney, mental health or substance abuse treatment field, or curious about health reform was welcome to attend the program.  All careers that deal with healthcare in some fashion gain knowledge from the session because of the latest information being relayed.

Mental illnesses, alcoholism, and substance use disorders like drug addiction are diseases.  Sufferers of these ailments have the right to have equal treatment and not be discriminated against in society.  By having communities come together and be aware of the ongoing changes in healthcare policies, stigmatization can be lessened.  As a result, sufferers of addiction and mental health conditions have more encouragement for improvement.  If you are interested in learning more about the disease of alcoholism and/or drug addiction or have any questions, contact us today at 1-800-861-1768.

For more information about the 12th Annual Washington Health Law Summit, please click here. You can also learn more about The American Bar at



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