HealthWest to host state-wide ReCon: Resilience Conference featuring Special Guests, Dr. Vincent Felitti, Medal of Honor Recipient, James McClouhan and others.

Business News |May 25, 2018|4 min read

Pioneering a Veteran resilience movement starts with all of us. That’s why HealthWest and community partners are hosting ReCon: Resilience Conference on May 31, 2018 at the Frauenthal Theater in Downtown Muskegon. Resilience is one of the pillars to overcoming ongoing life challenges faced by Veterans between their personal and professional, post-military lives. Resilience is not a trait that people either have or do not have. It involves behaviors, thoughts, and actions that can be learned and developed by anyone.


The full-day conference will include keynote sessions, informative lectures, panel presentations, a film screening, resource fair, and various experts talking about:

• Veteran, Family and Community Resilience
• Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACEs) and their impact on health over a lifetime
• Suicide Prevention strategies
• PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder)
• Taking care of or hiring a Veteran
• And other topics


The conference’s lunch-time keynote session is being given by Dr. Vincent J. Felitti, one of the world’s foremost experts on childhood trauma and the co-principal investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. His keynote session, From Trauma to Triumph will look at the impact of ACEs on a person’s physical and behavioral health and how to build resilience or support someone to build resilience who has had a history of childhood trauma.


Additionally, Dr. Felitti is conducting a breakfast presentation that morning, May 31st at 7am in the Frauenthal Center Ballroom, on the third floor of the Hilt Building. This is for physicians and medical care providers on understanding and screening for ACEs. This breakfast is free of charge and individuals can register by visiting,


Medal of Honor Recipient, James McClouhan will join Brian Gripentrog, a readjustment therapist for the Veteran’s Administration (VA) at Grand Valley State University as the other keynote presentation. Together, they will dive into the journey of addressing, overcoming, and navigating through PTSD and how their journey was a successful through practical resilience theory and



Other conference sessions include:

• Using Mindfulness and Compassion to Strengthen Resilience
• 7 Things Not to Say to a Veteran
• Understanding the Different Levels of the VA
• Operation S.A.V.E. for Suicide Prevention
• Hiring Veterans: A Panel of Employers
• Veteran Supports & Caregivers Tell All (Panel)
• Transitioning Out of the Military (Panel)
• Tools of Resilience
• Military Sisterhood Initiative


ABOUT DR. VINCENT J. FELITTI: Dr. Felitti is a renowned physician and researcher as well as the co-principal investigator of the Adverse Childhood Experiences (ACE) Study. He helped lead the charge in research into how adverse childhood experiences affect adults with this initial analysis of 17,000 adults. Defying conventional belief, this study revealed a powerful relationship between our emotional experiences as children and our physical and mental health as adults.


MEDAL OF HONOR RECIPIENT, JAMES MCCLOUHAN: Specialist 5 James C. McCloughan was born in South Haven, MI. He completed his tour of duty in Vietnam from 1969-1970. He distinguished himself during 48 hours of close-combat fighting against enemy forces, May 13-15, 1969. During this time frame, he saw a wounded Soldier lying on the ground, too injured to move. McCloughan ran 100 meters to the Soldier through an open field, ducking and dodging the crossfire of his company and a charging platoon of North Vietnamese Army. Upon reaching the wounded Soldier, McCloughan shouldered him and raced back to the company, saving his fellow Soldier from being captured or killed.


ReCon: Resilience Conference Details:

ReCon: Resilience Conference is being held on Thursday, May 31 from 8am-5pm (registration opens at 7am) at the Frauenthal Center in Downtown Muskegon. The conference is FREE to attend and includes breakfast and lunch. Veterans, their families, community members, Veteran service providers, and anyone interested in supporting Veterans or gaining skills to grow resilience are invited to attend. While the conference is focused on growing Veteran resilience, plenty of tangible skills and resources will be available for anyone who wants to continue encouraging and strengthening themselves or others.


Those interested in attending the ReCon: Resilience Conference can learn more and register at For those who cannot attend the full day conference, but would like to hear Dr. Felitti’s lunch time presentation, From Trauma to Triumph, registration to attend the lunch only is available at Physicians and medical providers wanting to attend Dr. Felitti’s Breakfast presentation on Universal Screening for ACEs can register at


The ReCon: Resilience Conference is being presented by HealthWest and Resilience Muskegon in partnership with Michigan Department of Health and Human Services, The US Dept. of Veteran Affairs, the Muskegon County Department of Veteran Affairs, WINC For All Women Veterans, Good for YOUth and WGVU Public Media.