Home Base: Brain Health Summit 2024

September 11, 2024 to September 12, 2024

Home Base Brain Health Summit - September 11-12, 2024

The Home Base Brain Health Summit is a live, interactive, hybrid two-day conference at MGH Institute for Health Professions located at 1 Constitution Wharf in the Charlestown Navy Yard in Boston, Massachusetts. 

 There will also be a free virtual livestream of the conference available if you cannot attend in person.

The Inaugural Home Base Annual Brain Health Summit examines the latest research and treatment innovations in military Special Operations Forces, veterans, and families suffering from the invisible wounds of war. In recognition of the anniversary of the September 11th attacks, Home Base, a Red Sox Foundation and Massachusetts General Hospital Program will provide comprehensive insights crucial for the holistic well-being of warriors throughout the lifespan. It will share updates in the Home Base Intensive Clinical Program with mass dose evidence-based therapy, Families of the Fallen, Children of the Fallen, and Native American cohorts. 

The Brain Health Summit offers in-depth information on Brain Health, Resiliency, PTSD, Traumatic Brain Injury, Artificial Intelligence, Virtual Reality, and Machine Learning. In every session, faculty will share lessons learned in current training, human performance, data from new clinical trials, and compare it to existing data to examine key differences. 

The 2024 Brain Health Summit has been made by possible by generous sponsorship from the American Psychiatric Association Foundation (APAF) and support from the Wounded Warrior Project. 

IMPORTANT NOTE:  In-person capacity at the inaugural Home Base Brain Health Summit is limited.  Please sign up now to reserve your spot. If you cannot join us in person, please join us virtually for free!  Register here



Target Audience

This program is intended for Psychiatrists, Psychologists, Nurse Practitioners, Registered Nurses, Licensed Alcohol and Drug Counselors, Social Workers, Licensed Mental Health Counselors, Peer support specialists, and administrative personnel.  Accreditation is pending.

Learning Objectives

By the end of this presentation, participants will be able to:

Course summary
Registration opens: 
Course closes: 
Event starts: 
09/11/2024 - 8:00am EDT
Event ends: 
09/12/2024 - 6:00pm EDT

Home Base Brain Health Live Hybrid Summit

September 11-12, 2024

MGH Institute for Health Professions, 1 Constitution Wharf, Charlestown MA

Special Operations Forces leadership, including Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Army Warfighter Brain Health Initiative, Naval Special Warfare, and Veteran psychiatric, psychological scholar-researchers to speak at the conference, including the President of Spaulding Rehab, the Associate Chair of Psychiatry at MGH and Director of the Center for Precision Psychiatry on Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, and Precision Psychiatry, along with Draper Labs on nextgen healthcare tech, and others.

We are planning interactive continuing-education sessions and exhibitor opportunities, and have received U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) sponsorship from the consulting group theDifference (impact: World Health Organization, UNICEF, UNESCO, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation), and a limited Exhibitor room with interactive equipment highlighting emerging innovative treatments such as Virtual Reality, Vestibular Rehabilitation, Performance, and EEG neurofeedback.

We anticipate approximately 100 to attend including Special Operations Medical Association (SOMA), Army Acquisitions, Pentagon, Special Operations Forces Acquisition Technology, and Logistics (SOF AT&L), Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICoE), Naval Special Warfare (NSW), Naval Special Warfare Development Group (DEVGRU), United States Special Operations Command (SOCOM), Mass General Brigham Leadership, Allied Maritime Command (MARCOM), Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Uniform Services University (USU) Hospital System, Wounded Warrior Project (WWP), Warrior Care Network (UCLA, Rush, Emory), Harvard Medical School, Draper Lab, MIT, Warrior For Life, American Psychiatric Association Foundation Leadership, Congressional Representatives, Families of the Fallen, Run to Remember, Spaulding Rehab, and others.


Decades After 9/11: Evolving Military & Veterans Health


8:00am - 8:05am

Sofia Matta, MD, Senior Director of Medical Services, Home Base, Harvard Medical School

No CEs

Color Guard

8:05am – 8:07am


No CEs

Journey of the Summit

8:07am – 8:15am

Lead Facilitator (Tom Kehner)

No CEs; Objectives, Flow of Day, Rules of Engagement

Relationship Maker - What connects each of us to this work?

8:15am – 8:30am

Breakout Groups (AI generated teams based on registration data to determine most effective teams for engineering serendipitous connections.)

Meet other participants and learn why this work is important to them. Ground everyone in the learning to come. What questions do we have coming in?

Evolution of the Comprehensive HealthSpan Evaluation

8:30am - 8:45am

Joseph Bonvie, PsyD, ABPP, Senior Director of Clinical Services, Home Base, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Bonvie will take a historical look at the integrated, multidisciplinary Traumatic Brain Injury evaluation within military medicine and how it has evolved since inception to meet the multitude of exposures in today’s special operations forces personnel.

Moment of Silence   

8:46am - 8:47am


No CEs: 8:46 moment of silence

SOCOM Brain Health

8:47am – 9:10am

Amanda Robbins, PsyD, USSOCOM Command Psychologist, United States Special Operations Command

As a pathfinder for the Department of Defense, SOCOM is striving to ensure the brain health and superior cognitive performance of the SOF Service Member.  Through longitudinal monitoring, cognitive skill enhancement brain health research and links to quality treatment, SOCOM intends to proactively sustain and extend the lifecycle of its Forces and ensure optimal healthcare of our warfighters during and after service.

Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence (TBICOE)

9:10am - 9:35am

Katharine Stout, DPT, MBA, PT, NCS, Traumatic Brain Injury Center of Excellence

This presentation will discuss current TBI evaluation and treatment within TBICoE.

KEYNOTE 1: Veteran Legislative Advocacy

9:05am - 9:30am



Special Operators

Current Brain Health Initiatives and Findings in Army SOF

10:00am - 10:25am

Sergeant Major Chris McNamara, United States Army, Human Weapon System Director

SGM McNamara will discuss current research findings in active-duty SOF and the initiatives we are using to address them.  We also discuss the four lines of effort that the NDAA directed Elite Forces Pilot Team are currently pursuing. 

The practice of Clinical and operational psychology in Naval Special Warfare

10:25am - 10:50am

Linda Havens, PhD, ABPP, Force Psychologist, Naval Special Warfare Command

The presentation will provide an overview of clinical and operational applications of psychology practice within Naval Special Warfare as well as common clinical presentations and challenges faced by Navy SEALs. Challenges and barriers to care within Navy medicine will be discussed, as well as common practices to overcome stigma and improve access to care within a culturally competent embedded system of care.

Embedded Psychological Health’s Critical Contributions to Healthspan

10:50am - 11:15am

James M. Keener, PsyD, ABPP, Force Psychologist, United States Navy

Dr. Keener will discuss the challenges faced by Naval Expeditionary Combatant Commanders force preservation strategy.


Special Operator - Breakout Group Huddles

11:15am – 12:00pm

Bonvie, Robbins, Stout, McNamara, Havens, Keener

Based on what you learned, what are your key takeaways? What is actionable in your work? What questions do you still have? (Speakers move from group to group to answer questions and help brainstorm.)

LUNCH + Exhibitor Interaction

12:00pm – 1:00pm


No CEs


Social Determinants, Resilience, Allostatic Load, and DNA Methylation Epigenetics

1:00pm - 1:25pm

Sofia Matta, MD, Senior Director of Medical Services, Home Base, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Matta will review the social determinants of health, metabolic and inflammatory response in stress, neuroimmune markers, and DNA methylation accelerated aging (the epigenetic “clock”) in posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and TBI. Recent advances in TBI on allostatic load, cardiovascular disease, metabolic syndrome, DNA methylation accelerated epigenetic aging, inflammation, and neuroendocrinological changes will be reviewed. She will introduce Positive Psychiatry, which aims to shed light on promoting mental health and well-being through enhancing social relationships, wisdom, and resilience and its impact on biomarkers, epigenetics, inflammation, and immune function.

KEYNOTE 2: HealthSpan

1:25pm - 1:50pm

Ross Zafonte, DO, President of Spaulding Rehabilitation Network

Dr. Zafonte will review the key concepts of HealthSpan and define Exposures in Special Operations Forces and Veterans.

The Link Between PTSD and Cardiovascular Disease: Mechanisms And Treatment

1:50pm - 2:15pm

Antonia V. Seligowski, PhD, Assistant Professor, Neurocardiac Effects of Stress and Trauma Lab, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School

Dr. Seligowski will provide an overview of how PTSD increases risk for cardiovascular disease (e.g., exaggerated fear responding). The presentation will also discuss treatment approaches that combine gold-standard therapies for PTSD and aim to reduce cardiovascular risk in this population.

Toxic Exposures and EDDx

2:15pm – 2:40pm

Lecia Sequist, MD, MPH, Program Director, Cancer Early Detection & Diagnostics @MGHCancerCenter

Dr. Sequist will discuss toxic exposures that are seen in Special Operations Forces.

BREAK + Exhibitor Interaction

2:40pm - 3:00pm


No CEs

Next Gen Healthcare Tech

Introduction to Next Gen Healthcare Tech

3:00pm - 3:05pm

Michael D. Allard,         Chief Operating Officer, Home Base

No CEs

Next Generation Healthcare Technology: Quantifying the Qualitative to Inform Care

3:05pm - 3:25pm

Andrea Webb, PhD,      Chief Scientist, Draper

Provide an overview of techniques and approaches to quantify the qualitative to inform human understanding and care.  Summarize Draper’s past and current efforts focused on mental health assessment, including considerations around ethics, equity, and equality.


AI & Precision Psychiatry Precision Psychiatry: New Opportunities for Prevention and Treatment

3:25pm – 3:45pm

Jordan W. Smoller, MD, ScD, Professor of Psychiatry, Center for Precision Psychiatry, Department of Psychiatry; Psychiatric and Neurodevelopmental Genetics Unit, Center for Genomic Medicine, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Smoller will introduce some of the goals of “precision psychiatry,” with a particular focus on leveraging large-scale data resources to address unmet needs in mental healthcare. For example, advances in machine learning and artificial intelligence are providing new opportunities to improve risk stratification, targeted prevention, and precision treatment. The presentation will highlight progress in these areas using several examples that capitalize on these opportunities, including efforts to predict and prevent suicide-related behavior and move beyond one-size-fits-all, trial-and-error approaches to treatment.

Impact of Repeated Blast Exposure on Active-Duty United States Special Operations Forces

3:45pm - 4:05pm

Brian L. Edlow, MD, Neurocritical Care Faculty, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Edlow will discuss the state-of-the-science in diagnostic tests for brain injury associated with repeated blast exposure.  The session will focus on emerging imaging and blood-based biomarkers, as well as clinical motivation and future directions.

Building for the Future: Identifying Opportunities to Collaborate - Breakout Group Huddles

4:05pm - 5:05pm 

Ron Hirschberg, Webb, Smoller, Allard, Edlow

What gaps or opportunities could we solve together? What does this information change for our industry? Who benefits?  (Speakers move from group to group to answer questions and help brainstorm.)


Performance And Community

 Welcome Back

8:00am - 8:05am

Joseph Bonvie, PsyD, ABPP, Senior Director of Clinical Services, Home Base

Introduction to Performance and Community


Overnight Insights - Breakout Group Huddles

8:05am - 8:45am

Joseph Bonvie, PsyD, ABPP, Senior Director of Clinical Services, Home Base


Sofia E Matta, MD,      Senior Director of Medical Services, Home Base

Knowledge Sharing

Sports Performance and Research

8:45am - 9:05am

Dr. Mark Stephenson

The presentation will cover human performance optimization strategies and resources to enhance the mental health of Special Operations Forces and veteran populations.

Strategies for Human Performance Optimization from the Boston Bruins

9:05am – 9:25am

Frank Simonetti, President, Boston Bruins Alumni Association

The presentation will describe human performance optimization strategies and community resources to enhance mental health, social support, and physical health outcomes in Special Operations Forces and veteran populations.

Resiliency at Home Base and the Broader Military Community

9:25am - 9:45am

Rachel Millstein, PhD, MHS, Clinical and Research Co-Director, Mind Body Health Program, Home Base, Department of Psychiatry, Massachusetts General Hospital

Dr. Millstein will describe the resiliency programs at Home Base, their development, and outcome studies.   The session will also discuss the applicability and outreach of these programs to different military and veteran communities, including those related to athletics.

BREAK + Exhibitor Interaction

9:45am – 10:30am


No CEs

Home Base Updates

Massed Treatment Approaches: Intensive Clinical Programming




Interdisciplinary Approaches to Brain Health: An overview of Home Base SOF Programming


10:30am - 10:50am

Laura Harward, LICSW, Director, Intensive Clinical Program, Home Base, Massachusetts General Hospital


Lauren Brenner, PhD, Clinical Psychologist; Clinical Director of Brain Health, Home Base, Massachusetts General Hospital

Ms. Harward will provide an overview of the Home Base Intensive Clinical Program (ICP), including the Families of the Fallen and Native/Indigenous specialty cohorts, sharing background on the ICP, evidence for success, and reviews of the specialty cohorts. 

                                                                                        Dr. Brenner will provide an overview of the ComBHaT program and describe innovative additions to brain health programming. 

Neuropsychological Assessment in SOF

10:50am – 11:10am

Scott Sorg, PhD, Neuropsychology Team Lead, Home Base, Harvard Medical School







This session highlights the crucial role of neuropsychological assessment in the conceptualization of brain health in US Military Service Members and Veterans. It aims to provide an overview of the extant findings on neuropsychological outcomes in SOF, discuss relevant cognitive risk factors and assessment considerations in this population, and present recommendations to advance clinical practice and targets for future research efforts.

Lead Exposure and Psychopathology Among Veterans and Active Duty Servicemembers

11:10am - 11:20am

Gabrielle Hoover, PhD,    Co-Director of Home Base Outpatient Clinic, Staff Psychologist, Home Base, Instructor, Harvard Medical School

Veterans and servicemembers are a population at risk for elevated lead exposure and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to their military service. Many have accumulated a high density of lead from occupational and environmental exposures, specifically via firearms through take-home dust from lead-based primers and ammunition. The relationship between lead and psychopathology including PTSD remains poorly understood; preliminary data from a Catalyst Grant funded study at Home Base will be presented and discussed on this topic.

Skills-Based Interventions for Substance Use Disorders: A Complement to PTSD and TBI treatment

11:20am - 11:30am

Peter Ward, PhD, Staff Psychology, Home Base, Massachusetts General Hospital

This presentation will provide a brief overview of how two primary interventions at MGH Home Base, the SOAR IOP program and the Dual Recovery Supplement to the Intensive Clinical Program (ICP-DR) provide time-limited, effective means of treating Substance Use Disorders (SUDs) in concert with common comorbidities such as PTSD and TBI. The presentation will share specific interventions utilized in both programs and will relate these interventions to recovery from SUDs and comorbid conditions.

Home Base Updates – Breakout Groups

11:30am – 12:00pm

Ron Hirschberg, Brenner, Harward, Sorg

What gaps or opportunities could we solve together? What does this information change for our industry? Who benefits?

LUNCH + Exhibitor Walk

12:00pm – 1:00pm


No CEs




Introduction to Family

1:00pm - 1:05pm

Rawle Andrews, Esq, Executive Director of the American Psychiatric Association Foundation

No CE’s

KEYNOTE 4: Generations of Service

1:05pm - 1:20pm


No CEs

Working with Families of the Fallen:  Cultural Considerations and Risk Factors for Mental Health Concerns

1:20pm - 1:40pm

Diane Nealon, LICSW, Director, Families of the Fallen, Home Base

An overview of military cultural considerations relevant to working with Families of the Fallen.  Different types of military bereavement will be reviewed, along with a highlight of particular challenges facing survivor families of military suicide.  Risk factors for mental health concerns in this population will be reviewed.

Communal Coping Among Active-Duty Military Surviving Families

1:40pm - 2:00pm

Victoria McCausland, MA, PhD, Assistant Professor, Old Dominion University and Founder & President - Strong Ties

Dr. McCausland will discuss how communal coping among military surviving spouses has the potential to promote resilience, normalize a non-normative experience and reduce stigma in a culture where discussion about death is uncomfortable. Through specific anecdotes about her personal and professional experience, she will highlight the enactment of communal coping and how it is revealed through interpersonal communication.

Force Multiplier: Collaborative Support and the Role of Benevolent Organizations in Advancing Operator Wellness

2:00pm - 2:30pm

Alison Messick,              Chief Programs Officer, Navy SEAL Foundation

This presentation underscores the paramount importance of collaborative efforts between benevolent organizations in advancing the holistic wellness of Navy SEAL operators and their families. By harnessing the collective strength of these organizations, we can effectively multiply the impact of our support systems, enhancing resilience and performance within the SEAL community. However, navigating the complexities of collaboration poses challenges, necessitating strategic coordination and communication to overcome barriers and ensure optimal care delivery. Looking forward, a concerted focus on innovative solutions and partnership models will pave the way for continued advancements in operator wellness initiatives, fostering a culture of support and empowerment for our nation's elite warriors and their loved ones.

Problem Solving for the Future: Collaborative Focus Areas – Breakout Groups

2:30pm – 3:30pm

Matta, Bowman, Nealon, McCausland, Messick, Andrews

What does all of this information change?

What is still needed to be more effective/efficient? 



Sofia E Matta, MD, Senior Director of Medical Services, Home Base


Joseph Bonvie, PsyD, ABPP, Senior Director of Clinical Services, Home Base, Harvard Medical School

Closing comments, Thank You from the Course Directors, Present key findings & questions (Eric Goralnick, MD, MS), Next Steps








MGH Institute for Health Professions (one door down from Home Base - Boston Office)

1 Constitution Wharf, 1 Constitution Plaza

Charlestown, Boston, MA

Uber/Lyft Address: 1 Constitution Plaza, Boston, MA

Public Transit: MBTA North Station Commuter Rail/Orange Line (15-minute walk)

**Please note: Travel via public transit or ride share is encouraged; parking is at your discretion in the vicinity.**

Dietary Restrictions:

Please contact mghcme@mgh.harvard.edu by 8/15 with your dietary restrictions.  


Home Base strives to host inclusive, accessible educational events that enable all individuals, including individuals with disabilities, to engage fully.  To be respectful of those with allergies and environmental sensitivities, we ask that you please refrain from wearing strong fragrances.

To request an accommodation or for inquiries about accessibility, please contact educationathomebase@mgb.org.  In order to enable us to best meet your needs, please reach out as soon as possible. 

Accomodations: Given the location of the Brain Health Summit at MGH Institute for Health Professions, 1 Constitution Wharf, Charlestown MA – we suggest the following local hotels:

Sofia E Matta


Course Director

MGH Home Base, Psychiatry, Sr Dir of Medical Services

Joseph L Bonvie


Course Director

MGH Home Base, Psychiatry, Sr Dir of Clinical Services

Susan Sprich


Content Reviewer

Director, Postgraduate Psychology Education


Assistant Professor of Psychology

Harvard Medical School


Sharon Fawcett


Content Reviewer

Manager of Case Management, Spaulding Rehabilitation Hospital

Susan Kim


Content Reviewer

Assistant Director, Division of Profession and Public Education, MGH


Attending Psychiatrist, Acute Psychiatric Services, MGH


Elizabeth Cox


Content Reviewer

MGH Institute of Health Professions

Jane Pimental



Director I Division of Professional and Public Education

Managing Director | Massachusetts General Hospital Psychiatry Academy


Lauren Rockoff


Program Manager

Home Base, Clinical Education & Training

IHP CE Accreditation is currently under review.  Please check back soon for CE information.


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