Our Leadership

The Joining Forces–UB team is made up of dynamic faculty, staff, and students who are committed to excellence in veteran and military family care.

Portrait of Lisa Butler

Lisa Butler, PhD

Joining Forces–UB Co-Director; Instructor, Introduction to Issues in VMF Care and the VMF IPE Seminar; Associate Professor, School of Social Work

“Developing a comprehensive and nuanced understanding of both military culture and individual experience — what veterans have faced, their reactions and responses, and the challenges that they and their families may have in reintegration — is part of being trauma-informed when it comes to serving this population."

Picture of Bonnie Vest

Bonnie Vest, PhD

Joining Forces–UB Co-Director; Research Assistant Professor, Family Medicine, University at Buffalo

Bonnie Vest is a medical anthropologist specializing in qualitative methods and program evaluation. Her primary research interests center on veterans and military service members, specifically looking at post-deployment transitions and reintegration and the role of civilian primary care in caring for military populations.

“My research focuses on the many complex and intersecting factors that impact the well-being of military service members, veterans, and their families.  Only through understanding, and then addressing these factors through research and education, can we help make a difference in individuals’ lives.”

Steering Committee Members

Picture of David Gerber

David Gerber, PhD

University of Buffalo Distinguished Professor of History Emeritus; Senior Fellow, Department of History; Senior Fellow, UB Center for Disability Studies

“History provides a significant framework for examining the assumptions behind the continuities  from war to war in the making of public policy for assisting military veterans; what we learn or fail to learn from past practices has an important bearing on our successes and failures in the present.”

Paige Iovine, MSW/MPH Student Intern

Portrait of Paige Iovine

"Military service often entails tremendous sacrifice not only by service members themselves but also their families. This extends beyond their time in the service back into the civilian world and can be compounded by social inequities related to race, gender identity, sex, sexual orientation, etc. We have a duty as providers, researchers, and advocates to honor this sacrifice by pursuing a greater understanding of the challenges faced by these individuals in order to help them overcome and thrive."

Portrait of Brad Linn

Braden Linn, PhD, MCMP, MSW

"Research and education have the potential to vastly change the way services are delivered to veterans and military families. Working together, we can improve a variety of health and mental health outcomes for those who have sacrificed for our country."

Picture of Katie McCLain-Meeder

Katie McClain-Meeder, LMSW

Veterans and military families deserve to have care providers that understand and appreciate the complex set of challenges associated with military service. It is our hope to illuminate some of these challenges and to subsequently positively impact care for veterans and military family members.

Picture of Thomas Nochajski

Thomas H. Nochajski, PhD

Instructor, Introduction to VMF Issues class; Research Professor, School of Social Work


We are fortunate to have had a talented team of faculty and students that contributed to the project.