Soldier embraces partner

Photo taken by Sgt. Samuel Nasso.

The Joining Forces–UB project is committed to conducting research related to the issues faced by veterans and military family members in our community.

Our Research Mission Statement

 The Joining Forces–UB Research Team seeks to initiate, facilitate, and support research that involves veterans and military families (VMF) in the community and health professionals in training to work with VMF, as well as to promote VMF research across the UB campus and facilitate research efforts that are initiated or inspired by the veteran community or veteran students at UB. 

To this end, members of our team will be available for consultation, connection-making, resource-sharing, and mentoring, and will provide a monthly forum for discussion among UB VMF researchers, a clearing house for information and a repository for research ideas that are consistent with our project’s aims and values, and leadership in achieving these research goals.

The Joining Forces–UB project is committed to conducting meaningful research.

Our research foci:

  • Veterans and military families
  • Community-based
  • Training health professionals to work with veterans and/or military family members
  • Facilitating community-initiated or inspired research
  • Facilitating veteran student-initiated research

Our Research Team

Our team members are dynamic faculty and students who are committed to bettering the lives of veterans and military families through relevant research.

Team members and their areas of research interest

Social Work

Lisa Butler, PhD, Principal Investigator of Joining Forces–UB: Trauma, resilience, and growth; anticipatory trauma symptoms in military family members; identifying the care needs of veterans and their families; trauma, stress, and self-care in MSW clinical training; applications of the trauma-informed framework; dissociative processes; representations of mental illness in film.

  • Thomas Nochajski, PhD: Prevention for alcohol and other drug problems with children, adolescents, adults, veterans, and families; screening, assessment, and treatment of veterans, and the Criminal Justice population; program and practice evaluation; research methodology.
  • Brad Linn, MCMP, MSW, PhD student: Mental health problems among veterans and military families; readiness to change and persistence in treatment; substance use and addiction.


Susan Bruce, PhD, RN, ANP-C, Co-PI of Joining Forces-UB: Issues of veterans and military families; cardiovascular disease with a focus on women; pulmonary abnormalities, with a focus on adult asthma; health behaviors especially tobacco cessation; self-efficacy and locus of control; education through simulation.

  • Adrian Juarez, PhD, RN: Health status in historically marginalized urban population groups; Hispanic identity and classification in relation to community-level health disparities; post-deployment chronic conditions and urban health; Hispanic veterans health disparities; post-DADT, LGBT veterans health.
  • Patricia Nisbet, DNP, PMHNP-BC: Children and adolescents with serious persistent mental illness; persistent depression in female adolescents; the effects of chronic medical illness on families and children; alcohol use in college-age women.
  • Christine Geiger, RN, DNP student: Community-based healthcare provision for veterans, interventions that target management of acute and chronic health conditions.