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Join us to explore ways in which the humanities—including literature, theater and writing—can support the personal and professional development of health care professionals who work with war veterans and others who have experienced trauma. Discover literature’s ability to provide new insights into trauma's effects on your patients—and to sustain you as you care for them. Learn about a range of innovative programs, best practices, and how to implement a humanities-based program in your own facility.

This conference is organized as part of Literature & Medicine: Humanities at the Heart of Health CareŽ, a national literature and discussion program for health care professionals that has been held in 25 states, including 14 Veterans Administration Medical Centers.

Click on pictures above to read
presenters’ biographical information.

We promise you will leave both informed and inspired!

Join plenary speakers Tim O’Brien, acclaimed author of The Things They Carried and a Vietnam War veteran, Jonathan Shay, MD, PhD, former VHA psychiatrist, author of Achilles in Vietnam, and a MacArthur “Genius Grant” recipient for his innovative work with veterans and Kate Braestrup, law enforcement chaplain and award-winning author of Here If You Need Me, about coping with loss.

There will also be a special performance by Theater of War, whose readings of ancient Greek plays catalyze discussions about the challenges faced by service members, veterans, their caregivers and families.

There will also be 18 breakout sessions, including workshops, discussions, and informal presentations.

Who should come?

All health care professionals, including:

  • Nurses, physicians, physician assistants, therapists of all kinds, social workers, service providers;
  • Chaplains and other religious leaders;
  • Hospital and other health care facility administrators;
  • Staff and volunteer coordinators;
  • Educators (health, humanities, medical);
  • Students in the health professions;
  • Others interested in the topic.

This conference will be of particular interest to Veterans Health Administration staff

Benefits of Attending

  • Learn about innovative programs and approaches;
  • Learn how the humanities can help support patient-centered care;
  • Learn strategies for self-care and increased job satisfaction;
  • Meet leaders in this burgeoning field;
  • Network with colleagues from across the country.


The College of Physicians and Surgeons of Columbia University is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME) to provide continuing medical education for physicians.

The College of Physicians and Surgeons designates this educational activity for a maximum of 14.5 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)TM. Physicians should only claim credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American College of Nurse Practitioners (ACNP) and the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accept AMA/PRA category 1 credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

The American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) accepts AMA/PRA category 1 credit toward recertification requirements.


Before the program, all faculty will disclose the existence of any financial interest and/or other relationship(s) (e.g. employee, consultant, speaker's bureau, grant recipient, research support, stock ownership or any other special relationship) they might have with a) the manufacturer(s) of any commercial product(s) to be discussed during their presentation and/or b) any commercial contributor to this activity. When unlabeled uses are discussed, these will also be indicated.

Register Now! for the pre-conference training, the entire conference or one day only.


If you have already registered for the conference and only need to select your workshop preferences, please review the final workshop lineup and select your workshops now!