VA TBI Expert and Concussion Expert to Discuss Veteran TBI Disparities

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May 18, 2016

VA TBI Expert and Concussion Expert

to Discuss Veteran TBI Disparities


The 2016 Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar series wraps up this year with a panel discussion on Veteran TBI disparities. The panel will feature VA TBI expert Dr. David Cifu along with Dr. Bennet Omalu, whose research and discovery inspired the 2015 motion picture Concussion starring Will Smith. The distinguished panelists will highlight TBI-related morbidity and mortality among vulnerable Veteran groups including chronic traumatic encephalopathy. The full description of the panel is listed below. Use the following link to register:


Focus on Health Equity and Action: National Expert Panel Discussion on Traumatic Brain Injury and Chronic Traumatic Encephalopathy Morbidity and Mortality among Vulnerable Veterans

Veterans are more likely than non-Veterans to experience traumatic brain injuries (TBI). Suicidal ideation, post-traumatic stress disorder, and other mental health problems are common among Veterans diagnosed with TBIs. Recent studies suggest a long term link between mild TBI and chronic traumatic encephalopathy (CTE), a degenerative disease in people who have experienced repeated or severe head injuries (e.g., blast related injuries, concussions). This moderated panel discussion will feature national TBI and CTE experts who will explore the disparate impact of CTE on Veterans as a result of TBI. The moderator will briefly discuss VHA’s role in reducing health disparities and the Health Equity Action Plan, VA’s strategic plan to achieve health equity. Panelists will highlight CTE and TBI-related morbidity and mortality among vulnerable Veteran groups and answer questions submitted by the audience. A VA discussant with expertise in TBI-related equity issues will provide closing thoughts at the end of the panel discussion. Also, the panel moderator will highlight suggested actions that VA and stakeholders can take to reduce Veteran TBI disparities.

Visit the Office of Health Equity website at for more details about VA’s strategic plan to achieve health equity for Veterans and to learn more about the Focus on Health Equity and Action Cyberseminar series.

Target audience: Researchers, clinicians, care coordinators, educators, Veteran stakeholders and representatives of vulnerable Veteran groups who are interested in understanding and/or promoting equitable health among all Veterans.


  • David X Cifu, MD

National director of the VA’s Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation Services

Dr. Cifu is one of VA’s and the nation’s leading experts in TBI.

  • Bennet Omalu, MD, MBA, MPH, CPE, DABP-AP, CP, FP, NP

Associate Clinical Professor of Pathology, University of California, Davis

Dr. Omalu is a national expert in brain injury. His discovery of CTE in former football players sparked national attention and debate, and was dramatized in the 2015 film, Concussion, starring actor Will Smith who portrays Dr. Omalu.


  • Uchenna S. Uchendu, MD

Chief Officer, Office of Health Equity

Dr. Uchendu is a general internist. As the Chief Health Equity Officer she champions the advancement of health equity and reduction of health disparities for every Veteran.


  • Leonard E. Egede, MD, MS

Director of the Charleston VA HSR&D Health Equity and Rural Outreach Innovation Center (HEROIC)

Dr. Egede is a general internist and health services researcher with expertise in racial/ethnic variations in health care including in TBI treatment.