2018 Impact Forum

10950 N Torrey Pines Rd,
La Jolla, CA, US, 92037

2018/10/01 18:00:00


This year’s Navy SEAL Foundation Impact Forum will include presentations from leading experts on how to put scientific facts into practical, everyday use to boost performance and emotional health. We are very excited to share this important forum with members of our Naval Special Warfare community, attending doctors, continuing education professionals and the community at large and we look forward to the positive outcomes it will create for those we serve.

DAY 1 - OCTOBER 1, 2018 9:00AM-4:30PM

9:00am - 9:15am

Opening Video and Remarks

9:15AM - 10:45AM


Dr. Ben Goldacre
University of Oxford
Medical Sciences Division 

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Every day there are news reports of new health advice, but how can you know if they’re right?
With a series of applied examples from throughout medicine this course gives an overview of the different types of evidence used to ascertain whether an intervention is effective, and to measure unintended harms. It then applies these “evidence search” and “critical appraisal” skills to some specific example treatments currently promoted in the Naval Special Warfare Community and Military at large. Understand the basics of evidence-based medicine: how we know what works, and what doesn’t. To understand different study designs, their strengths and weaknesses, practical issues around implementation, and how to spot flawed research. To understand how to search for good quality evidence.

Ben Goldacre is a doctor, academic, author, and campaigner. He trained in medicine at Oxford and UCL, in psychiatry at the Maudsley, and in epidemiology at LSHTM. He is currently Senior Clinical Research Fellow at the University of Oxford, and Director of the Evidence-Based Medicine DataLab. His books have sold over 600,000 copies. His academic and policy work is in epidemiology and evidence-based medicine, where he works on better uses of routinely collected electronic health data, variation in care, access to clinical trial data, efficient trial design, and retracted papers. He has written policy papers for the UK government, founded the AllTrials campaign, and in the 2018 Queen’s Honours received an MBE “For Services to Evidence in Policy”.

10:45am - 11:00am Break

11:00am - 12:30pm


Dr. Alia Crum
Assistant Professor
Department of Psychology
Stanford University

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Dr. Crum’s research focuses on how changes in subjective mindsets – the lenses through which information is perceived, organized, and interpreted – can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms. Dr. Crum says the biggest game changer is “YOU, by harnessing the power of your mind.” She explores scientific results that show the influence of the mindset on the body, and how changing the subjective mindset produced different outcomes. Inspired by research on the placebo effect, a remarkable and consistent demonstration of the ability of the mindset to elicit healing properties in the body; she will present how mindsets can be consciously and deliberately be changed through intervention to affect organizational and individual performance, physiological and psychological well-being, and interpersonal effectiveness. She will address the placebo argument regarding the justification this makes for people advocating for controversial and often expensive treatments.

Dr. Alia Crum received her PhD from Yale University and BA degree from Harvard University.  Her research focuses broadly on how changes in subjective mindsets—the lenses through which information is perceived, organized, and interpreted—can alter objective reality through behavioral, psychological, and physiological mechanisms.  To date, her research has won several awards including the National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award and attention in several popular media including the Boston Globe, the Wall Street Journal, and in The New York Times Magazine’s 2007 “Year in Ideas.” In addition to her academic research and teaching, Dr. Crum has worked as a clinical psychologist for the VA healthcare system and as an organizational trainer and consultant, creating, delivering, and evaluating workshops on mindset change and stress management for organizations including UBS, Colgate Palmolive and the United States Navy.

Stanford Mind & Body Lab 
Stanford SPARQ

12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch Provided

1:30pm - 2:30pm


Daniel Perl, M.D.
Professor of Pathology (Neuropathology)
Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences
F Edward Hebert School of Medicine
Director, Neuropathology Core
Center for Neurosciences and Regenerative Medicine (CNRM)

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Dr. Perl will provide an update on the results of ongoing studies on the long-term effects of military traumatic brain injury, especially blast-related TBI in Navy SEALS.  The implications of the findings will be discussed with respect to the diagnosis, treatment and prevention of the neurologic/behavioral consequences of blast-related TBI.  Finally, the importance of knowing about and participating in the USU/CNRM Registry of Prospective Brain Donors in fostering this research will be discussed.

Dr. Daniel Perl, M.D.
Director of CNRM’s Brain Tissue Repository
Dr. Daniel Perl leads the CNRM Brain Tissue Repository. Born and raised in New York City, Dr. Perl received his undergraduate degree from Columbia University and his medical training at the State University of New York, Downstate Medical Center. He then completed postgraduate training in Anatomic Pathology and Neuropathology at Yale University, after which he served for two years as a pathologist in the U.S. Public Health Service, stationed at the Centers for Disease Control in Atlanta.
He later served on the faculty of the Brown University Medical School and then the University of Vermont College of Medicine. At the University of Vermont, he began working on Alzheimer’s disease and other age-related neurodegenerative disorders. In 1986, Dr. Perl joined the Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York, where for 24 years he served as Director of the Neuropathology Division and Professor of Pathology, Psychiatry and Neurosciences.
Dr. Perl has authored more than 260 peer-reviewed publications and book chapters and is co-author of the 3rd edition of Oppenheimer’s Diagnostic Neuropathology, one of the leading textbooks in his field. He is highly regarded for his work on various aspects of the neuropathology of age-related neurodegenerative disorders, especially the role of environmental factors in their induction. He is the leading authority on the pathology of the fascinating complex of neurodegenerative disorders occurring among the native population living on Guam.
He recently became involved in investigations on the long-term effects of repeated head trauma in former NFL football players and other athletes in collaboration with the Boston University Center for the Study of Traumatic Encephalopathy. Dr. Perl has won numerous awards for his research as well as his role as a medical educator.
In September 2010, Dr. Perl was recruited to the faculty of the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences in Bethesda, Md., as Professor of Pathology. In conjunction with the congressionally mandated Center for Neuroscience and Regenerative Medicine, he has established a state-of-the-art neuropathology laboratory dedicated to research on the acute and long-term effects of traumatic brain injury among military personnel.

2:30pm - 3:45pm


Dr. Ian Robertson
Professor of Psychology, Trinity College Dublin
Founding Director of Trinity College Institute of Neuroscience

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We have a lot of control over our brains but we have to believe we have it in order to use it. Little things can make these changes – posture, goal-setting, breathing, mindset – for example. Stress is a form of energy that we can harness if we adopt a challenge rather than a threat mindset. Moderate stress over a lifetime makes us emotionally stronger, better able to tolerate pain and cognitively sharper later in life. In this 75-minute course, Dr. Robertson will show how to put these scientific facts into practical, everyday use to boost performance and emotional health.


Dr. Ian Robertson is a licensed clinical psychologist and neuroscientist, a leading expert in the field of stress and motivation viewed in particular through the lens of how we use the attention systems of our brains. He is the author of several multiply-translated books aimed at the general reader (The Stress Test, The Winner Effect, Mind Sculpture, Stay Sharp, The Mind’s Eye) and is the author of over 400 highly-cited scientific studies of how we can control our mental and emotional states – and indeed the basic neural functioning of our brain – through how we use our attention. He runs courses and workshops nationally and internationally. He is currently the T Boone Pickens Distinguished Scientist at the Center for BrainHealth at the University of Texas at Dallas and also the Co-Director of the Global Brain Health Institute, a joint institute between University of California at San Francisco and Trinity College Dublin, Ireland.

4:30pm - 7:00pm

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres
Parterre Gardens

Day 2 -October 2, 2018 9:00AM - 4:00PM

9:00am - 11:30am


Dr. Robin Gurwitch
Duke University, Psychiatry, Child & Family Mental Health and Developmental Neuroscience School of Medicine

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Child Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE) for Families Who Serve is an adaptation of CARE for use specifically with military families. CARE is a trauma-informed set of principles for any adult who interacts with children and teens, including their parents and other caregivers, professionals, and school personnel. CARE uses evidence-based interaction skills drawn from research-supported parenting programs to improve relationships with and resilience for children and improve the likelihood of children/teens to follow adult directions. These are foundational parenting skills for promoting positive behaviors in children and increasing compliance and can be applied by any adult in any setting. CARE for Families Who Serve was developed as more than 2 million children have experienced parental deployment. All phases of deployment have unique stressors for all family members. Service members, including active duty service members, Guard and Reserves, veterans, and military partners report behavior challenges in children/teens during and after deployments. Families often report difficulties re-connecting following deployment. CARE for Families Who Serve teaches skills that may help improve connections with children/teens and connections with partners over parenting issues. In sum, through a positive relationship, a child/teen’s social-emotional development, family relationships, and learning potential are enhanced. This 2.5-hour training will incorporate lecture, demonstrations, practice, and active skills-building practice in small groups.


Dr. Robin Gurwitch, a Clinical Psychologist, is a Professor at Duke University Medical Center and the Center for Child and Family Health. Dr. Gurwitch specializes in work with children considered at-risk. Dr. Gurwitch is one of only 21 PCIT-International certified Master Trainers world-wide in the evidence-based treatment, Parent-Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). She is recognized as the national leader in the adaptation of PCIT for use with military families coping with deployment. Dr. Gurwitch is one of the co-developers of Child-Adult Relationship Enhancement (CARE), a program based on PCIT and other evidence-based parenting interventions designed for to improve behaviors in children and teens; CARE is being used across settings throughout the US. Again, she has taken the leading role in adapting CARE for use in military settings.

Dr. Gurwitch is a recognized expert on the impact of disasters and trauma on children and families. Serving on state and national committees and task forces focusing on trauma, disaster, terrorism, and resilience, she is involved in research, service, training and consultation to agencies, schools, and organizations across the country and internationally. She has developed materials for national and federal agencies related to disaster mental health and secondary traumatic stress. She is a member of the APA Disaster Response Network, American Red Cross, and the National Child Traumatic Stress Network. Recently, she was appointed to the HHS National Advisory Committee on Children and Disasters.


John-Paul Abner, Ph.D.

John-Paul Abner graduated from the University of Florida with a Ph.D. in Clinical Psychology (Child and Adolescent emphasis) in 1996. A professor in psychology at Milligan College, he is one of 21 people in the world who has been designated as a Parent Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT) Master Trainer by PCIT International. He is the Director of PCIT Training for the North-East Tennessee Center of Excellence for Children in State Custody where he helps coordinate a statewide PCIT dissemination effort. Dr. Abner has conducted some of the initial research applying PCIT to children on the autism spectrum. A frequent speaker at PCIT conferences, he is passionate about PCIT and CARE (Child Adult Relationship Enhancement).

11:30-12:30 Lunch Provided



Donn Posner, PhD.
Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor
Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences
Stanford University School of Medicine
Palo Alto Veterans Institute for Research

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Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT-I), now recommended as the first line of treatment for chronic insomnia, is a short-term intervention where up to 70% of subjects exhibit a treatment response and nearly 40% recover good sleep. CBT-I has also been shown to double response and remission rates to antidepressant therapy in depressed patients and to have similar good clinical effects on pain tolerance. Taken together, these aspects of CBT-I treatment efficacy suggest that CBT-I should be considered a trans-diagnostic therapy and as such should be part of clinician’s existing clinical skill sets.

Dr. Donn Posner is an Adjunct Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences at the Stanford University School of Medicine. He currently works as a clinical/research psychologist at the Palo Alto VA and is working on a grant, which hopes to clarify the relative efficacy of each of the components of Cognitive Behavioral Therapy for Insomnia (CBT-I) and for whom each piece works best.
Prior to his role at the VA he spent 25 years serving as the Director of Behavioral Sleep Medicine for the Sleep Disorders Center of Lifespan Hospitals, and was a Clinical Associate Professor in the Department of Psychiatry and Human Behavior at the Warren Alpert School of Medicine at Brown University. For 20 of those years Dr. Posner had served as the primary supervisor for a rotation of the Behavioral Medicine track of the clinical psychology internship at Brown. The rotation focused on the assessment and treatment of Sleep and Anxiety Disorders, and was one of the few rotations of its kind in the US.

BREAK 2:30pm - 2:45pm

2:45pm - 4:00pm

Expert Panel Deliberation (MORE DETAILS TO FOLLOW)

4:00pm - 7:00pm

Complimentary hors d’oeuvres
Torreyana Terrace