Colonel (Ret.) David W. Sutherland
Colonel David W. Sutherland is the co-founder and Chairman of Easter Seals Dixon Center for Military and Veterans Services and actively contributes to numerous national veteran and military family committees and boards. Sutherland speaks in communities at universities, businesses and conferences around the country as a vocal advocate and leader for transformational change. He is a vocal advocate for our service members, military veterans, their families, and the families of our fallen.
Colonel Sutherland culminated his 29 years of service following Brigade Command, as the Special Assistant to the Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff with principle focus on Warrior and Family Support. By visiting hundreds of communities and assisting thousands of organizations, he created a nationwide network of support utilizing grassroots solutions for veterans and their families. As the Chairman of Easter Seals Dixon Center, Sutherland brings innovative approaches that harness existing community-based support to deliver profound results for veterans and their families.
Awards and decorations include, among others, the Bronze Star Medal with oak leaf cluster, Purple Heart, Ranger Tab, Combat Infantryman's Badge Second Award and Senior Parachutist Badge. He is also the 2008 Freedom Award recipient presented by the No Greater Sacrifice Foundation, the 2011 Meritorious Service Award recipient presented by the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans, and the 2013 Commitment to Service award presented by Give An Hour for his work on behalf of returning service members, veterans, military families and families of the fallen.He holds a Bachelor's degree from Bowling Green State University in History and Economics and a Masters in Strategic Studies.
Brian J. Lawler
received a B.A. in Political Science from Tulane University in 1990 and
graduated from the University of San Diego School of Law in 2002. Before and
while attending law school, Mr. Lawler served on active duty in the United
States Marine Corps as a Weapons and Sensors Officer in the F/A-18D Hornet,
including one tour as an instructor in the Hornet. He also served as a Forward
Air Controller with an infantry battalion and deployed to the Persian Gulf
during 1997-1998 in support of Operation Southern Watch.
Mr. Lawler has been active in the Marine Corps Reserve where he holds the rank
of Lieutenant Colonel. He was mobilized in support of the Global War on Terror
in 2003 and was a key member in four military aircraft accident investigations,
including two as the senior investigator of multi-fatality accidents that
claimed a total of 16 lives, one in 2009 and one in 2012. Mr. Lawler also
recently mobilized and deployed to Bahrain in support of Operation Enduring
Freedom from November 2010 through May 2011. Mr. Lawler is also a private pilot
with over 2,000 hours of combined military and civilian flight time.
admitted to the Bar in December 2002, Mr. Lawler has litigated several domestic
and international aviation cases including mass commercial aircraft disasters,
general aviation accidents and military mishaps, both helicopter and fixed
wing. He has also litigated numerous non-aviation cases including insurance bad
faith cases arising from the Northridge earthquake and Julian fires, premises
liability, employment litigation under USERRA, and others.
is admitted to the State Bar of California, United States District Court,
Southern and Central Districts of California, Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals,
Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the United States Supreme Court. He is also
a member of several professional organizations including the American
Association for Justice, American Bar Association and Lawyer Pilot Bar
Dr. Steven S. Coughlin, Ph.D.
1984 to 1987, Ph.D., Epidemiology, The Johns
Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, Baltimore, MD
1981 to 1984, M.P.H., Epidemiology, Graduate
School of Public Health, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA
1975 to 1978, B.S., Health Science, University of
Nevada, Reno, NV
2014 Research Center for Health Disparities, Equity,
and the Exposome, College of Medicine, and Professor, Department of Preventive
Medicine, University of Tennessee Health Science Center, Memphis, TN
2008-2012 Senior Epidemiologist and Health
Sciences Specialist (GS-14, step 10), Environmental Epidemiology Service,
Office of Public Health, Department of Veterans Affairs, Washington, DC
1997-2008 Senior Epidemiologist (GS-14, step 10),
Epidemiology and Applied Research Branch, Division of Cancer Prevention and
Control, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, GA
[Secondary appointment] 2008-, Adjunct
Professor, 1999-2008, Adjunct Associate Professor, Department of Epidemiology,
Rollins School of Public Health, Emory University, Atlanta, GA
1993 to 1997, Associate Professor of Epidemiology
(with tenure, March 1996), Director, Program in Public Health Ethics (1995 to
1997), Department of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Tulane University School
of Public Health and Tropical Medicine, New Orleans, LA
appointment, while at Tulane full-time, for teaching a five-day short course on
ethics and epidemiology in the Summer Program in Ann Arbor] 1995 to 1997,
Visiting Professor, Department of Epidemiology, University of Michigan School
of Public Health, Ann Arbor, MI
appointments while at Tulane] Member,
Tulane Cancer Center (1995 to 1997); Member, Tulane-Xavier Center for
Bioenvironmental Research (1996 to 1997); Member, Graduate School (1996 to
1997), Tulane University, New Orleans, LA
1991 to 1993,
Assistant Professor, Divisions of Medical Oncology and Cardiology, Department
of Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine; Acting Director of the
Biostatistics Unit, Lombardi Cancer Research Center (1991 to 1992), Georgetown
University Medical Center, Washington, DC
1989 to 1991, Research
Assistant Professor, Division of Biostatistics and Epidemiology, Department of
Community and Family Medicine, Georgetown University School of Medicine,
1988 to 1989,
Epidemiologist, RidgeCom, Inc., Haverford, Pennsylvania
while at RidgeCom, Inc. full-time, for helping with a course for Penn medical
1989, Affiliate Faculty, Clinical Epidemiology Unit, Department of Medicine,
Univ. of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
1987 to 1988, Assistant Adjunct Professor, Division of Epidemiology, Department
of Community and Family Medicine, University of California, San Diego,
while a doctoral student] 1984 to 1987, Lead Programmer and Project
Director, Department of Epidemiology, School of Hygiene and Public Health, The
Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, Maryland
while a masters student] 1984, Research Associate, Student Contractor, Naval Health Research
Center, San Diego, California
Dr. Robert F. Miller, M.D.
Dr. Miller received his undergraduate degree from Colorado College and his M.D from Vanderbilt University. He is board certified in Pulmonary Disease, Internal Medicine, and Critical Care Medicine. After fellowship, he spent 11 years in a Vanderbilt affiliated hospital and returned as full time faculty in 2001. Dr. Miller has an interest in general pulmonary and critical care medicine. He has identified a group of Ft. Campbell soldiers who developed small airways disease after serving in Iraq.
Dr. Miller serves as the Medical Director for the Shade Tree Clinic, a free clinic run by Vanderbilt medical students in an underserved area of Nashville. This clinic has generated a lot of interest and participation from both the medical center and the undergraduate campus.
EXPERTISE:Small airways disease, general pulmonary medicine and lung cancer
VA Appellate Practitioner
Chisolm, Chisolm, and Kilpatrick, LLC
Represent disabled veterans and their dependents in disability compensation claims and death benefit claims before the Department of Veterans Affairs.
Senior Quality Assurance Consultant
Department Of Veteran Affairs
Senior quality assurance expert on disability compensation claims in the Veterans Benefits Administration. Responsible for final review and approval of all quality error determinations by VA's national Quality Assurance team. Other accomplishments this year: Graduated VBA's Assistant Director Development Program, class of 2012; and, completed training as a Lean Six Sigma Black Belt.
Chief, Legislative and Policy Staff, Compensation Service
Department Of Veteran Affairs
Supervisor and one the top subject matter experts in the Nation on all legislative and policy activities concerning the VA disability claims process. Some accomplishments: Policy chief on all matters regarding the adjudication of over 150,000 Vietnam Agent Orange related disability claims under the Nehmer litigation rules; author of the Iraq and Afghanistan Environmental Exposure Training Letter; author of the Persian Gulf War Disability Claims Training Letter; author of Training Letter on Rating Cases based on Military Sexual Trauma; author of "Changing the Game: Disability Claims Process 2012."
Maintained a 97.5 success rate in litigating appeals before the Court of Appeals for Veterans Claims. Presented oral and written testimony before the House and Senate Committees on Veterans Affairs approximately 25 times.
Assistant National Legislative Director/Judicial Appellate Counsel
DAV (Disabled American Veterans)
Each office supervised became a model of success for others to emulated. Personally responsible for obtaining disabled veterans over $65 mill in retroactive disability compensation benefits.
Helicopter Crew Chief
Panama, Gulf War, Somalia
Awarded three combat Air Medals, three Navy Achievement Medals, two combat "Vs" for valor in combat, Combat Aircrew Wings with 21 stars, and Coast Guard Special Ops ribbon, among others. Nominated for Marine Corps Aviation Association Air Crewman of the year, National Helicopter Association Air Crewman, and Plane Caption of the year.