The Commander Lura Jane Emery Lecture

University of Maryland School of Nursing Dean's Lecture Series header

A Legacy of Military Service

UMSON's founder and first superintendent, Louisa Parsons, served with the British Army and was awarded the Royal Red Cross, the highest honor of its kind. She laid the foundation for future UMSON nurses, who served in every major military engagement since the Spanish-American War in 1898. Learn more.

The Commander Lura Jane Emery Lecture

The Opioid Crisis: Treating Our Nation's Veterans

Thursday, May 2, 2019, 4-5:30 p.m.
University of Maryland School of Nursing
Auditorium, Room 130
Travel and Parking

This lecture has now concluded.


Liberto HeadshotJoseph G. Liberto, MD
Associate Chief of Staff for Education and Academic Affairs
Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System 

Associate Professor
University of Maryland School of Medicine

Liberto is the associate chief of staff for Education and Academic Affairs at the Department of Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System (VAMHCS) and was formerly the director of the Mental Health Clinical Center at the VAMHCS. He is also a past president of the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) and is a distinguished fellow of the American Psychiatric Association.

In addition, Liberto is an associate professor of psychiatry at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) where he is currently the vice chairman of Clinical Years Committee. He has also held past roles as the addiction psychiatry fellowship program director and the associate director of Graduate and Post-Graduate Education for UMSOM’s Department of Psychiatry.

During his career, Liberto has been an active participant in National Institute on Drug Abuse (NIDA) and Veteran Affairs(VA) cooperative studies examining pharmacologic interventions for the treatment of opioid and cocaine addiction and has worked as a primary investigator and co-investigator to better understand the barriers and facilitators of sublingual buprenorphine treatment in the VA. He has authored and co-authored several journal articles and chapters and has made presentations at national meetings. From 2000-02 he was the VA clinical core director of the VA Capitol Network Mental Illness Research Education Clinical Center and is currently a member of the American Medical Association Opioid Task Force representing the AAAP.


The history of and current trends in opioid and substance use disorders within veteran populations have implications for Maryland health care practitioners. This lecture will consider the prevalence of substance use disorders among U.S. veterans, describing areas of assessment unique to military health. In addition, focusing on the management of opioid use disorders, the presentation will review treatment approaches and discuss multifaceted opioid safety initiatives implemented by the Veterans Health Administration.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of the presentation, participants will be able to:

  1. Describe the epidemiology of opioid use disorders in veteran populations.
  2. Describe the basic pharmacology of opioid use disorder and its treatment.
  3. Identify key questions to ask when taking a military health history.
  4. Discuss treatment services and multifaceted opioid safety initiatives implemented by the Veterans Health Administration.


3:30 p.m. Registration
4 p.m. Welcome/Announcements
4:15 p.m.  Lecture
5:30 p.m.  Reception


Additional Information

Continuing Education

Accredited Provider with Distinction from the American Nurses Credentialing Center

Nurses may receive 1.5 contact hours for participating in this educational activity.  Partial credit is not provided. Participants receive a CNE certificate via email from UMSON approximately two to four weeks after submitting their request, a signed attendance verification form, a completed evaluation form, plus a fee of $20. All requests must be received within 60 days of the conference.

Members of Sigma Pi Chapter who attend this event can receive free continuing education units (CE).  Please indicate on your registration you are a Pi Chapter member.

Accreditation Statement: The University of Maryland School of Nursing is accredited as a provider of continuing nursing education by the American Nurses Credentialing Center’s Commission on Accreditation.  

Conflict of Interest: It is the policy of The University of Maryland School of Nursing to require our continuing education activity (CE) faculty and planning committee members to disclose any financial relationships with companies providing program funding or manufacturers of any commercial products discussed in the program.  The planning committee and CE faculty report that they do not have financial relationships with manufacturers of any commercial products they discuss in the program.

Lecture History

During her academic career at the School of Nursing in the late 1970’s, CMDR Lura Jane Emery, MS ’79, recognized a need for nurses with advanced education. This eventually led her to create the Lura Jane Emery Nursing seminars endowed fund.

Prior to attending the School, Emery had a long and successful career in the U.S. Navy Nurse Corps, where she served for 27 years. Upon retirement from the Naval Hospital in Annapolis, Md., she received credit for 30 years of service. Emery’s military career began in November 1947 when she started working as an Ensign at the U.S. Naval Hospital in Newport, R.I. After two years, she was transferred to the U.S. Naval Hospital, San Diego, Calif. She was subsequently ordered to duty on the U.S.S. Repose AH16 at Hunters Point, in San Francisco, Calif.  In 1950, Emery was called to Pusan, Korea; she spent the next 19 months caring for those injured in the Korean War. “As soon as I arrived there, I treated patients with smallpox, brain injuries, and missile wounds close to 20 hours a day,” she recalls. “It was a tremendous experience. The most memorable moment was when our ships were traveling up the river near Incheon with armed Chinese troops lining the banks.” Fortunately, she says, “When they saw the red crosses on the side of our ships, they dropped their guns—not one shot was fired. That was indeed a miracle.”   

When her military career ended, Emery wasn’t sure what her future would hold. “After I retired from the Navy in 1974, I felt lost, but becoming involved in nursing again helped ease the transition,” she says. She returned to Maryland and received her master’s degree from the School of Nursing in 1979. Each year, Emery’s fund supports a scholarly lecture presented. “When nurses have a good education,” she says, “they can easily advance in their field.”

Past Lectures


The Opioid Crisis: Treating Our Nation's Veterans
Joseph G. Liberto, MD
Associate Chief of Staff for Education and Academic Affairs
Veterans Affairs Maryland Health Care System
Associate Professor
University of Maryland School of Medicine


Military Service as a Determinant of Health
Brig. Gen. (Ret.) William T. Bester, MSN, RN, NEA-BC, FAAN
Senior Advisor
Jonas Center for Nursing and Veterans Healthcare


How Nurses Can Improve Population Health: Positioning Matters
Kathleen R Delaney, PhD, PMH-NP
Professor, Rush College of Nursing

About the 2018-19 Dean's Lecture Series

The 2018-19 Dean’s Lecture Series focuses on Opioid and Substance Use Disorders: Destigmatizing the Issue and Responding to the Challenge.

Between January and June 2018, Maryland reported 1,185 opioid related deaths, and Baltimore city represents one of the hardest-hit communities in the state. Individuals with substance use disorders face challenges from multiple sources, including stigma that they lack the will to overcome their addiction. Professionals providing care in all settings also face challenges in understanding the complexity of the issue and in establishing the collaborative network needed to provide effective care. There are promising developments in research and practice for improving outcomes. This lecture series considers these developments and invites you to participate in the dialogue.