BraveMind: The Future of Advanced Medical Technology with Dr. Skip Rizzo and Chris Merkle
August 18, 2020
Hosted by Chris Meek
This week on “Next Steps Forward,” host Chris Meek speaks with Dr. Albert “Skip” Rizzo, director of medical virtual reality at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies, about BraveMind, the virtual reality (VR) exposure therapy program Rizzo created to successfully treat post-traumatic stress (PTS) in veterans. Aside from discussing that groundbreaking technology and treatment in-depth, Rizzo will also touch on how other revolutionary medical technology advancements are paving the way we address mental health. Joining the conversation is Chris Merkle, a 14-year U.S. Marine combat veteran who has directly benefited from the BraveMind technology during his own experiences with PTS. Merkle will also introduce ways that we can all work to reduce the stigma surrounding mental health and speak on the feelings of empowerment that volunteering in his own community has afforded him.
Next Steps Forward
Tuesday at 10 AM Pacific Time on VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel
Personal empowerment, commitment to our own well-being and the motivation to achieve more than we ever thought possible are the ingredients of a better life. And, they’re all within our reach. Next Steps Forward with Chris Meek delves into each aspect of the three keys that add energy, excitement, direction and purpose to everything that we do.
Each week, Chris hosts leaders from the worlds of business, sports, entertainment, medicine, politics and public policy as they engage in thought-provoking discussions to help us all take the next step forward on our own journeys to our better selves and greater service to others. Next Steps Forward with Chris Meek is an informative, uplifting hour every Tuesday at 1 PM Eastern Time and 10 AM Pacific Time on the VoiceAmerica Empowerment Channel that’s certain to inspire you to take that important next step forward, too.
Chris Meek believes in the American spirit of individual empowerment and service to others, especially those who have sacrificed for our freedoms. As someone who lived through the horrors of Ground Zero on 9/11, Chris had no way home but to join others as they put one foot in front of the other to make their way forward. Since that day, Chris has committed himself to empowering and motivating fellow Americans to keep taking steps forward, no matter what life throws their way.
Chris has spent the last decade serving as the co-founder and chairman of the national nonprofit SoldierStrong, which is dedicated to helping military veterans take their next steps forward. SoldierStrong carries out its mission by providing revolutionary medical technology to VA medical centers, including exoskeleton suits to help paralyzed veterans walk again and virtual reality equipment to help treat post-traumatic stress.
He also serves as an advisor on the President’s Roadmap to Empower Veterans and End a National Tragedy of Suicide (PREVENTS) task force. In this role, he shares a responsibility to raise awareness about mental health, facilitate research and define a plan to prevent suicide. In 2020, Chris launched ReachStrong, a nonprofit aimed at empowering all Americans to care for their overall well-being. Chris is also a financial services executive at S and P Global, Inc, in New York City. He and his wife, Christine, have three children.