(817) 658-9290 ippac1029@gmail.com

The Day Of

conference details

International Pilot Peer Assist Conference (IPPAC) – October 25-26, 2019

By Project Wingman, American Airlines and APA; Project LIFT, Southwest Airlines and SWAPA; and SOAR PSP, United Airlines and ALPA

The 2nd annual International Pilot Peer Assist Conference (IPPAC) is designed for pilot peer volunteers, medical and mental health professionals in the aviation field and organizations looking to develop a robust pilot assist program at their airline. The conference includes lectures on process addictions by Dr. Patrick Carnes, FAA protocols by Dr. Penny Giovanetti, FAA Director Medical Certifications, Mr. Tom Anthony, USC Director of the USC Aviation Safety and Security Program, Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, Resiliency and Wellness, General Robin “Baba” Rand, CEO Gary Sinise Foundation,. Dr. Quay Snyder, AMAS President and CEO, Drs. Bor and Bekker, British Center for Aviation Psychology, and other leaders in the global aviation mental health field to include innovators in pilot assist programs

The conference will be a place for administrators, leaders and pilot peer volunteers across many pilot groups to collaborate and bring hope, compassion and healing for pilots and families who seek help for a variety of mental health issues that may affect be affecting their lives.

Held in the heart of Texas, American Airlines Flagship University, near DFW airport, is the venue for the conference.

2019 Conference Presentations


Dr. Patrick Carnes, Nature of Addictions/Cost/Hazards/Depth and Breath – Presentation Notes

Dr. Patrick Carnes, Pilot Profile and Job Vulnerabilities – Presentation Notes

Dr. Patrick Carnes, Sexual Addiction Recovery

Penny Giovanetti, FAA Medical Director, Process and Protocols – Presentation Notes

Pilot Peer Support Panel:

  • CA Dave Fielding, British Airways ALPA (PAN) – Notes
  • FO Ellen Brinks–Aeromedical Chair, Air Line Pilots Association, Int’l – Notes
  • CA Chess Fulton, SWAPA Project Lift – Notes
  • CA Lynn Tatum, United SOAR PSP – Notes
  • FO Greg Clark, APA Project Wingman

Dr. Rob Bor and Dr. Aedrian Bekker, Center for Aviation Psychology, London, UK: Peer Support Program Model – Presentation Notes

Dr. Quay Snyder, Aviation Mental Health in Perspective – Presentation Notes

Mr. Tom Anthony, Director, USC Human Factors, Mental Well-Being and Safety – Presentation Notes

Dr. Kris M. Belland, CMO, Premise Health – Presentation Notes

Vanita Halliburton, Current Issues of Adolescent Mental Health in America – Presentation Notes

CA Charlie Curreri, Peer Support and Just Culture: A Literature Review – Presentation Notes

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas, Up on the High Wire: Promoting Resiliency During Tough Times – Presentation Notes


Speaker Biographies

Dr. Patrick Carnes

Patrick J. Carnes, PhD, is an internationally known authority and speaker on addiction and recovery issues. He has authored over twenty books including the bestselling titles: Out of the Shadows: Understanding Addiction Recovery, Betrayal Bond, Don’t Call It Love, The Gentle Path Through the Twelve Steps and The Gentle Path through the Twelve Principles.

Dr. Carnes is the founder and primary architect of Gentle Path at The Meadows. With more than 30 years in the sexual addiction treatment field, Dr. Carnes has been a significant contributor to the advancement of sexual addiction treatment and research. His extensive knowledge, assessment tools, and related materials deliver an unprecedented approach to addiction recovery.


Dr. Robert Bor

Professor Robert Bor is a practicing psychologist, pilot and current Chair of the British Psychological Society Expert Task Force on Aviation Psychology.

He is a Chartered Clinical, Counselling and Health Psychologist registered with the Health and Care Professions Council. A certified Aviation Psychologist in Europe (EAAP), he is also a Fellow of the British Psychological Society and Member of the American Psychological Association and South African Health Professions Council. 

He has more than 29 years of experience consulting in clinical and organizational settings in the UK and abroad. He has published more than 30 books and 200 academic papers and chapters in books.

Rob leads a team of expert practitioners providing bespoke assessment and treatment services to those involved in aviation whether that be customers who have a fear of flying, or airline employees who have mental health problems. He is the lead clinician for the British Airways Pilot Peer Support system.

Rob is an Honorary Civilian Consultant to the Royal Air Force. He is listed on the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum wall of honor in Washington D.C. He is a Fellow of the Royal Aeronautical Society, a Liveryman of the Guild of Air Pilots and Air Navigators and also holds the Freedom of the City of London. Rob is a Churchill Fellow and has recently received the Boothby-Edwards award from the Aerospace Medical Association.


Mr. Tom Anthony

Present position as Director of the USC Aviation Safety and Security Program.Instructor in Aviation Safety Management Systems, Aircraft Accident Investigations, SMS for Managers, and Aviation Security courses, since 2007. Served as the Manager of the FAA Investigations Branch, Office of Civil Aviation Security, FAA Headquarters, Washington, D.C.

Authored or co-authored four articles for AeroSafety World on Human Factors affecting aviation safety. Serves as a media representative for USC on the subject of aviation safety and security.

Served as a consultant for the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in Aviation Security. Conducted training in Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam and Auckland, New Zealand for ICAO.

Served as the Federal Security Director of the Palm Springs International , Yuma International, and Imperial County Airports. Retired from Federal Service.

Served as the FAA Regional Division Manager for Civil Aviation Security in the Western Pacific Region. Directed emergency aviation security response to the World Trade Center II attacks and provided investigative efforts of aviation activities of the hijackers. Served as the FAA point of contact and provided investigative assistance in the al Qaeda, Ahmed Ressam Borderbomb case. Directed investigative efforts at the Los Angeles point of departure for Egypt Air 990.


Dr. Penny Giovanetti, FAA Medical Specialties Division

Dr. Giovanetti is currently the Director, Medical Specialties Division at Headquarters, FAA.  In that position, she is responsible for developing aerospace medicine policies and procedures, overseeing the process of medical appeals to the Federal Air Surgeon, providing oversight of FAA employee drug and alcohol testing, managing the FAA mental health standards service, supporting the Office of the Chief Counsel Enforcement Division, and providing aerospace medicine expertise and advice to the Federal Air Surgeon.

Dr. Giovanetti joined the FAA in August 2012, coming from private practice in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She retired from the US Air Force in 2007 after a 27-year career as a flight surgeon, staff officer, and commander. She held numerous positions in aeromedical standards to include the Tactical Air Command Surgeon’s Office, Air Force Surgeon General’s Office and the US Air Force Academy. She was Commander of the USAF Medical Center at Wright-Patterson AFB and Vice Wing Commander of the 311th Human Systems Wing, host to the USAF School of Aerospace Medicine, just prior to her retirement.  She has logged nearly 1,000 flying hours as a flight surgeon in military aircraft.

She holds a doctorate in osteopathic medicine from Des Moines University; master’s degrees in Preventive Medicine/Environmental Health from the University of Iowa, and National Security Strategy from the National War College; and a bachelor’s degree in English from Stanford University. She completed a residency in Aerospace Medicine, and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Preventive Medicine in Aerospace Medicine and Occupational Medicine. She also completed a residency in Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation and is a Diplomate of the American Board of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation. She is a Fellow of the Aerospace Medical Association, and winner of the Howard R. Unger Award for the best published paper by a USAF flight surgeon. Dr. Giovanetti is also a licensed private pilot.


Vanita Halliburton

Vanita Halliburton is co-founder and executive chairman of Grant Halliburton Foundation, which was established in 2006 following the suicide death of her teenage son Grant Halliburton.

The Foundation’s mission is to strengthen the network of mental health resources for children, teens and young adults; promote better mental health; and help prevent suicide.

Vanita is a frequent speaker on youth mental health and suicide prevention to students, educators, counselors, parents, community groups and professional conferences. She speaks from the heart about her son’s battle with depression and bipolar disorder, his suicide at the age of 19, and the need for a collaborative and comprehensive approach to suicide prevention in our community.

Under her leadership, the Foundation has implemented a number of programs, including

  • A robust educational program that delivers on-site training on mental health issues and suicide prevention to more than 31,500 students, school staff, parents and professionals annually.
  • I AM HERE, a community coalition focused on adolescent mental health;
  • Free peer support groups for parents of teens and young adults with mental illness; and
  • com, a website featuring a searchable database of over 700 mental health providers and resources in North Texas.

Halliburton serves on the Texas Suicide Prevention Council, The Girls Group advisory board, and Good Life Family Magazine editorial advisory board.

She is a past recipient of the Texas Society of Psychiatric Physicians Special Service Award, Sierra Tucson’s Hope Recognition, and Southwest Jewish Council’s “Inspiring Women of the Southwest,” as well as Mental Health America’s 2018 Child Advocate Prism Award.


Dr. Kris M. Belland, DO, MPH, MBA, MSS, FAsMA

Kris Belland provides medical leadership as the American Airlines Chief Medical Officer, working through Premise Health. He is responsible for the medical oversight of all Premise clinics located at American Airlines hubs throughout the nation to assure quality healthcare for American Airlines pilots, flight crew, and team members.

In his current position, Dr. Belland works closely with the Safety and People teams. He is involved with internal teams, such as Flight Operations, Flight Services, and the mishap Go Team, as well as many external teams, including Homeland Security and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

With over 30 years of military service, Belland previously held the position of Captain US Pacific Fleet Surgeon, acting as the primary medical advisor to the 4-star admiral in charge of the largest naval fleet on the globe.

In addition to being a physician, Belland is a designated naval aviator. He was awarded an Air Medal for his 25 combat flights over Iraq. He believes his experience as an aviator enhances his ability to better understand the medical needs and concerns of the American Airlines aviation.


Dr. Aedrian Bekker

Aedrian is a Chartered Clinical and Organization Psychologist. He is registered with the Health and Care Professions Council and is a member of the British Psychology Society.

While Aedrian started his career as a clinician in the NHS, for the past 16 years he has worked with senior leaders and their teams in blue chip companies around the globe. With an expertise in human behavior in complex organizations, he has worked in heavily regulated and customer sensitive industries such as defense, nuclear, automotive, finance, telecommunications, utilities, industrial relations and of course, aviation.

Aedrian leads a team of psychologists and consultants that have designed and delivered award winning psychological interventions that have been credited for their innovation, integrity and user engagement. In British Airways for example, this includes working with over 2000+ flight crew as well as programs for all senior cabin crew and facilitation of joint Management and Trade Union projects. As a psychologist, he has a deep insight into the unique challenges facing a highly professional and largely remote workforce – and the organizational contexts within which they work.


Dr. Quay Snyder

Dr. Snyder is President/CEO of Aviation Medicine Advisory Service, formerly Virtual Flight Surgeons, an organization dedicated to aviation safety, pilot health and career preservation.  He holds board certification in Aerospace Medicine, Family Practice, Addiction Medicine and Occupational Medicine.  Dr. Snyder is a graduate of the United States Air Force Academy and Duke University School of Medicine.

Dr. Snyder has spent a career in aviation medicine and pilot instruction, both military and civilian.  He is the author of 90 published articles on aviation safety and given 100+ presentations to pilot and physician groups.  Dr. Snyder has been a CFI since 1975, is a Designated Pilot Examiner and one of 24 pilots worldwide to have earned the Master CFI designation 7 times.  Dr. Snyder serves on the NBAA Safety Committee, chairing their Fitness for Duty Working Group, and the Flight Safety Foundation Business Advisory Committee, as well as serving as Aeromedical Advisor to ALPA and other unions of professional airline pilots and air traffic controllers.  He is also the Program Manager for the FAA / ALPA HIMS (substance abuse in aviation) Program.


Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas

Dr. Sally Spencer-Thomas has earned an international reputation as an entrepreneur and innovator in social change. Along the way, she’s helped establish many large-scale, gap-filling mental health efforts, including Man Therapy (www.ManTherapy.org) and National Action Alliance for Suicide Prevention.

She has held leadership roles with the International Association of Suicide Prevention, the American Association of Suicidology, the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline, United Suicide Survivors International, and the Carson J Spencer Foundation. In 2016, she was invited to speak at the White House on men’s mental health.

She has won multiple awards for her advocacy including the 2015 Farberow Award from the International Association of Suicide Prevention, the 2014 Survivor of the Year from the American Association of Suicidology, the 2014 Invisible Disabilities Association Impact Honors Award, and the 2012 Alumni Master Scholar from the University of Denver.

She received her undergraduate degree in psychology and studio art from Bowdoin College, her Masters in Nonprofit Management from Regis University and her Doctorate in Clinical Psychology from the University of Denver.


FO Ellen Brinks – ALPA National Aeromedical Chair and PPS Administrator

FO Ellen Brinks serves as the ALPA National Aeromedical Group Chair and aids pilots when they are in jeopardy of losing their medical status or when they need assistance if they have lost their medical status. In 2017 she helped develop the Pilot Peer Support program for ALPA, International. She has been a primary instructor and administrator of the program. She is an A-320 pilot at Delta Air Lines and resides in Houston, Texas.


CA Charlie Curreri

CA Charlie Curreri is currently an A320 captain and Senior Manager of Project Wingman, a pilot peer assist program at American Airlines and the Allied Pilots Association. He is a retired Air Force combat veteran of Desert Storm with over a 3000 hours fighter time. He is also a licensed professional counselor, CEAP and SAP in the state of Texas and holds a Masters in Human Relations and a Masters in Counseling, and is currently a PHD candidate at Grand Canyon University. Charlie has been married for over 32 years, and has 6 children, and 5 grandchildren!


CA Chess Fulton

CA Chess Fulton is a B737 Captain and the Committee Chairman for Project LIFT and Special Services at Southwest Airlines Pilots Association.  A chemist and regional scientist by education, Chess joined the Air Force out of college and is a combat veteran of Operations Enduring Freedom and Iraqi Freedom. He has been working in the substance abuse and mental health communities of aviation for 13 years and was instrumental in the formation of these services at the union level at Southwest Airlines. He, along with five other pilot peers, serve a membership of 10,000+ pilots as they face the demanding challenges of a career in aviation and in a society of ever increasing stress.


CA Dave Fielding

Dave Fielding studied Classics at Cambridge before making the perfectly logical step and becoming an airline pilot. He joined British Airways in 1993 on the Highlands and Islands Division, flying the BAe ATP which taught him a love for Scotland and a hate for aircraft which keep breaking down and have no cockpit heaters. When Highlands Division closed he moved down to London on the B757 and achieved his command on the Airbus A320 in 2001, with perfect timing the day before 9/11. Since then he has been a captain on the B767, B777 and the A380, which is his current type.

Dave has been a union rep since 1996, and unsurprisingly given his classics background gravitated towards the quasi-legal field of disciplines. This led to an interest in alcohol and welfare cases, which in turn led to him creating a BALPA peer intervention programm to identify problem individuals upstream and away from the airline operation. The Germanwings crash of 2015 changed the game dramatically, and he worked with British Airways in the period following to adapt and improve the program. In January 2017 the Pilots Assistance Network (PAN) became the first peer support program in Europe to be launched post-Germanwings.

Dave sits on the Executive Board of the European Pilot Peer Support Initiative (EPPSI) which has drawn together all the European expertise in setting up PSPs. They are in a very busy period now that EASA have mandated that all European airlines must have a PSP by August 2020. Dave has also been closely involved with IPPAC, a global version of EPPSI which aims to promote best practice and standards in Pilot Peer Support worldwide.

He would love to retire to warmer climes but is too young and finds this work far too interesting.


CA Lynn Tatum

CA Lynn Tatum is a United DCA-based 756 LCA. Since 1992, Lynn’s flown the B-727, B-737, B-757/767, B-777.  Previously, she was an Air Force pilot and ‘87 graduate of the US Air Force Academy. Lynn helped build United’s new PSP and is the SOAR PSP Chairman.  She’s also her local Council 11 International Committee Chairman.


General (Ret) Robin Rand

General (Ret) Robin Rand was appointed Chief Executive Officer of the Gary Sinise Foundation in October 18, 2018, after serving on active duty in the United States Air Force for over 40 years.

He entered the United States Air Force in 1974 and graduated from the United States Air Force Academy in 1979 with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Aviation Science. He has also received a Master of Science degree in aeronautical science from Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University; Master of Arts Degree in national security policy from the Naval War College.

During his military career, that included six overseas assignments, he had multiple flying assignments; served as an air liaison officer duty with the U.S. Army; and completed staff tours on the Joint Staff, Office of the Secretary of Defense, and Headquarters United States Air Force. General Rand is a command pilot with over 5,100 flying hours, including more than 480 combat hours.

His extensive command duties included the 36th Fighter Squadron at Osan AB, Republic of Korea; USAF Weapons School at Nellis AFB, Nevada; 8th Fighter Wing at Kunsan AB, Republic of Korea; 56th Fighter Wing at Luke AFB, Arizona; 332nd Air Expeditionary Wing at Balad AB, Iraq; 12th Air Force (Air Forces Southern) at Davis Monthan AFB, Arizona; Air Education and Training Command at Randolph AFB, Texas; and his last assignment prior to retiring was Commander, Air Force Global Strike Command and Commander, Air Forces Strategic – Air, U.S. Strategic Command, Barksdale Air Force Base, Louisiana.

As the Chief Executive Officer, Robin shares the same vision as that of the Chairman, Mr. Gary Sinise. A foundation that is enduring, reliable and worthy of the American public’s trust, while providing vital support and services to our Nation’s defenders and their families who have served and sacrificed on behalf of our communities and country.

Robin has been married to Kim for 40 years, and they are grateful parents of two children and three grandchildren.