Dr. Richard Westphal (click here to read a Q&A from 2013) – a long-time military nurse who oversaw the Navy’s $117 million psychological health and Traumatic Brain Injury programs between 2007 to 2010 – arrived at the University of Virginia in 2013 as a professor of nursing. Westphal’s interests include psychiatric/mental health services, stress injury, and palliative care, and he continues to be a sought-after speaker on the topic of identifying and coping with stress injuries to those who work in the military and in law enforcement.

Clinical Focus

Stress injury, palliative care, trauma among military and law enforcement personnel.


Journal Articles

Bellehsen, M. H., Cook, H. M., Shaam, P., Burns, D., D’Amico, P., Goldberg, A., McManus, M. B., Sapra, M., Thomas, L., Wacha-Montes, A., Zenzerovich, G., Watson, P., Westphal, R. J., & Schwartz, R. M. (2024). Adapting the stress first aid model for frontline healthcare workers during COVID-19. International Journal of Environmental Research and Public Health, 21(2), 171.

Convoy, S. P., Heflin, M., Alston, B. M., Hoffler, U., Barzee, M., Thompson, J. A., & Westphal, R. (2023). Stress First Aid for Health-care Workers: An Indicated Mental Illness Prevention Program for Nursing Education. Nursing Clinics of North America, 59(1), 49-61.

Convoy, S. P., Westphal, R. J., & Convoy, D. W. (2019). Concordant actions in suicide assessment model. Nursing Clinics of North America, 54(4), 533-539.

Westphal, R. J., & Convoy, S. P. (2015). Military culture implications for mental health and nursing care. The Online Journal of Issues in Nursing, 20(1), 0.

Convoy, S. P. & Westphal, R. J. (2013). The importance of developing military culture competence. Journal of Emergency Nursing, 39(6), 592-595.

Hurd, E. S., Rockswold, P. D., Westphal, R. J. (2013). Comparison of chronic disease prevalence between U.S. Navy ships without medical doctors and a similar shore-based population. Military Medicine, 178(5), 543-548.

Nash, W.P., Krantz, L., Stein, N., Westphal, R.J., & Litz, B.T. (2011). Comprehensive Soldier Fitness, Battlemind, and the Stress Continuum Model: Military organizational approaches to prevention. In Ruzek, J., Vasterling, J., Schnurr, P., & Friedman, M. (Eds.). Caring for the Veterans With Deployment-Related Stress Disorders: Iraq, Afghanistan, and B.

Westphal, R. J., Woodward, K. (2010). Supporting Family Fitness in the U. S. Navy. Military Medicine Supplement: Total Force Fitness for the 21st Century: A new paradigm. Military Medicine. Supp, 175(8), 97-102.

Bates, M.,Bowles, M.,Hammermeister, J.,Stokes, C., Pinder, E., Moore, M., Fritts, M., Vythilingam, M., Yosick, T., Rhodes, J., Myatt, C., Westphal, R.J., Fautua, D., Hammer, P., Burbelo, G. (2010). Psychological Fitness: A Military Demand-Resource Model. Military Medicine Supplement: Total Force Fitness for the 21st Century: A new paradigm. Military Medicine. Supp, 175(8), 21-38.

Westphal, R. J. (2007). Navy Leaders' Attitudes about Mental Health Problems. Military Medicine, 172(11), 1138-1143.

Book Sections

Westphal, R. J., & Convoy, S. P. (2021). Overview of mental health concerns. In B. Elliott & B. Patterson (Eds.), Veteran-centered care in education and practice: An essential guide for nursing faculty (1st ed., pp. 155-175). Springer Publishing Company.

Westphal, R. (2020). Psychosocial impact of trauma on the patient, family, and caregiver. In K. A. McQuillan & M. B. Flynn Makic (Eds.), Trauma nursing: From resuscitation through rehabilitation (5th ed., pp. 316-331). Elsevier

Westphal, R. J. (2012). Secondary stress in medical professionals. In Charles Figley (Ed.), Encyclopedia of traumatic stress (pp. ). Sage Publications.

Koffman, R. L., Bergthold, R. D., Campbell, J. S., Westphal, R. J. (2011). Expeditionary Operational Stress Control in the U.S. Navy. In Combat and Operational Behavioral Health. In , (pp. ). Washington, DC.

Nash, W. P., Westphal, R. J., Watson, P., Litz, B. T. (2010). Combat and Operational Stress First-Aid (COSFA) Training Manual. In , (pp. ). U. S. Government.

Westphal, R. J., & Laraway, L. A. (2010). Professional growth and resilience. In C. Bruzek-Kohler (Ed.), Clinical leadership: The 21st century model for Navy nursing (pp. ). U.S. Navy