July 27, 2007

Conference on managing obesity set for September

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – The Southern Illinois University School of Medicine and the SIUC Center for Rural Health and Social Service Development are sponsoring a conference addressing the serious health issue of obesity.

Geared toward healthcare professionals and open to anyone with an interest in obesity, "Tipping the Scale…Managing Obesity in Southern Illinois," is set for 8:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. Sept. 20 at John A. Logan College in Carterville.

Early registration offers discount pricing. Participants are eligible for Continuing Medical Education, Continuing Education Units or Continuing Professional Education credits for the conference. Physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, nurses, dietitians, health educators, allied health professionals and all those with an interest in obesity will learn practical tools and strategies for understanding and managing overweight and obese patients.

James O. Hill, pediatrics and medicine professor at the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center and director of the Center for Human Nutrition, will present the keynote addresses on preventing obesity and strategies to address the escalating problem.

There will also be breakout sessions presented by: Dr. Laura Q. Rogers of the SIU School of Medicine; Ellen S. Parham, interim chair of Northern Illinois University's School of Allied Health Professions; Barbara Thompson, from the Obesity Action Coalition board of directors, author and member of the American Society for Bariatric Surgery; Dr. Romaisa Firdose, assistant professor at the SIU School of Medicine and medical director of the SIU Comprehensive Obesity Management Program; and Dr. Jerome Gorski, chief of the Division of Medical Genetics at the University of Missouri.

In addition, Dr. Thomas J. Firestone, president and CEO of Southern Illinois Healthcare, will speak about the status of Illinois Delta Region health. Jeff Sunderlin of the Illinois Department of Public Health will wrap up the conference with an overview of ongoing and planned initiatives for the overweight and obese.

Those registering by the early-bird deadline of Aug. 15 pay $65 for conference registration only or $95 for conference registration and Continuing Medical Education credits. The cost is $75 and $110 after that date, depending on if a participant desires medical education credits. The conference registration deadline is Sept. 7. Late registrations, accepted after that date as space allows, are $10 higher. For more information or registration details, contact Heather Hartung at 618/453-8455 or by e-mail at hhartung@siu.edu.