October 26, 2007

University health professionals to descend on SIUC

by Christi Mathis

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Scores of college and university health care providers from all over the Midwest will converge at Southern Illinois University Carbondale for the Mid-America College Health Association annual meeting Oct. 31-Nov. 2.

Up to 200 healthcare professionals from Illinois, Kentucky, Indiana, Michigan and other neighboring states will participate in educational and networking opportunities. The theme of the conference is "Growing a healthy campus." Larry H. Dietz, vice chancellor for student affairs at SIUC, will kick off the event for physicians, administrators, nurses, mental health professionals, health educators, dieticians, nutritionists and pharmacists. Fernando Treviño, chancellor of SIUC, and Carbondale Mayor Brad Cole will also address those in attendance.

During the 2007 conference, participants will tour the Student Health Center. The building incorporates advanced technology and the latest in patient care in a structure built using recycled materials and operated as an environmentally safe facility. All aspects of student health care – medical, dental, pharmaceutical, counseling, wellness, sports medicine, physical therapy, optical and dermatological – are under one roof at the Student Health Center.

Dr. Henry Buck, head of the gynecology department at Watkins Memorial Health Center, will present the opening keynote address, "HPV Update, Old and New." He will share current information involving the quadrivalent and other Human Papilloma Virus vaccines.

Ralph Cordell, director of the Office of Science Education at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will provide current data about communicable diseases and the necessity to plan in case of a flu pandemic. Cordell is an SIUC alumnus and said he's excited about returning to his alma mater.

James Painter, chairperson of the School of Family and Consumer Sciences at Eastern Illinois University, will highlight the importance of eating properly to reduce the risk of heart disease.

The conference also includes exhibits and vendor displays along with breakout discussions about academic stress, eating disorders, TB, polycystic ovarian syndrome, medical legal issues, emergency room follow-up and a variety of other topics.

In addition to gathering current information about issues they commonly deal with and meeting with peers, the conference also provides professionals the opportunity for continuing education credits in various health care fields. Participants will be taking in some of the region's sights and activities, including a performance by the New Arts Jazz Quartet.

For more information on the conference, visit http://www.siu.edu/~shc/macha/