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TODAY news for Thursday, February 26, 2007

School of Public Health news

Healthy People 2007: preventing and preparing for pandemic disease

Pandemic disease can take many forms: HIV, methamphetamine abuse, obesity, and the dreaded mutated avian super-flu, to name a few.

Some pandemic threats, like HIV, are already assailing people around the world. Others, like catastrophic bird flu, are fearful possibilities. But whether current or future, solutions for pandemics are needed now.

That’s why the School of Public Health has created a world-class conference about prevention and preparedness for pandemic disease. The conference convenes March 6 through 8 on the Loma Linda University campus, in Wong Kerlee International Conference Center.

Through tabletop exercises, capacity-building sessions, and presentations, the conference will address best practices in prevention and preparedness for many pandemic diseases. It will be of interest to a wide range of people, including policy makers, health care delivery administrators, behavioral scientists and chaplains, preparedness professionals, emergency service providers, and, public health and health care professionals, consultants, and students.

The keynote speaker for the event is Mark Horton, MD, MSPH, state public health officer of California. He was appointed to the position in 2005 by Governor Arnold  Schwarzenegger. Dr. Horton’s presentation is scheduled for 9:00 a.m., March 6. He will speak about pandemic prevention and preparedness as it relates to California.

Topics for other presentations include tobacco-related death; pandemic disease and mental health; methamphetamine use and treatment; the interplay of stress, the immune system, and vaccination; HIV; and the role of faith-based organizations in dealing with pandemic disease.

Continuing education credits are available for physicians, registered nurses, health educators, registered dietitians, marriage and family therapists, social workers, and chaplains.

For price and registration information, call (909) 558-4595 or e-mail <vbrown@llu.edu>. More information about the conference—including the full schedule and speaker biographies—is available at <www.llu.edu/sphevents>.

This conference is presented as the 2007 edition of the annual Healthy People conference put on by the School of Public Health.

In past years, the conference has attracted participants from Australia, South America, Europe, Africa, and Asia in addition to North America.

Previous topics have included “spirituality, culture, and health” and “risk and resiliency: protecting kids from harm.”

By Heather Reifsnyder

TODAY news for Thursday, February 26, 2007