UT Health Science Center to host conference on aging

Physicians, nurses and family caregivers invited to March 26 meeting

LAREDO (March 10, 2010) — The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio is offering a daylong conference for doctors, nurses, professional caregivers and families of the elderly on Friday, March 26, called “Healthier, Happier, Stronger…Longer: Issues in Aging for Health Providers, Families and Caregivers.”

The conference, which is open to the public at no charge, will be held from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the D.D. Hachar Building on the UT Health Science Center Regional Campus, located in Laredo at 1937 Bustamante St. Continuing medical education and continuing nursing education credits will be available for professional attendees.

Opening remarks will be provided by Sen. Judith Zaffirini, Ph.D.; UT Health Science Center President William L. Henrich, M.D., MACP, and School of Health Professions Dean Marilyn S. Harrington, Ph.D.

“This conference will update medical and health professionals, as well as family caregivers, on the latest research and information about caring for elderly patients and family members,” Dr. Harrington said. The School of Health Professions, which is sponsoring the conference, offers two master’s degree programs through the Regional Campus, a master’s degree in physician assistant studies and a master’s degree in dietetics and nutrition.

The conference will feature keynote speaker Arlan G. Richardson, Ph.D., director of the Health Science Center’s Barshop Institute for Longevity and Aging Studies, which has recently had two breakthroughs involving new uses for the compound rapamycin, a drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to prevent the body’s rejection of transplanted organs. A study last summer showed that rapamycin significantly extended the healthy life span of mice. In February, a Health Science Center/Barshop Institute team published a study showing that the drug may reverse the effect of Alzheimer’s disease in mice. The Barshop Institute is one of the leading research institutions studying aging in the nation. Dr. Richardson will be speaking on the topic “Retarding Aging: Can We? Should We?”
Other speakers include:

• Joaquín G. Cigarroa Jr., M.D., internal medicine and cardiology specialist from Laredo speaking on “Compassionate Messaging for the Aging Parent”
• Sara E. Espinoza, M.D., section chief for research and assistant professor of geriatrics, gerontology and palliative medicine in the School of Medicine and the Barshop Institute, speaking on “Frailty: The Next Epidemic?”
• Lyda Arévalo-Flechas, Ph.D., RN, assistant professor and the John A. Hartford Foundation’s Claire M. Fagin Fellow in the Department of Acute Nursing Care, speaking on “Understanding Cultural Differences in Caregiving”
• Nicolas Musi, M.D., associate professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine’s Division of Diabetes and the Barshop Institute, and associate medical director for research at the Texas Diabetes Institute, speaking on “Diabetes and Aging: A Higher Risk”
• Maria Wellisch, RN, vice president of corporate training and quality assurance for Morningside Ministries of San Antonio, a faith-based organization that provides health care to older adults, speaking on “Caring for the Caregiver”
• Carmen Román-Shriver, Ph.D., RD, LD, associate professor and director of the Dietetics and Nutrition Program in the School of Health Professions, speaking on “Nutritional Needs of the Older Adult”
• Dana K. English, M.S., RDH, a clinical instructor in the Department of Dental Hygiene, speaking on “Oral Hygiene for Older Adults”

To RSVP for the conference, please contact Diana Sanchez, sanchezd4@uthscsa.edu, at (956) 523-7477. Registrations for professional continuing education credit, which will be offered at no charge, will be taken at the door.

The University of Texas Health Science Center at San Antonio, one of the country’s leading health sciences universities, ranks in the top 2 percent of all U.S. institutions receiving federal funding. Research and other sponsored program activity totaled a record $259 million in fiscal year 2009. The university’s schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry, health professions and graduate biomedical sciences have produced 27,000 graduates. The $753 million operating budget supports six campuses in San Antonio, Laredo, Harlingen and Edinburg. For more information on the many ways “We make lives better®,” visitwww.uthscsa.edu.

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