Health Conference for Educators and Healthcare Professionals Set for August 10-11 at Statehouse Convention Center

By todd

LITTLE ROCK – A statewide conference to address obesity, physical activity and improving Arkansans’ health is set for Aug. 10-11, at the Statehouse Convention Center in downtown Little Rock.

The conference, “Moving Toward the ‘Natural State’ of Health,” is open to the community, health professionals, health educators, teachers, school administrators, child care personnel and food service personnel in medical facilities and schools. For registration information, call Kym Jablonski at 501-364-3768.

The conference – sponsored by the Arkansas Department of Health (ADH) and KIDS FIRST, a pediatric day health care program operated by the Department of Pediatrics at the University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences (UAMS) – will provide information and resources to assist in the prevention and treatment of obesity, increase physical activity and improve the overall health of all Arkansans.

The two-day conference will feature educational sessions, exhibits, panel discussions and speeches by nationally renowned speakers and state leaders. Sessions will include topics such as “Promising Approaches for Addressing Nutrition and Obesity” presented by Margo Wootan, D.Sc., director of nutrition policy at the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI) in Washington, D.C.

Gov. Mike Huckabee and ADH Director Fay Boozman, M.D., M.P.H., will speak on the state of health in Arkansas. Joseph Thompson, M.D., M.P.H., director of the Arkansas Center for Health Improvement, will address Arkansas’ Body Mass Index (BMI) initiative. Thompson is also an associate professor in the Department of Pediatrics in the UAMS College of Medicine and an assistant professor in the UAMS College of Public Health.

Other sponsors for the event are the UAMS College of Public Health; Arkansas Children’s Hospital; Governor’s Council on Fitness; Blue and You Foundation; Department of Education’s Child Nutrition Unit; Arkansas Dietetic Association; American Heart Association; and the Arkansas Department of Health’s WIC Program, Hometown Health Improvement program, Office of Minority Health and Cardiovascular Health Program.

UAMS is the state’s only comprehensive academic health center, with five colleges, a graduate school, a medical center and a statewide network of regional centers. The school has about 2,170 students and 650 residents and is the state’s largest public employer with almost 9,000 employees. UAMS and its affiliates have an economic impact in Arkansas of about $3.8 billion a year.

UAMS Medical Center includes the Arkansas Cancer Research Center, Harvey and Bernice Jones Eye Institute, Donald W. Reynolds Center on Aging, Myeloma Institute for Research and Therapy and Jackson T. Stephens Spine and Neurosciences Institute.