A cooking demonstration by a popular and versatile executive chef and presentations by nationally recognized diabetes experts highlight the”Bridging the Gap with Education: Diabetes Symposium and Workshop 2003”Oct. 9-10 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charleston.

The symposium is sponsored by the West Virginia University Extension Service and the West Virginia Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences. The event is also financially supported in part by several major pharmaceutical companies.

A special event,”Cooking with the Diabetic Chef,”will be led by Christopher Smith, executive chef at Wake Forest University Baptist Hospital in Winston-Salem, N.C. Smith was diagnosed with diabetes 10 years ago at age 27. He has made numerous presentations at national conferences to educate people with diabetes about making delicious food despite dietary limitations. He is writing his second diabetic cookbook.

The national conference, open to medical professionals, dietitians, social workers and health education specialists, examines new treatments and daily challenges faced by diabetes patients and their families. Continuing education credits are available for most health professionals and family and consumer science specialists. More than 300 people are expected to attend the conference.

The program will include 12 nationally recognized diabetes educators. Among the presenters are: Janet Silverstein, University of Florida, Gainesville, Fla.; Marian Franz, Nutrition Concepts by Franz, Inc., Minneapolis, Minn.; Jane Kelly, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Ga.; Melinda Maryniuk, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Mass.; Larry Fox, Nemours Children’s Clinic, Jacksonville, Fla.; and John White, Washington State University, Spokane, Wash.

For more information or to register, contact Barbara Ridenour Dalton at 304-293-2697, ext. 3448, or visit the conference’s Web site athttp://www.ext.wvu.edu/dsw2003.