West Virginia University Extension Service is helping West Virginia reduce the burden of diabetes through their Diabetes Symposium and Workshop: Bridging the Gap with Education. The symposium will unite health professionals, educators and students to create a collaboration of knowledge about the disease.

The event, which takes place Oct. 15-17 in Charleston, is sponsored by WVU Extension Service and the WVU Office of Continuing Education.

“Access to high-quality health care is an important part of reducing the burden of diabetes,” said WVU Extension Service Families and Health Program Director Cindy Fitch.

The symposium brings nationally-recognized speakers to West Virginia to talk about diabetes prevention and management “best practices” for health care providers and community educators.

According to the West Virginia Diabetes Prevention and Control program, more than 240,000 people in West Virginia have been diagnosed with diabetes and an additional 500,000 are estimated to be on the brink of having the disease.

“Diabetes is one of the most prevalent diseases in West Virginia that affects the day-to-day lives of thousands in our state, both directly and indirectly. There is a lot of useful ‘takeaway’ information from experts in the field that attendees can use to improve the lives of patients in their own practice,” Fitch added.

The 14th annual symposium covers a range of topic areas that include diabetes prevention and management, the Affordable Care Act and strategies for preventing and controlling pediatric diabetes.

The keynote speaker, Robert Vigersky, from Walter Reed Army Medical Center will speak on the topic of the increasing cost of medical care and how health professionals can offer affordable care without compromising quality.

Paula Fitzgerald, from WVU College of Business and Economics, will discuss the Affordable Care Act’s effect on the daily practice of health professionals.

On Thursday, Oct. 16, a commercial exhibition and expo featuring vendors from the pharmaceutical industry will be available for attendees to learn more about new developments in the industry. There will also be health care equipment and supplies companies, and a poster session that will feature research, programs and field work of symposium participants.

Two preconference workshops are offered on Oct. 15 from 8:30-11:45 a.m. Topics include shoe fitting and foot complications for diabetic patients and building a diabetes self-management education program for accreditation.

“Health professionals from different fields can learn something and contribute to the symposium,” added Fitch.

Pre-registration and a schedule of speakers is available at www.dsw.ext.wvu.edu, or by calling 304-293-8588. Participants can also register at the door on the day of the conference.

Fees for the conference vary. Pre-conference workshops are offered at $60 each. Full conference rates range from $100-$250. One-day registration is also available and ranges from $80-$140 per day.

Continuing education credits are available for some disciplines. For more information on this, topics, speakers and registration, visit the WVU Extension Diabetes Symposium website at www.dsw.ext.wvu.edu.



CONTACT: Cassie Thomas, WVU Extension Service
304.293.8735, Cassie.Thomas@mail.wvu.edu

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