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Former Surgeon General to speak
at women's health conference
March 1, 1999

Joycelyn Elders, former U.S. Surgeon General, will be the keynote speaker at this spring's School of Allied Health's Women's Health Update, and will receive an award from the physical therapy department.

The conference, to take place April 22 at the Artists' Collective in Hartford, will spotlight health for women of color and will cover topics such as health promotion, domestic violence, spirituality and social concerns.

The conference will feature a panel discussion with, among others, Kyra Harvey, an African American physician from Atlanta, Ga., and graduate of Spelman College, who will discuss Health and Spirituality, and author and educator Lucila Jimenez, a Ph.D. candidate at Columbia University, who works at the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Center of New York City Health and Hospitals Corp. Jimenez will discuss domestic violence. The panel discussion will take place from 3:30-5:30 p.m., followed by Elders' speech and a reception and dinner in her honor.

The conference, the 10th hosted by the School of Allied Health, is sponsored by Berlex Laboratories and CIGNA HealthCare of Connecticut.

"Cigna first brought to our attention the need for this conference and there is no doubt that it fits the mission of the School of Allied Health and that there is a great need for health promotion for people of color," says Cynthia Adams, professor and associate dean of allied health.

Elders, the first African American woman to become Surgeon General, is a pediatric endocrinologist. The oldest of eight children, she did not see a physician until she was a freshman in college.

During Senate confirmation hearings for the position of surgeon general, Elders noted that she wanted "to change the way we think about health by putting prevention first. I want to be the voice and vision of the poor and powerless. I want to change concern about social problems that affect health into commitment. And I would like to make every child born in America a wanted child."

Active in civic affairs in Little Rock, Ark., Elders entered the U.S. Army at age 18 and was trained as a physical therapist. She attended the University of Arkansas Medical School on the G.I. Bill and held an internship at the University of Minnesota Hospital in Minneapolis.

After completing a pediatric residency and an endocrinology fellowship at the University of Arkansas Medical Center in Little Rock, she worked her way up the academic ladder to a full professorship.

Elders, who also has a master of science degree in biochemistry, holds multiple honorary doctorate of medical sciences degrees and honorary doctorate of letters degrees.

The women's health conference will also include a performance of a jazz dance troupe, sponsored by the Artists' Collective and featuring members of the sickle cell anemia program at St. Francis Hospital.

A reception for Elders will follow the conference. She also plans to stay for the dinner, which will feature Jamaican food, with curried goat, plantains, stewed brown chicken and other items.

The cost of the conference is $10 without dinner or $50 with dinner. Mothers who bring their daughters with them for "Take Your Daughter to Work Day" will be charged $5 for their daughter to attend the conference or $85 for mother and daughter with conference and dinner.

The Artists' Collective is located at 1200 Albany Avenue. Free parking is available.

To register, call (860) 486-4905 or (800) 622-9905. For more information, call Jeannine Vollone (860) 486-4262, ext. l..

Karen Grava