ISU Headlines

Idaho Conference on Health Care Oct. 30 features new format; second annual Thomas Geriatric Health Symposium invites public

Posted October 13, 2009

The 22nd annual Idaho Conference on Health Care Oct. 30 on the theme “Caring for Idaho” features a new format and includes the second annual Thomas Geriatric Health Symposium, which is free and open to the public.

The conference, sponsored by the Idaho State University Kasiska College of Health Professions, will be transmitted from Pocatello to the ISU-Meridian Health Science Center via ISU’s distance learning network.  The conference will feature four distinct tracks, including:

•  Thomas Geriatric Health Symposium, on the theme of “Fall Prevention”;

•  Psychosocial Track: “Acceptance & Commitment Therapy (ACT)”;

•  Pharmacy Track: “Moving Toward a Culture of Evidence-Based Practice”; and

•  Oral Health Track: “Personal Financial Strategies for Health Professionals.” 

“The conference has been redesigned to focus on providing professional development credits for health care professionals through four distinctly separate tracks, but the no-cost Geriatric Health Symposium will also offer plenty for the general public,” said Victoria Bañales, director of ISU Conference Services.

Up-to-date conference information, including registration forms and complete speaker/presentation information, can be found at www.isu.edu/kchp/hlthconf. Continuing education credits for professionals in various health care-related fields will be available. See the website for details. Pre-registration by Oct. 23 is required to attend. For more information contact Victoria Bañales at (208) 282-1049 or at banavict@isu.edu.

Additional information for each of the conference’s four tracks is as follows:

The second annual Thomas Geriatric Health Symposium will focus on the topic of “Balance and Fall Prevention in the Elderly.”Although geared toward students and professionals in the rehabilitation sciences, the symposium, running from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. in the Pond Student Union Salmon River Suite, will offer plenty to the general public. Presentations include “Balance and Fall Assessment and Treatment Strategies,” “Exercise Prescription in the Elderly to Assist in Fall Prevention,” “Pathology Related to Balance” and “Home Intervention for Older Adults with Impaired Balance.”

“Thanks to the generosity of an anonymous donor, this interdisciplinary geriatric health symposium will be held annually and admission is free of charge to participants,” Bañales said. “This year’s topic should be of interest to a broad range of participants.”

Continuing medical education credits and nursing CEUs are available for physicians and nurses attending the Geriatric Health Symposium. In addition, the symposium will serve nursing home administrators towards their licensing requirements through the Idaho Board of Examiners; a certificate of completion will be provided.

The Psychosocial Track features an “Acceptance & Commitment Therapy” workshop from 9 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. facilitated by Michael P. Twohig, an assistant professor of psychology at Utah State University.

Twohig’s research spans a variety of areas including the treatment of obsessive compulsive disorder and OC-spectrum disorders, substance use, mechanisms of action, and multicultural issues. He has published over 50 scholarly works including two books.

ACT is a new type of cognitive behavior therapy that focuses on helping clients step out of their struggles with their thoughts and feelings instead of winning the battle against them, according to Twohig. This allows clients to move forward in meaningful directions in life without necessarily needing a decrease in internal symptoms. The benefits of this type of approach are clear for the many disorders where the internal experiences are difficult to control or regulate such as chronic pain, psychosis and addictions.

ACT has also been found useful for more common disorders such as anxiety and depression. Multiple effectiveness studies suggest that training in ACT can help professionals in their work with a variety of clients. This training is appropriate for psychiatrists, psychologists, social workers, counselors, nurses, and many other professionals and C.E. credits/CEUs pre-approved by the IPA, NASW, and NBCC will be available upon request.  

• The Pharmacy Track, which runs from 8:30 a.m. to 4:20 p.m., focuses on the theme of “Moving Toward a Culture of Evidence-Based Practice” and will include five presentations: “Evidence-based alternative medicine,” “Idaho Pharmacy Law Updates,” “Diet Fads and Drug Interactions,” “Medical Isotopes,” and “NKDA: No Known Drug Allergies?” CEUs approved by the Idaho Board of Pharmacy as well as nursing CEUs will be available and are included in the registration fee.

The Oral Health Track will present a seminar on the topic of “Personal Financial Strategies for Health Professionals.” This track will be held from 9 a.m. to noon in the Bistline Thrust Theatre in the L.E. and Thelma E. Stephens Performing Arts Center and will be followed by lunch.

The seminar focuses on presenting a “fresh eyes” approach to the topic of financial planning and is applicable to each and every health professional. Presentations include topics such as “Financial Forces and Strategies,” “Optimizing the Efficiency and Profitability of Your Practice”, “Health Insurance and Retirement Opportunities,” and “Personal Wealth Management Strategies.”

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