October 1, 2008
Idaho State University is the state's designated lead institution for health-professions education. For two decades, an important component of that mission has been sponsorship of the Annual Idaho Conference on Health Care.
From Wednesday, Oct. 22, through Friday, Oct. 24, the 21st Annual Idaho Conference on Health Care will meet under the theme, "American Health Care: Facing the Challenges."
Conference speakers and panel participants will address a diverse range of topics. Among them: the scourge of methamphetamines, weight loss, nutrition, even brain "fitness" for healthy aging.
Special guest Michael Dansinger, M.D., will give the keynote address, "Beating Obesity: Mission Impossible?"
Dr. Dansinger is an assistant professor at Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, director of the Diabetes Reversal Clinic at Tufts–New England Medical Center, a scientist with the USDA Nutrition Research Center, and a clinical nutrition and obesity editor for WebMD.
Susan Starr Sered, Ph.D., will give a second keynote address, titled "The Death Spiral: How ‘the Uninsured' Became an American Caste." Dr. Sered is co-author of the book, Uninsured in America: Life and Death in the Land of Opportunity.
There will be presentations, panels and general sessions as well.
Leading this hallmark event is the Kasiska Family Foundation. Co-sponsors are the Idaho Public Health Association, Idaho Psychological Association, Bingham Memorial Hospital and the National Association of Social Workers Idaho Chapter.
I hope you will be able to take part in at least a portion of the conference. Just visit its Web site to learn how.
On a lighter note, I was pleased not long ago to receive a letter from a couple who live in Fernley, Nevada. Gary Schenauer and his wife, Denise, were traveling to Montana when they stopped in Pocatello one Sunday evening. They stayed near campus, and walked the grounds after dinner.
"You must be tremendously proud of your campus ... and deservedly so!" Mr. Schenauer wrote to me when he returned home. "The grounds are exquisitely groomed, the landscaping is peaceful and beautiful; the exhibits are artistic, interesting and informative ... Every exterior aspect of the campus certainly appears to provide an ultra-positive learning and instructional environment.
"Your campus is one of Pocatello's premier locations and attractions," he concluded, "and we wanted you, your staff and faculty members, and your 2008-09 student body to know it."
Thank you, Mr. and Mrs. Schenauer. We are indeed proud of our buildings and grounds, and I'm glad it shows. I must say, too, that we are prouder still of the learning, scholarship and research that are the foundation of Idaho State University.
Arthur C. Vailas, Ph.D.
President, Idaho State University