ARHI Diabetes/Endocrine Center’s Diabetes Research and Educators Seminars to take place Tuesday, March 8, and Wednesday, March 9  
 
   

by Brooke Bunch

The Diabetes/Endocrine Center, a part of Ohio University’s Appalachian Rural Health Institute, will hold its monthly Diabetes Research Seminar Tuesday, March 8, which will be followed by a day-long Diabetes Educators Seminar Wednesday, March 9.

The seminars are a part of the ARHI Diabetes/Endocrine Center’s ongoing research and educational programs, which are designed to further diabetes research, improve patient care and clinical training, and promote diabetes education. The center was founded by Ohio University’s College of Health and Human Services and OU-COM.

On Tuesday from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. Frank Schwartz, M.D., will present the “Role of Visceral Obesity in Pathogenesis of Type II Diabetes and Atherosclerosis.” The seminar will take place in Grosvenor West 111.

Schwartz’s lecture will address the growing epidemic of obesity and type II diabetes, and more specifically, how to treat visceral obesity, and how acquisition of inter-abdominal cavity fat contributes to diabetes risk.

“Intra-abdominal fat is more biologically active and contributes to the development of diabetes and other heart disease,” Schwartz says.

The visceral fat cells secrete “adipokines,” which are chemicals that have diverse biological effects especially on tissue function in muscle, liver and pancreas which results in increased risk for diabetes.

“As these fat cells accumulate too much fat, they become saturated and release the adipokines which contribute to the process,” Schwartz says.

Schwartz will present human and animal research data at the seminar, as well as discuss the potential research approaches for intervening with current medications, as well as new compounds being developed at the University that may be active in preventing this process from occurring.

On Wednesday, the center holds an diabetes educators seminar, “Appalachian Culture and Diabetes Care,” from 10 a.m to 3:30 p.m. Sharon Denham, D.S.N., R.N., professor of nursing in the School of Nursing, College of Health and Human Services, will be the main presenter at the educators seminar. The seminar will take place in Grosvenor West 111.

Denham will examine the culture links between Appalachian culture and diabetes care, paying special attention to women’s roles, self-care philosophies and access to medical care.

Denham also will discuss distinct cultural traits of Appalachians, as well as Appalachian literacy, health literacy, and literacy levels of diabetic teaching materials. Denham’s presentation will begin at 11 a.m.

“At the end of this session, participants will be able to describe at least three cultural aspects of Appalachians, identify specific cultural perspectives pertaining to diabetes care and discuss health literacy and information needs related to diabetic care in Appalachian populations,” Denham says.

Schwartz and Jay Shubrook, D.O., associate professor of family medicine, will kick off the seminar at 10 a.m. Lunch will be provided at noon, followed by a diabetes curriculum evaluation at 1 p.m.

Schwartz, the director of the ARHI Diabetes/Endocrine Center and an OU-COM associate professor of endocrinology, says the center’s seminars on clinical and basic science diabetes research serve as an incubator for university researchers, physicians, health-care professionals and educators. A primary aim of the center’s efforts is to open the door to more interdisciplinary and interdepartmental research collaborations at the University.

“They increase the consolidation of our collective expertise for better directed research into the areas of diabetes, atherosclerosis and related diseases,” he says.

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Last updated: 03/27/2008