AMHERST, Mass. – Carl Caspersen, an expert in physical activity and diabetes at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Atlanta, will be the keynote speaker at a public diabetes prevention and management seminar and panel discussion at the University of Massachusetts Amherst’s Marriott Center on Monday, Oct. 22 from 3 to 5 p.m. A reception will follow.
Caspersen’s talk is titled, “Epidemiology, Surveillance, and Public Health Perspectives Regarding Diabetes in Older Adults.” The event will also feature UMass Amherst faculty members Barry Braun, associate professor of kinesiology, speaking on the “Physiology of Physical Activity as a Strategy to Prevent Diabetes,” and Lisa Chasan-Taber, professor of epidemiology, on “Physical Activity and Gestational Diabetes.”
The event is the first in a planned series jointly sponsored by the UMass Amherst School of Public Health and Health Sciences (SPHHS) and ENVIRON, a global science, technology and health consulting firm with offices in Amherst. Epidemiologist Kenneth Mundt, an organizer of the seminar for ENVIRON, says, “In addition to training new public health professionals, the School of Public Health and Health Sciences should be a resource at the university, local and national level on urgent public health topics such as the prevention of diabetes. I hope our joint seminar series will provide a forum for highlighting the important research conducted at the school and communicating research results to benefit public health.”
SPHHS Dean Marjorie Aelion says participants will learn effective lifestyle strategies for preventing and managing diabetes in their households and communities, plus a greater understanding of approaches being used to fight the diabetes epidemic on a national and local level.
There will also be a panel discussion on western Massachusetts communities’ efforts to promote healthy lifestyles and their diabetes intervention, management and prevention programs. Panelists will invite questions from the audience in an open question-and-answer session where audience participation is highly encouraged. Taking part in that panel will be:
Kelly Henry, RN, a diabetes educator and program coordinator for the Cooley Dickinson Center for Excellence in Diabetes Education
Patricia Daly, RN, a health system specialist for the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Diabetes Prevention and Control Program
Wanda Givens, director of the Springfield Mason Square Health Task Force
Stuart Chipkin, MD, an endocrinologist and co-principal investigator for the Western Massachusetts Public Health Training Center
Caspersen, who is associate director for science in the CDC’s Division of Diabetes Translation, has conducted research in physical activity epidemiology and surveillance, cardiovascular disease, diabetes and cancer epidemiology, aging populations, health policy and community-based interventions. He is an author and editor for the first Surgeon General’s Report on Physical Activity and Health, and provided scientific support for the 2008 U.S. Physical Activity Guidelines.