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FOR RELEASE: April 29, 2002
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
405/271-5601

Conference to Focus on 9-11 Impact on Rural Health

Health care professionals from rural and underserved areas of the state will examine the impact of bioterrorism on rural health during the annual conference of the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma Sept. 4-6 in Oklahoma City.

Co-sponsored by the Oklahoma Area Health Education Centers, more than 250 health care professionals are expected to attend the conference, which will be held at the Oklahoma City Marriott, 3233 Northwest Expressway.

National and state speakers will address the conference theme, Post 911 - Impact on Rural Health. A partial list of speakers includes: Dr. Dena Puskin, director of the federal Office for the Advancement of Telehealth, who will provide a national perspective on bioterrorism; Major General Robert Alan Goodbary, director of Military Relations, Oklahoma State University, who will offer a state perspective on bioterrorism; Dr. Steven Kornguth, director, Biological and Chemical Countermeasures Program, University of Texas, who will discuss bioterrorism preparedness in rural areas; and Gary E. Jones, Deputy Regional Director of the Region VI Federal Emergency Management Agency office, who will further the discussion on bioterrorism preparedness in rural areas of the state. Special guest will be Bernard Harris, M.D., the first African-American astronaut into space.

Concurrent workshop topics will feature sessions on workforce, critical access hospitals, demographic and cultural diversity, and effects of environment on rural health.

An awards luncheon on Friday, Sept. 6, will honor the Rural Health Association of Oklahoma’s outstanding legislators, Sen. Robert M. “Bob” Kerr and Rep. Jari Askins. Buck McKinney, Atoka Memorial Hospital, will receive the outstanding rural hospital administrator award. Tom Allen, D.O., from the Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences, will accept the outstanding program award for the placement of physicians in rural Oklahoma.

For conference registration information, call 405/744-6489.

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