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FOR RELEASE: February 19, 2004
CONTACT: Pamela Williams
Office of Communications
405/271-5601

Farming and Arthritis Topic at March Arthritis Network Meeting

Farming and arthritis will be the topic at the March 4th meeting of the Oklahoma Arthritis Network (OAN). The OAN will feature a presentation and discussion on the Oklahoma AgrAbility Project. The purpose of AgrAbility is to promote the success of people with disabilities working in agriculture.

The meeting will be held Thursday, March 4, at the Oklahoma State Department of Health, 1000 N.E. 10th Street, Oklahoma City, at 2 p.m. in Room 314. It is open to the public. The Oklahoma Medical Board of Licensure and Supervision has approved it for one continuing education unit.

Featured speaker is Carla Wilhite, an occupational therapist working in the area of agricultural health and disability. She is currently a staff member on the Oklahoma AgrAbility Project that operates in a partnership between Oklahoma ABLE-Tech, Oklahoma State University-Extension Services, and Langston University-Small Farmer Outreach Program.

Some of the major topics to be discussed include:

  • learning about Oklahoma farming work environments;
  • identifying musculoskeletal forces (repetition, awkward positions, etc.) that lead to joint dysfunction and osteoarthritis;
  • learning methods to manage arthritis on the farm (i.e. conserve energy, protect joints, select appropriate tools and compensatory technologies); and
  • discussion about the Oklahoma AgrAbility Project and services available to farmers.

OAN features various speakers and presentations for the public to help maximize the quality of life for Oklahomans with arthritis and related health conditions through developing resources, promoting access to health care and offering public health education programs. Currently, there are about 100 public and private health and non-health related organizations in the OAN.

For more information about arthritis, and to learn more about upcoming speakers, presentations and activities available through the OAN, call Marisa New at 405/271-9444, ext. 56410.

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