UA Conference Explores ‘Future of Health Care’ Through Telehealth, Pharmacology and Rural Medicine Issues
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. – Telehealth – the use of state-of-the-art telecommunications and computer technology to help health-care professionals – will be one of the key topics at a conference on the future of health care in the United States on Thursday, Sept. 4, and Friday, Sept. 5, at The University of Alabama.
The Ninth Annual Rural Health Conference, whose theme this year is “The Future of Health Care,” will feature keynote speakers well-versed in contemporary health issues and with backgrounds in building telehealth systems in the Southeastern United States.
The conference will also feature a conversation with U.S. Rep. Artur Davis, D-Ala.; Jerome Gray, a representative from the campaign of presidential candidate U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.; and Dr. Robert E. Moffit, of the Heritage Foundation Center for Health Policy Studies, about the future of health care from a political perspective.
The Rural Health Institute for Clinical and Translational Science and The University of Alabama School of Medicine, Tuscaloosa Campus, are the hosts for the event; both are part of UA’s College of Community Health Sciences. About 250 health-care professionals, community leaders, researchers, government officials and policy makers attended last year’s conference.
Another area of interest for the conference is biopharmacology – medical drugs created using biotechnology. Other topics that will be addressed in breakout and poster sessions include rural nursing research, research that relates to rural communities and the future of health care in Alabama’s Black Belt.
In addition, the Governor’s Alabama Rural Action Commission will be part of the conference, and the growing problem of HIV/AIDS in the rural Deep South will be explored. Training sessions will also be offered for cardiopulmonary resuscitation, or CPR, and automated external defibrillators, known as AED.
The keynote speakers are:
- Dr. Dominic H. Mack, chief medical officer of the Atlanta-based Americorp Holdings, the parent company of The AeroClinic, which has convenient-care clinics at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport.
- Dr. Ernest L. Carter, chief executive officer of Global Telehealth Group LLC in Washington, D.C., a consulting, implementation and training firm that links technology to education and health-care initiatives for improved health delivery and outcomes.
- Dr. John Holaday, managing director and CEO of QRxPharma, a specialty pharmaceutical company with headquarters in Sydney, Australia.
- Dr. Glenn Hammack, president and chief executive officer of NuPhysicia LLC in Galveston, Texas, a partnership of the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston that provides telemedicine health services to markets across the United States.
- U.S. Representative Artur Davis of Alabama’s 7th Congressional District.
- Jerome Gray, state political director for Obama’s presidential campaign.
- Dr. Robert E. Moffit, director of the Center for Health Policy Studies at the Heritage Foundation, where he works with federal and state lawmakers on health-care reform legislation.
The conference will run from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday, Sept. 4, and 8 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 5, at the Bryant Conference Center on the UA campus. Registration is $75, which includes two continental breakfasts, two luncheons and refreshments. Continuing Education Unit credits will be available. For more information, call the institute at 205/348-0025 or visit the conference Web site at www.rhc.ua.edu.
Rural health stands as a major focus of research at the College of Community Health Sciences, and interest in cutting-edge computer and telecommunications technology remains high on the Tuscaloosa campus.
The mission of the University of Alabama Rural Health Institute for Clinical and Translational Science is to facilitate the highest attainable standard of health for those who live, work or play in rural America by investigating not only disease and infirmity, but also factors associated with physical, mental and social well-being.
Faculty and staff members pursue this mission through the combined strength of scientific knowledge, professional skill, individual commitment, community support and informed public policy.
The College of Community Health Sciences operates a comprehensive, state-of-the-art medical clinic, University Medical Center, where College faculty members conduct their medical practices and where students and residents receive clinical experience and training. The College’s research component supports faculty and student research efforts, including clinical trials.
The University of Alabama, a student-centered research university, is experiencing significant growth in both enrollment and academic quality. This growth, which is positively impacting the campus and the state's economy, is in keeping with UA's vision to be the university of choice for the best and brightest students. UA, the state's flagship university, is an academic community united in its commitment to enhancing the quality of life for all Alabamians.