Baton Rouge --- The Department of Health and Hospitals’ Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health will host a conference to address strategies to better deal with chronic health conditions.

The conference will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday, Jan. 30 and Wednesday, Jan. 31, 2006, at the West Baton Rouge Conference Center in Port Allen, La.

Keynote speaker Frank Vinicor, M.D. M.P.H,  from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, will speak at the luncheon on  Jan. 30.  Dr. Vinicor serves as the CDC’s Associate Director of Public Health Practice,  the Director of the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on Diabetes Mellitus and Clinical Associate Professor of Medicine at Emory University in Atlanta.

Other guest speakers include Letita Daniels Jackson with the Campaign for Tobacco Free Kids and Margaret Casey and Mike White from the National Association of Chronic Disease Directors. 

DHH’s Bureau of Primary Care and Rural Health administers the state’s chronic disease control program. This includes Tobacco Control, Heart Disease and Stroke, Diabetes and Asthma, as well as the Behavioral Risk Factor Surveillence System Survey.

During the two-day meeting, chronic disease state partners and stakeholders will participate in facilitated planning sessions for tobacco, heart disease and stroke, diabetes and asthma control. Particpants will play a key role in developing goals and objectives to guide the work of the programs for the next three years.
  
“Addressing chronic disease issues in Louisiana will require education, awareness, appropriate primary care interventions and access to prescription medication,” said Dr. Fred Cerise, Secretary of the Louisiana Department of Health and Hospitals. “Managing chronic disease and promoting healthier lifestyles for those at risk for chronic health conditions is critical to improving the health status of our state,” he said.

Registration for the event is required and limited, but there is no fee to attend.  For more information about the Bureau’s Chronic Disease Unit and to register, visit the Bureau’s Web site at www.pcrh.dhh.louisiana.gov or contact Cynthia Atwood at catwood@dhh.la.gov or (225) 342-9513.