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Conference Addresses Allegheny County’s Biggest Health Challenges, Seeks Solutions

PITTSBURGH, Nov. 30, 2012 - Public health researchers and practitioners will outline the state of the health of Allegheny County residents at the “Health Across the Lifespan: Allegheny County 2012” conference on Monday, Dec. 3, from 7:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. at the University Club, 123 University Place, Oakland.
The conference, the first of its kind in Pittsburgh, is co-sponsored by the University of Pittsburgh Graduate School of Public Health, the Allegheny County Health Department, the Pennsylvania Department of Health, the Pennsylvania Public Health Training Center and the Center for Aging and Population Health Prevention Research Center. It seeks to bring experts together to explore what is known about preventable premature death, illness and disability in Allegheny County.
During the day-long conference, researchers will address:
• Racial disparities in infant mortality in Allegheny County, where the mortality rate is higher than the state or national level.
• Prevention of violence and injury among teenagers and young adults.
• Treatment of cancer, cardiovascular disease and diabetes in adults.
• Prevention of falls and disability in older adults.
“This is an important conference, one which will help to identify gaps in knowledge, recognize existing interventions, and make recommendations for reducing injury and premature death in Allegheny County,” said  Donald S. Burke, M.D., Pitt Public Health dean and UPMC-Jonas Salk Chair of Global Health.
Ronald Voorhees, M.D., M.P.H., acting director of the Allegheny County Health Department, will deliver the keynote address at 8:15 a.m. The keynote will be followed by five hour-long sessions, each devoted to the health challenges faced in successive stages of life, from infancy to older adulthood.  The conference will conclude with an hour-long breakout session, during which participants will be encouraged to brainstorm potential solutions. 
“This represents an historic opportunity for all stakeholders to come together to chart a new course for our local prevention efforts, one that can serve as a blueprint for the state and the nation,” said Dr. Burke.

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