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Given health series targets locals

Katie Clary

With topics ranging from acupuncture to high-altitude athletic training, Aspenites are sure to find a lecture to their liking during the Given Institute’s Summer Health Education Series. The free medical lectures are a year-round staple at the Given Institute, said Given Institute manager Janet Ferrara, adding that few people know these events are open to people outside the medical community. “This is specifically planned, organized and directed to the Roaring Fork public,” Ferrara said. The Health Education Series targets passers-by, she explained, unlike the private medical conferences held at the Institute on a daily basis.”I hate to use the word cutting-edge, but that is what we bring to the valley,” said Ferrara. The Given Institute is owned by the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center (UCSHC), which encompasses the schools of medicine, nursing, dentistry and pharmacy, and the graduate school. Ferrara explained that both institutions’ missions include continuing adult education, and that speakers in the summer education series are doctors from the University of Colorado Medical School and experts from the private conferences who “piggyback” onto the public forums. While Ferrara is excited about all the summer speakers, she highlighted the Sept. 16 “Acupuncture, Herbs and Massage” lecture that showcases the University of Colorado’s new Integrative Medicine Program. All of the speakers are credentialed physicians or specialists, such as a massage therapist. Ferrara said the new program illustrates how leaders in traditional medicine are realizing that as the public increasingly turns to herbal and holistic treatments, doctors also need to explore alternative medicine. “The realization is we’re all trying it, the difference is we need to tell our doctors,” she said. An employee of the CU medical school for 25 years, Ferrara attests this is a “big step.” All presentations take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Given Institute, located at 100 E. Francis St. in Aspen. The doors open at 5 p.m. and seating is first-come, first-served. Ferrara said they turn away attendees after reaching the 200-person capacity, but late-comers can find the lectures audio-taped and stored at the Aspen Valley Hospital and Valley View Hospital, as well as at the Institute’s library. Channel 12 also broadcasts the talks. Summer lectures• June 15: “Melanoma: The Dark Side of the Sun”Dr. William Robinson, a professor from University of Colorado Cancer Center who specializes in skin cancer, will discuss the most rapidly increasing cancer in Caucasians throughout the world. Malignant melanoma has a 20 to 25 percent fatality rate, according to Robinson. He will discuss how the disease develops and new treatments. • Aug. 2: “Sleepless in Aspen: How to Get Your ZZZs Back”Dr. Michael Weissberg, vice chair of the UCHSC Department of Psychiatry, will discuss the correlation between insomnia, sleeping and dreaming. He will specifically examine what disrupts sleep and the two muscle groups that continue to move during dreams: the diaphragm and the inner ear. Weissberg is also an author who has appeared widely in the media including on the Oprah Winfrey Show. • Aug. 17: “New and Emerging Viral Diseases: Can We Handle the Threat?”Dr. Kathryn Holmes, UCHSC professor of microbiology, will review the origin and threats of SARS, bird flu, hantavirus and other viral diseases that spread from animals to humans. She will also examine whether these viruses can be recognized before becoming epidemic. • Sept. 9: “Exercise and Athletic Performance at High Altitude”The Colorado Center of Altitude Medicine and Physiology (CCAMP) and the Given Institute will together provide insight into high-altitude training techniques. The speaker, Dr. Robert Roach, is the associate director and chief of the research division at CCAMP, as well as a consultant to the Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, several world-ranked marathoners as well as a number of professional sports teams around Denver. Roach will examine the advantages of high-altitude training for sea-level performance for the Olympic, professional and high-performance athletes who train in Colorado’s mountains. • Sept. 16: “Acupuncture, Herbs and Massage: A Roap Map to Complementary Medicine”A trio of experts in complementary medicine will discuss which therapies benefit conventional health care programs as well as which can be harmful. Dr. Lisa Corbin, medical director of the UCHSC Integrative Medicine Program, will lead the presentation. She will be joined by massage therapist Carolyn Virostek and herbalist/pharmacist Susan Paulsen.For more information, contact the Given Institute at 925-1057.


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