Given Winter ’04 lecture series examines latest discoveries |

Given Winter ’04 lecture series examines latest discoveries

From virtual electron-beam scanning that predicts the chance of a heart attack to hand-held PCs that offer diagnosis and treatment based on the latest scientific discoveries, technology is behind a wide range of advances in the medical world.

As part of its Winter Public Lecture Series, the Given Institute is bringing doctors and researchers from across the country to Aspen to talk about the latest discoveries and their impacts on personal health care.

“With rapid advances in health care occurring at a dizzying pace, we believe it’s important to bring the very latest information to the public in a clear and understandable way,” said Janet Ferrara, Given Institute manager.

“We hope these lectures will provide information that people can act on to improve their health and well-being.”

In addition to presentations on virtual scanning and Internet diagnosis, speakers will talk about maintaining the health of children in school sports, the latest on reducing the pain of osteoporosis and the effects of living at high altitude.

All seating is free and unreserved, and all lectures will take place at 5:30 p.m. at the Given Institute, located at 100 E. Francis Street, Aspen.

The first speaker is Dr. Stan Gertzbein, who will speak on, “Straightening the Spine: New Strategies for Osteoporosis,” on Jan. 8. Gertzbein is a professor and orthopedic surgeon at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston.

He will talk about new strategies in the treatment of osteoporosis, from diet and exercise to the latest hormone medications, and minimally invasive surgery using new calcium compounds.

The second speaker is Dr. James Ehrlich. His Jan. 22 presentation is titled, “Virtual Scanning: Heart, Lung, Colon ” Is It Really For You?” Ehrlich is the medical director of the Colorado Heart and Body Imaging Center.

Ehrlich will talk about revolutionary advances in virtual scanning, which uses electron beam technology to predict the chances of heart attacks, and provides early detection of lung cancer. He will also discuss recent evidence that shows virtual colonoscopy to be more accurate than conventional methods, while also being more comfortable for patients.

The third speaker, Dr. Vincent Friedewald, will speak on, “Web-Health: Technology’s Growing Impact on Diagnosis and Treatment,” on Feb. 5.

Friedewald, executive director of the New Media Center at the University of Notre Dame, will discuss the Argus 1, a computer database he developed that allows doctors to enter information on symptoms into a hand-held PC and receive information on diagnosis and treatment.

The fourth speaker is Dr. Jordan Metzl, with a presentation on Feb. 19 titled, “A Doctor’s Complete Guide: How to Be an Effective Sports Parent.”

Metzl is the medical director of the Sports Medicine Institute for Young Athletes at the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York City. Metzl will provide an overview for parents and coaches on the latest research regarding children and sports.

Among his topics will be a study on increased wrist fractures among girls, due to a general decline in bone health among children, combined with higher-risk sports activities. Dr. Metzl will also talk about the latest research regarding the appropriate level of competition in school sports.

The final speaker in the Winter ’04 lecture series will be Dr. Peter Hackett, a Ph.D. at the Colorado Center for Altitude Medicine and Physiology. Hackett will talk about, “Living at Altitude: What You Need to Know About Rocky Mountain High,” on March 11.

Studies are now under way, using a $1 million state-of-the-art hypobaric chamber, to shed light on the effects of high altitude on the human brain during exercise. Research is also focused on altitude sickness and how altitude affects pregnant women. With up to 25 percent of tourists suffering from acute mountain sickness, studies are also aimed at developing new treatments.

For more information, contact the Aspen Given Foundation 925-3730 or visit the Web site at

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