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Men's Health Conference

Released: Saturday, March 08, 2003

On Saturday, March 8, Pennington hosted the second annual Louisiana Men's Health Conference in the Pennington Conference Center from 7 AM to 1 PM. Around 500 men ranging from all ages gathered to inform themselves how to lead healthier, more peaceful lifestyles.

"Truth comes out of everyday people gathering and somehow creating definitions," said Dr. Nicholas Abraham, founder and chairman of the Men's Health Conference, as he welcomed the group of men gathered in the conference room. "We have to come together, and experience, and be proud of being a man."

The conference focused on maintaining an overall healthier lifestyle despite certain unavoidable factors that contribute to life expectancy. It's about total wellness, not only physically, but mentally and spiritually, said Abraham.

Participants had the opportunity to browse over 30 exhibits set up by event sponsors. Booths offered a variety of services such as free blood pressure screening and blood glucose tests from Our Lady of the Lake, haircuts from Avallon Salon, massages from Body Works, and even depression screening from Dr. Hoppe and Associates. Other exhibits included WAFB, Governor's Council, the Abraham Group, City Social, Pfizer and the American Heart Association. Door prizes were provided by sponsors and included a grill, television and even a luxury vacation getaway to Florida.

Phil Ranier, WAFB Channel 9 Healthline Reporter and conference committee member urged men to start thinking about their health and taking preventative steps in order to be there for their families. Ranier revealed that according to CNN, 1/3 of men don't even have a regular doctor and that by the age of 65, men are 2.5 times more likely to have a heart attack than women. "We can do better. That's why we're here today," He said.

Dr. Nicholas Abraham introduced Terrence Real, a social worker and family and couples therapist who presided as keynote speaker of the event. Real spoke on mental health in relation to the 'I' word--Intimacy. After Real's speech, participants had the opportunity to break into small groups that dealt with a variety of topics from health and weight management, to prostate problems as well as sports injuries, cardiovascular surgery and golf swing dynamics. [Dr. Abraham acknowledged the Men's Health Conference Committee-a group of Pennington and Baton Rouge community members who, through a grassroots effort, made the event a success.]

Special thanks goes to the Pennington staff who helped to plan and execute this conference: Dr. Frank Greenway who spoke to a crowded room on weight management; Alan Pesch and Tim Nguyen designed the Louisiana Men's Health Organization website and promote the event; Anne Duke planned out the conference activities and Liz Tucker who coordinated research participant recruiting efforts. The key to this year's success was partly due to the dedicated committee members. The totally volunteer committee planned and organized all throughout the year for the year's event. This year the website played a significant role in our ---- efforts. Combined with the media campaign, over 200 people pre-registered for the conference.

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The Pennington Biomedical Research Center is at the forefront of medical discovery as it relates to understanding the causes of obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular disease, cancer and dementia. Itis a campus of the Louisiana State University System and conducts basic, clinical and population research. The research enterprise at the Center includes approximately 80 faculty and more than 25 post-doctoral fellows who comprise a network of 50 laboratories supported by lab technicians, nurses, dieticians, and support personnel, and 19 highly specialized core service facilities.  The Center's more than 500 employees perform research activities in state-of-the-art facilities on the 234-acre campus located in Baton Rouge, Louisiana.