The University Record, January 11, 1993

Surgeon general-designate to speak here Jan. 16

By Deborah Gilbert
News and Information Services

Joycelyn Elders, health director for the state of Arkansas and President-elect Clinton's choice for U.S. surgeon general, will present the keynote address at a U-M conference on the health of poor children in the United States.

The conference, "Building Coalitions for Children: Turning Words into Action," will be held 8:30 a.m.--6:30 p.m. Saturday (Jan. 16) at the Towsley Center for Continuing Medical Education, U-M Medical Center. Elders will speak at 9:30--10:30 a.m.

The conference is presented by Medstart, a group of U-M medical students who have formed coalitions with other U-M students in public health, social work, dentistry, nursing, education and law.

"Medstart's name is a play on Headstart, the national education program for preschoolers at risk," explained Kevin Hibbert, Medstart founder and conference coordinator. "Our mission is to increase the awareness of all students and professionals concerned with children's health about the quality and availability of health services---or the lack thereof---provided to poor children and poor families across the country."

The conference will present workshops on child abuse, drug abuse, access to health care, death and dying, abandoned infants, children in poverty, maternal and child health, education, UNICEF, children and the law, gang violence, pediatric AIDS, and infant mortality.

Speakers will include:

---Irwin Redlener, chair of the Health Leadership Council for the Clinton/Gore campaign and co-founder of the New York Children's Health Project. Redlener will discuss "Access to Healthcare for Homeless Children."

---Valeria Lovelace, assistant vice president of Sesame Street Research and the Children's Television Workshop. Lovelace will discuss "Children and Television."

---Elizabeth Gath, Cook County Hospital, will discuss "Mothers, Children and AIDS."

---Alexa I. Canady, pediatric neurosurgeon and vice chairman, department of neurosurgery, Wayne State University, will discuss "How to Tell Parents Their Child is Dying."

---Clyde L. Owings, associate professor of pediatrics and communicable diseases, and medical coordinator of the Medical Center's Child Protection Team, will discuss child abuse in a talk titled "What Happens When the Lights Go Out."

The conference fee, which includes a continental breakfast, lunch and reception, is $10 for students and $15 for non-students. To register, call 936-9800. For more information, call 763-2172.