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Seminar examines grief and bereavement

ATHENS, Ohio (May 13, 2004) -- The spring series of Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine's Geriatric Education Series concludes Monday, May 17, with Ann Rathbun, Ph.D., Ohio University associate professor of health sciences, presenting "Grief and Bereavement." The seminar will be held from noon to 1 p.m. in conference room B-9 at O'Bleness Memorial Hospital.

Rathbun's presentation will help health-care professionals identify the characteristics of individuals dealing with grief. She will discuss theories and types of grief and bereavement, grief myths and explore how those myths can affect those caring for the elderly.

"Since grief usually plays a part in loss, it should be examined as a function of overall health," said Rathbun. "Often, in cases related to chronic or terminal illness, or disabilities, persons may experience loss on many levels. Grief may also play a part in regaining some social function and psychosocial health in these cases."

"Medical professionals may play a role in the bereavement process by recognizing that physical pain is often only one kind of pain that an individual may be experiencing," she added.

Health-care professionals are invited to attend the seminar. Brown bags are welcome. For more information, call the Geriatric Education Center at (740) 593-2258. Each lecture in this series of Geriatric Medicine/Gerontology seminars is held from noon to 1 p.m. on the first and third Mondays of each month at O'Bleness, B-9.

This is the final seminar in the spring series. The first was March 1, with Steven Clay, D.O., associate professor of geriatric medicine, who presented "Influences in Prescribing Patterns." The second seminar, "Hearing Loss and Management," was presented by Roxanne Groff, audiologist at The Holzer Clinic in Athens and Jackson, March 15. William Walker, J.D., presented "Legal Issues with Aging" April 5, and Tracy Marx, D.O., presented "Palliative Care" May 3.

"The seminars are designed for an interdisciplinary audience," said Ellen Peterson, R.N., OU-COM geriatric education coordinator. "Health professionals from the community regularly attend, in addition to interns, residents and medical students. The diversity of disciplines represented by the participants makes for an interesting exchange of ideas."

The sponsors of the seminars include OU-COM's Department Geriatric Medicine/Gerontology, the Western Reserve Geriatric Education Center and Area Health Education Center, and the Consortium for Health Education in Appalachia Ohio.

Peterson said the seminar series was started by a federal grant that established OU-COM as a contribution site to the Western Reserve Geriatric Education Center in September 1994 and has supported many continuing education programs. Provided by the Department of Health and Human Services, the grant supports educational programs in geriatric and gerontology for physicians, nurses, social workers, counselors and health-care providers to 22 Southeastern Ohio counties.

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Media Contact: Writer/editor Kevin M. Sanders, (740) 593-0896

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