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OU-COM celebrates National Osteopathic Medicine Week (Sept. 20-27) with three public events

ATHENS, Ohio -- Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine joins more than 49,000 osteopathic physicians (D.O.s) across the nation in observing National Osteopathic Medicine Week 2003, Sept. 20-27, by sponsoring three public events designed to promote health, preventive education and awareness of the unique contributions of osteopathic medicine to health care.

NOM Week is celebrated each year to raise awareness about osteopathic medicine and to encourage the American public to live healthier lives. This year, NOM Week focuses on educating the public about D.O.s, who are one of only two fully licensed types of medical practitioners in the United States that are able to prescribe medicine and perform surgery.

Today, D.O.s practice in various specialties throughout the United States. However, 64 percent of D.O. practice is in the primary care areas of medicine such as family medicine and pediatrics.

"Despite the rich history of the osteopathic medical profession and its many contributions to the American health-care system," said Jack Brose, D.O., dean of OU-COM, "many people still do not know what a D.O. is -- even though they may have received medical or surgical care from a D.O. at some time in their lives.

"D.O.s and M.D.s sometimes place emphasis on different areas of health care. D.O.s like to stress preventive health care and emphasize a "whole person" approach to medicine. They pay special attention to a patient's lifestyle, knowing that lifestyle can play a significant role in his or her health."

The college's NOM Week community events are listed below.

  • Tuesday, Sept. 23, and Wednesday, Sept. 24, Athens Red Cross Blood Drive, noon to 6 p.m., Ohio University Convocation Center, Athens
    OU-COM's Community Service Programs, Ohio Athletics and the Athens County Chapter of the Red Cross are holding a two-day blood drive. All eligible donors are asked to participate in this potentially life-saving effort to collect blood. Blood donation is needed to maintain adequate reserves in area blood banks. If you gave blood on or before July 30, you are eligible. Organizers hope to collect a total of at least 220 units of blood over the two days. Walk-ins are accepted but appointments are preferred. Date of birth verification is required to donate. To make an appointment, please call (740) 593-2432 or (800) 844-2654.

  • Wednesday, Sept. 24, "Go For a D.O.," 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Ohio University Gateway at Court and Union Streets
    Each year, millions of Americans visit their doctors. And out of these millions of people, probably very few of them could tell you whether they were seeing an osteopathic physician (D.O.) or an allopathic physician (M.D.). Most aren't even aware that there are only two types of complete physicians licensed to perform surgery and prescribe medication in the United States. Janet Burns, D.O., OU-COM assistant professor of family medicine, and Ohio University medical students will be answering questions about the osteopathic profession and explaining why D.O.s provide excellent, patient-centered, holistic health care.

  • Saturday, Sept. 27, Adult Health Fair, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m., University Mall, Athens (near main entrance)
    Diabetes and hypertension are two diseases on the rise in this country. Perhaps as many as one in every five Americans are at risk for diabetes. Are you at risk for either life-threatening disease? Do you know what the risk factors are? The newly established diabetes center at University Medical Associates and OU-COM's Area Health Education Center are sponsoring a health fair for adults offering free diabetes and hypertension screenings will be provided. Please come to the fair to have yourself and your loved ones screened. Disease prevention educational materials will also be available at the fair. To schedule an appointment or for more information, please call AHEC at (740) 593-2292.

"During NOM Week," said Brose, "I hope the people of our community take advantage of the screening and educational services the college will be offering, which could save their lives, and hopefully, they'll have the time to donate blood. Blood is one of the most valuable things one can give - potentially the gift of life."

NOM Week events are co-sponsored by Community Service Programs, OU-COM medical student organizations, the Area Health Education Center, Ohio Athletics and the Athens Chapter of the Red Cross.

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

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