Women's health seminar focuses on aging issues

Posted: Sunday, October 29, 2000

It's rare to have an hour with a physician free, and a healthy lunch, too, but it's happening Saturday, Nov. 4, in Juneau.

The occasion is the annual Juneau Women's Health Forum. The theme this year is "Growing Older, Growing Wise." The featured speaker will be Dr. Pam Kushner, who will address topics including menopause and hormone replacement; osteoporosis prevention and treatment; and lifestyle and natural remedies.

Kushner, 45, is a graduate of the California College of Medicine at Irvine who has been in private practice in Long Beach, Calif., since 1987. She has been director of the Osteoporosis Diagnostic Center since 1997.

Examples of Kushner's presentations at other forums include "The Little Old Lady A Destiny or a Decision," "Premenstrual Syndrome," "Leave Your Butts Behind" (on smoking cessation) and "Challenges in the Treatment of Postmenopausal Osteoporosis."

"Dr. Kushner is a really dynamic speaker," said Mary Diven, of the state Department of Health and Social Services, and co-organizer with Dr. Mo Longworth of the upcoming event.

"We want women who are pre-, peri- or post-menopausal to attend, because they are at the age when the risk for breast cancer and osteoporosis increases," Diven said. "Certainly, younger women contract breast cancer, so they are invited, too. But the highest risk is in the older age range (45 and above)."

Of Alaska's 622,000 residents, 33,641 are 65 or older, Diven said, citing numbers from a 1999 census. In Juneau, of 30,189 residents, 1,751 are 65 or older. "In Southeast, a large part of our population will be 50 to 70 over the next 20 years," she added.

"Growing Older, Growing Wiser" is free. It takes place at 12:30 p.m., Nov. 4, at the Tlingit and Haida Hall at Salmon Creek. For reservations, directions or other information, call Diven at 465-3103.

The Women's Health Forum is sponsored by the Southeast Alaska Cancer and Wellness Foundation, Bartlett Regional Hospital, Juneau Breast Cancer Support Group, the state of Alaska, and SEARHC Breast and Cervical Cancer Early Detection and Women's Health programs.

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