McMaster University

McMaster University

Faculty of
Health Sciences

Take charge of your own health — Free public health fair Feb. 16

By Suzanne Morrison
Published: February 4, 2008
Aliya Khan
Dr. Aliya Khan

McMaster University physicians are offering Hamilton area residents the latest scientific information, tips and tools for good health at a Health Fair on Saturday, Feb. 16.

The fair is an initiative of a new physicians’ group interested in having more information available for the public in an era when everyone must take more responsibility for his or her own health.

"Patients are thirsty for knowledge," said Dr. Aliya Khan, a clinical professor of medicine, director of the calcium and the event organizer. "They want information but with the shortage of physicians, they have only a limited time with their doctor."

The information is best for healthy people, before they suffer an acute, and possibly chronic, illness. "By giving them information at this stage, we could actually prevent disease from occurring," she said.

Admission to the Health Fair is free. The public education event will be held in the Ewart Angus Centre of the McMaster University Health Sciences Centre.

Senior McMaster physicians will talk about prevention and management of six major health concerns: Osteoporosis, cancer, diabetes, dementia, heart disease and stroke.

Nursing Fundraiser
  • Osteoporosis prevention — osteoporosis specialist Dr. Alyia Khan, professor of medicine;
  • Osteoporosis treatment — geriatric specialist Dr. Alexandra Papaioannou, professor of medicine;
  • Cancer prevention and treatment — cancer specialist Dr. Alan Neville, professor and assistant dean in McMaster’s undergraduate MD program;
  • Diabetes — Dr. William Harper, associate professor of clinical medicine;
  • Heart disease and stroke prevention — internist Dr. Akbar Panju, professor and chief of medicine, Hamilton Health Sciences;
  • Prevention and treatment of dementia — geriatric specialist Dr. Irene Turpie, professor emeritus in the department of medicine.

The day will start at 9 a.m. with a welcome from asthma specialist Dr. Paul O’Byrne, professor and chair of the Department of Medicine.

The morning will feature half hour sessions. At lunch participants will have a chance to talk to professors and doctors-in-training. At this time participants may also check their blood pressure, glucose levels, and weight, calculate their body mass index, check out their score for osteoporosis and discover how likely they are to suffer the bone-robbing disease or have a heart attack or stroke.

Exhibits will be displayed by the national societies representing the major diseases discussed, including diabetes, heart attack and dementia.

More half-hour sessions will follow lunch. The day will wrap up with comments from Hamilton Mayor Fred Eisenberger.

"This fair will be an excellent opportunity for the public to be updated about diseases that affect many patients in the Hamilton region and to meet with outstanding specialists in these areas of health care endeavor," said Dr. O’Byrne.

"We have some of the best doctors in the world at the Michael G. DeGroote School of Medicine," said Dr. John Kelton.  "This opportunity to bring the most recent advances in health information to the public shows their commitment and passion as healers."

The health fair is the first event organized by a physician group at McMaster University called Doctors for Humanity.

Beyond the health fair, they plan to develop a network of volunteer physicians who are available to electronically provide information and answers to complex medical questions which they receive from physicians in other parts of the globe.

"If there is a medical officer of health in Zambia who wants to get information about a malaria outbreak he could e-mail Doctors for Humanity and have a volunteer physician at McMaster provide information," Khan said.

"It doesn’t take a lot. It just takes a few minutes. With the network set up, we could make a difference globally," she said.  "I feel that is our responsibility. We have been blessed with being at McMaster where we are at the cutting edge of research and, with this advantage comes the responsibility of helping others out."

Admission is free but registration is appreciated.  To register for the health fair call:
(905) 525-9140, ext. 22875.

For more information about the health fair, call:
(905) 616-5501
.

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