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Release: Immediate

Complementary and alternative therapies seminar being offered by UI College of Medicine

IOWA CITY, Iowa -- The University of Iowa College of Medicine will host a seminar, "Complementary and Alternative Therapies: An Evidence-Based Approach," on Thursday, April 16 and Friday, April 17 at the Iowa Memorial Union Main Ballroom.

"We are breaking new ground," says Dr. Nicole Nisly, UI clinical assistant professor of internal medicine and conference co-director. "I don't think complementary and alternative therapies have been addressed through the continuing education department at the UI."

The goal of co-directors Nisly and Dr. Evan Kligman, professor and head of the Department of Family Medicine in the UI College of Medicine, is to help bridge the gap between traditional Western medicine and alternative therapies, and to develop understanding and communication between the two fields, which would benefit patients of both.

The UI Departments of Family Medicine and Internal Medicine, and the Colleges of Nursing and Pharmacy, have combined resources to provide primary care physicians, nurses, pharmacists, social workers, allied health care and non-medical professionals with a review of the history, principles and current scientific evidence of complementary and alternative medicine.

Topics will include herbal therapy, acupuncture, healing touch, ayurvedic medicine, chiropractic, massage therapy, homeopathy, hypnosis and other therapies as well as experiential sessions.

All university participants are eligible for continuing education credits.

Dr. Dharma Khalsa will deliver a keynote address on April 16 on his current research in Des Moines on brain longevity. Author of the best-selling book of the same name, Khalsa will review the research on preventing age-associated memory decline with herbs, yoga, supplements and other mind-body therapies. His theory and research is being applied to a current research protocol being designed for a collaborative study between the Departments of Family Medicine at Mercy Medical Center in Des Moines and at the UI. Khalsa is the president and medical director of the Alzheimer's Research Foundation in Tucson, Ariz.

Dr. James Duke will deliver a keynote lecture entitled, "Herbal Therapies," on April 17. Duke is an internationally known ethnobotanist who has written extensively on the therapeutic functions of plants and plant remedies. Retired after 30 years of working at the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Duke now serves as a consultant, writer and lecturer.

Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, who was instrumental in the creation of the Office of Complementary and Alternative Medicine at the National Institutes of Health, also will be featured at the conference on April 17 via a pre-recorded video presentation.

Dr. Wayne Jonas, director of the NIH's Office of Alternative Medicine, also is scheduled to present a keynote address and a review of the current status of alternative medicine in this country.

Registration is limited. The physician's fee is $275. For nurses, pharmacists, chiropractors and other allied health care professionals the fee is $150. Registration for UI faculty, staff and medical residents is $50, and for non-medical professionals and interested persons is $75. Single day registration also is available. Fees include registration, instruction, educational materials, continental breakfasts, refreshments, lunches and credit processing. All but $15 of the registration will be refundable for those who cancel the day prior to the event. No refunds are allowed after the conference begins.

The event is supported by educational grants from the Dr. Raymond Sheets Fund, the UI College of Medicine, Frontier Herbs of Norway, Iowa, Johnson County Pharmacists Association and Phytopharmica of Green Bay, Wis.

The Dr. Raymond Sheets Fund provides support to the UI to promote medical education on the topic of alternative medicine, which greatly helped Sheets in dealing with terminal cancer. Sheets was the first director of the hematology-oncology division at the UI Hospitals and Clinics and a professor of internal medicine from 1949 to 1983. He died of a brain tumor in 1985. Alternative medicine provided great help for Sheets during his illness. Sheets' widow, Kristen Saggert, requested a seminar that addresses combining traditional and alternative medicine, in honor of her husband, which motivated the creation of this seminar.

For further information on hotels, parking and the seminar contact Deborah L. Hatz at the UI Office of Continuing Medical Education at (319) 335-8599 or fax (319) 335-8327. Hatz also can be reached via e-mail at

Individuals with disabilities are encouraged to attend all UI-sponsored events. If you are a person with a disability who requires an accommodation in order to participate in this program please contact the UI Office of Continuing Medical Education at (319) 335-8598.