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Community Medical School to offer four lectures for the layperson

Jim Barlow, Life Sciences Editor
(217) 333-5802;

Gretchen Robbins, Carle Public Relations
(217) 383-4602


CHAMPAIGN, Ill. -- Area residents can enhance their knowledge of medicine and science by attending the Community Medical School, a new program of the University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign.

The free, four-evening course begins March 20 at the Carle Forum, located one block north of Carle Foundation Hospital, 611 W. Park St., Urbana, and continues each Tuesday through April 10.

Medical experts will conduct the sessions.

"We hope that the Community Medical School will help strengthen the science literacy of the community and create an understanding of science in present-day society," said Dr. Bradford S. Schwartz, regional dean of the UI College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign.

"We want to improve the health of the community and enhance the awareness of what the medical community has to offer."

Participants will be able to park free and receive free class materials. The Carle Development Foundation and Pfizer Inc. are funding the program. Each session will feature lectures and demonstrations, beginning with basic scientific principles and advancing to material more clinical in nature.

The weekly topics:

March 20, 6:30-9 p.m. -- "It's Got a Good Beat, But Can You Dance to It?" Dr. Abraham Kocheril, a cardiologist with the Carle Heart Center, will discuss the human heart, including the benefits of wine. An optional social hour with wine tasting and music will follow.

March 27, 7-9 p.m. -- "Food or Pharmacy?" Dr. Terry Hatch, a pediatrician with the Carle Clinic Association, and a panel of experts tackle the nuances of nutrition -- including the food pyramid, fad diets, nutraceuticals and herbal supplements. Following the program, a sampling of nutraceuticals and healthy snacks will be offered.

April 3, 7-9 p.m. -- "When Good Cells Go Bad." Schwartz, a physician and also a professor of biochemistry and medicine at the UI, will discuss cancer on a cellular level and provide an overview of current treatments and promising therapies of the future. An array of antioxidant-rich refreshments will be served at a reception after the session.

April 10, 7-9 p.m. -- "The Robot Will See You Now." New technologies looming on the horizon of medicine, including robotic surgery, virtual reality and nanotechnology, will be discussed by Dr. Rick Satava, a professor of surgery at the Yale University School of Medicine.

Space is limited. Call (217) 383-6087 to enroll or to get additional information.