Health educators and other healthcare professionals--including dietitians, nurses, doctors, pharmacists, and physician assistants--are invited to the third annual "Bridging the Gap with Education: Diabetes Symposium and Workshop 2002" Oct. 1-2 at the Embassy Suites Hotel in Charleston, W.Va.

The national conference, sponsored by the West Virginia University Extension Service and the West Virginia Extension Association of Family and Consumer Sciences, studies the challenges and advances related to providing support and education to those health professionals working with diabetes patients and patients' families.

The featured presentations and workshops will cover topics such as diabetes and exercise, diabetes and pregnancy, diabetes prevention, patients' self management, basic nutrition, diabetes and children and available medical therapies.

The symposium's first day features diabetes experts who have different perspectives on the disease, including Russell White, Bayfront Medical Center, St. Petersburg, Fla.; Marion Franz, Nutrition Concepts by Franz, Minneapolis, Minn.; Patti Bazal Geil, Geil Nutrition Communications, Lexington, Ky.; and Karmeen Kulkarni, St. Mark's Medical Center, Salt Lake City, Utah.

The conference's second day focuses on managing and treating diabetes. The speakers include William Polonsky, University of California-San Diego; Richard Rubin, The Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, Md.; Richard "Tim" Patton, Florida International University, Miami, Fla.; Michael H. Koch, University of Virginia and Endocrinology Associates, Roanoke, Va.; Jean Betschart Roemer, Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, Pa.; and Elizabeth Blair, Joslin Diabetes Center, Boston, Mass.

Six concurrent sessions will showcase West Virginia-based research findings and programs. Poster presentations will feature diabetes research and education from around the country.

Continuing education credits are available for most health professionals.

Last year, more than 250 people from 27 states attended the conference.

For more information or to register, contact Dr. Guen Brown at 304-293-2694, ext. 3424,or click here to visit the conference's website.