SPOKANE – A two-day conference designed for primary care providers including physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, registered nurses and allied health professionals will take place May 2-3 at the Red Lion Hotel at the Park in downtown Spokane. 
 
More than 400 healthcare providers and professionals will attend the conference presented by the Inland NW Academy of Family Physicians, Family Medicine Spokane Residency Program, and the Area Health Education Center of Eastern Washington, Washington State University Extension.
 
“This is the 25th year for Primary Care Update” said conference chair, Gary Newkirk MD.  “The committee has worked very hard to ensure this annual event is filled with top notch speakers who provide valuable information to assist primary care providers in caring for their patients.”
 
Primary Care Update is designed to provide the opportunity for healthcare professionals to participate in educational sessions and workshops designed with the primary care practitioner in mind.  Attendees come from all over the Northwest including Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana and Canada.  
 
Featured topics include: “New Asthma Guidelines with a focus on the 3 to 11 Age Group;” “Dual Diagnosis of Mental Illness and Substance Abuse;” “The Aging Skin: Screening for Gynecologic Cancers;” Stroke Management;” and “Diabetes and Lipids.”
 
Featured speakers and topics include Ted Rosen, MD of Baylor University College of Medicine, Houston, Texas, offering sessions on  dermatology; Ken Cathcart, DO of Northside Internal Medicine, Spokane – “Statin Update and Diabetes and Lipids;” Madeleine Geraghty, MD, PhD of Rockwood Clinic, Spokane – “Stroke Management;”  Maxine Hayes, MD, MPH of the Washington State Department of Health, Olympia, – “Vaccines: Access, Cost and Questions Afraid to Ask;” Tom Irons, MD from East Carolina University, Greenville, N.C., – “Teen Angst: The Depressed and/or Suicidal Adolescent” and “’Are You In There?’ Reaching the Dysfunctional Teen;” Israel Coutin, MD from Fontana, Calif., – “Top 10 Bad Drugs for the Elderly” and “Time to Talk: Discussion Near the End of Life;” and PZ Pearce, MD of Champions Sports Medicine, Spokane, –  “Artificial Performance Enhancement in Sports and Sports Medicine 2008.”
 
A dinner program is offered for providers on Thursday, May 1 as a pre-conference workshop. Michael Garnett, MD from Klickitat Valley Health Systems in Goldendale, Wash., and other physicians will present topics on, “Primary Care Endoscopy.” Registration for this dinner workshops is $35.00 per person and pre-registration is required.  
 
Continuing education hours for healthcare professionals are available. For the conference brochure, schedule – including more Thursday workshops – and registration information, go online at www.ahec.spokane.wsu.edu, or contact AHEC of E. WA, WSU Extension at 509-358-7640 or ahec@wsu.edu .