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 1-2, 2009 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, WSU Extension.

“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,” said conference chair, Gary Newkirk, MD. “We are pleased to welcome the President of the American Academy of Family Physicians, Ted Epperly, MD, FAAFP who will present on the medical home model during lunch Friday as well as Stanley Fleming, DO as our opening speaker from the newly opened Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences.”  PNWU is the Pacific Northwest’s first new medical school in 60 years. It will substantially increase the number of new practicing physicians each year and prepare this new generation of doctors to serve the 5 million at-risk people in our underserved communities.  Dr. John McCarthy, Assistant Regional Dean of Central and Eastern Washington, University of Washington, School of Medicine, will present current information on the status of University of Washington, School of Medicine’s new training of medical students in Spokane which will also contribute to physician recruitment for our area.

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 WA, OR, ID, MT, and Canada. 

Featured topics include: Bariatric Surgery: What the Primary Care Provider Ought to Know about Long-Term Management; Keeping Herbs Honest: An Evidence-Based Review; Managing Family Abuse Dynamics; Geriatric Jeopardy; Pediatric Dermatology; Post Deployment Mental Health – Supporting Our Returning Warriors; and more.

This year healthcare professionals can earn even more continuing medical education (CME) credits for the same low registration price as past years with the approval of many evidence-based presentations which double the credit for individual sessions.

In addition to featured speakers from the Northwest region of national notoriety and increased CME offering, the Inland Academy will honor two recently departed family physicians instrumental in the training and education of primary care providers – John Plastino, MD and Kenneth Gudgel, MD – during lunch Friday.

Several pre-conference activities are offered Thursday, April 30th including dinner workshops entitled, “Sustaining Excellence in Health, Work and Relationships,” and “Primary Care Endoscopy.” Pre-registration is required. A two-hour workshop on “Ruling Out Liability: A Risk Management Tool Kit for Office Practice” is for physicians of all specialties offered by Physicians Insurance and includes continuing education credits as well.

For the conference brochure, full schedule, and registration information, go online www.ahec.spokane.wsu.edu, or contact AHEC of E. WA, WSU Extension at 509-358-7640 or ahec@wsu.edu .

The Washington Academy of Family Physicians will conduct its board of directors, house of delegates meeting, practice enhancement day and other activities at The Davenport Hotel April 29-May 1. For more information and to register for WAFP activities call 425-747-3100, e-mail Jessica@wafp.net or go to www.wafp.net/forthephysician/2009-Annual-Meeting.aspx