Quick: Wisconsin residents - a conference in your area

I'm proud to report that one of F.E.A.S.T.'s Parent Council and one of F.E.A.S.T.'s Advisory Council will be at this event:

"Running on Empty," a one-day conference on eating disorders Friday, March 20, 2009.

Sponsored by the Alex DeVinny Memorial Fund and held in the UW-Parkside Student Center, the conference allows coaches, school counselors, therapists, medical professionals, and parents to hear from doctors and health researchers on possible causes and potential treatments for this life-destroying disorder.

Conference organizer Doug DeVinny, a UW-Parkside Art Professor whose daughter Alex fought and eventually succumbed to anorexia, said his aim was to offer a well-rounded program covering issues involved in both sports and eating disorders.

"The Milwaukee speakers will talk more in regard to sports-related topics and the exercise issues for people with anorexia," DeVinny said. "The Duke University speakers are more focused on research on the causes [of eating disorders] and diet."

The morning keynote address, titled "The Female Athlete: Myths and Truths," is given by Dr. Anne Hoch of the Froedtert/Medical College of Wisconsin Women's Sports Medicine Program. In the afternoon, participants hear from Duke University researcher Dr. Nancy Zucker on "Helping Parents Help their Child with an Eating Disorder."

Breakout sessions cover the warning signals, causes, and treatments of eating disorders; clinical evaluation of energy deficit, and separate sessions on osteoporosis, stress fractures, and exercises to improve bone density. Ideas for helping siblings cope with the disease, how parents can learn the skills needed to deal with eating disorders, and the role of nutrition therapy in recovery are the other breakout session topics.

DeVinny said while he wants an audience that is a cross-section of people who work with young men and women who may have eating issues, the conference could be especially helpful to parents.

"We have people contact us, parents who are concerned, hoping we have all the answers. Well, if we had all the answers, Alex would still be alive," DeVinny said. "This conference is going to open up a whole world of new things for them. In one day's time, they'll have a lot of good information."
DeVinny promised an honest dialogue on the reality of treatment for people with eating disorders saying there is hope and help if people look for them in the right places.

The "Running on Empty" eating disorders conference is intended for coaches, athletic directors, school counselors and social workers, therapists, parents, medical professionals, dieticians, and trainers.

Cost of the conference is $75 and continuing education credit is available. To register, call Felicia Stallworth at 262-595-2312 or access stallwor@uwp.edu via email. For more information, call Professor DeVinny at 262-595-2364.


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