JOHNSON CITY (July 20, 2012) – Physicians and other health care providers can explore the latest issues unique to delivering health care for children at the 28th annual Southwest Virginia Pediatrics Conference, being presented Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 4-5, by the East Tennessee State University Department of Pediatrics.
Faculty from the James H. Quillen College of Medicine and other academic medical centers are among those who will speak on a wide spectrum of pediatric topics at the Martha Washington Inn in Abingdon. The conference, which is co-sponsored by the ETSU Office of Continuing Medical Education and Niswonger Children’s Hospital, is designed for pediatricians, primary care physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, medical residents and medical students.
This year’s event is being held in memory of a physician who was an extraordinary influence on pediatrics in the region: the late Dr. Festus Adebonojo. A former ETSU professor and chair of Pediatrics, Adebonojo died at his Johnson City home in June.
The first Nigerian to graduate from Yale University, Adebonojo came to ETSU in 1989 to be a professor of Pediatrics and chair of the department. For the rest of his life, he remained a constant presence at Quillen, where his legacy is considerable. He recruited pediatric sub-specialists to ETSU, established an accredited pediatric residency at the university, and also recruited Dr. Philip Bagnell, dean of Quillen, and Dr. David Kalwinsky, to Johnson City.
Kalwinsky, who is now chair of Pediatrics at Quillen, said Adebonojo’s contribution to children’s health care in the region cannot be overestimated.
“Early on in his tenure at ETSU, Dr. Adebonojo championed a children’s hospital within a hospital at Johnson City Medical Center, and he was instrumental in developing what became Niswonger Children’s Hospital,” Kalwinsky said. “Because the wide scope of learning opportunities at the conference directly influence the quality of health care that children receive in our region, this is an ideal time for us to remember Festus and salute his legacy.
“Festus was proud of Yale and proud of ETSU. He worked tirelessly for the welfare of our children.”
The keynote speaker for this year’s conference is Dr. R. Allen Coffman, who is president of the Tennessee chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics.
Elizabeth B. Brown will speak as a parent on the topic of “Surviving the Death of a Child – Help for Struggling Families.” She and her husband, Dr. Paul E. Brown Jr., have made an impact at Quillen as well. One of the conference presenters – Dr. Apostolos Psychogios, medical director of the ETSU Division of Genetics – holds the LeeAnne Brown Chair of Excellence in Pediatrics, named for the Browns’ daughter, a Johnson City girl who died in 1984 at age 6. The Chair of Excellence was founded in 1993 in her memory by the College of Medicine and the State of Tennessee, with additional gifts from her parents and their family and friends.
For a complete list of presentations, to register, or to request special assistance, visit the ETSU Office of CME website at www.etsu.edu/com/cme or call (423) 439-8027. The Quillen College of Medicine is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.