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News Release

4th Annual Symposium on Black Women’s Health – April 1

Bethlehem, Pa., March 29, 2006—The St. Luke’s School of Nursing at Moravian College and the Office of Institutional Diversity will sponsor the Lehigh Valley's 4th Annual Symposium on Black Women’s Health on Saturday, April 1 at St. Peter's Evangelical Lutheran Church, Bethlehem, Pa.

The forum is designed to raise awareness and understanding for the prevention, early detection, and treatment of women's health related issues, such as cancer, heart disease, obesity, HIV/AIDS and mind/body/spirit wellness. Coordinators for this event are concerned citizens in the black community who are dedicated to the eradication of health related diseases that disproportionately impact black women.

Dr. Pamela LeDeaux, program director in the Department of Family Medicine at Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network, will present the first plenary session, “Navigating the Rough Road: Diet and Nutrition.”

The keynote speaker will be Dr. LaFrancis Rodgers-Rose, a clinical sociologist, professor, consultant and author, who will present “Black Women: Matters of the Heart,” at 10:30 a.m. She is the recipient of a successful heart transplant operation and founder of the International Black Women's Congress, a nonprofit organization of women of African ancestry.

After a luncheon break, Renee Palmore Beaman, a registered nurse and the executive director of the Beautiful Gate Outreach Center, an AIDS ministry in Wilmington, Delaware, will present “Breaking through the Veil of Silence: Black Women and HIV/AIDS.”

During the afternoon, Michele DeLeaver Balamani, D. Min., will focus on “Navigating the Tangled Web: Exploring Anger, Depression, and Self-Esteem in African-American Women” She is an ordained elder in the African Methodist Episcopal Church and a licensed psychotherapist, as well as the founding director of UBA/Baraka Pastoral Counseling Center in Largo, Maryland.

Lehigh Valley Hospital and Health Network is the premier sponsor of the symposium. Eastcentral Area Health Education Center, Gateway Health Plan, and the Pennsylvania Department of Health-Diabetes Program, and Wegmans—Bethlehem are additional sponsors of the program.

Registration is scheduled for 8:00 a.m. The fee is $20 and includes continental breakfast and lunch. On-site registration will be available. Make check or money order payable to Moravian College, Moravian College, Office of Institutional Diversity, 1200 Main Street, Bethlehem, PA 18018. St. Peter’s Evangelical Lutheran Church is located at 474 Vine Street in Bethlehem. For more information, contact Sharon A. Brown at 610-625-7847 or Shelba J. Scheffner at 610-379-2001.