Enthusiastic Crowd at Houston CFS Seminar
The mood was exhilarating for people with CFS, caregivers, family members and health care professionals attending the Association’s sixth “kNOw MORE CFS” Education and Empowerment Seminar at the InterContinental Hotel in Houston, Texas, on June 9. There was interaction and support clarification and confirmation, humor and fun, tears and hugs.
More than 100 people turned out to hear Dr. Christopher Snell and Dr. Morris Papernik speak on current research and treatment. Many patients had the opportunity to speak personally with the presenters, including an hourlong question-and-answer session following the presentations. Patients expressed encouragement from hearing medical professionals who understand CFS and the challenges it presents.
Dr. Snell, an educator and researcher at the University of the Pacific, holds a doctorate in exercise and movement science. He spoke about the post exertional relapse of CFS and described how a single exercise test is often not sufficient to demonstrate functional impairment in CFS patients. His research has shown that crucial differences between CFS patients and healthy but sedentary control subjects emerge most clearly when a second test is performed 24 hours after the first one.
Dr. Papernik is a clinician and researcher and is board certified in internal medicine. His presentation addressed numerous therapies, including Western medicine, alternative medicine, natural therapies and much more. When speaking on symptomatic relief, he touched on sleep disorders, neurally mediated hypotension and antidepressants. Dr. Papernik and Dr. Snell currently serve on the federal CFS Advisory Committee.
In addition to the two doctors, Kim McCleary, president and CEO of the CFIDS Association of America for the past 16 years, was on hand to give an update on the national CFS public awareness campaign — a joint project of the CFIDS Association and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Participants learned about the campaign theme, activities and media coverage and viewed the 30-second public service announcement (PSA), “Missing My Life” (see “PSAs Get Major Air Play”).
Media outreach for the seminar and the "Faces of Chronic Fatigue Syndrome" exhibit at the Houston Galleria Mall resulted in about 35 newspaper and radio story in Houston-area press.
The seminar name, “kNOw MORE CFS,” reflects the dual objectives of educating people with CFS and empowering them to participate in a shared mission of conquering this illness. The information and the unparalleled enthusiasm of the crowd at the Houston seminar is sure to go a long way toward accomplishing that mission.
Mark your calendar! The next kNOw MORE CFS seminar will take place on Saturday, October 13, 2007, in Denver, Colorado.