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Huntington hosts sports medicine conference

Nov. 11, 2012 @ 12:11 AM

HUNTINGTON — Physicians and other healthcare professionals from more than 15 states converged at the Pullman Plaza Hotel this weekend for the 26th Annual José Ricard, M.D., Family Medicine and Sports Medicine Conference.

The event is the largest of its kind in the region, and it serves as a fully-accredited continuing medical educational conference for those who attend, said Matt Walker, an administrator with the Family Medicine Foundation of West Virginia, which sponsored the event with Marshall University Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine, Department of Family and Community Health and the Division of Sports Medicine.

Participants at the conference can earn up to 23 credits from the American Academy of Family Physicians in addition to local medical organizations.

Physicians participate in several lectures and workshops covering a broad range of topics, including the long-term effects of concussions on athletes, golf injuries and treating respiratory illnesses in athletes.

Ricard was a family physician and founder of Marshall's sports medicine program, among many other honors and distinctions.

The program continues with its final day Sunday, Nov. 11, with events and sessions going on from 7 a.m. to 3:45 p.m. Recently, the final day of the conference became known as Paul Ambrose, M.D., Day, which focuses on nutritional practices and a celebrity speaker, who, this year, is Dennis Harrah, a former offensive lineman for the Los Angeles Rams.

More than 1,400 physicians and their families attend the event annually, Walker said, which he sees as a sign that the conference is about more than just talking about the latest treatment options for sports injuries.

"The conference has really found a home in Huntington," he said. "Between its roots with Dr. Ricard and Dr. Paul Ambrose, and the tremendous amount of service and hospitality we receive in Huntington, this event is one that physicians can come not only to learn about the latest techniques, but also spend the weekend catching up with family and friends."

For more information about the conference, visit www.fmfwv.org.

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