Wheeling Jesuit Alumnus to Discuss Health Care in Appalachia as Part of New Speakers Series

  WJU News
  Tuesday, October 17, 2017 10:25 AM
  Alumni, WJU News

Wheeling, WV

“Health Care in Appalachia – A Moral Imperative” is the topic of a presentation by Wheeling Jesuit Alumnus Dr. Edward Shahady ’60 this November. He will talk to university students and the public about health care issues facing residents across West Virginia and the entire Appalachian region.

Shahady will present a public lecture at 6:30 p.m., Thursday, Nov. 9 in the Edouard and Simone Ziegler Recital Hall located inside the Center for Educational Technologies building at Wheeling Jesuit University.ed-shahady-web.jpg

“Residents in the Appalachian region, which includes West Virginia and portions of 12 other states, face a disproportionately high amount of poor health. They are more likely to report diabetes, heart disease and stroke. Death rates related to coronary heart disease exceed national averages by 15 to 21 percent. Cancer death rates exceed national levels. Appalachian residents have a unique culture that influences their health care and I will examine how cultural influences are impacting the health of these residents in West Virginia and Appalachia,” Shahady explained.

His talk is the first of WJU’s Appalachian Institute’s Alumni Speakers Series. The lecture series was founded by the Institute and the WJU 50-Year Club. In addition to his public lecture that evening, Shahady will talk with students in health related classes, as well as hold an informal lunch discussion with student groups from across campus.

“The Alumni Speakers Series was designed to address current issues of the Appalachian region and offers an opportunity to scrutinize environmental, social, economic and political topics of compelling significance and to engage public conversation with debate. One of the desired directions of WJU founder, Archbishop John Swint, related to the expected role of the university to significantly contribute support and leadership to Appalachia. The new lecture series is expected to provide opportunities for enhanced information, interpretation of complex matters and friendly discussion,” said John Glaser ’66, president of the 50-Year Club.  

“We are grateful to Dr. Shahady for coming to campus to share is expertise with our students and the community. Residents of Appalachia face many health issues and Dr. Shahady can offer insights and suggestions for changing attitudes and finding ways to break out of these cultural influences that affect so many in our region,” said Dr. Mary Railing, interim director of the Appalachian Institute.

During his lecture and discussions with students, Shahady will use diabetes as a model for addressing the health issues in the Mountain State and across all of Appalachia.

“I will discuss how to change a community, as well as an individual’s way of thinking about the many health issues facing people in Appalachia. I will offer suggestions to change one’s way of life that can be implemented by individuals outside of the health care field, as well as those in the health care field. Even more importantly, I will encourage listeners to be motivated and driven to learn, create and make this a better world.” Shahady added.

Shahady considers the moral imperative a strongly-felt principle that compels a person to act and do the right thing.  

“Many of us are motivated by the reward we receive for an action or the punishment for not completing an action. Medicine as a discipline is strongly driven by this motivation. But, this motivation alone will not create solutions for the future,” he added.

Shahady is a clinical professor of Family Medicine at the University of Florida and has held professorships at the University of Miami and the University of North Carolina. He was also chair of the Department of Family Medicine at the University of North Carolina. His focus for the last 15 years has been Diabetes and he is currently medical director and president of the Diabetes Master Clinician Program. He is the recipient of multiple awards including the Distinguished Alumni Award from Wheeling Jesuit University and West Virginia University School of Medicine, Navy Commendation Medal with a combat V and several others awards from the American Academy of Family Physicians and the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine.

For more information about the lecture, contact the Appalachian Institute ai@wju.edu

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