the "World's Largest Brain" balloon inflates for the first
time early March 26 on the campus of The University of Southern
Mississippi, it will be only the beginning of an exciting and fun
two days of learning for community members.
Hattiesburg Clinic, as well as Forrest General Hospital, Wesley
Medical Center and Dr. Charles Brent, the event, which investigates
brain science and health, will include tents on Pride Field with
ongoing activities for children and adults, students and faculty,
professionals and retirees.
everyone to come to see the balloon and learn about the brain in
the many displays that will surround the balloon," said Rex
Gandy, dean of Southern Miss' College of Science and Technology,
whose college partnered with the College of Health to bring the
balloon to Hattiesburg - the only Mississippi site it will visit.
will this event help educate students and community members, but
it will allow fun activities while learning to keep safe,"
said Dr. Joan Exline, interim dean of the College of Health. "And
the balloon's going to be a lot of fun to see, too."
anatomically correct hot-air balloon is a way to attract community
members to a common site to learn about brain health importance.
The two-day event will have a little something for everyone, with
more than 1,000 students on site Friday for scheduled fun opportunities,
and adults invited Saturday for blood pressure screenings and other
healthy activities. A schedule of events will be available in the
Hattiesburg American beginning March 20.
the event's coordinator, said, "A lot of rural school districts
don't have science programs and we do, so this is a fantastic opportunity
for students to learn about the brain."
On Friday evening,
Dr. Mark J. Morrow, a Hattiesburg Clinic neurologist, will discuss
dizziness and how to cope with the problem. The lecture begins at
7 p.m. in the Polymer Science Center auditorium.
From 1 to 6
p.m. Saturday, an educational health fair will consist of six tents
that will host a series of 15- to 20-minute educational seminars
and interactive activities.
B. Hartwig, a neurologist with Hattiesburg Clinic, will speak on
"Advances in MRI Technology in Neurological Diseases."
Other Hattiesburg Clinic neurologists involved include Dr. Jose
P. Fernandez Jr., Wendell R. Helveston, Dr. C. Scott Lynn, Dr. Keith
W. McLarnan, and Dr. Ronald L. Schwartz, as well as neuropsychologist
Andrew L. Dickson, Ph.D., and clinical health psychologist Marcia
The Head Injury
Association of Mississippi will distribute 500 free helmets and
Southern Miss police officer Charmaine Hill will do a bicycle safety
presentation. AAA ambulance service will provide on-site education
and simulations of automobile crashes.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta, conducting
the broadest investigation to date of U.S. sports and recreational
injuries, found that about 7 million people per year seek medical
advice or treatment related to physical activities, according to
a Sept. 4, 2003, article in the Los Angeles Times. "Injuries
in all age groups cost an estimated $500 million annually in medical
services," the article noted. "The injuries translated
into at least one lost school day for students in about a fifth
of the cases and one or more work absences for adults"
are part of what prompted Hattiesburg Clinic's Sports Medicine department
to get involved with the balloon event and the accompanying health
fair. "Sports medicine is often only associated with knee and
shoulder injuries; however, sports medicine encompasses all sports-related
injuries, including concussions, strains and sprains that occur
in any sporting event, from football to rodeos," said Mike
Williamson, director of Sports Medicine at Hattiesburg Clinic. "We
hope this event will heighten awareness in our community."
Dr. Kevin B.
Clement, a primary care sports medicine physician at Hattiesburg
Clinic, agreed. "It is crucial for Sports Medicine at Hattiesburg
Clinic to be involved in community education," he said. "Everyone,
regardless of age, is susceptible to a sports-related injury. This
event will allow us to focus on the prevention of head injuries,
many of which can be prevented."
Dr. Brent Bevard,
a physical medicine and rehabilitation physician at Hattiesburg
Clinic, added that "the Hattiesburg Clinic Sports Medicine
team focuses on prevention and education as well as treatment, evaluation
and rehabilitation. This event gives us the opportunity to educate
our community on measures that can be taken to avoid head injuries.
Education is the key to decreasing the number of head injuries our
Hattiesburg Clinic's department of neurology are excited to be participating
in this extraordinary program, said Michael Sims, manager of the
department. "We continually try to educate our patients, as
well as the community, on health issues, so when we were invited
to participate in this program, we saw it as a great opportunity
to educate and have some fun at the same time."
Center representatives will be on hand to offer information, pass
out goody bags, and help answer any questions attendees have about
brain injury. Dr. Todd Sitzman, a fellowship-trained pain management
physician, is speaking on painful CNS conditions. Dr. Charles Brent's
office staff, including Beverly Tinnon, R.N., will sponsor an educational
experience utilizing actual human brains to explore the parts and
functions of the brain.
R.N., and Serina Carpenter, R.N., of Forrest General will lecture
on "Traumatic Brain Injury." Carpenter, a clinical nurse
from Forrest General Hospital and a specialist for the Neuro Center
of Excellence, will lecture on the frame model of the spinal cord.
community outreach is all about education and prevention,"
said Smalley, who is the trauma registrar at Forrest General and
guides the Dare-to-Care program on drinking and driving. "It
only takes a second (to incur an injury) that you have to live with
forever. So, participating in this event is the right thing to do.
The only way to prevent brain injury is to make sure it never happens
(in the first place)."
from Pine Grove Recovery Center, a leader in addiction medicine,
will give lectures on chemical dependency. Thomas Tullos, therapy
manager at Pine Grove, will speak on "Where Addiction Can Take
and presentations include Roy Stringer, a physical therapist at
Hattiesburg Clinic, who will speak on "Protecting your Head
while Playing Sports." Clement of Hattiesburg Clinic, fellowship
trained in primary care sports medicine, will speak on "Football...the
Force of Impact."
ATC, of Hattiesburg Clinic will give a talk on "Protective
Headgear." Dr. Ellen Ovson of Forrest General will lecture
on "Drugs: What's the Harm?" Bevard, fellowship trained
in nonoperative spine care and sports medicine, is a certified athletic
trainer who will speak on Case Assessment: Collision and Head Trauma
Whitehead, a Hattiesburg Clinic orthopedic surgeon fellowship trained
in sports medicine and arthroscopy, will present "Using Your
Head: Repetitive Head Trauma in Soccer."
Kimberly C. Ryder, a physical therapist at Hattiesburg Clinic who
is also a certified athletic trainer and a certified Pilates instructor,
will explain "Pilates - How it Helps Prevent Injuries."
Clint Hudson, a physical therapist at Hattiesburg Clinic, is certified
for Isernhagen Functional Capacity Evaluations, work hardening-conditioning,
and job-site analysis system. He will talk about "The Prevention
of Slips, Trips and Falls."
sampling of what the health fair will include relates how a healthy
brain is a subject for young and old alike. Protecting the brain,
understanding its functions, and being knowledgeable about potential
problems are important to every community member.
age, it becomes increasingly important to protect the brain and
keep it functioning as well as it can for as long it can,"
said Schwartz, of Hattiesburg Clinic. "There are treatments
available to help the brain function better and perhaps even protect
it from degrading further down the road. Stay aware of your memory
and other brain functions so that you can treat problems as soon
as they occur.
treatment leads to enhanced function for years down the road."