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Two 'Aging Successfully' lectures coming up

Minimal surgery and managing one's health care will be the topics of this year's Catherine N. Stratton Lectures Series on Aging Successfully. These panel discussions will take place on two successive Thursdays, April 9 and 16, from 9:30am-noon in Bartos Theater in the Wiesner Building (E15).

"Who is Managing Your Care?" will examine the changes in chronic and acute health care choices faced by people at age 65. Panelists will discuss how a continuum of care can be assured from acute through sub-acute, chronic and home care; who bears financial responsibility; the roles of Medicare, state and private insurance; and patient rights and responsibilities.

Dr. Michael A. Kane, an internist at the MIT Medical Department for the last 25 years, will chair the session. The panelists will be:

  • Harriette L. Chandler, chair of the Massachusetts State Health Care Committee and state representative from Worcester, who has been active in state educational reform and medical and health problems, especially with regard to women.
  • Dr. Karen M. Bell, chair of the MIT Medical Management Board and medical director of health care coordination, Massachusetts Blue Cross and Blue Shield, is an internist who has worked to develop medical care guidelines for managed-care systems.
  • Dr. Kenneth L. Minaker, chief of Geriatric Medicine at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), was the first academic scholar on aging at Harvard's Geriatric Center. He is editor of the Journal of Gerontology and has been included in the last six editions of Best Doctors in America.

The second session on April 16, "Minimal Surgery: When Less is Better," aims to bring attendees up to date on new developments in surgical procedures of particular interest to seniors. Dr. John A. Parrish, chief of dermatology and a laser surgery specialist at MGH, will chair a panel of experts on various surgical techniques.

  • Dr. Ann M. Bajart, who will talk about cataract surgery, is a Fellow of the American College of Surgeons and an instructor in Ophthalmology at Harvard Medical School. She operates at the Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary and as a guest surgeon at area hospitals. Dr. Bajart also does research on reshaping the cornea to restore 20/20 vision.
  • Dr. David W. Rattner will explain laparoscopic surgery. He was one of the first surgeons to publish on the new delivery systems for lapar-oscopic procedures and in 1994 helped establish the Laparoscopic Center. Dr. Rattner is clinical director of General Surgery at MGH and an associate professor of surgery at Harvard Medical School.
  • Dr. Gus J. Vlahakes (SB '71, SM), an early initiator of keyhole heart surgery, will address matters of the heart. He is an associate professor at Harvard Medical School and a staff surgeon at MGH. The keyhole approach is an option to angioplasty in bypassing blocked arteries with an arterial graft.

These seminars mark the eleventh anniversary of the "Aging Successfully" series, which has grown to cover not only aspects of aging but timely medical issues of all kinds. The programs, conceived and organized by former MIT first lady Kay Stratton and sponsored jointly by the MIT Women's League and the MIT Medical Department, are free and open to the public. Coffee will be served beginning at 9am before each session, and the audience will have plenty of time to ask questions following the presentations.

Garage parking will be available on Ames Street behind Legal Sea Foods restaurant. For more information, call Sis de Bordenave in the Women's League office, x3-3656.

A version of this article appeared in MIT Tech Talk on April 1, 1998.

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