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AVA Kicks Off 'Sowing Seeds' Scientific Assembly to Promote Better Training of Healthcare Professionals

BLOOMINGTON, Minn., April 23 /PRNewswire/ -- The Academy on Violence and Abuse (AVA) launches its 2009 biennial scientific assembly tomorrow with the theme, "Sowing Seeds of Academic Change - Nurturing New Paradigms." ( The conference brings together medical, dental, nursing and other healthcare practitioners and academic experts to promote research on the far-reaching impacts of violence and abuse.

Last week, the AVA released a much-anticipated report, "Hidden Costs in Health Care: The Economic Impact of Violence and Abuse," which demonstrated that adults who've been victimized at some time in their lives have increased healthcare expenditures which may total up to $750 billion annually or 37.5 percent of all healthcare costs.

"Clearly, through better education, we can help healthcare professionals learn to ask key questions of their patients and refer them to practitioners who can provide appropriate treatment," said David McCollum, MD, President, AVA. "Doing anything less will result in mounting healthcare costs as well as inefficient treatment."

Incoming Academy President Robert Block, MD, chair of the American Academy of Pediatrics' Committee on Child Abuse and Neglect, notes that, "Abuse at any stage in life leads to long lasting negative health consequences. The effects of child abuse on health in later life have been particularly well studied. But clinicians are typically not well trained to connect these later life health effects with an earlier abusive experience."

The AVA's research - and its implications for considering abuse as an important health issue -- has yet to be incorporated into the core health care education curricula in the United States. In part, tomorrow's conference is designed to accelerate the adoption of teaching about violence and abuse by highlighting new research and its implications.

Conference participants will be from a variety of disciplines and will include physicians, nurses, dentists, social workers, psychologists, physical therapists, public health, academic faculty and advocates who work in health care settings. AVA seeks to attract scientific researchers in this growing field and to engage them in discussion with their peers.

Established in 2005, and headquartered in Eden Prairie, MN, the AVA advances health education and research on the prevention, recognition, and treatment of health effects of violence and abuse.

    David McCollum, MD
    President, AVA
    Phone: 612-281-5746

SOURCE Academy on Violence and Abuse
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