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Free Program Dec. 1 to Help Patients With Debilitating Pulmonary Disorder Alpha-1

Daylong Program and Free Test Kits at the Radisson in Celebration

MIAMI, Nov. 15 /PRNewswire/ -- Patients and medical professionals are invited to a free Alpha-1 Education Day on Saturday, December 1st from 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the Radisson Resort Orlando - Celebration, located at 2900 Parkway Blvd. in Kissimmee, Florida.

Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency (Alpha-1) is one of the most common life- threatening genetic disorders, but is rarely diagnosed. Alpha-1 frequently results in pulmonary conditions such as emphysema or COPD in adults and liver disease in both adults and children. Free test kits for Alpha-1 will be offered through the Florida Detection Program, a state-funded effort that has become a national model.

Participants in the Alpha-1 Education Day will learn about the importance of early detection, new developments in the research and treatment of Alpha-1, and pulmonary rehabilitation for the emphysema patient. World-renowned experts including Mike Runge, BS, RRT, president of the American Association for Respiratory Care, and doctors Mark Brantly and Virginia "Ginger" Clark of the University of Florida will speak.

John Walsh, president of the Alpha-1 Foundation, will discuss his recent visits to Capitol Hill with Ted and Grace Anne Dorney Koppel, where they were lobbying Congress on Medicare reimbursement for pulmonary rehabilitation.

On average, it takes seven years and three doctors for an Alpha-1 patient to get an accurate diagnosis. About three percent of the more than 12 million Americans with COPD may actually have Alpha-1.

"We want to raise awareness because early treatment is essential to maintaining good lung function," said Jorge Zamudio, MD, director of Program Administration at the Alpha-1 Foundation. "Hundreds of thousands of people in the United States may have Alpha-1 but have never heard of the disorder since it was once considered so rare."

Admission and all activities are free, including complimentary lunch and dinner. Respiratory therapists who complete the course will be eligible for five Continuing Respiratory Care Education credits.

The public interested in attending should contact Genevieve Paul at 1-800-521-3025.

Media interested in physician or patient interviews should contact Elizabeth Brito at (786) 877-5506.

The Orlando Education Day is sponsored by the Alpha-1 Association and the Alpha-1 Foundation. AlphaNet, Centric Health Resources and Talecris Biotherapeutics provided unrestricted grants. Baxter Healthcare and CSL Behring are series exhibitors. Available Topic Expert(s): For information on the listed expert(s), click appropriate link. Mark Brantly John Walsh

SOURCE Alpha-1 Foundation
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