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Wednesday, August 24, 2011 - OJ McDuffie Kicks Off Chris Evert Children’s Hospital's Health Talks for Parents: Tackling Teen Issues

Fort Lauderdale, FL - Broward Health Chris Evert Children’s Hospital (CECH) is launching a free workshop series, Health Talks for Parents: Tackling Teen Issues, in an effort to empower parents of teens.  The Health Talks series will kick off on Saturday, Aug. 13, from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., with keynote speaker and former Miami Dolphin wide receiver OJ McDuffie.  Set to discuss bullying, McDuffie will address his own experience with this issue, as well as the effect bullying has on adolescents.

McDuffie was asked to lead the Health Talks for Parents series due to his commitment to children, including his work with teens as part of his children’s foundation, and particularly because of his passion for the topic of bullying. "I was bullied as a kid severely. My goal is to educate children on how to combat this treatment without impacting self-esteem," McDuffie said.

In addition to McDuffie, the initial workshop will feature Dr. Nabil El Sanadi, chief of emergency medicine Broward County, who will lead a discussion on what South Florida hospitals are seeing in their emergency departments.  A guest speaker from the Broward Sheriff’s Office will also inform attending parents on what’s happening on South Florida’s streets.

Health Talks for Parents chose to begin the series with a workshop about bullying because it is a timely topic and a growing problem for children and teens in South Florida and across the United States.  “Bullying is a problem that affects millions of children. Our goal is to provide the community with resources to identify the signs, break the cycle and heal the physical and emotional wounds that are associated with bullying,” said El Sanadi.  “Television and online media attention to bullying cases has helped call attention to the seriousness of the impact bullying has on individuals, families and communities.  Bullying begins as early as kindergarten and continues through high school. Signs of chronic bullying are similar to child abuse and are both physical and emotional. If you notice a change in your child’s personality – lowered self-esteem, becoming introverted or less communicative – or physical changes like injuries or perhaps flinching when approached – these may be signs of bullying.”

The Health Talks for Parents series will run through August, with the following topics and guest speakers:

Discussion on the Impact of Bullying
Saturday, Aug. 13, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: OJ McDuffie

Additional Topics: What South Florida Hospitals are Seeing in their Emergency Department by Nabil El Sanadi, MD, Chief of Emergency Medicine, and What’s Happening on the Streets by the Broward Sheriff Office

Drug Abuse and Teens: Recognizing the Signs, Breaking the Cycle
Thursday, Aug. 18, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Nabil El Sanadi, MD, Chief of Emergency Medicine

The Spread of HIV and Other Diseases in Teens
Wednesday, Aug. 24, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Anna Puga, MD, Adolescent Medicine

Social and Health Risks of Teen Pregnancy
Wednesday, Aug. 31, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Keynote Speaker: Adolfo Gonzalez-Garcia, MD, OB/GYN

All the workshops are free and will be held in Broward General Medical Center’s 2nd floor auditoriums, located at 1600 S. Andrews Ave., Fort Lauderdale, Florida 33316.  Space is limited!  To reserve a seat, call 954-759-7400, or visit www.browardhealth.org/events. Refreshments will be provided, and on Aug. 13 lunch will be served.

Health Talks for Parents is a vehicle for Chris Evert Children’s Hospital to provide parents with the tools and resources necessary to effectively deal with the challenges teens and their families face today. “We are proud to have created this series. Its goal is to help adolescents and their families identify problems and issues to promote communication and strengthen self-esteem during a pivotal time of physical and emotional growth. It is an extension of the commitment Chris Evert Children’s Hospital has to caring for the children and families in our community,” said Calvin Glidewell, CEO of Broward General Medical Center and Chris Evert Children’s Hospital.

Chris Evert Children’s Hospital specializes in the health and well-being of adolescents.  The adolescent program at CECH is unique in Broward County. The program is comprised of a team of physicians and specialists specially trained in adolescent health and wellness. Physician specialties include infectious disease, sports medicine, endocrinology, gynecology and gastroenterology and general medicine.

Broward Health, providing service for more than 50 years, is a nationally recognized system offering world class healthcare services to our neighbors in South Florida. One of the 10 largest public health systems in the nation, Broward Health includes Broward General Medical Center, North Broward Medical Center, Imperial Point Medical Center, Coral Springs Medical Center, Chris Evert Children’s Hospital, Broward Health Weston and more than 30 facilities of the Community Health Services and Broward Health Physician Group. For more information, visit BrowardHealth.org.