Pangea: a conference for the future of pediatric wellness

Pangea, the historical supercontinent when all was one, is the model of holism we’ve borrowed for our annual Pediatric Integrative Medicine Conference identity. This year’s Pangea Conference is coming to San Francisco in October, and for all interested in the health and wellness of children, I hope you’ll join us.

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The Integrative Pediatrics Council is proud to host this amazing gathering, the fifth in a series that goes back to 1999. This year we’re meeting in San Francisco just prior to the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference, on October 25-26, 2007; for the first time ever, we have been endorsed by the AAP and will offer a “PIM 101” track to attract pediatricians who are already attending the AAP conference. That being said, the intent of Pangea is to bring together all professionals who care for children and believe in working together for their benefit – our modus operandi is intentional dialogue, which informs the entire meeting. We are hoping to build on the success of the last year’s superb event in Chicago. We will be featuring keynote presentations by Deirdre Imus, Tieraona Low Dog, Linda Barnes, and Leland Kaiser, along with esteemed faculty representing the best and brightest of the integrative pediatrics world. All sessions other than the keynotes and the PIM 101 track will be interactive, multidisciplinary panel discussions, not didactic lectures. We will be teaching and learning from each other.

Some of my posts leading up to Pangea will highlight various aspects of the conference. This one features our first keynote speaker, environmental leader Deirdre Imus.

As readers of “the whole child” know, I have the privilege of working with Deirdre at her Environmental Center at Hackensack University Medical Center. I’ve also been out to the family’s wonderful working cattle Ranch (recently profiled on RFD-TV) for kids with cancer and other blood disorders, as well as for siblings of SIDS victims. I can’t say enough about the work the Imus’s do for children. It speaks for itself. Deirdre’s work at HUMC, leading the way to the building the country’s first completely green Children’s Hospital, is a model for a new kind of activism. Her focus on a new paradigm for children’s health – whether it be for cancer, autism or “greening your life” – is greatly needed. Her recent debut on the Huffington Post, titled, “Greening Your Thinking: Setting Priorities,” is a call to arms that squarely places the onus on politicians to wake up, pay attention, and start being part of the solution to our children’s mounting health woes. Her “Green This” series for consumers is revolutionizing the way we think about our homes and our lives, and I’m looking forward to volume 2, “Greening Your Baby,” coming out in 2008. I am also proud to have co-authored an article with her, titled, “Environmental Injustice: Impact on Children’s Health” due out this September in Explore: The Journal of Science and Healing.

Her Pangea address will be a perfect start for this important event, as we work together to shape a healthier future for our children.

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