Annual Polio and Health Symposium Sept. 26, 2020 from Atlanta

The Rotary Club of Emory-Clifton (, with presenting partner United Advanced Practice Registered Nurses of Georgia (UAPRN, and partner Shriners Hospitals for Children (, will virtually present the Third Annual Health and Polio Symposium on Saturday, Sept. 26, 2020 in Atlanta. “Overcoming the Challenges of COVID-19 to Achieve a Global Health Legacy” is open to the public and will be presented through a live webcast. Online tickets are $60 for health professionals seeking continuing education credits. Rotarians and members of the public are invited to participate, and are welcome to make a donation to support the program. Tickets may be purchased at:

The program will begin at 8:30 a.m. to facilitate live viewing in Africa and Europe.

Speakers include:

  • Carlos del Rio, M.D., infectious disease expert and distinguished professor of medicine at Emory University

  • John F. Vertefeuille, Ph.D., M.H.S., polio eradication branch chief of the CDC Polio Emergency Response

  • Carol Pandak, Ed.D., director of PolioPlus, Rotary’s global effort to eradicate polio

  • Patrice Harris, M.D., immediate past president of the American Medical Association and the first African-American Women to hold this prestigious position

  • Stephen L. Cochi, M.D., senior advisor to the director of the Global Immunization Division, Center for Global Health

  • Scott H. Kozin, M.D., chief of staff of Shriners Hospitals for Children

  • Laurence S. Sperling, M.D., founder and director of Preventive Cardiology at Emory Clinic

  • Ashley Blackmon, MS, FNP-C, APRN, Advanced Heart Failure and Heart Transplant at Piedmont Atlanta Hospital

  • Lisa Eichelberger, RN, Ph.D., Dean and professor of the College of Health at Clayton State University in Morrow, Ga.

“Rotary has been a major partner in the Global Polio Eradication Initiative along with CDC, WHO, UNICEF and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation since 1988,” said Dr. Isam Vaid, president of the Rotary Club of Emory-Clifton. “Through this coordinated effort, the disease has been eliminated in all but two countries. However, the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is presenting unprecedented challenges to polio eradication, and potentially could lead to a reoccurrence of the disease. The symposium’s speakers will update participants on the Global Polio Eradication Initiative, including Acute Flaccid Myelitis (AFM), known as the “new polio”, as well as detail the latest developments on the treatment and prevention of COVID-19 and how the pandemic has affected worldwide and domestic polio eradication. The symposium is targeted to Rotarians, especially those working in healthcare, but it is open to anyone who is interested in this topic,” he said.

“UAPRN is pleased to serve as presenting partner in this important annual event,” said Michelle Nelson, Ph.D., RN, FNP-BC, state president of UAPRN Georgia. “Not only are there numerous lessons to be learned from the ongoing work to eradicate polio, but there will also be information presented on therapeutics that can be applied to rural and medically underserved areas. This is of particular interest to Georgia’s Advanced Practice Registered Nurses, since we are on the front lines in the fight against COVID-19, and we often care for patients in areas where there are few doctors and no nearby hospitals.”

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