Campus News

Conference to feature chairwoman of US Preventive Services Task Force

Virginia Moyer

Dr. Virginia A. Moyer, chairwoman of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and a leading national voice against prostate cancer overscreening, will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual conference of the Institute for Evidence-Based Health Professions Education on April 5. The keynote address is free and open to the public.

The conference, “From Research to Practice across the Health Professions,” is from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the Georgia Center for Continuing Education.

Besides leading the task force, an independent, volunteer panel of national experts in prevention and evidence-based medicine, Moyer is head of the Academic General Pediatrics Section and a professor of pediatrics at Baylor University’s College of Medicine. She also is chief quality officer for medicine and chief of the academic medicine service at Texas Children’s Hospital. A board-certified pediatrician with expertise in ambulatory care, diagnostic testing and evidence-based medicine, Moyer will deliver a keynote lecture, “When Clinical Evidence and Conventional Wisdom Collide: Lessons Learned by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force,” at 8:45 a.m.

Routine cancer screening is a boon of modern medicine, saving lives by catching tumors early. But in early October 2011, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against routine prostate cancer screening in healthy men. The panel said the test doesn’t save lives overall, and that its potential risks-needless surgery, impotence, incontinence-outweigh its benefits. Since becoming chair of the panel in March 2011, Moyer has led the public charge against overscreening-a view privately held by many in the medical community for decades-which can lead to unnecessary damage without saving lives.

Other speakers scheduled throughout the day include faculty members from six UGA colleges and schools, Athens Technical College and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Topics range from prevention and public education efforts to innovative research and instructional programs across the human and animal health-related disciplines.

“The range of presentations at this year’s conference will allow participants from all health professions to learn from each other’s achievements and build the best possible combinations for success with their own clients or in their own disciplines,” said Anne Marcotte, co-director of the institute and a professor and head of the communication sciences and special education department in the College of Education.

This emphasis on interdisciplinary collaborations in evidence-based practice is a guiding principle of UGA’s Institute for Evidence-Based Health Professions Education.

“Evidence-based practice improves all health-related professions by allowing clinicians, patients and others to identify and integrate the best available evidence into health care decisions,” said Mark Ebell, co-director of the institute and an associate professor of epidemiology in the College of Public Health.

Jointly supported by the College of Education and the College of Public Health, the institute has more than 20 affiliate faculty and offers seminars, webcasts and the annual conference. Graduate and online certificate programs in interdisciplinary evidence-based practice also are being developed.

Registration cost is $20, which includes snacks and lunch. Register for the conference at For more information, call 706-542-8799 or email Suzanne Hall at