Science & Technology Society & Culture

Evidence-based health professions education conference to feature U.S. Preventive Services Chair

Virginia Moyer

Athens, Ga. – Dr. Virginia A. Moyer, chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force and a leading national voice against prostate cancer over-screening, will be the keynote speaker at the fourth annual conference of the University of Georgia’s Institute for Evidence-Based Health Professions Education April 5. The keynote is free and open to the public.

The conference, titled “From Research to Practice across the Health Professions,” will be held from 8:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. at the University of 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 is also 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 at 8:45 a.m. titled, “When Clinical Evidence and Conventional Wisdom Collide: Lessons Learned by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force.”

Routine cancer screening is a boon of modern medicine, saving thousands of lives by catching tumors early. But in early October 2011, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force recommended against routine prostate cancer screening, using PSA tests, 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 over-screening-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 department of communication sciences and special education in UGA’s 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 healthcare decisions,” said Mark Ebell, co-director of the institute and an associate professor of epidemiology in UGA’s 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 are also being developed.

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

UGA Institute for Evidence-Based Health Professions Education
The UGA Institute for Evidence-Based Health Professions Education relies heavily on interdisciplinary research, collaboration and provider education for quality patient care. Along with the College of Education and the College of Public Health, other colleges involved include Pharmacy, Veterinary Medicine, Social Work, Family and Consumer Sciences and the GRU/ UGA Medical Partnership. For more information about the institute, which is based at the new UGA Health Sciences Campus on Prince Avenue, see