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Dr. Annmarie Flanagan to kick off this year’s Rochester Healthcare symposium

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Keuka College Assistant Professor of Nursing Dr. Annmarie Flanagan, FNP, will be the first of five speakers at this year’s second annual Challenges in Healthcare program, sponsored by UR Medicine Home Care, the UR Medicine Wilmot Cancer Institute, and the Sands Cancer Center at Thompson Health.

The theme for this year’s program is titled “Tools for an Increasingly Complex Population,” and Dr. Flanagan will join an interdisciplinary team of healthcare experts focusing on integrated care and communications strategies to better address current patient needs.

Dr. Flanagan’s 8:30 a.m. presentation, “Heroin: Its Impact on the Community,” will address how the epidemic can be tackled at the local level.

She will focus on “how one community can actually make a difference with being able to address the crisis with limited resources and the community working together,” she says.

The scourge of heroin abuse touches seemingly every aspect of a community and, as such, those different segments need to come together to counter the epidemic, Dr. Flanagan says: “From family members of substance abuse, to law enforcement, to health care professionals, to educators, to the legal system, to the community at large.

“We are all affected by substance abuse, either directly or indirectly, through family or friends or due to the crime that often goes hand in hand with these issues,” she continues. “We all need to be aware that substance abuse is a mental health disorder. Mental Health disorders are oftentimes ignored in our society due to the social stigma attached to them. Bringing awareness to the topic of substance abuse, and ways to combat it and prevent it, has been a goal.”

Topics being address by other speakers include motivational interviewing (the process of encouraging patients to adopt a more positive and decisive frame of mind) and end-of-life discussions, both of which Dr. Flanagan flags as timely and topical.

The event is on Thursday, Sept. 28, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:15 p.m. at the Burgundy Basin Inn, 1361 Marsh Road, Pittsford. While it’s geared to health officials, social workers, and community care specialists, it is open to the general public. The $75 registration fee includes lunch and refreshments.

The registration deadline has been extended, so those interested in attending can log on to or call (585) 396-6780 to sign up or for further information.

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