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For Immediate Release
Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Envision Conference to address challenges of physical, mental illness

     Rochester, Mich. – When it comes to complexity of health care, the line between physical and mental health is often blurred. Oakland University's School of Nursing understands that today's health care workers need to gain a broader understanding of working with patients who suffer from co-existing physical and mental illnesses.

     With this goal in mind, the school's upcoming Envision Conference will provide participants with a detailed look into "The Complexity of Co-Morbidity: Connecting with Others through the Synthesis of Mind, Body and Spirit." The conference will take place on Friday, Oct. 19, at the Royal Park Hotel in Rochester.

     Now in its fifth year, the event will offer physical and mental health care professionals solutions to unique challenges that both caregivers and patients face. Leading experts from across the nation will share revolutionary ideas, techniques and tools that can be used in everyday practice to allow clients to realize a more healthy self.

     Co-morbidity has been linked to higher medical expenditures, increased mortality rates, decreased quality of life, more hospital visits and stays, and much more. Unfortunately, researchers and medical professionals do not know if mental health issues manifest into chronic physical pain and medical problems, or if it is the chronic illnesses that create mental health trouble. Experts do suggest, however, that addressing only one aspect of illness is futile.

     Expert speakers addressing key topics during the Envision Conference will include:
  • Sharon Freeman-Clevenger, Ph.D., nurse and therapist with the Freeman Institute for Cognitive Therapy – "Complexity of Co-morbidity and Its Implications"
  • Bup Chon Sunim (Brent Eastman), Buddhist Monk – "Mindfulness in Care (for Caregivers and Patients)"
  • Kathleen Van Wagoner, chief nursing officer at Crittenton Hospital Medical Center – "Relationship-based Care"
  • Lorraine Wright, Ph.D., author and lecturer – "Consequences of Accumulated Stress"
  • Paul McGhee, Ph.D., lecturer – "Mini Lunch Demonstration on the power of Laughter"
     The conference will take place from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Oct. 19. The $125 registration cost includes a continental breakfast and lunch. On-line registration is available at Students with valid ID can pre-register to attend the event at no cost. For more information, contact Cynthia Rutledge at (248) 370-3799 or

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Oakland University is a doctoral, research-intensive university located in Oakland County, Michigan. The university has 133 bachelor's degree programs and 128 graduate degree and certificate programs. Dedicated to delivering a distinctive undergraduate experience that is complemented by the strength of its graduate offerings and research accomplishments, Oakland University is organized into the College of Arts and Sciences, the Oakland University William Beaumont School of Medicine and the Schools of Business Administration, Education and Human Services, Engineering and Computer Science, Health Sciences, Nursing and The Honors College. Visit Oakland University on the Web at