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Inaugural Laminitis West Seminar in California Well-Attended and Deemed a Resounding Success

WELLINGTON, FL - November 7, 2008 - "The meeting by all measures was a resounding success," stated Dr. James A. Orsini, one of three presenters at the inaugural Laminitis West Seminar, held November 1, 2008, at the Monterey Convention Center in Monterey, California. "We had expected approximately 100 attendees and exceeded that number, which tells me that the topic is viewed as being very important to veterinarians, farriers, and students, our future veterinarians, especially in a down economy."

Dr. Orsini, a veterinarian and surgeon at the University of Pennsylvania, is also the Director of the International Equine Conference on Laminitis and Diseases of the Foot (ILC), which spawned the Laminitis West Seminar. The ILC is held in West Palm Beach, Florida, every other year. The 5th edition will be held next year on November 6-8, 2009.

Dr. Orsini worked on the Laminitis West Seminar in conjunction with Dr. Tim Eastman and Dr. Nora Grenager of Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic in Salinas, California. Dr. Eastman served as the Laminitis West Seminar Director. Joining Dr. Orsini as presenters were Dr. Thomas J. Divers of Cornell University and farrier Patrick Reilly of the University of Pennsylvania.

"All the attendees I spoke with, veterinarians and farriers alike, were really excited by what they learned and were ready to go home and incorporate it into their practices," noted Dr. Grenager. "It also certainly does not hurt that Monterey is a beautiful location to hold a meeting, and the Conference Center does a top-notch job. The excellent turnout and enthusiastic attendees were just proof of how much we need a laminitis conference on the West Coast."

This premiere Laminitis West Seminar hosted 141 attendees including 55 veterinarians, 37 farriers, 21 students, 19 sponsors/exhibitors, and nine staff members. Dr. Orsini pointed out, "One of the very interesting facts and goals of this meeting was to encourage veterinarians and farriers to come to the meeting as a team. When I polled the audience, my estimate was that there were 10 to 12 combinations of veterinarians and farriers that registered together. Not only did they receive a savings in registration, but also - and most importantly - for the long term, this partnership encourages the 'Team Laminitis' approach to managing horses with laminitis."

The 21 students at the Laminitis West Seminar were from the University of California/Davis. Of these students, two were scholarship recipients that competed for the Laminitis West scholarships. The scholarships were supported by a sponsorship from Merial and administered by Dr. Grenager. The scholarships were awarded to these students with the purpose and obligation of the students to return to their University/School and report on the latest information learned at the meeting.

Major sponsors were instrumental in the Seminar's scope and success. "The support from our sponsors was outstanding and allowed the organizers to put together the highest quality meeting," said Dr. Orsini. Sponsors included Merial, Sound Technologies, Purina Mills, Nutramax, Soft-Ride, Castle Bay Farm, UPS, Wachovia Dealer Services, Purina Mills, Intervet, Luitpold, Bayer, Platinum Performance, CVS/VET, Victor Medical Company, Pfizer Animal Health and Wedgwood Pharmacy.

The Laminitis West Seminar Program Agenda featured a Welcome address delivered by Drs. Eastman and Grenager, followed by nearly nine hours of educational presentations, which were approved by the American Association of Veterinary State Boards - Registry of Approved Continuing Education (AAVSB - RACE) to provide 8.5 hours of continuing education credits.

"The conference was a great success," recounted Dr. Grenager. "Each speaker did a fantastic job of giving a good overview of laminitis, providing attendees with practical knowledge they can readily use, and offering some updates on new research and future prospectives."

Dr. Orsini led off the Seminar with an hour-long overview entitled "Laminitis: The Big Picture!" and later returned to the podium to present "Lessons Learned - The International Equine Laminitis Conferences: I-IV."

Dr. Divers delivered three presentations: "Preventing Laminitis in Horses with Systemic Inflammatory Disease," "Treating Horses with Laminitis Associated with Systemic Inflammatory Disease," and "Corticosteroids Therapy and Risk of Laminitis - Identifying the High and Lower Risk Patients."

Mr. Reilly also provided three presentations: "Laminitis: The Farriers Dilemma," "Mechanical Considerations for the Treatment of Laminitis - Part I," and "Mechanical Considerations for the Treatment of Laminitis - Part II."

The Seminar wrapped up with a Case Study / Question and Answer Forum.

"This one-day seminar was an excellent starting point to get us geared up for a larger-scale conference in Monterey in September 2010," said Dr. Grenager. "Many people were already asking for the date of the next one - which we will announce soon!"

Dr. Orsini was equally enthusiastic about this first-time seminar. "Dr. Tim Eastman, Dr. Nora Grenager and I were thrilled with the excitement, genuine interest and the pursuit of compassionate care shown by all the attendees in learning how to better treat the equine patient afflicted with laminitis," said Dr. Orsini. "This inaugural Laminitis West Seminar exceeded our expectations in the number of meeting registrants, sponsors and exhibitors. We believe this is the beginning of a long term partnership between Steinbeck Country Equine Clinic and the International Laminitis Conference to 'Conquer Laminitis!'"


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