Samuel Merritt University Offers Free Healthcare Courses to the Community

Samuel Merritt University


Samuel Merritt University Offers Free Healthcare Courses to the Community

(Oakland, California, September 1, 2011)  Samuel Merritt University (SMU), based in Oakland's Pill Hill area, is offering a Community Learning Forum (CLF) starting September 13 that will allow community members, students, and healthcare professionals to attend a five-week lecture series on current health issues from expert faculty - FOR FREE!

WHAT: The University's CLF is designed to provide members of the community the opportunity to see and hear what goes on in classrooms and research labs at SMU with lectures from the same professors who are on the front lines every day, teaching future healthcare providers.  The main objective of the CLF courses is to enhance public awareness of primary health matters and to provide a forum through which its community participants can dialogue with experts in the field.

"This forum addresses the accelerating public interest in the scientific knowledge behind the health headlines and the role of the consumer in healthcare decision making," said Richard Rocco, Ph.D., associate professor who teaches pharmacology courses in the Doctor of Podiatric Medicine program. "I think the community, students, and healthcare professionals will enjoy seeing and hearing from leading clinicians, researchers, and educators who are up on the latest research and getting their questions answered about maintaining good health."
WHAT: The first two lecture series will be on "Prescription Drugs, Herbal Medicines, & Dietary Supplements" and "Asthma, Allergies, & the Airways."

Studies show that the Oakland Community is greatly impacted by allergic airway disease, with asthma being the primary reason for hospitalization among children in the community.  "It is our hope that the CLF course on Asthma, Allergies, and the Airways will empower patients, families, friends, and loved ones so that they have a better understanding of the disease, and can therefore be active agents in their own healthcare," said Christina Lewis, Ph.D., assistant professor who teaches anatomy, physiology, and pathology courses for various programs at SMU.

WHEN: The free classes will be held for five weeks on Tuesday evenings from 7-9 pm starting September 13.
WHERE: Courses will be held at Samuel Merritt University's Health Education Center located at 400 Hawthorne Street, Oakland. 

"The information we provide at the forum to the community at large will be similar to what we teach our students here at Samuel Merritt University," said Dr. Rocco.

CONTACT: To reserve a spot in one of the Community Learning Forum courses, contact Kasie Lemmer at (510) 869-6511, extension 2582 or email

Samuel Merritt University, located in Oakland, California, has been educating health science practitioners who are committed to making a positive difference in diverse communities since 1909.  Nearly 1,400 students are enrolled at SMU, with campuses in Oakland, Sacramento, San Francisco and San Mateo.  The University offers an undergraduate degree in nursing; master's degrees in nursing, occupational therapy, and physician assistant; and doctoral degrees in nursing, physical therapy and podiatric medicine.  For more information visit

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