SMU Annual Community Lecture Series Focuses on Living Well

Samuel Merritt University

Media Relations Contact:
Elizabeth Valente 510.725.7980
April 13, 2010

SMU Annual Community Lecture Series Focuses on Living Well

(OAKLAND, Calif., April 13, 2010) - Samuel Merritt University is hosting the 20th Annual Picchi Memorial Lecture titled, 'Pills and Promises - Weight Loss, Youth, and Memory.'


The featured speaker is pharmacist Ronda Gates, M.S., R.Ph, C.L.C, an adult development specialist and health promotion educator who develops and delivers programs and products to support lifestyle change.  She's presented more than five hundred keynote introductions and workshops, and has written  and co-authored five books that reached best-seller status, including the most recent, Beauty, More Than Skin Deep.

“After the recent experience with weight loss medication our population is interested in learning how to ferret out the fact from the fiction and to protect their long term health and welfare,” said Gates.


Gates will discuss the latest in vitamins, herbs and supplements that are safe to take and how each one can support aging well and living longer.  She will analyze how prescription medication and healthy eating have changed American culture.   Gates believes these changes are driven by self-interest and the desire for a longer and healthier lifestyle. 


For the past twenty years, Picchi Lecture speakers have been selected to inform the community about a broad variety of medical topics.  The money raised at each lecture series helps fund the Picchi Collection of Health Information in the John A. Graziano Memorial Library on the Oakland campus of the University.  The lecture series is named in honor of Dr. and Mrs. Joseph Picchi. 


Thursday, April 29, 2010.  The lecture begins at 5:30 p.m. followed by a reception.  Reservations are required and a $25 donation is suggested.


Samuel Merritt University Health Education Center, 400 Hawthorne Avenue, Oakland, California 94609


Interviews and photo/filming opportunities available.  Please contact Elizabeth Valente, Associate Director of Media Relations at 510.725.7980 cell and

For more than 100 years Samuel Merritt University, located on 'Pill Hill' in Oakland, California, has been educating health science practitioners who are committed to making a positive difference in diverse communities.  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, physician assistant; and doctoral degrees in physical therapy and podiatric medicine.  For more information visit

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