Medical discoveries are being made faster than ever. To help you keep up, this course features four local doctors who will discuss the latest treatments and research in a variety of areas.

Dr. Steven Will, 1/18

  • Brief overview of the history of spine surgery and a survey of state-of-the-art treatments
  • Description of the challenges and possible advances that lie ahead

Dr. Steven Will holds a degree from Cornell University Medical School. Residency in Neurosurgery N.Y. Hospital/ Cornell Medical Center. Fellowship in Spine Surgery, Cleveland Clinic, Cleveland Ohio. Currently, he is a member of the Berkshire Medical Center Neurosurgery Group.

Dr. Joseph Emrich, 1/25

  • Explanation of the problems and clinical aspects of brain tumors as well as diagnostic and therapeutic options
  • Explore the challenges and hopes for the future

Dr. Joseph Emrich hails from McGill University Montreal Medical School; Residency in Neurosurgery Montreal Neurological Hospital; fellowship in Neurooncology and Brain Tumor Imaging McGill University Medical School. Currently, he is a member of Berkshire Health Systems Neurosurgery Group at BMC in Pittsfield.

Dr. Marjorie Safran, 2/1

  • Current information on osteoporosis, including prevention, prevalence, individual and societal impact and treatment options

Dr. Marjorie Safran received her M.D. from the State University of New York, Brooklyn, NY and completed her Fellowship at the UMASS Medical School. Currently, she is a Professor of Medicine at UMASS Memorial Health Center in Worcester, MA.

Dr. Mark C. Pettus, 2/8, 2/15

  • Review the metabolic challenges that lead to weight gain and obesity
  • Examine the research linking insulin, inflammation and the gut microbiome to weight regulation
  • Current integrative health research linking various lifestyle strategies with effective weight loss, disease prevention and health promotion

Dr. Mark Pettus is a triple-board certified Internist, Nephrologist, and Integrative Medicine physician practicing for over 25 years.

He received his A.B. from Boston University and his M.D. from the University of Massachusetts Medical School. His postdoctoral training was at Harvard Medical School. He completed his renal fellowship at The Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.

Dr. Pettus is also an alumnus of The Advanced Program for Conflict Resolution, Negotiation, and Mediation at The Harvard School of Public Health. Dr. Pettus currently serves as the Director of Medical Education, Wellness and Population Health at Berkshire Health Systems in western Massachusetts.

Suggested reading for 2/8 and 2/15Genius Foods by Max Lugavere and The Circadian Code by Satchin Panda PhD.


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OLLI: the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute at Berkshire Community College
Partners in education with Williams College, Bard College at Simon's Rock and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts

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