- Campus Life
Benjamin Liptzin, M.D., chair of the Department of Psychiatry at Baystate Medical Center, will be the keynote speaker at this year's Desmond Tutu Public Health Awareness Lecture Series at AIC.
Liptzin, a Professor and Deputy Chair,of the Department of Psychiatry at Tufts University School of Medicine, will speak about depression. The event is scheduled for Thursday, April 19 at 3:00 p.m. The event will be held in the Griswold Theatre, open to the public free of charge.
AIC will continue its commitment to public health awareness through the third installment in the lecture series. Gregory T. Schmutte, executive vice president for academics at AIC, said "[The lecture series] is consistent with our mission to provide education both nationally and internationally," said Dr. Schmutte. "It's particularly relevant for our health science programs and is consistent with their goals."
For the past two years, American International College has hosted distinguished speakers in its annual Desmond Tutu Public Health Lecture Series. In 2010, Archbishop Desmond Tutu served as the series' inaugural speaker and its namesake. His lecture highlighted a message of social justice and energized an audience of 1,200 high school and college students gathered in AIC's Butova Gymnasium.
Dr. Peter Bittel, a member of the AIC Board of Trustees, is one of the series' originators and a strong advocate for its mission. "The function of the lecture series is to bring attention to issues of public health in the college community," said Dr. Bittel. He noted that, according to a recent study, Hampden County has the highest incidence of public health issues in the commonwealth, underscoring the need for local public awareness campaigns.
Dr. Liptzin has enjoyed extensive experience as a practicing psychiatrist, professor at Tufts University, and prolific author. His research interests include dementia, delirium, and geriatric psychopharmacology. Dr. Liptzin's focus on depression will mark the first lecture in the series to address a specific disease, one that Dr. Bittel believes to be acutely relevant. "Depression is one of the most significant health problems that we face. And it's vastly undiagnosed and untreated," said Dr. Bittel. "That's the reason for the conversation in public health."
A member of the Committee on the Award for Research in Geriatric Psychiatry, Dr. Liptzin has authored several publications, including "Use of antidepressants in geriatric patients. The Evidence-Based Guide to Antidepressant Medications," and "Biomarkers in geriatric psychiatry: The promise and the reality."
Last year's keynote speaker, Dr. Leonard J. Morse '51, served for several years as public health commissioner for the City of Worcester. Dr. Morse also had a long affiliation with that city's Division of Public Health. At last year's lecture, he spoke of the relationship between education and healthful living.