March 29, 2012


By Kathryn Kopchik

LEWISBURG, Pa. — Sejal Patel will give the talk, "The Roseto Study: The Promise and Practice of Community Medicine," Tuesday, April 17, at 7 p.m. in Trout Auditorium of the Vaughan Literature Building at Bucknell University.

Held as the Third Annual Charles P. Fasano Memorial Lecture, the talk is free and open to the public, courtesy of premier sponsorships by Evangelical Community Hospital and Family Practice Center, PC, and gifts from the Fasano family, colleagues and friends.

Senior research historian at the Office of National Institutes of Health History, Patel will discuss how community cohesion affects an individual's physical health by looking at the life and habits of the Roseto community and its impact on the health of its residents.

In the 1960s, researchers at the University of Oklahoma studied the residents of Roseto, Pa., finding the town's residents had one-third the national average of death from heart disease even though they smoked as much, exercised less, weighed more, and had higher blood pressure and serum cholesterol levels than the standard American.

Patel's research was conducted since the study and explores how Roseto community cohesion positively affected the physical health of its individual residents. Patel will publish The Fat and Happy Town!, a book about the Roseto study. Drawing on a range of sources including private and institutional archival collections and interviews with investigators and study subjects, the book details the circumstances that made an alternative mode of understanding and studying disease possible.

Patel received her doctorate in the history of science from the University of Pennsylvania in 2007 and was a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health and Society Scholar at the University of Wisconsin, Madison, from 2007 to 2009.

This is the third lecture to be held in memory of Charles P. Fasano, who practiced medicine in the Central Susquehanna Valley from 1973 until his death in March 2009. He worked as a solo family practitioner until 1980, when he partnered with Domenick Ronco; their practice grew into the Family Practice Center, which has 24 practice sites throughout central Pennsylvania.

Following his passing, Fasano's children, Evangelical Community Hospital physicians and other friends formed the Fasano Memorial Lecture Fund, honoring his lifelong commitment to education and medicine.

Contact: Division of Communications
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