Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine in Las Cruces to Host Prestigious Global Medical Conference

Nov 3, 2016

 Burrell College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) has partnered with the Americas Network for Chronic Disease Surveillance (AMNET) and the Burrell Institute of Health Policy & Research (BIHPR) to host the XIII AMET-BCOM International Conference on Chronic Diseases from November 8 to November 11 on the BCOM campus at 3501 Arrowhead Drive in Las Cruces on the New Mexico State University campus.

Around 200 medical professionals and researchers from all over the globe will be attending this prestigious conference which aims to analyze challenges and share experiences with global experts on the surveillance, prevention, and case management of chronic diseases. Simultaneous translation services will be used to offer all presentations and workshops in both English and Spanish.

“We want to find out what other universities and professionals are doing to address the challenges of chronic diseases and not only share what works and why, but also put in place memorandums of understanding and declarations so we continue to work together. We’re thinking globally and acting locally,” said Dr. Hugo Vilchis, who led the efforts to bring this conference to Las Cruces.

Vilchis, an associate dean at BCOM, is also the executive director of the Burrell Institute for Health Policy and Research (BIHPR) and the current president of AMNET. His past experience includes serving as the director of Mexico’s national immunization program and leading the United Nations’ team for polio eradication in Equatorial Guinea. He also worked with New Mexico State University on border health issues for 18 years during which time he helped create the Border Epidemiology and Environmental Health Center.

Vilchis will be speaking at the conference along with three other BCOM faculty members and more than 10 experts from New Mexico and the border region. Other presenters come from Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, Ethiopia, Finland, India, Kuwait, Mexico, Nicaragua, Nigeria, Paraguay, Poland, Puerto Rico, and the United States.

Notable speakers include Dr. Juan Carlos Zevallos, an international expert on cardiovascular disease; Dr. Bernard Choi, a very well-known research scientist currently with the Public Health Agency of Canada; Dr. Huntington Potter, a well-regarded expert in the field of neurodegenerative diseases; and Dr. Adrian Alasino who will be representing the 18 federal schools of medicine in Argentina. Keynote speaker bios are available online at If you’d like to schedule an interview with any of the speakers, please reach out to the media contact provided below.

Some of the conference sessions are reserved for individual research presentations. Via an open call for abstracts, more than 30 research projects were selected by the AMNET-BCOM 2016 International Scientific Committee for either oral or poster presentation. Topics include obesity, cardiovascular diseases, and how food quality effects population health. First year BCOM student John Avery Neal’s submission on developing a framework for improving immunization coverage was also accepted for poster presentation.

While this conference is part of BCOM’s mission to position the Southwestern region as a hub for medical, scientific, and cross-border health policy research, Vilchis said it is also intended to support the continued medical education of health professionals and other community members in our region. Attendees don’t necessarily need to be doctors to take something valuable from the conference sessions.

“The Introduction to Scientific Writing workshop is great for graduate students and higher education faculty. We have more than 30 students from the University of Chihuahua attending who are very interested in that session,” Dr. Vilchis said. He also recommends another preconference workshop, Community Intervention in the Prevention of Chronic Diseases, for public health promoters, nurses, and social workers. A workshop on using the Tableau Public software is applicable for graduate students and researchers.

Registrations can be completed online at and will be accepted up until the first day of the conference, Tuesday, November 8. Fees are $450 for the full conference, $100 to attend just one day, or $25 for each preconference workshop. Vilchis said attendees from the region can register for the full conference for half price, $225.

BCOM hopes to continue hosting similar events in the area. They’ve already partnered up with AMNET to host this conference in Las Cruces again in 2017 and the Burrell Institute of Health Policy and Research will host the first annual Burrell Conference of Health Policy in September 2017.

For more information, a full schedule of events, and more information visit: