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In Brief 

by Cara Gardner

Shop 'n Screen -- SPOKANE - Inland Northwest Health Services (INHS), along with local hospitals, will be offering free health screenings and general health information on Saturday.

"We see this as an opportunity for a variety of folks to come down and learn about different ways to take care of their health," says Chad Hutson, spokesman for INHS. "We're encouraging a proactive approach to health."

The screenings will test for medical problems ranging from osteoporosis and diabetes to cardiac conditions and sleep disorders. Health experts from the hospitals will be available to answer questions and distribute information.

Sacred Heart Medical Center's screening van will be on site to offer mammograms. The cost is $160, but can be billed directly to insurance. Health professionals will assist uninsured people in signing up for insurance.

"It's the recommendation from the American Cancer Society to get mammograms starting at the age of 40 and every one or two years after that," says Brenda Covert, a nurse and coordinator for the Women's Health Center at Sacred Heart Medical Center. "If they have a family member who has had breast cancer, they should start even earlier. The recommendation is to begin receiving mammograms 10 years before the onset occurred with the family member."

Hutson says if enough people take part in "Screen For Your Life," it could encourage other health organizations to join, making the screenings a regular event for Spokane.

"Screen for Your Life" runs from 11 am-2 pm on Saturday, Feb. 1, in the River Park Square, 808 W. Main Ave. Appointments are not necessary.

Profiling Pointers -- SPOKANE - A conference to explore the controversy over racial profiling by law enforcement will be held in Spokane on Tuesday. Sponsored by the Thomas Foley Institute for Public Policy and Public Service, the conference will focus on how the issue affects police and sheriff's departments.

Mike Smith, a nationally recognized expert in racial profiling, will speak at the conference. Smith was recently added to the faculty of the WSU-Spokane criminal justice program.

"We will be looking at research on racial profiling, examining what we know and don't know, both locally and nationally," says Smith. "We'll also take a look at the implications racial profiling has on the public."

The Foley Institute aims to address a variety of issues of public policy on a regular basis, and Spokane's leaders found this particular topic important.

"The Spokane Police Department has initiated their own research into their policy on racial profiling," Smith added. "They have one of the more progressive departments around."

The conference will not only cater to experts in law enforcement; community members are also encouraged to attend. "I think we'll see a good mix of people from the region, citizen-wise, who have an interest in this issue," Smith says.

The conference is Tuesday, Feb. 4, at the WestCoast Grand Hotel.Registration is $30 per person, and includes lunch, attendance at two afternoon panels and a reception. To register, call 509-335-3477.

What is it Good For? -- SPOKANE - Gonzaga University faculty members are taking on the issue of war with Iraq. Professors from a variety of GU's departments will host a series of presentations aimed to educate participants on America's current political crisis with Iraq. The series, "Ain't Gonna Study War No More: A Chorus Against War," is designed to encourage people to think about all the impacts of a war against Iraq.

"We decided we wanted to offer people a chance to look at the war from different perspectives," says Pat McCormick, an associate professor who is organizing the lecture series, adding that the impact on the environment, the economy and people's spiritual health will be among the topics.

The series is free and open to the public. "We're hoping it's an educational experience for folks in the area who are thinking about the war from different dimensions," says McCormick.

The presentations will be held at the Jepson Center Auditorium, beginning today with philosophy professor Thomas Jeannot's "America's New Theology of Manifest Destiny." The series continues on Wednesdays through March 5, except for one on Monday, February 24. All lectures start at 7:30 pm. Call: 323-6715.
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