Medical Series on Wednesday Mornings (Open to the Public)


Alternate Wednesdays • 9 a.m.-10:30 a.m. • [Zoom]

Note: Due to COVID-19 restrictions prohibiting group meetings, this series will not meet at the Fullerton Elks Lodge. Instead the series is being presented online via Zoom

OLLI members, please click here for information about connecting to OLLI zoom courses.

Non-OLLI members please click here to be included on our email list to receive information   about connecting to our 'Open to the Public' Zoom courses.  

This series will contribute to your “medical literacy” and is co-sponsored with OLLI by the physicians of St. Jude Medical Center. Classes do not meet at the Elks Club.

Coordinators: Joseph Lawton, M.D. and Carol Thurk

Topic, Date, Speaker


Depression, Anxiety and Substance Abuse in the Mature Population

January 13

Speakers: Darlene Lee, ND, MSW, BCB and Jessica Drew de Paz, Psy.D.

Dr. Lee is a licensed naturopathic doctor who is board certified in biofeedback. She leads the biofeedback program at the UC Irvine Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute where she uses this approach to help patients with stress-related concerns such as hypertension, insomnia, anxiety, IBS and pain.

Dr. Drew de Paz is Director of Mindfulness Services at the UC Irvine Susan Samueli Integrative Health Institute. With over 20 years of experience within the University of California, Dr. Drew de Paz has served as a lecturer, diversity trainer and clinical psychologist.

During these challenging times, more people than ever are experiencing anxiety and depression and turning to alcohol and other substances to cope with life’s challenges. Join us as providers from UC Irvine share evidence-based strategies to bolster our mental well-being. We will explore how to meet difficult moments with a variety of stress-management tools, including biofeedback, mindfulness, self-compassion and urge surfing. Experiential exercises will be integrated throughout. We’ll end with resources to continue to practice these skills and to stay connected during these times.

Update on Vaccines for Older Adults—Flu, Pneumonia, Measles, DPT, Shingles and Coronavirus

January 27

Speaker: Thomas Cesario, M.D.

Dr. Cesario is a professor of medicine in the Department of Medicine, Division of Infectious Disease at the University of California, Irvine. He is well-known authority on multiple infectious diseases. Dr. Cesario will discuss vaccines and their importance, particularly in the senior population, including measles, shingles, pneumonia, DPT, flu and of course the coronavirus. Dr. Cesario will include updates on the vaccines that are being developed, including the new nucleic acid-based vaccines that use DNA or RNA and cause the body’s own cells to manufacture the coronavirus antigen. It stimulates the body’s immune system to create antibodies; usually parts of the spike protein are being made. He will also touch on the need for higher dose vaccines for mature adults and changes in the mature immune system that need to be considered for a safe COVID-19 vaccine for the mature population.

How to Get the Most Out of Your Doctor Visit

February 10

Speaker: Dr. G. Scott Smith

Dr. G. Scott Smith has served as the Medical Director at St. Joseph Heritage Medical Group for 24 years. He is also Chairman of the Quality Practice Improvement Committee and volunteers to assist his fellow physicians when they need coaching. Many patients have difficulty getting access to their physicians and their medical records. There are time management issues and shared decision-making issues. Dr. Smith will discuss these issues and methods in place to resolve them.

Hospice and Palliative Care

February 24

Speaker: Rishi Gupta, M.D.

Dr. Gupta is currently the Medical Director of Palliative Care Services at St. Jude Medical Center. Palliative care is an approach to improve the quality of life of patients facing a life-limiting illness through symptom management, emotional support and aligning value and goals with treatment preferences. Palliative care provides comfort and ongoing communication for seriously ill patients and their families at any stage of illness, whether curable, chronic, or life threatening. Palliative care is appropriate for any stage of a serious illness, with discussion and collaboration with other treatment providers. Palliative care can begin at the time of diagnosis and continue during treatment. Hospice care is focused care in the final phase of a terminal illness with emphasis on comfort and quality of life, when a person is not expected to survive a life-limiting illness.

Issues with Thyroid Function in the Mature Population

March 10

Speaker: Michael Kuo, M.D.

Dr. Kuo is an endocrinology specialist in Fullerton. His areas of expertise include treatment of endocrinological conditions such as diabetes, obesity, osteoporosis and disorders of the thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals and pituitary. The thyroid hormone is a timekeeping hormone in the body that contributes to your metabolism, energy levels, heart rate and function, weight, appetite, muscle strength, hair quality and strength, and frequency of bowel movements. Did you know that more than 12% of the US population will develop a thyroid condition during their lifetime? We will discuss where and what the thyroid is, what the thyroid hormone does, what problems high or low thyroid hormone levels might cause, complications of untreated thyroid abnormalities and how and when to get tested.

Healthy Sleep Habits

March 24

Speaker: Douglas Trask, M.D

Dr. Trask is a professor in the Department of Otolaryngology/Head & Neck Surgery, UCI School of Medicine. Dr. Trask will discuss the symptoms, diagnosis and management of sleep apnea and healthy sleep habits.

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