Touro University shows two films touching on crucial health issues

Times-Herald staff report/
Posted:   02/09/2013 01:02:39 AM PST

With American childhood obesity rates soaring, Touro University will host a screening of "Weight of the Nation," an HBO documentary that examines the crisis and features case studies and experts. 

A portion of the documentary focused on childhood obesity will be shown followed by a panel discussion in a program from 3 to 5 p.m. Sunday. 

The event takes place at Touro University's Lander Hall Auditorium, 1310 Johnson Lane on Mare Island and is free and open to the public. 

One expert in the film estimates that 18 percent of the nation's children are obese and facing lifelong chronic diseases and other challenges.

The panel discussion will include Vallejo City Councilwoman Marti Brown as well as several Touro officials and public health education students. Other panelists include Annette Aalborg, associate professor and community health track chair in the public health department; H. Eduardo Velasco, professor in the College of Osteopathic Medicine; and students Rachael Galvin and Jessica Fisher who participate in a family-based weight management intervention program. 

Later in the month, Touro will also sponsor a benefit screening of "The Waiting Room," a documentary about the ER waiting room of Oakland's Highland Hospital. The film captures stories of those without health insurance, the victims of gun violence, and the heroic clinicians who treat them. 

The screening takes place 7 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 21, at the Empress Theatre, 330 Virginia St. A panel discussion led by director Peter Nicks will follow film. The event is a benefit for Touro University's student-run free clinic in South Vallejo. Tickets are $15 for the screening, and $50 for the screening and a champagne reception preceding the film. 

For tickets and more information, visit or call (707) 638-5285.