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January 27 "Valley's View" to feature discussion on Tsunami

January 21, 2005

NR05018

The University of Maine at Fort Kent and Northern Maine Medical Center monthly public affairs television program "The Valley's View," will feature a local discussion on the tsunami that devastated South Asia when the program airs on WAGM-TV, Thursday, January 27 at 7:30 p.m.

The half-hour show, which takes an in-depth look at contemporary issues using local experts as guests to address the selected topics, is broadcasting from "The Lodge", UMFK¹s new residence hall.

The program will feature two local guests, who are natives of two of the countries affected by the tsunami, a UMFK faculty member who has extensive experience in studying the aftermath of tsunamis, and a local healthcare provider who will discuss possible long-range health concerns of the region.

Joining program host Jason Parent in the first segment will be Dr. Tilak Pathiraja, an ophthalmologist with a practice at Northern Maine Medical Center and Anup Sharma, a junior in the business management program at UMFK.

Pathiraja, a native of Mahawewa, Sri Lanka and Sharma, a native of New Dehli, India will discuss what they are hearing from back home about recovery efforts in the aftermath of the devastating natural disaster.

In the second segment, Dave Hobbins, UMFK professor of forestry and environmental studies, will discuss the science of a tsunami and his experience living in an area that had been hit by such a wave.

Hobbins lived on two islands in Alaska that were hit by the devastating waves and has talked with survivors after the fact. While in Alaska he was involved in a tsunami early warning system.

He was also in the U.S. Coast Guard and involved with the tsunami early warning system in the North Pacific Ocean in the early 1970¹s.

In the final segment of the program, Dr. Asif Ansari, president of the medical staff at Northern Maine Medical Center, will discuss the most urgent and potentially emerging health issues in the wake of the tsunami.

"I am certain this will be a very interesting program," said Jason Parent, Valley's View host and director of university relations at UMFK. "The tsunami that struck South Asia a month ago has had an impact on all of us. Our guests will help us better understand the disaster's toll on the people most impacted."

Also part of the program will be the "College Question," a segment that will look at new and exciting developments on the UMFK campus, and "Your Healthcare Connection" which will look at concerns in healthcare, using professionals from NMMC.