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DHS news release

Sept. 12, 2007

Contact: Jim Sellers 503-945-5738
Program contact: Karen Wheeler 503-945-6191

Portland news conference: Acting surgeon general to address underage drinking

Story: Acting Surgeon General Kenneth Moritsugu, M.D., M.P.H., will speak and answer questions about his Call to Action to Prevent and Reduce Underage Drinking. Underage drinking is one of Oregon's major public health issues. Oregon ranks fourth nationally in alcohol-related deaths, and the 2005 rate of Oregon eighth-graders reporting having consumed alcohol during the prior 30 days was 76 percent higher than the national rate. The surgeon general has proposed six national goals to reduce underage drinking. Moritsugu says the U.S. has 11 million underage drinkers, of whom nearly 7.2 million engage in dangerous binge drinking.

When: Monday at 10:15 a.m.

Where: Parlor A, Portland Hilton hotel, 921 S.W. Sixth Ave.

Who: Rear Admiral Kenneth Moritsugu, M.D., acting surgeon general since August 2006. Moritsugu had previously been deputy surgeon general since 1998, and was briefly acting surgeon general in 2002. A Hawaii native, Moritsugu holds a medical degree from George Washington University and a master's in public health from the University of California, Berkeley. Moritsugu will be in Portland to address the National Prevention Network conference at the Portland Hilton; his speech will begin at 9 a.m.

The state's most recent news on underage drinking is on the Oregon Department of Human Services Web site. New data will be available at the news conference.

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