Saratoga Reads! Winning Book, "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks"

By Hope Ferguson, senior writer

January 11, 2012

Book to Be Discussed in Saratoga Springs Event

Henrietta Lacks BookSUNY Empire State College will host an introduction to the Saratoga Reads! winning book on Sunday, Jan. 22, 2012, 1:30-4:30 p.m. at the Center for Distance Learning, 113 West Ave., Saratoga Springs. The winning book is "The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks," by award-winning journalist Rebecca Skloot.

“The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” describes how the cells, derived from Lacks -- a poor, cancer-stricken black woman in the 1950s who sought treatment at Johns Hopkins Medical Center -- were used, without her consent, for 60 years in research that produced numerous medical breakthroughs. Yet, according to the description on the Saratoga Reads! website, “Henrietta Lacks has remained virtually unknown. The book is not only a biography of Lacks and her family, many of whom live in poverty, but also a revealing account of medical research and related ethical questions.”

The event will feature a viewing of the 1997 movie, "Miss Evers' Boys," which follows the story of the U.S. government's 1932 Tuskeegee syphillis experiments as told through the eyes of Miss Evers, a nurse involved with the study. The film viewing will be followed by a guided discussion led by SUNY Empire State College faculty and professionals.

Opening remarks and a discussion following the film will be facilitated by the interdisciplinary faculty from the Center for Distance Learning:

  • Oto Jones, Ph.D., – mentor and academic area coordinator for economics and management
  • Joanne Levine, DSW, MPH – mentor and academic area coordinator for human services
  • Teresa A. Smith, MS, RN – assistant professor of nursing
  • Kim Stote Ph.D, MPH, RD – mentor and academic area coordinator for health services.

Light refreshments will be served.

This event is free and open to the public.

Contact Joanne Levine at for more information.

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