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Dr. Neal Barnard to speak at community wellness event July 19 at the Fargo Theatre

Dr. Neal Barnard will headline "Heart Beats, Drum Beats and Edible Beets" July 19th at the Fargo Theatre. Barnard is the founder of the Physicians' Committee for Responsible Medicine as well as an accomplished pianist and cellist. Carrie Snyder / The Forum1 / 3
Margie Bailly is the organizer of "Heart Beats, Drum Beats and Edible Beets," an event bill as "an evening of music, video presentations and conversation that demonstrate the intersection between medicine, music and food." Dave Wallis / The Forum2 / 3
"Heart Beats, Drum Beats and Edible Beets" will celebrate the opening of Prairie Roots Food Co-Op's grocery store in downtown Fargo. Dave Wallis / The Forum3 / 3

FARGO—Margie Bailly was not surprised when she read in the Dec. 1 Forum that actor Alec Baldwin would host a CD release party for Dr. Neal Barnard planned in New York.

While Barnard, a 1971 graduate of Fargo South High School, is widely known as the founder of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine and author of such books as "Power Foods for the Brain," he's also an accomplished pianist and cellist. The CD released in December, "Carbon Works," is his third.

Bailly, former executive director of the Fargo Theatre, said she knows several "musician-physicians" like Barnard.

Among them is her husband, Dick Bailly, a semi-retired Sanford neurologist who played bass for over 20 years with the Big Band All Stars. Her father, Dr. William H. Megordan, was a general practitioner and surgeon in Mount Pleasant, Iowa, who also played violin with the Southeast Iowa Symphony.

At the time she read the Barnard story, Bailly was helping plan publicity and events surrounding the launch of Prairie Roots Food Co-op's downtown Fargo grocery store.

She soon began envisioning an event that would feature Barnard, music and Prairie Roots, with a larger goal of bringing people together to talk about ways to further improve health and nutrition in the community.

"Heart Beats, Drum Beats and Edible Beets," slated at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 19, at the Fargo Theatre, is billed as "an evening of music, video presentations and conversation that demonstrate the intersection between medicine, music and food."

Barnard will discuss the role of the physician in promoting healthy lifestyles and share videos featuring his music.

General Manager Kurt Kopperud will also be on hand to talk about the mission of the Prairie Roots grocery store and why it's important to the community.

Dick Bailly and his band, the Auratones, will provide live music. Like his wife, he is a firm believer in the correlation between music and medicine. His mentor, Dr. Lee Christopherson, was a member of a band called The Scrubs with other health care providers. Many members of The Big Band All Stars were also health care professionals.

"There isn't really any hard research on it, but most physicians are actually pretty strong in math skills," Bailly said. "There is just a lot that is mathematical about music. It makes sense that people who are good mathematicians would also be good physicians."

Opportunity to collaborate

Margie Bailly emphasized the event is meant to be a celebration of what we're doing right as a community rather than blaming or shaming people for unhealthy behaviors. She also called it an opportunity for organizations like Sanford Health, Essentia and Dakota Medical Foundation to collaborate.

"I'm not sure that everybody knows exactly what everybody else is doing. ... Maybe that's what this is about," she said. "It's reenergizing and reigniting the dialogue that's taking place in all these institutions that's maybe occurred behind closed doors or at least not in as collaborative way."

The event is free and open to the public.

IF YOU GO

What: Heart Beats, Drum Beats and Edible Beets

When: 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, July 19

Where: Fargo Theatre, 314 Broadway, Fargo.

Cost: Free and open to the public

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