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From 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. today, residents throughout the region can call toll-free to contact three geriatrics specialists participating in the Deseret News/Inter-moun-tain Health Care Hotline.

Callers can reach Lance Stoker, Dr. Cherie Brunker and Dr. Frank Yanowitz by dialing 1-800-925-8177.The session marks three years since the program's inception. From its beginning in August 1992, nearly 2,000 callers have sought the advice of experts in the free public service.

Altogether, 75 specialists have made themselves available to answer questions in 32 different medical or health topics.

The range of subjects has been vast: pediatric care, depression, nutrition, allergies, access to medical insurance or charity care, fitness, breast cancer, headaches, eye care, skin care, geriatrics, prescription medications, heart disease, women's health, orthopedic injuries and many more.

"IHC's mission is to serve the community," said John Taylor, IHC's vice president of public relations. "The Deseret News/IHC Health Hotline is a great partnership that benefits many individuals in our community."

Taylor said research shows that people want information about health care. "The health hotline helps meet this desire for information," he said.

"Deseret News editors and reporters also feel a responsibility to the public about medical care, and we are pleased to help provide this important service," said Chuck Gates, Deseret News associate city editor.

"Over the years, several callers with potentially dangerous conditions were able to get help quickly, thanks to the response of hotline participants. Many others got advice that made their lives healthier or that helped ease their minds about medical concerns."