Awardee: Janis Berend, CNP (Adult Clinic)
Janis is an expert in the diagnosis and management of alpha-1 antitrypsin deficiency and COPD. She answers calls from around the world regarding the genetics of alpha-1, interpretation of diagnostic tests and therapy for the deficiency. Berend is the consummate patient advocate. She forms support groups in Colorado, advocates for therapy with insurance companies and helps uninsured patients get medications. Berend frequently lectures about her extensive experience and helped in the preparation of the Alpha-1 Foundation nurse education program. “I have seen Janis travel to meetings throughout the country, where she is often the center of other health care providers’ attention as they ask questions and share their experiences,” said Sandy Sandhaus, MD, director of the Alpha-1 Program at National Jewish Health. Janis also took over the smoking-cessation program at National Jewish Health and continues to run the successful educational endeavor.