Professional Education Matters | August 2016

News and Updates From the Office of Professional Education

Inhaled Corticosteroids in Asthma: The Balance Between Safety and Efficacy

National experts in the areas of allergy, asthma and immunology met in November 2015 at National Jewish Health to commence the program “Inhaled Corticosteroids in Asthma: The Balance Between Safety and Efficacy.”  With improving the care of asthma patients as the ultimate goal, the recommendations that came out of their discussions were submitted as a journal supplement, and also presented to 674 participants via an interactive CME/CNE activity that was held in 10 cities across the U.S., including Denver, this Spring.

Facilitated by the Office of Professional Education at National Jewish Health (NJH) and supported by an independent educational grant from MEDA Pharmaceuticals Inc., the program addressed identified gaps in physician understanding and comfort related to the efficacy, safety and bioavailability of inhaled steroids in asthma. National Jewish Health’s Rohit Katial, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, FACP, served as program chair, and also featured Anthony Gerber, MD, PhD, as faculty speaker. The live presentations addressed each discussion topic with data and case studies that were modified based on the presenter and learner feedback over the duration of the 10 dinner meetings.

This activity was implemented in three parts with the first meeting of experts coming up with a consensus on the safety and efficacy of ICS, which was the basis for all other parts of the initiative.  The recommendations from this consensus panel have been submitted as multiple articles to be featured in an upcoming issue of the Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology.

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Changing Paradigms in the Treatment of Severe Asthma: The Role of Biologic Therapies

On March 3, in Los Angeles, CA, National Jewish Health hosted a CME-certified live, evening Town Hall event preceding the 2016 American Academy of Allergy, Asthma, & Immunology (AAAAI) Annual Conference with key opinion leaders discussing current advances in the treatment of asthma. This multi-modal educational program, “Changing Paradigms in the Treatment of Severe Asthma: The Role of Biologic Therapies,” also included a CME-certified online educational activity that can be accessed here.

Supported by an independent educational grant from Teva Pharmaceuticals, the goal of this program is to provide clinically relevant, evidence-based information to guide physicians as new biologics emerge for the treatment of severe asthma. National Jewish Health’s Rohit Katial, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, FACP, served as program chair.

Two months following the live meeting, an expert panel with national key opinion leaders met in Denver to discuss and debate the distinguishing characteristics of severe asthma, asthma phenotypes in treatment selection, the role of the Th2 pathways in severe asthma as well as the efficacy, safety and mechanisms of action of emerging biologic therapies. The discussion featured thought leaders nationwide, including National Jewish Health’s Richard Martin, MD, Anthony Gerber, MD, PhD, Rohit Katial, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, FACP, and Michael Wechsler, MD, MMSc. The panel discussion will inform a journal supplement submission to the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology: In Practice in early 2017.

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Educational Collaboration With Mount Sinai – National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute: A 6-Meeting Series

An educational collaboration with Mount Sinai – National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute and National Jewish Health will address “Evaluation and Treatment of Severe Asthma: The Role of Biologic and Directed Therapies.” The CME/CPE interactive, case-based activity will be presented in six cities between September 9 and November 9, 2016: Morristown, NJ; Philadelphia, PA; Boston, MA; Baltimore, MD; Long Island, NY; and New York, NY. 

Agenda topics include evaluation of severe vs. “difficult to treat” asthma,Th2-high/Th2-low phenotypes/endotypes, and safety, efficacy and mechanisms of action for emerging therapies.

Co-chairs for this program are National Jewish Health’s Rohit Katial, MD, FAAAAI, FACAAI, FACP, and Linda Rogers, MD, of the Mount Sinai – National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute. They will share in presenting at the meetings, along with National Jewish Health’s Michael Wechsler, MD, MMSc, and Sonali Bose, MD, and Gwen Skloot, MD, who are both with the Mount Sinai – National Jewish Health Respiratory Institute. This educational activity is supported by independent educational grants from AstraZeneca, GlaxoSmithKline, and Sanofi US and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

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Initiative Focuses on Care and Health of IPF Patients

A Systems-Based Initiative to Improve the Care and Health of Patients With Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is an 18-month initiative that began in July 2015 and is overseen by faculty and staff in the National Jewish Health Department of Medicine, Biostatistics and the Office of Professional Education, including Evans R. Fernández Pérez, MD, MSc as initiative Principle Investigator. The program is supported by an educational grant from Genentech.

Baseline metrics were identified for each of the Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) Division physicians who treat patients with IPF, and align with national standards of care for the treatment of these patients. One focus of the initiative to improve identified metrics is an order set that allows for documentation and referral that can be more easily incorporated into standard processes. Physicians in the ILD Division provided input into the final order set, and are incorporating new processes into their care of patients with IPF.

As part of integration of best practices into existing workflow, the leadership team has developed a patient education tool that also serves as a prompt for providers and health care team members to incorporate documentation and referrals/orders for appropriate tests and resources. 

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At the 2016 Colorado Alliance for Continuing Medical Education (CACME) Annual Conference in Keystone in August, the Office of Professional Education was presented with the Outstanding CME Research Award for the project  “Inhaled Corticosteroids in Asthma: The Balance Between Safety and Efficacy.” Recognized were project managers Mandy Comeau, Ayndrea Patterson and Matthew Stern. More about the project is included in this newsletter.
Sarah Meadows, MS, CHCP, received the Distinguished Member Award from the Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEHP) at their Annual Meeting in January 2016 in Washington DC. This award recognizes her active participation in ACEHP programs and events and awards distinction that affirms her commitment to advancing the profession.  "Sarah is a wonderful representative of National Jewish Health and the work that Professional Education does," said Andrea Harshman, director of Professional Education. "She has been a significant reason for our great reputation in the continuing professional development field." 

The Journal of Continuing Education in the Health Professions Award for Excellence in Research is presented annually and recognizes exemplary research works in health professions education. The 2015 award was given to Lisa Cicutto, RN, PhD, ACNP (Cert), CAE, and former Office of Professional Education staff Meg Dingae, MHSA, CCMEP, and Esther  Langmack, MD, FCCP, CCMEP, for their article "Improving Asthma Care in Rural Primary Care Practices: A Performance Improvement Project."

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The Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (JACI: In Practice) published “Collaboration in Best Practices for Care of Patients With Atopic Dermatitis, authored by Sarah Meadows, MS, CHCP, Deborah Fending, RN, and Mark Boguniewicz, MD. The article discusses an initiative aimed to improve assessment and treatment of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD), done in partnership with Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics, at a network of safety-net primary care clinics for medically-underserved children, utilizing education and practice improvement efforts to substantially increase performance on measures of AD care. This study was funded by an educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline. The article was also selected to be highlighted in the “Latest Research” section of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology website upon publication.
The February 2016 issue of Journal of Oncology Practice published “Development of a Cancer Care Summary Through the Electronic Health Record,” authored by Laurie L. Carr, MD, Pearlanne Zelarney, MS, Sarah Meadows, MS, Jeffrey A. Kern, MD, M. Bronwyn Long, DNP, RN and Elizabeth Kern, MD, MS. The article discusses the methods and results of an initiative at National Jewish Health to improve communication concerning lung cancer patients by developing and distributing a Cancer Care Summary that provides clinically useful information about the patient’s diagnosis and care to providers in diverse settings. This activity was supported by educational grants from Lilly and Genentech.

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Medication Reconciliation Initiative Lives on With Website, Video

A website ( that includes a video roundtable discussion has been developed from the Medication Reconciliation (MR) Initiative at National Jewish Health. It serves as a resource for other health care providers and institutions who are seeking tools to improve their own medication reconciliation process. In addition, the roundtable video is publicly available on YouTube.

The two-year MR performance improvement continuing medical education (PI CME) initiative wrapped up in June 2015. Its purpose was to enhance patient safety by improving the accuracy of medication lists for medical staff, referring physicians and patients at every transition of care, including intake, discharges, and movement between multiple providers. It was made possible by an educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline.

The initiative helped address requirements for Meaningful Use, a federal program that affects Medicare reimbursement to National Jewish Health, as well as Joint Commission goals for MR. An academic poster about the initiative was presented at the ACEhp Annual Conference in 2015 and at the Society for Academic CME Spring Conference in 2015. The results of the initiative have also been submitted for publication to the Joint Commission Journal on Quality and Patient Safety.

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Meet Our Team

Professional_Education_Team_2016.jpgThe Office of Professional Education at National Jewish Health strives to create innovative educational activities that assist physicians, pharmacists, nurses and other health care providers in developing and enhancing their clinical knowledge, competency and performance. The Office of Professional Education excels at producing high quality continuing education in the areas and diseases that National Jewish Health researches and treats. Pictured from left to right, are, front row: Sarah Meadows, MS, CHCP, Manager, Accreditation and Programs; Hillary Scanlan, Educational Grants and Collaborations Specialist; Mandy Comeau, Professional Education Programs Coordinator; Ayndrea Patterson, Medical Education Project Specialist; and Andrea Harshman, MHA, CHCP, CMP-HC, Director. Back row: Emily Lewis, Manager, Educational Grants and Collaborations; Matthew Stern, Medical Education Project Specialist; and Lisa Marlin, Marketing Specialist.

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Featured Upcoming CME/CE Activities

21st Annual Regional Allied Health Conference

Friday, September 9, 2016 – This full day program at National Jewish Health provides an update for registered nurses, advanced practice nurses, respiratory therapists, physician assistants, and allied health professionals who work with patients who have chronic diseases and conditions. This program is certified for nursing contact hours, AAPA credit, AANP credit, and AARC credit. 

Carolyn and Matthew Bucksbaum NTM Lecture Series for Providers

Thursday and Friday, September 15-16, 2016 – National Jewish Health is bringing together leading medical experts in the area of nontuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) infections. Providers will be given updates on the most recent research, including treatment and prevention, which will enable them to advance their understanding and improve the care of patients with NTM infections. The lecture series is intended for family physicians and internal medicine physicians, along with pulmonologists, infectious disease physicians, physician assistants, advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, and other health care professionals who diagnose and treat patients with NTM. Certified for CME and nursing contact hours.

View details about these and many other live activities as well as the extensive list of online offerings at

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Office of Professional Education Earns Awards
The Office of Professional Education was awarded the Best Practice in Collaboration Award and the Best Practice in Research Award at the 2014 Colorado Alliance of Continuing Medical Education (CACME) Annual Meeting. Read more.