Office of Professional Education

Professional Education Matters | December 2016

News and Updates From the Office of Professional Education

Rheumatoid Arthritis Online Course Gets Positive Feedback

“It has allowed me to give patients better information and answer their questions more thoroughly,” said Debbie Weaver, RN, Denver Health, after she completed the online course Comorbidities in Patients with Rheumatoid Arthritis: A Multidisciplinary Approach.

Managed by the Office of Professional Education at National Jewish Health in partnership with Medscape, the activity features a 30-minute video discussion between experts in the diagnosis and management of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) and its comorbidities. National Jewish Health faculty Barbara Goldstein, MD, MMSc, Assistant Professor, Division of Rheumatology, moderates the discussion with colleague Darlene Kim, MD, FACC, Assistant Professor, Division of Cardiology, and Denver Health’s Jennifer Stichman, MD, Divisions of Internal Medicine and Rheumatology.

Together, they provide expert perspectives on best practices for care coordination to effectively manage comorbid conditions in patients with RA, and on strategies for preventing comorbidities that commonly affect patients with RA.

“This course did a nice job of stressing that cardiovascular risk is not a theoretical risk for RA patients, but a real thing that you have to consider,” said Emilie Fagin, NP, National Jewish Health, Division of Rheumatology, who added that she gleaned useful tools from the course to talk with her patients about this risk. She also shared that the program emphasizes the importance of closing the communication gap with primary care providers, ultimately affecting patient outcomes.  “I will be more cognizant of this going forward,” she said.

The program is supported by an independent educational grant from Pfizer, Inc. It is certified for CME/CNE and is available here until April 29, 2017.

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Educational Events Focus on Teaching Patients

Improving patient outcomes is the ultimate goal of the medical education programs that the Office of Professional Education manages. While the majority of the courses we provide are geared towards educating health care providers, some programs are developed to teach patient participants. Such was the case with the following live meetings held on our campus in 2016.

Rheumatoid Arthritis and Cardiovascular Health Education Conference

“What does it mean to be diagnosed with RA?” “Can this affect my heart?” “What programs at National Jewish Health am I eligible for and how can I start them?” Patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and their caregivers got answers to these questions and more during a patient-focused conference on November 19, 2016, at National Jewish Health.
Organized by the Divisions of Rheumatology and Cardiology, and the Office of Professional Education, the Rheumatoid Arthritis and Cardiovascular Health Education Conference for Patients, Families and Providers covered topics including the Basics of Rheumatoid Arthritis with Barbara Goldstein, MD, MMSc; Cardiovascular Risk Factors with Darlene Kim, MD, FACC; and Benefits of Lifestyle Modifications with Andrew Freeman, MD, FACC, FACP. Representatives from FitLogix, QuitLogix and Pulmonary Rehabilitation spoke about services available to patients. Patients, caregivers and health care providers that attended the conference were then invited to speak individually with all of the National Jewish Health presenters to learn more about opportunities for addressing important modifiable cardiovascular risk factors that were discussed.
This activity was supported by an educational grant from Pfizer, Inc. Video recordings of the three lectures are available online Basics Of Rheumatoid Arthritis, Healthy Heart, and Prevention Lifestyle is the Answer.

NTM Lecture Series for Patients and Families

Patients diagnosed with Nontuberculous Mycobacterial (NTM) infections traveled to National Jewish Health from around the U.S. with their families for a day of lectures and conversations with medical experts who specialize in the disease. Managed by the Office of Professional Education, The Carolyn and Matthew Bucksbaum NTM Lecture Series for Patients and Families was held on September 17, 2016, following a two-day lecture series for providers.  The entire series was made possible by the generosity of Carolyn S. Bucksbaum.  The program was video recorded and the videos are posted on

One of the patient attendees shared that the conference enabled her to “get the most up-to-date information and support that I so desperately need.”

Another said that the conference provided a sense of community. “I'm not alone. Other people, both patients and doctors, really get the significance of the invisible struggle that I have gone through.”

Because diagnosing and prescribing treatment for NTM infections poses challenges for both physicians and patients with the disease, the conference was a unique opportunity for attendees to learn more about all aspects of management for these infections. Lectures by national experts on possible mechanisms for exposure and treatment options were presented, including those by National Jewish Health doctors, Charles Daley, MD; Gwen Huitt, MD; Shannon Kasperbauer, MD; and Max Salfinger, MD.

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Disease-state Trainings Provide Valuable Information

The Office of Professional Education plays a large part in fulfilling the institution’s mission to educate by managing both CME (continuing medical education) certified programs and non-certified educational programs. With our world-renowned faculty here at National Jewish Health, we are sought out by pharmaceutical companies to develop non-certified disease-state training programs. These trainings are designed to educate company employees on specific disease-states to better understand the diseases their drugs treat. The programs are held at the Molly Blank Conference Center on the main campus and are presented by our faculty who specialize in specific disease-state areas. 

In 2016, National Jewish Health held trainings in asthma, idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis, and non-tuberculous mycobacteria.  “I truly appreciate the time and effort everyone at National Jewish put into creating this extremely informative opportunity for us,” commented an attendee. “You are all doing great work in the field of asthma management and it was such an honor to learn from the best.”

The trainings typically last one to two days and include patient impact panels; tours of the Pulmonary Physiology Unit, Radiology, and the Mycobacteria Laboratory; and question and answer sessions with the faculty. “I thought this was one of the best training experiences I've ever had,” another attendee commented. “The physicians were very good at keeping concepts easy for me to understand. Additionally, I am so thankful for the fact that these doctors were willing to take time out of their busy days to teach us.” 

If you have questions about these trainings or are interested in participating, please contact Andrea Harshman,

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Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology Features Multiple NJH Authors on ICS Articles

The December 2016 issue of Annals of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology, includes the mini-symposium entitled, “A renewed focus on safety, efficacy, and use of inhaled corticosteroids in asthma.” The articles are authored in part by National Jewish Health faculty who participated in the program, “Inhaled Corticosteroids in Asthma: The Balance Between Safety and Efficacy,” which was facilitated by the Office of Professional Education and supported by an independent educational grant from MEDA Pharmaceuticals, Inc.
The journal articles consist of results from a panel discussion where national key opinion leaders met in Denver in November of 2015 to discuss and debate the safety, efficacy and bioavailability of inhaled corticosteroids (ICS) in asthma. A consensus manuscript was prepared based on the presentations by faculty, questions and statements from meeting participants during open discussion periods, deliberations, and recommendations by the panel. 

National Jewish Health authors include Rohit Katial, MD, program chair; Anthony Gerber, MD, PhD; Ronina Covar, MD; Flavia Hoyte, MD; and Harold Nelson, MD.  The other authors are Stanley Szefler, MD, The Breathing Institute, Children’s Hospital Colorado; David Skoner, MD, West Virginia University Children's Hospital; Greg Bensch, MD, Allergy, Immunology and Asthma Medical Group, Bensch Clinical Research; Don Bukstein, MD, Allergy, Asthma & Sinus Center, S.C.; Warner Carr, MD, Allergy & Asthma Associates of Southern California. Additionally, Lora Stewart, MD, Allergy & Asthma Care and Prevention Center, participated in the panel discussion.

The recommendations that came from the panel discussion also set the agenda for ten CME/CNE activities held in cities across the country last spring, with an eleventh meeting added to take place on December 15, 2016, in San Francisco, CA. More than 700 health care providers have attended these meetings. One of the participants remarked, “The incorporation of research data, medications, audience responses and discussion of incorporating into practice was excellent.” Another said, “I highly appreciate your effort and time spent to help refresh us on a comprehensive treatment regimen for asthma.”

Links to the journal articles can be found online here.

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CME Programs Focus on the Management of COPD

Effective treatment of COPD is urgent in light of the mortality, morbidity and economic consequences of the disease. To address this need, the Office of Professional Education has offered several CME programs that provide updates and strategies in the management of COPD. The two most recent activities are described here. 

Keep Them Home, Keep Them Healthy – Managing COPD: Exacerbations, Therapies, and Patient Education Strategies

On December 6, 2016, Denver area physicians, physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and nurses attended a CME/CNE activity featuring National Jewish Health physician and nurse experts on the topic of Managing COPD. The activity, Keep Them Home, Keep Them Healthy – Managing COPD: Exacerbations, Therapies, and Patient Education Strategies, was chaired by Barry Make, MD, with presenting faculty Anthony Gerber, MD, PhD, and Steven Lommatzsch, MD, and nurse facilitators Deborah Fending, RN, BSN, AE-C, Heather Howison, RN, and Ann Mullen, RN, CNS, MSN, AE-C.
More than 50 health care professionals participated in the activity, which included rotations through three workshops addressing triaging the COPD patient, inhaler technique, and patient self-management with apps and other online technology. One attendee commented, “This presentation was a gem. I wish all presentations would be as clear, concise and targeted at this one.” Another stated, “Enjoyed the session – best one National Jewish has presented due to the breakout sessions and hands on learning.”
This activity was supported by an independent educational grant from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

Online CME Activity for Managing COPD is Available Through December 31, 2016

This is the last month to go online and participate in the course New Strategies for Managing COPD: The Evolving Therapeutic Paradigm and Patient Education. The program consists of roundtable discussions presented in two 30-minute videos. Both are moderated by Barry Make, MD, co-director of the COPD Program at National Jewish Health. Individuals can register for one or both of the activities and earn CME credit accordingly.

Dr. Make was joined by Russell Bowler, MD, PhD, co-director of the COPD Program at National Jewish Health; Sandra Adams, MD, MS, from The University of Texas Health Science Center; and Bruce Smith, MD, Medical Director, Primary Care, SCL Physicians, Denver, CO. They discussed the latest evidence-based treatments as well as the safe and beneficial use of established therapies that are essential in helping more patients achieve optimal functional status and quality of life. Learn more or register here.

This activity is supported by independent educational grants from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Novartis, Inc.

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Featured Upcoming CME Activities

39th Annual National Jewish Health Pulmonary and Allergy Update
*Registration is complimentary for National Jewish Health employees

February 1-4, 2017 in Keystone, CO — There’s something new at this year’s Pulmonary and Allergy Update. In addition to the always informative lectures and workshops facilitated by National Jewish Health physician faculty, the meeting offers three allied health hands-on workshops led by our own nurse experts:

  • Soak and Seal Skin Care, Emily Cole, RN and Lauren Foster, RN
  • Inhaled Medication Delivery: History, Innovation & Technique, Deborah Fending, RN, BSN, AE-C
  • PFT’s, Nasal Washes and ACT, Ann Mullen, RN, CNS, MSN, AE-C

Certified for CME and nursing contact hours, the entire conference highlights insights and recent advances in pulmonary medicine, asthma, allergy and immunology. Get more details at To register, please contact Mandy Comeau at

53rd Annual Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology

January 21-24, 2017 in Snowmass, CO — This conference addresses multifaceted approaches to management and treatment of type 1 diabetes and type 2 diabetes, including both existing and emerging therapeutics; osteoporosis management and treatment; testosterone therapy in men and women; diagnosis and treatment of pituitary disorders; drug therapy for Graves disease; subclinical thyroid disease; adrenal insufficiency management; case studies in obesity and dyslipidemia; and much more. Certified for CME. Get more details and register at

54th Annual Denver TB Course

April 5-8, 2017 in Denver, CO — Join us for the most cutting-edge, comprehensive and longest running tuberculosis course in the United States. The Denver TB Course topics include epidemiology of tuberculosis, transmission and pathogenesis, diagnosis and treatment of tuberculosis including MDR/XDR-TB, diagnosis and treatment of latent tuberculosis infection, emphasizing vulnerable populations such as pediatric and HIV co-infection, and a contact investigation workshop.  For more information, go to Certified for CME and CE.

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

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