Office of Professional Education

Professional Education Matters | December 2017

News and Updates From the Office of Professional Education

National Jewish Health Sponsors Respiratory Disease Young Investigators’ Forum

Held October 12-15, 2017 in Denver, CO, the Forum provided a unique educational opportunity designed specifically for Fellows actively enrolled in a pediatric, pulmonary, allergy, or immunology fellowship program conducting research. Fellows submitted abstracts of their research (clinical or basic science) to a panel of expert faculty for assessment. The top 31 investigators were invited to attend the Forum and present their research to the expert panel. The top three presenters in each category received a grant award and plaque.

The goal of the Forum is to engage and support our future physician scientists with a collegial environment that provides guidance and feedback on research and career development from leaders in respiratory medicine. This year’s Forum was chaired by Monica Kraft, MD, Department of Medicine Chair at the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Tucson, and co-chaired by Irina Petrache, MD, Chief of the Division of Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine at National Jewish Health. Also from National Jewish Health was Executive Vice President of Academic Affairs Gregory Downey, MD, who served as one of nine faculty members. Participating from National Jewish Health in an advisor/mentor role were William Janssen, MD and Barry Make, MD.

The forum was supported by an educational grant from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP. To learn more about the Respiratory Disease Young Investigators’ Forum and for the list of winners, please go to

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New Online IPF Course is Based on National Jewish Health Quality Improvement Project 

The new online course "Optimizing Management of Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) Through Effective Healthcare Provider–Patient Communication" summarizes the results and findings from a recent quality improvement project aimed to develop patient-centered educational resources for patients with IPF and their caregivers. National Jewish Health pulmonologist Jeffrey Swigris, DO, MS, highlights the needs expressed by patients and caregivers and offers practical strategies for enhanced provider-patient communication. In addition, he discusses variations in care for this patient population and key considerations for making the diagnosis of IPF.

Included in this activity are downloadable educational resources and practice aids for IPF providers, patients and caregivers. This activity is supported by an educational grant from Genentech and managed in collaboration with National Jewish Health and PeerView Institute for Medical Education.

You can also access the newly developed patient/provider educational materials by going to a comprehensive list on the Office of Professional Education Resources page. These tools and a new National Jewish Health IPF section of our website provide robust information related to the diagnosis, treatment and management of IPF.

Dr. Swigris and the project team wish to express their thanks to all individuals who contributed to this quality improvement project. In particular, we would like to thank Ann Mullen, RN, CNS, AE-C, CDE, TTS, patient education coordinator, and Eric H., web content and SEO specialist, for their roles in pulling crucial elements of this project together. To access the online course and for more details, click here.

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National Jewish Health Delivers Medical Education in Cities Nationwide and Online

In 2017, the Office of Professional Education managed more than 30 symposia and conferences in cities coast-to-coast; this included three separate educational initiatives on the topics of Severe Asthma, Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) and Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF). These three initiatives also offer complimentary online CME certified activities, making the same great education accessible to health care professionals around the country well into 2018. 

Personalized Medicine in Severe Asthma; Applying Emerging Data and Treatments to Everyday Clinical Practice
With many new and emerging therapies for severe asthma, it is a challenge for providers to integrate all of the latest treatment information.

LIVE MEETING OVERVIEW In November, experts from National Jewish Health wrapped up a 10-city multimedia CME presentation covering the diagnosis and management of severe asthma while also focusing on strategies to personalize treatment plans. The presentations incorporated lectures and interactive case videos and included clinical reference aids to facilitate treatment decisions. National Jewish Health experts serving as program faculty were Anthony Gerber, MD, PhD and Michael Wechsler, MD, MMSc.

ONLINE COURSE OPPORTUNITY  Additionally, a corresponding online activity was launched this year. The program includes three modules:  two individual learning modules led by Drs. Gerber and Wechsler, as well as patient case videos and downloadable slide decks.  The third module is a roundtable discussion moderated by Flavia Hoyte, MD, also including Drs. Gerber and Wechsler. This educational activity is supported by educational grants from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, GlaxoSmithKline, and Sanofi Genzyme and Regeneron Pharmaceuticals.

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COPD Now: Practical Strategies in Medical Management of Stable Disease and Exacerbations
Effective treatment of COPD is urgent in light of the mortality, morbidity and economic consequences of the disease.

LIVE MEETING OVERVIEW  This year experts from National Jewish Health traveled to eight cities leading a free CME/CNE interactive presentation that covered the role of exacerbations in the management of COPD and effective patient communication strategies. Attendees learned about incorporating the updated GOLD guidelines into their practices. Serving as program faculty at one or more of the meetings were James Finigan, MD, Anthony Gerber, MD, PhD, Steven Lommatzsch, MD, Barry Make, MD, James O’Brien, MD, FACP, FCCP, and Amen Sergew, MD.

The live symposia included interactive workshops for inhaler technique and triaging patients with COPD exacerbations, led by our nurse facilitators, Deborah Fending, RN, BSN, AE-C or Ann Mullen, RN, CNS, AE-C, CDE, TTS.

ONLINE COURSE OPPORTUNITY  The COPD Now online program launched this fall. Several of the program faculty led multi-media presentations in three different modules that include interactive polling questions, feedback, and downloadable slide decks. This activity is supported by independent educational grants from AstraZeneca Pharmaceuticals LP, Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc., and Sunovion Pharmaceuticals, Inc. 

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Best Practices in Caring for Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis
Prognosis for IPF is frequently poor despite recent significant advances, including new evidence-based guidelines for diagnosis and treatment.

LIVE MEETING OVERVIEW  Since 2012, we have worked with our expert faculty at National Jewish Health to bring a certified educational program to cities nationwide that addresses the gaps in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with IPF called “Best Practices in Caring for Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis.” In 2017, the program was held in Albuquerque, NM, Billings, MT, Boise, ID and Denver, CO. Faculty for the program included Tristan Huie, MD; Rebecca Keith, MD; Michael Mohning, MD; Amy Olson, MD, MSPH; Evans Fernández Pérez, MD, MS; Joshua Solomon, MD; Jeff Swigris, DO, MS; and Zulma Yunt, MD. Nurses from the Interstitial Lung Disease Program who assisted with the presentations were Jessica Munson, RN, BSN; Deborah Shoop, RN; and Sherly Thomas, RN, BSN.

The evening symposium incorporated case-based learning, patient videos and lectures and focused on improving diagnosis, management and communication skills with patients. The audience was comprised of physicians, pharmacists and allied health professionals treating IPF patients. This activity was supported by independent educational grants from Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, Inc. and Genentech.

ONLINE COURSE OPPORTUNITY IS COMING SOON  An online program that corresponds to the live meeting will be launched soon and announced at

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More CME Activities

Featured Online Course
In addition to the online courses listed previously in this newsletter that are affiliated with live meetings and a QI project, we have several other educational programs available online, including:

Advances in Atopic Dermatitis: Applying Emerging Clinical Research and Treatments to Everyday Clinical Practice
Improve your ability to manage the treatment of patients with Atopic Dermatitis in accordance with clinical guidelines and expert recommendations. This online case-based program includes two modules with Kanwaljit Brar, MD and Mark Boguniewicz, MD. The third module is a panel discussion with leading experts in the field of AD at National Jewish Health that include Dr. Boguniewicz, Bruce Lanser, MD, Elizabeth Swanson, MD and Jennifer Moyer Darr, LCSW. They were joined by Noreen Heer Nicol, PhD, RN, FNP from the University of Colorado College of Nursing.

The course is designed for primary care physicians, dermatologists, allergists, advanced practice nurses, registered nurses, and other allied health professionals who treat patients with AD. CME/CNE credit is available. This activity is supported by an independent educational grant from Pfizer, Inc.

CME Conferences Scheduled in 2018

January 20-23, 2018 in Snowmass, CO
54th Annual Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology Conference
Certified for CME, this conference addresses multifaceted approaches to management and treatment of type 1 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. For more information, please visit or contact Matthew Stern.

January 31 - February 3, 2018 in Keystone, CO
40th Annual National Jewish Health Pulmonary and Allergy Update
The conference highlights insights and recent advances in pulmonary medicine, asthma, allergy and immunology. Topics include:

  • COPD: Importance of Phenotypes

  • Biomarkers in Rheumatoid Arthritis

  • Recurrent Infection, Pulmonary Disease and Autoimmunity as Manifestations of Immune Deficiency

  • Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis – Risk Factors and Comorbidities

  • COPD: New Approaches to Treatment

  • Immunotherapy for Food Allergy – Is it Ready for Prime Time?

  • Gastroesophageal or Laryngeal Reflux – What is Important for Lung Disease

  • Strange and Violent Viruses That May Produce Pandemics in the Present and Future

  • Management of Childhood Wheeze

  • Positioning New Treatments for Atopic Dermatitis in Our Practice Parameter

  • Biologics for Asthma – Present/Future

  • New Approaches to Allergy Immunotherapy

Certified for CME and nursing contact hours. For more information, please visit or contact Mandy Comeau.

April 4-7, 2018 in Denver, CO
55th Annual Denver TB Course
Join us for the most cutting-edge, comprehensive and longest running tuberculosis course in the United States. The Denver TB Course is certified for CME and CE and 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 or contact Mandy Comeau.

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

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