Office of Professional Education

Professional Education Matters | February 2013

News and Updates from the Office of Professional Education


Interactive Technology for Pediatric Patients and Families with Atopic Dermatitis

The Office of Professional Education received an educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline to educate physicians and improve the care of pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis in a medically underserved population. Through this funding National Jewish Health has developed a medical education program to train health care providers and team members from Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics (RMYC) to better diagnose and manage their atopic dermatitis patients.

Along with workbooks and other printed materials, a portion of the funding received has been used to develop a patient focused eBook. Viewed on an iPad in the clinic setting, the eBook provides tips and techniques for managing pediatric atopic dermatitis. The eBook includes videos and photo galleries to engage pediatric patients and families with self-management tools and information on atopic dermatitis. Through the use of this eBook, patients and their family members will learn how to best manage atopic dermatitis, allowing them to participate in family and school activities, feel good about the way their skin looks and improve their quality of sleep.  

The eBook also includes an atopic dermatitis action plan, as well as information on how to perform daily soak and seal skin care, what to do if they have itching and a rash or see signs of infection, and when to call the doctor. Providers work with the patients and their families to create a personalized plan and, at the completion of the visit, a printed copy of this action plan is given to them for use at home.

"Working with National Jewish Health has been wonderful. Not only have the Rocky Mountain Youth providers had the opportunity to learn about up to date advances in atopic dermatitis management, but we now have access to some great tools to help with the evaluation of our patient's symptoms and patient education. The handouts, questionnaires and workbooks allow for more focused provider/patient interactions, while the eBook patient education tool allows patients to guide their own learning," said Sophia Meharena, DO, Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics.

The utilization of the eBook has expanded even beyond RMYC to the pediatric department at National Jewish Health, who will also be utilizing this technology and providing access to the eBook in its Atopic Dermatitis Program. “We were thrilled to be able to bring the eBook resource to RMYC, who have responded very positively to the tool, and to National Jewish Health because the interactive eBook adds a new dimension to self management and chronic disease.… It’s a fun way to learn about managing atopic dermatitis,” said Ann Mullen, RN, CNS, AE-C, Patient Education Coordinator at National Jewish Health.

For more information about this continuing medical education activity, please read the atopic dermatitis press release and watch the targeting atopic dermatitis news video.

A Collaborative Success Story

The Department of Nursing and the Office of Professional Education have teamed up for an exciting new venture. They have collaborated with the American Thoracic Society (ATS) to award nursing continuing education credit for 25 nursing-focused presentations at the 2013 American Thoracic Society International Conference in Philadelphia this May. This will be the first year that ATS will provide this benefit to RNs, making it possible for RNs to receive educational contact hours necessary for licensure or employment requirements.

Professional Education and the Department of Nursing have enjoyed a great working relationship for years. Allidah Hicks, Manager of Staff Education, and Ann Mullen, Coordinator of Patient Education, initially contacted Professional Education over 12 years ago for administrative help with the very successful National Jewish Health Allied Health Conference. Today, Professional Education not only assists the conference coordinators with many of the operating details, but it also helps with marketing the conference, evaluations, recording presentations, and providing Internet access to the presentations.

In recent years, the Professional Education team has pursued additional grant support for the Allied Health Conference. These monies supplement attendance and exhibitors' fees, making it possible for the Department of Nursing to offer interactive learning opportunities to attendees. For the last three years, the conference has used wireless technology to enable participants to "vote" their answers to questions posed by presenters. This feature keeps attendees engaged and helps to evaluate learning. Attendees really enjoy this technology and have "voted" with their keypads to continue it in the future. 

The Department of Nursing and Professional Education have also worked together on pharmaceutical company preceptorships, training video projects, and grant-funded monographs. Because Allidah Hicks, RN, MS, AE-C approves many of Professional Education's offerings for nursing continuing education credit, RNs throughout the world can take advantage of National Jewish Health's online educational programs. It's also a bonus for the Department of Nursing staff, as they get free access to many of these trainings. 

The Department of Nursing and Professional Education are truly great partners and are a collaborative success story!

Celebrating 50 Years of Tuberculosis Education

Since 1963, the Denver TB Course at National Jewish Health has offered health care providers the most comprehensive tuberculosis (TB) education in the U.S. This year, National Jewish Health will celebrate the 50th anniversary of this esteemed, semi-annual course. As a world-renowned TB treatment and research facility, National Jewish Health is committed to caring for patients with TB and advancing the science of tuberculosis control.

The Denver TB Course, offered every year in both April and October, provides a broad overview of active and latent TB including its epidemiology, transmission, pathogenesis, diagnosis, treatment, and management. It attracts over 120 attendees each year from countries around the world, including Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Germany, Indonesia, Nepal, Norway, the Philippines, and Spain. Participants specialize in a broad range of disciplines, public health, infectious diseases, pulmonary and critical care, preventive medicine, and epidemiology.

One of the course highlights is a contact investigation workshop lead by physicians, TB nurses, and outreach workers. The course also addresses the needs of special populations of patients, such as children and those with HIV. It is an interactive event, featuring case-based learning and participation through an audience response system. 

World-renowned TB and mycobacterial expert Michael Iseman, MD directed the course for 23 years. Recently, leadership was passed to Shannon Kasperbauer, MD. The course is a collaborative event, with speakers from National Jewish Health, the University of Colorado, Denver Health, and other hospitals. Charles Daley, MD, Chief of the Division of Mycobacterial and Respiratory Infections at National Jewish Health, is one of the featured speakers.  

“The Denver TB Course is a dynamic course that is unique in so many ways,” said Dr. Kasperbauer. “Its informality encourages participants to be actively involved. We stress repetition, case-based learning, and we invite attendees to bring us their challenging cases for open discussion. I think the greatest testament to the course is the number of “veteran participants” who come back a second or third time.”

The CME Committee

Professional Education is accredited to provide Continuing Medical Education (CME) credit by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME). As an accredited provider, Professional Education ensures that educational content for all types of activities is reviewed for fair balance, as well as scientific rigor and medical accuracy.

CME Committee members at National Jewish Health use their experience and expertise to review educational programs on a variety of medical topics. They ensure that educational programs meet not only ACCME requirements, but also the high standards of National Jewish Health. 

Educational content is reviewed by members of the CME Committee who are not involved with the planning of the activity, do not have any relationship with corporate entities sponsoring the CME program, and have subject matter expertise in the topic presented. CME Committee members generously volunteer their time to serve on this committee.

The CME Committee’s work is essential in maintaining National Jewish Health’s ACCME accreditation. It is also important in maintaining the ranking of National Jewish Health as the #1 Respiratory Hospital in the nation*. Many of Professional Education’s programs are distributed nationally, truly enhancing the reputation of National Jewish Health.

Thank you to the CME Committee for their time and commitment to educational excellence. 

CME Committee Members:

Harold S. Nelson, MD
Professor of Medicine
Chair of the CME Committee

David A. Beuther, MD
Assistant Professor of Medicine
Director of Medical Informatics

Ronina A. Covar, MD
Associate Professor of Pediatrics

Elaine M.K. Schwartz, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Medical Director, Intensive Care Unit, National Jewish Health at Rose Medical Center

Michael D. Schwartz, MD
Associate Professor of Medicine
Director of Inpatient Care of National Jewish Health at Rose Medical Center

We are looking for additional members for the CME Committee. If you are interested in learning more, please contact Sarah Meadows, Accreditation and Programs Manager, ext 6550, or Esther Langmack, MD, Medical Director, ext 1761.

*U.S. News & World Report