Office of Professional Education

Professional Education Matters | February 2014

News and Updates from the Office of Professional Education


Medication Reconciliation Program Impacts Entire Organization

Improving the accuracy of medication lists for medical staff, referring physicians and patients to enhance patient safety is the main objective of a program implemented by the Quality Improvement Committee and the Office of Professional Education at National Jewish Health through an educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). 

A Roadmap to Medication Reconciliation

National  Jewish Health staff are invited to go to this video link of the Grand Rounds presentation by Betsy Kern, MD, and Gary Cott, MD,  on February 3, 2014.
Computer requirements in order to view the video: PC users should be able use Media Player. Mac users may need to download Flip4Mac (free)

“Medication regimens can be complicated, and change frequently,” said Betsy Kern, MD, who with Gary Cott, MD, serves as lead faculty on the Medication Reconciliation program which began last summer and goes through June 2015.  “Updating and correcting the lists at each clinic visit promotes patients’ understanding of their medications, and prevents potentially dangerous drug interactions,” she said.  

The program also plays a role in meeting criteria for Meaningful Use (MU), a federal program that affects Medicare reimbursement to National Jewish Health. “A physician who fails to demonstrate medication reconciliation in at least half of their visits will lose $24,000 in incentive payments and experience a two percent cut in all Medicare payments going forward,” said Dave Beuther, MD, CMIO. 

Meeting MU for medication reconciliation, along with 17 other federally imposed mandatory and menu set measures in 2014, translates to about $600,000 in incentive payments to National Jewish Health in the first year and approximately $1.5 million over three years. While MU will only count transition of care visits regarding medication reconciliation, National Jewish Health has chosen to implement the process at every visit to ensure clinical excellence. “The medication reconciliation process at National Jewish Health aims to make sure that all of our patients take the right drugs in the right doses all the time,” said Dr. Kern.

The key workflow looks like this:

  • Obtain accurate medication history (MA, RN, and MD)
  • Update the active medication list (MA, RN, and MD)
  • Click “Medications Reconciled” (RN or MD)

Print the Clinical Summary containing the reconciled medication list and hand it to the patient before they leave (anyone)

Goals for this initiative include being able to standardize medication reconciliation, develop measures of process and outcomes pertinent to medication reconciliation, and demonstrate improvement that will allow for the dissemination of methods used at National Jewish Health to other health care providers. 

“The idea is that this is a team effort and something that we absolutely have to do,” said Dr. Beuther.

For more information about this project, please contact Mandy Comeau in the Office of Professional Education at x6585.

IPF Dinners in Four US Cities This Year

Due to the overwhelming response to the National Jewish Health educational program entitled “Best Practices in Caring for Patients with Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis” in the Rocky Mountain Region in 2013, three additional cities across the US are hosting this event in 2014. “We are excited to work with community doctors to improve the care for those suffering from IPF utilizing contemporary guidelines,” said Josh Solomon, MD, of National Jewish Health who serves as one of the speakers. Program chair for the project is Gregory Cosgrove, MD, FCCP. 

The free CME dinner meeting -- made possible by grants from Boehringer Ingelheim and InterMune -- takes place in Kansas City, MO, on February 19; in Oklahoma City, OK, on February 27; and in Orlando, FL, on March 27. It was also repeated in Albuquerque, NM, in January.  “We are pleased we could return to Albuquerque where last year we had 48 health care providers attend with 35 on a waitlist,” said Mandy Comeau, project specialist in the Office of Professional Education. 

The certified educational program has been extremely successful in addressing gaps in the diagnosis and treatment of patients with IPF.

Research indicates that the prognosis for IPF is poor, despite recent significant advances in this devastating disease, including new evidence based guidelines for diagnosis and treatment. Participants will gain knowledge to improve competence and performance in the diagnosis, management and treatment of patients with IPF through an evening symposium, incorporating case-based learning, multi-media approaches and written materials.

For more information and to secure a spot at one of the upcoming meetings, please visit the Live Events page or call the Office of Professional Education at National Jewish Health at 800.844.2305.

CME Committee is Fundamental to Educational Mission

The Office of Professional Education would like to thank those who serve on the National Jewish Health CME Committee to review all CME content for fair, balanced, scientific and medical accuracy and rigor. Led by Harold Nelson, MD, the committee is comprised of National Jewish Health physicians Ronina A. Covar, MD;  Elaine M.K. Schwartz, MD; Michael D. Schwartz, MD; and Richard W. Weber, MD. The guidance, constructive critiques, and recommendations improving the quality of the programs that have been reviewed have been invaluable and a tremendous contribution.

The CME Committee is vital for executing numerous certified educational activities throughout the year in the Office of Professional Education.  Members are able to add this important role to their portfolios, and ensure the continuation of activities that further the mission of National Jewish Health to educate as a preeminent health care institution. Please consider joining the CME Committee for a great opportunity to be an integral part of the activity development for the Office of Professional Education.

For more information about the CME Committee including information on joining, please contact Sarah Meadows, Manager of Accreditation and Programs for the Office of Professional Education at

Pulmonary and Allergy Update Still Strong in 36th Year

The Pulmonary and Allergy Update at Keystone remains the popular go-to meeting for practical, useful information for clinicians.

"I take more back that I can clinically apply from this conference than any other conference that I attend,” said Rich Bernstein, MD, of Annapolis, MD, about why he returned for the 36th Annual Pulmonary and Allergy Update sponsored by National Jewish Health in Keystone, CO, February 5-8, 2014. It was his third time to attend, and this year he was among 110 participants who came to stay abreast of the latest knowledge and trends. 

“There are always clinically relevant educational presentations that keep me on top of how to best treat my patients,” said Paul Jantzi, MD, of Brenham, TX, who also has attended for the last several years. For more CME opportunities, visit

Office of Professional Education New and Promoted Staff

The Office of Professional Education welcomes Lisa Marlin and Kelli Windlan to the team, and congratulates Meg Burke Dingae on her promotion and Alicia Myers on her title change. 

As our Marketing Specialist, Lisa has an extensive background in broadcast and print journalism and health care marketing. She looks forward to contacting medical professionals worldwide to let them know about the educational activities offered live and online through National Jewish Health. Leveraging technology to reach our targeted audiences, Lisa is adding QR Codes to some of our marketing materials. This will allow anyone with a scan app to easily access more information posted on our website or take them to links we have designated. In her spare time, Lisa enjoys writing, reading and running.

Kelli joins the team as Medical Education Project Specialist. Having earned a Master’s in Health Services Administration in May 2013, she looks forward to being involved in the improvement of processes and initiatives within Professional Education. Kelli is excited about the programs that the department is currently working on to deliver innovative and high quality education. Away from the office, Kelli leads an active and healthy lifestyle by skiing, paddle boarding, hiking and running; she’s training for her first half marathon in May.

In January, Meg was promoted to Manager, Educational Grants and Collaborations. Meg has been a critical part of the Office of Professional Education for five years, and now oversees the Educational Grants and Collaborations team, which plays an integral part in bringing in funding for educational activities. The team includes Alicia, whose new title is Educational Grants and Collaborations Specialist. Alicia has been with Professional Education for three years, and brings a wealth of expertise to the group with her background in health education.

All Professional Education team members share in our commitment to develop high quality, evidence-based educational activities that are designed to improve physician and health care professionals’ knowledge, competence, and performance, with the ultimate goal of improved patient outcomes. 

To reach any of our staff, please find our information here.

Current Educational Activities

Our educational activities often provide certified credit for Nurses, Nurse Practitioners, Physician Assistants, Pharmacists, Respiratory Therapists and Physicians.

View our CME/CE Offerings