Office of Professional Education

Professional Education Matters | June 2013

News and Updates from the Office of Professional Education


National Jewish Health Receives $3.5M Grant to Help Primary Care Providers Improve Weight Management Programs

Grant from Colorado Health Foundation to benefit MCPN and Salud clinicians and patients

The Colorado Health Foundation has awarded a three-year, $3.5M grant to National Jewish Health to develop and implement sustainable weight management programs in two primary care clinical systems: Metro Community Provider Network (MCPN) and Salud Family Health Centers. Several National Jewish Health departments, led by Meg Burke in the Office of Professional Education, were instrumental in the development of the program concept and proposal. In addition to our external partners, the program will be implemented by internal departments that include the Office of Professional Education, The Center for Health Promotion, Health Initiatives, and Information Services and Technology.

“The Colorado Health Foundation has provided us with an exciting and important opportunity to advance weight management in primary care settings,” said Fred Wamboldt, MD, co-director of the Center for Health Promotion at National Jewish Health. “Our partnerships with the Metro Community Provider Network and the Salud Family Health Centers, two of Colorado's premier clinical networks working with the medically underserved, will help reach people disproportionately affected by the obesity epidemic.”

“Intervention Tools for Sustainable Best Practice in Obesity: A Primary Care Initiative” will establish collaborations with these providers and health care professionals to improve how they address obesity in their practices.
“Although obesity is recognized as a major health problem in America, it remains a difficult problem to address with patients,” said Dr. Wamboldt. “We will help providers develop tools and processes to constructively discuss weight management and help their patients successfully achieve their weight goals.” As a result, MCPN and Salud providers will be better prepared to help patients understand the risks associated with obesity and how to make healthy lifestyle choices.

Since 2008, National Jewish Health has offered the FitLogix® program to corporate customers. It provides customized personal coaching, Internet education and support, and wireless activity monitors and scales to help people lose weight. As part of this initiative, National Jewish Health will assist MCPN and Salud to each enroll 1,000 patients into the FitLogix program. National Jewish Health and its partners will establish sustainable, independent weight management programs in each clinic that incorporate lessons learned from their FitLogix experience. National Jewish Health will provide technology support to MCPN and Salud to implement the new programs.

This project is also partnered with LiveWell Colorado and Hunger Free Colorado, two organizations committed to improving the nutritional status and health of Colorado’s citizens.

“Reversing obesity trends in Colorado will take a collective approach,” said Maren Stewart, President and CEO of LiveWell Colorado. “This program will be a great resource for the growing number of people who want to achieve a healthier weight, and when more people are healthier, our whole state benefits.”

Lastly, National Jewish Health intends to help other community health centers in meeting weight management guidelines by sharing tools and lessons learned from this project on a website containing the program templates, tools and resources that are developed though the Colorado Health Foundation’s support.

“The practice redesign and knowledge/technology transfer efforts will promote long-term sustainability, and hopefully serve as a model of how to foster similar successes elsewhere in Colorado and throughout our country,” said Dr. Wamboldt.

“Salud is thrilled about this partnership with National Jewish to positively impact the health of our patient population through increased education and providing tools to assist in obesity reduction, improved nutrition and healthy outcomes,” said Jerry Brasher, President and CEO at Salud. "MCPN is extremely proud and honored to be partnering with National Jewish Health in this weight management effort. A large number of MCPN patients could benefit from this type of program, including the over 8,000 diabetic patients in our network," said John Reid, Vice President of Fund Development at MCPN.

National Jewish Health has partnered with HealthCare Research, Inc. to measure the success of the educational program by evaluating key indicators related to improving weight management in patients.

Professional Education CME Activity Improves Wireless Internet in Molly Blank

An educational grant secured by the Office of Professional Education made it possible to improve the wireless Internet capability in Molly Blank, an ongoing benefit to the institution. Thanks to the efforts of the Information Services and Technology department and Professional Education, the wireless service is now faster and can handle more users at the same time.

Attendees of the continuing medical education (CME) conference Improving the Quality of Care for Patients with Asthma on May 29 were the first to enjoy the benefits of the upgraded wireless service. Each participant used an iPad connected to the Internet to answer interactive polling questions about a virtual patient with asthma. The group’s responses were reviewed in real time by the speakers, further stimulating discussion. Attendees also used the iPads to send speakers questions during lectures and to give feedback about the conference. Professional Education will use data captured during the conference to identify knowledge gaps to be addressed in future programs.

The 90 conference attendees included local physicians and allied health professionals who treat patients with asthma. Michael Wechsler, MD was the program chair and focused his lecture on the future of asthma research. David Beuther, MD and Rohit Katial, MD spoke about the diagnosis and management of asthma and discussed ways to overcome barriers to providing quality asthma care.

The evening concluded with a fun and innovative session titled “Medical Survivor.” Esther Langmack, MD presented an asthma case to a panel consisting of Dr. Wechsler, Dr. Katial and Dr. Beuther, who were not familiar with the case. Each doctor presented their thoughts on diagnostic and treatment options. Attendees used their iPads to “vote off” panel members, until only one was left standing.

Professional Education looks forward to presenting more interactive, multimedia conferences at National Jewish Health that utilize new learning technologies.

Shedding Light on the Sunshine Act: What Does It Mean for NJH Physicians & CME?

The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) released their final rule for the Physician Payment Sunshine Act (Sunshine Act) in February of this year. The Sunshine Act, a part of the Affordable Care Act, requires manufacturers of drugs and medical devices that participate in US federal health care programs to report annually to CMS certain payments and transfers of value given to physicians and teaching hospitals. Collection of data will begin on August 1, 2013.

There continues to be considerable conversation about how exactly the reporting will work. The table below provides answers to some common questions about the Sunshine Act as it applies to faculty at CME and non-CME educational events. The Sunshine Act will also impact reporting for research, consulting, advisory board, and other activities. The AMA website is a good resource for more information.

Who does the reporting?

Applicable manufacturers. CMS defines “applicable manufacturers” as manufacturers of drugs, devices, biologics or medical supplies covered by Medicare, Medicaid, or CHIP.

What do they need to report?

Certain payments or transfers of value over $10 to physicians or teaching hospitals. View the list of teaching hospitals, including National Jewish Health.

To whom is this information reported?

Applicable manufacturers will be required to report annually to the Secretary of HHS. Information will be published on a public, searchable website.

When will reporting begin?

Applicable manufacturers must begin collecting data August 1, 2013. They must submit the first report period (8/1/13 – 12/31/13) by March 31, 2014.

If my information is appropriate for reporting, what will be reported?

Physician name, address, NPI number, and other identifying information, all based on information in the National Plan and Provider Enumeration System (NPPES) database. The amount and nature of the payment or transfer of value will be reported.

Are payments I receive for speaking at a CME program reportable?

Payments or other transfers of value provided as compensation for speaking at certified continuing medical education (CME) programs are not required to be reported.

What about payments I receive for speaking at a non-CME program?

Payments or other transfers of value related to unaccredited and non-certified education programs (e.g., promotional talks) are reportable.

What about reporting for attending any educational activity?

For attending a CME or non-CME educational event (not as a speaker), associated payments or other transfers of value – such as travel and meals – must be reported.

Will food & drink received at a CME or non-CME event be reported?

Applicable manufacturers are not required to report or track buffet meals, snacks, soft drinks, or coffee made generally available to all participants of a conference or similar events where it is difficult to identify the identity of those who partook in the offering. Plated meals, or meals where an idea of the number of physicians partaking in the meal can be calculated (like a small group meeting), will be reported. Further clarification is needed especially in this area, as definitions of conference/gathering size and other details remain uncertain.

What about items I may receive at a conference exhibit booth or something similar?

Small incidental items that are under $10 (such as pens and note pads) that are provided at large-scale conferences and similar large-scale events do not need to be reported.

To learn more about the Sunshine Act, read the full Sunshine Act final rule. If you have questions about reporting with respect to CME activities, please contact Sarah Meadows at

Poster Presentations Spark Interest in National Jewish Health at SACME Spring Meeting

Thanks to efforts by the Office of Professional Education, COPD and atopic dermatitis patient care and treatment were at the forefront of topics discussed at this year’s Society for Academic Continuing Medical Education (SACME) spring meeting, hosted by the University of Wisconsin. Academic posters were presented by Meg Burke, senior educational partnership specialist, and Andrea Harshman, director, Office of Professional Education.

Meg Burke presented the poster Improving COPD Patient Treatment: A Collaboration Between an Academic Medical Center and a Local Federally Qualified Health Center that highlighted a performance improvement continuing medical education (PI CME) project chaired by Barry Make, MD and Bruce Bender, PhD. This project used a team-based approach to improve COPD care in a family practice setting. Meg’s presentation generated interest in the coordinated care for which National Jewish Health is known.

Andrea Harshman presented the second poster titled Partnership for Best Practice Improvement in the Diagnosis, Treatment, and Patient Management of Atopic Dermatitis in the Urban Environment. This educational activity, chaired by Mark Boguniewicz, MD, integrates a performance improvement program with the American Board of Pediatrics (ABP) Maintenance of Certification (MOC) process. It is the first ABP program to be certified for PI CME and MOC parts II and IV. Andrea’s poster presentation stimulated discussion about the varied types of educational programs that the Office of Professional Education has developed.

The mission of SACME is to promote the research, scholarship, evaluation and development of CME that will enhance the performance of physicians and other health care professionals, with the ultimate goal of improving individual and population health. Its members include more than 250 professionals from leading medical schools, academic medical centers, teaching hospitals and medical specialty societies in the United States and Canada.