Office of Professional Education

Professional Education Matters | September 2014

News and Updates From the Office of Professional Education

Professional Education Receives Two CME Awards

The Office of Professional Education at National Jewish Health received two awards at the annual meeting of the Colorado Alliance for Continuing Medical Education (CACME). National Jewish Health won the “Best Practice in Collaboration Award” for a partnership with the North American Quitline Consortium on the Beyond the 5 A’s: Improving Cessation Interventions through Strengthened Training. Additionally, the institution received the “Best Practice in Research Award” for the research conducted in year one of The Wellbeing Campaign. 

“This recognition is a great honor, and exemplifies our hard work and dedication,” said Meg B. Dingae, MHSA, CCMEP, Manager, Educational Grants and Collaborations.

The Best Practice in Collaboration Award

The Office of Professional Education at National Jewish Health collaborated with the North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC) on an educational program to improve the frequency and effectiveness of smoking cessation interventions delivered by healthcare professionals.  First, National Jewish Health and NAQC organized Beyond the 5 A’s: Improving Cessation Interventions Through Strengthened Training Conference, a three-day meeting bringing together professionals who design and deliver smoking cessation education programs for providers, public health tobacco cessation experts, systems decision-makers, healthcare providers and researchers. 

National Jewish Health and NAQC also developed a website ( to promote continued collaboration and conversation among conference attendees, and to offer resources to others who did not attend the conference. The website provides an online forum called Community of Practice “Matters,” which allows attendees to network with each other about smoking cessation issues. The website also gives participants and others access to downloadable slides and presentations from the conference, speaker bios, a virtual poster session, videos of keynote presentations, three post-conference newsletters, and a CME/CE activity that highlights the conference materials. 

The program was funded by an educational grant from Pfizer.

The Best Practice in Research Award

The Wellbeing Campaign is a three-year initiative to build sustainable weight management programs in two primary care clinic networks with a goal of replicating them nationwide. Pre-assessment data were collected from providers and patients to establish a platform on which all initiative interventions and practice re-design will be based. 

Pre-assessment included interviews, focus groups, and surveys involving 209 healthcare professionals and 400 overweight/obese patients. Providers were questioned on awareness of health risks associated with obesity, whether they felt patients wanted to discuss weight management with them, and confidence in prompting discussion. Patient questions focused on awareness of BMI, interest in losing weight, resources needed for healthier behaviors, and emotional well-being.

The pre-assessment indicated that a majority of patients are comfortable talking with their provider about weight management. This suggests there is an opportunity many providers were not aware of for addressing the second-leading cause of preventable deaths in the U.S. The pre-assessment also made it possible to segment patients into four categories, which helped guide providers as they engage patients in weight management education and intervention. 

The project was funded by a grant from the Colorado Health Foundation.

National Jewish Health is the leading respiratory hospital in the nation. Founded 123 years ago as a nonprofit hospital, National Jewish Health today is the only facility in the world dedicated exclusively to groundbreaking medical research and treatment of patients with respiratory, cardiac, immune and related disorders. To learn more, visit

North American Quitline Consortium (NAQC) is a non-profit professional organization that aims to maximize the access, use and effectiveness of quitlines; provide leadership and a unified voice to promote quitlines; and offer a forum to link those interested in quitline operations. It is comprised of over 400 quitline professionals at state and provincial health departments, quitline service provider organizations, research institutes and national organizations in the United States and Canada. The Consortium enables professionals from these organizations to learn from each other and to improve the quality of quitline services.

Medical Meetings Features Professional Education

Two articles featuring work by the Office of Professional Education have recently appeared in the Medical Meetings section of MeetingsNet, an online publication that targets medical meeting planners and continuing medical education (CME) professionals.

In one article, Meg B. Dingae, MHSA, CCMEP, Manager, Educational Grants and Collaborations, talks about a collaboration between National Jewish Health and two other entities to improve physician performance. 

In the second article, Sarah Meadows, MS, CCMEP, Manager, Accreditation & Programs, writes about integrating Maintenance of Certification (MOC) Part II and Part IV with a performance-improvement CME project.

Meg participated in a case study as part of a CME Collaboration with Ann C. Lichti, CCMEP, the Director of Accreditation and Compliance for Physicians’ Education Resource, LLC; and Chanda Nicole Holsey, DrPH, MPH, AE-C, of the National Medical Association and President of the Association of Asthma Educators.

Their goal was to work together on an outcomes-themed article that would share the story of a successful collaboration between providers on a CME initiative that resulted in improvements in physician performance that would inspire similar partnerships among other CME and CE providers. Their project involved a COPD initiative designed to close practice gaps in utilization of spirometry.

The full article can be accessed here.

Sarah shared how MOC Part II and Part IV were integrated with a CME project to improve the care of patients with atopic dermatitis (AD) in a pediatric clinic network by educating the healthcare team on best practice tools, providing resources, and helping the clinics redesign their workflows. 

MOC Part II—Lifelong Learning and Self-Assessment—requires doctors to participate in educational and self-assessment programs set by their specialty board. Part IV—Practice Performance Assessment—asks them to evaluate how what they are learning is being carried out in their clinical practices measured against specialty-specific standards.

The full article can be accessed here.

Atopic Dermatitis Article Published

An article highlighting work done by the Office of Professional Education at National Jewish Health with HealthCare Research was published in the Almanac, a periodical of The Alliance for Continuing Education for Health Professions. 

“Partnership and Collaboration in Executing a Successful Performance Improvement Initiative,” by Sarah Meadows, MS, CCMEP, Manager, Accreditation & Programs, National Jewish Health, and James Heichelbech, PhD, Director of Evaluation Research, HealthCare Research Inc., appears in the July/August 2014 issue. 

In 2012 and 2013, NJH, in partnership with Rocky Mountain Youth Clinics (RMYC), conducted a performance improvement continuing medical education (PI CME) program titled Targeting the Atopic March: Managing Atopic Dermatitis. The program was chaired by Mark Boguniewicz, MD, Professor in the Division of Allergy-Immunology, Department of Pediatrics, at NJH, and funded by an educational grant from GlaxoSmithKline. 

RMYC provides comprehensive primary care and related services to thousands of medically underserved children and adolescents in the Denver metropolitan region. Healthcare providers at RMYC had identified practice gaps in diagnosing and treating pediatric patients with atopic dermatitis (AD).

The goals of the program were to provide evidence-based AD diagnosis and treatment education to clinicians, as well as to educate and activate patients toward effective self-management of AD. Critical to achieving these goals was the partnership between National Jewish Health and RMYC, as well as partnership with the National Eczema Association, a national, patient-oriented organization, and HealthCare Research, an organization dedicated to analysis and synthesis of data in the healthcare industry. 

Through collaboration, several interventions were developed for the initiative:

  • A live, multidisciplinary training led by National Jewish Health faculty
  • In-clinic training visits by National Jewish Health health educators
  • Clinician support tools, including new EHR care prompts for AD
  • Bilingual patient AD education materials, including some for tablets utilized in each clinic
  • Custom patient AD resource website (

In addition to data collected at multiple time points, understanding successes and barriers from other qualitative perspectives was important. This information helped National Jewish Health to provide customized supports to each clinic and served as an informal feedback mechanism for the clinics.

The full article is published in the Almanac, which is a member benefit with the ACEHP, and includes charts and a detailed description of the program.

Pfizer Awards Grant for QI/PI Program

The Office of Professional Education has received an educational grant from Pfizer in the amount of $466,807 to implement an internal project to improve the outcomes of patients with rheumatoid arthritis at risk for cardiovascular disease. This is the first Pfizer-funded quality improvement and performance improvement educational grant for National Jewish Health since the pharmaceutical company changed their funding model last year.

Meg B. Dingae, MHSA, CCMEP, Manager, Educational Grants and Collaborations, acknowledged the project’s Co-Principal Investigators, Barbara Goldstein, MD, MMS, Assistant Professor in the Division of Rheumatology, and Darlene Kim, MD, FACC, Assistant Professor in the Division of Cardiology, for their help in developing the concept and proposal. 

In addition to Professional Education and the National Jewish Health Cardiology and Rheumatology Divisions, this educational grant will support participation from the Division of Biostatics & Bioinformatics and Health Initiatives.

The project aims to increase patient awareness of cardiovascular risks, improve the practice of screening and documenting cardiovascular risk factors in rheumatoid arthritis patients, increase referrals to systems-based resources that target modifiable risk factors (Fitlogix® and QuitLogix®), promote collaboration between the Rheumatology and Cardiology Divisions, and demonstrate improved patient outcomes related to modifiable risk factors.

This effort will provide preventive care that is patient-centered and cost-effective for the health care system, and demonstrate a systems-based process that can be replicated by other institutions nationwide. The initiative will commence in early October, 2014 and will be completed by January, 2017.

Current Educational Activities

Our educational activities often provide certified credit for Nurses, Advanced Practice Nurses, Physician Assistants, Pharmacists, Respiratory Therapists and Physicians. View all of our live and online CME/CE offerings. 

The 51st Semi-Annual Denver TB Course

Wednesday – Saturday, October 15-18, 2014 — The 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 contact investigation workshop.  Certified for CME and Nursing Contact Hours. The 52nd Semi-Annual Denver TB Course is April 15-18, 2015

The 51st Annual Clinical Diabetes and Endocrinology at Snowmass in 2015

Friday – Tuesday, January 23-27, 2015 — This conference will address multifaceted approaches to appropriate management of diabetes, osteoporosis, endocrine hypertension, thyroid nodules, male infertility, and other hot topics. Certified for CME.

The 37th Annual Pulmonary & Allergy Update at Keystone in 2015

Wednesday – Saturday, February 4-7, 2015 — This conference highlights insights and recent advances in pulmonary medicine, asthma, allergy and immunology. Certified for CME and Nursing Contact Hours.