Increasing lupus knowledge with the lupus conference


published January 31, 2013

Increasing lupus knowledge with the lupus conference

The air buzzed with enthusiasm as approximately 100 attendees converged on December 15 for a fast-paced day of lupus education, including keynote speakers, breakout sessions and a research panel, all designed to further discussions between those impacted both personally and professionally by lupus.  

It was the Lupus Foundation of Minnesota’s Lupus: Advancements in Management, Treatment and Research conference, conducted in partnership with St. Catherine University Henrietta Schmoll School of Health and the University of Minnesota. The continuing medical education conference was supported in part by a grant from Human Genome Sciences, developers of Benlysta, the first FDA-approved drug for lupus.

Attendees included individuals and families impacted by lupus, as well as health care providers and clinicians. 

Nationally recognized keynote and panel presenters included Dr. Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman from Northwestern University in Chicago; Dr. Doruk Erkan from the Hospital for Special Surgery in New York;  Dr. Patrick Gaffney from the Oklahoma Medical Research Foundation; Dr. Emily Gillespie from the University of Minnesota; and Dr. Timothy Niewold from Mayo Clinic. Out-of-town presenters commented on how impressive the depth of knowledge that the attendees showed, and though their questions were intuitive.

The University of Minnesota, as the conference partner who offered continuing education credits, also collected feedback from attendees. Overall participants responded favorably to the general sessions, citing their appreciation to learning about new research. 

The six breakout sessions were small group learning possibilities in three tracks: 
Medical: Providers from Allina Health Rheumatology, Amplatz Children’s Nephrology, the University of Minnesota Lupus Clinic, Minneapolis Neurology and Metropolitan Heart and Vascular Institute spoke about lupus and pregnancy; kidney complications in children with lupus; and cardiovascular and neurological complications in lupus.

Interdisciplinary: Sessions included current lupus medications presented by the U of M College of Pharmacy; and the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement discussed their “Collaborative Conversation” model. 

Patient/Family Impact: Through an integrative health panel, experts spoke on naturopathic medicine, mindfulness and compassion in self care and nutritional connections. Afternoon sessions focused on community-based services. Sessions were facilities by staff of the Minnesota Department of Health and St. Catherine University School of Health.

Though the breakout sessions discussed difficult and complex subjects, attendees expressed that physicians spoke in comprehensive yet understandable ways. Feedback responses also called for more information on an integrative health approach, as well as enhancing patient-centered care tools and programs. Overall positive feedback was given on the variety of breakout sessions.

Conference objectives were to:

  1. Increase knowledge and improve performance that enhances the health of the lupus population
  2. Increase and strengthen medical and research knowledge
  3. Promote discussion and dialogue on key clinical, treatment and healthcare issues
  4. To provide a multidisciplinary dialogue focused on improving coordination of care and communication between providers and patients.

Attendees rated how well the four conference objectives were met. For each ojective, between 68-88 percent of respondents ranked the conference success as either “excellent” or “very good”.

A PDF version of the conference program is available here. If you are interested in learning more about particular sessions, contact LFM.

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