Information on the latest efforts to educate
primary care providers about CFIDS
By Terri Lupton
The health care provider education program, which is designed
to teach health care professionals
to recognize and manage chronic fatigue and immune dysfunction syndrome (CFIDS), is well underway, and
The CFIDS Association of America is working hard to let providers and patients know about it.
The provider education program includes creation of a medical
curriculum for CFIDS (which
has already been completed), training workshops, and exhibits at medical meetings. It is being administered
by The CFIDS Association and the Illinois Area Health Education Center Program, with funding from the
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Health Care Resources and Services Administration
In addition to informing its members of progress through
quarterly updates in The
CFIDS Chronicle, the Association provided an overview of the program for attendees at the CFIDS Support
Network meeting held on Jan. 26 in Seattle in conjunction with the American Association for Chronic Fatigue
Syndrome (AACFS) conference.
Training workshop held
The first train-the-trainer workshop
was held April 7-8 in Charlotte, N.C. Health care professionals completed a two-day training session on
the CFIDS curriculum content, then returned to their home states with a commitment to present one- to
two-hour courses to providers in their own areas.
The CDC agreed to provide continuing education (CE) credits
for the curriculum, which
may serve as an incentive for participation for many practitioners who need to obtain CE to renew their
Presenters at the first workshop included CFIDS experts
Drs. Charles Lapp and Leonard
Jason, and presentation skills consultant Barbara Busey. Fifteen physicians, physician assistants, advance
practice nurses, social workers, and other professionals from Fla., Ill., Okla., N.C., Utah, HRSA, and
the Department of Defense attended.
Portions of the two-day event were filmed and will be featured
as part of the curriculum’s
video self-study module. A second workshop is scheduled for May 19-20 in Chicago.
Exhibit gets word out
A large exhibit for the
provider education project helped
the Association communicate with more than 300 medical practitioners at the American College of Physicians/
American Society of Internal Medicine Annual Session, held
March 28-April 1 in Atlanta.
The exhibit will be used at several upcoming meetings to
educate health care practitioners,
including the American Academy of Physician Assistants, May 28-June 1 in Anaheim, Calif., and the American
Academy of Nurse Practitioners, June 28-July 1 in Orlando, Fla.
Terri Lupton is the Coordinator for Educational Opportunities
for The CFIDS Association
Message in the Bottle Project Helps Educate
The Message in a Bottle (MIAB) project,
a patient-led initiative to raise awareness of CFIDS and related conditions, asked individuals with CFIDS/fibromyalgia
(FM) to mail their empty medicine bottles along with a letter telling about their personal story to the
American Medical Women's Association (AMWA) by May 1, 2000, to coincide with CFIDS Awareness Day.
The AMWA agreed to include information on CFIDS Awareness Day in their e-mail newsletter,
which is sent to more than 5,000 physicians and medical student members. AMWA is also considering
a hands-on workshop on diagnosing FM at its national meeting in 2002, which would be a major achievement.
Project coordinator Vivian Phillips said, "This project involved a lot of work by many,
with CFIDS. Getting a response from AMWA is a shared victory for us all."