21st Annual Update in Infectious Diseases, 4/26/19

It is rare for a CME event to have connections to a number of other events happening around the university and Iowa City community, but big anniversaries are rare too. Because the 30th anniversary of the founding of the HIV/AIDS clinic at University of Iowa Hospitals & Clinics landed in the same month as this event, CME Course Director (and Infectious Diseases Division Director) Dan Diekema, MD, and Clinic Director Jack Stapleton, MD, organized a number of activities to recognize the milestone.

One event was coincidentally connected, but still bears mention because it relates to the extraordinary care that University of Iowa Health Care provides people living with HIV and AIDS. For nearly two-thirds of the clinic’s existence, Tricia Kroll, LMSW, has served as the Ryan White Program Manager, guiding the clinic’s holistic-care approach that addresses both the physical as well as social impact of the disease. For her work, Kroll recently accepted the Susan C. Buckley Distinguished Achievement Award for Staff at the UI’s Celebration of Excellence and Achievement Among Women. We are grateful that one of her colleagues sent us video of her touching acceptance speech (captions available):

That deep well of determination and compassion that Kroll displayed during her speech and those of her 18415_sean-strub-body-counts.jpg_ff41c89c-2ab2-4647-bb32-c1cd267c50ab_x2colleagues and the community shone through from all the clinic’s providers in the week leading up to the CME event. Local nonprofit cinema FilmScene hosted screenings of topical films, including a short film made by professor emeritus Kristi Ferguson, MD, about the first nurse to acquire HIV. Other films included Philadelphia, which Stapleton introduced, and How to Survive a Plague. The Iowa City Public Library also hosted a discussion with Iowa City native and POZ publisher Sean Strub. Strub is the author of Body Counts, a memoir that recounts the early days of the AIDS epidemic, which Strub found himself at the center of.

Strub was also present the next morning at the hotelVetro when the actual CME event began. First, after Diekema offered a welcome to attendees, Stapleton presented a sweeping history of HIV/AIDS care both nationally and in Iowa. 

Before Strub began his presentation, he called up Tami Haught and Lloyd Lande, two members of the Sero Project, which Strub directs. Haught and Llande presented Stapleton with a plaque in recognition of his decades of service caring and advocating for people living with HIV and AIDS. Strub’s presentation was a different sort of history, from the perspective of the people being diagnosed with HIV and AIDS in the early years of the disease. He presented a case of discrimination and neglect from many in power at the time, but then pointed to more hopeful signs. So long as, he cautioned, people remember the past.

After a break, the focus of the day began to broaden into other topics of concern to infectious disease specialists and primary care providers. Medical Director and Iowa State Epidemiologist Caitlin Pedati, MD, MPH, gave an overview of the current state of ID in Iowa, with data on existing and potentially emerging infections providers should watch.

Following lunch, three sets of workshops filled the afternoon. Michael Ohl, MD, covered progress in HIV prevention via programs such as TelePrEP. Immunologist Ben Davis, MD, discussed managing antibiotic allergies. Ben Appenheimer, MD, covered cellulitis and other skin and soft tissue infections providers may encounter.

In the next set of three, Jeff Meier, MD, walked through the progress being made in HIV treatment, as well as potential interactions new therapeutics present. Poorani Sekar, MD, addressed how to identify the different infections that can come from animal exposures. Judy Streit, MD, presented updates in treating C. difficile.

Finally, Ohl, Stapleton, and Carl LeBuhn, MD, “showed their math” as Meier presented them with a few clinical cases and they talked through their diagnostic process. In other rooms, Daniel Fulton, MD, covered histoplasmosis, and Martha Carvour, MD, PhD, presented essentials on caring for foot infections in people with diabetes. As quickly as the day began, it was nearly over with one final large-group session featuring Fulton, Streit, and Peter Densen, MD, discussing a few more case presentations.

Congratulations to the planning committee on this year’s “extended” event!

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