Highlights from Progress 2019

No other professional continuing medical education conference requires as much planning and coordination—or boasts as high an attendance—as the Progress conference.

For nearly forty years, Progress has provided attendees with updates on the latest treatments, devices, and discoveries in the full range of medicine. Planners continued to innovate this year with a new format. For the last few years, the conference has tackled a rotating series of subspecialties from both the perspective of the physician as well as the pharmacist. This year, health care professionals were treated to one day of presentations split between the two viewpoints and a second segregated day allowing for more focus.

Screen Shot 2019-10-08 at 3.25.26 PM.pngClick for larger view of agenda

The first day began with a keynote on medical cannabis delivered by University of Colorado-Denver faculty member Laura Borgelt, PharmD. She provided an overview of how the new legal framework in her state has affected patient care as well as the legal and biological ins and outs of prescribing cannabis and related products. She was followed by a second equally riveting keynote from Tulane University’s Jeffrey Wiese, MD, on how providers can maintain resiliency and avoid burnout.

After a short break the traditional format was underway. Isabella Grumbach, MD, PhD, and Kate Gaspar, PharmD, provided updates and explanations on treating cardiovascular complications in people with cancer. Amy Dowden, MD, and Deanna McDanel, PharmD, followed up with an examination of how to treat people who seem to be allergic to “everything.”

After lunch, during which attendees could go on their own or attend the Society of Hospital Medicine poster session, Lee Kral, PharmD, and Andrea Weber, MD, tackled the difficult but critical subject of prescribing opioids in a new landscape of skyrocketing misuse and overdoses. Workshops followed where attendees could choose between more on opioids from Kral and Weber, treatment of obesity with Asma Al-Zougbi, MD, and Jim Hoehns, PharmD, or diabetes with Kevin Schleich, PharmD, and Brian O’Neill, MD, PhD. To close out the day, a second set of workshops featured anxiety management in palliative care with Arwa Aburizik, MD, MS, and Kashelle Lockman, PharmD, MA; implicit bias in health care disparities with Denise Martinez, MD, or information on IV-delivered immunoglobulin from McDanel and Mary Beth Fasano, MD.

After those Day 1-closing workshops, attendees were free till the next morning, or they could attend one of two society chapter meetings. ACP’s meeting was covered here and SHM’s meeting here.

Day 2 saw pharmacists split off from physicians allowing for more in-depth coverage and updates on treating breast cancer from Sneha Phadke, DO, and on osteoporosis from Amal Shibli-Rahhal, MD. The latest on insulin pumps and real-time glucose monitors came from Rhonda Fruhling, ARNP, and Grerk Sutamtewagul, MD, provided comprehensive instruction on a variety of hematologic conditions.

After lunch, concurrent breakouts featured an overview of urticaria and mast-cell activation from Benjamin Davis, MD, PhD, and a hands-on workshop with pearls on joint aspiration from Brittany Bettendorf, MD, and Bharat Kumar, MD. Shibli-Rahhal provided information on thyroid conditions and “incidentalomas” at the same time as Melanie Wellington, MD, PhD, provided practical tools for providers striving for greater vaccination compliance.

(Note: although we were unable to cover the pharmacists’ side of the second day, the agenda above should give readers an idea of what was covered. A post-conference review will determine whether this new format will be repeated next year.)

Thank you and congratulations to this year’s planning committee members!

Planning Committee
Ryan Jacobsen, PharmD, BCPS – Course Director
Melinda Johnson, MD, FACP, SFHM – Course Director
Scott Vogelgesang, MD – Course Director
Diana Edwards, MD
Mike Farley, PharmD, BCPS
Kate Gaspar, PharmD, BCOP
Emily Peterson, PharmD
Sneha Phadke, DO
Amal Shibli-Rahhal, MD
Kristin Stover, PharmD
Joseph Szot, MD
William Yost, MD, FACP

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