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Health care community invited to attend continuing medical education events on lupus detection and care

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Feb. 21, 2017

BEND, Ore. — St. Charles Health System invites Central Oregon physicians, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, naturopathic doctors, registered nurses, community pharmacists and those with an interest in public health to attend the American College of Rheumatology's (ACR) Lupus Initiative to educate non-rheumatology health care professionals about lupus and health disparities.

The lupus provider education events hosted by St. Charles and sponsored by the ACR will feature live, in-person workshops led by rheumatologist Heather Hansen, MD, in Klamath Falls on March 30, in Bend on April 7 and in Madras on April 27.

"Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) can present with myriad nonspecific or life-threatening symptoms,” Hansen said. “By partnering with the American College of Rheumatology and St. Charles, it is our goal to help providers develop a straightforward framework for identifying lupus symptoms and understanding lupus testing."

The events are also supported in part by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Minority Health. Central Oregon was chosen by the ACR because of the trend in undiagnosed lupus cases among Native American women. The live, in-person workshops will be complemented by a virtual presentation series to be held on March 8, 15 and 22, where learners may participate by either attending the lecture in person or logging in to a webinar.

Lupus is one of the most misdiagnosed diseases in the world. Most patients often see three to four different doctors before they are correctly diagnosed with lupus. Women of color are three times more likely than Caucasians to develop lupus, a chronic disease that causes inflammation, pain and swelling. It can affect the skin, joints, kidneys, lungs, nervous system and other organs of the body. Most patients feel fatigue and have rashes, arthritis and fever. Patients can experience periods of more intense symptoms alternating with periods of remission.

The live and virtual provider education series will focus on identifying signs and symptoms, using ACR criteria to evaluate and refer patients, managing preventive care concerns, and other aspects of lupus patient care.

To RSVP, please contact Karen Kruger, CME event coordinator, at kmkruger@stcharleshealthcare.org or call 541-706-2603.

About St. Charles Health System

St. Charles Health System, Inc., headquartered in Bend, Ore., owns and operates St. Charles Bend, Madras, Prineville and Redmond. It also owns family care clinics in Bend, Madras, Prineville, Redmond and Sisters. St. Charles is a private, not-for-profit Oregon corporation and is the largest employer in Central Oregon with more than 3,800 caregivers. In addition, there are more than 350 active medical staff members and nearly 200 visiting medical staff members who partner with the health system to provide a wide range of care and service to our communities.

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