Northeastern Spotlight

Fall 2017 Volume 12 – Number 2

Training Highlights

NE TB Intensive

In the photo above: Dr. Lynn Sosa and Dr. Alfred Lardizabal addressing questions from participants at the New England TB Intensive Workshop

In conjunction with the New England TB Consortium, GTBI held a three-day clinical intensive workshop on June 27-29, 2017 at the University of Massachusetts Medical School in Worcester, MA. Participants had the option of attending the first day as a stand-alone training focused on TB infection or the full 3-day workshop.

The topics were selected based on the collaborative effort of the planning committee. The course reviewed principles for the diagnosis, treatment and management of TB infection and TB disease and also addressed special topics such as extrapulmonary TB, TB and pregnancy, and TB in children and adolescents. Speakers were carefully selected based on their area of expertise and experience with treating and managing TB. Case presentations were included to address challenges in the management of TB and demonstrate teaching points.

Attendees included physicians, nurses, and public health professionals from Massachusetts, New York, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Vermont, and New Hampshire. There were 53 individuals who attended the one-day TB infection-focused training, most notably a large number of clinicians working in primary care settings. 28 participants attended the full three-day workshop. Feedback from the evaluations were positive; participants indicated that the content was informative and the case discussions assisted in understanding the complexities of TB infection and disease. 

Submitted by Shwata Suresh Kumar, PGDM (Public Health), BA – Health Educator

TB Comprehensive Course

The TB Comprehensive Course was held in American Samoa from August 7-11, 2017. This course provided a unique opportunity for physicians, nurses and public health professionals from the island to dive deep into TB and get all their TB related questions answered by the CDC team as well as expert physicians from the Global TB Institute, Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis and the Southeastern National Tuberculosis Center.

Current concepts on transmission and pathogenesis, testing and treatment of TB infection, chest radiographs, laboratory methods for TB diagnosis, treatment and monitoring of TB were covered towards the beginning of the course. Other topics such as TB infection control, contact investigation, improving adherence, nurse case management, patient education and managing TB and diabetes were covered during the latter half of the course. Case studies were dispersed throughout the course to provide participants the opportunity for critical thinking pertaining to case management. The patient education lecture also incorporated role-play to engage the audience.

The 37 course attendees included physicians, nurses, lab personnel and other health professionals working in TB. The participants strongly felt that the training expanded their knowledge of TB as the course covered a wide variety of topics including treatment regimes, laboratory methods, contact investigation, patient education and case management. The participants expressed that they valued the opportunity to ask the faculty relevant questions after each lecture. The case studies with polling questions were quite popular among the attendees. When asked about making any change in their current practice, 17 attendees stated they would make changes and incorporate TB testing for diabetes patients, provide more education to the patients, start screening for LTBI and improve communication within programs. Inspired by this course, participants also expressed interested in initiating an annual TB update hosted locally in American Samoa.

This training was also gratifying for the faculty and planning committee members, who had the opportunity to immerse themselves in the local culture and experience the warmth and generosity of their colleagues in American Samoa. It is fair to say, the entire visiting team left a piece of their heart in American Samoa.

Submitted by Arpita Jindani, MSW, MA – Health Educator