Health providers met with Rheumatologist Bridget Walsh, DO at El Rio Community Center’s El Pueblo Clinic last month to discuss the latest in Lupus diagnosis and treatment. The Tucson event was sponsored by SEAHEC, with support from the National AHEC Organization (NAO) and the American College of Rheumatology’s Lupus Initiative. SEAHEC is a member of the National AHEC Organization, and NAO had selected only 3 partner sites in the U.S. – SEAHEC being one of the three chosen to participate, due to our region’s proportionately larger Hispanic/Latino population
SEAHEC Executive Director, Gail Emrick, MPH, opened the session with a brief overview of SEAHEC’s mission and programs. She also provided an explanation of the Lupus project. One of the goals of the project, was to reach primary care providers who serve largely Hispanic/Latino populations, as this has been identified as a population who may more frequently go undiagnosed or lacks appropriate referral to a rheumatologist. Learning objectives included identification of Lupus demographics, high risk populations and symptoms, followed by a discussion of diagnosis and guidelines for appropriate treatment.
After the introduction, Ms. Emrick introduced Dr. Walsh, DO, a prominent Arthritis and Rheumatology Specialist practicing with Catalina Pointe Arthritis and Rheumatology Clinic in Tucson. Dr. Walsh gave a 45 minute presentation after which she provided a review of case studies and answered many questions. She offered her phone number and encouraged providers to contact her in the future with any concerns they had and with any referrals they would be making, so she could provide follow up. The format was participatory, open and encouraging for quality practice.
“Dr. Walsh utilized great, interactive scenarios,” said Ms. Emrick, enumerating the successes of the event. “She is a wonderful speaker and educator,” she said, adding that other successes included the promotion at the health center conducted by Dr. Ray Wagner, a physician at El Rio physician. Dr. Wagner is also Regional Director of Medical Education, A.T. Still University, School of Osteopathic Medicine, and is on the A.T. Still faculty as an Assistant Professor.
The diverse 16 member audience included five medical students, three physicians, two resident physicians, two nurse practitioners two nurses and two behavior health specialists. SEAHEC also obtained Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits through the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP.)
El Rio is Arizona’s largest community health center (CHC) network, serving over 20% of Pima counties residents. The El Pueblo clinic site serves low income and primarily Hispanic clients on the south side of Tucson. Ms. Emrick said she was happy to have an opportunity to collaborate with El Rio.