The Hepatology Associates SIG has organized its inaugural SIG programming around the topic of cirrhosis management.
“Cirrhosis is a difficult problem to manage and the evidence shows that health outcomes are better using a team-based approach,” said program co-chair HoChong Gilles, DNP, FNP-C, Nurse Practitioner at McGuire Department of Veterans Affairs Medical Center. “We want to ensure that every team member is equipped with the skill set needed to comprehensively address the difficult challenges encountered in treating cirrhosis across all health settings.”
The SIG program, which begins at 2:00 pm in Room 214/216, Moscone North/South, will emphasize the importance of a multi-disciplinary approach, comprising nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, and clinical pharmacists.
“There are many aspects to managing cirrhosis, and we wanted to provide an additional educational opportunity to enable our Associate members to accurately recognize cirrhosis and share important clinical knowledge and best practices required to successfully approach advance liver disease management,” said Dr. Gilles.
The program will kick off with program co-chair Lisa Richards, MSN, FNP, Nurse Practitioner, NAFLD Resource Center, University of California-San Diego, who will focus on the significance of accurately diagnosing cirrhosis. Dr. Gilles said this is particularly important because many patients do not have obvious signs of advanced fibrosis.
“It’s often difficult to accurately diagnose cirrhosis with the existing arsenal of noninvasive markers and fibrosis assessment techniques. We are going to share the most current evidence-based practices to improve our accuracy in diagnosing cirrhosis,” she said.
Tiffany Kaiser, PharmD, Research Associate Professor at the University of Cincinnati, will review principles of pharmacologic management, drug interactions and medications that should be avoided in patients with cirrhosis due to hepatotoxicity and associates side effects.
Carolyn J. Driscoll, PhD, FNP-C, Assistant Professor at Virginia Commonwealth University, will address common, but difficult psychosocial factors and barriers often seen in our cirrhotic population, and Dr. Gilles will cover treatment of common conundrums in the management of portal hypertension.
“A goal of our program is to feature the different roles within the multidisciplinary group required to successfully manage the complicated heath needs of this growing population and ultimately improve their health outcomes,” said Dr. Gilles, who noted that the SIG program has been designed to appeal to the entire spectrum of novice to expert providers within the Associates membership category.
Additionally, she encourages all Associates to join the SIG and let their voices be heard.
“The Associates are one of the fastest rising members category of the association,” said Dr. Gilles, “We are soliciting feedback to improve networking opportunities, to increase educational offerings and better support the professional development of our members.”