HSLS Participates in UPMC Alive & Well Series

On April 6, 2011, the UPMC Arthritis Center, the Western Pennsylvania Chapter of the Arthritis Foundation, and UPMC Shadyside Library jointly sponsored “Latest Advances in Rheumatoid Arthritis” as part of the UPMC Alive & Well program. Alive & Well is a series of free health education presentations for the general public. There were over 100 attendees including patients, family members, Arthritis Foundation volunteers and healthcare professionals.

Rheumatologist Terry Starz, MD, began the program by addressing the topic of chronic and acute pain in arthritis. He discussed aspects of pain mechanisms, understanding the pain process, and the clinical challenges of pain management.

A description of the Rheumatoid Arthritis Comparative Effectiveness Research (RACER) Study was provided by Marc C. Levesque, MD, PhD, UPMC Arthritis and Autoimmunity Center and Principal Administrator of the study. The RACER registry will be used for cost and comparative effectiveness studies of existing versus new and expensive biologic drug therapies for rheumatoid arthritis. The goal and future direction of this study is to move RACER from research to standard of care.

HSLS faculty librarian Michelle Burda, MLS, presented “You: The Informed Patient.” Burda’s presentation focused on the use of reliable health information resources available to the public. She also addressed the issue of how patients can share this information with their physician to establish effective communication between the two parties.

The evening ended with a question and answer session moderated by Ted Osial, MD, UPMC Margolis Rheumatology Associates.

Participant feedback was positive, emphasizing the need for programs like these that help patients understand and manage their disease to improve their quality of life.

~ Michelle Burda