NFA Forms Partnership with Practicing Clinicians Exchange
New Program Educates Nurse Practitioners and Physician Assistants on Fibromyalgia
ANAHEIM, Calif. (February 25, 2009)—The National Fibromyalgia Association (NFA) has formed a partnership with the Practicing Clinicians Exchange (PCE) to provide continuing education programs to nurse practitioners (NPs) and physician assistants (PAs) throughout the United States in 2009.
The partnership is beneficial to both organizations, as the NFA is the largest nonprofit group dedicated to improving the quality of life for people living with fibromyalgia through advocacy and education, and PCE is the national leader in providing continuing education focused solely on the needs of NPs and PAs.
Fibromyalgia affects an estimated 10 million Americans by inducing pain, stiffness, fatigue, sleep problems, and overall reduced quality of life. The cause of fibromyalgia is unknown, and with 3 drugs approved to treat the condition over the past 2 years, many clinicians are unaware of how to treat these patients. This was confirmed by the results of a PCE survey conducted in 2008 that found most NPs and PAs desire and are in need of education on fibromyalgia.
With the US population aging and fewer physicians practicing primary care, the country is facing a healthcare emergency of too many patients and too few doctors. NPs and PAs are instrumental in solving this crisis by filling the primary care role once solely held by physicians. This has led to a primary care tipping point, with NPs and PAs collectively numbering over 200,000, and increasing by over 14,000 per year.
Lynne Matallana, president of the NFA, sees NPs and PAs as the ideal clinicians to care for patients with fibromyalgia. "NPs and PAs provide the patient-centered, personalized care that is required to properly diagnose and manage a patient with fibromyalgia. This makes them perfectly suited to care for this condition. With research and treatment options for fibromyalgia expanding, we're pleased to be working with PCE to educate this growing segment of primary care clinicians," said Matallana.
"PCE has the unique ability to develop educational content for NPs and PAs. This collaboration with the NFA will strengthen the ability of these clinicians to care for patients with fibromyalgia and lead to improved clinical outcomes," said Mary D. Knudtson, DNSc, NP, FAAN, a nurse practitioner from Irvine, California, and a frequent moderator of PCE symposia.
"The NFA and PCE are ideal partners for this educational initiative," said Bradley Mock of PCE. "The central mission of the NFA is to improve quality of life of patients with fibromyalgia, and PCE plans to accomplish this through educating the country's growing ranks of NPs and PAs. NPs and PAs are cost-effective and highly trained members of the healthcare team and are a critical part of the solution to our nation's healthcare crisis. We are very excited about this partnership and our ability to reach NPs and PAs with outcomes-based education that will impact the care of patients who suffer from this condition."
About the National Fibromyalgia Association
The NFA, headquartered in Orange County, Calif., is the largest 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to addressing and decreasing the burden of fibromyalgia through education, research, and patient advocacy. The NFA leads a national and international effort to create a voice for providers, researchers, and patients who deal with fibromyalgia by developing and supporting educational activities, awareness events, fibromyalgia research, media coverage, and facilitating increased collaboration efforts between patients and providers. The NFA philosophy is to help empower all stakeholders in fibromyalgia and provide them with a new level of hope for the future. Visit www.FMaware.org for more information.
About Practicing Clinicians Exchange
Since 2006, PCE has been the national leader in providing continuing education focused solely on the educational needs of NPs and PAs. PCE conducts an 18-city national symposia series and home study activities reaching over 50,000 clinicians, and extends its reach through a variety of formats, including regional and local symposia, dinner meetings, satellite symposia, Web conferences, e-courses, monographs, supplements, CD-ROMs, and other Web-based programs via its large database of NPs and PAs. Visit http://www.practicingclinicians.com/ for more information. PCE is a division of Continuing Education Alliance.