The Hypoglycemia Support Foundation has made it a top priority to develop high quality CME programs. One of the leading ways to provide training to doctors and health care professionals is a system called Continuing Medical Education (CME). CME education is supported by the national Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education, and consists of educational activities designed to maintain, develop, or increase the knowledge, skills, and professional performance and relationships that a physician uses to provide services for patients, the public, or the profession. CME content is widely respected and validated by respected institutions such as the American Medical Association, and provides a body of knowledge and skills recognized and accepted by medical professionals. CME keeps health care providers up to date with the most current knowledge needed to help their patients.
In 2017 and 2018, HSF CEO Wolfram Alderson played a key role in developing two national CME conferences at Swedish Hospital in Seattle. The programs are featured here (just click on the images to view the program PDFs in full detail). The conferences attracted leaders in the field of metabolic health and nutrition who are actively shaping the field of metabolic health and nutrition, including several of HSF’s Medical Advisors (Dr. Uma Pisharody, Dr. Robert Lustig, and Dr. Aseem Malhotra).
Between 2017 and 2018, I was fortunate to be given the chance to organize Swedish Medical Center’s first and second “Metabolic Health and Nutrition” conferences. As the medical director and course chair, I am proud to reflect on how outstanding these conferences were, and the overwhelmingly positive feedback we received was resounding. In fact, I still receive regular requests, asking that the conference be put on again. A large part of the reason these conferences were so amazing, was due to meticulous planning efforts with exquisite attention to detail put forth by the wonderfully dedicated planning committee members, each of whom was hand-selected, to help me organize the days’ events. In this regard, Mr. Wolfram Alderson’s efforts were second to none. From starting with securing the best speakers from around the world, to finalizing event venues and schedules, Wolfram played an integral role in helping me plan out and organize every piece of the conferences. He put forth a colossal amount of time and effort attending dozens of meetings, sending hundred of emails, and spending countless hours in brainstorming sessions. I couldn’t have done it without him. Wolfram has excellent networking skills, accompanied by a very sweet, collegial personality, and is one of the most dedicated organizers, who works tirelessly towards his goals, ambitions and commitments.
These conferences were the best CME events I have attended in a decade. If you want to attend a conference that will help you move the needle forward in our fight to improve the health of all Americans, this is it. Cutting edge information presented by thought leaders dedicated to making a difference in healthcare, not just toeing the party line. Meticulously thought out and planned, these conferences were fantastic experiences (and had the best food of any conference I have attended to date). I cannot recommend it highly enough for any provider looking to make a difference in their patient’s lives.
The HSF would like to offer CME programs focusing on specific sets of topics featured at the comprehensive metabolic health and nutrition summits – related to hypoglycemia. The development of these CME programs build on the extensive network of contacts in the field that leadership of the HSF has assembled over decades of work. There is a distinguished and very impactful group of leaders in the metabolic health and nutrition field – but there is a lack of awareness about their work. HSF will tap their considerable expertise and knowledge involving the most current research and practice, and bring their work to national audiences.
In conjunction with the development of the CME programs, HSF also proposes to develop Patient Medical Education (PME) programs that translate the content developed for professional health care providers into education that is relevant and applicable to the patient population acutely affected by metabolic health disorders.
In every minute taken to read this informationa, someone is dying from preventable diet-related disease. More people have died from metabolic disease since 1980 than the [i]sum of all the world’s military conflicts combined. This is more than a burgeoning health issue – it is a [ii]national security issue with profound economic implications. The HSF seeks funding, support and partnership to develop much needed educational content and programs for medical professionals and their patients that focuses on metabolic health and nutrition – preventing, treating, and resolving diet-related issues. The urgency of this work has never been greater.
The HSF is a 37-year old nonprofit organization, founded by a patient advocate, dedicated to forging a healthier world empowered by science-based nutrition and the prevention, early detection, and management of metabolic disease. Hypoglycemia, also known as low blood sugar, is one of the earliest and most frequently experienced indicators of metabolic dysfunction by the general population. For decades, the HSF has been filling a critical gap in educating the public about a health issue recognized as a “canary in the coal mine” of metabolic disease. The HSF has forged a compelling strategic vision and is poised to expand its impact at a critical moment in U.S. public health history.
Dr. Seale Harris, the [iii]pioneer researcher of hyperinsulinism, viewed hypoglycemia as a harbinger of more complex metabolic disease as early as 1924: “The low blood sugar of today is the diabetes of tomorrow.” Today, blood sugar issues affect the majority of the population in some form or another, and are key indicators that metabolic dysfunction is at play. Patients, adequately informed by their doctors, can take action to address diet and lifestyle factors that are driving the condition before more advanced diet-related disorders progress. Unfortunately, many doctors are poorly prepared to diagnose and treat the condition within the context of metabolic (systemic) dysfunction.
In 1958, the year after Dr. Seale died, slightly more than 1.5 million people were diagnosed with diabetes each year. In 2015, the [iv]rate had increased to over 23 million per year. Since 1980, [v]rates of type 2 diabetes have quadrupled. [vi]More than half of Americans are now either pre-diabetic or diabetic. [vii]Nearly half of adult Americans are obese, a rate that has nearly doubled since 1980, while [viii]childhood obesity and diabetes diagnoses have tripled. [ix]One in two adults in the U.S. has a chronic disease. [x]One out three children born in 2000 will have diabetes.
Chronic disease rates have escalated, and now exceed communicable disease. While 80% of the obese population suffer from metabolic disease, it is important to know that 40% of the non-obese also suffer from metabolic disorders. Conditions such as non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) are not easy to detect and are [xi]increasing at alarming rates in adults and children. Metabolic disease erodes our health care system both directly (hypoglycemia, type 2 diabetes, NAFLD) and indirectly (heart attacks, strokes, cancer, dementia), while prevention programs are lacking funding and support.
National [xii]health care expenditures are currently $3.2 trillion – 75% of this results from chronic disease, and 75% of this is preventable and diet-related. An estimated $1.8 trillion is being wasted. One study showed that a 10% reduction in mortality from heart disease would have a value of $5.5 trillion to current and future generations, while a 10% reduction in mortality from cancer would be worth $4.4 trillion. [xiii]Research suggests that a modest reduction in avoidable risk factors could lead to a gain of more than $1 trillion annually in labor supply and efficiency by 2023.
Wellness programs generally report high returns of investment (ROI), and preventive and early intervention measures targeted to those already identified to be at risk, result in significant ROIs. [xiv]Data show that public health interventions generate anywhere from four to twenty-seven dollars for every dollar invested. The good news is that we are resilient, and [xv]research shows that simple interventions, such as reducing consumption of added sugar within limits recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO), can result in dramatic improvements in child metabolic health, including a 22% reduction in liver fat, in as little as 10 days.
Defying the statistics on diet-related disease, and the ROI of preventive measures, less than 30% of medical schools require courses in nutrition, despite repeated calls from the U.S. government and medical authorities to do so. Research shows that most primary care doctors are unprepared to diagnose and advise patients with diet-related disorders, lacking the time, training, and tools to help patients, and, by default, focusing on management of disease versus actually addressing the root causes of metabolic dysfunction.
If you or your health care institution are interested in partnering with the Hypoglycemia Support Foundation in developing high quality education programs for healthcare professionals, please let us know – contact Wolfram Alderson.
[i] U.S. deaths since 1980 caused by: terrorism = < 4,000; warfare = <9,000; gun violence = <1,500,000; diet-related diseases = >45,000,000.