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Penn State Pitches In to Help Primary Immunodeficiency Patients

Project ECHO, a partnership with the Immune Deficiency Foundation, will educate health care providers, including school nurses, about PI, a group of rare diseases that can cause frequent, serious infections.

Doctor speaks on a webinar call.

If someone has a primary immunodeficiency (PI), it means their immune system doesn’t work as it should. There are several hundred types of PI, but people who live with the condition share two common experiences: a disrupted immune system and difficulties navigating health care.

That’s why the Immune Deficiency Foundation and Penn State’s College of Medicine have teamed up to provide a free webinar series for health care providers, including school nurses. Penn State’s Project ECHO (Extension for Community Healthcare Outcomes) will offer up-to-date evidence-based recommendations, resources and guidelines for patients with PI.

The 60-minute webinars will equip health care providers to better assist patients in living their best lives; navigating health care systems; coping with mental health concerns and caregiver fatigue; employment issues; treatment options and how to transition from pediatric care to the adult health care system. The ECHO model of continuing education uses interactive group discussions about patient cases to drive learning outcomes. 

Dr. Benjamin Fogel, Medical Director of Penn State Pediatrics, said the format of Project ECHO sessions creates an environment where colleagues can learn from one another.

“I brought a case or two to the series and received great directed advice on how to handle my patients in the moment,” he told Penn State Health News.

The PI series starts this month and will continue through December.

Learn more and find out how to register.