Monday, May 19, 2008

Educational Clinic

Many of you know that I work for a home medical supply company called NutriThrive. It all started last fall, when we needed an new HPEN company. We found NutriThrive and liked what they did. We signed up and then were asked to participate in their Nutrition Consumer Advisory Group. Just about this time, we were feeling pretty comfortable with Karlene and I was starting to realize that I didn't have to dedicate 100% of my time to caring for Ellie. I heard of a job opening they had for a Consumer Advocate. I jumped at the chance to tweak the system from the inside.

So now I am one of their Consumer Advocates. Most of my job is to make sure that all new and current customers are happy, well supported, educated and have the tools they need to be able to take care of themselves or their child. I also evaluate and help create all the educational material to make sure the consumers have good information when they first arrive home and then are well supported once they are home.

I feel like I am walking a thin line most of the time between being an employee and being a mother of a chronically ill child. Sometimes I think I need two a little hats, one that says NutriThrive and one that says Mother. My basic rule is when Ellie is with me, I am all Ellie and no work. As for the other families that we know, I don't ever want any of them to feel like I am pushing my company on them. Yet, when I hear them complaining about their supply company, I feel like I have to say something. Mainly because the major part of my job is to make things better/easier for people.

So now, on to the title of this post.

Continuing education of patients and their families once they are out of the hospital, is something that I think is lacking just about everywhere. This is something that I have wanted do try to fix for a while now. I have always felt that there is just not enough information available for people who are short gut, on TPN, on tube feeds, have an ostomy or a CVL. I know there are websites that are good, the shortgut wiki is great, but there needs to be more. Once you are out of the hospital your need for information gets greater, and it is just not available like it should be.

So through my position at NutriThrive I have been able to help set up a free educational clinic available to anyone who is on enteral or parenteral nutrition. We got professionals from local hospitals, and from OLEY to come give talks and host round table discussions. The details are below.

Educational Clinic
Improving life on Nutrition Support

Topics for speakers and round table discussions:
  • Vitamin and Mineral Absorption in your gut.
  • Caring for your Central line, what's new.
  • Keeping Hydrated this Summer
  • Advocating for you or your child
  • Advances in Ostomy care
Lunch will be provided
When: 9am-2pm Saturday, May 31st
Where: Allen Riddle Building, Newton Wellesley Hospital Campus (Located behind visitor parking, near ER entrance.)

If you are interested in attending or
more information please email me at

I think I am more excited to attend as a mother than professionally. This is one of those times where I guess I will be able to wear both hats.

Side note: Ellie will be admitted next Monday to Thursday for planned tests.

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