Foundation Attends SLEEP 2019

June 14, 2019 San Antonio, Texas is host to Sleep Specialists from around the world By Maddie Lionberger SLEEP 2019, the annual...

June 14, 2019
San Antonio, Texas is host to Sleep Specialists from around the world

By Maddie Lionberger

SLEEP 2019, the annual meeting of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies, was held in San Antonio, Texas this year – so the Foundation staff set out on a road trip! Located less than 100 miles south of the RLS Foundation’s Austin headquarters, we packed up and Karla led the charge to the home of the Alamo! A three-day conference, SLEEP allows us to educate healthcare providers focused on sleep medicine from all over the world about RLS and the resources that we provide to them and to their patients. It is also an opportunity for staff to refresh our knowledge base by learning from the best and brightest clinicians and researchers in sleep medicine.

The 2019 SLEEP Conference included several RLS research posters and sessions, many taught by our own Scientific and Medical Advisory Board members. One important session that we were pleased to see on the agenda, led by the Foundation advisory board member, John Winkelman, MD, PhD, "Should Sleep Medicine Providers Prescribe Opioids for RLS?" The course will hopefully clear up any misconceptions about the use of low total daily dose opioids used to treat severe RLS and provide healthcare providers with more knowledge about this important treatment option when all else fails. Dr. Winkelman shared preliminary data on his RLS Foundation funded Opioid Registry and encouraged physicians in attendance who have RLS patients treated with opioids to enroll as study participants in this longitudinal study that will assess long-term safety and efficacy of opioid medications.

During the conference two significant courses on RLS were available for meeting attendees. On Sunday, Dr. Richard Allen, Dr. Diego Garcia-Borreguero, Dr. Sergi Ferré and Dr. Christopher Earley presented on the Advances and Practical Guidance for Opioid, Iron Treatments and Augmentation Management in RLS. On Monday, Dr. Mark Buchfuhrer gave a presentation on the diagnosis, treatment and management of all forms of RLS from mild to severe.

The RLS Foundation’s booth in the exhibit hall gave us the chance to speak directly with sleep professionals to highlight the many resources that we offer to their patients and keep them educated on the latest developments in treating RLS. We were very encouraged by the reaction to our newest on-demand RLS Physician Education Webinar Series. Many had heard about the series, but were unable to attend the live broadcast; offering the free series as a download to watch at their convenience is a game-changer.

The Foundation’s Quality Care Center certification brought SLEEP attendees to the booth to learn more about the qualifications required to become an RLS certified Quality Care Center. The Foundation’s Board of Directors along with the Scientific and Medical Advisory Board are committed to building a network of Quality Care Centers to provide expert care and specialized disease management for the RLS patient.

“Our presence at SLEEP every year is a great opportunity to spread awareness about the extensive collection of scientific-based RLS resources available to physicians, nurse practitioners and other healthcare providers as they treat more complicated RLS cases” says Karla Dzienkowski, RLS Foundation executive director. “Thanks to the many RLS experts on our RLS Scientific and Medical Advisory Board who serve as webinar presenters and help us develop our library of materials. With their help we are able to offer scientific based resources for providers, researchers and most importantly, RLS patients. SLEEP helps us distribute resources widely to those patients, caregivers and healthcare providers that need them.”

You Might Also Like


Flickr Images