Care Package: Christine M. Burt Solorzano, MD, Discusses the Endocrine Society’s Newly Expanded Patient Engagement

Burt SolorzanoC

Endocrine News talks with Christine M. Burt Solorzano, MD, chair of the committee that helped launch the Endocrine Society’s reinvigorated patient outreach program, EndoCares. With an in-person event taking place in Atlanta during ENDO 2022, EndoCares is set to become an important bridge between the Endocrine Society’s members and the patients they treat.  

The Endocrine Society is expanding its in-person health education events to help more patients in underserved communities as well as concentrating its public health education efforts moving forward on diversity, equity, and inclusion.

As part of the revamped program, the Society has moved patient outreach under the Endocrine Society brand with a new web presence to emphasize that the organization develops these trusted materials. Since 1998, the Endocrine Society has offered patient and consumer health education materials through its patient education arm, the Hormone Health Network (HHN).

The new online content hub includes a redesigned version of the Menopause Map™, a free, interactive tool to help women learn about menopause and start important conversations with their healthcare providers and peers.

The Society’s enhanced patient engagement program also includes four in-person EndoCares® health education events for underserved communities. The flagship event will take place in Atlanta in conjunction with ENDO 2022, the Society’s annual meeting. The other events will be held in San Francisco, Baltimore, and Seattle.

“We are thrilled to be expanding our successful EndoCares® program to reach even more people with endocrine conditions and their caregivers,” says Christine M. Burt Solorzano, MD, associate professor of pediatrics in the Division of Endocrinology at the University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va., and chair of the Society’s Patient Engagement Committee. “With twice as many events each year, we’ll be able to deliver valued health advice and screenings to new audiences in underserved communities.”

Solorzano shares her thoughts with Endocrine News about the goals of the patient outreach program, the importance of connecting with patients from underserved communities, and the benefits of the Menopause Map™.

Endocrine News: What was the main reason for launching the Society’s revamped patient outreach program – what drove the decision and why now?

Christine Solorzano: We wanted to reach more patients in underserved communities and focus our public health education programming and resources moving forward on diversity, equity, and inclusion. We also wanted to expand our EndoCares® program and are really excited to offer twice as many events this year to provide more patients and their families with access to free screenings, medical advice, and education resources. Access to quality care can be a major roadblock for many patients, and it is a priority for the Society to address health disparities and make healthcare more accessible.

“We are an organization of 18,000 of the top endocrinologists and scientists in the world, and there is no one more qualified than us to provide education to our patients. Our goal is to translate complex hormone health information into digestible education for our patients.”

Christine M. Burt Solorzano, MD, associate professor, pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va.; chair, Endocrine Society Patient Engagement Committee

We also thought it was important to bring patient education under the Endocrine Society brand to show that we are the experts who are providing these resources. Patients can find information about the Society, our education materials, and EndoCares® all in one place on our website.

EN: What are your hopes for the impact of the program on patients with endocrine disorders?

CS: I hope the program will ultimately reduce the prevalence of diabetes, obesity, and other endocrine conditions, especially in underserved communities. We know that not everyone has an equal opportunity to receive quality care, and we want to help close this gap for our patients with our EndoCares® program and other resources designed specifically to benefit minorities and underserved communities.

I also hope our easy-to-navigate content hub and multi-lingual educational materials will allow more patients and caregivers of different backgrounds and ethnicities to have access to the information they need to understand their endocrine disorders and better manage their health.

EN: How important is it for an organization like the Endocrine Society to connect with patients?

CS: It’s extremely important for the Society to share its expertise and resources with patients. We are a trusted source of information and have several resources to make managing endocrine disorders easier. We provide the most up-to-date hormone health information and free tools to improve our patients’ quality of life.

“It’s extremely important for the Society to share its expertise and resources with patients. We are a trusted source of information and have several resources to make managing endocrine disorders easier. We provide the most up-to-date hormone health information and free tools to improve our patients’ quality of life.”

Christine M. Burt Solorzano, MD, associate professor, pediatrics, Division of Endocrinology, University of Virginia School of Medicine, Charlottesville, Va.; chair, Endocrine Society Patient Engagement Committee

We are an organization of 18,000 of the top endocrinologists and scientists in the world, and there is no one more qualified than us to provide education to our patients. Our goal is to translate complex hormone health information into digestible education for our patients. The patient guides, fact sheets, and other education tools the Society creates are all great resources that are available for us to share with our patients.

EN: How have you seen patients benefit from free tools and resources like our menopause map? How will the interactive tool help patients who are going through menopause?

CS: Having free educational tools and resources on the Endocrine Society website means I can direct my patients to a trustworthy source of more information for them to review at their own pace at home. This way, my patients are less stressed during our visits and don’t have to worry about forgetting some of the information we discuss. Because of COVID-19, not every caregiver or family member can be in a clinic visit with their loved one, so it’s helpful for them to have a place where they can also find information and confirm what they are hearing about endocrine diagnoses and treatment options.

The Menopause Map™ is a wonderful tool for women to find information tailored to their symptoms and stage of life. Menopause can seem mysterious, and women may feel reluctant to discuss it with their providers. The Menopause Map™ helps women figure out whether their symptoms are typical of natural menopause and when to seek medical advice. The Map provides helpful links to information about symptom alleviation strategies and medications. There are also downloadable Conversation Starter handouts for patients to take with them to appointments with tips on what to ask their healthcare providers.

Williams is the senior communications manager at the Endocrine Society. She wrote about the new offerings at ENDO 2022 in the April issue.

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