Did you know that Mayo Clinic experts consult on complex tuberculosis cases with medical and public health professionals in an 11-state region every day? They help ensure tuberculosis cases are treated and managed properly to keep the disease from spreading.
In 2013, Mayo was designated a Regional Tuberculosis Training and Medical Consultation Center by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention — one of five regional centers in the U.S. Since then, the Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis has completed more than 1,000 consultations.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention provided Mayo Clinic a grant to use its expertise in practice and education to diagnose, treat and prevent tuberculosis. Mayo Clinic provides tuberculosis consultations in Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota, Wisconsin and Wyoming.
“We implement the Mayo Model of Care — integrated multispecialty care — and involve whichever of our experts are needed to provide the local physician or public health representative with the expertise necessary to treat the patient,” says Zelalem Temesgen, M.D., Infectious Diseases, who is executive director of the Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis. “We involve our specialists in infectious diseases, pediatric infectious diseases, pharmacy, clinical microbiology, public health nursing, pulmonary and critical care medicine, internal medicine, ophthalmology and radiology.”
Typical regional tuberculosis consultations might include:
- An outbreak of drug-resistant tuberculosis occurs in South Dakota, and the state’s public health staff calls Mayo Clinic.
- A physician in Illinois wants advice on treating a patient who has tuberculosis, along with hepatitis C.
- A tuberculosis patient in Michigan is having difficulty completing treatment due to the side effects of the medication, and his physician calls Mayo Clinic for advice about an alternate treatment plan.
- A provider in Montana has never seen a case of tuberculosis in medical training or practice, and calls Mayo Clinic for help diagnosing it.
- Initial response within 24 hours
- Multidisciplinary specialists collaborating on the case, as needed
- An on-call consultant who delivers a written response via secure email
A key component of Mayo’s Regional Tuberculosis Center role is providing the region’s tuberculosis professionals with training and educational tools. Mayo develops and offers conferences, workshops, lectures, webinars, point-of-care apps and other tools for health care practitioners.
Some of Mayo’s tuberculosis educational tools are shared nationally, including apps for treating patients with both tuberculosis and HIV, and treating drug-resistant tuberculosis. Mayo’s team also created an online tuberculosis resource, Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis Knowledge Base — a Web-based platform with curated tuberculosis information for health care practitioners.
Lilli Weivoda, Administration, who is the administrator of the Mayo Clinic Center for Tuberculosis, says the remoteness of provider locations in the region and lack of resources in less populated states is a challenge. “If a public health nurse is the only one in her area, she can’t leave for five days to attend a class to learn more about tuberculosis. We focus on providing effective education that meets the needs of all states in our region, including distance-learning options.”
Stacy Rizza, M.D., Infectious Diseases, who is associate executive director of the Mayo Clinic Tuberculosis Center, says tuberculosis has dropped off the radar of most providers due to a decrease in cases in recent decades. “But, more than 10,000 new cases were reported in the U.S. in 2011 and, globally, tuberculosis is the second-leading cause of death from infectious disease. We need to be aware of tuberculosis and treat and diagnose it quickly so we can rid our country of this disease.”
Watch Dr. Rizza explain tuberculosis: