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Evidence- and Value-based Solutions for Health Care™
Clinical Improvement Consults, Content Development, Training & Seminars, Tools

The EBM Information Quest: Is it true? Is it useful? Is it usable?™

Delfini Co-founders: Michael E Stuart MD, President & Medical Director . Sheri Ann Strite, Managing Director & Principal

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EBM Leadership
Mike has received accolades from health care visionaries, Dr. David Eddy and Dr. Don Berwick, and from the US Department of Defense, the Health Ministry of New Zealand and more for work performed under his leadership prior to Delfini. Sheri demonstrated her leadership in EBM curriculum development and teaching while at the University of California, San Diego.
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Testimonials: Evidence of Effectiveness

State of Washington

...superb evidence reviews...

Link to Delfini Washington State Health Care Technology work.

State of Washington Health Care Authority

"Hello Sheri and Mike, thanks for shouting out to the Washington State Health Technology Clinical Committee. Along with the help of organizations like Delfini providing us with superb evidence reviews, we are showing a way that the US should follow, in my opinion. I appreciate your linking your contacts to our work. Best Wishes, Brian"

Brian R. Budenholzer, MD, FAAFP
Health Technology Clinical Committee Chair
Health Care Authority
State of Washington

A Key Testimonial That Keeps Us Motivated, Inspired & Moving Ahead

...huge difference in my professional life...now have the confidence...your workshops help re-ignite for many the real reason they got involved in pharmacy and medicine in the first place...we definitely can make a difference!...

"I have been meaning to thank you and Mike for all of the training and insight that you have given me. It really has made a huge difference in my professional life. For example, this summer I tackled an important safety debate. It took me many hours, but at the end of the day, I concluded that we, as a company, needed to make new recommendations. Without my Delfini training, I would have never had the confidence, nor been able to develop a convincing case. I know sometimes the jaded medical world may feel that evidence-based medicine and critical evaluations are nice academic exercises that rarely, if ever, influence member safety. We know that this is not the case. Keep carrying the banner of enlightenment in 2011! Your workshops help re-ignite for many the real reason they got involved in pharmacy and medicine in the first place. We definitely can make a difference..." Name Held in Confidence

David Holloway, MD
Senior Vice President & Chief Quality Officer
Parkview Health
Fort Wayne IN

...already using tools in real life...like the organized approach...helped us change...real success...improved patient care...help us use resources optimally...invaluable...

After one month for a Pharmacy & Therapeutics Committee consultation for one of our clients...
"The evaluation results look very good. Proof of impact: people are already starting to use the tools and material in real life. 1) Parkview Hospital and Parkview North have already changed the way 'addition to formulary requests' are presented at their local PNT. The docs like the organized approach. 2) The three Community Hospitals approved the System PNT at their quarterly joint med staff officers meeting last week. We take the matter before Parkview Hospital next week, but don't think there will be any problems there. Well done. Yes, you can use this. You earned it!"

Six months later...
"It has been six months since the Delfini Group customized an evidence-based training program to help us change our processes for drug reviews. We have already experienced real success which we expect to be sustainable and which will improve the care we provide to our patients and our ability to use our resources optimally. The concepts and skills learned in the training - along with the tools and process steps - were invaluable to us and have helped us transform our system. Highly recommended!"

One and a half years later...
Reference Provided by W. David Holloway, MD, Sr VP, Chief Quality Officer, Parkview Health
"Parkview Health has seven hospitals, five boards, four medical staffs and all of the inherent complexities of such a structure. Two years ago we consolidated our various hospital pharmacy operations into one system support function. One goal was to decrease variation within medication class; in other words, standardize the formulary across hospitals and medical staffs. An important milestone was creation of a System Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee with physicians from the four staffs. That said, we took this opportunity to structure the new committee's decision-making around evidence and not just physician preference and advocacy, as had been the approach at the 'local' P & T's.

Mike and Sheri led a group of physicians, nurse, pharmacists and administrators through a one-day EBM course, tailored specifically to a system-level pharmacy and the types of decisions we might encounter. By the end of the day we had: 1) created the structure and function of the new committee, 2) general agreement of how we would use EBM in decision-making, and 3) a good understanding of the resources/functions needed from pharmacy to support the new committee. In addition, we introduced this core group of clinical leaders to the concepts and methods of EBM. This 'deep awareness' has helped many times in other areas, such as better clinical pathway development. This EBM training was a big 'ah ha' needed toward critical mass.

The System P & T is running well. Formulary variation is decreasing. New products must be accompanied by proper 'critical appraisal'. The committee can still decide to look beyond the evidence (we haven't banished politics from the planet...yet). But we are definitely making better decisions and we see fewer physicians willing to approach without good RCTs. Also, our flagship hospital (about 550 beds) decommissioned their separate P & T committee, choosing to cast its fate with the System group. This is a nice endorsement by the tertiary center..."

And EBM products...
"Mike, I want to thank you for the outstanding evidence review and synthesis Delfini did for our medical group on ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers ARBs in heart failure. When I presented the synthesis to our cardiologists they enthusiastically complimented Delfini. They uniformly felt the synthesis was extremely thorough, well-organized and highly useful evidence-based information. Another example of Delfini’s superb work – I can’t thank you enough for helping us navigate a challenging area."

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Gary D. Ericson, MD
Medical Director of Warren Clinic
Sr VP Saint Francis Health System
Tulsa OK

...two outstanding presenters...made my job easier...amazing to see the change in only 2 days...superb teachers...

"I am the medical director of a large group in Tulsa, OK (The Warren Clinic), consisting of 160 physicians. This is the third time I have attended a presentation by Mike and Sheri on EBM...I believe that evidence based medicine has the potential to change the way medicine is practiced in the United States. By critically appraising the literature and understanding the limitations of a study and then performing NNT calculations has changed the way I approach my job. I am slowly changing the culture in the Warren Clinic by introducing these concepts to the practicing physicians. Having two outstanding presenters like Mike and Sheri has made my job easier. About 15 Warren Clinic physicians attended the last meeting and it was amazing to see the change in their approach to the literature after only 2 days. They are now more critical and have learned the key concept of NNT - the number needed to treat. I plan to have these converts help me in educating over the next year the rest of the clinic physicians...I can't praise Mike and Sheri enough. They are both superb teachers..."

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Nicole O'Kane, PharmD
InterHospital Physicians Association
Portland OR

...instrumental role in the enhancement of our processes...ideas to efficiently use available resources...improved our efficiency...

"I've been attending seminars with the Delfini Group since 2001. They have played an instrumental role in the enhancement of our P & T process. Their programs mix together an enthusiasm for evidence-based medicine with factual market-driven ideas to efficiently utilize the available resources. The Delfini programs motivated me to plan a health system retreat in 2002. The retreat was an opportunity for multiple P & T committee members (hospital, primary care clinics, health plan) and supporting staff to explore the importance of evidence-driven decisions in the P & T process. The program included Delfini presentations and working sections introducing tools to improve efficiency. Of course the retreat was just a beginning, a starting point to build upon. And build we have! Our P & T presentation format and discussions have become more efficient, and we have standardized decision algorithms that help during crossroad discussions for an individual therapy. The evidence will never have all the answers. But this process brings a framework of support that has improved efficiency and, I believe, a greater satisfaction for committee members with the difficult task of P & T therapy evaluations and literature review."
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Maribeth M. Bettarelli, PharmD
Clinical Associate, Clinical & Drug Information Resources Caremark Inc.
Northbrook IL

...invaluable guidelines and tools...used almost daily...wonderful assets...extremely useful...

"Hi, Mike and Sheri! I hope you're both doing well! If you don't remember me, I last saw you at the Clinical Practice Guidelines & Clinical Improvement Project Workshop...in Fort Lauderdale in May. Since then, I left Walgreens Health Initiatives and started in the new Drug Information Team at Caremark. I've been here since mid-August and have enjoyed it so far. My current position entails the review of off-label diagnoses for medications in our Prior Authorization program. (If you remember, I had asked about the evaluation of off-label diagnoses at the last workshop.) The guidelines and tools that you provided have been invaluable and are used on an almost daily basis as I review journal articles and consensus guidelines and write clinical consults. These references along with those found on the web site are wonderful assets and are extremely useful! I have shared this information with other members of my team as well as students whom I have precepted.

Thanks again for the wonderful program. It was so nice to hang out and get to know you better, too! Best regards, Maribeth"

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Chris McFarland, PharmD
Ambulatory Care Pharmacist
Departments of Internal Medicine &
Family Practice
Lovelace at Journal Center
Albuquerque NM

...will become immediately embedded in our strategies...will utilize the tools...more worthwhile 2 days than any week-long program I've attended...spectacular!...

Two years later...
...highly applicable...other courses and seminars covered much but left me with little...Delfini's was comprehensive and practical...superbly taught...rich with information...drove home key concepts...able to apply...tool easily incorporated into practice...my highest recommendation...Delfini offers something quite unique...

“The information gathered from this meeting will become immediately embedded in our clinical practice strategies. I will be able to utilize these tools in our evolving Journal Clubs (both clinicians and students/residents) as well as in my own presentations to the Medical Staff. To take this knowledge a step further even, I plan to discuss this meeting during our upcoming Preceptor’s Conference with our College of Pharmacy (and beg them to include such material in their curriculum!)

Thanks so much for a meeting that was more worthwhile in two days than any week-long meeting I have ever attended. The program was spectacular, free of commercial bias, and comprehensive, despite the short duration. I hope to be able to attend future programs you put on, as I think you are both a dynamic speaker and basically a fun person to be in the same room with!”

Two years later...
"I attended two courses 2 years in a row, and subsequently sent our residents last year. I found the seminar to be highly applicable across all stages of EBM understanding. Historically, I had participated in other courses and seminars that covered much but left me with little. If you can't walk away with something — some tool — in hand to use, then what would be the worth? The Delfini Group provided a comprehensive – and practical – approach to interpreting EBM, but most importantly, they provided a tool that I was able to easily incorporate into my practice. The two-day course provided a hands-on workshop environment that drove home key concepts of EBM. Participants were able to apply what they learned in several sessions, using the tools that we ultimately were given. The group even received software that assisted in using the principles that were taught. I found it to be quite practical, superbly taught and facilitated, and comprehensive in its applicability…I sincerely believe that the Delfini group offers something quite unique, and not only that, they practice what they preach and are always available afterwards…they get my highest recommendations…the sessions are rich with information..."
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Vernon Barksdale, MD, MPH
Associate Medical Director
CIGNA Behavioral Health, Arizona Operating Unit

...excited about what we learned and want to apply...now more tools and strategies...

"Sheri, once again we were excited on what we learned and want to apply — Cigna is advocate of evidenced-based medicine, and now I have more tools and strategies to access the evidence and shape practice of others."
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The Regence Group

...wonderful program...been to many of your programs and continue to learn, be inspired and stretch...already incorporating the information as well as your tools into our processes...

After Two Days Following A Delfini Training Retreat...
"Dr. Stuart and Sheri, I wanted to thank you both for the wonderful program you put together. I've heard all the same things echoed by the staff that were noted in the evaluations. For myself, I think I've been to more than six of your programs and I continue to be inspired and stretched each time. We are already incorporating the information you provided, as wells as your tools into our processes. We look forward to working with you again and further improving our processes with your knowledge and tools. Again, thanks for everything and have a great summer."
Helen Sherman, R.Ph., Pharm.D., Senior Director - Chief Pharmacy Officer, Pharmacy Services, The Regence Group, Portland, OR

"I have seen your program 3 times (make that 4 times) and I learn something new (ok, a lot new) every time. I really appreciate the way you constantly update your material to be relevant. I would sit through a day of your seminar once or twice a year." Program Attendee

"Dear Delfini (Mike/Sheri), Thank you for a wonderful two-day course on evidence-based medicine tools and applications. In an era of high tech, high cost medical technology and medications, Regence has made evidence-based medicine the core of its business model and guiding principle in making healthcare decisions.

Delfini has been both the inspiration and support in helping us build and evolve this foundation with their guidance, teachings, and EBM tools for ready application in critically appraising the literature. I want to complement Delfini on an outstanding presentation and the ability and flexibility to adapt and structure the presentation for a multi-disciplinary staff of healthcare professionals (medical directors, nurses, pharmacists, students), such that all benefit. I have attended several of your presentations and each time I attend there is always something new to learn or additional "pearls" of knowledge to add to my EBM tool kit. My staff has told me the same!

As always, we appreciate your time in working closely with us and customizing presentations to help meet the needs of our audience. Nobody does it better than Delfini!!!

Warmest regards, Lynn"

Lynn Nishida, R.Ph.
Director, Clinical Pharmacy Services

Testimonials: Key Programs

State of Washington Department of Social and Health Services (DSHS) chose Delfini to train their staff and clinicians who conduct medical necessity and other reviews. Other state employees involved with improving Washington State’s plan for improving health care, such as from the Health Care Authority, were also invited. Testimonial below:

"Mike and Sheri, I just wanted to thank you once again for the great job you did today, teaching our staff EBM assessment for validity and usefulness. You were inspiring to our staff. I just loved to see how attentive they were and to hear the great questions that were asked. They were getting your messages! Fantastic.

"People are raving about your training. I just heard how professional that it was, that HRSA and the other agencies were presented in style and the staff really appreciated that. I believe they recognized that we brought the very best to them, showing that we value EBM and their work in this area.

"Again, thanks so much. It was such a pleasure to work with you to make this day so special for our staff."
Siri

Siri Childs, Pharm D
Pharmacy Policy Office Chief
Department of Social & Health Services
Health & Recovery Services Administration
Division of Medical Benefits & Care Management
Medical Consulting & Pharmacy Policy Units
State of Washington

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McKesson/InterQual
"Two thumbs up for Delfini !! The recent EBM refresher and advanced EBM training they provided to over 40 McKesson content development clinicians received great reviews from our whole team. The refresher reinforced the expertise we have developed in applying the principles of critical appraisal to our clinical content development since we first started working with Delfini four years ago. Sheri and Mike’s ability to explain complex concepts in an easy to understand and conversational manner produced multiple “aha” moments for our team. Warm thoughts and wishes, Kate"
Kate Flanagan-Helmes, Director, Clinical Development, InterQual Products
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MD Anderson Cancer Center: Clinical Safety & Effectiveness Educational Program
"Accurate information is important in making decisions, especially for clinicians who want to give their best to patients. Delfini Group educates clinicians and provides tools for them to identify the strength of the available evidence. For over a year, the Delfini Group has been teaching at the University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center. Participants state how important this class is in caring for patients and conducting research. Delfini Group is able to explain the value and use of evidence-based medicine in everyday practice."

Margaret Holm, R.N., M.H.S.A., F.A.C.H.E.
Executive Director, Clinical Quality
M.D. Anderson Cancer Center

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HealthWise
"Sheri- it was a great day. You and Mike are so good. Thanks, Steve"

Steve Schneider MD, Chief Medical Officer

"I've heard nothing but good stuff about the day. You two are great. Never enjoyed statistics so much. I learned a lot so I'm sure everyone else did too. We will stay in touch and have more work for you in the coming months and years."

Martin Gabica MD, Medical Director

"Thank you Sheri! It was great to meet both of you and I thoroughly enjoyed the day. You are both engaging and intelligent presenters, and you are impressively knowledgeable and experienced in the complexities of EBM and critical appraisal."

Liisa Rogers
Research Library Manager

"Thanks to you both. That was just a terrific presentation, and all the talk of the word nerds (we writerly content types) throughout the day Friday."

Roya Camp
Director of Content Development

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Webinar on Evidence-based Medicine
"I just wanted to extend to both you and Sheri my thanks for an outstanding presentation during your two-day teleconference this past Thursday and Friday. Having attended a large number of alleged "EBM" and "QM" conferences during the past several decades, I can honestly and safely say that yours has thus far provided me with the most optimal mix of cogency, interest, practical applicability, and presenter expertise. Thanks again for a fantastic set of sessions last week!"

Sincerely yours, Attilio V. Granata MD, MBA, FACP,
Associate Clinical Professor of Medicine
Yale University

"Hi Sheri, I wanted to send you my e mail. I was just getting ready to review an article and thought of you! The meeting last week with Wellpoint was great. The program is especially good the second time around… I learned a lot more and clarified a number of issues that were hazy.

I really appreciate the focus on the importance judgment plays in the use of EBM. I have been in situations where some have tried to make the decisions based on NNT alone… it was uncomfortable and not in the best interest of anyone, not to mention not a good decision.

I am getting better and more confident in using the processes you have outlined. These skills have been a great accomplishment for me this year and have really helped improve my value to my clients. Thanks!"

Jane O'Neill
Clinical Pharmacy Manager
(Organization held in confidence: pharmacy management company)

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Understanding Medical Literature and Communicating Effectiveness to Physicians (4.8)
Omnicare Educational Program – Hartford CT
November 10, 2004

"Hi guys, I just wanted to thank you again for the Critical Evaluation of Literature program...The staff really liked the program. I have received numerous calls stating that it was the "best program we did all year", and "wish we had this years ago" to one consultant that wanted to know if it was going to be presented again in New England because he wanted to attend again! This kind of unsolicited praise is ground breaking up here. Anyway, I thought you might want to know that it was a great big hit in MA and we really appreciated it."

Cliff Kibbe
Director of Consulting
Omnicare Pharmacies of MA

Understanding Medical Literature and Communicating Effectiveness to Physicians (4.8)
Omnicare Educational Program – Hartford CT
November 9, 2004

"Sheri, it was a great program! I have heard numerous compliments on the program from the consultants since we had the program. Many consultants along with myself are eager to put our newly learned skills on critiquing a study to good use."

Paul R. Belcher, R.PH., FASCP
Director of Clinical Services
Omnicare Pharmacy of Connecticut

"This was an extremely helpful, educational program! It brought me back to the importance of practicing evidence-based medicine – a thing that I was taught in Pharmacy School many years ago! Thank you for this beautifully summarized approach to reviewing medical literature – I wish you could sell this to schools of pharmacy as a real-world, useful way to apply what the semester-long courses cover."

Omnicare Program Participant
Hartford, CT

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Tripler Army Medical Center
Understanding Medical Literature, Searching & Quality Sources and Help for P & T Committees
October 13 & 14, 2004
Honolulu, HI

Scores 5.0 out of 5.0, and including comments like this one:

"...First let me say once again just how thoroughly I enjoyed your recent presentation Understanding Medical Literature and Searching & Quality Sources, given here at Tripler Army Medical Center, over the last 2 days. I have been in practice for 36 years, have been involved with various journal clubs most of that time, am a member of our formulary review process and pride myself of attempting to sort our research on a continuing basis. Having said that I can't tell you just how to the point and appropriate your presentation is to my practice. I personally feel that anyone remotely connected to medicine and the scientific literature associated with it should experience your segment on understanding medical literature.

Immediately upon leaving today's session, I spoke with leadership for our residency program here in Family Practice Clinic. Our discussion centered around the importance of providers to be able to sort out the validity and significance of a great deal of research, and the application of that information to their individual practices. In short, he was very interested in pursuing the possibility of having you present to our clinic. A future Core Curriculum topic focuses on research, so the timing might be exquisite....I feel that our residents and staff would benefit immensely from your training & tools.

Again, sincere thanks for a very informative and eye opening session." Norm

"Name confidential"
TRIPLER Army Medical Center, HI 96859

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Omni Group & St. John's Medical Center
Evidence-based Medicine Essentials

Tulsa OK

A wonderful success! Overall faculty and program scores 5.0 out of 5.0.
"Best EBM stuff I’ve seen! I’ve got to find the time to put it all to use and to maintain my new EBM skill set."
"Thanks for a fine conference – I think it will results in healthier patients!"
"One of the best CME programs I’ve been to in a long time – I stayed awake even through the slides!"
"I learned a lot! Thanks!"
"See you in the spring for the advanced course!"

"The course was simply stated 'fantastic' — a real eye-opener, and I appreciated the zest with which it was presented."
Donald F. Johnson, MD
OMNI Medical Group

"...I had been planning to send you a thank you for such a fantastic seminar. Your mastery of the Socratic method in engaging your audience was most effective in delivering what could otherwise have been the seminar equivalent of a sleeping pill. Your delightful demeanor made the whole experience that much more enjoyable. I now look forward to dissecting the medical literature.

I have a son who is pre-med at Wabash College in Indiana where they specialize in driving home the skills of critical thinking. I gave him a brief rundown of the seminar and he to was fascinated. I look forward to sharing this information with him in depth even before he reaches medical school. How empowering this information could be before the onslaught of med school.

A sincere thank you to you."
Curt Coggins
OMNI Sand Springs

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From our American Academy of Performance Measures Program — September 10-12, 2004
Performance Measures: A Practical Approach to Improving the Quality of Clinical Care

From the Director:
“I wanted to let you both know how much I appreciated your willingness to adapt the program to our specific needs. When you do something new, you always wonder how it will be received by the attendees. This program exceeded our high expectations! The family physicians who attended were interested and engaged throughout the two and one-half day program and I am sure the tools you shared will find good use in the near future for many of them. Thank you for devoting your energy and your professionalism to our project."

Bruce Bagley, M.D.
Medical Director for Quality Improvement
American Academy of Family Physicians

From attendees:
"Thanks. Steep learning curve, but well-conducted and valuable. You're a great speaker, and I've been around the block many times."

Frank Dornfest, M.B.,Ch.B, M.F.G.P. (S.A.), FAAFP
Associate Professor, Oregon Health and Sciences University
Medical Director and Associate Residency Director OHSU Gabriel Park Family Health Center
Oregon Health & Science University

"The program that Mike & Sheri put on was INCREDIBLY WELL DONE and the crowd they invited to this 'AAFP Performance Measures' conference was of such high caliber intellect and rich experience...it was hard not to be enticed into some good brain waves and excitement about what the Academy is after and what quality improvement efforts are possible. I hope to translate some of this content into a practical and enticing November Practice Management conference for the residents (now how's that for a challenge!"

Caroline Day MD
Division of Family Medicine
Director, Quality & Staff Physician, UCSD

"Sheri and Mike, thanks once again for all your hard work and wonderful illumination this past weekend. I am confident that your course will be of great benefit in my career endeavors - as a matter of fact, I am one of the ones nominated to work on the AMA's new consortium. Because of this, I wanted to be sure that I could have access to all of your tools and resources on the web site. Please remember to send me/us the password for entry."

Rick Leary, MD
Assistant Director of the St. Mary of Nazareth Family Practice Residency Program
President-elect of the IL Academy of Family Physicians

"Just wanted to send you both my personal thanks for some of the best education I've received in my 25 years in medicine!"

Alison Lauber, MD
Associate Program Director
Columbus Regional Health System
Family Practice Residency Program

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World Research Group — August 20, 2004 — 5.0 of 5.0 Possible Score

Conference: Evidence-based Medicine for Health Plans: Capitalizing on Evidence to Ensure Medically Appropriate, Cost-Effective Care
Workshop Leaders: How to Systematically Apply Best Evidence to Clinical Quality Improvement Efforts

"One of the best seminars I've attended."
"Exceptional, clear, organized and usable. Simplified complex information."
"This was by far the very best and useful presentation of the conference..."
"Knowledgeable presenters, comfortable..."
"Both presenters were great and able to show how information could be used on a day-to-day basis. Sheri is really dynamic."
"Great workshop — a lot of info condensed into short time frame..."

Testimonials: More Testimonials About Delfini

Harold Wittcoff, MD
Chief, Quality & Risk Management
KP Atlanta, Georgia

...wasn't boring...was excellent and of use...I learned a great deal that will help me in my job...

“Hi Mike…I thought the subject was going to be boring and not much use…I was very wrong. The conference was excellent and I learned a great deal of new information that will help me in assessing the literature in my job…I cannot thank you and Sheri enough.”

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Megan McIntyre, PharmD
Pharmacy Resident
Virginia Mason
Seattle WA

...best presentation of EBM ever experienced...I feel more confident in my abilities...your passion and commitment is evident and contagious...

"What an honor it was to attend your evening meeting on Evidence Based Medicine! It was the best discussion/presentation of EBM, I have experienced. I feel more confident in my ability to procure and apply my clinical knowledge to improve patient outcomes and overall healthcare system quality. In the future, I would love to be more involved with Delfini and also hope to attend a seminar or more intense workshop. Your passion and commitment to EBM is very evident and contagious. Thanks again, Megan McIntyre"

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David Holloway, MD
Senior Vice President & Chief Quality Officer
Parkview Health
Fort Wayne IN

...outstanding evidence review and synthesis...extremely thorough, well-organized...highly useful...superb

"Mike, I want to thank you for the outstanding evidence review and synthesis Delfini did for our medical group on ACE inhibitors and angiotensin II receptor blockers ARBs) in heart failure. When I presented the synthesis to our cardiologists they enthusiastically complimented Delfini. They uniformly felt the synthesis was extremely thorough, well-organized and highly useful evidence-based information. Another example of Delfini’s superb work – I can’t thank you enough for helping us navigate a challenging area."

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Kirsten Searfus, MD
Pre-doctorate Program Director
UCSD Family Medicine
San Diego CA

...boundless enthusiasm for teaching and passion for evidence-based approach is unparalleled...

"Sheri, I very much appreciate...the incredible job you have done with the curriculum for 426....Your boundless enthusiasm for teaching and your passion for evidence-based approach to care is unparalleled and will certainly lead to continued success."

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Keeran Bahinipaty
4th Year Medical Student, UCSD
San Diego CA

...critical for our patients...the CORRECT WAY to practice medicine!...very useful...

"I have learned the importance of evidence based medicine....Critical for our patients. THE CORRECT WAY TO PRACTICE MEDICINE!

I spent some time on your Delfini website and found the resources very useful; including your assessment tools and other web links. I will definitely use it in the future. Thanks Sheri."

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Cristina F. Gutierrez
Banner Health

...tools are excellent...great resource...think I can start tackling my project...wish I knew about Delfini sooner...

"Thanks Sheri! You've been a great resource. The tools on your website are excellent . I think that I can start tackling my project after learning the ways in critiquing the studies. I wish I knew about your company sooner. Again, thanks for all your help."

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Joseph Gruber, RPH, CGP, FASCP
Regional Director of Clinical Services
Omnicare, Inc.
St. Louis MO

...awesome program...really helped...wished we had more...

"Sheri, thanks you to and Michael for a great program....I had many of my folks go out of their way to tell me this was an awesome program, stuff they have not thought about before, or didn't learn, and really helped them as we make our clinical decisions. Thanks for the tailored program, we did have folks say they wish we had two whole days, one to do business and one whole day on literature and MD communication. THANKS again. Joseph"

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Peter J. Keim, MD
Vice President & Chief Medical Officer
Gateway Health Plan
Pittsburgh PA

...outstanding...invaluable...value in many "take home" actionables...great!...

"Sheri, I want to compliment you and Mike on the outstanding presentation at the program in Fort Lauderdale last weekend. I found it invaluable. I always measure the value of programs by the number of 'take home' actionables. It was great! Thanks much, Pete Keim"

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George Alexis M.S.,R.Ph.
Clinical Pharmacy Manager
Veterans Affairs
Boston Healthcare System

...excellent...very useful program...quality content...expert speakers...custom tailored to meet our needs...

"Dear Sheri and Mike, I want to thank you personally and on behalf of all the participants for an excellent and very useful program. The following day we had a scheduled meeting and I received many personal thanks for not only setting up the program but also the quality of the content and expertise of the speakers. As I explained to them the thanks goes to Mike and you who were willing to take the time to work closely with me to custom tailor the program to meet our needs."

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The Complete Evaluation Comments from the Regence Group — Skamania 2004 Retreat

  • Wonderful job!
  • I had a good time. It was intellectually stimulating.
  • I have seen your program 3 times (make that 4 times) and I learn something new (ok, a lot new) every time. I really appreciate the way you constantly update your material to be relevant. I would sit through a day of your seminar once or twice a year. Outstanding enthusiasm and passion for what you do – much appreciated.
  • Thank you very much for the presentation.
  • Very informative and enjoyable.
  • Excellent presentation. It was great to have such enthusiastic speakers. I really learned a lot…(and also learned that I need to learn a lot more). I learn a lot by example so appreciate the opportunities to work through some case presentations. It helps solidify the point being presented. Thank you.
  • Exceptional job – well executed.
  • I thought the information was very helpful.
  • Great job!
  • Thanks!

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Shanna Patterson
4th Year Medical Student
University of California, San Diego

...really gratified...know I will read papers this way in the future...great outlines and tools!...

"What was my key learning? Really, I was shocked at how bad reviews can be, especially since I see them used like little "Bibles" in the hospital all the time! Also, obviously, I felt really gratified at being able to critically evaluate a couple reviews and I know I will continue to read papers this way in the future. (Particularly now that I have these great outlines and tools!)"

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"Name confidential"
Moody AFB, Valdosta, GA

...delighted with your seminar...most physicians lack EBM knowledge...very pleased we are now part of a select few...critical to the practice of high quality, cost-effective medicine...

"I want to tell you how delighted I was by your seminar. As you noted, most physicians don't have even a rudimentary knowledge of evidence-based medicine. I am very pleased that the providers at Moody AFB are now part of the select few. This information is critical to the practice of high quality, cost-effective medicine."

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Joyce Gilbert, MPH
Evidence Consultant, Care Management Institute

...impressive....terrific conference...impressive tools...valuable, fun, memorable...made hard stuff easy to understand...

"Aloha, Sheri! I just wanted to drop a line and thank you for a terrific conference and for the work that you and Mike do. Your tools are impressive and I now have a binderful to add to my toolkit. Your website was so entertaining, that I almost didn't make it to the downloadable tools.

Thanks for presenting this valuable information in a fun and memorable way. You made hard stuff easier to understand.

One unanticipated learning for me as a research author was the need to know how to write a paper that can stand up to critical appraisal, in spite of design flaws. You helped me recognize that there's still value in writing the paper. Thanks for your guidance and encouragement. If you develop a course around presentation of research results that stand up to critical appraisal, please let me know! Mahalo, Joyce"

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Wayne M. Flicker, MD, PhD
Chair, Pharmacy and Therapeutics Committee
HealthCare Partners Medical Group
Los Angeles CA

...excellent...an accomplished speaker and first-rate teacher...complex concepts explained in comprehensible terms...hands-on...highly relevant to a clinician or pharmacist...

...should be required for all who study the health sciences...

"Sheri's 5-hour course on evidence-based medicine was excellent. Not only an accomplished speaker who kept her audience interested and attentive, she's a first-rate teacher, who knows how to explain complex concepts in comprehensible terms.

The course was "hands-on" and practical, highly relevant to a clinician or pharmacist. Sheri wasted no time in demonstrating to us how easily we can be misled by seemingly convincing, but incomplete or biased data. This material should be required for all who study the health sciences. I know it has helped sharpen my critical and analytical skills regarding the medical literature. I hope to learn more!"

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Shelly Tanner
4th Year Medical Student - UCSD
San Diego CA

...career-changing...life-changing...a pleasure...outstanding tools!...

"Sheri, thank you, again, so much for your time and assistance. It is enormously helpful — certainly likely career-changing and, for my patients-to-be, potentially life-changing. And it is a great pleasure to learn from you!...I feel so much more comfortable searching for and critically reading studies now...[and] using your outstanding study validity tool!"

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Sara Thompson MD
Residency Program
Group Health Cooperative, Seattle

...raved about you...interest...quality... you make EBM fun and alive!...

"Mike, everyone once again raved about you, and journal club that afternoon was definitely up a notch or two in interest and quality. You make the whole concept of Evidence Based Medicine fun and alive!"

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"Name confidential"
USAF Keesler AFB

...going to put the concepts to use starting this evening!...

"Thanks again for a great program! I look forward to accessing the tools you mentioned. Going to put the concepts to use starting this evening! Others should really enjoy your presentation! Best regards..."

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Mii Hawkins
UCSD Medical Student

...great learning experience...

"Thanks for the great learning experience and the tools to apply to treatment recommendations that we will come across during our career!"

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"Name confidential"
Clinical Pharmacist
Brooke Army Medical Center & Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center Program Participant

...stellar presentation!...great seminars such as yours make the learning that much easier...tools will be a tremendous asset...we don't run across great programs like yours very often...I can't imagine anyone who couldn't benefit...

"I was a participant at yesterday's seminar provided for pharmacy and medical staff from Brooke Army Medical Center and Wilford Hall USAF Medical Center. I want to take this opportunity to thank you and Dr. Stuart for the stellar presentation! It's amazing how much there is to learn about EBM, and great seminars such as yours make the learning that much easier.

As instructed at the seminar, I am requesting the tools that you and Dr. Stuart mentioned in your presentation. These will be a tremendous asset for our institution as we make EBM the focus of our formulary decision making process and hopefully the focus of healthcare for our beneficiaries.

...We don't run across great programs like yours very often, so I would be honored and pleased to provide support in any way possible. Please keep up the fantastic work....I can't imagine anyone in the healthcare arena who couldn't benefit from the information you and Dr. Stuart have to offer. Thank you again and Happy Holidays.

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Jennifer Johnson
Medical Writer
McKesson
Broomfield CO

....appreciate the training...treature greater perspective and giving consumers honest information...

"I can't tell you how much I appreciate the Delfini training and the perspective it's given me as a health writer. As I go through the process of updating topics I cringe at the claims I used to make based on lousy data. My language is much more precise and honest as to quality and type of evidence. I use simple tables to show risk. Thank you so much. You made my job harder but I treasure the greater perspective and mission of giving consumers honest information...."

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Myra Rae Page
CME Office
University of Oklahoma

...huge success...able to attract attendees all across US because of high quality speakers like you...

"Dear Mike and Sheri, just a short note to thank you for helping make the 7th Annual Primary Care 2004 Update Conference a huge success. We have been able to attract attendees from all across the United States because of high quality speakers like you. We want to let you know how much we appreciate and thank you for all the time and effort you invested in preparing and presenting at our conference. Once again thank you."

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Sharon B. Dybicz, Pharm.D., CGP
Director, Clinical Development & Geriatrics
Clinical Pharmacist Omnicare
Senior Health Outcomes
King of Prussia, Pennsylvania

...fantastic website...work inspiring!...

"Happy New Year, Sheri! The website is fantastic! Your work is inspiring!"

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Miles Bennett, 4th Year Medical Student
UCSD School of Medicine
San Diego CA

...important and well taught...

"Thank you so much. I enjoyed the class too. I'm glad to see that something so important is being well taught. Thanks again. I will definitely use the Delfini resources whenever I appraise scientific studies."

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Caroline Day, MD
Division of Family Medicine
Staff Physician, UCSD
Assistant Clinical Professor, WOS, UCSF

...succinct, most clear, excellent...amazingly practical and useful tools...

"Sheri, Thank you very much. Your presentation is most succinct and clear — one of the most clear I have experienced. It has excellent content and offers amazingly practical and useful tools. Kudos for your effort and excellence!"

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Maura McCaffrey, RPh, MBA
Manager of Pharmacy Services
Health New England

...fabulous...useful...appreciate your enthusiasm and commitment...

"Dear Sheri, thank you for the fabulous lecture on medical literature. I heard many accolades from my fellow employees. Especially our nurse care managers – they found the program to be very useful to their everyday work. Thank you for your enthusiasm and commitment to the validity and results of research! Sincerely, Maura"

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Wiley V. Chan, MD
Director, Guidelines & Evidence-based Medicine
Physician, Internal Medicine
Northwest Permanente
Portland OR

...wonderful conference...clear presentations, great examples...practical tools...

"Sheri & Mike, thanks again for your wonderful conference. Your clear presentations, great examples & practical tools make a sometimes difficult process seem so transparent. I know a couple hundred people...who have got to hear your message!"

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Alan Miller, RPh MS
Director of Clinical Services
Omnicare - Colorado

...far superior tools...

"Sheri, thanks for a very professional and useful inservice in Phoenix yesterday. Your checklist for evaluating medical literature is far superior to the abbreviated list I have used in the past."

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James R. Dickens, Pharm.D.
Consultant Pharmacist
American Pharmaceutical Services — An Omnicare Company

...probably the most valuable presentation I have attended as a pharmacist...

"Sheri, I was at the Omnicare meeting in Orlando last week and I thoroughly enjoyed your and Mike's program. It was probably the most valuable presentation that I have attended as a pharmacist. I have been looking through your website on and off during the last week and would be interested in obtaining the password you mentioned.

Also, I teach a course for the University of Florida College of Pharmacy campus here in Orlando and I think that my students would benefit from your checklist on how to do a study evaluation. Would it be possible for me to make copies of the checklist only available to them. I have already started referring them to your website.

Thanks again for a great presentation! Regards!"

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Bahram Khadivi
4th Year Medical Student, University of California, San Diego

...information was very practical...I saw plenty of ways to utilize the skills...including the Delfini website...

"Hi Sheri, thanks for the email and the helpful attachment. It was a pleasure having you as our workshop leader. The information presented was very practical and I saw plenty of ways that I could utilize those skills in the future, including those found on your website. Thank you! Best wishes for continued success with your website service. Most sincerely, Bahram"

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Ellen Espiau
Science Writer/Researcher
PacifiCare Health Systems
Cypress CA

...invaluable...deeply enjoyed...no-nonsense and voice of reason....

"Hi Sheri, I attended the "Reading the Medical Literature" seminar you held for PacifiCare employees last week...and I wanted to take this opportunity to sincerely thank you for your presentation! The information you provided is going to be invaluable to me and I deeply enjoyed your no-nonsense approach to the whole thing. Thanks for providing a voice of reason!

At the same time, I would like to ask you to send me the required password for some additional tools that can be downloaded from the Delfini website. I am very much looking forward to trying them out....feel free to use my email as a testimonial for your classes, I would love to help you and Mike spread the word...Thanks again and all the best wishes, Ellen"

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John Theodore, Pharm D.
Manager of Pharmacy Operations
Lowell General Hospital
Lowell MA

...your lecture was one of the high points...look forward to using the information in practice...

"Good Morning Sheri, I attended the lecture you gave at URI's Seminar By The Sea last week and would like to receive the information on the assessment validity of sytematic reviews that you spoke about. Your lecture was one of the high points of the seminar and I look forward to using the information in my practice. Thank you for helping clear up a confusing topic."

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John Donovan
Pharmacy Operations Manager
VA Boston Healthcare System

...great means to review data...will be able to direct my staff better...

"Sheri, good morning from Boston...Your and Mike's program certainly has added great means to review data. As the Operations Manager I will be able to direct my staff to better review and make decisions on articles. Thanks."

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Rosa Sanchez, Pharm D
Retrospective Drug Utilization Review Clinical Pharmacist
Walgreen's Health Initiatives
Deerfield IL

...great program...especially enjoyed information and decision aids...help us better communicate with patients...

"I just want to thank you again for the great program you presented last week in Ft. Lauderdale. The information presented will be very helpful, I especially enjoyed the portion on 'Information and Decision Aids.' The information provided will help us better communicate patient-related clinical information to maximize our retrospective drug utilization review interventions."

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Karline Roberts, MA, CPHQ
Director, Healthcare Quality Improvement
BlueShield of Northeastern New York
Latham NY

...loved your program...learned a lot...could keep learning with more...

"Hi, Sheri. I was at the Ft. Lauderdale conference.... I loved your program and learned a lot. I think I could attend it several times and keep learning something new each time. It was a lot to absorb in such a short time. I came away with wishing we had a researcher on staff. Now I know that we have not taken the time to properly research clinical guidelines. That will change! I just need 20 more hours in a day. Anyway, I'd like to thank you and Mike for a great couple of days."

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Jill D. Bowman
Evidence Based Methodologist
Care Management Institute
Oakland CA

...especially helpful tools...wonderful workshop...dynamic speakers...easy for people to grasp...

"Hi Sheri, I was hoping to get access to the tools you presented at the EBM meeting in Hawaii via your website. I think the Validity Tool could be especially helpful to my department in creating Clinical Practice Guidelines.

I also wanted to commend you on a wonderful workshop. You and Mike are dynamic speakers and you lay out the information so that it is easy for people to grasp. I'm glad I was able to participate."

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Cecilia Gutierrez, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor and
Associate Director, Family Medicine Residency Program, USCD
San Diego CA

...clear, dynamic, clinically relevant...outstanding...

“Dear Sheri…I wanted to tell you that your presentation was one of the best I heard…it was clear, dynamic, clinically relevant and with good examples….Often, I worry that epidemiologists and biostats people give very dry, convoluted presentations losing the audience with complex concepts and math analysis, which are boring to us, the clinicians….Once again, thank you so much for an outstanding presentation…I truly appreciate your support in the education of our residents.”

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"Name confidential"
Department of Defense Pharmacoeconomic Center (PEC)
Fort Sam Houston TX

...great information...very practical and methodical...terrific conference...

"I just wanted to thank you for the great information you provided at the Clinical Practice Guidelines meeting this past weekend in Fort Lauderdale. The information, although not entirely new to me, was presented in a very practical and methodical way which helps when you are trying to operationalize some of these concepts into your work. Thanks again for a terrific conference."

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Valerie Matsunaga, PharmD
Manager, Pharmaceutical Services — Prescribing and Ordering
Hawaii Region
Wailuku HI

...wonderful experience...the gains cannot even begin to be measured...positive and enlightening...

"Sheri, I wanted to personally thank you [and Mike] for the wonderful experience of learning and heightening awareness to our physicians, leaders and pharmacists and all those present this past weekend. The gains cannot even begin to be measured. Mahalo nui loa for a positive and enlightening time....Anyway, with that, have a great long weekend, and continue in your passion and quest to educate us all. Val"

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Mark Shalauta, MD
Assistant Clinical Professor of Family Medicine & Head, UCSD Evidence-based Journal Club
Department of Family and Preventative Medicine, UCSD
San Diego CA

...awesome!...

"It was an awesome lecture, Sheri! Thanks!"

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Tobie Bresloff, MD
Medical Director of CareMed Alliance
Saint Francis Health System
Tulsa OK

...pharmacist even changed her flight so she didn't have to miss any of the conference...appreciated the extra time you spent tailoring the program to the needs of the group...showed that cost effective care can also be the best care...

"Sheri, I just looked at the evaluations from the 'Using Medical Literature' conference we had here in October. They were great. The rankings were very high for both you and Mike. The comments said that it was very valuable, and for the most part, they wish they had more of it.

As you know, the pharmacist that was there, changed her flight out of the city to a meeting to a later flight so she did not have to miss any of the conference. Previously she thought it would not be a problem to miss the last afternoon. Then she found how helpful the information was. By the way, her husband is in charge of CE for the school of Pharmacy here, and he may be interested in a similar presentation for the students there.

The extra time you both spent tailoring the program to the needs and interests of the group that we had was well worth it. Even though some may have been review for a few, I saw them listening intently. I have now heard most of this 3 times, and I still get new information, and recharged enthusiasm from the meeting.

One added benefit was the emphasis on evidence to determine cost effective care, and the balance sheet example. Since I have been in charge of Medical Economics, some doctors accuse me of just being interested in saving money. Your presentation showed that cost effective care can also be the best care. The osteoporosis example, looking at more than just the drug costs, was great.

I am hoping that Saint John and Saint Francis will continue to work together to do more with you. Since we probably represent over 60% of the medical community (and with Springer Clinic, it would be 70%), the more we can get everyone critically appraising what they read and hear, the more medical care in this State will improve.

Thanks again. The Palm Beach conference was so good, that Tim Young and I were determined to bring the “road show” here, and we finally accomplished it. I hope there will be much more down the road."

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Meiko I. Winton, MPH
Evidence Consultant, Clinical Knowledge Management
Care Management Institute, KP Program Office
Oakland CA

...fantastic!...

"I think all the resources you provide - conferences, Website, humor, etc... are fantastic!!!"

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Kenneth T. Woo, Pharm.D.
Clinical Pharmacist, Geriatrics
California Pacific Medical Center
San Francisco CA

...before I was bogged down with all the information...now I can navigate...

"Before your program, I was bogged down in trying to sift through the abundance of material in the literature. After attending; however, I was able to establish the basic fundamental principles needed to help me navigate through and analyze journals. Thanks. Kenny"

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Jim Shahriar, M.S., R.Ph.
Clinical Pharmacist, Quality Programs
Blue Shield Pharmacy Services
San Francisco CA

...a pleasure...new insights...wonderful job...

"Dear Michael and Sheri, it was a pleasure to meet you and attend the EBM course on February 28 and March 1, 2003. Although I had studied the course material in my graduate courses, the EBM program was very helpful and gave me new insights in how to approach and evaluate literature effectively. In fact, your two-day course reviewed two of my gradutate courses. Thank you for such a wonderful job and please keep up the good work."

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Tanner Odom, PharmD
Care Management Pharmacist
Clinical Services Department
Walgreens Health Initiatives
Deerfield IL

...without a doubt the best meeting I've ever attended...extremely relevant...couldn't wait to get started the next morning...so useful...

“I wanted to thank you very much for the opportunity to attend the Clinical Practice GuidelinesWorkshop this past week. This meeting was without a doubt the best meeting I've ever attended. The information provided was extremely relevant and will prove to be very useful for the rest of my professional career. Never have I attended a meeting where I couldn't wait to get started the next morning following the completion of that days’ session. This information is so useful, that we are looking to do some sort of a miniature workshop to share this information with the entire Clinical Services group.”

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Linda Bolland, PharmD
Senior Consultant, Westside Health And Wellness Consultants
Los Angeles CA

...informative and highly enjoyable...

"Thank you, Sheri, for a very nice, informative presentation. You can preach to a roomful of coffin-laden corpses and they'll probably jump out and do a jig. I enjoyed your presentation-style and content, and hope to be your prodigy someday."

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Jenean Young, PharmD
Clinical Pharmacy Coordinator
St John Health System
Tulsa OK

...amazed how you've made this so simple and easy to understand...many pointers and shortcuts...using everyday...your energy and enthusiasm most appreciated!...

"Sheri, I want to send my thanks for what I gained in attending your seminar on EBM. I have attended a few seminars on the topic in the past because I felt this is an area that I need to understand better. I am a pharmacist working in a teaching institution and much of my time is spent working with medical residents. I was fortunate to have as an attending physician, one that was very interested in EBM and he offered our team, the opportunity to attend your seminar. I was amazed at how simple and easy to understand you and Mike have made this subject! I picked up so many pointers and short cuts, that I am now using everyday. Another pearl is your website - I have book marked it and I do hope to attend future seminars. Even though I feel more comfortable with EBM and literature review after attending your seminar, I feel I can now "fine tune" some of my skills by attending more of your seminars. Thanks again, your energy and enthusiasm is most appreciated! "

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Curt W. Quap, RPh, MS
Director of Clinical Affairs for Cardinal Health Pharmacy Management
Adjunct professor for the University of Houston College of Pharmacy
Houston TX

...very interesting and educational...valuable...

"I wanted to thank you, again, for your very interesting and educational presentation. Both of the students who I brought to your Houston session have told me that you verified much of what I've been hoping to teach them about careful evaluation of the available medical literature. A healthy dose of skepticism is a valuable lesson!"

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Judy Hughes, MSPH
KP Atlanta GA

...well organized...highly recommended...

“Overall, the critical appraisal meeting was well organized, and the content and smooth processes were reflective of the speakers’ and sponsor’s attention to all the details. I highly recommend future meetings with this level of collaboration between the speakers and the sponsors.

Speaking more on the content of the meeting…
As a researcher who’s not very familiar with the processes of using research to drive evidence based medicine, I was interested in attending this meeting to gain insight into framing the research findings and limitations in a way that’s useful to clinicians. I wanted to find out what clinicians are looking for when they are reviewing the literature. I believe many researchers do not think very much about the critical appraisal perspective when preparing articles for publication. If this were the case, there would be more details about the study population, sampling plan, etc. In my opinion, one view that’s too often taken is that if the study was of high enough quality to get published, then the limitations must be minor enough that the reader can skip directly to the results and take them for what they are. This meeting addresses the importance of looking for key features of a study in a standardized format before appreciating the results of a study.”

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Tim Young, MD
Medical Director
OMNI Medical Group
Tulsa OK

...practical tools...will allow us to effectively evaluate information...confident now more likely to improve patient outcomes...

“I'm writing to let you know how much I enjoyed the recent meeting, ‘Evidence-based Medicine and Clinical Practice Guidelines.’ Not only did we get a theoretical basis, but also several practical tools that will allow us to effectively evaluate both individual articles and guidelines. We're confident that these tools will help our docs provide care that is more evidence-based, and therefore more likely to improve patient outcomes. Once again, many thanks.”

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Lee R. Strandberg, PhD
Professor Pharmaceutical Socio Economics &
Adjunct Professor Public Health
Oregon State University
Corvallis OR

...outstanding!!!...

“Thanks again for inviting me to participate in the program. Your work is truly outstanding!!!”

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Allyson Looney Wojtaszek, PharmD
Drug Information Resident
CVS Clinical Services
Newport RI

...enjoyed the program...very useful tools...will help to teach the principles to others...

"Good morning Sheri. I enjoyed your CE on Monday and I'm writing to request the check list for evaluating medical literature that you mentioned. I'm a drug information resident and I usually have 3 or 4 PharmD students at my site (CVS/pharmacy Clinical Services at CVS headquarters) and evaluating literature is an important aspect of their rotation (and drug info in general). I think your tools would be very useful in helping us teach how to evaluate medical literature and think critically before applying results to actual practices. Thanks!"

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Anne L. Whitlock, RN, BSN
Guidelines Development Coordinator
KP Atlanta GA

...left with all the tools needed to utilize the learnings...easier to understand and simpler to do...invaluable...everyone present 100% of the time...a dynamic duo...a wealth of information...left feeling I could be successful...thanks for this superior conference...

"Thank you for inviting me to participate in the recent conference, Evidence-based Medicine & Clinical Practice Guidelines: How to Get and Use the Best Available Evidence for Clinical Improvement....I wanted to take this opportunity to share some comments with your regarding the experience.

First of all, the conference was very relevant to my position as Guidelines Development Coordinator for KP Georgia. It is difficult to find continuing education programs with regard to clinical practice guidelines. The conference not only dealt with issues from development to implementation, participants left with all the tools needed to go home and utilize the learnings.

As you know, I attended a course that Dr. Michael Stuart presented on Evidence-based Medicine a couple of years ago. I learned the importance of evaluating evidence in the medical literature, and “how” it was done. I found the process difficult to replicate on my own. The format of this workshop (small group, hands on experience with the tools) not only made the process easier to understand, it made it much simpler to do. The electronic templates provided of the various tools is invaluable! As KP Georgia continues to develop and update our evidence-based guidelines, I will be better prepared to evaluate the literature to ensure that we are basing our decisions on the best available evidence as a direct result of learnings and tools from this conference.

I want the practitioners and clinical pharmacists in my organization to share in the benefits I have gained. To that end, I am meeting with our professional development coordinator tomorrow to explore the possibilities of a similar presentation here. I am hopeful that arrangements might be made for you and Dr. Stuart to visit the Atlanta area at a future date. As guideline development and updates are a coordinated effort, I think it is important that we all evaluate the literature in a consistent manner.

I was impressed not only with the conference content, but also the caliber of the presenters, conference location, organization and arrangements. It was first class! I do not recall attending a meeting where everyone was present 100% of the time, both physically and mentally. The group of participants (variety of professional backgrounds/positions) brought together contributed positively to the overall experience. The small size of the meeting allowed for sharing of ideas and networking. You and Dr. Stuart are a dynamic duo. I appreciated that questions were asked and addressed throughout the program. You both presented a wealth of information in a relatively brief time. I was worried at first, but left feeling that I had learned the basics and with the tools provided (CD, course syllabus with extensive appendices) I could be successful (with practice) in developing these new skills.

Thank you again for including me in the invitations to this superior conference."

 

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