National PERT Consortium Newsletter
We are very excited to be distributing the first Consortium Newsletter through our new National PERT Consortium Website. The website will provide the primary platform for communication among sites and for committees to do their work. So, make sure to highlight the website URL as one of your “bookmark favorites.”
This newsletter, which we anticipate to be a quarterly publication, will serve to inform and update all members regarding the activities of the Consortium. We will also try to include the latest information on PE related news and activities. We are constantly evolving, so as always, we welcome your feedback, encourage suggestions, and would love to include your contributions in future newsletters.
We hope you are all having success in launching and operating your multi-disciplinary PERTs. MGH PERT, as one example, has certainly experienced a significant increase in call volume and activity. This is clearly a result of increased “PERT awareness.” Other consortium sites are reporting the same, which underscores the importance of our cause and the need for more coordinated care for PE.
Since the launch meeting of the National Consortium in May 2015, the fervor has continued throughout the year and members have been working diligently within the five committees of the Consortium: Governance, Education, Clinical Practice and Protocol Development, Research and Communications. We are now only four months from the next Consortium meeting, so it seems fitting that we give everyone an update on the amazing work that has transpired over the past several months…the National PERT Consortium has been very active and made tremendous progress, to say the least!
Below are brief reports and updates reflecting the exceptional work of our Consortium committees. If you are interested in joining a committee, it’s not too late! The National PERT Consortium is a multi-disciplinary, multi-institutional effort that is built upon collaboration and the hard work of its members. Your involvement in a committee is just one way to help shape the future of PE care.
Please email Michelle Lanno with your name and contact information if you would like to join an existing committee, or if you have a contribution or comment.
From the MGH PERT Team, thank you for your interest engagement, participation, and support!
The 2nd Annual National PERT Consortium Meeting
We are pleased to announce the 2nd Annual National Pert Consortium meeting. The Consortium meeting will be on June 27, 2016. All Consortium members are encouraged to attend and participate fully. The event will again be “facilitated” by a professional facilitator (this worked very well last year). There is no charge for National PERT Consortium members to attend. There will be an informal gathering on Sunday evening for those who arrive early. In addition, there will be an organized social event on Monday evening following the formal meeting of the Consortium.
On Tuesday and Wednesday, June 28-29th, the days following the Consortium meeting, the MGH PERT will sponsor the 2nd Annual MGH CME Symposium on Pulmonary Embolism.
Formal members of the National Consortium will be allowed to attend the CME meeting free of charge (look for a special consortium code to fill in when signing up for the CME meeting). Non-members will pay the full tuition of $495 (or early bird fee of $395).
Both meetings (Consortium meeting and CME meeting) will be held at The Royal Sonesta Hotel in Boston. Address: 40 Edwin H. Land Boulevard Cambridge, MA 02142.
For more information on these events, please visit: www.pertconsortium.org
Updates from the Standing Committees of the National PERT Consortium
The PERT Consortium Research Committee (the “PERT-C-RC”, or just “the RC” among friends) is off to a productive start. As many will recall, during the consortium launch meeting in May, the RC decided to form several sub-committees. In June, members of the RC volunteered for several of these sub-committees, including: the Registry Data Sub-Committee, the Policies and Procedures Sub-Committee and the Research Agenda Sub-Committee. In addition, members also suggested forming additional sub-committees to focus on funding and clinical trials. Since July, the PERT-C-RC has had regular conference calls on the first Thursday of every month. In these meetings we have devised a set of policies and procedures to guide our collaboration. We also began setting up the infrastructure so we can pilot data collection for the Consortium Registry. As of this writing, 12 centers will be participating in the pilot and will help us revise the data collection instrument so that it may better suit our needs. In another exciting initiative, several of our members have designed a survey that will help us better understand what PERTs are like around the country. It is clear that there’s still a lot to be done, so the RC is very happy to welcome additional members. If you are not already receiving committee emails, please contact Chris Kabrhel and Michelle Lanno.
The Communications Committee has been working on advancing a robust PERT website to allow better communication with the PERT community as well as a tool for advancing the agenda and mission of the National PERT Consortium. Many thanks to Ido Weinberg, MD for his tireless efforts to launch this website. The website is being released in a staged fashion. The first stage will include a portal that will offer information for visitors, the ability to download materials and information about PERT Consortium conferences and activities, and this newsletter. The next stage will incorporate a personalized login feature to enable the conduct of PERT activities in a secure environment. For example, each committee will each have a secure site within the portal, which will facilitate discourse and conduct of business of that specific committee. In addition, we envision a portal directed towards patients and one specific for corporate sponsors and/or industry. Once the website is functional and has a web-master with infrastructure in place to support its ongoing function and evolution, the Communications Committee will focus on regular communications with Consortium members, PE patients, the lay public (e.g. public awareness), supporters, and other interested parties.
The Education Committee is off to an industrious start. During the consortium launch meeting last May, the education committee formed 3 sub-committees: educational materials and programs, scientific meetings and presentations, and fund raising. The educational materials sub-committee is currently developing several programs including building an educational library which houses slides, images, and scholarly papers, initiating regular video conferences with interested centers to present cases and discuss management, and developing talks geared towards educating in-hospital and out of hospital groups about PE. The Education Committee is also in the process of planning its first educational webinar. Information on how to participate will be forthcoming. If you have an interesting case that you would like reviewed during the webinar please send a short synopsis to Rachel Rosovsky or David Slosky.
The scientific meeting sub-committee created a list of 2016 National/Regional meetings and strategies to become a presence at these meetings to discuss PERT. Everyone should have received this list last December as well as a survey to help contribute to the list. Please let Michelle Lanno know if you have not. Lastly, the fundraising sub-committee is looking into educational grants to help develop our proposed programs.
The PERT-Educational committee has been communicating via emails and monthly conference calls, where we discuss each program and create a timeline for their implementation. Our next conference call is Tuesday, March 15, at 12:00PM, EDT. We are still soliciting additional volunteers. If you are not already receiving education committee emails and would like to be on the committee, please contact Michelle Lanno.
The Clinical Practice and Protocols Committee:
One of the most important goals of the PERT Clinical Practice and Protocols Development Committee is to standardize algorithms for PE clinical care. The committee is developing guidelines for all stages of PE care, including early diagnostics, management and treatment, and post-PE follow up. We are currently in the phase of collecting existing institutional guidelines and algorithms for review. So far the Committee has received algorithms from 9 different institutions! A big thank you to Emory University, Lancaster General Hospital, University of Texas at Houston, Lawrence General Hospital, Baptist Health Louisville, Vanderbilt University, Ohio Health, University of Pittsburgh, and Mass General Hospital. If you would like to submit your guidelines or algorithms for review please contact Richard Channick. The Clinical Committees is also working towards the creation of an online library of algorithms and PE guideline that will be made available to Consortium members via the www.pertconsortium.org. Our ultimate goal will be to review these algorithms and then draft PERT Consortium recommended algorithms. In our online library, we will also include references to high-impact clinical trials and a collection of clinical cases/patient vignettes.
In addition, as part of our attempt to standardize PERT care, we will develop protocols for the PERT process itself, including the ideal multidisciplinary PERT activation meeting, ideal time from consultation to treatment recommendation, and provide examples of PERT “in action” from our consortium members.
The Governance Committee:
Critical to the success of the National PERT Consortium is the establishment of an organizational governance structure that reflects the core values of the Consortium, supports the goals and intent of its members (which to date number in excess of 300), and enables the Consortium to carry out its mission. Over the past 8 months, the Governance Committee has been meeting biweekly by teleconference to hammer out this governance structure. Fundamental themes have included the following:
- Defining a PERT and what the requirements are for membership in the National PERT Consortium as well as identifying different categories of membership (institutional, individual, honorary, etc.)
- Creating a tax-free entity (501c3) to enable the Consortium to function and accomplish its mission and goals, and to be able to raise funds from philanthropic and corporate supporters
- Establishing bylaws for the Consortium that will be the basis for our governance and operations
- Developing a governance structure and decision-making processes that will enable smooth and efficient operations
Here is an update on the current status:
- The National PERT Consortium is effectively now established as a 501c3 organization (application has been filed, enabling the entity to operate, to function in a tax-free environment, to seek funding, etc.) in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
- The bylaws were finalized as part of the 501c3 filing; these bylaws are fairly high-level – like the U.S. Constitution, they will be enduring and enable the structure and operations of the Consortium to evolve.
- Definition of a PERT has been finalized
Definition of a Pulmonary Embolism Response Team
An institutionally based multidisciplinary team that:
- Has the ability to rapidly assess and provide treatment for patients with acute pulmonary embolism.
- Has a formal mechanism to exercise a full range of medical, surgical, and endovascular therapies.
- Can provide appropriate multidisciplinary follow-up of patients
- When feasible, collects, evaluates and shares data regarding the effectiveness of treatment rendered.
- Membership categories have been established
- Membership Categories for the National PERT Consortium
- Member Institution – consists of institutions that have a PERT (as described above) and are able provide either basic or comprehensive care for patients with acute pulmonary embolism.
- Basic – an institution that performs multidisciplinary evaluation and triage, offers IV and catheter-directed thrombolysis, and has ready access to more advance treatments via a collaborative agreement with regional tertiary or quaternary institutions.
- Comprehensive – an institution that performs multidisciplinary evaluation and triage, and has a full range of therapeutic options available in house, including – at a minimum – intravenous and catheter directed thrombolysis, percutaneous clot extraction, and open surgical pulmonary embolectomy.
- Associate Member
- Individuals who are part of the PERT from each “Member Institution”
- Honorary Membership
- Eligible candidate is a person who has contributed in a significant way to the PERT Consortium or its mission
- Elected by a vote of a majority of the Directors
- Each “Member Institution” of the National PERT Consortium is allotted one vote in matters facing the Consortium. The PERT from each institution will designate one voting Associate Member, or submit one vote on consortium matters by consensus of the Associate Members from that institution, and put forth that vote on behalf of the Institution’s PERT.
- A flow map depicting the current governance structure and committees is available on the PERT website. This is a work in progress.
- Development and Finance Committees have been added to the structure, as has a Nominating Committee.
- The Governance Committee has proposed a formal dues structure for membership in the National PERT Consortium:
- Regular yearly Institutional Membership dues – $5,000
- Founding Institutional Membership status – $5,000 (additional one-time payment for institutions who wish to be considered “Founding Members,” to be listed as such on the website and in appropriate literature and communiqués)
- The Governance Committee has proposed a formal dues structure for membership in the National PERT Consortium:
Next Steps: The Governance Committee is currently developing the Internal Operating Procedures (IOP) document, or a “Manual of Operations,” that will define procedures and principles for elections, how the Consortium will conduct daily operations, etc. The IOP document will be based on the principles outlined in the bylaws of the National PERT Consortium, which are available on this website.
The Governance Committee is always receptive to feedback on these and any other items, and also would welcome new members who wish to participate. Please contact Michelle Lanno if you wish to provide feedback or join the Committee.
Other important issues pertaining to the National PERT Consortium:
Budget and finances
- A preliminary budget for the National PERT Consortium is under development. Please let us know if you are interested specifically in working on the Finance Committee.
- Dues – as noted above, membership dues will be required to participate in the National PERT Consortium. These dues (one fee per institution per year) will allow for attendance of any and all institutional associate members (participants in that institution’s PERT) to the 2nd Annual Consortium meeting. More information on payment of dues is forthcoming. We recognize that there may be some administrative hurdles to initiate these payments, and that payment for 2016 may not be possible for some sites prior to the Annual meeting. Accordingly, we will not require payment in advance of the June meeting, but institutional payment will be expected by the fall of 2016 from all attendees who wish to continue as members.
Office Location and Logistics
- As a free standing 501c3 Corporation, the National PERT Consortium must conduct its business “at arm’s length” from other institutions, such as the hospitals with which we are all affiliated. Accordingly, the budget will include leasing of space and hiring of personnel to conduct the affairs of the Consortium.