John Libonati

CSA Launches National Celiac Disease Physician Education Program (CSA-PEP)

by John Libonati on July 23rd, 2009


csa-logo The Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) made the initial presentation of its pilot physician education program to Robert Wergin, MD, at the Milford Family Center in Milford, Nebraska. Recently named ‘Family Physician of the Year,” Dr. Wergin is in general practice at the Milford Clinic.

With this presentation, CSA launched the first phase of the most ambitious celiac disease physician education program in United States history – the CSA Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Physician Education Program (CSA-PEP).

The CSA-PEP was created to increase diagnosis and improve treatment while increasing celiac disease awareness in the medical community and the public. It will provide 60,800 doctors and 10,000 medical students with information and resources that will aid them in identifying, diagnosing and treating people with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

The program is designed so individuals have the option, with a donation of $70 or more, to present the CSA-PEP package to their personal physicians so they can receive optimal care.

This program advances CSA efforts to promote the CSA mission statement: “Celiacs Helping Celiacs.”

Materials in the CSA-PEP package include both physician and patient information: National Institutes of Health (NIH) celiac disease materials; information on dermatitis herpetformis; a gluten-free diet guide by Dr. Jean Guest, CSA’s consultant dietitian; the CSA Gluten-Free Product Listing; the medical reference Recognizing Celiac Disease; a current issue of the CSA Lifeline membership newsletter; fact sheets, brochures, patient pamphlets and other CSA publications.

For more information about this opportunity or to get involved with fundraising and distribution, please contact the CSA at 1-877-CSA-4CSA, or visit CSA online at www.csaceliacs.org.

Celiac disease is the most common inherited autoimmune disease in the world. The National Institutes of Health estimates 1% of the United States population has celiac disease, making it more common than breast cancer, autism or type 1 diabetes. Of the 3 million people in the US who have celiac disease, less than 5% are diagnosed. Gluten sensitivity is estimated to affect many more people than celiac disease. Healthcare costs of untreated celiac disease are estimated to run $14.5 to $35 billion per year. The disorder is triggered by ingesting wheat, barley, rye or oats and results in inflammation, tissue damage, and malabsorption of nutrients leading to a host of varied symptoms. The treatment of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is removing wheat, barley, rye and oats from the diet.

With almost 100,000 contacts, over 9,000 members and 125 local support group chapters across the country, the Celiac Sprue Association (CSA) is the largest member-based 501(c)(3) non-profit organization dedicated to helping individuals with celiac disease and dermatitis herpetiformis worldwide through education, information and research.

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