Dana Villmore, Ph.D., PA-C, assistant clinical professor in the University of New England’s Master of Science Physician Assistant (M.S.P.A.) program, spent the latter half of 2021 offering her expertise at a number of professional venues.
In May, Villmore virtually gave a Category 1 continuing medical education (CME) presentation for the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) Annual Conference on “Fibromyalgia for PCPs: Not just for Rheumatology Anymore.” The presentation focused on the pathophysiology, signs and symptoms, diagnosis, and management of patients with fibromyalgia – a condition that causes widespread pain – commonly seen in primary care.
The talk was accepted again for the AAPA conference in Indianapolis in May of this year.
Villmore gave a similar presentation at the Maine Association of Physician Assistants (MEAPA) Annual Conference in Phippsburg, Maine, in October. Titled “Fibromyalgia for Primary Care Providers,” the talk was well received by Villmore’s peers.
“I had been researching fibromyalgia as sort of a pet project since 2010 after becoming fascinated with the mind-body connection and how it can influence pain levels.” Villmore said. “I’ve had providers who attended my CMEs thank me for restoring their hope in treating chronic pain patients. There’s truly nothing better than that.”
Also in October, Villmore gave a virtual poster presentation for the Physician Assistant Education Association (PAEA) Annual Education Forum on “Pandemic Pitfalls: The Need to Stream Virtual Reality.” Co-authored with Elizabeth Dyer, M.L.I.S., AHIP, dean of UNE Library Services, the purpose of the study was to determine if streaming a pre-recorded virtual reality experience to PA students instead of providing an in-person experience using an Oculus headset would still lead to improved empathy and understanding of geriatric patients with sensory deficits.
The pair are submitting a manuscript for publishing on this work this year.
“I have really enjoyed collaborating with Beth Dyer over the past couple of years,” Villmore reflected. “She is a pleasure to work with, and her expertise and assistance with the virtual reality experiences that we use for our Interdisciplinary Geriatric Education Program courses have been invaluable to the PA program and our students.”