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Blog Feature

By: AAST Editor on June 20th, 2018

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An Interview With AAST Distinguished Lecturer Dr. Teofilo Lee-Chiong

Lee-Chiong HeadshotOn September 28 – 30, the AAST 2018 Annual Meeting will bring together the community of sleep care professionals in Indianapolis. Throughout the three-day conference, attendees will learn, connect and share insights on the sleep field. AAST is proud to announce three keynote presentations and two distinguished lectures. We caught up with one of the distinguished lecturers, Teofilo Lee-Chiong, MD, to ask a few questions about himself and the topic of his lecture.

What is your background, and how did you get involved in the sleep field? 

On my third year as a pulmonary and critical care medicine fellow, I chose a rather easy rotation in my elective month. My plan was to go home early each day, something I had not been able to do throughout my entire internship, residency and fellowship years. On the fourth day of my rotation, a sleep medicine professor saw me as I was preparing to leave early for home. He was evidently unhappy with my self-imposed “semi-vacation” and asked me to join him at the sleep laboratory to review some sleep studies. At the end of a very long day, he asked me to return the next day to see some sleep medicine patients. I continued to see sleep medicine patients and review sleep studies until the end of my final academic year.          

What is the topic of your lecture?

I will discuss how the challenges of providing PAP therapies and noninvasive ventilation in the home for patients with complicated sleep-related breathing disorders are being addressed by novel technologies. Attendees will learn how abnormal respiratory events, responses and control contribute to complicated sleep disordered breathing; how to identify the different positive airway pressure modalities that are used to manage persons with complicated sleep disordered breathing; and how to select the best therapies for persons at each stage of their chronic illness.

What is the biggest challenge you see sleep professionals facing currently?

To make our world healthier and more sustainable for everyone. The first is a responsibility to our patients. Despite advances in knowledge and technology, many patients with sleep-related conditions remain undiagnosed and untreated. The second reflects our obligation to the next generation of our children. We cannot continue to spend resources on diagnosis and treatment and not commit to improving our patient’s adherence to beneficial therapies.  

How do you see the field changing in the next few years? 10 years?

The focus will shift to personalized, informed and connected care throughout the entire continuum of patient experience, including healthy lifestyle, prevention, early diagnosis, effective therapy and long-term health management. The field will need to respond to changing needs and expectations, moving from volume to value, from a one-size-fits-all approach to options, and from time-based to results-based management.   

Dr. Lee-Chiong’s lecture is on Saturday, September 29. If you haven’t yet registered for the AAST 2018 Annual Meeting, there’s still time to register at the early-bird rate. After July 26, the price increases by $50. Register now.

Teofilo L. Lee-Chiong Jr., MD, is a professor of medicine at the University of Colorado Denver School of Medicine. He has authored or edited 20 textbooks in sleep medicine and pulmonary medicine. In addition, he developed and serves as the consulting editor of Sleep Medicine Clinics, and is a member of the editorial board and reviewer of several medical journals and publications. He joined Philips Respironics as its chief medical liaison in 2011. He served as the chair of the Nosology Committee of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine (AASM), vice-chair of the Associated Professional Sleep Societies LLC (APSS) Program Committee, and chair of both the Sleep Medicine NetWork and Sleep Institute Steering Committees of the American College of Chest Medicine (ACCP). He also has served on the Council of Governors for the ACCP. He is the recipient of the 2012 American Academy of Sleep Medicine Excellence in Education Award.