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CE webinars provide convenience, education

05/21/21 11:25:am

When the COVID-19 pandemic began, it put an abrupt end to in-person events. In particular, it meant that Rogers Behavioral Health was forced to cancel upcoming continuing education seminars for referring providers. Seeing this challenge as an opportunity for innovation, Rogers was able to rise to the occasion and begin offering CE webinars virtually.

“At first it really was the great unknown, since none of us had been through anything like this before,” explains Michelle Kalz, director of business development.

“We had to quickly recreate a way to communicate with our referents because we knew that just because we couldn’t go out into the world, people would still need help.”

The first webinars specifically addressed treating patients during the pandemic and were held weekly. These presentations had a total attendance of 8,789 providers.

Starting in the fall of 2020, webinars shifted to a monthly schedule, and have featured a wide variety of topics ranging from how to treat youths suffering from anxiety to how providers can implement their own self-care practice.

Kalz has been pleased with the audience turnout, crediting it to Rogers’ esteemed reputation.

“Referring providers trust in Rogers, and they want to learn from our experts,” she says, adding that the webinars will likely be offered for the foreseeable future.

“We’ve seen that a lot of our virtual events have actually worked out to be easier and more convenient for people to attend, and they’ve also helped us to reach more people at once,” Michelle says. “The shift in how we hold these events has actually allowed us to build more relationships.”

Given the success of the national webinars, virtual CE events are now also being offered on an as-needed basis at individual sites for a more localized audience.

"The local webinars started to address a census gap, but they’re also important if there’s a need for training or increased knowledge around a specific program,” says Michelle. “For example, we did a webinar on TMS for referring providers in southeastern Wisconsin because we felt that the local community did not have the education or awareness around that service to know that Rogers could provide that. It’s about answering a need and educating an audience.”

Recordings of all national webinars are available in the Resources section of the website for providers who are unable to attend, though the recordings are not eligible for CE credit.

Webinars help referents connect with Rogers

Feedback from webinar attendees has been overwhelmingly positive, with many appreciating the convenience of participating in a webinar from the convenience of their home or office.

"Referring providers can literally attend a CE event during their lunch hour, because all they need to do is log on and listen to the webinar,” says Michelle.

In fact, the webinars have proven so popular that one referent compared registering for a Rogers webinar to the pre-pandemic difficulty of getting tickets to the Broadway show Hamilton, as registration for the events often fills quickly.

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