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Join our Long-COVID webinars

A physician standing next to a colorful x-ray displaying ribs, lung and heart.

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, Chief of Research and Development at VA St. Louis Health Care System. (VA photo by Mary-Dale Amison)

By Gerald Sonnenberg
Friday, March 17, 2023

It’s been three years since COVID-19 began its spread across the globe, and it became one of the most significant historical medical events to occur for this nation and the world in the last 100 years since the influenza pandemic of 1918. For most people, it was their first experience dealing with the fear of a disease so contagious and unknown that preparing for, defending from and treating were virtual unknowns in the beginning.

As the world continues to return to a more normal existence, some who became ill with COVID-19 can experience long-term effects from their infection, known as Post-Acute Sequelae of SARS-CoV-2 infection (PASC) or Long-COVID.

The Long-COVID webinar series began in June 2022 to help communicate much of the research coming out regarding these conditions, and the webinar series continues April 5. The guest speaker will be Dr. Michael Peluso, assistant professor of medicine in the School of Medicine at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). His topic is “Clues to understanding long COVID pathophysiology: Findings from the UCSF Long-term Impact of Infection with Novel Coronavirus (LIINC) Study.”

Why a Webinar?

Dr. Ziyad Al-Aly, the chief of Research and Development at the VA Saint Louis Health Care System is a nephrologist, a clinical epidemiologist and a global expert on the long-term health effects of viral infections, including Long COVID. He is also the primary architect of the Long-COVID webinar series.

“From the beginning of this pandemic, we wanted to do everything we could to help,” said Dr. Al-Aly. “We saw that our hospital, the U.S. and the whole world was in crisis mode. Some of us went to the front lines of care, and the data scientists on our team resolved to do our best to help understand this new virus, its threats and how we can best optimize our public health response.”

With guest speakers from across much of the globe participating, this lecture series is one of a multi-pronged approach to generate new knowledge and disseminate best practices. “While we don’t fully understand it yet, there is a lot of research coming out. We felt it was important to bring all this together under one platform to provide a monthly presentation on the latest advances in our understanding of Long COVID.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention or CDC, 1 in 13 adults in the U.S. (7.5%) have Long-COVID symptoms, defined as symptoms lasting three or more months after first contracting the virus, and that they didn’t have prior to their COVID-19 infection. In addition, 4-7% of Veterans have or are experiencing Long-COVID effects.[1]

According to Dr. Al-Aly, clinicians can benefit from these webinars by understanding its many “manifestations, potential mechanisms and therapies.”

“This is truly going to be a long haul,” he added. “After the pandemic recedes from public view, it will leave in its wake millions of people with Long COVID, including many Veterans. These people will require care and support. It is important that we do not leave them behind.”

How to Access the Webinar

For more, join this one-hour presentation each month, which includes a question-and-answer session toward the end of the event. In addition, attendees within VA can now register at this TMS link to receive credit for the webinars. Just select the correct class start date when registering. The list of accreditations is below. The Long-COVID webinar series is also now available on VHA TRAIN for those outside VA. The VHA TRAIN ID is 1109107.

Date and time:
Wednesday, April 5, at 1 p.m. ET, 12 p.m. | (UTC-06:00) Central Time (US & Canada)

Join link here.
Webinar number: 2763 401 3157
Webinar password: A8JeSwwg*85 (28537994 from phones)

Join by phone
1 404 397-1596 USA Toll Number

Access code: 276 340 13157

The following accreditations are available: Joint Accreditation for Interprofessional Continuing Education (JA IPCE); Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME); American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC); ACCME non-physician certificate option (ACCME-NP); Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE); American Psychological Association (APA); New York State Education Department (NYSED) State Board for Psychology (NYSED-P); National Board for Certified Counselors (NBCC); and American Physical Therapy Association (APTA).

Upcoming Events

The May webinar will be May 3, and the guest speaker will be Dr. Serena Spudich, from Yale University in New Haven, Connecticut. All past lecture recordings and slides are on the VHA Long COVID Resource page for all VA employees. Feel free to share.

To be added to the Long COVID Lecture Series distribution list, please email Dr. Uly Labilles.

[1] Xie, Yan; Bowe, Benjamin; Al-Aly, Ziyad (2021, Nov. 12) Burdens of post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 by severity of acute infection, demographics and health status. Nature Communications. Burdens of post-acute sequelae of COVID-19 by severity of acute infection, demographics and health status | Nature Communications



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