Health Care for Adults With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities

Adults with I/DD face many health disparities. They often have complex or difficult to diagnose medical conditions, they may have difficulty accessing health care due to physical or financial barriers and they may have difficulties expressing their symptoms and pain. Few community health care providers are experienced in providing services for adults with I/DD, and medical or dental programs provide minimal disability-related training.

This webcast will utilize information from the I/DD Toolkit (, which is a website devoted to information for the primary care of adults with I/DD. HCPs will learn to recognize specific acute and chronic health issues faced by patients with I/DD and to identify commonly overlooked medical conditions prevalent in adults with I/DD. Information regarding the Health Watch Tables for various developmental syndromes will be discussed as well as strategies for dealing with these concerns. The aim is to equip more HCPs to feel confident in their ability to support adults with I/DD in their own communities.

Learning Objectives
At the end of this educational activity, participants should be able to

  • Identify physical and social barriers to promoting preventative health care in adults with I/DD
  • Describe potential areas where HCPs might misdiagnose treatable illness in adults with I/DD, and discuss strategies to address these high-risk circumstances


Tom CheethamTom Cheetham, MD, FAAIDD
Deputy Commissioner
Division of Health Services
Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities;
Adjoint Assistant Professor of Developmental Disabilities
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center
Nashville, TN
Tom CheethamBeth Malow, MD, MS
Burry Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development
Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics
Director, Vanderbilt Sleep Disorders Division
Vanderbilt University
Nashville, TN

About the Presenters
Tom Cheetham, MD, FAAIDD, is a family physician who has spent more than three decades providing primary care to people with I/DD in a variety of settings including developmental centers, the community and as the sole physician at a 24-bed tertiary dual diagnosis unit at a state psychiatric hospital. His publications include book chapters on physical health and guidelines on the primary care of adults and the use of psychotropic medications in management of problem behaviors in adults with intellectual disabilities. Dr. Cheetham began serving the Tennessee Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in 2011 and currently is Deputy Commissioner of Health Services. Between 2013 and 2014 he also was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the new Office of Child Health in the Tennessee Department of Children’s Services. He is an Adjoint Assistant Professor of Developmental Disabilities at Vanderbilt University and holds a Fellowship in the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.

Beth Malow, MD, MS, is a Professor of Neurology and Pediatrics at Vanderbilt University and holds the Burry Endowed Chair in Cognitive Childhood Development. She received her MD degree at Northwestern University in Chicago, Illinois. She completed residency training in Neurology at the Harvard-Longwood Program in Boston, Massachusetts, followed by fellowship training in epilepsy, EEG, and sleep medicine at the National Institutes of Health. Dr. Malow's work has emphasized the interface of sleep, epilepsy and neurodevelopmental disabilities throughout the lifespan. She has published more than 90 papers and received grant support from the National Institutes of Health and other funding agencies. She is the Vanderbilt site director for two large networks: NeuroNEXT (NIH Network for Excellence in Neuroscience Clinical Trials) and the Autism Speaks Autism Treatment Network. She also directs Vanderbilt's sleep division.

Disclosures of Relevant Financial Relationships
In accordance with the ACCME Standards for Commercial SupportSM, OptumHealth Education requires all those involved in the development of activity content to disclose their relevant financial relationships. An individual has a relevant financial relationship if such person (or their spouse/partner) has a financial relationship in any amount occurring in the last 12 months with a commercial interest whose products or services are discussed in the activity content over which the individual has control. OptumHealth Education ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

Faculty Disclosure
Tom Cheetham, MD, FAAIDD, has indicated that he has no relevant financial relationships.
Beth Malow, MD, MS, has indicated that she has no relevant financial relationships.

Activity Planners

Victoria Bergmans, FHFMA, MBA
SE Regional Director, Complex Care
United Healthcare

Sarah Chart, RN
Senior Director
OptumHealth Education

Rebecca Gleason, RN
Activity Manager
OptumHealth Education

Janet Shouse
Program Coordinator, IDD Toolkit
Vanderbilt Kennedy Center

Activity Planner Disclosures
Ms. Bergmans, Chart and Gleason reported that they are employees of and own stock in UnitedHealth Group.
Ms. Shouse has no relevant financial relationships.

Method of Participation
There are no fees for participating in or receiving credit for this activity.
For information on applicability and acceptance of continuing education credit for this activity, please consult your professional licensing board.

Participants will receive a certificate upon successful completion of the activity, which includes the following:

  • Completing the entire activity
  • Completing the Pre- and Post-activity Assessments, Activity Evaluation, and Application for Certificate of Credit forms

You must be logged into your account to participate in this activity. Get started by clicking “Begin” and viewing the “CE Info”; then follow the prompts at the bottom of the screen. At the end of the activity, you will be able to view, save or print your certificate of participation. The Area of Practice you indicated in your profile corresponds with your certificate type. A complete listing of all of your activities can be found under “My Account”, “My Activities.”

Method for Calculating CE Credit
CE credit was calculated by the complexity of content.

Accreditation Statement
Joint Accreditation LogoThis activity has been planned and implemented by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealthcare – Community & State. OptumHealth Education is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education (ACCME), the Accreditation Council for Pharmacy Education (ACPE), and the American Nurses Credentialing Center (ANCC) to provide continuing education for the healthcare team.

Credit Designation Statements
OptumHealth Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 1.00 AMA PRA Category 1 Credit(s)™. Physicians should claim only the credit commensurate with the extent of their participation in the activity.

The American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME.

The participant will be awarded up to 1.00 contact hour(s) of credit for attendance and completion of supplemental materials.

Nurse Practitioners
The American Academy of Nurse Practitioners Certification Program (AANPCP) accepts credit from organizations accredited by the ACCME and ANCC.

Case Managers
The Commission for Case Manager Certification has approved this program for a maximum of 1.00 clock hour(s) for Certified Case Managers (CCM).

A certificate of attendance will be provided to learners upon completion of activity requirements, enabling participants to register with licensing boards or associations that have not been pre-approved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization with which they wish to obtain credit.

Provided By
This activity is jointly provided by OptumHealth Education and UnitedHealthcare – Community & State.

Commercial Support
There was no commercial support received for this activity.

Hardware/Software Requirements
To view this activity you will need Internet Explorer 7.0+ or Firefox 3.0+ with Windows Media Player 9+, RealPlayer 12+ or Adobe Flash Player 9+. Be sure to disable any pop-up blocking software prior to beginning this activity.

Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of physicians, nurses, case managers and other health care professionals (HCPs) who have a vested interest in better serving individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).

Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 1.00 CCMC - General - Case Managers
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 

Available Credit

  • 1.00 AMA - Physicians
  • 1.00 ANCC - Nurses
  • 1.00 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 1.00 CCMC - General - Case Managers
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