Patient and doctors stand near the entrance to a circular maze.

The Diagnostic Odyssey for Individuals With Rare Diseases: Spotlight on the Patient, Achondroplasia (Podcast)

Activity description

Achondroplasia is a disorder of bone growth that prevents the changing of cartilage to bone, which causes disproportionately short stature. Living with a rare disease impacts the individual and their family/caregivers both physically and mentally. This podcast will share insights and perspectives directly from Deborah Hecht, who is an individual with achondroplasia and a mother and grandmother of children with achondroplasia. The podcast will also provide strategies that the interprofessional health care team can utilize to better support those impacted by rare diseases such as achondroplasia.

Provided by
This activity is provided by Optum Health Education and UnitedHealthcare.

Commercial support
No commercial support was received for this activity.

Required hardware/software
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Target Audience

This activity is designed to meet the educational needs of case managers, counselors, nurses, nurse practitioners, pharmacists, pharmacy technicians, physicians, PAs, psychologists, social workers, therapists and other health care professionals who care for individuals with rare diseases.

Learning Objectives

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

  • Describe medical considerations for individuals with achondroplasia.
  • Discuss the challenges and barriers of living with achondroplasia.
  • Engage individual(s) and caregiver(s) in discussions and shared decision-making.


For more information on achondroplasia and other causes of disproportionate short stature, please also view the accompanying webcast. During the webcast, Dr. Gary Bellus will explore recent advances in the diagnosis and treatment, including current clinical trials. 

Click here to access the webcast, The Diagnostic Odyssey for Individuals With Rare Diseases: Achondroplasia and Other Causes of Disproportionate Short Stature.

Additional Information

Activity summary
Available credit: 
  • 0.50 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 0.50 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 0.50 AMA - Physicians
  • 0.50 ANCC - Nurses
  • 0.50 APA - Psychologists
  • 0.50 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 0.50 CCMC - General - Case Managers
  • 0.50 ASWB - Social Workers
Activity opens: 
Activity expires: 

Grandma Deb is on the left handside wearing a purple shirt, Daugther Maria who is holding Baby Rolland is wearing a teal shirt. All members of the Hecht family are facing the camera smiling. Loving potrait of a little family.Deborah (Deb) L. Hecht
Fort Wayne, IN

About the speaker
Deborah Hecht was born the youngest of five children and is the only one of her siblings with dwarfism. Her parents raised her to be strong and independent and to expect to be treated like anyone else, which she says was a very important life lesson. 

Deb’s most important achievement in life was adopting her daughter, who also has achondroplasia dwarfism. Her daughter, Maria, was 9 years old when she was adopted from Moscow, Russia, through the Little People of America Adoption Network. Deb is a single mother. Maria is now 36 and has two babies: Deb’s granddaughter, Lorraine, and Deb’s grandson, Rolland, both less than a year old. Both babies have dwarfism as well. 

Deb’s main goals in life are to enjoy herself and others, be an excellent, nurturing mom, and raise her new grandchildren. Having fun and not holding back are two very important life lessons she has learned, especially living with a permanent disability such as achondroplasia dwarfism. Her most significant personal accomplishment has been learning to drive. This has allowed her the freedom to do many things that otherwise would have been challenging. She loves to travel, including driving to see other parts of the United States.

She recently retired from SIRVA, where she worked from 1974 to 2021. SIRVA is an international household goods moving company based in her hometown in Indiana.

Sarah Chart, RN
Vice President
Optum Health Education

Activity planners
Robin K. Blitz, MD
Senior Medical Director
Family Engagement Center / Special Needs Initiative / Complex Health Solutions
Phoenix, AZ

Rebecca Gleason, RN, CCM
Activity Manager
Optum Health Education

Disclosures of relevant financial relationships
In accordance with the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education's (ACCME) Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education, Optum Health Education (OHE) requires all those in control of educational content to disclose their financial relationships with ineligible companies within the prior 24 months. Ineligible companies are defined by the ACCME as companies whose primary business is producing, marketing, selling, re-selling, or distributing health care products used by or on patients. Individuals must disclose all financial relationships, regardless of the amount, with ineligible companies and regardless of their view of the relevance of the relationship to the education. OHE ensures that the content is independent of commercial bias.

The speaker, moderator and planners have no financial relationships to disclose.

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

Accreditation statement
Joint Provider LogoIn support of improving patient care, this activity has been planned and implemented by Optum Health Education and UnitedHealthcare. Optum Health Education is jointly 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 health care team.

Credit designation statements
IPCE Credit LogoThis activity was planned by and for the health care team, and learners will receive 0.50 Interprofessional Continuing Education (IPCE) credits for learning and change.

The participant will be awarded up to 0.50 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.

Pharmacists/Pharmacy technicians
This activity is approved for 0.50 contact hour ([0.050] CEU) in states that recognize ACPE.
Attending the full program will earn 0.50 contact hour.
Unique Activity Number(s): JA0007123-9999-23-093-H04-P/T

Optum Health Education designates this enduring activity for a maximum of 0.50 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.

Case managers
The Commission for Case Manager Certification has approved this program for a maximum of 0.50 clock hours for Certified Case Managers (CCM).

Optum Health Education is approved by the American Psychological Association (APA) to offer continuing education for psychologists. Optum Health Education maintains responsibility for this program. 0.50 CE hour.

Social workers
ACE LogoAs a Jointly Accredited Organization, Optum Health Education is approved to offer social work continuing education by the Association of Social Work Boards (ASWB) Approved Continuing Education (ACE) program. Organizations, not individual courses, are approved under this program. State and provincial regulatory boards have the final authority to determine whether an individual course may be accepted for continuing education credit. Optum Health Education maintains responsibility for this course. Social workers completing this course receive 0.50 enduring continuing education credits.

Counselors and/or marriage and family therapists
CA: The Board of Behavioral Sciences has deferred CE course approvals to APA and ASWB for its licensees. See those approvals under Psychologists and Social Workers.
Other States: If your state is not specifically listed, nearly all state Counselor and MFT boards accept either APA or ASWB approval, or are reciprocal with other state licensing board approvals, such as those listed below. Check with your board to be sure.

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 preapproved for credits. To apply for credit types not listed above, participants should use the procedure established by the specific organization from which they wish to obtain credit.

Available Credit

  • 0.50 ACPE - Pharmacists
  • 0.50 ACPE - Pharmacy Technicians
  • 0.50 AMA - Physicians
  • 0.50 ANCC - Nurses
  • 0.50 APA - Psychologists
  • 0.50 Attendance - General Attendance
  • 0.50 CCMC - General - Case Managers
  • 0.50 ASWB - Social Workers
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