Microscopic Army Understanding the Immune System

Program: Microscopic Army Understanding the Immune System
Program Sponsor: A Better Way Professional Health Advocacy

Approval active from: May 1, 2020 – April 30, 2022 (Expiration date)

Approval Statement: A Better Way Professional Health Advocacy Home Study Course “Microscopic Army | Understanding the Immune System” is approved for 1 CE by the Patient Advocate Certification Board to satisfy the requirements for Board Certified Patient Advocates (BCPA). Approval Number 18055.

Course Description:

Our health and wellness are dependent on many factors; probably the greatest of these is the condition of our immune system. This home study continuing education course for Patient Advocates and other health professionals identifies the major components of the human immune system, describes how these immune system components work together, and demonstrates what happens in our bodies upon exposure to germs, toxins and vaccines. The biological mechanisms that cause allergic reactions and autoimmune disease are also detailed. Finally, the natural aging process of the immune system is examined along with strategies for immune system support and ways to promote healthy aging.

This course is designed for those who desire a better understanding of how the human   immune system works, which will in turn, increase the health literacy of their clients. Having a solid understanding of the immune system and familiarizing yourself with some of the language around illness and disease will provide the added benefit of increasing effective communication with physicians and other providers within the health care system.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Differentiate between disease and illness and describe why this distinction is important.
  2. Identify the major component systems, organs, and cells that make up the human immune system.
  3. Become familiar with terminology specific to immune system functions.
  4. Identify and evaluate various methods of supporting the immune system in both healthy and immunocompromised individuals during all stages of life.

Supports BCPA Competencies and Best Practices:

2b. Promote equitable access to appropriate and safe health care and treatment 2e. Respect the right of clients to make their own decisions
2f. Provide clients with information and resources to facilitate informed decision-making regarding care and treatment, including palliative and end-of-life care
2g. Assist clients in understanding care and treatment options, including potential risks, benefits, and available alternatives
3f. Advocate to alleviate suffering, promote health, promote safe care, and encourage well- being whenever and wherever possible
5a. Maintain familiarity with basic medical terminology, major life-threatening illnesses, and chronic diseases
5e. Conduct research to uncover detailed and reliable medical information relevant to each client


Christine Van Haren attended the School of Pharmacy at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and has over 25 years of experience as a Pharmacist in both community and long term care settings. With a strong desire to advocate for patients full time, she returned to UW-Madison to attend the Center for Patient partnerships. After becoming a Board Certified Patient Advocate, Christine launched A Better Way Professional Health Advocacy in early 2019 as an Independent Patient Advocate.

Christine has many years of experience working with health insurers, handling denied claims and prior authorizations. Her passion, however, lies in walking alongside people as they navigate our complex healthcare system. Her goal is to create a safe space for clients and their families, providing education, support, and peace.

As a life-long learner, Christine recently earned a Certificate in Substance Use Disorder, and will soon complete Certificates in Mediation Skills and Motivational Interviewing. She believes we are better together and hopes to create benefit for Advocates and other health care providers through her Professional Training programs.