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Alaska Chapter Governor's Newsletter
Fall 2001

Richard L. Neubauer, MD, FACP
Governor, Alaska Chapter

Governor's Message

On September 11, 2001 our world abruptly changed. With airplanes raining from the sky and anthrax spores in the mail, using our own systems diabolically turned against us, evil people have insinuated their agenda into our lives.

We will all remember where we were and what we were doing when these events unfolded. I was in Arizona preparing for the fall ACP Board of Governors meeting. One of the things I was working on was fine tuning the arguments I would use in favor of the resolution our Alaska Chapter had authored urging ACP to advocate for a strengthening of the public health infrastructure in response to potential threats including bioterrorism. This resolution had been authored this past spring, in part as a result of issues that had been raised by CJ Peters, MD at our 1999 Annual Chapter meeting which focused on emerging infectious diseases, and Mike Osterholm PhD at the April 2001 Alyeska Bioterrorism Conference put on by a consortium of local sponsors.

Unfortunately, the Board of Governors meeting was cancelled due to the events of September 11, but our resolution was passed nonetheless through an emergency voting process, along with a number of other resolutions that were deemed too important to await the next Board of Governors meeting in the spring. Our Chapter can be proud of initiating a resolution that eerily foretold a rude awakening of our country's susceptibility to external threats.

It is my hope that ACP leadership will embrace the spirit of this resolution and work hard to support a re-examination of the public health system in our country. Such a role would place our organization in the forefront of how to best deal with our current national emergency, and help us to emerge stronger for the efforts. The issues include but may not be limited to:

  • A decline of the public health infrastructure, including facilities, information management systems, and personnel
  • Problems with coordination and communication between community medical systems and public health systems
  • Inadequate "reserves" in our medical delivery system for dealing with emergencies due at least in part to the incursions of managed health care and other cost cutting measures
  • How best to educate physicians and the public about the threats and problems that confront us

Amongst the public health community, it is widely acknowledged that working on these issues will not only strengthen our abilities to deal with bioterrorism events, but have many side benefits as well. Threats from imported bacterial and viral pathogens, and the emergence of pathogen resistance and new pathogens are long-term issues that will be better dealt with by a strengthening of our public health system.

If, as I hope, ACP takes these issues to heart it may give our organization a new and important focus. While these are certainly hard times, the doors are open for reaping some good from the pain. While there will be many organizations that are now going to focus on these issues, ACP is uniquely positioned to help in the dialogue since we represent the "front line" of practicing internists including infectious disease specialists, as well as many in the public health system who are also internists.

Dr. Norman J. Wilder named Alaska's Second Master of the ACP

We mark another Alaska Chapter landmark with the election of our second. Master of the American College of Physicians-American Society of Internal Medicine, Norman J. Wilder, MD. He follows in the footsteps of Rodman Wilson, MD, our first Alaska Chapter Master. Dr. Wilder was nominated and supported by many of the national leaders of the College, who had also supported his two nominations to run for Regent.

Dr. Wilder received his BA degree from Oregon State University and MD degree from the University of Oregon Medical School. He completed his postgraduate training in Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis program at the Sacramento Medical Center (1973) and his fellowship in Pulmonary Diseases at the U.S. Air Force Medical Center, Scott in Belleville, Illinois and Washington University School of Medicine in St Louis, Missouri (1977). He next served as Chief, Internal Medicine Clinic and then Chief of Medicine at Elmendorf Air Force Base Hospital in Alaska achieving the rank of Lieutenant Colonel during his sixth and final year in the Air Force. He was also an USAF Flight Surgeon. He entered the private practice of Internal Medicine, Aviation Medicine, and Pulmonary Diseases in Anchorage, Alaska in 1979.

Dr. Wilder is board certified in Internal Medicine (1973) and Pulmonary Diseases (1978) and was recertified in Internal Medicine (1980). He became a Diplomate of the American Board of Sleep Medicine and a Fellow of the American Academy of Sleep Medicine upon passing the Certifying Examination in Sleep Medicine on April 23, 2001. In his practice career he has been on 17 hospital committees, including 9 years total on the medical executive committees of both private hospitals in Anchorage. He has served as President of the Medical Staff of Alaska Regional Hospital (1998) where he was instrumental in the hospital being awarded JCAHO Accreditation with Commendation. He currently sits on the Credentials Committee and the Ethics Committee and is the Chair of the Quality Council and the Medical Director of the Quality Program at Alaska Regional Hospital. He has recently been given the task of coordinating a patient safety initiative to address the concerns raised by the widely publicized Institute of Medicine reports.

Dr. Wilder provided exemplary leadership as Governor of the Alaska Chapter of the American College of Physicians from 1993 to 1997. On the national level he served as a member of the Credentials Subcommittee, Nominations Committee, and was Chairman of the On Line Advisory Board of the ACP. He initiated the Get All Governors Online (GAGO) movement in 1995 that successfully got all Governors online in anticipation of the day in which this would become a major communication means between the Governors and the rest of the College. He has participated in and promoted the Community-Based Teaching initiative of the College and has been a regular judge of the Associates Poster Competition at the Annual Sessions. He represented the College at a meeting of the Gore-Kiriyenko Health Committee in Moscow in 1998 and has attended College meetings in Jordan, Panama, Chile, and Bolivia.

Dr. Wilder has been very active in the Alaska Chapter. He has been on the Chapter Council since the formation of the Alaska Chapter. During his tenure as Governor the Chapter saw membership grow from 61 to 104, and he received Chapter Management Awards, and an Evergreen Award. He committed the Chapter to community-based teaching and initiated the sponsorship of medical students to the Chapter annual meeting that assigned them a mentor for the program. Alaska has no Associates so he conceived a program to honor Associate contest winners from the Oregon and Washington Chapters by having them come to the Alaska Chapter meeting (staying with a Chapter member) and giving their winning presentation to the Chapter. As Governor he was able to put the Alaska Chapter annual meetings on an extremely firm footing attracting nationally known speakers and a Nobel Laureate. Often times the President of the College or Chair of the Board of Regents attends the meetings as College Representative. He initiated the Chapter Bed and Breakfast Program in which all guests to the Chapter meeting are housed with local members. He is the Alaska Chapter's fourth Laureate Award recipient.

Dr. Wilder has pursued other leadership positions. He has been President of the Alaska Thoracic Society and Governor of the Washington-Alaska Chapter of the American College of Chest Physicians in which he is a Fellow. He was just named the unanimous choice to be the first Governor of the newly formed Alaska Chapter of the American College of Chest Physicians. He is a Senior Aviation Medical Examiner, FAA Accident Prevention Councilor, and Pulmonary Consultant to the FAA Federal Air Surgeon. He works as a Medical Sponsor for the very successful FAA program to return pilots with alcohol problems to the cockpit. As a certified flight instructor, instrument instructor, and multi-engine instructor with C130, B707, B737 fight/simulator time, and flights in his own plane to Europe, Canada, and many states, he is particularly effective with aviation medicine issues. He served as Medical Director of Markair, Inc. and sat on its Safety Board for 10 years. He has received a FAA Flight Safety Award for his work in aviation safety.

Dr. Wilder is a community leader. He has co-chaired the Great Alaska Smoke Out, a program of the American Cancer Society to encourage the cessation of cigarette smoking in Alaska. He's been an invited lecturer to all regions of Alaska on a variety of medical topics to many different medical and lay groups including school students and teachers. He was invited to be the Commencement Speaker at the graduation ceremonies of a small high school in "bush" Alaska. He was a speaker at the Governor's Safety and Health Conference in Anchorage. He's been on many television and radio shows discussing medical issues.

Dr. Wilder exemplifies and is a role model for ongoing physician education. In addition to his primary certification in Internal Medicine and Pulmonary Diseases and his recent certification by the American Board of Sleep Medicine, he has voluntarily recertified in Internal Medicine. He has taken MKSAP for credit. He obtained all of the FAA Flight Instructor ratings since graduation from medical school. Over the last five years he has been enrolled at the University of Alaska Anchorage and is just completing his 16th and 17th graduate level courses with a projected date of May 2002 for graduation with an MBA degree. He continues to attend the ACP Annual Sessions and in many years has over 100 CME hours (given and received). He is fluent in Italian and "manages" in German and Spanish. He was learning Russian for his meeting in Moscow in 1998, but states that about the only words he remembers in Russian are restaurant, water, and vodka!

Dr. Wilder's daughters and wife are successful in their own right. Heather has a MLIS degree with additional studies at the National Library of Medicine and McMaster University. She just started a job at Oxford University, England in evidence-based medicine. Brenda will receive combined MD, PhD degrees at graduation from the University of Illinois in 2003. His wife Kathy just retired as a Visiting Instructor in Computer Information and Office Systems at the University of Alaska Anchorage.

We can all be very proud of Dr. Wilder. He represents the best qualities of a physician who has devoted himself to lifelong learning. He has been and remains a strong asset for our Chapter. He is still on the Chapter Council and was recently designated as our Chapter Patient Safety Liaison. Way to go, Norm!

College Introduces Peer-to-Peer Program

In a nationwide effort to gain new members, ACP Headquarters is initiating the Peer-to-Peer Recruitment program. The program is designed as a member-get-a-member recruitment effort in which existing College members may volunteer as recruiters and are encouraged to ask their peers to join the ACP. Although it is a national effort, the success of the Peer-to-Peer program depends on local participation within each Chapter/Region. Recruitment packets consisting of a generic letter the recruiter can sign, a brochure with membership information, a benefits flyer, a membership proposal (application) for board-certified internists, and a return envelope will be given to recruiters. National Headquarters will also provide a list of board-certified non-members in each region.

If you are interested in becoming a Peer-to-Peer recruiter please contact Dr. Richard Neubauer MD, FACP at 907-264-2030 or Jan Oistad at 907-264-2036.

Audio Digest Publishes Excerpts from the 2001 Alaska Chapter Annual Meeting

Our 2001 Alaska Chapter Meeting entitled Cardiovascular Diseases: Congestive Heart Failure was very successful and informative. We also tried something new with this meeting: we allowed Audio Digest, a non-profit affiliate of the California Medical Association to tape the meeting for possible use in one of their audio programs. This was prompted by Keith Brownsberger MD, FACP a former governor of our chapter who sits on the advisory board for Audio Digest suggesting that our meeting might be a fertile source of material.

Indeed, Audio Digest did publish excerpts from our meeting in their November 7th internal medicine installment. I've listened to the program, and I was very favorably impressed with the quality of the recording. I was also pleased at the low key and tasteful way in which Audio Digest credited our chapter. Given the success of our initial interaction with this organization, I have invited Audio Digest to look over the content of our 2002 Annual Chapter Meeting to see if they are interested in a repeat collaboration. While our chapter does not financially benefit from this, it is certainly good publicity, and a nice way for us to share our meetings with a larger audience.

Experience Annual Session—Philadelphia Style

Join the College April 11-14, 2002 and be a part of Annual Session 2002 in Philadelphia. Experience over 275 sessions covering the spectrum of internal medicine and the subspecialties. Upholding tradition, ACP promises to offer a rich educational experience with an emphasis placed on content that is clinically relevant and practice oriented. Be Sure Not to Miss...

Clinical Pearls—
Remember those words of wisdom from your most respected clinical teachers? Those Pearls were based on an experience of depth and knowledge of medical literature of remarkable scope. Pearls are noteworthy for their clarity, timelessness, and clinical applicability.

Introduced at the 2001 Annual Session and an instant hit, Clinical Pearls rekindles the joy of bedside learning, using a highly engaging, case-based format. With the audience-response keypad-system, you'll have a chance to test the depth of your clinical acumen. You'll leave each session with a rich collection of Pearls, ready to be applied directly to the patients.

Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind—
Rated by many as the best of Annual Session, Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind uses a creative format to address some of the most common, yet challenging or controversial, patient-management issues. In these highly focused, fast-paced sessions, faculty offers answers to some of the most frequently faced dilemmas in patient care.

The Learning Center—
Experience the excitement of the Learning Center. Refine your techniques in a variety of office-based examination and procedural skills. Take advantage of small group or individual tutorials with experts in the field. The Learning Center is unique to Annual Session and offers a wide range of opportunities for closely supervised, hands-on practice. Become familiar with procedures and examinations you don't perform on a routine basis. Try out the latest software for clinical information management and patient care. The Learning Center is a dynamic collection of hands-on activities, which you can immediately apply to your clinical practice.

Update—
Keep up to date on the year's most important published papers in the subspecialty areas. Learn significant findings and their impact on patient care. Nationally recognized faculty reviews the literature and presents the year's highlights.

Experience Annual Session...

Registration and other meeting information is available online, or contact Customer Service at 800-523-1546, extension 2600. Early sign-up is encouraged for the best selection of workshops and seating at breakfast/lunch sessions.

End Of Life Care Patient Education Brochures And Doctors Tip Sheet Available

In September, the Center for Ethics and Professionalism inaugurated its Patient Education and Caring: End-of-Life (PEACE) Series by releasing three patient education brochures designed to guide patients through various stages of palliative and end-of-life care. The brochures offer clearly worded advice for patients and caregivers and are suitable for distribution in doctor's offices. The available brochures are:

  • "When You Have Pain at the End of Life"
  • "Living with a Serious Illness: Talking to your Doctor When the Future is Uncertain"
  • "Making Medical Decisions for a Loved One at the End of Life"

Also available is "Improving Your End of Life Care Practice," a tip sheet for doctors, with suggestions on how to identify patients who would benefit from the brochures and tips on how to "break the ice" in face-to-face discussions about sensitive end-of-life issues.

The patient brochures are available at no charge in packages of 50 each from the Center (call 800-523-1546, ext. 2839 or e-mail ssmith@acponline.org); they can also be accessed in PDF format.

Bioterrorism Resource Center

The September 11 terrorist attacks precipitated a wave of concern about the possibility of bioterrorism-the use of germs and chemicals as weapons of mass taking of lives. In recent weeks, the concerns have become a reality with the onslaught of Anthrax cases. In an effort to educate physicians and provide up-to-date information on biological terrorism, ACP has developed the Bioterrorism Resource Center on the College website.

The information featured in the Bioterrorism Resource Center is broken down into the following sections:

  • Therapeutic Recommendations for Exposure to or Disease Caused by Biological Weapons - Up-to-date recommendations from the CDC and other organizations regarding treatment, exposure, research, etc.

  • Essential Medical Knowledge - General medical knowledge on biological and chemical weapons

  • News - Current events and news releases regarding bioterrorism.

  • Additional Resources - Helpful resources to assist in the gathering of information on bioterrorism; websites, journals, recordings, speakers.

  • College Activities - ACP initiatives and efforts to aid physicians in the battle against biological and chemical threats.

ACP encourages all physicians to visit the Bioterrorism Resource Center often, as physicians are the first line of defense against bioterrorism. It is the intent of the College to be a comprehensive resource for the medical community on biological and chemical threats in an effort to prevent the sense of alarm and panic.

Education and preparation are key components in promoting an efficient, expeditious approach to bioterrorism. Visit the Bioterrorism Resource Center and join ACP in the campaign to promote a "Don't panic, prepare" campaign against bioterrorism.

History of Medicine: A Look Back and a Look Ahead—Alaska Chapter ACP Annual Meeting

2002 Alaska Chapter Meeting, Alaska Regional Hospital, Mezzanine Classrooms, Plaza Medical Building, June 27-29, 2002

Objectives

There is no sure way of predicting the future. However, it has been clear for a long time to students of history that much can be learned from past events, and that "history has a way of repeating itself." Many have also felt that the practice of medicine is at a crossroads right now. We are able to diagnose and prognosticate at a level unprecedented in the past. Likewise, we have the ability to treat illnesses that in the past were incurable. Yet, at the same time, public faith in the healing arts seems to have suffered, and "unscientific" alternative medicinals have flourished. This meeting brings together a faculty that will try to put these issues in perspective. Our target audience is physicians, but other health practitioners may find the material interesting and appropriate. We look forward to your participation in this meeting.

Program & Faculty

Lynn Loriaux MD, PhD, FACP, Chairman, Department of Internal Medicine, Oregon Health Sciences University, Portland, Oregon

  • "How did we get where we are?"
  • "How do we know where we are going?"

Faith Fitzgerald MD, MACP, University of California Davis, Sacramento, California

  • "The Keepers of the Covenant"
  • "The History of Medical Education"

Jock Murray, MD, MACP, Dalhousie University, Halifax, Canada

  • "Public Attitudes Toward Physicians: From Chaucer to the Present"
  • "How do we know what we know?"
  • Dinner Address: "Experiencing Illness: The view of an Artist"

Robert B Doherty, Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs and Public Policy, ACP Washington Office

  • "History of Politics in Medicine"
  • "ACP Washington Update"

Mary T Herald, MD, FACP, Endocrine Metabolic Associates, Westfield, New Jersey

  • "ACP Board of Regents"
  • "ACP Update: CR Report"
  • "Diabetes Care 2002: A Glance Back As We Surge Ahead"

Joseph C. d'Oronzio PhD, MPH, Health Policy and Management Division, Joseph L. Mailman School of Public Policy, Columbia University, New York, New York

  • "From medical ethics to bioethics: celebrate or commiserate?"
  • "The origins of the real 'patients rights' movement, 1969-70"

NOTE: The actual hourly schedule for the meeting will be available and posted in the near future. While our programs are primarily designed for Alaskan physicians and medical practitioners, we welcome physicians and other medical practitioners from outside of Alaska. Alaska Regional Hospital is accredited by the Alaska State Medical Association to sponsor CME for physicians as an intra-state CME sponsor and offers category one credit for these programs.

Contact Information


Alaska Chapter Governor:
Molly B. Southworth, MD, MPH, FACP


Julie Lake
AK Chapter Executive Director
PO Box 672149
Chugiak, AK 99567
907-350-2351 - office
E-mail: Lake@mtaonline.net