Governor's Newsletter, Fall 1998
Editor, Norm Wilder
Alaska Chapter Meeting-1998
Our 1998 Regional Meeting, "Medical Informatics," has to go down as one of our most successful meetings. The attendance was excellent with the widest diversity of attendees ever. All talks were well received, but Stephanie Barnard's talks (bless her heart) on "Speaking and Writing for Excellence" stole the show.
The Saturday night dinner was our first at the Anchorage Museum of History and Art. With the exception of the acoustics for the talk, it seemed to be a nearly perfect location. The exhibits of the Museum (opened for our private viewing) seemed immensely popular particularly with our out of town speakers and visitors. And the meal was superb as well. Next year's dinner will also be there but on Friday night, June 25th. Mark your calendars now!
The second annual Flattop Hike went well too. We had fifteen souls ascend, more than double our first year's adventure. These included Scott Litin (ACP-ASIM Governor for Minnesota), the Rindfleisches, the Kims, Ray Squires (from Group Insurance Administrators at the College), Connie Yoshinaga, Carol Juergens, Rod Wilson (a second timer), Lee Pullium, Tom Kuhn (speaker from the College), the Hrbeks (our associate guest and spouse from Oregon), Owen Hanley, and Steve Tucker.
During the meeting the Alaska Chapter was presented with a Chapter Management Award for overall excellence in multiple different areas.
A very special thanks to our Bed and Breakfast hosts which included the Wilders, the Peaches, the Bundztens, the Janises, the Sonneborns, the Kramers and the Tuckers. Great scientific sessions and this type of hospitality have made our meetings the talk of the College. The hosts also find it a very pleasant experience. Please think about volunteering for next year and future years.
As a final note on our 1998 meeting, here's an excerpt from the College Representative's report to National. Ted Shortliffe wrote, "A wonderful meeting with a wonderful group of people. I was delighted to participate."
Alaska Chapter Meeting- 1999
Rich has already put together an outstanding faculty for our '99 meeting entitled Emerging Infections. Mark your calendars for June 24-26, 1999. You'll be interested in knowing that the College, AFTER Rich had outlined our meeting, has selected (by vote of the Board of Governors) "Emerging Antimicrobial Resistance" as the ACP-ASIM Clinical Leadership Theme for the year. We will once again have an annual hike, the dinner at the Museum on Friday evening, and a power-packed agenda. Visit our Web site, where you'll be updated on the agenda and faculty, and also be able to fill out your registration form.
Nelson Isada is a new member of the College. Nelson is quadruple-boarded and as most know is practicing high-risk OB in Anchorage with Sherrie Richey. Cynthia Joe, an Internist, has moved to Anchorage and is now Medical Director at the VA in Anchorage. Welcome to both.
At present, 75% of all Alaskan Internists are members of the College and our local Alaska Chapter. This is a remarkable achievement and I believe it is the best in the College. Let's try to convince our holdouts to make it 100%!
Leslie Glasgow gave birth on June 25th to a 4 pound 10 ounce baby boy, Ian Matthew Glasgow. Although he couldn't wait to be born on schedule, he's doing well according to Mom who adds that, "He's all smiles."
As you know our Chapter has developed an all-purpose donation card for our scholarship fund. These cards can be pre-purchased for $5 apiece. Since our last newsletter, we've raised just over $1000! I've had lots of positive feedback from senders and receivers. Please support this program. The cards will also serve your practice well in terms of patient PR.
My Governor's Class has begun to formulate a National Program to recognize, reward, and catalogue medical volunteerism projects. I've asked Tom Wood to head this up locally. It's still a bit hazy as to what will qualify as a recognized activity. Volunteerism will also be an additional factor in evaluating future Fellowship aspirations. When things are a bit better organized, we'll also set up an Alaskan ACP-ASIM Volunteer of the Year Award.
Our e-mail list continues to grow. Please let me know if either you get e-mail or your address changes. Just drop me a note, firstname.lastname@example.org. I can also be reached by link from our Web site.
Well it's official, the American College of Physicians and the American Society of Internal Medicine have merged as of July 1. The new organization is called ACP-ASIM with a new name to be finalized within three years. It's hoped that the ACP's strengths in patient advocacy, academics, and education will blend nicely with the ASIM's well-established Washington office.
The College has established a Grass Roots Hotline 1-888-218-7770 that will enable you to communicate with our Washington officials about important issues. It was this program that helped quash the E and M debacle and hopefully the Lethal Drug Act. You can also reach them by direct link from our Web site. Increasing our voice via these techniques will help the College promote our agenda. The College is also mobilizing against the imposition of Medicare user fees as well.
The first meeting of the Board of Governors (BOG) since the merger occurred this September in Chicago. The BOG is the body of the College that directly represents the membership and recommends action to the Board of Regents (BOR) which has the "final say" in College policy. It was anticipated that with the addition of the new ASIM members that the Resolutions process (new business essentially) would become very active. And it has indeed! Some 53 resolutions were discussed on wide ranging topics. This represents about half the total number the College has voted on in all its previous years! I'm proud to say that our Chapter Council met and discussed all of these resolutions prior to the meeting (very few chapters did this). Discussing all of the Resolutions here would be too cumbersome, but there were a number of highlights (remarkable for what didn't pass as well as what did). The resolutions will be posted on the ACP Web site and will be published in the Observer as well after the BOR reviews and approves them. In the future (as a result of this meeting) new resolutions will appear in the Observer and online prior to BOG action. This will allow everyone to comment preferably to their Governor, but also directly to the College as well.
We now have a PAC (political action committee). This was by far and away the most discussed resolution. The majority (not us, BTW) felt a PAC would be helpful in promoting all of the College's initiatives. The PAC can only promote what the College approves. Contributions to the PAC are totally voluntary and no monies at all will come from the College itself. The PAC will be self-supporting. Many resolutions attempted to change the basic way the College and the BOG functions and your Council opposed these and they essentially all failed to pass. These included a 'one man one vote' proposal, opening all meetings and the resolution process to the general membership, and mandatory dues for Chapters. Most of the other resolutions were not controversial and your Council seemed to have its finger on the pulse in that key resolutions we favored passed and those we opposed didn't. Although lively and spirited debate occurred, the process seemed to go well (much better than anyone anticipated) and collegiality, trust and respect developed quickly between old ASIMers and old ACPers. I'd say the future of our organization looks very good.
The College also has a new service--Estate Planning. More details will be forthcoming. The College reports that the National Awareness Program, "Internists--Doctors for Adults" is going well. Studies have shown improved patient recognition of what we do and who we are (more of a national than a local problem). The College continues to promote improved health access for all Americans.
Here's the College's Mission Statement which I think will help everyone to reaffirm why we joined the College and hopefully convince others to join us.
- To enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine.
- To establish and promote the highest clinical standards and ethical ideals;
- To be the foremost comprehensive and information resource for all internists;
- To advocate responsible positions on individual health and on public policy relating to health care for the benefit of the public, our patients, the medical profession, and our members;
- To serve the professional needs of the membership and advance internal medicine as a career;
- To promote and conduct research to enhance the quality of practice, the education and continuing education of internists, and the attractiveness of internal medicine to physicians and the public; and
- To recognize individual excellence and distinguished contributions to internal medicine. Our Chapter fully endorses these principles and particularly recognizes the importance of promoting educational opportunities for all Alaskan Internists.