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Alaska Chapter Governor's Newsletter
Summer 2002

Richard Neubauer MD, FACP
Governor, Alaska Chapter

Governor's Message

Those who have attended our Annual Scientific Meetings are familiar with the "Town Hall Meeting" feature where our membership can raise issues of concern. Since ACP is a grassroots organization, these sessions are a key means for our leadership to learn which issues are most important to the physician membership.

The Town Hall meeting at our recent Annual Chapter Scientific Meeting, June 27-29, 2002 was no exception, and I'd like to briefly review the issues that were raised. First however, a few important web addresses that were outlined by one of our guest speakers, Robert B. Doherty, ACP Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs and Public Policy. Here they are:

Brooks Range


Brooks Range along the Hula Hula River.


Back to the issues: First discussed was the aging of Alaska internists. As a corollary, the general paucity of "young replacements" in general internal medicine and certain subspecialties was noted. Several members expressed concern that unless the practice climate in Alaska changes, our state may be facing severe shortages of selected types of internal medicine physicians in the not-too-distant future. No immediate solutions seem to be at hand, but increasing our advocacy efforts was noted to be an important first step.

The importance of having our chapter work in various ways to encourage WWAMI students to consider internal medicine careers was discussed. Our chapter has recently committed significant funds to having an annual dinner with first-year WWAMI students since our pilot session this year was very successful. Community-based teaching was discussed, and it is possible that our chapter will have an increasing role to play in that area as the University of Washington expands their community-based teaching program.

There was an impassioned plea by former Chapter Governor, Steve Tucker, MD, FACP that the national ACP organization step up their quest to reduce the hassle factor for physicians, for instance, by outlining best practices and working toward making sure that health care dollars are spent wisely and on the right things.

There was discussion that while our chapter is currently strong we need to start working now to identify young physicians who can be future chapter leaders. There are avenues to encourage such individuals to rise within the organization, including something called the "leadership network" which is run by the national organization. A number of our members are already enrolled in this network.

Finally, there was a presentation regarding the Anchorage Access to Healthcare Coalition to familiarize us with their preliminary efforts to improve access to care for uninsured individuals in Anchorage.

These issues are very similar to those that face the national ACP organization. Our chapter is in a strong position to have a positive impact on many of these issues, especially as they pertain to internal medicine specialists and sub-specialists. Specifically, our chapter has been in the forefront of continuing medical education in Alaska. We have also been active in trying to encourage Alaskan medical students to pursue their interests in internal medicine careers. We have not been as active in political advocacy, but that will hopefully change soon and efforts are underway to expand our Alaska Chapter ACP Health and Public Policy Committee.

Ultimately, the success or failure of our chapter hinges on membership. Without a strong membership, and without members willing to be leaders, we are up the creek without a paddle. So far, we are doing fine in these areas. It was a great way to end the town hall meeting when Dr. KC Kaltenborn, impressed with the quality and tenor of the scientific meeting, turned in his application for membership in ACP. Each added member strengthens our collective voice.

Alaska Chapter Council

The Alaska Chapter Council helps in the governance of our Chapter affairs. Currently members of the council include:

Rich Neubauer
Governor

Steve Tucker
Immediate Past Governor

Norm Wilder
Past Governor

Dave Peach
Treasurer

Molly Southworth
CBT Representative

Brian McMahon
Nominations Committee Chair

Bob Bundtzen
Journal Club Coord.

Julie Ake
Student Rep.

In addition, there are 4 regional representatives that serve staggered two-year terms. Currently these representatives are:

Carol Juergens
Kodiak

David Rudolph
Palmer-Wasilla

Jon Starr
Fairbanks

John Krehlik
Juneau

It is now time to rotate two of these positions, and Dr. Anne Bakker, ACP member from Juneau and Dr. John Bramante ACP member from Soldotna have agreed to serve as Drs. Rudolph and Krehik retire from the council.

Lousewort
Brooks Range Lousewort.

Journal Club News

David Hellmann, MD, FACP, Johns Hopkins University, did an outstanding journal club presentation on May 16, 2002 at Dr. Neubauer's home. He reviewed papers on temporal arteritis with high normal sedimentation rate determinations, and the use of COX 2 inhibitors vs. standard NSAID therapy. Dr. Hellmann is a renowned rheumatologist and recently completed a term as ACP Governor for the Maryland Chapter.

Present were Jon Anderson (WWAMI student), Ben Westley (WWAMI student), Peter Ser (medical student), Ky Burden (medical student), Tim Bateman, Song-Qing Gan, Bob Bundtzen, Dave Templin, Steve Tucker, Paul Steer, John Clark, Joe Lestina, Mary Demers, Rich Neubauer, and Madeline Grant.

Our next Journal Club is scheduled for September 12, 2002 at 7 pm with Dr. Brian Haynes at Norm Wilder's home, 10201 Sidorof Lane (346-3478). Dinner will be provided. Dr. Haynes is the editor-in-chief of the ACP Journal Club Publication and a world expert on evidence based medicine. He will also be doing grand rounds at Alaska Regional Hospital and Alaska Native Medical Center while he is visiting Anchorage.

2002 Alaska Chapter Scientific Meeting

The 2002 Alaska Chapter Scientific Meeting, June 27-29, 2002 was by all measures a great success. Attendance was excellent, and the speakers did a superb job of reviewing the history of medicine with an eye toward how it applies to medicine in the current era. Many of the audience participants expressed in their evaluations that the conference far exceeded their expectations. There had been some doubts about the topic before the meeting, but the doubts were dispelled by the dynamism and insight that the speakers displayed in their presentations. Highlights included: Faith Fitzgerald's inspiring lecture titled "The Keepers of the Covenant," Jock Murray's discussion of the epistemology of medicine, Lynn Loriaux tracing the history of medicine from ancient Greek civilization to the present era, and Bob Doherty's review of the history of politics in medicine. Joe d'Oronzio traced the history of medical ethics as a discipline, and Mary Herald (chair-elect of the ACP Board of Regents) gave the ACP update, as well as a presentation on the history of diabetes mellitus.

We had several special guests at the meeting. Our Chapter hosted Amy Powell, MD, an ACP Associate from Washington State, and Katherine Schmidt, MD an ACP Associate from Oregon. Both won awards from their Chapters to attend our meeting. Eugene P. Libre MD, FACP, Governor of the District of Columbia Chapter of ACP also traveled to Alaska to attend the meeting. The audience we attracted included not only internists from our chapter, but a diverse group of physicians from other disciplines. Faithfully manning the ACP display was Brian Wasson. He helped us raffle an MKSAP subscription. The lucky winner was ACP member Donna Hephinger, MD recently of Barrow, Alaska.

Special thanks to Norm Wilder, Dave Peach, Rich Neubauer, and Keith Brownsberger who hosted guests at their homes. Jan Oistad, our Chapter support staff, helped to run the meeting. Nancy Knuutila did the flower arrangements at the banquet. Ed Lamb, CEO of Alaska Regional Hospital has continued to give us incredible support from the hospital for our annual meeting.

Mark your calendar now for the next Chapter scientific meeting: Women's Health: Issues and Controversies, June 26-28, 2003 to be held at Alaska Regional Hospital. With the new information that just came out about fixed dose estrogen-progesterone therapy in menopause, this meeting should be extraordinarily interesting.

2002 Alaska Laureate - Burt Janis MD, FACP

Burton Janis MD, FACP was awarded the 2002 Laureate Award of the Alaska Chapter ACP at the annual meeting banquet June 28, 2002. This award honors those Fellows and Masters of the College who have demonstrated by their example and conduct an abiding commitment to excellence.

Dr. Janis received his BS degree from the University of California at Davis is 1954 and went on to complete his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine training at UC Davis as well in 1956. He received his MD degree from Northwestern University Medical School in 1963. His internship and residency training in internal medicine and fellowship in infectious diseases were completed at the University of Utah Affiliated Hospitals, Stanford University Medical Center, and at the Scripps Clinic and Research Foundation. Dr. Janis then spent many years on the infectious diseases faculty at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City, Utah until moving to Anchorage, Alaska in 1981.

Dr. Burton Janis


Dr. Burton Janis with one of his patients.


During his academic career, Dr. Janis received funding for his research on Rabies, bringing his unique qualifications as a veterinarian and also as a physician to this work. He served for years as an ad hoc reviewer for the Journal of Infectious Diseases and Reviews of Infectious Diseases. Many of those who trained under him remain in contact with him, and remember him as a skilled and thoughtful teacher whose knowledge and experience are matched by few.

Upon moving to Anchorage, Alaska Dr. Janis quickly established himself as a master clinician. His consultative services remain to this day uniquely helpful in guiding the care of the most ill patients. He has helped in the care of the young and the old. Some years ago, he was even called upon to try to diagnose an ailing polar bear at the Anchorage Zoo!

Despite the rigors of private practice, Dr. Janis has also managed to maintain an active teaching role while in Anchorage. He has served as a preceptor for numerous students, and has mentored many of his colleagues. He has given more grand rounds presentations than any other Alaska physician, and has taught University of Washington WWAMI students in the Anchorage program.

In addition, Dr. Janis has served as the Hospital Epidemiologist at Providence Alaska Medical Center from 1985 to present. He is an active member of the Infectious Diseases Society of America, the American Society for Microbiology, the Society of Hospital Epidemiologists, and the American Association for the Advancement of Science. As a Fellow of the American College of Physicians ‹ American Society of Internal Medicine, he has been active in Alaska Chapter affairs, and is currently chair of the CME committee that administers the Consolidated Grand Rounds program in Anchorage.

Besides his obviously rich medical career, Dr. Janis has been an avid mountaineer in the past, and is a beautiful downhill skier. Lately his interests have moved toward raising Samoyeds, helping his friend Bob Bundtzen MD, FACP with his dog kennel and enjoying his wonderful log home in Stuckagain Heights with his wife Mary, who recently retired from the microbiology department at the University of Alaska, Anchorage.

Most of all, Dr. Janis is known as a man who loves his work, and is loved in return by those whose lives he has touched. It is with great pleasure that we present him with the 2002 Alaska Chapter Laureate Award.

New Member Benefit: Online CME Transcripts

The College is pleased to announce a new member benefit—online CME transcripts. ACP members may view and print a transcript of their CME credit earned for participation in activities sponsored by the College. The transcript provides a six year listing and includes credit earned for:

  • Annual Session
  • Postgraduate Courses
  • Chapter/Regional Meetings Accredited by the College (Starting November 1999)
  • MKSAP and Related MKSAP Enhancements
  • MKSAP Audio Companion
  • Clinical Problem Solving Cases
  • Audio and Video Products

Work is underway to include credit earned for The Medical Laboratory Evaluation Program and the educational component of the ABIM recertification program. Members can also print documentation of their participation in sessions related to state specific CME requirements. If you have any questions, please contact ACP's Customer Service Department at (800-523-1546, ext. 2600), or custserv@acponline.org.

PIER is Here… The Physicians' Information and Education Resource

What Pier Is— PIER (Physicians' Information and Education Resource) is ACP's new, electronic, Web-based, decision support tool designed for rapid point-of-care delivery of up-to-date, evidence-based guidance for physicians. PIER contains modules focusing on the diagnosis and treatment of diseases, and will eventually include sections on prevention and screening, procedures, ethical and legal issues, complementary and alternative medicine, and patienteducation. ACP members can visit the PIER web site.

Why PIER is the Best Choice— All information in PIER has gone through a rigorous review process, so you can be sure that the information found in PIER is credible, up to date, and accurate.

How PIER Can Help You—

  • Get answers to clinical questions fast.
  • Rapidly review diagnostic and therapeutic strategies.
  • Find focused drug information.
  • Provide clear information to patients in print or electronic format.
  • Be up to date on the newest data.
  • Have ready access to the evidence and related literature.

What to Expect From PIER in the Future—

  • Ongoing coverage of the newest data
  • Integrated links to electronic medical records
  • Customizable patient information
  • Clinical question archiving

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