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Governor's Newsletter, Fall 2001

William E. Dismukes, MD, MACP
Governor, Alabama Chapter

Annual Scientific Meeting Of Alabama Chapter
Bill Dismukes, MD, MACP, Governor, Alabama Chapter

Our May 31-June 1-2, 2001, meeting at Perdido Beach Resort, Orange Beach, Alabama, was a big success. Over 110 members/associates and their spouses/families attended (our largest attendance ever). We sponsored 20 Associate (Resident) members from the five different Internal Medicine Residency Training Programs in the state. Six of these presented clinical vignettes as a part of the program. For more details, see the Associates Activities article in this issue. Our faculty speakers did an excellent job. Speakers and their topics were as follows:

Sports Medicine for Internists - Kimberly M. Fagan, MD, Member, Faculty, Baptist Health Systems, Birmingham; Faculty, Carraway Methodist Medical Center; Private Practice in Sports Medicine.

Evaluation of Chest Pain - John G. Canto, MD, Member, Assistant Professor of Medicine and Epidemiology; Director of Chest Pain Center; Co-Director of Coronary Care Unit; University of Alabama School of Medicine at Birmingham.

What a Primary Care Internist Should Know About HIV - Donna E. Sweet, MD, FACP, Chair, ACP-ASIM Board of Governors and College Representative; Professor of Medicine, University of Kansas School of Medicine, Wichita, Kansas.

Erectile Dysfunction - Mark S. DeGuenther, MD, Private Practice, Urology Centers of Alabama, Birmingham.

Topics in Geriatric Psychiatry - F. Cleveland Kinney, MD, Director, Division of Geriatric Psychiatry; Associate Professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuro-Biology, University of Alabama School of Medicine at Birmingham.

GI Potpourri - Christopher D. Truss, MD, FACP, Professor of Medicine, Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, University of Alabama School of Medicine at Birmingham.

Current Issues Facing Internists: News from Washington - Robert Doherty, ACP-ASIM Washington Representative, Washington, DC.

News from the ACP-ASIM College Representative - Donna E. Sweet, MD.

Special activities included a welcome reception on Thursday evening; a Business Meeting; a Town Hall Meeting; an Arthrocentesis/Joint Injection Workshop; and another reception on Friday evening to honor our Laureate Awardees (see article on Laureates in this issue).

Attendees were very positive about the program, speakers, facilities and special activities. If you did not attend, please plan to join us at our next Alabama Chapter Meeting on May 30-31-June1, 2002. We promise another excellent meeting!

What Can ACP-ASIM Practice Management Center Do For You?

The Practice Management Center (PMC), located in the Washington office, is a valuable benefit of College membership. It supplies free assistance to members on how to handle the business issues associated with running or working in a practice. Internists are provided with timely information to succeed in today's health care environment through three different means.

First, PMC offers over forty practical written guides on various topics. These publications can be downloaded via PMC's web page, or ordered through the College's customer service desk. The first copy of each publication is complimentary as a part of your College membership. These guides cover everything from starting a practice to negotiating an employment contract and complying with Medicare regulations. Laminated pocket reference sheets on coding, documentation, and preventive services are some of the most popular items.

Second, PMC's management and regulatory experts respond to individual member inquiries via e-mail and telephone calls within 24 to 48 hours. If PMC experts cannot answer your question, then they may research the question, refer to another source, or, as needed, offer a list of qualified consultants.

And finally, PMC offers management tools for members to use in assessing and improving their practices - "Check Ups." The Patient Satisfaction Check Up provides a survey instrument developed by internists for internists. After you survey your patients, PMC supplies customized comparison patient satisfaction assessment reports. The Office Laboratory Check Up is a spreadsheet program enabling you to evaluate and optimize the profitability of your office laboratory. The Practice Management Check Up is a benchmarking tool for conducting an overall assessment of the practice and identifying opportunities for improvement. Each of the three "Check Up" tools comes with a guide to help improve the practice and can be downloaded free of charge from the PMC web page.

What is the best way to access the Center's services and resources? Go to the PMC web page where everything is right at your fingertips - downloads, e-mail questions, links, tools, and a host of other resources. The PMC web page offers members access to the various guides for the topic of concern to them. With all of its services instantly available on the web page, PMC represents a rich and valuable resource for College members. Visit (www.acponline.org/pmc/) to explore it yourself. For more information, please contact Margo Williams at (mwilliams@acponline.org).

Laureate Awards

Keehn W. Berry, Jr., MD, FACP-
A native of Alabama, Keehn W. Berry, Jr., MD, was born in Birmingham in 1922 and educated in Birmingham and New Orleans. After completing his undergraduate studies at Yale University, he earned his MD degree from the College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University (Class of 1946). Dr. Berry's residency training in internal medicine and fellowship training in cardiology at Philadelphia General Hospital was interrupted by a two-year stint in the United States Navy. He is certified by the American Board of Internal Medicine in both internal medicine and cardiology.

In 1952, Dr. Berry returned to Birmingham and joined the voluntary faculty of the Department of Medicine, Medical College of Alabama (as designated in those days). He was offered and accepted the private practice of Dr. Walter Frommeyer, Chairman of Medicine. Dr. Berry reminisces "I spent the early years roaming the floors of Hillman Hospital along with Dr. Al Shugerman and a few other hungry but eager internists, making formal and informal rounds with students and house staff. This same group of internists opened the BVAH under the same circumstances. These were some of my most fun years in medicine!" Along the way, Dr. Berry received several "Best Clinical Teacher" awards.

In the mid 1950's, Dr. Berry switched his practice affiliation to St. Vincent's Hospital and used this facility as his base of operations until his retirement in 1997. Over the ensuing years, he wore many hats at St. Vincent's and made many important contributions. He developed the Coronary Care Unit, was Chief of Cardiology for many years, served as President of the medical staff, functioned as a member and/or chair of numerous key committees, and founded the Lakeview Internal Medicine Group. In addition, Dr. Berry was Director of the St. Vincent's Teaching and Clinic program for 30 years, started the St. Vincent's Medical Clinic for the underserved (which continues to function as an important outreach ambulatory experience for UAB medical residents), and developed the "welfare to work" relationship with PATH, for the benefit of both clinic patients and PATH clients. In addition, he has been a long-time Fellow of ACP-ASIM and highly supportive of our College.

Dr. Berry's legacy will be as "an outstanding care giver and teacher - highly dedicated to his patients, students and profession." Our Alabama Chapter is proud to honor Keehn Berry with the ACP-ASIM Laureate Award.

Max Michael, III, MD, FACP-
Max Michael, MD, was born in 1946 in Atlanta, GA. After graduation from Vanderbilt University in 1968, he attended Harvard Medical School from which he received his MD degree in 1972. Dr. Michael was an intern and resident in internal medicine at UAB. From 1974-1976, he served as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Clinical Scholar at the University of North Carolina School of Medicine, Chapel Hill. Fortunately for Birmingham and Alabama, Dr. Michael returned to our state in 1977 to join Cooper Green Hospital, initially as the Director of Ambulatory Services, and subsequently as Chairman, Department of Medicine. In 1985, he took a one-year sabbatical as a Robert Wood Johnson Foundation Health Policy Fellow at the Institute of Medicine, Washington, DC, where he served on staff of the Health Subcommittee of the U.S. House of Representatives Ways and Means Committee and was highly involved in Medicare legislation. From 1992 to 2000, Dr. Michael served as Chief Executive Officer and Medical Director, Jefferson Health System/Cooper Green Hospital.

Dr. Michael's various roles and contributions to Cooper Green Hospital and the Jefferson Health System are numerous. He is a caring, involved and skilled general internist who has been an effective role model for many UAB medical students, residents, chief medical residents, and young faculty. During his tenure as CEO at Cooper Green, Dr. Michael developed our nation's first managed care program for uninsured persons, The Community Care Plan, which was the winner of the 1996 Safety Net Award given by the National Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems. Cooper Green Hospital has also received national recognition for its Balm of Gilead Center (developed jointly by Dr. Amos Bailey and Dr. Michael), one of the few inpatient palliative care programs in Alabama. Another noteworthy accomplishment is the Birmingham Health Care for the Homeless Program, developed by Dr. Michael and for which he continues to serve as Medical Director. He was recently named Dean, School of Public Health, UAB.

Dr. Michael has served on multiple community organization boards, including United Way of Central Alabama, Gateway, Greater Birmingham Ministries and Alabama Maternity. He has also been a long-time Fellow of the College, member of the ACP-ASIM Executives, and Co-Editor of "Policy Watch," a monthly feature in the American Journal of Medicine. For his sustained commitment to the underserved population in Jefferson County and his many accomplishments along the way, Max Michael is highly deserving of the ACP-ASIM Laureate Award.

Chain Remains Unbroken
Richard H. Esham, MD, FACP

On June 30, 2001, Allan R. Goldstein, MD, FACP, (Birmingham) was elected to The Medical Association of the State of Alabama's (MASA) Board of Censors. At the 140th Annual Session of MASA held in Destin, FL, Dr. Goldstein was nominated from the floor of the College of Counselors and House of Delegates and elected to fill an un-expired one-year term. His election extends an unbroken six-decade history of an Internist serving continuously on MASA's Board of Censors. The Board meets monthly in Montgomery and directs the activities of MASA between Annual Sessions. With this position, Dr. Goldstein also automatically becomes a member of the Alabama Board of Medical Examiners and the State Committee of Public Health. Pink Folmar, MD, FACP, (Birmingham) completed his eligible term of service at this meeting and rotated off the Board. James D. Gifford, MD, Member, (Decatur) was also elected for a one-year term as Vice-President of MASA.

In addition to many Internists present at the meeting as delegates, counselors, or officers, Alabama ACP-ASIM was represented by three delegates at the business meeting of MASA. They were: Bipin Kumar, MD, FACP, (Wetumpka); Jefferson Underwood, III, MD, FACP, (Montgomery); and Bob Spiegel, MD, Associate, (Birmingham); John Whitehead, MD, Life Member, (Birmingham) was present as an alternate delegate.

Alabama ACP-ASIM is the largest physician specialty organization in this state and has historically worked closely with MASA on many issues important to all physicians and their patients in Alabama. Because of the unique structure of Alabama's medical organizations and their inter-relationships, it remains vitally important for Internal Medicine to remain committed to a relationship of continued involvement and participation with and within the MASA.

Alabama Chapter Associates Program
David Ennis, MD, FACP, Chair, Associates Program

Six Associate members representing our state's five Residency Training Programs presented clinical vignettes at the June 2001 Annual Chapter Meeting in Orange Beach. Missy Dillmon, MD, UAB, was the winner of the Associates' Competition for her presentation titled "35-Year-Old Postpartum Female with Progressive Lower Extremity Weakness and Weight Loss" (Lymphoma with Chronic Demyelinating Neuropathy). Other Associate presenters were Michael Rahman, MD (Baptist - Birmingham); James Wan, MD (USA); Brian Mathews, MD (Carraway); Derreck Menefee, MD (UAB - Montgomery); and Turner Overton, MD (UAB). As state winner, Dr. Dillmon will next compete in the National Associates Competition at the 2002 Annual Session in Philadelphia.

The Associates' Program continues to grow in number of members and planned activities. Members of the Associates' Council for 2001-02 are: Phil Hemstreet and Katisha Vance (Baptist - Birmingham); Joel Abbott and Rhonda Sivley (Carraway); Sonya Heath and Ike Gaines (UAB); Wenimar Salvador and Kirby Parker (UAB - Montgomery); and Lawrence Bedsole and Amy Armentrout (USA).

Supporting Your Chapter Through Chapter Dues

Chapter dues are the backbone of local activities and vital to the success of our chapter. While we are provided some financial support from the national office, the chapter dues collected provide the majority of financial support for local activities. Educational meetings, mentoring programs for UAB and USA medical students, local Associates' research competitions, advocacy with state legislators, and participation by chapter leaders in Leadership Day on Capitol Hill are just some of the activities supported by your chapter dues. Many of these activities are orchestrated by unpaid volunteer leaders in our chapter. However, the increase in activities at the local level has created the need for additional staff support to help manage the day-to-day operation of the chapter. Your chapter dues help support the cost of local staff and provide funding for new and existing chapter initiatives. When you receive your dues notice, please remember to include the chapter dues in your payment. You will be contributing to the success of many grass roots activities happening right here in Alabama.

Important Dates - Mark Your Calendars

AL Chapter Annual Literature and Medicine Retreat
January 25-26, 2001
Montgomery, AL

ACP-ASIM Annual Session
April 11-April 14, 2002
Philadelphia, PA

AL Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting
May 30 - June 1, 2002
Perdido Beach Resort, Orange Beach, AL