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July 2011 Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, FACP
ACP Arizona Governor

Message from the Governor

Dr. Lopez

Dear Colleagues,

Annual Session 2011 is behind us. 210 Arizona members traveled to San Diego. Several of you presented. Kudos! Please see the updates from ACP 2011 in the Newsletter!

It was wonderful to see so many of you at the Chapter reception. The interest and excitement was palpable. Many of you commented on the quality of the presentations, on how much you learned and on how you enjoyed reconnecting with old friends and making new ones. As we look ahead to gathering again, please take a moment now to set aside the date for our Chapter meeting, ACP-AZ 2011, in Tucson this fall, September 30 to October 2, 2011. It will be another opportunity to learn, to share and to engage.

As I complete my 2nd year as your Governor and look around I see half the road in front of me and half behind me, please know that it has been a tremendous privilege to hear your needs and represent them to ACP national. Because of your interest and questions, the College addressed the impact of immigration policy and health, affirmed the importance for the house of internal medicine to collaborate and find common ground and is re-examining the impact of Conrad 30 legislation. Please keep your ideas, thoughts and concerns coming. My primary goal as Governor is to increase engagement and to represent YOU.

So I am feeling reflective about the experience. Personally, I have “grown up” with ACP. Since I first became acquainted with the College as a resident, I have felt kinship with the College and its members. I have resonated with ACP’s commitment to excellence in clinical practice, enthusiasm to make a difference and willingness to take a stand on behalf of our patients and our profession. As I considered my engagement with the College, I realized that ACP was the organization that as students, residents, practicing docs-- private, academic or administrative practice--and as retired docs, we turn to as our Professional Home. Is ACP then the Internist-Centered Professional Home? What strategic partnerships would be most helpful to meet your professional needs more effectively? The ACP-AZ 2011 Governor’s Dinner will focus on these strategic partnerships. What do you see as the benefits? Risks? Challenges? How would you like to be involved? Please join me in entertaining the future, the possibilities. We are planting the seeds that will bear fruit tomorrow. Let’s carefully consider the fruit so we choose the right seeds to plant today!

Though I do not believe that a plant will spring up where no seed has been, I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders. - Thoreau

Ana Maria Lopez, MD, MPH, FACP
Governor, ACP-AZ


Internal Medicine Meeting in San Diego

Many of you had the opportunity to attend Internal Medicine 2011 in San Diego on April 6 – 9, 2011!

ACP-AZ was well-represented in the Associates Poster and Abstracts competition, Doctor’s Dilemma, Convocation and LEAD awards.

ACP-AZ Associates Poster and Abstracts competition presenters included:

Yolanda Villalvazo, MD, MPH, Associates Clinical Research Poster “Characteristics of Patients with Hepatocellular Carcinoma in a Veteran’s Affairs Population” (ACP-AZ 2010 Poster Winner, BGSMC)
Jay Yuan, MD, Associates Clinical Vignette Poster “A Real Pain in the Butt Diagnosis: Disseminated Histoplasma Capsulatum” (ACP-AZ Clinical Vignette Winner 2010 and 2011 Associates Clinical Vignette Poster Winner, BGSMC)
Gurcharan Karnail Singh, MBBS, Associates Clinical Vignette Poster “Triad of Fever, Massive Hepatosplenomegaly and Pancytopenia - a Rare Cause

Congratulations to Jay Yuan, MD who was one of the 10 national winners of the clinical vignette competition! That is two years in a row that an ACP-AZ state winner is also a national winner out of over 250 posters. Well done, Dr. Yuan!

ACP-AZ Associates Doctor’s Dilemma Team from University of Arizona (University Medical Center Internal Medicine Program):

Team ACP-AZ at Doctors Dilemma Competition (left to right): Eias S Murad, MBBS, Naser J Mahmoud, MBBS, and Bijin Thajudeen, MBBS. Go Team!


ACP Internal Medicine 2011: Convocation

ACP Fellows are recognized annually by their peers for outstanding medical scholarship and professional achievement in a moving convocation ceremony where they march alongside their Chapter Governor and local awardees. Convocation includes presentation of Mastership and specific individual organizational awards granted by the ACP. Pictured below are the Arizona Fellows who marched in the 2011 Convocation.

Mastership in the College is a singular honor awarded to Fellows of the College who have exhibited exemplary accomplishment in clinical practice, research, medical education and volunteerism.

Dr. Rakela

Dr. Jorge Rakela, Chair, Department of Internal Medicine, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale was honored at IM 2011 as Arizona’s newest ACP Master! The Chapter is privileged to currently have ten Masters in Arizona! Well-deserved congratulations to Dr. Rakela.

New Fellows in the College are recognized for outstanding medical scholarship and professional achievement.

Individuals who received Chapter awards are also invited to march with the Chapter at Convocation.

Congratulations to ACP-AZ’s New Fellows 2011!

Janis E Blair, MD FACP
Melanie D Cloonan-Schulte, MD FACP
Ibrahim M Elali, MD FACP
Kirsten E Frederiksen, MD FACP
Ismail M Jibrin, MBBS FACP
Helene R Labonte, DO FACP
Jonathan A Leighton, MD FACP
Anita P Mayer, MD FACP
Melody M Rodarte, DO FACP
Evgenije E Savin, MD FACP
Pina P Shah, MD FACP
Jennifer Suriano, MD FACP
James A Wilkens, MD FACP
Mark A Zaetta, MD FACP

New Fellows
ACP-AZ Fellows who marched in IM 2011 Convocation


Lead Certificate Presented to Dr. Elali

Congratulations to Dr. Ibrahim Elali who was awarded a LEAD Program Certificate at IM 2011. A LEAD Certificate is awarded in recognition of chapter leadership and leadership development activities.

Requirements include completion or five out of seven of the following leadership development activities within a three-year time frame:

  • Attained or maintained active Fellowship status within the College;
  • Attended at least seven hours of CME focused on leadership competencies. At least three of these must be sponsored by the ACP at the local or the national level;
  • Participated in at least two pathways to leadership at the chapter level;
  • Served on a national workgroup, committee, or council of the ACP;
  • Served as a mentor/facilitator in at least one ACP sponsored mentoring event or program;
  • Participated in Leadership Day on Capitol Hill or similar state legislative activity;
  • Demonstrated leadership competencies in the community setting. Examples include chairing a hospital committee or council, serving on a steering committee for a church/synagogue/temple, serving on a Board of Directors for local youth, sports, or arts group.

If you are interested in pursuing a LEAD Certificate, please visit the LEAD website to apply. You may also wish to be in touch with Dr. Elali or Dr. Cheryl O’Malley (2008 LEAD Certificate Recipient).


Chapter Mentorship Dinner

The ACP-AZ hosted a very successful dinner meeting on April 28 at the Arizona Medical Association. The event recognized the outstanding efforts of Arizona International Medical Graduates and facilitated a mentorship program with 31 participants. The event was made possible by Membership Support Funds provided by national. The awardees were nominated by their Chapter peers.

The following were recognized by their peers.

Outstanding Practicing IMG Internist:

Shireen Jindani, MD, Goodyear
Ibrahim Elali, MD, Surprise

Outstanding Academic IMG Internist:

Emily Mallin, MD, BGSMC, Phoenix
Jayendra Shah, MD, VA Medical Center, Tucson

Outstanding IMG Resident Rising Star:

Vivek Nagaraja, MD, PGY 3, UA/UPHK, Tucson
Mohamed Lazkani, MD, PG 1, BGSMC, Phoenix

IMG Award Recipients
IMG Award Recipients (left to right): Mohamed Lazkani, MD, Vivek Nagaraja, MD, Jayendra Shah, MD, Shireen Jindani, MD, Ibrahim Elali, MD, and Ana Maria Lopez, MD, Governor

Mentorship Event
Mentorship Social Event Mentees (from left to right): UACOM student Zoe Vomberg, Arizona ACP Governor Dr. Lopez, and ATSU-SOMA students Lorrance Majewski, Joon Kim, Sharon Chi, Alicia Waite, Sehrish Ali, Vikash Patel, and Roxana Rodriguez.

Thanks to all who attended and we hope you were able to meet some new friends and develop mentorship relationships. Look for information about future mentorship programs and plan to join us then!


The Council of Student Members Update

By Salma Alibhai, Lindsey Merritt

ACP-AZ is proud that 2 of its student members are currently serving on the Council of Student Members (CSM). Salma Alibhai (UA COM-P) and Lindsey Merritt (ATSU) both serve on this Council. Salma is the Western Zone (AK, AZ, CA, CO, HI, ID, MT, NM, NV, OR, UT, WA, WY) representative and Lindsey represents all osteopathic medical schools in the United States.

This selected group of medical students represents medical schools throughout the United States and Canada. Each CSM member represents a number of states and is in charge of keeping students engaged in ACP. The CSM is the liaison between the College, the medical schools, the Internal Medicine Interest Groups (IMIGs), the Governors and individual medical students.

The Council’s goals are to increase communication and involvement between IMIG’s and state ACP Chapters, develop IMIG’s at schools that do not yet have one established, and help improve and facilitate medical student involvement with ACP.

We look forward to hearing of their accomplishments! For more information on the CSM, please visit.


ACP-AZ Committee Reports

Medical Students Committee

On March 22, 2011 the Medical Students Committee met, also by conference call. Everyone wished out-going Vice Chair Jennifer Park the best of luck with the next steps in her career upon graduation from medical school this year.

Other topics discussed was the ACP Internal Medicine 2011 meeting in San Diego, the April 20th meeting on “Stress Management”, the 2011 Leadership Day in Washington DC on May 24 to May 25, and future Journal Club dates and the rotation schedule was distributed.

The Medical Students then had a lively Journal Club meeting on April 8th with the topic of “Obesity as an Inflammatory Disease.” Faculty members assisting in the discussion were Rupal Vora MD, Tim Flood, MD, Jayne Peterson, MD, Harold Szerlip MD, and Michael H. Trujillo MD.

Associates Reintroduce Transitions Newsletter

On March 9, 2011, the Associates Committee convened via conference call to discuss a number of projects including the “Transitions” newsletter, a mentorship social gathering, and ongoing surveys of Arizona’s Internal Medicine residents to select topics for future Journal Clubs.

Young Physicians Awarded ACP Chapter Development Funds

The Young Physicians were awarded Chapter Development Funds to examine practice-based topics: ˇAdelante! This educational series, most recently partnered with the Phoenix Society of Gastroenterology on April 20th to listen to a talk on “Stress Management and Avoiding Burnout in Your Medical Career” presented by Dr. Daniel Pacheco, a third year Internal Medicine Resident at Banner Good Samaritan who has a with a thirteen year background in mental health.

International Medical Graduate Committee

The IMG Committee successfully advocated regarding Conrad 30 abuses with a resolution to the College. Resolutions are the way by which members can communicate areas of interest to the College. This successful advocacy based on their grassroots efforts to seek member input and collect and document data is to be commended.

Advocacy Committee Hosts Second Annual Doctor’s Day at State Capital

Back by popular demand, the second annual ACP-AZ Doctor’s Day was held on March 23, 2011 at the State Capitol. Twenty five attending physicians, residents and students participated in the day-long event that included educational sessions, attendance at the Senate and House Health committee meetings, and individual meetings with legislators.

Led by ACP-AZ Advocacy Chair, Dr. Anita Murcko with Pete Wertheim, IASIS Healthcare Government and Public Affairs Officer/President-Elect of the Arizona Public Health Association and Helena Whitney, Government Relations & Legislative Affairs Director, UA Healthcare, the educational sessions included briefings by David Landrith, Vice President of Policy and Political Affairs for the Arizona Medical Association, Joe Abate, lobbyist for the Arizona Osteopathic Medical Association and Beth Kohler-Lazare, Policy Advisor, Health and Human Services from the Office of Governor Brewer.

The ACP-AZ group was greeted by host Senator Nancy Barto, Senate Health Chair, and Representatives Cecil Ash, Matt Heinz and Eric Meyer (both physicians), addressed the group. Attendees visited with their local representatives to discuss AHCCCS funding, Health Information Exchange (HIE) enabling legislation and the Patient-Centered Medical Home Model. Both health committees were in session that day, so attendees had opportunity to participate in the proceedings of the Senate and House Health Committees, that included progress on the HIE bill (HB 2620, signed into law by Governor Brewer!)

On behalf of ACP-AZ, we want to thank all of those who volunteered their time to participate in Doctors Day at the State Capitol. We hope that you will join us next year.


Important Arizona Legislation Passed

In April Governor Brewer signed HB2620 into law. The bill removes barriers to health information exchange (HIE) in Arizona and allows physicians to meet "meaningful use" criteria necessary to receiving funding for converting to electronic medical records. The ACP-AZ, Pima County Medial Society, and the Arizona Medical Association along with other health care stakeholders worked tirelessly to advocate for the success of the bill. Its passage is a major step forward in realizing the benefits of health information technology in Arizona.

The bill, sponsored by Representative Cecil Ash, is the result of three years of intense work by the Legal Committee of Arizona Health-E Connection and was strongly supported by its Governing Board. The bill also enjoyed the support of the Governor's office.

For more information, please contact Anita Murcko, MD, Chair of the Advocacy Committee.


ACP Leadership Day 2011

Leadership Day 2011 was held at our nation's capital on May 24-25 and was a great success! The Arizona delegation was well–represented by ACP-AZ Governor Dr. Ana Maria Lopez, ACP-AZ Advocacy, Chair, Dr. Anita Murcko and medical students Alan Beneze (UA-COM, MSIII) and Lindsay Merritt (ATSU-Mesa, MSII). Alan was awarded the Joseph E. Johnson Leadership Day Grant to attend and was named one of the top 10 Key Contact members out of 7,000 members nationally. Lindsay was recently appointed the student representative to the Health and Public Policy Committee. ACP-AZ had an informal conversation with Representative Pastor and scheduled meetings with legislative aides from Senators McCain’s and Kyl's office as well as Representatives Pastor’s, Grijalva’s, Flake’s, Quayle’s and Gosar’s office. The Arizona delegation advocated for SGR reform, preservation of funding for primary care and tort reform. Follow-up conversations with legislators are now being scheduled. If you are interested in becoming more involved with ACP-AZ advocacy, please contact Dr. Murcko.

Meanwhile, we encourage you to personally contact your State and Congressional representatives about matters of interest to you and your patients.

Become an Arizona Key Contact--sign up today.


Rural Health Professions Program

Morton Fuchs Awardees

RHPP Class of 2014: (left to right) Wes Anderson, Shana Semmens, Dr. Lopez, Erik Smith and Joseph Chao at their Send-off Luncheon on April 26th

ACP-AZ has a longstanding relationship with the University of Arizona College of Medicine’s Community-Based Teaching Program, the Rural Health Professions Program (RHPP) which matches medical students with physicians working in rural Arizona.

RHPP’s primary objective is that by providing the student with a longitudinal rural experience, the student will be more likely to pursue a rural practice. ACP-AZ supports the students who are placed with an internist. These Morton Fuchs Community-Based Scholars will be honored at the Chapter Meeting this fall.


Mark Your Calendar Now for our 2011 AZ Chapter Scientific Meeting

The Arizona Chapter Meeting to be held at the University of Arizona Student Union in Tucson. The theme is “Transformations in Medicine: Clinical, Scientific and Economic.” The program includes the following:

Friday, September 30 includes the ABIM SEP Module (7am – 5:30pm), 2011 Updates in: Hospice and Palliative Medicine, Hospital Medicine, Cardiovascular Disease, and Infectious Disease. There will be a separate afternoon program and workshops (12noon – 4:30pm) for Residency Program Directors, associates, medical students and early career internists followed by Poster Session I for associates and medical students. The day ends with the Governor’s Dinner (7:00 – 9:00pm) and Town Hall Meeting with the theme “Strategic Partnerships” at Anthony’s in the Catalina’s.

Saturday, October 1-Sunday, October 2 is the Annual Meeting and Scientific Session which includes the General Session, Chapter Awards Presentation, Doctor’s Dilemma™ Competition, Poster Sessions II and the Oral Vignette Presentations. A Call for Abstracts (deadline August 19th), and Doctor’s Dilemma Teams (deadline August 26) and a full program schedule, online registration/hotel/parking information will be available shortly. If you have not already signed up to be a judge for the either Poster Sessions, please do so by July 22nd at the following link: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/YKPWJMH . Questions can be directed to Yvonne (or 520-609-9592).

Look forward to seeing you there!