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Governor's Newsletter, April 1997

The Governor's Desk

I would like to use part of my first newsletter as your Governor to do something that should have been part of our chapter election structure (and will be in forthcoming elections), to let you know what you're getting. I recognize that you were able to look at a modified CV, but there was nothing to suggest how I view the ACP in relation to other institutions of organized medicine, how I view our chapter's activities in relationship to the national ACP, and what my goals are for my tenure. I am not presumptuous enough to use the first page for these meanderings, but ask that you peruse the entire newsletter, with particular attention to the last page to start a more open dialogue within our Chapter.

Bob Gibbons - Governor Extraordinaire

It is only after listening into a few Board of Governor's meetings that I could truly appreciate the hard work and dedication that Bob Gibbons has given to this Chapter; and the honor and respect that he is held within the national organization. We have been fortunate these past four years, and I will be relying heavily on Bob's sage advice in the Chapter's Executive Council.

The Internist - An Adult Medicine Specialist

Fewer than 30% of the folks on the street can accurately describe what an Internist does in our current health care system!! Rather than trying to change our name (a consideration by the way), the ACP will be investing $5 million on a 3 year national public relations campaign to reacquaint the lay public with the critical role of the internist in our health care system. Most will be ads in national print journals. However, Denver and two other cities are going to be test marketed for cable TV ads. I have asked that an insert be included with this newsletter to explain the purpose and messages of the campaign to our members. Please read it and let me know of any ideas you might have on how we can amplify the message that we are specially trained to care for a broad range of adult health problems.

Colorado Associates Rule!

Each year 1000 associate abstracts are submitted to the ACP to be considered for presentation at the national meeting, with 75 ultimately selected. This year EIGHT Colorado associates were invited to Philadelphia to present their posters. Please remember these names when YOU are looking for an associate!

R.B. Bonnevie, MD UCHSC
Matthew Esson, MD UCHSC
Michelle C. Harris, MD UCHSC
Ilana Kutinsky, DO St. Joseph Hospital
Sogol Nowbar, MD UCHSC
S.P. Sloan, MD UCHSC
Matt Terra, MD UCHSC
Albert Tseng, MD UCHSC

All will be shown at our ANNUAL CHAPTER'S ASSOCIATES COMPETITION which will be held on June 4th at Saint Joseph Hospital in the newly constructed Russell Pavilion. You will receive your notification of the competition in the mail shortly. Please join us in honoring these young internists of tomorrow.

The ACP Annual Session in Philadelphia

I had forgotten how well structured an educational environment the annual meeting of the ACP has become. Once you get past the disappointment of too little time and too much to learn; even a jaded sub-specialist as myself was able to get a lot of information that will help me to better care for my patients. Keep in mind that next year's meeting is in San Diego in early April.

And Speaking of Outstanding Learning Experiences

It seems that the Colorado Chapter meetings have been reaching new heights each year. This year's meeting at the Broadmoor was well attended, had terrific lectures, and had some very important presentations from a number of your colleagues who have developed innovative health delivery systems here in Colorado. This was only possible because of the hard work of the Program Committee under the exceptional leadership of Kelly O'Brien-Falls, MD, FACP, the Colorado Chapter ACEL (CME Director) for the past 4 years. The time and effort that Kelly has put into this activity is singularly responsible for the quality you have received at the meeting. Kelly will be stepping down as ACEL, to be succeeded by Robert Swaney, MD, but I hope to find one or two projects that her talents and commitment can be bent toward in the future.

The Governor's Desk - Some Thoughts

The ACP

The ACP's historical roots are largely educational and honorific; patterned on the Royal College of Physicians. The ACP has become a preeminent medical educational society as represented by the Annals, the Annual Meeting, Evidence Based Medicine, the CD-Roms, etc., because it has created educational offerings around the changing needs of its practicing members. The advancement from Member to Fellow or Master is an internationally respected honor given to members that families can rightly share in with pride.

In addition, in the last two decades the ACP has grown and stretched its arms around those who are least capable of representing themselves in a public forum. The ACP takes the remarkable stance that the health of the American people is adversely affected by the lack of some level of Universal Health Insurance, by poverty, by a lack of education, by a lack of access to competent providers, by self-abuse, and by violence. With these public pronouncements, in the last half decade the ACP has become cognizant of the lack of internal structure within the organization to create change.

The Colorado Chapter

To undertake this more significant policy role for our patients and our members the College must have an identifiable 'grass-roots' structure that allows the College and its members to communicate with each other. Bob Gibbons has seen a fundamental change in both his responsibilities as Governor and the ACP's expectations of the Chapter as a part of the College. These changes continue and accelerate much as our professional environment reshapes itself. The risks of the current medical 'marketplace' to our patients and to our professionalism, requires that we, all Colorado internists, have a clear and consistent voice within our state as well as nationally.

My Goals as your Governor are that:

  • Every eligible Associate becomes a Member, and every eligible Member becomes a Fellow.
  • Our members are made aware of ACP educational products that can improve their patient's care.
  • All members become more involved in the Chapter.
  • All Colorado internists come together with one voice on important issues for our patients and our profession.
  • Communication between the members of this Chapter and its Governor, and its Governor and the National Office are effective and rapid. (FILL OUT QUESTIONNAIRE)
  • I will speak openly, forthrightly, and publicly about issues that threaten the health of the public or our ability to care for our patients in an ethical manner.