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Governor's Newsletter, July 1997

The Governor's Corner

I have been encouraged by the large number of responses that I have received to date from associates, members, and fellows who expressed an interest in either advancement, more involvement in the Chapter, and/or better communication with the leadership of the ACP. We are in the process of collating the responses, but ask that others with interest please fill out and send me your questionnaire. We will present this information to the Governor's Council to further discussion about how our Chapter can better respond to the needs of its membership.

I am honored to have been selected as a member of the Health and Public Policy Committee of the ACP, and attended my first meeting at the end of May. The meeting solidified a number of impressions I have had 'from the outside.' The first is that the ACP has some of the best policy minds working for our organization; the Washington staff is bright and understands health care issues. Secondly, the ACP's policy documents are valued by policy makers because they recognize that our central value is the improvement of the health of our patients. Thirdly, the ACP's commitment to Universal health insurance and improved access for all Americans to quality health care is unwavering. Fourthly, our organization has spent more time in the past in policy development than in policy translation. The last is best exemplified by the lack of a strong grassroots policy connection despite an organizational structure that is ideal for this purpose. This has made us less directly involved as a 'player' in Washington than would be expected from a 100,000 member group.

As a group our chapter has the capability to be more involved locally in the translation of policy. We would be strengthened by having representation of the CSIM and SGIM within our local policy committee (as would the national organization) and will be discussing ways that our chapter can more effectively represent the interests of our membership locally and nationally at the upcoming Governor's Council.

The Resolutions Process

In an attempt to improve communication with its membership, the ACP has developed a resolutions process by which concerns of the membership can be voted on by the Board of Governors and forwarded to the Board of Regents. Although, in my brief exposure to the Board of Governors, I am somewhat concerned about the lack of process to translate the resolutions into practical solutions; I do believe that our chapter should become more involved in the resolutions process. I will therefore begin to publish the recent resolutions, as well as those proposed, in this newsletter. This can allow members to provide comment. Any issue related to medicine or the health of the public that you would like me to translate into a resolution can be communicated to me at any time.

Resolutions Offered at the Fall 1996 Meeting

Resolution 101: That the ACP continue to work with appropriate organizations to develop educational materials and programs on women's health for internists. Passed. Sent to staff for development of the program.

Resolution 102: That the ACP continue to work with appropriate organizations to develop educational materials and programs on adolescent health for internists. Passed. Sent to staff for development of the program.

Resolution 103: That the ACP develop and disseminate educational materials on internal medicine and provide education to the allied health professionals in a systematic manner. Defeated. The Governors felt that we should contain our educational efforts to the profession.

Resolution 104: That the ACP enlist the support of all retail pharmacies and call on them to discontinue the sale of tobacco products. Defeated. While generally supportive, Governors felt that this was an issue that local chapters might want to take on as a local public health project while the national ACP will pursue its efforts to attain a smole free society.

Resolution 105: That the ACP reaffirm its present policy for universal access to and coverage for medical care including preventive, primary, and subspecialty care. Passed. This reiterates current policy, but the Governors felt that the 'market economy' in health care will increase the number of uninsured making continued emphasis imperative.

Resolution 106: That the ACP continue to endorse the principle that individual medical care decisions should remain between physician and patient. Passed. No clear action resulted as a consequence.

Resolution 107: That the ACP suggest and promote efforts for adequate funding for graduate medical education teaching programs in the ambulatory setting. Passed.

Resolution 108: That the ACP form a political action committee to support candidates friendly to the interests of internal medicine and to further the unique legislative goals of internal medicine. Defeated. The Governors felt that this was not the role of the ACP and would interfere with our mandate for education and dissemination of appropriate information. The role of the ACP visa vie the legislative process (educational vs proactive lobbying) continues to be debated.

Any comments or new resolutions?

Our Annual Associates Meeting

Seventy one medical students, associates, members, and fellows enjoyed an excellent at our Chapter's annual associates scientific meeting. A total of 22 presentations and posters were given on a variety of topics. A special note of thanks to Bob Gibbons for putting us up at the new educational facility at in the Russell Pavilion of St. Joseph's hospital; to Loretta Baca, Joe Mathews, and Bill Kaehny for supporting their residents during this process and for judging the competition; and to Suzanna Coiro, Karl Johsens, and Julie Pysklo our Chief Resident moderators.

All associates presenting received at least $50 but the following were judged especially exemplary, and received an extra award:

First Place:

Lisa Patel - St. Joseph's Hospital
Ilana Kutinsky - St. Joseph's Hospital
Kevin Goodluck - HealthONE

Second Place:

Thomas Soper - HealthONE
Camilla Wright - St. Joseph Hospital
Regina Bonnevie - UCHSC

Third Place:

Victor Valcour - St. Joseph Hospital
Stacy Meyer - UCHSC
Terezia Benko - St. Joseph Hospital
Sogol Nowbar - UCHSC
Matthew Terra - UCHSC

As always we want to thank all of the associates who took the time to further develop the skills for which internists have been recognized ... to ask why, to learn from their own experience to further the care of the next patient. A special thanks to those corporations that helped to support this meeting through unrestricted educational grants.