Chapter Newsletter - Winter 1997-98
Northern Chapter Updates
Of the value to the local practitioners of a medical society and of a library we are all agreed. How common the experience to enter a cold cheerless room in which the fire in the grate has died down, not from a lack of coal, not because the coal was not alight, but the bits, large and small, falling away from each other, have gradually become cold and dark. Break them with a poker, get them together, and what a change in a few minutes. There is light, heat and good cheer. What happens in the grate illustrates very often the condition of the profession: singly or in cliques they have fallen apart, and, as in the dying embers there is neither light nor warmth; or the coals may be there alive and bright but covered with ashes of discord, jealousy and faction. Like the poker bringing the elements together, the Medical Society is the most important single factor in the promotion of that unity and good fellowship which adds so much to the dignity of the profession.
Osler: Organizations in the Profession, British Medical Journal, February 4, 1911, p.237
(Thank you to Charles L. Lawler, MD, for bringing to my attention)
The ACP/ASIM merger is happening and there is much to be worked out. Dr. John Schneider has been named a temporary Governor for a one year period starting July 1, 1998. I welcome Dr. Schneider's help. He has already been an active participant on our Council.
Dr. Whitney W. Addington will officially become President-elect of the American College of Physicians (ACP) at the Annual Session in San Diego. Congratulations to Dr. Addington. His clear voice for universal health care coverage and the College position paper on Inner City Health Care which he helped form, gives us a leader we can follow with enthusiasm and professional dignity.
Dr. Marian Brooks accepted the Stritch medal from Loyola University on his retirement as Chair of Medicine and stated his twenty seven years at Loyola were a spectacular journey. "I was given the opportunity to help create a dream and to participate in making it come true. Our dream was founded on the belief that our mission was to teach young men and women to become outstanding physicians. We believed this goal could best be achieved in an atmosphere of caring . . . caring about patients, caring about students, caring about each other. In the face of diminishing financial support for medical education, some may suggest we cannot afford the luxury of attitudes and behaviors that constitute our institutional identity. I strongly disagree. Institutional loyalty is vital to our future, it develops in an atmosphere of mutual trust, and it is my fervent prayer that economic pressures will never cause us to lose our focus on education, abandon our values or sacrifice our culture on the altar of managed care."
Update on State Children's Health Insurance Plan
John Schneider, MD, FACP
The Balanced Budget Act of 1997, under a new title XXI, established the States Children Health Insurance Program. This act expands medical care to children of uninsured, low-income families. In December, the state announced it would expand Medicaid to implement the program. Families whose incomes are at or below 133% of the federal poverty level, and women who are pregnant or women with children under a year old whose incomes are at or below 200%, are eligible for the insurance benefits.
The federal government requires that the state sponsor an outreach program to contact the eligible recipients and encourage them to enroll. They could choose to enroll in a fee for servivce program or a Medicaid HMO.
The outreach program presents challenges because members from higher income families are likely to be working, and thus not currently receiving Illinois Department of Public Aid (IDPA) benefits. These families will be difficult to capture in the new insurance plan. Enrolling children as they present to the hospital or emergency department misses the opportunity provide preventive care to children.
Providing health benefits to poor families with children using private sector resources is the next step. I serve on an eight member task force created by the administration to explore other means of providing benefits to the states' uninsured children. Consideration is being given to use the private insurance market to provide health benefits to families whose incomes are between 133% and 200% of the federal poverty level. The task force has met twice in January and has additional meetings in February.
Several proposals are being considered. The task force is exploring ways to help families purchase commercial insurance, or enroll in IDPA HMO's, or use vouchers to obtain insurance through an employer. In making a decision, the overall cost and administration burden have to be weighed. Nonetheless, states such as California, Wisconsin, and Connecticut are further along than Illinois in expanding insurance coverage for children.
MARK YOUR CALENDAR: April 2-5, 1998 San Diego, ACP Annual Session
Steven R. Potts, DO, FACP
June 3, 1998 Chief Resident Training Course, Chicago
October 21, 1998 Twenty-fifth Annual Associates Meeting, Chicago
Text of Proposed Amendment to the Illinois State Constitution
Section 9 of Article XIII: Universal Health Care Coverage
Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity, and there is an obligation for the State of Illinois to ensure that every resident is able to realize this fundamental right. On or before May 31, 2002, the General Assembly by law shall enact a plan for universal health care coverage that permits everyone in Illinois to obtain decent health care on a regular basis.
Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity, and there is an obligation for society to ensure that every person be able to realize the right.- Cardinal Joseph Bernardin
At our Council meeting last fall the Illinois northern Chapter of the ACP proposed a resolution to the College:
Be it resolved that health care is a basic human right and this right flows from the sanctity of life and is a necessary condition for the preservation of human dignity. Cardinal Joseph Bernardin
Address to the AMA, Washington DC, December 5, 1995: Origins v. 25 no. 27 p.454
The resolution was revised and the revision was accepted as follows:
Whereas physicians and the medical profession have a covenant with society to be an advocate for the health needs of their community and the nation,
Whereas many Americans do not have access to health care.
Be it resolved that the ACP reaffirms its position that it is the obligation of society and physicians to assure that all people receive needed health care.
Cardinal Bernardin also wrote "I was deeply disappointed by our inability as a nation to move forward with systemic reform of our nation's delivery of health care...I am troubled that our constitutional process for decision-making seems increasingly incapable of addressing fundamental issues."
Last November, State Representative Mike Boland from East Moline announced at a press conference in Chicago that State Senator Barack Obama and he will co-sponsor the Bernardin Amendment to the Illinois State Constitution. To be enacted into the Illinois Constitution, the Bernardin Amendment must receive approval by 3/5 of both houses of the General Assembly and 60% of the voters voting in a referendum at the November 4, 1998 general election.
As of February 1,1998 the following sponsors have been identified:
House of Representatives: Mike Boland, Constance Howard, Todd Stroger, Doug Scott, Janice Schakowsky, Jack McGuire, Barbara Flynn Currie, Larry McKeon, Mary Flowers, Wyvetter Younge
Senate: Barack Obama, Jesus Garcia, Emil Jones, Louis Viverito, Evelyn Bowles, Bruce Farley, Donne Trotter
Please write to your Senator and to your State Representative and ask them to support the Bernardin Amendment. There is a sample letter below.
The Honorable Kirk W. Dillard
942 Maple Avenue
Downers Grove, IL 60515
Dear Mr. Dillard:
- "Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and there is an obligation for society to insure that every person be able to realize this right."
This quote from Joseph Cardinal Bernardin in a pastoral article on healthcare in March 1994 is the basis for the introduction for the Bernardin Amendment to the Illinois State Constitution which will be introduced by Representative Mike Boland and State Senator Barack Obama. Cardinal Bernardin had been a pre-medical student at the University of South Carolina when he had his calling to the priesthood, and he found many similarities in his profession and in the medical profession - namely, the universal need for healing and wholeness.
The Amendment itself will read, Section 9, Universal Health Care Coverage:
- Health care is an essential safeguard of human life and dignity, and there is an obligation for the State of Illinois to insure that every person is able to realize this fundamental right. On or before May 31, 2002, the General Assembly by law shall enact a plan for Universal Health Care coverage that permits everyone in Illinois to obtain decent health care on a regular basis.
The supporting co-sponsors in the House are:
And in the Senate:
I would very much appreciate your support of the Bernardin Amendment which is so important to my covenant with my patients.
Warren W. Furey, MD, FACP
COMMITTE MEMBERSHIP 7/96-7/98
Health and Public Policy
Serafino Garella, MD, FACP (Chair) 773-955-4101
Whitney Addington, MD, FACP 312-942-8389, Pres elect ACP
Lee Francis, MD 312-666-3494: Pres., Physicians for Social Responsibility
Terry Conway, MD
Health Care Reform
James R. Webster, Jr., MD, FACP 312-503-8269 (Chair, Call to Action)
Quentin Young, MD, MACP 773-493-8212: Pres., American Public Health Association
Gordon Schiff, MD 312 633-6000 (Physicains for National Health Program)
Bruce Huck, MD, FACP 312-930-0999
James Sheinin, MD, FACP 312-346-1891
Jim Sipkins, MD 312-503-6000 (Managed Care)
Rolf Gunnar, MD, MACP 708-795-2400
John Schneider, MD, FACP 773-702-6840
Steven Potts, DO, FACP (Chair) 312-567-2333
William Cannon, MD 708-216-3356 (Loyola)
Michael Greenberg, MD, FACP 847-634-3778 (Il Masonic)
Janet Riddle, MD 312-955-8126 ( Rush)
Elizabeth Schupp, MD 312-942-5020
MEMBERSHIP ENHANCEMENT COMMITTEE
Ash Gupta, MD, FACP (Chair) 773-947-2290
Darrien Gaston, MD 773-881-5270
Nakares Thepjatri, MD, FACP 312-523-9550
Cynthia Boyd, MD, FACP
Vesna Skul, MD, FACP 312-551-1301
Wayne Williamson, MD, FACP 312-226-1162
Mark Valliere, MD, FACP 309-757-9230
Pedro Lopez, MD
MED STUDENTS: CBT/MEMBERS/PRIM CARE DAY
C.A. Hedberg, MD, FACP (Co-Chair) 312-226-11621
J. Skosey MD. FACP (Co-Chair) 708-795-3400
David Liebovitz, MD, (Chair) (U of C) 773-702-4146
John Brill, MD (Rush) 312-930-0999
Robert Kapicka, MD (ACP liason) 847-255-5029
Ray Curry MD, FACP (NU) 312-908-7202
NEWSLETTER: Comments and contributions welcome
Carlotta Rinke, MD, FACP 630-369-3861 ABCM@interaccess.com
Nancy Furey, MD, FACP 312-642-6868 firstname.lastname@example.org
John Schneider, MD, FACP 773-702-6840
Lee Francis, MD 312-666-3494
Vesna Skul, MD, FACP 312-551-1301
Please send me an application:
Membership Advancement to Fellowship
Associate Medical Student
Ph Fx E-Mail
Mail to Warren W. Furey, MD.FACP,2525 S Michigan,Chicago, 60616
Southern Chapter Updates
"When you come to a fork in the road, take it"-Yogi Berra
The New Year finds the Illinois Southern Chapter with many opportunities to be an effective organization for its members. In fact, there are so many options that some "forks in the road" may be better left unexplored for the time being, while others demand to be taken as soon as possible. Among the chapter's activities for the coming year (with editorial comments and pleas for help):
Merger of ACP and ASIM. This initiative, approved by the ACP's Board of Governors and the ASIM's House of Delegates, will require negotiations at the local, state, and national levels. Illinois poses a complicated proposition, with two ACP chapters but only one ASIM member society. In addition, we are fortunate that a temporary governor's spot has been awarded to John Schneider of Chicago, but the roles and relationships of the three governors have yet to be worked out. The Southern Chapter, the territory of which includes the state capital and three medical school campuses, would seem to have an important role waiting for it, if it wants.
The Community Based Teachers Program, Friday, February 20, 1998, at the Paradise Hotel in Peoria. Organized through the joint efforts of the Departments of Medicine at the U of I branches at Peoria and Champaign-Urbana and SIU in Springfield, this program is designed to acknowledge the tremendous effort that practicing internists in southern Illinois provide by teaching residents and students. The afternoon is a faculty development program with topics related to how students learn, how to be efficient teachers in a busy clinic, and how to give feedback. In the evening, participants and their spouses will be treated to a sumptuous reception and banquet. There is no tuition, the meal is free, and CME credit will be awarded for the afternoon session.
The Annual State Scientific Meeting, Friday and Saturday, October 23 and 24, 1998, in Springfield. The Northern and Southern Chapters have traditionally alternated hosting the Scientific Meeting, and it's our turn this year. We will have a tough act to follow-the 1997 meeting in Chicago was a great success and a model for Chapter meetings in general. However, we plan to be up to the task. A Program Planning Committee is just being formed, and anyone interested in joining, or with a good idea for the program, is encouraged to volunteer.
Re-invigorating the Council and Committees. Since previous Governor George Taylor's quick departure to South Carolina, the Illinois Southern Chapter has stalled a bit as the new governor sizes up the needs of the membership. (How's that for an excuse?) This spring, the council will be reconstituted and will meet, perhaps in more than one location and at more than one time, to give members from all reaches of our territory a chance to participate. Other committees will be created, and at least three seem most relevant for our chapter-Membership, Public Policy, and Rural Practice--but others are a possibility. I invite suggestions from the membership, as well as volunteers to lead or serve on any of these committees.
These are the highlights of the Illinois Southern Chapter's plans for 1998, all good reasons to take the fork in the road-there's something for everyone here, and the more involvement by the members the better.
One final comment: I'd like to thank Warren Furey, the Illinois Northern Chapter Governor, and his wife, Nancy, for their support over the past months. Jumping unprepared into the Governor's role has been a challenge, and they have gone out of their way to provide invaluable guidance and friendship. We are lucky to have in our midst human beings with Warren and Nancy's qualities, and getting to know them has been one of the best things about becoming Governor. (Besides, Nancy's a great newsletter editor, and none of this would have been in print without her!)
I look forward to hearing from you, about the above or any other topics, at the following:
David Steward, MD
SIU School of Medicine
PO Box 19230
Springfield, IL 62794-1311
telephone (217) 782-2596
fax: (217) 524-8156