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Governor's Newsletter, Summer 1999

Governor's Corner

Thanks to Scott Litin

As this is my first newsletter, I want to take this opportunity to acknowledge and thank Scott Litin, MD, FACP, the former Governor for his outstanding leadership during the past four years. Under Scott's direction, the Chapter flourished and became a much more active organization. He established the Governor's Advisory Committee, the Medical Student Committee and Medical Student interest groups and the Health and Public Policy Committee. Associates (residents) from all institutions became much more involved and the number of entrants to the Associate Competition skyrocketed.

Scott has not only been a strong force at the state level, but also at the national level. He was his class representative for the 1999 Governor's class last year, and he was the chair of a Board of Governor's (BOG) subcommittee on "Structure and Function of the BOG in the ACP," which discussed the changes in governance of the new combined organization. During his time as Governor, he was on the National Associates Competition Abstract Review Board and the Task Force on Associates Activity. He also served as an integral member on a combined task force about interactions between the Board of Governors and Board of Regents. He continues to be very active on the National level as a member of the Education Committee and he will serve as the Chair of the Scientific Program Committee for the Annual Meeting in Atlanta in 2001.

As our outgoing Governor, he will remain a valuable member of the Governor's Advisory Council and we look forward to calling on his expertise in the future.

Thank you, Scott, for all of your hard work and enthusiasm. You have made this Chapter a vital organization and positioned us well for the next Millennium!

General Information

I am physically located at the University of Minnesota in the Division of Hematology, Oncology and Transplantation. I am looking forward to serving as your Governor for the next four years and want you to feel free to contact me about any issues you feel either I or the college can help you with. I would also love to hear from you about any news/honors received by our membership, so that I may share them in the newsletter for all to read. My direct number is (612) 626-6748 and my e-mail is repka001@tc.umn.edu.

Kersten Anderson will serve as the Administrative Assistant for my term and also because of her interest in the political healthcare environment, she has agreed to serve as the Administrator for the Health and Public Policy Committee. Kersten can be reached at (612) 624-0123, or e-mail at ander659@tc.umn.edu. The FAX number for our office is (612) 625-6919.

Washington Leadership Day

Kersten and I attended the annual two day session in Washington on May 25-26, 1999. This was the first time I had attended the session and it was very interesting. The first day we were updated on the priorities of the College which included a proposed Tax Credit for the Uninsured, Patient Protection Legislation/Patient Bill of Rights, Medicare Restructuring, Graduate Medical Education Funding and Pain Management/End of Life. The evening concluded with an animated and informative presentation on the federal budget process by Stanley E. Collender, Senior Vice President of Fleishman-Hillard, Inc.

The following morning we enjoyed talks by Representative Greg Ganske, MD (R-Iowa) and Representative Ben Cardin (D-Maryland). After the talks we made our way to the "Hill" and met with Minnesota legislators. Representatives Bill Luther and Martin Sabo took time out of their extremely busy schedules to personally meet with us. We also met with Legislative Assistants from both Senator Paul Wellstone and Representative Jim Ramstad's office.

I think it is extremely important to meet with our politicians to inform them of the interests of the College and the Internists in the State of Minnesota. The College represents almost 2000 internists in the State of Minnesota. Last year the College was instrumental in halting the progress of the Lethal Drug Prevention Act which would have resulted in more barriers to effective pain management in end of life care and would have violated patient privacy rights. The ACP is well thought of in Washington where it is recognized that our political agenda is motivated primarily by our interest in patients' welfare. I would like to "recruit" more College members willing to relay the College's positions to their representative in Congress. If you wish to help with the Health and Public Policy Committee, please contact myself or Kersten at (612) 624-0123 and/or Mark Liebow at (507) 284-2269.

Tanya Repka, MD, FACP

Mark Your Calendars Now for the 1999 Minnesota State Scientific Program to Be Held November 5 & 6, 2000, in Minneapolis

We have an exciting program this year planned by Dr. Steve Hillson in collaboration with the Scientific Planning Committee. The program will include old favorites such as Subspecialty Updates, Associate & Medical Student Jeopardy and the Associate Research and Clinical Vignette Poster Competition. New this year will be several options for "breakout sessions" including:

  • Workshops on arthrocentesis and joint injections and skin biopsy and cryosurgery techniques (using the ACP clinical skill module for hands-on training);
  • Herbal medicine;
  • Computers in medicine;
  • Evidence-based medicine; and
  • Hospitalist systems.

If you are at a teaching program, I would urge you to begin talking with your housestaff now about the fall meeting and poster presentations, so they may begin to write up their interesting clinical vignettes and research findings. We had a great showing from our Associates in New Orleans at the Annual Meeting. More later in this newsletter.

We are also fortunate to have Munsey Wheby, MD, FACP, as our College Representative for this year's meeting. Munsey is currently Professor of Medicine and the Senior Associate Dean and Associate Dean for Graduate Medical Education at the University of Virginia School of Medicine at Charlottesville, Virginia. He is board certified in Internal Medicine, Nutrition and Hematology and holds too many academic honors, scientific and professional memberships, and publications to list in this limited space!

I have met Munsey several times and it will be a pleasure to have him at the State meeting. I talked with another Governor recently and she stated he was the best College Representative they had had at their State Meeting. Munsey will update us on the College's activities and all attendees will have an opportunity to talk with him about their concerns so he may bring these back to the attention of the College.

Annual ACP Meeting Held April 22-25, 1999 in New Orleans, Louisiana

General News

The Annual Meeting took place in New Orleans on April 22 through April 25. The meeting was outstanding in both the scientific and collegiality aspects. The mind was constantly stimulated and yet there was still time for new friendships to be formed and old ones re-kindled. The annual combined Minnesota ACP reception and Mayo Alumni reception was held on Saturday night and was quite well attended.

The Annual Meeting featured over 250 educational Scientific Program Sessions from which to choose. Nationally known faculty presented on topics ranging from general internal medicine to subspecialist interests - offering something for everyone at this meeting. Of course, one must mention the outstanding southern cuisine and Bourbon Street. After all, no trip to New Orleans is complete without a visit to the Café du Monde for beignets and chicory coffee. What's a little powdered sugar on your clothes among friends?

Associate's News

Two of the sixteen associate competition winners (selected from ~1400 abstracts) were from the Minnesota Chapter. Drs. Edgar Jaimes (who had also won at the State Competition in November 1998) and Lupe Salazar, both from the University of Minnesota, presented their talks at the Oral presentations at the meeting. They also received a monetary award and were honored at an Awards Dinner at the meeting.

Fourteen other abstract winners from Minnesota were among the ~120 associates displaying their posters over a two day period during the National Meeting.

Associates Research Competition Award Winners:

  • DA Cesario, MD - finalist (University of Minnesota)
  • JJ Liu, MD - finalist (Mayo)
  • Peiyi Wang, MD - finalist (Abbott-Northwestern Hospital)

Associate Clinical Vignette Competition Award Winners:

  • Laura A. Diamandopoulos, MD - finalist (Mayo)
  • Sean Halligan, MD - finalist (Mayo)
  • Sailaja Kamaraju, MD - finalist (Hennepin County Medical Center)
  • James H. Lee, MD - finalist (Abbott-Northwestern Hospital)
  • C.E. Morales, MD - finalist (Mayo)
  • Jason R. Phillips, MD - finalist (Mayo)
  • Gautam Ramakrishna, MD - finalist (Mayo)
  • W.W. Su, MD - finalist (Mayo)
  • Kenneth Warrington, MD - finalist (Mayo) 2 entries
  • Rebecca Klopcic, MD - finalist (Mayo)

All in all, the Minnesota Chapter made a very strong showing in the Associate area. This year we hope to beat last year's numbers at the National Meeting in Philadelphia.

New Fellows Marching in the New Orleans Convocation:

  • Igor Z Abolnik, MD Hermantown
  • Timothy R Aksamit, MDRochester
  • Gregory J Clark, MDWorthington
  • Sean F Dinneen, MDRochester
  • Paul J Dorsher, MDSaint Cloud
  • Michael R Keating, MDRochester
  • Andrew J Majka, MDRochester
  • Lee A Toman, MDSaint Paul

Call for Awards Nominations

At the annual Chapter meeting each year, the Chapter presents the Laureate Award. This award honors those Masters and Fellows of the ACP in Minnesota who have demonstrated, by their example and conduct, a commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research and service to their community and to the ACP. This is the most treasured award presented at the Annual Regional Meeting. If you would like to nominate someone please contact Tanya Repka and she will share your nomination with the other members of the Laureate Award Committee.

News from the State ACP Women's Group

On February 21, 1999 the ACP Women's Group held their annual retreat. The Spa at The Marsh again provided a wonderful day of rest, relaxation and pampering. Medical students from the University on Minnesota and Mayo Medical Schools were invited as our guests. Several students attended and offered suggestions on how to increase student involvement in ACP.

All female ACP members are invited to attend the Woman's Breakfast during the Fall Minnesota ACP Chapter Meeting. Medical students, residents and fellows are also invited. Previous attendees are encouraged to meet the challenge we made at the last breakfast - to each bring one woman to this year's breakfast who has never before attended the Woman's Breakfast. This way we hope to double our turn-out.

Lorre Ochs, MD, FACP

Call for Interested Members to Serve on the Health and Public Policy Committee

We need interested members to serve on this committee. We must take an active role in State and National Politics in the interest of our patients. Mark Liebow has done an outstanding job on a single member committee (himself) but obviously success depends on a broad membership. We must get more involved and help Mark with the committee.

Even if you do not want to serve on the committee I would ask if you are willing to be a key contact for the committee. Key Contacts communicate with their members of Congress on issues of importance to internists and their patients and report back to ACP on those exchanges. The ACP will give you the tools necessary to develop and maintain relationships with your members of Congress.

If you are willing to serve as a member or key contact, please call Mark Liebow at (507) 284-2269 or Kersten Anderson, Committee Administrator at (612) 624-0123.

Upcoming Dates

  • November 4, 1999 Minnesota ACP Council Meeting
  • November 5-6, 1999 Minnesota ACP Annual Meeting, Minneapolis
  • June 1, 2000 Fellowship Applications due at ACP
  • April 13-16, 2000ACP Annual Session, Philadelphia, PA
  • August 22-23, 2000ABIM Certification Examination in Internal Medicine
  • March 29-April 1, 2001ACP Annual Session, Atlanta, GA

Contact Information

Heather E Gantzer, MD FACP, Governor, Minnesota Chapter

Chapter Staff:
Katherine Cairns, Executive Director
1043 Grand Ave. #215
St. Paul, MN 55105
Fax: 651-699-7798