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Governor's E-News: June 2009






Fall Symposium

The annual fall symposium of the ND Chapter of the ACP is set for September 18 on the UND campus in Grand Forks. All of you will soon be receiving the program brochure. This yearís program will spotlight the UND School of Medicine and features speakers who have active in teaching students and residents. Attendees will receive 5 CME credits for their participation.

You may register for the program by e-mail. The cost is $ 50 per person. Physicians in training are welcomed at no charge. Out-of-towners who plan to stay overnight for the symposium may take advantage of a block of rooms being held at the Hilton Garden Inn near the UND campus. The room rate is guaranteed at $89 per night.

In addition, we will have our awards banquet at the ND Museum of Art on Thursday, September 17, the night before the symposium. Our speaker that evening will be UND President Robert Kelley. Spouses are also invited to attend this dinner, and the cost is $ 25 per person.

The full program and registration is available to register today.

Laureate and Community Service Awards

This year the North Dakota Chapter is proud to honor Abel Tello, MD, FACP, with the Laureate Award. Dr. Tello is being recognized for his many years of service to our organization, including his five years as Governor-Elect and Governor.

The Dakota Medical Foundation and its CEO, Pat Traynor, will receive the Community Service Award. All of North Dakota and eastern Minnesota have benefitted from DMFís generous support of innovative and essential public programs. ACP is proud to recognize what they have done.


Grant Funds Available

For the second year our Chapter will make grant funds of up to $5000 available to individuals or groups in the State who have an interest in doing something special to better serve our citizens. These funds could be matched with grants from the national ACP and other Foundations or funding agencies. Examples of programs which might be funded are

  • public health projects
  • service to indigent and other underserved populations
  • service to high risk groups
  • novel approaches to health care

Interested parties may apply for these funds by submitting a brief proposal consisting of:

  • a statement of the problem being addressed
  • a synopsis of efforts currently available to meet the problem
  • an outline of the project being proposed
  • a timeline for the project
  • a plan for outcomes analysis
  • a budget

Proposals must be submitted by September 1, 2009. All entries will be reviewed by the ND Chapter Advisory Council and awards will be announced at the Awards Banquet September 17. Additional information on application process is available online .

Student and Resident Competition

Our Chapter will not be conducting a poster competition this year. In place of that we are sponsoring a Clinical Case Study competition, open to medical students and residents of the University of North Dakota. Entrants are asked to submit write-ups of interesting cases which they have seen during their clinical rotations.

Cash prizes will be awarded as follows: First Prize $1000, Second Prize $500, Third Prize $250.

In addition, winning entries will be invited to present their papers at this yearís annual fall symposium.

Each write-up must include the following:

  • a thorough description of the case and its outcome
  • a review of the medical literature pertaining to the case
  • recommendations of how such cases can be recognized and treated

Prizes will be awarded at the annual fall symposium in Grand Forks on September 17, 2009.

All entries must be received by 5PM August 28, 2009. Further details may be obtained from Dr. Jon Allen (jallen@medicine.nodak.edu), Program Chair for this yearís meeting.


Current Membership

Here are the current membership numbers for the North Dakota Chapter:

  • Fellows : 60
  • Members : 81
  • Associates : 31
  • Medical Student Members : 138

There are more Fellows in North Dakota than ever before, but there are many more who should be Fellows. There are three different tracks you may follow to Fellowship. Some physicians are eligible for automatic advancement, with out even completing the application form!

In addition, there are more than 200 internists in North Dakota who are neither Members nor Fellows of the ACP. We need to get these folks on board!

It has never been easier for non-Members to becomes Members and for current Members to advance to Fellowship. Contact me at jbrosseau@altru.org if you are interested in becoming a Member or a Fellow, or if you know someone who should apply.

New Fellows: I am pleased to report that 6 North Dakota Chapter members either advanced to Fellowship or are currently being considered for Fellowship in the ACP this year. Check out the Photo Gallery for pictures of two of our new Fellows, Drs. Prashant Kaushik and Jon Allen. Congratulations to Jon and Prashant and to all who have applied or advanced to Fellowship this year.

All new Fellows are invited to participate in the Fellowship ceremony at the annual meeting of the ACP, Internal Medicine 2009, which was held this year in Philadelphia. Several physicians from North Dakota attended this yearís meeting.

Special Offer to Prospective Members and Fellows of the ACP

In order to encourage participation in the ACP, our Chapter will pay the $150 registration fee for the first 20 physicians who become either new Members or new Fellows this year. We had several takers on this offer last year. Itís a great opportunity to become a member in the largest professional organization of doctors in America.


Those of you who are already Members or Fellows can receive a major discount on next yearís dues by bringing new people into our organization. Find out more about the Recruit-a-Colleague program .


Internal Medicine 2009 and 2010

Each year thousands of physicians attend the annual ACP meeting. This year Internal Medicine 2009 was held in Philadelphia. Internal Medicine 2010 will be held April 22-24, 2010, at the Toronto Convention Center, Toronto, Ontario, Canada. Iíll have more details in the next newsletter. Additional information is found online .

Leadership Day 2009

Every year the ACP sponsors Leadership Day on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. The purpose of this event is to promote the principal missions of the ACP, which are

  • assuring access to health care for all Americans, and
  • fair reimbursement for all physicians.

This year every State in the Union was represented at Leadership Day. Our Chapter was represented in Washington by Brian Hebert, MD, MPH, of Bismarck. You can see Brian with Congressman Earl Pomeroy in the Photo Gallery at the end of this communication.

You can read Dr. Hebertís report on Leadership Day below. Thanks, Brian, for representing North Dakota at Leadership Day.

Leadership Day Member Perspective Report- Brian Hebert, MD, MPH

President Obama has called for expanded access to healthcare for the estimated 46 million Americanís without health insurance. It seems that both major political parties recognize a need for change and are poised to pass legislation.

Both sides of the isle see that primary care through General Internal Medicine, Pediatrics and Family Practice will need to take the greatest role in containing costs. They also seem to recognize, that there are not enough graduating medical students going into primary care. This potential bottleneck has already been realized in Massachusetts. In that state, after insurance coverage was increased to 95% of the states population, patients experienced difficulty finding a physician and some had to wait up to 100 days to see a physician.

The ACP has a number of lobbyists dedicated to the future of general internal medicine and thinking through the potential roadblocks. A major discussion points is how to attract medical students into a career of internal medicine/primary care. One of the greatest barriers is low reimbursement for primary care. One potential mechanism to combat this is the Patient Centered Medical Home (PCMH). The PCMH would insure that patients get access to medical care which is coordinated through a primary care physician, and would allow physicians to charge for phone care, referrals, emails, and other time-consuming details which are currently not reimbursed. There would be a further reimbursement incentive for quality of care. Thus the PCMH would improve access and the overall care of the patient, and cost savings would be realized though a decrease in the improper utilization of healthcare services.

Other possible boosts to primary care include expanding loan forgiveness and medical school scholarships to those students willing to commit to primary care. Increasing primary care GME slots may also be necessary to ensure adequate numbers of new physicians. With the input of the ACP, representative Allyson Schwartz (D-PA) and Senator Maria Cantwell (D-WA) have drawn up bills to address many of the issues. Armed with this information, I and close to 400 other ACP student members, associates, physician Members and Fellows were able to meet with Congressmen, Senators, and/or their staff to address these issues and help gather support for the ACPís positions.

Being a first time attendee at the conference, I was happy to be a potential part of the change needed for the future of medicine.

Photo Gallery

Page updated:06/12/09

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Contact Information

Julie A Blehm, MD FACP
ACP Governor
North Dakota Chapter

Pam Heisler
North Dakota Chapter Staff
Phone: 701-780-6129
Email: pheisler@altru.org