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February 2013 Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH, FACP, ACP Governor


From the Governor

Dear Colleagues;

Since our last chapter newsletter, a lot has happened in our communities and country in medicine and public health: the Supreme Court upheld the individual mandate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA); President Obama was re-elected and Democrats maintained a majority in the Senate virtually ensuring the future of the ACA; Governor Martinez has supported Medicaid expansion; the Ďfiscal cliffí was postponed and, with it, sequestration and the consequent deep cuts in funding for Medicare, CDC, NIH, and Title VII programs; and the devastating attacks in Newtown, Connecticut. The College has taken strong positions on each of these issues and events, and is a staunch advocate for the best interest of our partners, our practices, and the publicís health.

As you may know, with Medicaid expansion comes a reduction in the number of uninsured New Mexicans by as much as 46%, reductions in uncompensated care, and improved health outcomes of some of our most marginalized patients. Having practiced in underserved areas like many of you, I know firsthand how important this is. I thank Governor Martinez and her staff for their careful consideration of this issue, and for committing to this. If you like, you may review our chapterís report on Medicaid expansion (which was sent to the Governor and to newspapers throughout the state).

The sadness of the massacre of children and their teachers in Newtown has caused us to examine our current practices regarding gun safety and access to mental health care. That two of my family members have been shot (unprovoked) by strangers has shaped my own opinions about gun control, but as a physician I should not allow my personal experiences to shape how I counsel my patients without first reviewing the evidence. As leaders, we should thoughtfully examine all of the evidence on the most effective means of reducing deaths and injuries from firearms, and help our communities achieve a consensus on how to implement them. As with other important medical and public health issues, the College is developing a comprehensive review of the evidence on causes and solutions to violence related to firearms; I am looking forward to reading this, and how it will inform my discussions with colleagues, patients, and friends. Iíll send it to the membership when it is released, and hope that you read it, too.

With so much at stake, there has been no more important time to make your opinions and the value of your experience known. There are many mechanisms to do so, and I hope youíll choose one. One mechanism is to join the Advocates for Internal Medicine to ensure your voice is heard on national issues. Locally, we welcome your involvement on our Council and hope youíll reach out to us, perhaps to volunteer on a committee. I hope to hear what issues are important to you, your practice, and your patients, and how you would like the ACP to help. Please feel welcome to email me at eileen.barrett.md@gmail.com.

Sincerely,

Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH, FACP
Governor, NM ACP Chapter
Internist/Hospitalist, Gallup

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Save the Date!

The 2013 Annual Scientific Meeting will be held October 18-19th at the Sheraton Uptown in Albuquerque. More details will be available on the chapter website as they are available.

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Comings and Goings on the Council

The chapter held councilor elections during this fallís Annual Scientific Meeting. We welcome our new Councilors: Cynthia Arndell, MD, FACP, of Albuquerque, Brianna Cowan, MD, of Shiprock, Jemery Kaufman, MD, of Taos, and Alisha Parada, MD, of Albuquerque. Both Tobore Kokoricha, MD, FACP, of Clovis, and Justina Trott, MD, FACP, of Santa Fe, were re-elected as councilors, as well.

During the officerís election, Julio Munoz, MD, FACP, of Carlsbad, was elected President-Elect, Rush Pierce, MD, MPH, FACP, of Albuquerque, was elected President, and Darryl Williams, MD, FACP, of Santa Fe, was re-elected as Treasurer.

Armando Angel, MD, FACP, of Las Cruces, Eduardo Alas, MD, of Albuquerque, and Irene Krokos, MD, FACP, served dutifully on the Council until stepping down this fall. Both Helbert Rondon-Berrios, MD, FACP, FASN, of Albuquerque, and David Pitts, MD, of Grants, served on our Council until moving out of state in 2012. We're grateful for their service and wish each of them all the best in their future endeavors.

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Recognizing Excellence

We were pleased this year to recognize numerous chapter members, including starting a tradition of specifically recognizing excellence in teaching as well as community service and volunteerism. Congratulations to Larry Crook, MD, FACP and George Comerci, MD, FACP who were recognized with our Community Service and Volunteerism Award and Excellence in Teaching Award, respecively.

Dr. Larry Crook is recognized for his volunteer efforts both domestically and abroad at relieving health disparities. You may find information about his work here.

Dr. George Comerci is honored for his achievements in housestaff, student, Project ECHO, and ACP member education. You may learn more about him and his achievements here.

The Chapter Laureate Award honors dedication, demonstration of excellence and support of the chapter and the science and humanity of medicine. Mike Kaufman, MD, FACP received this yearís Laureate Award in recogition of his leadership with local and national advocacy, as well as his dedication to the chapter.

Sanjeev Arora, MBBS, FACP, is a national ACP awardee, and has been awarded the Richard and Hinda Rosenthal Award from The Rosenthal Family Foundation in recognition of the innovative Project ECHO. This award is given ďto that individual or organization whose recent original approach in the delivery of health care or in the design of facilities for its delivery will increase its clinical and/or economic effectiveness.Ē

We are also pleased to announce that Ralph C. Williams, MD, MACP has been awarded a Mastership. Masters are Fellows who have been selected because of ďpersonal character, positions of honor, contributions towards furthering the purposes of the ACP, eminence in practice or in medical research, or other attainments in science or in the art of medicine.Ē He will receive his award at the 2013 Internal Medicine Meeting in San Francisco, and will at that time join the other seven Masters in New Mexico.

Congratulations to Drs Comerci, Crook, Kaufman, Arora, and Williams - we are honored to have them in our Chapter.

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Congratulations to the Winners of our Associate and Student Competitions!

Please join us in congratulating the residents and students who participated in the oral vignette and poster competitions during our Annual Scientific Meeting held in October.

Winners of the Associates' competitions are Leona Ebara, MD, oral vignette competition winner, Sergio Huerta, MD, poster competition winner, and Medical Jeopardy winners Orwah Al-Khalili, MD, Omar Abu Saleh, MD, and Ahmad Allaham, MD.

Congratulations are also due to the Student poster competition winners, Kristen Gonzales, Elisabeth Obenauf, and Christina Brady.

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Your Opinion is Valuable

Please answer a short survey to help guide our plans for our Annual Conference.

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For Hospitalists

Donít forget to sign up for ACP Hospitalist e-magazine, if youíre not already receiving it.

The New Mexico Hospitalists Collaborative Workspace is a wiki to organize and share information among hospitalists in New Mexico. Check it out and add what you think would benefit colleagues across the state!

Some may have seen in the news that the Leapfrog Group released a report ranking states by the percentage of hospitals achieving an ĎAí grade for patient safety, and that New Mexico ranked 50th. If youíre interested in participating in a state-wide collaborative work group to help tackle patient safety, please contact Rush Pierce, MD, MPH, FACP.

Another helpful website forwarded by a NM hospitalist is the Patient Centered Primary Care Collaborative - pertinent to the big picture of how hospitalists should coordinate with the Patient Centered Medical Home.

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We Want your Feedback on Resolutions

We would like your feedback regarding the 9 resolutions that will be heard at the Spring 2013 Board of Governors Meeting.

Please send your comments indicating whether or not you support a resolution. By providing your feedback on the Board of Governors resolutions, you help to shape College policy that impacts the practice of internal medicine.

Please visit the chapterís website after the Spring Board of Governors meeting for updates and for updates on the Resolutions discussed at the Fall 2012 meeting.

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In the Clinic

The College has numerous resources to help run your practice, including American EHR Partners which guidance on choosing the right EMR for your practice.

Other helpful websites forwarded by other New Mexico internists include the Conversation Project, a tool to help patients discuss their end-of-life wishes with their families as well as Immunize.org which has sample standing orders to help you more effectively and efficiently implement vaccinations in your clinic.

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For Early Career Physicians

Many early career physicians struggle with balancing their loan payments with their long-term financial goals. One option available to help with this is loan repayment programs. Although some private employers offer this, there are also publicly funded programs. Check out the state loan repayment program, National Health Service Corps, and Indian Health Service to learn more about options which may be available to you.

Many physicians report training prepares us for the practice of clinical medicine more than the business of medicine. Because coding properly is an important part of any physician practice, the ACP has developed a Coding Improvement Module. This module presents a simple yet systematic methodology for first assessing the appropriateness of current coding and then undertaking an on-going improvement process designed to optimize future coding.

Wondering which apps to use and how to incorporate them into you practice? Check it out in the ACP Internist for guidance.

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Welcome New Fellows

Advancement to Fellowship is an honor bestowed on our colleagues in recognition of excellence in medical practice and leadership in our communities. We congratulate our chapterís newest Fellows:

Cynthia Arndell, MD, MPH, FACP, of Albuquerque
BoudinortAtterbury, MD, FACP, of Santa Fe
John Foster, MD, FACP, of Ranchos de Taos
Dana Fotieo, MD, FACP, of Albuquerque
Christopher Gonzaga, MD, FACP, of Gallup
Irene Krokos, MD, FACP, of Albuquerque
James Lisko, MD, PhD, FACP, of Gallup

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