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December 2011 Karen Clark, MD, FACP, Governor

From the Governor

Greetings to all West Virginia Chapter ACP members!! As 2011 draws to an end, I wanted to write to recap our year, bring all up to date on national issues and to wish everyone a blessed, Happy Holiday and best wishes for a New Year.


Highlights for the year include the transition from Dr. Turner to myself as your new Governor. Thanks to Dr. Turner for making this a smooth transition which led to a successful Fall Meeting. For those of you who were unable to attend our meeting this past October at Stonewall, I hope you will mark your calendars for next year’s meeting October 18-20, 2012. I am confident that all who attended this year would agree that our annual meeting was a great success on many levels. First, the speakers were excellent. We reviewed common ground knowledge, discussed dilemmas and participated in rousing competitions!! Novel cases were presented by our outstanding housestaff, fellows and even some students. The highlight was a presentation by Dr. Mike Edmond, (currently at MCV, but a West Virginian at heart), on hospital epidemiology where we were both educated and entertained by his unique discussion on the merits of mandatory flu shots for health care workers.

In addition to the educational program, we had a great time enjoying the receptions, Saturday evening’s entertainment from “the WV Liar”, the beautiful scenery, and the food. All this, plus the comaraderie of being with fellow physicians from around the state, made for a great time!

The only down side of the meeting, was the attendance. Each year we have approximately 35 members attend all or part of the meeting. Although this makes for a nice, informal group, I would love to see this number increase. If you are one of our regular meeting attendees, please consider inviting a colleague to attend next year’s meeting with you. If you are someone who has not attended an annual meeting in many years, or maybe never, please consider attending the Fall 2012 meeting at Stonewall. If either group has suggestions for improving the meeting to make it more attractive to the membership, please feel free to let me know your thoughts and suggestions.

Other highlights from the meeting include: Dr. Tom Dorsey was presented with a Laureate Award; the chapter was awarded the 2011 Chapter Excellence Award; William Aaron Hood, MD and Abdel Rahman Lataifeh, MD, will be our Associate representatives at the national abstract competition; Steven Sorci will be our Student representative at the national competition and West Virginia University Charleston Division will be representing the chapter at the national medical jeopardy competition, ACP Doctor’s Dilemma.


2011 Chapter Excellence Award

I am pleased to announce that our chapter is in receipt of the 2011 Chapter Excellence Award! The award recognizes chapters which successfully meet the standards for managing a chapter. In order to achieve the Chapter Excellence Award, chapters must meet all basic criteria and seven optional criteria. Criteria include such activities as formulating an effective Governor’s Council and committees, communicating frequently with membership, providing educational opportunities, recruiting and advancing members and celebrating membership through local awards. I would like to extend a special thanks to Dr. Turner and Karen Frazier, as well as those chapter members who assisted in all of these endeavors! For their hard work and dedication, we received this award.


Call for Fall 2012 Board of Governors Resolutions

Are you concerned about a practice or clinical issue or have an idea you'd like to suggest? If so, you might consider submitting a resolution to your Governor or chapter council. Initiating a resolution provides ACP members an opportunity to focus attention at the ACP national level on a particular issue or topic that concerns them. Participating in the Board of Governors resolutions process provides the ACP grassroots member a voice and allows you to shape College policy that impacts the practice of internal medicine. When drafting a resolution, don't forget to consider how well it fits within ACP's Mission and Goals. In addition, be sure to use the College's Strategic Plan to guide you when proposing a resolution topic.

If effecting change interests you, the deadline for submitting new resolutions to be heard at the Fall 2012 Board of Governors Meeting is March 20, 2012. Members must submit resolutions to their Governor and/or chapter council. A resolution becomes a resolution of the chapter once the chapter council approves it.

Not sure how to begin drafting a resolution? Researching the College's position on an issue can give you a start. Visit the ACP Online homepage and click the "Advocacy" link in the right-hand, top margin to access ACP policy positions, read about recent ACP advocacy activities, or search the ACP's Public Policy Virtual Library (PPVL). Visit your chapter website, too, and click the link under "Advocacy" to access Electronic Resolutions System (ERS) where you can search past or proposed resolutions. A copy of the resolutions process is available on the ERS which furnishes more details on formatting resolutions, as well the process for submission, review, and approval.

Share your good idea with us. Draft a resolution.


National Hot Topics/Policy Issues

A press release from U.S. Congresswoman Allyson Y. Schwartz (D-13th District of Pennsylvania) quotes ACP President Virginia Hood in giving statements that support legislation Rep. Schwartz is introducing in the House that would repeal the SGR and provide updates for both primary care and specialty internal medicine. This bill has broad implications proposing a framework to eliminate SGR and rapidly transition to new payment models. This bill incorporates much of the language previously suggested by ACP in repeal of SGR.

Perhaps the hottest “Hot Topic” these days is the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation (RWJF) consensus document, “Common Ground”, that reflects a dialogue among 6 physician (including ACP) and 6 nursing organizations on the potential for future collaboration and the “team” concept in patient care.

The State Health Policy program is designed to help internists gain influence in their state capitols on issues affecting them and their patients. With so much happening on the state level, largely due to the implementation of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA), it is essential that every chapter learn to advocate on ACP issues. Our goal is to give ACP members, in coordination with their chapters, the necessary tools to help them effectively advocate in their state.


Help Needed

As you can tell from the diverse topics included in this newsletter lots of opportunity exists for involvement both on the local as well as national level for West Virgina Chapter members. Please let me know if you have a particular interest in working with the council and myself on any aspect of our chapter activities. An area that I especially need help with is Public Policy and Advocacy. I am looking for a person to join the Council as the representative from our chapter for this important position. Leadership Day scheduled for June 6-7, 2012, is an example of one of those critical opportunities for us to serve. Please let me know if you are interested.


Internal Medicine 2012

Please join me this year at Internal Medicine 2012 taking place in New Orleans, April 19-21. All information related to Internal Medicine 2012, including registration links for the meeting and houseing can be found at Internal Medicine 2012. There are several reasons to consider attending including:

  • New information and best practices covered in over 250 scientific sessions.
  • Choose the topics that are most relevant to you.
  • ACP consistently delivers the highest-quality CME with top-rated, nationally recognized faculty.
  • One- and two-day pre-courses provide in-depth coverage of selected topics.
  • The Herbert S. Waxman Clinical Skills Center offers hands-on learning.
  • Refine your physical examination techniques and learn new procedures.
  • Challenge yourself with the highly engaging Clinical Pearls sessions.
  • Use audience-response keypads to test your knowledge against that of your colleagues.
  • Hear evidence-based answers to some of the most frequently faced dilemmas in patient care at Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind sessions.
  • The year’s most important papers and their impact on patient care are presented at the Updates; each of the 15 sessions focuses on a different subspecialty.
  • With over 5,000 physicians in attendance, you can reconnect with former colleagues and build new relationships at receptions and special events.
  • After spending the day at the scientific sessions, enjoy culture and nightlife in New Orleans.
  • Earn up to 45 CME credits by attending pre-courses and scientific sessions.

I look forward to seeing you there!


To find out more about the West Virginia Chapter, visit our Chapter’s Web site at www.acponline.org/chapters.