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New Haven Physician Recognized as Key Congressional Contact of the Year by American College of Physicians

Award Cites Exceptional Efforts in Support of ACP’s Advocacy Program

May 24, 2007

Washington – The American College of Physicians (ACP) last week presented its Key Congressional Contact of the Year award to Robert McLean, MD, FACP, of New Haven, Conn. for his outstanding contributions to ACP’s key congressional contact program. The award, first presented in 1995, recognizes physicians who have made exceptional efforts to advocate for a better health care system with their elected members of Congress. Winners are determined on the basis of the quantity and quality of responses to requests from the American College of Physicians that ACP members contact their members of Congress on legislation that affects health care quality, access and costs.

During 2006, Dr. McLean demonstrated his extraordinary leadership in advocacy on behalf of the Connecticut ACP Chapter. Connecticut’s advocacy success was largely the result of Dr. McLean’s accomplishments, highlighted by his personal delivery of ACP’s paper on the Advanced Medical Home (AMH) directly into Rep. Nancy Johnson’s hands. (The Advanced Medical Home is a model for achieving better health care quality, patient satisfaction and more efficient use of resources centered on the relationship between patients and their personal physician, supported by health information technologies and an improved payment system). At that time, Representative Johnson was chair of the influential health subcommittee of the Ways and Means Committee of the U.S. House of Representatives.

During a dinner meeting with Rep. Johnson and the Connecticut ACP Chapter in Feb., 2006, Dr. McLean was asked if the College had a proposal to improve care while reducing Medicare costs. Seizing upon the opportunity to personally introduce the AMH, Dr. McLean presented Rep. Johnson with a copy of ACP’s policy paper. Under Rep. Johnson’s leadership, pilot testing of the AMH (now often referred to as the Patient-Centered Medical Home) was mandated in Medicare legislation passed in Dec. 2006.

Dr. McLean also advocates locally for ACP’s national issues by frequently submitting letters to the editor in influential Connecticut newspapers. In Feb. 2006 his letter about the need for comprehensive health care was published in the New Haven Register. During Leadership Day 2006, Dr. McLean contacted the paper’s Washington correspondent and interested him in the lobbying effort by Connecticut physicians. This resulted in a Section A article in May 2006 entitled “Internist Warns of Crisis as Fewer Students Training to be Family Doctors.” Just two months ago his letter, “State Reforms Must Ensure Health Care is Accessible,” was published.

The American College of Physicians is the largest medical specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include 123,000 internal medicine physicians (internists) related subspecialists, and medical students. Internists specialize in the prevention, detection and treatment of illness in adults.

David Kinsman, (202) 261-4554
Jacquelyn Blaser, (202) 261-4572

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