Alabama Governor's Newsletter July 2023

Alabama Chapter Banner

Ross B. Vaughn, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Ross B. Vaughn, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Welcome

Dear Alabama ACP Colleagues,

I'm honored to begin my term as Governor of the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Physicians. The ACP is our professional home and protector of the brand identity we share as internal medicine physicians. My goals for the next four years are to engage young physicians across our chapter, foster involvement of students and residents, and grow our membership by sharing my fervent belief in the professional values of the College.

It has been a busy spring for our chapter, beginning in April with the ACP Legislative Day on the Hill in Montgomery. As you can read in our Advocacy Corner, Dr. Alan Baggett, Alabama ACP committee chair for Health and Public Policy, along with former chair Dr. Mike Soppet, myself and residents Dr. Pegah Kannar and Laureate Fellow Dr. Sujana Reddy, represented you in advocating for a physician's workforce bill which was passed by the legislature and enacted by Governor Ivey. At our national meeting ACP Internal Medicine 2023 in San Diego, California, it was an honor as governor-elect along with Governor Bill Curry to celebrate new fellows from Alabama at the convocation ceremony, Dr. Sohail Aman and Dr. Abhijin Das, both from Mobile. Our chapter co-hosted a member's reception along with Mississippi, Arkansas, and Louisiana and were visited by our new ACP President Dr. Omar Atiq. Advocacy efforts continued in May on the national level, as Laureate Fellows Dr. Reddy and Dr. Austin Oslock, joined me and Dr. Michael Broadwell and resident Dr. Andrew Quinlan for ACP Leadership Day in Washington, D.C. We met with both senate offices and all 7 congressional offices supporting bills to reduce prior-authorization burden for physicians, defer interest on student loans for residents, strengthen Medicare reimbursement, and expand the number of CMS supported GME positions.

In June, our combined Alabama-Mississippi state chapters scientific meeting was held at the historic Riley Center in Meridian, Mississippi. The opportunity to reconnect with old colleagues and make new friends is always a highpoint of the year. The faculty presentations, clinical vignettes by residents, and student and resident posters were outstanding as usual. A delightful Laureate Luncheon honored awardee Dr. T.J. Hundley and, at an evening reception, we proudly hosted the immediate past ACP President Dr. Ryan Mire who was our College representative for the meeting. I'm excited to announce our combined AL-MS state meeting for next year will be May 31-June 2, 2024 at the Hotel Effie at the Sandestin Golf and Beach Resort. Dr. Allison Rogers, program chair for the meeting, is already making plans for a very interesting and informative agenda.

Thanks to the steady leadership of Dr. Bill Curry, I have assumed governorship of a strong chapter. For the first time, we received a Silver Chapter Excellence Award by the ACP this year. Under the careful oversight of our investments by our treasurer, we have over 5 years of operating reserves. We are reinvigorating our social media and membership committees with new ideas to connect with and grow our membership. Our Laureate Fellowship program to train the next generation of chapter leaders is the envy of other chapters. Our Governor's Advisory Council is looking closely at partnering with medical student organizations to assist in caring for underserved populations and with residencies to imagine new training environments that highlight the joy of primary care. Stay tuned, the future of Alabama ACP is bright.

I hope everyone has a wonderful summer and plans to spend some time with family and friends to refresh and recharge.

Keep the faith and fight the good fight,

Ross B. Vaughn, MD FACP

Tuscaloosa, AL. June 23, 2023

Austin Oslock, ACP President Omar Atiq, Bill Curry, and Ross Vaughn at chapter member reception, San Diego, CA.
Ross Vaughn, Sujana Reddy, Austin Oslock, Michael Broadwell, and Andrew Quinlan at ACP Leadership Day, Washington, DC.
Ross Vaughn, Sohail Aman, Abhigin Das, and Bill Curry at the ACP convocation ceremony, San Diego, CA.



Advocacy Corner

IM Day on the Hill Montgomery

On April 5th for Internal Medicine Day on the Hill in Montgomery, Alabama, Dr. Alan Baggett, Dr. Mike Soppet, Dr. Ross Vaughn, and PGY-2 Internal Medicine Residents from East Alabama Health Dr. Sujana Reddy and Dr. Pegah Kannar advocated for the Physician Workforce Act (PWA), a bill to eliminate unnecessary barriers to recruit new physicians and retain existing physicians in the state. Sen. April Weaver sponsored the bill in the Senate and State Rep Paul Lee sponsored the bill in the house. This bill makes it easier for physicians moving from other states to begin practicing medicine in Alabama, will increase Alabama's chances of retaining more Alabama-trained physicians' post-residency, and creates an apprenticeship program for unmatched medical grads to hone their skills as they reapply for residency. Their advocacy on the Hill aided in this bill to get signed into law on June 1st 2023 by Governor Ivey.

Request for connections

The Alabama ACP Chapter is requesting from our members if they have any connections or special ties with legislators at the state or national level. Furthermore, we request that you reach out or provide the name of the elected officials to the Alabama Chapter so we can reach out to them to express Alabama ACP Chapter's positions on any proposed legislation that pertains to the field of Internal Medicine. Thank you in advance for your membership and leadership in this avenue.

ACP Leadership Day in Washington DC

On May 24 ACP Leadership Day, Dr. Ross Vaughn, Dr. Austin Oslock, Dr. Sujana Reddy, Dr. Michael Broadwell, and Dr. Andrew Quinlan advocated on Capitol Hill in Washington DC. Key policies of concern that directly impact internal medicine physicians and patients were addressed with U.S. Lawmakers. These doctors had meetings with legislative assistants, healthcare policy advisors, Senator Tommy Tuberville, Senator Katie Britt, and House Representatives Terri Sewell, Rep. Robert Aderholt, Rep. Mike Rogers, Rep. Jerry Carl, Rep. Gary Palmer, Rep. Barry Moore, and Rep. Dale Strong. Bills that were advocated for included the REDI (Resident Education Deferred Interest) Act, which would allow student loan interest-free deferment while in medical school or training. Policy addressing the physician workforce shortage with the Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2023, which would gradually raise the number of Medicare-supported GME positions by 2,000 per year for seven years. Bills to improve patient access to care included the Safe Step Act (a bipartisan bill that would require group health plans to provide an exception process for any medication step therapy protocol to help ensure that patients can safely and efficiently access treatment), the Strengthening Medicare for Patients and Providers Act (to preserve access to care for Medicare beneficiaries by providing an annual inflation update equal to the Medicare Economic Index (MEI) for Medicare physician payment) & Kids' Access to Primary Care Act (aligns Medicaid reimbursement rates with Medicare payments for primary care services). Their voices and involvement as constituents guided the legislative process to support and aid in co-signing policies for the greater good of Alabama's and the Nation's pulse of our healthcare.

Mike Soppet, Sujana Reddy, Pegah Kennar, Ross Vaughn, and Alan Bagwell at IM Day on the Hill, Montgomery, AL.
Drs Michael Broadwell, Andrew Quinlan, Austin Oslock, and Sujana Reddy at ACP Leadership Day, Washington, DC.
Alabama ACP Leadership Day attendees with U.S. Representative Jerry Carl.



2023 Laureate Fellows

In this pilot program, second or third-year residents with leadership qualities and potential are identified and nominated by their program directors. Nominees should be ACP members, aspire to leadership in Alabama ACP and national ACP, and be committed to remaining and practicing in Alabama. Two recipients are selected by members of our Laureate Society (former state Laureate Awardees) for a two- year Laureate Fellowship Award. The recipients attend the state ACP Legislative Day on the Hill, ACP Leadership Day in Washington, D.C., the state ACP chapter scientific meeting, and the national ACP Internal Medicine Meeting. The recipients will become members of the state ACP meeting planning committee, the state ACP resident council, and will have access to mentorship by members of the Alabama ACP Laureate Society. The fellowship is intended to provide a framework for introduction and networking with state and national ACP leadership.

We are pleased to introduce the first class of Alabama ACP Laureate Fellows, Sujana Reddy, DO, a third-year internal medicine resident at East Alabama Medical Center in Opelika and Austin Oslock, MD, MPH, a third-year internal medicine-pediatrics resident at the University of Alabama at Birmingham.

Laureate Fellows Austin Oslock and Sujana Reddy.



2023 Laureate Award

The Laureate Award is presented to long-standing and loyal supporters of the American College of Physicians who have rendered distinguished service to their chapters and community and have upheld the high ideals and professional standards for which the College is known. Categories of accomplishment include scholarship and contributions to the medical literature, excellence as a teacher, significant innovations in or contributions to health care services, or advancement of the goals of the ACP and of other medical societies and organizations.

It is with distinct pleasure that the Alabama Chapter of the American College of Physicians presents the 2023 Laureate Award to T.J. Hundley, MD, FACP. He has been a long-standing supporter of the College at both local and national levels, a tireless advocate for medical education, compassionate patient-centered care, and mentorship of medical students in the specialty of internal medicine.

Born in Dothan, Alabama, Dr. Hundley received a bachelor science degree in biomedical sciences from the University of South Alabama in 2000 and his medical degree, also from the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine at the University of South Alabama, in 2004. Dr. Hundley completed his residency in internal medicine at the University of South Alabama where he was selected to serve as chief resident from 2007 to 2008. He was recruited as a faculty member in the Department of Internal Medicine where he later earned Leonard Tow Humanism in Medicine Award for faculty and the John Bass Award for Excellence in Teaching by an Attending. Upon joining the faculty, Dr. Hundley was chosen to be the clerkship director of internal medicine where he transformed the internal medicine clerkship learning model into an integrated, team-based approach focused on analyzing and applying knowledge and skills. In 2016, the University of South Alabama recognized his advances in using team-based education by giving him the Educator of Distinction Award. His efforts were honored with multiple teaching awards from students and recognition by his peers.

During his tenure at the University, Dr. Hundley has served on and chaired numerous committees for the College of Medicine related to education, accreditation, strategic planning, quality improvement, and faculty or resident recruitment. In 2012, Dr. Hundley completed the ACP Leadership Enrichment and Development (LEAD) Program. He then further served the College of Medicine by becoming the Assistant Dean for Medical Education and Student Affairs in 2016 and, subsequently, the Associate Dean for Medical Education in 2019.

Dr. Hundley has been a long-standing supporter of ACP. He became a member in 2004 and was elected to fellowship in 2009. He has served as the faculty advisor for the Internal Medicine Interest Group (IMIG) since 2008. During this time, the IMIG was featured twice in ACP Internist, and he was featured in the ACP Impact medical student newsletter. Dr. Hundley has been an active member of the Alabama Chapter Governor's Advisory Council since 2009; he has served in various capacities including on annual meeting planning committee and as Chair of Associate and Medical Student Activities. During the latter, he helped expand the annual poster competition and collaborated with chief residents from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and the University of South Alabama to improve medical student and resident involvement in chapter activities and leadership opportunities. Nationally, he has been an invited abstract reviewer and/or judge for poster competitions at the annual national meeting many times. Dr. Hundley also served as a member of the editorial board for the Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program (MKSAP) for Students, fifth edition.

Dr. Hundley and his wife Dr. Grace Hundley, who serves as the combined internal medicine and pediatrics residency program director at the Frederick P. Whiddon College of Medicine, have two children, Taylor, 16, and Elizabeth, 13. Dr. Hundley's outside interests include boating, spending time with family, and collecting movie memorabilia.

As a result of his commitment to medical education, support for ACP, and devotion toward training the next generation of physicians, the Alabama Chapter is honored to ward Dr. Hundley the 2023 Laureate Award.

Ross Vaughn, T.J. Hundley, and Ryan Mire at Laureate Award Luncheon, Meridian, MS.



2023 Spring Resolutions

The Board of Governors discussed the spring slate of Resolutions during the San Diego meeting. A summary of Board of Regents (BOR) actions on resolutions debated at the Spring 2023 Board of Governors (BOG) meeting is now available. The member comments added to the Resolutions survey sent to the membership each spring and fall are greatly appreciated. The feedback provided by you, the members, allows the Governor to speak on behalf of the Chapter and reflect the thoughts and opinions of the membership. If you have an idea you'd like to suggest to ACP, consider submitting a resolution to Alabama ACP Governor Ross Vaughn, MD,

The ACP has a Call for Resolutions twice each year for the Fall Board of Governors Meeting and the Spring Board of Governors Meeting. The Board of Governors (BOG) Resolutions Process was instituted in 1985 as a means for the ACP membership to have formal input to the Board of Regents (BOR), the policymaking body of the College. The BOG holds a resolutions hearing at its spring and fall meetings. A resolution reflects the grassroots voice of ACP. A resolution is a proposal that asks the ACP to take a position and/or an action. Any ACP member can submit a resolution to his or her ACP Governor for consideration by the local chapter council. A resolution may address any topic or issue of interest to the initiating member and is submitted to the Governor and the chapter Council. After approval at the chapter level, the resolution becomes a resolution of the chapter. A resolution consists of at least one directive (“Resolved clause”) accompanied by supporting statements (“Whereas clauses”).

If you have a proposal, please review the Resolutions Guide and bring it to the Governor. The deadlines to submit a Resolution for consideration are typically in May for the Fall BOG meeting and December for the Spring BOG meeting.



ACP Resources

I.M. Emotional Support Hub 

Financial Well-being 

New ACP Membership Benefit: Physician Compensation Tools with Resolve 

Substance Use Disorder Education