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Arizona Governor's Newsletter January 2017

Arizona Chapter Banner

Robert Aaronson, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Robert Aaronson, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Message

The election is over, MACRA is essentially here, the ACA is in the crosshairs and other changes, small and large, are undoubtedly coming our way. Our patients still need the care and support we provide, and our profession needs our support more than ever. In that context, I'd first like to say: Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year season to us all!

It has been a busy year for ACP Arizona, and I remain fortunate and grateful to have shared so much of it working with so many of you.

I hope you made it to November's Annual Scientific Meeting in Tempe. By all accounts, it was a great success, with 292 attendees, 14.5 hours of worthwhile CME, two SEP modules, encompassing 4 hours of CME, over 170 posters, a variety of collegial, intense and entertaining competitions involving Arizona's medical schools and internal medicine residencies, and wonderful opportunities to build professional relationships, strengthen old bonds and make new friends. Thank you to our Annual Meeting Program committee and its chair, Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, FACP, for having made this such a wonderful an event. In 2017, we'll be in Tucson, October 20-22. PLEASE put in on your calendar and, if you're up for a good challenge and even better fun, join us on the planning committee. Let Dixie Swan know of your interest. The Chair of the Chapter Meeting for 2017 is Eugene Towers, MD, FACP.

Our other committees remain active as always – let Dixie know if you would like to serve!!


  • Our Advocacy committee has a new Chair. After a distinguished term as Chair, Anita C. Murcko, MD, FACP, has stepped down. Shak Rehman, MD, FACP, former committee Co-Chair, seamlessly steps into the role of Chair.
  • Plans are well underway for ACP Day at the Arizona State Legislature, to be held on February 1, 2017. Follow this link to register
  • Watch for information about “Leadership Days” in Washington DC in 2017, to be held May 23-24. Your Chapter sends a delegation. There are five stipends available, preference set for medical students and residents. Watch for more information on how to apply. It is an AMAZING experience!!
  • Another easy way to make your voice heard is by joining AIMn (Advocates for Internal Medicine Network) for updates on legislative issues and opportunities to influence state and national legislators. Click here to join .

Early-Career Physicians

  • Our Early Career Physicians committee is looking ahead to February to host a Financial Planning workshop. Watch for announcements!!

Hospitalist/IMG Physicians

  • Will also be involved in the Financial Planning event!!!
  • Our Hospitalist/IMG committee teamed up with our Resident/Fellow committee for a “Welcome to Arizona Meet and Greet” in June, holding this event for the first time in BOTH Tucson and Phoenix!! It was a great success!!!

Resident/Fellow Physicians

  • The Resident/Fellow Council Journal Club series continues. Watch for more details! The Transitions 2016 publication coincided with the Chapter Meeting…it was worthy of praise! A copy was sent to all Chapter Residents so I hope you have seen it!!

Medical Students

  • The Medical Student committee recently held another successful Skills Club, in early December, with an emphasis on Interpretation of EKG's –with amazing student leadership and guidance from Allan Markus, MD, FACP.


  • Our Awards committee continues to identify and successfully promote Arizona ACP members for recognition both locally and nationally. This year was no exception! Much more info in this Newsletter!!
  • Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, FACP′ received the first ever Early Career Physician Chapter Award! Much more about Awards later in this newsletter

MACRA has been redubbed the Quality Payment Program (QPP), and QPP has arrived! Under the QPP, Medicare reimbursement in 2019 and thereafter will be significantly affected based a performance data submitted as of January 1, 2017 on onward! So the time to prepare and act is now. Over the next year or two, we will bring you updates, reminders and information about video links and live conferences designed to help you succeed in this new environment. Please let us help you stay ahead of the MACRA curve by accessing these resources. Also, please visit to begin your preparations, and revisit this site periodically as new content is added.

Finally, Membership remains both our richest resource and an essential challenge, and our Membership committee continues to work to make Arizona ACP a healthier and more engaged Chapter. We can use your help! If you value ACP as a resource for professional growth and a force to promote your values, please reach out to your colleagues and tell them why you are a member, and why they should be. And don't forget about ACPs Recruit-a-Colleague Program . Recommend ACP membership to your colleagues and earn a significant discount on your membership dues or even free membership.

Like any membership organization, ACP Arizona only succeeds if we meet the needs of our members. If we aren't, please let me know . Better yet, email me to join one of our committees, so we can change things together.

I wish you and your loved ones Happy Holidays and a healthy and happy New Year!


Rob Aaronson, Governor



2016 ACP Arizona Chapter Scientific Meeting

The ACP Arizona Chapter 2016 Annual Meeting and Scientific Sessions meeting, “Revolutionizing Internal Medicine with Digital Health”, held in Tempe at Arizona State University, recently concluded.

There were speakers about Cardiology, Infectious Diseases and Hypertension and lively and informative sessions discussing various aspects of Informatics with Shez Partov, MD, Alan Pitt, MD and Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, FACP speaking and sharing. We hosted a nationally known expert, David Bates, MD, MACP, who spoke about Patient Safety and Informatics. Doctor's Dilemma completions, both medical student and resident, provided lots of entertainment and excitement, and there were an impressive number of posters presented. The Governor's Dinner included a concert from a group of talented guitar students from the Arizona School for the Arts. Throughout, a good time was had by all!!

Friday's program included Maintenance of Certification ABIM SEP Modules Updates on Endocrinology, led by Richard Arakaki, MD, and on Internal Medicine, faculty was Helene Labonte, DO, FACP. The Faculty Medical Education Consortium Luncheon, featured a Keynote address by ASU Dean Keith Lindor, MD; followed by a Panel Discussion: Updates on Vital Topics for Physicians featuring Timothy C. Fagan, MD, FACP; Negin N. Blattman, MD; and Majid D. Biglari, DO.

Residency Directors throughout the state gathered to share with medical students and “Beyond Residency” covered the topic of preparing for Fellowship and/or Clinical Practice.


With 170 +/- Posters entered this year, Friday and Saturday afternoon Poster competitions were fierce.

Under the leadership of Dr. Mark Zubriski, teams of medical students competed in the Medical Students Doctor's Dilemma competition.


Medical Student Champions:

Collin Costello
Sean Kent
Gilbert Ortega


In the evening, a relaxed group gathered for The Governor's Dinner. Talented Arizona School for the Arts guitar students, pictured, entertained the group with classical guitar music, then Awards Chair Cheryl O’Malley, MD, FACP hosted the Awards presentations.


The new Chapter Laureate, Helene Labonte, DO, above, spoke briefly, as did other Chapter Award winners.


Pictured here is Gabrielle Ochoa MD, Chapter Internist of the Year.



Scores in two Awards categories ended in ties this year: Resident/Fellow of the year, was shared by Katie Murphy, MBBCH (Mayo) and Jessica August, MD, UA – South Campus



Dustin McCurry, UACOM-P (pictured w/ Dr. O’Malley) and Katie Marsh, UACOM –T, not able to attend, shared the Medical Student of the Year Award.



William Nevin, MD, FACP, inspired the audience as winner of the Volunteerism & Community Service Award and Researcher of the Year, Sherman Mitchell Harman, MD, shared research insights.



Donna M. Holland, MD, FACP was the esteemed 2016 Educator of the Year.



Anita C. Murcko, MD, FACP was selected as the Chapter Leader of the Year!

Emily Mallin, MD, FACP was the Hospitalist of the year, but she was unable to attend.



Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, FACP, was named as the FIRST EVER Early Career Physician of the Year!


The evening ended with a panel – Drs. Aaronson, Howard, Murcko & Rehman: Physician Wellness, Quality Payment Program, Advocacy Activities and other Burning Issues

On Saturday, after the Governor's Council Breakfast and the Governor's Welcome, Anita C. Murcko, MD, FACP, moderated and managed the morning session which included an address by George Runger, PhD, about MACRA; and a Panel highlighting AzHeC & the Network, with David Spitzer, JD, and Priya Radhakrishnan, MD, FACP.


Not missing a step, the “Informatics” portion of the meeting began with an address by Shahram (Shez) Partovi, MD, above, as he covered “Outcomes with Wearables”, followed by Alan Pit, MD discussing “Barriers to Value” and Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, FACP, highlighting a program with the Chandler Fire Department – Telehealth – Partnerships for Instant Access to Care.


Saturday afternoon included the preliminary round of Residents Doctor's Dilemma™ Competition. It was followed by a panel discussion of “Humanism in Medicine”, moderated by Rupal Vora, MD, FACP.

Saturday afternoon also included the second round of the Poster Competition, with guidance from a large group of informed and careful ACP member judges.

Sincere thanks to all speakers, judges, Doctor's Dilemma™ competitors and Poster presenters!

Sunday, after vigorous Breakfast Roundtable discussions, it was time for the popular Oral Vignette Competition –

Presenters were:

Regan Memmott, MD - Banner University Medical Center – Phoenix
Sarah Richards, DO - Canyon Vista Medical Center
Mustafa Al Ani, MD - Maricopa Medical Center
Katie Murphy, MBBCh - Mayo Clinic Arizona
Fado Arodaki, DO - Mountain Vista Medical Center
Geraldine Casino, MD - St. Joseph's Medical Center
Pryce Gaynor, MD - UACOM at University Campus
Roberto Swazo, MD - UACOM at South Campus
Douglas Andersen, DO - Verde Valley Medical Center
Geraldine Casino, MD will be going to National IM in March, representing the Arizona Chapter.

Keynote on Sunday was David Bates, MD, MACP who spoke on Patient Safety and Informatics.

After a short break, it was time for the Doctor's Dilemma finals!! Overall Chapter Doctor's Dilemma winners were from the Maricopa County Medical Center!!

Above, with Doctor's Dilemma Chair Mark Zubriski, MD, FACP (Right side) is Ali Al-Marzooq, MD, Ghazwan Elias, MD and Radhika Huliyar, MD.

The Chapter awards soon followed.


The last activity of the event is the awarding of the “golden stethoscope to 2016 Chapter Meeting Chair Eugene Trowers, MD, FACP, pictured above with Dr. Aaronson and Dr. Abbaszadegan.


Thank you 2016 Chair, Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, FACP, for an energetic, entertaining and informative Chapter Meeting!

See you all in Tucson, October 20-22, 2017!




2015 ACP Arizona Chapter Medical Student & Resident/Fellow Competitions

Dozens of ACP Arizona Chapter medical student and resident members participated with a poster, a vignette or in Doctor's Dilemma competitions. All abstracts will be published in the Chapter's e-publication ¡Salud!

Look for the web link soon.

Oral Clinical Vignettes

First Place: Geraldine Casino, MD, St. Joseph's Medical Center
Second Place: Regan Memmott, MD, UACOM-P
Third Place: Katie Murphy, MBBCh, Mayo

Poster Presentations


Medical Student Winners

First Place: Alyssa Thomas, UACOM – P, “The Case of the Fibroid Takeover
Second Place: Sarah Otter, ATSU-KCOM, “Hidradenitis Suppurativa: A Case for Applying Interprofessional Care in Residency Clinics”
Third Place: Reese Dare, UACOM-P, “A Case Report: Amiodarone-Induced Acute Hepatitis”

PGY-1 Poster Winners

First Place: Wina P. Yousman, MD, UACOM-South, “Streptococcal enteritis: A Common Bug at an Unusual Site!”
Second Place: Justin Shipman, MD, Mayo, “Torsades: The Unsweet Rhythm of Insulin Infusion
Third Place: Jamie Bering, MD, Mayo, “A Feline Fiasco: Capnocytophaga Canimorsus Meningitis in an Immunocompromised Patient”

Research Poster Winners

First Place: Morgan Whitaker, UACOM – T, “Effects of Hyperglycemia on Pulmonary Vascular Stiffness and Right Ventricular Remodeling
Second Place: Allison Yee, UACOM – T, “Cellular Mech. Of Kv1.5 Downregulation in Idiopathic Pulmonary Arterial Hypertension-Pulmonary Artery Smooth Muscle Cells
Third Place: Nathan Fairbourn, Midwestern, “Dietary Genistein (SOY) increases survival rates, in the Absence of Laxative, in DF508 Cystic Fibrosis Mice

Case Report Poster Winners

First Place - TIE: Khushboo Goel, MD, UACOM – University Campus, “Refractory Pleural Effusions in a Patient with Yellow-Nail Syndrome and Alpha-1 Antitrypsin Deficiency: A Diagnosis of Exclusion"
First Place – TIE: Christabel Moy, DO, Canyon Vista Medical Center, “Pulmonary embolism Leading to right Heart Thrombi- Common Presentation w/ Uncommon Diagnosis
Second Place – TIE: Wei Xiang Wong, MD, UACOM - South, “A Puzzling Cause of a Common Electrolyte Abnormality”
Second Place – TIE: Dina Zeki, MBChB, Maricopa, “An Unusual Presentation of Tuberculosis”

Patient Safety/Quality Improvement Poster Winners

First Place: Edward R. Maharam, MD, UACOM - P, “Standardizing and Improving Inpatient Glycemic Control at Phoenix VA Healthcare System
Second Place: Rhonda Alkatib, MD, UACOM - South, “How Dirty Are We?
Third Place: Madhav Chopra, MD, UACOM-P, “Applying the ARIADNE Serious Illness Script to Veterans in a VA Academic Patient Aligned Care Team Residency Clinic

ACP Arizona is impressed with the work of all its awardees and is honored to support First Place Oral Vignette Winner Geraldine Casino, MD, St. Joseph's Medical Center; First Place Research Poster Winner Morgan Whitaker, UACOM - T; and the 1st Place Doctor's Dilemma™ Competition Team from the Maricopa Medical Center: Ali Al-Marzooq, MD, Ghazwan Elias, MD and Radhika Huliyar, they prepare to travel to San Diego.!!

They will represent the Chapter at the ACP 2017 IM National Meeting this Spring!!



Congratulations to the newest ACP-AZ Fellows

Please take a moment to join us in congratulating and welcoming to Fellowship the following members of the ACP Arizona Chapter who achieved the distinction of Fellowship in the American College of Physicians in 2016:

Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, FACP
Majd Alfreijat, MD, FACP
Ali S. Al-Yaqoobi, MBChB, FACP
Engida B. Alemu, MD, FACP
Gajapathiraju Chamarthi, MD, FACP
Srinath Sundararajan, MBBS, FACP
Anthony A. Aghenta, MD, FACP
Carie R. Barlow, MD, FACP
Shahed Lewis Brown, MD, FACP
Thomas R. Cheek, MD, FACP
Tapash K. Das, MD, FACP
Bidur Dhakal, MD, FACP
Neha Gupta, MBBS, FACP
Janelle D. Jones, MD, FACP
Michael J. Keberlein, MD, FACP
Juliana M. Kling, MD, FACP
Rajesh Kotagiri, MBBS, FACP
Bharat Magu, MBBS, FACP
Nadhiwan D. Maisiak, MD, FACP
William J. Martone, MD, FACP
Yvonne L. Patterson, MD, FACP
Konstantinos Marinos Parperis, MD, FACP
John F. Rausch, Jr, MD, FACP
Manjunath Nathan, MBBS, FACP
Kevin Virk, MD, FACP
Julie A. Wendt, MD, FACP
Steven Wool, MD, FACP
Matthew W. Wright, MD, FACP

When you meet any of these distinguished doctors, remember to congratulate them!



Apply for Fellowship

Fellowship in the College is an honor. Being an FACP is a mark of esteem from colleagues who recognize accomplishments and achievements over and above the practice of medicine. Begin the process of applying for Fellowship today.

Find out more here.



Join ACP Advocates in IM Network - AIMn!

If you don't speak for Internal Medicine, who will? ACP's continued success on Capitol Hill greatly depends upon year-round grassroots support from the College's more than 8,000 participants in the Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (formerly known as the “Key Contact Program”). Advocates e-mail, call and meet with their members of Congress on issues of importance to medical students, internists and their patients; and report the results back to ACP.

Do not be concerned if you do not have an existing relationship with your member of Congress, ACP can give you the tools for that. No matter your membership class, enroll in the Advocates for Internal Medicine Network @.



Updates on ACP Arizona Chapter Programs


Register NOW! Seventh Annual ACP State Legislature Day!!
Wednesday, February 1, 2017
8:30 am - 2:30 pm
Arizona State Capitol
1700 West Washington, Phoenix, AZ 85007

Learn about the Arizona political process first hand!
No Charge!! 

Please Register !



Updates on National ACP Programs

Internal Medicine Meeting 2017


The most comprehensive meeting in Internal Medicine is taking place March 30-April 1, 2017 in San Diego, CA. Come to the meeting early and take advantage of ACP pre-courses for focused, intense learning on a variety of internal medicine subjects. 


A clinical decision support tool updated daily

DynaMed Plus provides information in an easy-to-digest format for quick and accurate reference at the point-of-care. This mobile-friendly resource offers the following key features:

  • Precise search
  • Comprehensive specialty content including internal medicine
  • Concise clinical summaries and overviews
  • Evidence-based recommendations
  • Graphics and images
  • Drug content including dosing and interactions

Learn more




ACP Membership Recruitment Opportunities for YOU

ACP's Recruit-a-Colleague Program for members within the United States

Recommend ACP membership to your colleagues and earn a significant discount on your membership dues or even free membership!

Now you have the opportunity to provide your colleagues with the same clinical support and educational resources that you have enjoyed as an ACP member. Talk to your post-training colleagues about ACP today so they can experience the College's benefits for themselves – and join a worldwide internal medicine community of more than 143,000 members.

To thank you for your time and effort, we offer the following recruitment program. Between now and March 1, 2017, receive a:

  • $100 credit toward your 2017-18 annual dues when you recruit one member
  • $200 credit toward your 2017-18 annual dues when you recruit two new members
  • $300 credit toward your 2017-18 annual dues when you recruit three new members
  • Free membership in 2017-18 when you recruit four or more new members*

Plus, for every member recruited within the promotional period, you will receive an entry into a grand-prize drawing for a trip to the ACP Internal Medicine Meeting 2018 New Orleans, LA that includes registration, airfare (up to $500), and four days of hotel accommodations.

Send a recruitment e-mail to a colleague today, or download and print an application to personally deliver.



The Arizona Chapter Scientific Meeting – ACP Arizona Thanks!


Drs. Aaronson, Gerkin, and Peterson

We want to recognize the tireless efforts of Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, FACP 2016 Program Chair who led the following committees and subcommittees -

Program Planning Committee Members

Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, MBA, 2016 Program Chair, Co-Chair Posters/Abstracts
Robert M. Aaronson, MD, FACP, Governor, Arizona Chapter
Eric P. Gall, MD, MACP, MACR, 2015 Program Chair
Timothy C. Fagan, MD, FACP, 2011 Program Chair
Paul F. Howard, MD, MACP, Former Governor
James F. Keane, DO
Helene R. Labonte, DO, FACP, 2014 Program Chair
Allan L. Markus, MD, MS, MBA, FACP, 2008 Program Chair
Dustin McCurry, Medical Student, UACOM - P
Kevin F. Moynahan, MD, FACP, 2009 Program Chair
Anita C. Murcko, MD, FACP
Rakesh Nanda, MD, FACP
Cheryl O’Malley, MD, FACP, Chair, Awards
Avtar Patel, MD, Co-Chair Posters, Doctor's Dilemma™
Jaya Raj, MD, FACP
Shakaib U. Rehman, MD, FACP, FAACH
Rupal Vora, MD, FACP, Co-Chair 2013 Program
Mark A. Zubriski, MD, PhD, FACP, Chair, Doctor's Dilemma™
Dixie Swan, Executive Director (Staff Member)
Joni Bowers, Meeting Support (Staff Member)


And the following for their donation or loan of goods and services:

  • Mayo Clinic Arizona and Helene Labonte, MD, FACP,′ for the Doctor's Dilemma™ monitors
  • University of Arizona Telemedicine Program′, for the generous loan of AV items
  • Janet Major,′ for her technical expertise, photographic talents and all around good work!!



Cheryl O’Malley, MD, FACP, Chair
Robert M. Aaronson, MD, FACP
Viet D. Do, DO, FACP
Timothy C. Fagan, MD, FACP
Kevin F. Moynahan, MD, FACP
Mary Ellen Dirlam, MD, FACP
Robert Orford, MDCM, FACP
Howard M. Shulman, DO, FACP, FACOI

Doctor's Dilemma™

Mark Zubriski, MD, PhD, FACP, MD, Chair,
Avtar Singh, MD, Co-Chair
Hamed Abbaszadegan, MD, MBA
Mayar Al Mohajer, MD, FACP
William G. Elliott, DO, FACP
Timothy C. Fagan, MD, FACP
Richard Gerkin, MD, FACP
Helene Labonte, DO, FACP
Allen Markus, MD, FACP
Laura Meinke, MD, FACP, FCCP
William Peppo, DO, FACP
Evelyn Schwalenberg, DO, MS, FACP
Eugene Trowers, MD, FACP
Rupal S. Vora, MD, FACP
Governor Robert Aaronson, MD, FACP

Posters/Abstracts/Oral Vignettes

Hamed Abbasadegan, MD, FACP, Chair
Robert M. Aaronson, MD, FACP
Viet Do, DO
Jayne M. Peterson, MD, FACP, SGIM
Timothy C. Fagan, MD, FACP
Richard Gerkin, MD, MS, FACP, FACMT
Helene Labonte, DO, FACP
Cara McCarty, MD
Laura Meinke, MD, FACP, FCCP
Shakaib U. Rehman, MD, FACP
Avtar Singh, MD
Rupal Vora, MD, FACP
Mark Zubriski, MD, PhD
Drs. Aaronson, Gerkin and Peterson.

We want to also express our gratitude to poster judges and oral vignette judges who patiently and carefully observed and evaluated the posters, the presentations and the presenters.


To you judges- all committee members and Chapter Meeting participants extend hearty Thanks!!!