Illinois Southern Governor's Newsletter November 2021

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Vidya Sundareshan, MD, MPH, FACP, ACP Governor, Illinois Southern

Vidya Sundareshan, MD, MPH, FACP, ACP Governor, Illinois Southern


Governor's Message



This is my first communication to our members after being handed over the baton from Dr. James Graumlich. I'm honored to serve in the role of Governor for ACP Illinois South and thank our chapter members as well as the leadership for this opportunity.

I want to begin by thanking Dr. Graumlich for his exceptional leadership and for bringing our chapter to where we are today. We are recipients of the Chapter Excellence Gold award from ACP National for 4 years in a row under Dr. Graumlich's superb flagship and guidance. We have been recognized with this award for achieving our goals in membership, innovative educational programs and exceptional collaborations. Our chapter has exceptional national leaders that continue to be involved with the chapter activities and continue to serve as great resources for our chapter members and leadership.

To provide some background about me, I'm an infectious diseases specialist at Southern Illinois University, Springfield, IL. I have been a member of the American College of Physician since 2008. I have had the amazing opportunity to chair the education committee twice, be on the Governor's council, be part of the chapter's women in medicine committee, and work closely with Dr. Graumlich last year as Governor-elect to help with the transition. With the guidance and support of the best mentors I could ask for and superb leaders of the ACP, Dr. Susan Hingle, Dr. Janet Jokela, Dr. John Flack, Dr. Andrew Varney, Dr. David Steward, Dr. Graumlich, Dr. Cathy Cheng and many more, I feel grateful for the numerous opportunities to learn and grow. The various committees and roles I have served in has helped me form so many friendships that I value and cherish. I'm an international medical graduate and I'm thankful for the inclusive structure of the college.

As we move forward in the process of our reconstruction after the pandemic, we have a lot of work ahead of us. I'm hoping we will be able to engage our members- students, residents, early career, mid and late career members in the various activities.

The council members have been working on the mission and vision for our chapter. Rural Medicine was identified as a potential area of interest. Engaging physicians practicing in southern Illinois, optimizing opportunities for our colleagues for their practice, participation in advocacy, professional development, wellness, networking and all benefits of being part of ACP.

We are also working on strategic planning for this year and revisit that periodically based on the requests and needs of the membership. We would like for all the members to weigh in. Please look for and participate in a short survey about strategic planning in the future.

There are opportunities for early career faculty for mentorship. Like I said above, we are extremely fortunate to be the home of exceptional national leaders of the ACP. We will be working on mentorship opportunities through the chapter.

We have several committees in our chapter and I invite our members to be part of these chapter committees to be able to network and learn from colleagues. These are great opportunities for professional and personal growth. The various committees are ACP ILS chapter education committee, early career physician committee, women in medicine committee, resident and student committee, DEI committee, awards committee, and wellness committee. We are also looking in to starting new committees for certain members who are International Medical Graduates for ways to be involved. Please contact Colleen Keeku if you are interested in being part of any of the committees.

I would next like to mention about the process of resolutions at the Board of Governors meetings. This meeting is held twice a year; in fall and in spring. Chapters can create resolutions on important issues in medicine (patient care, education, research, wellness, and payment systems). The college's support is sought on these resolutions by a very parliamentary voting process. These resolutions are available for the membership to review and comment on. I will be honored to represent our chapter at these meetings advocating for any resolution that we write. This is a form of advocacy where we accomplish important things for our practice of medicine in various settings.

In this edition of the Newsletter, please find a message from Dr. James Graumlich, Governor ACP ILS from 2017-2021. We have also included information on the early career physician committee from their past chair, Dr. MJ Yadav. Please also follow ACP ILS on Twitter and Facebook for information on the latest programs.

Last but not the least, a word about our fantastic Executive Director, Colleen Keeku who helps support many governors who she works with. She keeps everything organized for us and is a great resource for our chapter. Colleen is extremely knowledgeable and helpful. We are fortunate to have Colleen.

Once again, I'm honored to serve as your Governor for the IL Southern Chapter and look forward to meeting you in the future during our meetings, programs and outside. Please feel free to contact me anytime with questions.

-Vidya Sundareshan



Notes from the Spring BOG meeting

These were the resolutions for the spring meeting:

  1. ACGME to require a longitudinal advocacy curriculum to meet Internal Medicine residency milestones. After discussion, it was recommended that ACP will work with APDIM and AAIM to seek best way to incorporate an advocacy curriculum.
  2. Inclusion of antimicrobial resistance and stewardship education in medical school curriculum and Internal Medicine residency. It was recommended to work with various other groups including Family Medicine, Pharmacists, and Nursing to accomplish this.
  3. New York Chapter asked to remove criteria that disqualifies applicants for invited fellowship for lapsed dues. Further discussion on this is anticipated with referral to study.
  4. Policy to avoid conflicts of interest for physician solicitation of financial contributions from patients. It was decided that the Board of Regents will create a more detailed policy in ACP ethics manual to limit any perceived conflict of interest prohibiting financial incentives to physicians, and ensure that physician participation is voluntary and without repercussions.
  5. Addressing concerns about private equity firms and their effect on medical care – ACP national working on a methodology to assist chapters to contact their membership and how membership and patient care is affected as well as healthcare access, equity and costs.
  6. Facilitating research and treatment of covid “long haulers” – focused on NIH funding of well-designed community-based trials but not limited to just them.
  7. Advocating for pan Asian/ Asian American racial/ethnicity data inclusion and representation to promote health equity.
  8. Facilitating physicians in providing medical care to out of state patients without imposing undue burdens or compromising doctor patient relationships. This will be discussed further with referral to study.
  9. Providing educational materials on the changes to the stark law as announced by CMS in November, 2020. This was approved and the Board of Regents will help prepare educational materials.
  10. Promoting policy standards for reporting diagnostic errors of hospitalized patients. This was referred to study for further discussion.
  11. Legislation that supports modernization of supervision of non-physician practitioners. This was not adopted after a lengthy discussion.
  12. Provide support for lactating physician mothers. This was approved.
  13. Advocating coverage of mental health counselor, marriage and family therapist for services under Medicare and amended to include licensed.
  14. Seek federal protection for doctors that administer vaccines.
  15. Formalizing the residency program closure process and preventing hardships for trainees (ACP to work with CMS, ACGME, AAIM and others on this issue)





Message from Dr. James Graumlich, MD, FACP, Governor ACP ILS 2017-2021

James Graumlich, MD, FACP, officially completed his service as Governor of the ACP Illinois Southern (ILS) Chapter on 1 May 2021 when Vidya Sundareshan, MD, FACP, FIDSA, took over as the new Governor. The transition of the Governors in June 2021 was smooth because Dr. Sundareshan and Dr. Graumlich had been meeting once or twice a month for the past year to prepare for the transition. In addition, Colleen Keeku, Executive Director of the ACP Illinois Chapters, played an important role in the transition because of her expertise in the administrative and financial management of the chapter. Another chapter officer who helped assure prudent financial management was the Treasurer, Ramon Garcia, MD, FACP. Dr. Graumlich wishes to publicly acknowledge and thank Dr. Sundareshan, Ms. Keeku, and Dr. Garcia, for their work during the transition of chapter governance.

Chapter members may ask, what happens to an ACP Governor after the term-of-office ends? The charter of the Governor's Advisory Council specifies a role for the immediate-past Governor as a council member. Various chapter committee memberships are also open to the immediate-past Governor. For example, Dr. Sundareshan has asked Dr. Graumlich to continue service to the ACP ILS Chapter on the Awards Committee and the Membership Committee. In addition, Dr. Sundareshan requested Dr. Graumlich to function as interim Treasurer. The term of office for Treasurer is for four years. Dr. Garcia completed his term as Treasurer in May 2021 and he has chosen to not seek another term. A search is in progress for a chapter member to become the next Treasurer for a four-year term. In the meantime, Dr. Graumlich has agreed to serve as interim Treasurer until a successor is appointed. ACP Chapter members who are interested in learning more about the role of Chapter Treasurer, please contact Dr. Sundareshan or Dr. Graumlich



Early Career Physician Committee:

Early Career Physician Committee comprises of members who have recently graduated from their training and started their careers. Members are elected from different places all over the southern Illinois region with a variety of background. The committee is an excellent place for early career physicians to contribute to peer education, participate in webinars, make connections and be a mentor or mentee for professional development. The committee is also a good place to get leadership experience. Chapter members can participate by engaging in webinars and other activities, and to be considered for election to the committee when new positions become available. The elected Chair of the committee gets a membership in the Governor's advisory council. Members also have excellent opportunities to engage with organizing the state Chapter meetings.

Manajyoti Yadav, MD, FACP (Immediate past Chair, ECP Committee)




Many congratulations to our chapter leaders on this well-deserved recognition.

ACP ILS Mastership

Dr. Janet Jokela, MD, MPH, MACP, FIDSA
Professor & Head, Department of Medicine
Acting Regional Dean
University of Illinois College of Medicine at Urbana-Champaign
Former ACP Governor, Illinois Southern Chapter
Immediate-past Regent, ACP

Dr. Jokela is a Member of the Board of Regents, Governor's council member, Awards Committee member, Women in Medicine committee, Governor of ACP ILS: 2013-2017.

Dr. Jokela is the Chair of Medicine at UIC, Champaign.

Dr. Jokela, thank you so very much for all your contribution to the chapter and national ACP. You are an inspiration to us all!

ACP ILS Laureate Award

Dr. Manajyoti Yadav, MD, FACP UIC, Peoria. Dr. Yadav has been a very active member of the ACP. He chaired the ECP committee, was part of the education committee, and is a current member of the IL Governor's council. We are thrilled to present you with this well- deserved recognition.

ACP ILS Early Career Physician Award

Dr. Marti Hlafka, MD FACP is the clerkship director and exceptional physician at SIU School of medicine. Congratulations on your well-deserved award. Thank you for all that you do for the chapter and nationally for medical education for students and residents.

ACP ILS Women Physician Award

Dr. Christine Todd, MD, FACP hospitalist with SIU School of Medicine. Dr. Todd has trained many medical students and residents. Her innovative teaching styles infuse a love for medicine in anyone she has crossed paths with. Voracious reader with a great breadth of knowledge, Dr. Todd is able to bring so many aspects of medicine as she teaches. We are grateful for your contribution to ACP.

ACP ILS Teaching and Mentorship Award

Dr. Gary Rull, MD FACP is a phenomenal teacher and physician at SIU School of Medicine. His dedication to the profession and his students is unparalleled. Dr. Rull has trained many students and residents to be their best. Congratulations on your well- deserved award.

ACP ILS Physician Hero Award

Vidya Sundareshan, MD, MPH, FACP, FIDSA for her work during the pandemic advising the local health department in the pandemic response. Dr. Sundareshan is the chief of Infectious Diseases at SIU School of Medicine.



NOMINATIONS for Chapter Wellness Champions

ACP launched the Physician Well-being and Professional Fulfillment initiative in January 2018. Part of that initiative includes training up to 2 Well-being Champions per chapter who will promote the rationale for investing in clinician well-being, share key evidence-based strategies to improve clinician well-being and professional fulfillment, and foster the development of chapter-based communities that support well-being and professional fulfillment.

ACP ILS would like to nominate 2 Champions in December 2021.

Email Colleen Keeku for more information and participation.



NOMINATIONS For National Awards Open Starting October 2021

One of the goals of the American College of Physicians is to “recognize excellence and distinguished contributions to internal medicine.” As a way of achieving this goal, the College offers 23 national awards and a number of Masterships each year.

Please Click Here for More information on how to nominate a deserving colleague.



ACP and YouTube Partnering on Educational Content to Counter Misinformation Around COVID-19 Treatment and Vaccines

ACP is partnering with YouTube to create new educational content to help combat health misinformation about the COVID-19 virus, vaccination and treatments. The videos will focus on communication strategies for clinicians as well as providing proactive, trusted information in the clinicians' voice.

ACP will provide resources in English and Spanish for physicians on how to assess and address medical misinformation through a series of videos to pro-actively share evidence-based strategies to offer credible information about vaccines for clinicians and the public. In addition, ACP is developing video content for the public to answer their questions about vaccines with trusted information from physicians. The videos will also highlight the challenges around misinformation and focus on where to go for credible medical information.

ACP has expressed its concern about the spread of misinformation about the COVID-19 virus, vaccination and treatments, and its detrimental impact on public health. ACP strongly supports the use of science and scientific expertise, based on the best available evidence, in the fight against COVID-19. The spread of inaccurate and incorrect information about COVID-19 hinders our ability to mitigate the spread of the virus and combat the global public health crisis.



New ACP Paper Calls for Policies to Strengthen Health Care for Our Nation's Veterans

A new policy paper published in Annals of Internal Medicine, Health Care for Our Nations Veterans calls attention to the importance of the Veteran Health Administration's (VHA) role in providing essential care for American veterans. ACP says that the VHA is a crucial part of our nation's health care system; however, it faces many challenges that include an aging infrastructure, implementation of a new electronic health records system, and achieving access and care continuity with non-VHA clinicians. The paper offers recommendations on how to address the challenges that hinder the VHA from providing quality care to every veteran in the country.



Book recommendations:

1) Learning to Listen: A Memoir by Vidhya Prakash Dr. Prakash is an infectious diseases specialist at SIU School of medicine. She is the founder of the alliance of women in medicine and science at SIU. Her book is available on amazon.

2) Patients at risk – the rise of the nurse practitioner and physician assistants in healthcare This was suggested after one of the discussions in a meeting at the BOG. Interesting perspective.

3) The Cure for Remembering: by Ruth Weissberger Dr. Weissberger is the ACP governor of the Connecticut chapter. This is a fast- paced mystery.

4) Care After COVID: What the Pandemic Revealed Is Broken in Healthcare and How to reinvent It: By Shantanu Nandy Dr. Nandy was also the keynote speaker for the board of governors meeting.