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Kansas Governor's Newsletter July 2019

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Isaac O. Opole, MD, PhD, FACP, ACP Governor

Isaac O. Opole, MD, PhD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Welcome

Dear Colleagues,

The winter's over, and we're finally enjoying some warm weather. I hope everyone's taking time from your busy schedules to enjoy the outdoors. Kansas has a bounty of lakes, parks, and recreational opportunities within and around our communities, and we should enjoy them and encourage our patients go out and enjoy the great outdoors. Take your own medicine too, Doc… get out there, it is good for you and will enhance your sense of wellness!


Speaking of wellness, it is my pleasure to announce that Dr. Segen Chase has volunteered to serve as our Chapter Wellness Champion. Segen has served the chapter in many capacities, most recently as chair of the Membership Committee. The college acknowledges the impact of heavy clinical schedules and practice burdens on individual well-being, and has developed strategies including training of wellness champions for each chapter. Segen will be laying out her plans for us to find ways towards a holistic work/life balance and eliminating burnout.

In other transition news, please welcome Dr. Scott Smiley as our new Membership Committee Chair. Dr. Smiley is an internist in Emporia with almost two decades clinical practice experience, and has been a dedicated ACP member for much of this time. I hope Dr. Smiley will continue to promote our outreach to members throughout the state and strengthen our chapter through greater member engagement. Welcome aboard (again), Scott!

On the local legislative front, Medicaid expansion continues to dominate the healthcare debate, probably only paralleled with discussions about the closure of health care facilities. The failure of the Bipartisan-supported bill to expand Medicaid under the ACA by a single vote and the announcement of the closure of Mercy hospital in Fort Scott continues to illustrate the vexed nature and challenges faced by Kansans in meeting their health care needs. The ACP advocates for Medicaid expansion nationally, a point we have made to the Kansas legislature throughout our trips to the capitol as part of our legislative collaborations with the Kansas Primary Care Coalition. We anticipate further action in this arena during the next legislative session.


The spring Board of Governors' meeting was somewhat subdued this year, with less of the usual boisterous give and take on the floor, as most members chose to give written testimony. However, the discussions were very fruitful, and several resolutions were adopted for action and if approved by the Board of Regents, will be implemented. These included resolution 1-S18 to request CMS to waive the 3-day rule for SNF eligibility, 5-S18 to streamline the DME process and reduce unnecessary costs and burdens of DME requests, 8-S18 opposing insurance companies' termination of physician contracts without clause, and 17-S18 urging the ACP to develop an alternative Maintenance of Certification pathway that is practice relevant, consistent with the ABMS vision and ACP principles of professional accountability. These represent a small sample of adopted resolutions, but are illustrative of the strength of the voice of the college in advocating for physicians nationwide. The fall resolutions have been announced, and I encourage comments or proposals of new resolutions on any matters that you think the college may be able to act on.

If you did not attend the spring meeting, you probably missed one of the most vibrant and fulfilling learning and networking events in recent memory. Philadelphia in the spring was beautiful, with warm sunny weather throughout the week, and innumerable high-quality sessions led by stalwarts in Internal Medicine. My high point, of course, was the Convocation Ceremony, where we celebrated the advancement of new fellows to the college. Our own Dr. Maharshi Bhakta was singled out as the youngest new Fellow at the Convocation! Please join me in congratulating all our new Fellows, and consider your own advancement to Fellowship if you have not already done so. Click here for more information.

New Fellows are:

Luke M. Amos, MD, FACP

Zalina Ardasenov MD FACP

Harathi Bandaru MD, FACG, MS, FACP

Jennifer P. Bernard, MD, FACP

Maharshi Bhakta, MD, FACP

Elisha J. Brumfield DO, FACP

Scott R. Ceule, MD, FACP

Samuel D. Claassen, MD, FACP

Stephanie Graff, MD, FACP

Trang T. Ho MD, FACP

Jessica L. Kalender-Rich, MD, FACP

Alana Longwell, DO, FACP

Sheila M. McGreevy, MD, FACP

Angela M. Meyer, MD, FACP

Jimmy G. Mbogori, MBChB, FACP

Archana Pareek, MBBS, FACP

Sidra Raza, MBBS, FACP

Kimberly J. Richardson, MD, FACP

Michael T. Rouse, DO, FACP


Finally, here are some amusing fun facts from around our state… Read, share and enjoy, for laughter is the best medicine!

  • Opened in 1857, Hays House, in Council Grove, is the oldest continuously operating restaurant west of the Mississippi River.
  • In Derby County, it is illegal for any person to hit or punch a vending machine when it has stolen a person's money.
  • It is illegal to hunt whales in Kansas
  • The first woman mayor in the United States was Susan Salter. She was elected Mayor of Argonia, KS in 1887
  • In 1990, Kansas produced enough wheat to make six loaves of bread for every person on earth
  • The helicopter was invented by William Purvis and Charles Wilson of Goodland Kansas in 1909
  • It is illegal to sing the alphabet on the streets at night in Topeka
  • It is also illegal to shoot rabbits from motorboats
  • …. And you dare not use mules to hunt ducks, or you will bear the full brunt of the law…..

Have a lovely summer, everyone!

Isaac O. Opole, MD, PhD, FACP
ACP Governor



Finance Committee

Following the change in Executive Director services, we moved the chapter checking account from Wells Fargo in South Dakota to a local bank in Kansas. We have decided to keep the investment accounts with Wells Fargo until we are confident our funds will not take a hit due to negative market forces. Our ultimate goal will be to have all our accounts hosted locally. We are also working on an “investment policy” to ensure safeguarding the chapter finances. This fiscal year, our chapter received $68,788.68, spent $34,489.72, and have $34,298.96 in reserves, with our total equity at $150.872.41. Our financial status remains strong.



Membership Committee

The membership committee had a conference call in late February. There are several issues that we are looking to address.

In an effort to maintain membership, we are focusing on members with lapsed dues and contacting those individuals. If you know of colleagues that are not current members, I would encourage you reach out and ask them to renew their membership.

Looking at potential growth areas, we have discussed non physician members particularly APRNs and other professionals that have common interest with internal medicine. Andy Stephens, an optometrist in Wichita, has served on this committee and will continue to serve. Along that line, we would like input on how our chapter can offer value for providers. If you have thoughts, please email myself or Denise.

We have discussed the process of nominating members for fellowship. As of now, I believe we have a list of over 200 members that are potentially eligible. Again, I would ask for input from members if you know of individuals that you feel are deserving. We will address this as the committee progresses.

Finally, the committee has discussed restructuring and adding new members to help with geographical and practice representation which may help with the issues outlined above. New members to the committee are Jennifer Jackson, MD - Wichita, Alana Longwell, DO - Emporia, and Shanon Custer, MD - Hays. We also appreciate the continued support of Dr. Segen Chase, MD - Manhattan, and Andy Stephens, OD - Wichita. If you have a desire to help, or have someone in mind you think would be willing to serve on the committee, please let us know.

We will plan on meeting again soon and begin forming a plan for moving forward.


Scott Smiley MD FACP
Membership Committee Chair



Planning Committee

The planning committee has been working hard to create another excellent Kansas ACP Chapter Meeting for the upcoming year. The meeting will be held at the Wichita Marriott on October 10-11, 2019. This year we will be featuring a few new exciting educational options for Internists. We will be having a panel discussion on Sepsis featuring experts in Hospitalist Medicine, Nephrology, Infectious Disease, and Pulmonology Critical Care. We will additionally feature a series of lectures devoted to Inpatient and Ambulatory Medicine that will run as concurrent racks. We will again feature a Doctor's Dilemma tournament for the resident physicians that will be based on the competition featured at the National ACP Meeting.

We have increased the number of posters we will be accepting from students, residents, and early career physicians to 65 to be able to feature the excellent ongoing research of members of the organization. We are currently in the process of recruiting poster judges and would appreciate any time you could devote to the evaluation of resident presentations. Please contact Denise Lantz if interested in serving as a poster judge. We have finalized the schedule of presenters for this meeting and are excited to offer a substantial degree of depth to the featured topics. We feel this year's meeting will enhance the practice of all Internists in all practice locations across Kansas. We look forward to seeing you at the Chapter Meeting in October.

Kindest Regards,

Tiffany Schwasinger-Schmidt, MD, PhD
Planning Committee Chair



Health and Public Policy Committee


The Health and Public Policy Committee continues to be active with state and national advocacy efforts. We had the largest group of ACP members in recent memory attend our Kansas Advocacy Day in Topeka – 10 of us in total!

It was an important opportunity to speak with legislators about our support for Kansas Medicaid expansion, maintaining current scope of practice for APRNs, and promotion of raising the tobacco/e-cigarette sales age to 21 years old. We continue to have a strong partnership with KAFP, ACS and ACEP in this event each year.

ACP Leadership Day took place last month in Washington, DC. Our chapter had several individuals who participated and underwent advocacy training and legislative briefings. We then met with our Kansas congressional delegation to advocate on key priorities for ACP at a national and state level. If you are interested in participating with any of our health policy efforts please contact Ky Stoltzfus.


Ky Stoltzfus, MD, FACP
Health and Public Policy Committee Chair



Physician Wellness


Annually, ACP hosts a “Well-being Champions” training that I was fortunate enough to be able to attend with 43 other physicians this spring. There were ACP members from around the globe learning about burnout and sustainability among physicians. To date, there are 156 trained ACP well-being champions around the globe. Physician wellness comprises many different things from identifying and aiding with burnout, to personal health, psychological well-being, healthy work environments, and mindfulness.

Many of you working in larger medical systems have access to resources to help with some of these challenges, others working in rural areas might have more barriers to finding support for wellness. My hope is to develop a network of these resources and individuals in our academic centers, at the Kansas Medical Society and with myself and the Kansas ACP chapter so you feel you have someone to turn to for wellness guidance.

A brief snapshot on burnout that was illustrated during training: There are higher rates of burnout in physicians who are female, younger and/or are employed in academics. Individuals who work less than 40 hours/week have higher burnout than those who work 70 hours/week largely thought to be due in large part to juggling multiple responsibilities. However, there are several mediating variables that make a large difference and can use to help avoid burnout—work support, home life, and home support. I hope to share tools that physicians can help identify those areas in their work life that create this exhaustion and work together to find realistic solutions, where possible.

Burnout is a syndrome, not a disease and we have to get to the root of it. Many physicians routinely think it's a system problem, and not their issue. However, to get to the root we have peel away the layers in order to challenge the individual and the system. Often individuals believe that success brings happiness, but wellness challenges that long held belief—when we know what makes us happy we will have success. The new theory of well-being suggests that we need positive emotions, engagement, positive relationships, meaning, and accomplishment in order feel fulfillment in life experiences.

As you reflect, I welcome you to email me at with questions, concerns, or topics about well-being that you would like to see addressed throughout the year.

Segen E. Smith Chase, MD, FACP
Wellness Champion



Enroll in the Advocates for Internal Medicine Network (AIMn)

Please consider joining our ACP AIMn network. You will be joining more than 15,000 colleagues in the AIMn program in advocating for the interests of internal medicine in Washington, D.C. By joining, you will receive legislative updates on key policy issues and engage in outreach to your federal lawmakers. If you are already an AIMn member, you do not need to register again. For those not already a part of this advocacy network, you can sign up at


Donna E. Sweet, MD MACP



Mark Your Calendar

October 10-11, 2019 – Annual Scientific Meeting, Wichita Marriott, Wichita, KS

January 29, 2020 – Kansas Chapter, ACP Advocacy Day, Topeka, KS

April 23-25, 2020 – Internal Medicine Meeting 2020, Los Angeles, CA



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