Maine Governor's Newsletter November 2020

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Rebecca B. Hemphill, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Rebecca B. Hemphill, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Message

Though I still have a year and a half remaining in my tenure as your ACP Chapter Governor, having the election for my successor has prompted some reflection on all of the changes of these last couple of years and what we have ahead of us.

It goes without saying that the COVID-19 pandemic has upended so many things in our lives and our practices, as well as in the work that we do with ACP. ACP has demonstrated its strength and leadership through this pandemic in so many ways - Some of the new ACP policies related to the COVID-19 Pandemic:

  • Policy Supports Wearing of Masks to Reduce Transmission of COVID-19
  • Partial Resumption of Economic, Health Care and Other Activities While Mitigating COVID-19 Risk and Expanding System Capacity
  • Prioritization, Allocation of Resources and Stewardship Must Not Result in Discrimination
  • Harassment Based on Race or Ethnic Origin is Never Okay
  • Physicians Can Bring their Own PPE and Speak Out on COVID-19 Care Conditions
  • Social Distancing Recommendations to Help slow spread of COVID-19

These actions and others just reinforce the sense that ACP has our back!

I hope that some of you were able to attend the outstanding Vaccine Forum hosted by ACP where we heard from Anthony Fauci MD and other leaders in the vaccine development and approval arena. If you missed it, you can review the recording of this event here.

Here in Maine, our Chapter held its first virtual Chapter meeting on 9/25 and 10/31 - including the popular resident vignettes and poster presentations . Many thanks to our program committee, our participants and speakers for helping to successfully pull this off. There is certainly a learning curve to hosting an engaging and fun virtual meeting, and I am proud of our team that we were able to accomplish this. See below for the review of the events by Doug Couper, MD, MACP, our program committee chair.

ACP has already made the necessary call that the Internal Medicine Meeting 2021 will be held virtually April 20-May 1. I would encourage all of you to check out the program and register, as they continue to bring the highest quality education from expert faculty to you in a virtual format. Though we will again miss coming together as a chapter in Orlando, this continues to be an effective way to learn the latest updates in Internal Medicine and gain CME/MOC credits.

In our new world of virtual meetings, we are hoping to take advantage of the ease at which we can bring groups together from across the state, and we are planning a number of Chapter events in the coming months. I do hope that more of you take advantage of these events.

We are in the midst of the resurgence of COVID-19 here in Maine, and all of us are now again having to plan for the surge. You are all aware of the excellent COVID resources on the ACP Website. In addition, I wanted to share that the Maine Medical Association has put together a nice site with useful and important links and information here . While on the one hand, we might feel that we have a better understanding of what we need to do (I don't need to repeat that it still comes down to wearing masks, social distancing and washing hands!!) and we are not having to shut down abruptly like we did last March, we also know how sick people will get and the impact this pandemic will have on our practices, hospitals and communities. It is looking like it is going to be a long and isolating winter for many - so it will be even more important to reach out, support our colleagues and our patients and importantly take care of ourselves.

In closing - there are so many things that I am grateful for. I am so grateful for the incredible opportunity that being your Governor has afforded me, I am grateful for the new colleagues that I have met and gotten to know over these last couple of years, I am grateful for the work that ACP continues to do on our behalf and finally, I am grateful that I live in this beautiful place that is Maine.

Rebecca Hemphill, MD, FACP

Governor, Maine Chapter ACP


Round Pond, Greenwood, ME



Maine Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting 2020

As everyone is certainly aware, 2020 has brought havoc and disruption to all of our lives. The Maine Chapter of the ACP found itself challenged with regards to the annual chapter meeting. Our well -made plans for a meeting in Bar Harbor were pushed into pandemic disarray. The committee met many times and put together a series of virtual meetings that took place on September 25th, and October 31st. Venues were changed, AV skills were upgraded, speakers were flexible and accommodating and the program was tweaked to accommodate a Zoom format. The theme of the meeting was Orthopedics and Rheumatology for the internist. The first session had a sub theme of orthopedic issues facing the Internist in the hospitalized patient. The second session had a sub theme of rheumatology. CME, and MOC were offered for all presentations.

The first day of the conference was notable for the resident cases of the year. Cases presented included Ramsey-Hunt syndrome by Tyler Reed MD, Plastic Bronchitis by Erica Hidu MD, Systemic Complications of Ulcerative Colitis by John Gilboy MD, and Hyaline Vascular Variant of Castleman Disease by Nellie Wood MD. The cases presented challenged our diagnostic skills and ability to think outside the box. Audience participation was encouraged! There was a panel of judges preselected and participating in the Zoom audience. Awards were given to all presenters with first place being awarded to Nellie Wood, MD. Congratulations to Nellie and to all of our resident presenters for excellent presentations all around.

This was followed by a presentation on “Pain Management in Post Operative Patients” by Anesthesiologist Dr. Aurora Quaye. Dr Quaye covered elements of the opioid epidemic and opioid misuse, opioid substitution therapy, and preoperative management recommendations. This presentation was eligible for an hour of Maine Opioid CME credits. This was followed by “Septic Joints and Epidural Abscesses”, by infectious disease specialist Dr. Sophie Woolston. She covered the historical significance of these infections, clinical definitions, microbiology, and treatment. her comments on treatment nuances were particularly insightful. The afternoon's educational session was rounded out with “Thrombotic and Vascular Elements of Covid-19”, by Dr. Kathryn Brouillette, a hospitalist at Maine Medical Center. She presented recent cases of COVID-19 from MMC, and reviewed observations and proposed pathology for COVID related thrombosis and pathology. She presented a fascinating review of interventions under investigation. This was without a doubt, a timely and cutting-edge presentation!

The Maine Chapter ACP Laureate award was presented to Renee Fay-LeBlanc, MD, FACP, the Chief Medical Officer at Greater Portland Health, a Federally Qualified Health Center, which has expanded substantially under her leadership.


The second day of the conference began with the poster sessions. Attendees were randomly assigned to a research room labeled “Clinical” or “Research”. The posters were displayed with brief presentations, followed by questions and answers. This innovative program encouraged audience participation. Awards were given for both categories: research (Zachary Cost) and clinical vignettes (Amjad Mahboob, MBBS).

The Rheumatology session of the program started with “Rheumatology Tests for the Non-Rheumatologist”, presented by Dr. Ken O’Rourke. Did you ever order rheumatologist tests and then get caught in a dilemma of what to do with the results? This presentation aimed to prevent that sticky situation.


Dr. Brian Daikh followed with a presentation on “Biologics in Rheumatologic Diseases for the Internist”. Caring for rheumatology patients can be likened to a foreign language with the myriad of biologics out there. While many internists may not be prescribing them, Dr Daikh helped sort out who should be considered for biologics, how to commonage patients on these medications and presented some insight and caveats to some specific agents.

Radiology was the next topic, with “Musculoskeletal Radiologic Interpretation” by Dr. Kathryn Weidenbach. She showed many radiology images covering how to approach an image, common traumatic findings, specific areas of concern that might require special views, common benign findings, aggressive and suspicious findings, and infectious findings. This very visual presentation was extremely informative and practical. She was followed by Dr. Kenneth O’Rourke presenting “Vasculitis: Classifications and Management”. Dr O’Rourke helped the audience make sense of the current classification of vasculitis, including vasculitis mimics. he also covered a diagnostic approach and presented examples based on vessel size.

At the conclusion, the Maine Chapter of the ACP was recognized with a Gold Tier Chapter Excellence Award, as being a truly extraordinary chapter.


The Maine Chapter ACP was proud to present the Lifetime Achievement Award to Peter Bates MD for all his contributions to Internal Medicine, Medical Care, and Teaching in Maine. He is a wonderful asset to all of us.


The chapter is thrilled so many people were able to join us virtually and make this year's virtual chapter meeting a resounding success! Please mark your calendars for next year's conference, which is planned for Bar Harbor on September 17-19, 2021. We look forward to seeing you there!

Doug Couper MD, MACP



Maine Chapter Poster Presentations

October 31, 2020: The Maine Chapter of ACP annual (virtual) poster session was a great success thanks to ten excellent poster presentations submitted by residents of Maine Medical Center and medical students of Tufts University School of Medicine. The session featured a total of ten posters with six fascinating clinical vignettes and four original research posters. Of note, three posters featured either vignettes or original research related to COVID-19 pandemic.

The winning clinical vignette poster was “Dreading the Worst: Osmotic demyelination syndrome secondary to rapid correction of hyponatremia” by Dr. Amjad Mehboob PGY-3 at Maine Medical Center. The winning original research poster was “Communication with remote caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Early results of a mixed method study” by Zachary Cost MSII at Tufts University SOM.

Thanks to all the poster presenters and panel of judges who helped make the virtual format a success. We hope to be back in 2021 in beautiful Bar Harbor!

To view the posters Click here

Clinical Vignettes:

Lousia Bauer MSIV: Ocular Neurosyphilus as First Manifestation of Infection in an Immunocompetent Patient
Pasquale Marotta PGY-2: Atrial Mass: Case Presentation of Primary Cardiac Neoplasm
Amjad Mehboob PGY-3: Dreading the Worst: Osmotic demyelination syndrome secondary to rapid correction of hyponatremia
Ian Milligan PGY-3: Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome Associated with SARS-CoV-2 Infection; more than a Pediatric Syndrome
Elliot Morgan PGY-3: Pan Vitamin Deficiency in IBD: An Underappreciated Complication
Nicole Rebusi PGY-2: Peri-Operative Diagnosis of Isolate CNS Echinococus Presenting as Seizure and Headache

Original Research

Zachary Cost MS II: Communication with “remote” caregivers during the COVID-19 pandemic: Early results of a mixed method study
Robert Michaud PGY-1: Pre-discharge scheduled follow up and readmission rates among a chort of patients experiencing homelessness: a retrospective cohort study
Dana Tripp MSIII: How well does the Surprise Question Predict 1-year Mortaility for Patients with COPD?
Kiana Vakil-Gilani PGY-2: Does Chronic Immunosuppressive Therapy Lower the Risk of Developing Severe Disease when Infected with COVID-19?



ACP Leadership Programs Available in Hospital Medicine or Primary Care

In partnership with the American Association for Physician Leadership, the ACP Leadership Academy offers a flexible, 18-month-long Certificate in Physician Leadership program with tracks in Hospital Medicine and Primary Care.

The program includes a combination of formal training through 49.5 hours of online coursework, online group discussions facilitated by leaders in internal medicine, and a capstone project that demonstrates successful mastery of leadership concepts.

Participants may apply online by December 1, 2020 to enroll in the cohorts that begin work in January 2021. We encourage you to promote this program to your chapter members.

This program offers exclusive training by leadership experts and important career-building skills. In addition, ACP provides participants with access to a number of professional development and membership engagement opportunities.

If you have any questions, please contact us at



Watch for Upcoming Events

Maine Chapter Town Hall Zoom Meeting

Women in Medicine

Richard Engel MD 2nd Annual Primary Care Symposium