Mississippi Governor's Newsletter May 2021

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Message from Your New Governor


I am truly excited to serve as the new Mississippi Governor of the American College of Physicians. Dr. Thigpen has been a shining example of leadership and service for our chapter locally as well as nationally. I only hope I can do half the tremendous job he has done to keep the great state of Mississippi moving forward pertaining to the field of internal medicine. I am so thankful for his guidance and assurance in this transition.

Of course, this past year has been truly unbelievable on so many levels. I never imagined living and practicing through a pandemic. I have been forever changed by the challenges and the successes over this past year. This transition to your new governor has been fast and like a rollercoaster. I remember the wonderful attendings, fellows and program directors who were such an influence on me, my career and my decision to stay and practice in my home state. That is one of the reasons I humbly step in this new role. I am here to serve as a liaison for our Mississippi physicians to the ACP. I have participated in leadership and transition sessions designed by the national office, which has given me an opportunity to reflect on our chapter and continue with the great work Dr. Thigpen along with the council members has put forth.

Engagement with our membership is of importance to me. I am open to hearing what our chapter can do for our members, especially hearing from our community physicians and how our chapter can be of more assistance and also understanding the important issues facing our practices. The pace of practice and lifestyle management, all on top of the tremendous healthcare issues of a pandemic, are overwhelming to say the least. But the internal medicine community has a way of prioritizing the problems and then taking it issue by issue. That skill is so paramount to our discipline of medicine. The ACP is here to get those concerns on a grass roots effort and address those issues. It does take ongoing input from all of our members with all of our different perspectives.

While I am a community physician, it is important to engage our students, residents, fellows and early career physicians. It's one of the main reasons I got involved in our chapter. I really appreciate those academic as well as community physicians who took time out with me and influenced my career path. Our upcoming enhanced and updated by-laws will be moving our chapter forward and creating more avenues for leadership and growth. I am especially excited by our leadership on the council representing students, residents, fellows and early physicians. I am really motivated to be a part of the fresh ideas coming from these talented physicians and students. With that, I am asking for all to get involved.

I am excited to welcome our members to Meridian this year for our annual chapter meeting that will be held in June! The planning committee led by Dr. Jessica Lavender has put together a great agenda. Meridian's downtown is undergoing revitalization with athletic, musical and craft festivals. Two of the state's newest museums are downtown which are sure to delight all and are in close proximity to the conference. We will hold our meeting at the beautiful and historic Riley Center, which is a dynamic opera house. Moreover, our meeting will be the only in-person meeting of the ACP this year. Please visit our link to register. I am looking forward to a great year!

Otis Gowdy, Jr., MD, MBA, FACP



Message from Your Outgoing Governor

As I leave the role of Mississippi Chapter Governor in the very capable hands of Dr. Gowdy, I thank the chapter for trusting me to lead our membership for these last four years. It has been an honor to serve. Thank you to the three wonderful people who have worked as Executive Director – Nancy Youngblood, Sarah Wardrop, and now Christi Long – each of whom brought their unique talents and love for the work of internists to the role and kept our chapter going strong. Without Nancy's encouragement and persistence years ago to get more involved in the chapter, I would not have had this opportunity. Thank you to our Treasurer, Kimberly Harkins, who combined with our Executive Director to ensure that our chapter is now fiscally strong with appropriate reserves and an investment strategy. And thank you to my predecessor, Dan Woodliff, for his wisdom and counsel in our transition four years ago and during my term.

Thank you to all those who have served on the Governor's Advisory Council at some point throughout the last four years as well, which includes each aforementioned individual and the following, many of whom have served significant roles leading or participating in committee work: Bob Brahan, Sam Peeples, Joe Files, Van Lackey, Wes Aldred, Jessie Lavender, Ashraf Abdo, Buck Franklin, Peggy Miller Davis, Day Lennep, Ben Brock, Dan Edney, Amy Woods, Dick Wardrop, John Wofford, Skip Nolan, Rick deShazo, Carrie Wynn, Keith Murdock, Caleb Zumbro, Peyton Treutel, Kendra Courtney, John Bridges, Catherine Lowe, Mindy Talley, Taylor Moore, Ashley Villarreal, Brandon Lennep, Derek Hansen, and Sarah French.

And thank you to the chapter staff at the ACP, as well as the other staff members with whom I've had the chance to work the last four years – Jason Polinsky (our chapter liaison at the College), Keirston Scott, Nicole Poponi, Mary Giampietro, Mary Bieter, Rebecca Moore, and Lois Snyder Sulmasy.

As the specialty society in our country with the most members, the ACP sits in a unique position. It is the largest organized voice we have specifically for internal medicine. I cannot overstate how important it is for our chapter's members to make their opinions heard. Be attentive to the messages that come to your email or appear on social media from the ACP, and communicate with Dr. Gowdy your thoughts and feelings on those messages so he can represent you well and do all he can to ensure the College is not missing the mark. If you disagree, let it be known that you disagree. If there is an issue in your practice that is not being addressed, ask that it be addressed. If there is an issue you'd like to see the ACP leave alone, convey that to Dr. Gowdy. While the ACP provides fantastic educational content, its advocacy can shape your work as much as, or more than, the knowledge you gain from reading and studying its literature and CME materials. I personally believe that there is much the ACP can do for our practices and our patients and that its efforts should be focused there while others have felt that the College's scope is much broader than that. Whatever you believe, let Dr. Gowdy know so that your membership investment has the greatest possible return.

Thank you to everyone for all that you do for your patients, our profession, and the state of Mississippi. I hope to see many of you at our chapter meeting in Meridian in June!

S. Calvin Thigpen, MD, FACP