Montana Governor's Newsletter October 2021

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Steven J. Gerstner, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Steven J. Gerstner, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Message

Dear Colleagues,

I am writing with a feeling of “déjà vu all over again”, one of the phrases from Yogi Berra that is very applicable to these times. A feeling of déjà vu was a symptom that those in the Matrix would experience prior to being assaulted by the Agents and perhaps that is what is happening now. Forgive me if you are not familiar with the Matrix series but I suspect all of you very much understand what I am feeling. As I write this Montana, as of yesterday 10/8, had recorded 2079 Covid related deaths and currently had 463 active hospitalizations. COVID-19 vaccinations stood at 53% of our population as vaccine resistance continues. Our hospitals and extended care facilities are overburdened, and I suspect that most of us are suffering from burnout in one way or another. I could definitely feel that during the town hall at our chapter meeting.

However, I am optimistic. Nationally the pandemic surge is tapering, and I am sure Montana will follow and hopefully soon. I just cannot tell you how proud I am of our profession! ACP members continue to be at the forefront of care in the office, hospital, and other care facilities – not only for those suffering from COVID-19 but for all those with the myriad of illnesses that our patients suffer from. I am very humbled to be your governor.

We had a very successful Chapter Meeting in Bozeman, chaired by Drs. Chris Dietrich and Ellie Schiedermayer who unfortunately was in the midst of her ICU rotation and couldn't be there in person. The meeting was well put together with a wide range of topics very pertinent to our practices. We heard awesome poster presentations from our residents of the Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency and congratulations to the competition winner Dr. Ethan Pauley for his poster on “Cefazolin Induced Coagulopathy” and to our runner-up Dr. Jaclyn Nguyen for her poster on “Gustatory Hyperhydrosis”. Dr. Nguyen will receive a cash prize and Dr. Pauley will be presenting his poster at the ACP Annual Session, hopefully in person, next spring. I thank all of our speakers for their presentations. I especially thank Dr. Dietrich and Dr. Schiedermayer for their hard work in developing the itinerary and arranging the speakers.

At the Governor's Council meeting held the evening before we elected to hold our chapter meeting next year in Missoula – I will look forward to seeing everyone there! We also discussed holding our usual spring hospitalist meeting which in the past was held at Big Sky in February although was a COVID casualty this year. We are hoping to hold another hospitalist meeting this coming year although thinking it may be later in the spring to allow for the pandemic to wain and perhaps at another location. More information to come as plans unfold.

Carrie and I also participated in the national Board of Governors meeting held biannually, this time again virtually. I am very pleased to report that our Montana sponsored resolution 4-F20 Advocating for Coverage of Mental Health Counselor and Marriage and Family Therapist Services under Medicare was approved for recommendation to the Board of Regents for adoption! This resolution was previously referred for further study by the BOG and upon return with no changes was overwhelmingly supported. This was strong work by Pam Heibert who was our governor at the time it was introduced and was instrumental in getting this through and by Dr. James Loeffelholtz who drafted the resolution. There were a number of other resolutions that were discussed which are listed in this newsletter.

In closing I wish to express my appreciate to our former governor Dr. Pam Hiebert for all the behind-the -scenes support she continues to give me. I also have so much gratitude to our Executive Director Carrie Reisig who tirelessly works for our Chapter – without her we would be lost.

My thanks to all of you for what you do,

Steve Gerstner MD FACP



Montana Chapter Meeting


Montana Chapter Awards

The Laureate Award honors Fellows or Masters of the ACP who have demonstrated by their example and conduct an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research, and in service to their community, their Chapter, and the American College of Physicians.

The recipients of this award bear the title Laureate of the Montana Chapter.

It is with distinct pleasure that the Montana Chapter presents the Laureate award to Claude A. Tonnerre, MD, FACP, this year. Dr. Tonnerre is a long-standing and loyal supporter of the College, has rendered distinguished service to the chapter, and has upheld the high ideals and professional standards for which the College is known.

We salute and honor Dr. Tonnerre and wish him and his family well in the future.


David E. Bybee, MD, MACP – Chapter Advocacy Award

Jason D. Kunz, DO, FACP – Teacher of the Year Award

Christopher Dietrich, MD – Early Career Physician Award


Marie Elwood, MS-2 – William A. Reynolds Outstanding Medical Student Scholarship


Thank you to the following exhibitors for attending and supporting the Montana Chapter Meeting!

Amgen, AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Bristol-Myers Squibb, Climate Change and Human Health in Montana, Janssen, Eli Lilly Co., Norvo Nordisk and Sanofi



Montana Chapter receives 2021 Chapter Excellence Gold Award


We are pleased to announce that our chapter is in receipt of the Gold Level of the 2021 Chapter Excellence Award! The award recognizes truly extraordinary chapters that surpass excellence in chapter management. We are in the company of 44 other outstanding chapters. In order to achieve the Gold Level of the Chapter Excellence Award, chapters must meet twenty-one bronze criteria, seventeen silver criteria and multiple gold level activities. Criteria include such activities as having a legislative action plan or agenda, holding a volunteerism/community service activity, holding multiple stand-alone meetings, having revenue sources outside of dues and meeting registration fees, implementing a strategic plan, implementing a formal recruitment and retention plan and measuring outcomes, conducting various activities for Medical Students, Residents and Early Career Physicians. we would like to extend a special thanks to those chapter members who assisted us in all of these endeavors! For their hard work and dedication, we received this award.



Chapter Member News

Congratulations to Meghan Johnston, MD, FACP recipient of the Richard M. Tucker WWAMI Excellence in Teaching Award!

Since 1998, the Department of Medicine has honored physicians from Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, Montana and Idaho (WWAMI) with the WWAMI Excellence in Teaching Award, nominated by WWAMI students, residents and faculty.

In 2009 the award was renamed to honor the late Dr. Richard Tucker, who was the Wenatchee site coordinator and served as an infectious diseases specialist and director for quality and education at the Wenatchee Valley Medical Center.

The Richard M. Tucker WWAMI Excellence in Teaching Awards recognize true enthusiasm and dedication in providing outstanding teaching and service to medical students.

ACP Members Recognize Peers Making an Impact

Each day ACP members are making a positive impact in the internal medicine community. Recognized by their peers for their outstanding efforts, please join us in celebrating the honorees.

In celebration of Women in Medicine Month, ACP members recognize their peers who are making a positive impact on the women in medicine community by working towards gender equality in medicine and supporting the advancement of women in medicine.

Congratulations to Pam Hiebert, MD, FACP.



Advancing to ACP Fellowship


Date/Time: Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 3:00–4:00 p.m. ET

Description: Join Saba Hasan, MD, MACP, Chair of ACP's Credentials Committee, as she reviews the meaning and requirements for ACP Fellowship—a mark of honor and distinction within the internal medicine community. Each year, ACP Fellows are celebrated and inducted at ACP's annual Internal Medicine Meeting during the Convocation Ceremony. For more information about ACP Fellowship and to access application materials in advance of the webinar, visit Attendees will have the opportunity ask questions following the presentation.

Registration Link: