Montana Governor's Newsletter July 2021

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Steven J. Gerstner, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Steven J. Gerstner, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Message

Dear Colleagues,

After a long hiatus I am here with another letter. Some much has happened since I last wrote! Worsening pandemic which had us all on the ropes, release of effective COVID 19 vaccines, subsequent partial recovery from the pandemic and some return to normal. Political drama nationally and significant changes within our own state government. Ongoing social inequities that affect the people we care for. New medical schools looking to establish in Montana.

But for now, it seems that some of the drama has lessened somewhat, and I hope all of you have been able to take a deep breath. We had what I hope is our last virtual-only Board of Governor's meeting during which multiple resolutions were addressed, please see that listed in this issue. This was followed by what I also hope is our last virtual-only Annual Session. I was so impressed by the quality of the conference despite the limitations, in some ways more material than ever was able to be packed in as there was no need to account for the walk time between lectures.

Our Billings Clinic Internal Medicine Residency has just graduated our class of 2021 and I am happy to say that that from this group we have added four more (and perhaps more) internists to Montana! This past week the class of 2024 began orientation to begin their residency and so life at BCIMR continues.

Finally, I am so looking forward to our Chapter meeting in Bozeman September 10-11. Chris Dietrich and Ellie Schiedermayer have put together a great program and it will be great to have this IN PERSON! To add to the festivities will be an opportunity to watch the Bobcats in action! Kale Knudson and his family have graciously offered to host a tailgate party prior to the game, and it should be a blast! I hope to see you all there, it will be so good to be able to see folks without peering into a screen.

I wish all of you well,

Steve Gerstner MD FACP




ACP Leadership Day

David E. Bybee Md, MACP

On May 25 and 26 the American College of Physicians held Leadership Day virtually for the first time. I attended along with Lisa Milch, MD (Missoula). Leadership day is presented by ACP Services the American College of Physicians' 501 (c) (6) organization through which we advocate and work with the government for our patients and our membership. On Tuesday morning May 25th, we attended Zoom presentations given by ACP Services staff covering the details of how congress is constructed and conducts business, what the positions of ACP are, and how to present our priorities to our Representative and Senators and their staffs. In the afternoon, we heard remarks from Darilyn Moyer, MD FACP, ACP Executive Vice President and CEO as well as George M. Abraham, MD, MPH, FACP, ACP President; Stephen Sisson, MD, FACP, President ACP Services and Rebecca Andrews MS, MD, FACP Chair, Board of Governors. Bob Doherty, Senior Vice President, Governmental Affairs and Public Policy gave a briefing: The Washington Landscape and ACP Priorities for Congress. Those priorities are: Expand Health Coverage and Affordability; Train and Support Front Line Physicians during and after COVID-19; Support the Value of Primary and Comprehensive Care; Improve Access to Prescription Drugs and Reduce Costs; Support Essential Public Health and Research Initiatives; Promote Health Equity, Social Justice and Eliminate Disparities; and Expand Access to Telehealth Services and Promote Patient Safety/Privacy. A link to those priorities is here: https:// 21/priority-issues/2.pdf? _ga=2.18137145.1604779010.1622557205-1266636927.1621197933. On Wednesday, May 26th, Dr. Milch and I first met with Senator Jon Tester's Legislative Assistant, Kate Rubinger. We had a very productive conversation, and she was knowledgeable about the legislation we promoted. Ms. Rubinger was working from home, so we got to meet her cat, Hobbs. Next, we met with Rachel Greens who is the Health Policy Advisor for Senator Steve Daines. We pressed our concern for expanding access to healthcare and promoting the value of primary care. She mentioned that the Senator, who is on the Finance Committee is concerned about waste in Medicaid. Senator Daines is also interested in increasing access to tele-health and has introduced legislation about this. Our last visit of the day was an audio link with Dawn-Marie Sullivan, Legislative Assistant for Representative Matt Rosendale. She seemed eager to learn more about our health care priorities and noted the legislation to study it. The Representative's office is new at this point, and it seems that she is trying to develop their policy. With each visit we filled out a review sheet about the responses to each of the ACP Priorities and sent a thank you note with a link to the ACP Summary of Leadership Day Priorities for the legislative aides to use. Overall, the process went well with support from Constituent Voice LLC who handled the virtual connections and processing page. Dr. Milch and I encourage all Montana ACP members to get in touch and stay in touch with our elected leaders. As Bob Doherty pointed out, the most effective force that moves a member's decision is direct contact from a constituent.



Member Recognition

Special thanks to Dr. Pam Hiebert for organizing several successful events for the WWAMI students and to Dr. Kat Dietrich for giving a presentation on “Contract Terms & Negotiations” to the Billings Residents and Early Career Physicians!


Thank you to all the chapter members that participated in the Montana Chapter's Month of Service by donating to the Montana Food Bank Network!


Congratulations on your advancement to Fellowship!

Fernando Caceres, MD, FACP – Billings

Welcome New Members!

Douglas R Burns, Resident Member, Billings
Logan Daines, Medical Student Member, Billings
Marie Elwood, Medical Student Member, Billings
Michael Fuller, Medical Student Member, Helena
Whitney Haseman, MD, Missoula
Samantha Kropp, Bozeman
Jennifer Shepard, MD, Missoula



Montana Chapter Meeting Save the Date


Highlights include:

  • Atrial Fibrillation in 2021
  • Update in Sleep Medicine
  • GI Update
  • Medicolegal Challenges
  • Prostate Cancer Screening for
  • the PCP
  • Age Friendly Care Using the 4Ms
  • in Primary Care
  • Managing Chronic Pain in
  • Primary Care
  • Liver Decompensations
  • Doctor's Dilemma®
  • Wellness Walk & Talk
  • Earn 13.5 CME Credits/MOC Points

Use the following link to Book your group rate for MT Chapter of American College Physicians, by August 9th, 2021.



Call for Spring 2022 Board of Governors Resolutions


Are you concerned about a practice or clinical issue or have an idea you'd like to suggest? If so, you might consider submitting a resolution to your Governor or chapter council.

Initiating a resolution provides ACP members an opportunity to focus attention at the ACP national level on a particular issue or topic that concerns them. Participating in the Board of Governors resolutions process provides the ACP grassroots member a voice and allows you to shape College policy that impacts the practice of internal medicine. When drafting a resolution, don't forget to consider how well it fits within ACP's Mission and Goals. In addition, be sure to use the College's Priority Themes to guide you when proposing a resolution topic.

Not sure how to begin drafting a resolution? Researching the College's position on an issue can give you a start. Visit the ACP Online homepage and click the “Advocacy” link in the right-hand, top margin to access ACP policy positions, read about recent ACP advocacy activities, or search ACP's library of policies and recommendations. Visit your chapter website, too, and click the link under “Advocacy” to access Electronic Resolutions System (ERS) where you can search past or proposed resolutions. A copy of the resolutions process is available on the ERS, which furnishes more details on formatting resolutions, as well the process for submission, review, and approval.

Members must submit resolutions to their Governor and/or chapter council. A resolution becomes a resolution of the chapter once the chapter council approves it. If effecting change interests you, the deadline for submitting new resolutions to be heard at the Spring 2022 Board of Governors Meeting is October 4, 2021.

Share your good idea with us. Draft a resolution.