Montana Governor's Newsletter October 2019

Montana Chapter Banner

Pam Hiebert, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Pam Hiebert, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Message

My term as Governor of the Montana Chapter of ACP is coming to an end. I have been proud to represent Montana. Even though our Chapter is small, we are robust and have achieved the highest level for Chapter excellence. I am grateful for strong member engagement. It takes a team to achieve the following.

  • Two great scientific educational session each year.
  • Strong engagement with WWAMI medical school hosting Women in medicine events, wellness events, posters and student speakers at conferences.
  • Engagement from Billings IM residency program. Participation with poster presentation and speaking.
  • Advocating for well-being. We have 3 well-being champions in Montana advocating for personal resilience. ACP is at the table in DC advocating Patients before Paperwork and other programs to improve well-being.
  • Montana Chapter sends delegation to DC every year for Leadership Day in DC, promoting issues like lowering price of prescription drugs and reducing administrative burden.
  • Excellent Council members
  • Strong finances thanks to our Treasurer Brad Bergman and Carrie Reisig.
  • Excellent Executive Director Carrie Reisig.
  • I am leaving the Chapter with the excellent leadership of Steve Gerstner from Billings. I will continue to stay engaged and look forward to seeing members at Chapter meeting and national meetings.

Thanks for being a great ACP Chapter.

Pam Hiebert, MD, FACP



Governor-elect's Message


One of the tasks that I am to do in this year of training is to contribute to our newsletter. I thought I would start with some observations I have made over the past month as your governor-elect.

  • We had a good meeting of the governor's council in Great Falls prior to our chapter meeting. All there are very engaged in making our chapter the best.
  • Brad Bergman, our treasurer, does a great job in a quiet way. He clearly puts significant time into this important work and with little thanks. Thanks Brad.
  • We are in fine hands with Carrie Reisig as our executive director. That has been clear to all of us but I am especially thankful for her after hearing some of the angst that other governors spoke of at the Board of Governors meeting about some of the struggles they have had. Carrie is very respected by her peers and the Chapter Liaison from national who oversees everything.
  • We had a fantastic Chapter meeting in Great Falls. Thanks to Brad Bergman, Emma Sargsyan, and Gulara Hajiyeva for putting together such a strong curriculum. The talks were awesome and the organization was great.
  • Disappointment that we do not have more members attending the Chapter meeting. Great opportunity to learn, get CME, and mingle with colleagues. Long standing problem, we are trying to figure out ways to increase attendance.
  • The Sip and Dip in Great Falls with colleagues was a blast!
  • Attended the Board of Governors meeting in Tucson 9/25-28 where I had meetings with the other Governors-elect as well as with the entire Board of Governors. Lots of discussion regarding important resolutions that will be brought forward for consideration of becoming ACP policy.
  • I have an incredibly hard act to follow! Pam is a very dedicated and effective Governor for us and her enthusiasm is unmatched! She devotes significant time in representing IM to the medical student in Bozeman and to the promotion of women in medicine among other projects. We are so fortunate to have her in our Chapter and as Governor!




Montana Chapter Receives Gold!

I am pleased to announce that our chapter is in receipt of the Gold Level of the 2019 Chapter Excellence Award! The award recognizes truly extraordinary chapters that surpass excellence in chapter management. We are in the company of 32 other outstanding Chapters. In order to achieve the Gold Level of the Chapter Excellence Award, Chapters must meet twenty-one Bronze criteria, fifteen 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. I 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.




Ann M. Bukacek, MD, FACP Named Laureate of Montana ACP Chapter

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.

It is with distinct pleasure that the Montana Chapter presents the Laureate award to Ann M. Bukacek, MD, FACP this year. Dr. Bukacek 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.

Dr. Bukacek – “I am SO THOROUGHLY and HUMBLY HONORED to achieve this award. I've always advocated for my patients and our profession and recently found myself in the position of advocating for physicians before the Montana legislature regarding not just our right but our responsibility as physicians to alleviate patient's pain. Unsubstantiated junk science is making that harder to do, as compassionate physicians are inappropriately bearing the brunt of causality of the drug addiction crisis in this country. Sometimes in order to do the right thing, virtue ethics requires us to fly in the face of public opinion to meet the needs of our patients.”




Congratulations Montana Chapter Award Recipients

Katherine L. Dietrich, DO, FACP – Woman Physician of the Year


Steven J. Gerstner, MD, FACP – Lifetime Achievement Award


Jason V. Kunz, DO, FACP – Volunteerism Award

Robert G. Byron, MD, MPH, FACP – Humanitarian of the Year


Kayla Secrest, MS4 – William A. Reynolds Outstanding Medical Student Scholarship




Congratulations to the following Montana Chapter Abstract Winners

Resident Competition

1st place Meredith Sladic

2nd place Ellie Schiedermayer

3rd place Jonathan Bui


Medical Student Competition

1st place Kelsie Delaney

2nd place Kayla Secrest


Special thanks to Brad Bergman, MD, FACP, Gulara Hajiyeva, MD, FACP and Emma Sargsyan, MD, FACP for planning a superb chapter meeting!




Save the Date: Big Sky Hospitalist Meeting

March 26-28, 2020

Hindsight is 2020: What we've learned in medicine



ACP Advanced Chronic Pain Program

The College has partnered with the American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry (AAAP) and a coalition of national professional organizations on two SAMHSA-funded initiatives, the Provider Clinical Support System (PCSS) and Opioid Response Network programs, to combat the opioid crisis. As a part of these programs, ACP hosted a virtual quality improvement chronic pain leadership-training program in May of 2019, due to the success of this event, we have decided to offer a second round of training, details of which are below:

  • A 2 hour webinar providing an overview on how to apply ACP's QI methodology to improve chronic pain management and safe opioid prescribing on November 20, 2019.
  • A series of 4 coaching calls with expert QI faculty to support implementation of a QI project focused on chronic pain management through January 2019.
  • Participants will be asked to submit a summary report of program outcomes to ACP no later than January 31, 2019.

Interested participants should apply through the following link:

  • Program Application Criteria: New participants may apply (participation in the May virtual training disqualifies you from applying again)
  • A $500 honorarium will be provided to selected participants

For more information about this opportunity, please contact Julia Thayer at

* Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant no. 6H79TI080816 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services; nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

*Funding for this initiative was made possible (in part) by grant no. 5U79TI026556 from SAMHSA. The views expressed in written conference materials or publications and by speakers and moderators do not necessarily reflect the official policies of the Department of Health and Human Services. Nor does mention of trade names, commercial practices, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.



Latest News and Links

Top 10 Culture Change Interventions to Reduce Burnout and Improve Physician Well-being.

Now Available: New Online Collection of Point of Care Ultrasound (POCUS) Modules