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New Mexico Governor's Newsletter February 2020

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Betty Chang, MDCM, PhD, FACP, FACCP, ACP Governor

Betty Chang, MDCM, PhD, FACP, FACCP, ACP Governor


Governor's Message

It is bittersweet that I write my last newsletter to all of you. It has been an amazing journey being your Governor and representing New Mexico's internists. I am turning over the Chapter to great new leaders, who will continue to move us forward.



NMACP Change in Executive Director

I am also sad to announce that Lisa Sullivan after many years of excellent service to the Chapter is leaving as our Executive Director. I would never have been able to do the job as Governor without her assistance. The NMACP would like to emphasize our heartfelt thanks to Lisa as she moves on to other projects. She will be missed.

When Lisa let us know that her time with us would be ending, the Council formed a steering committee in December to identify our needs and suitable candidates for chapter management going forward. We are delighted to have found an opportunity to work with the Greater Albuquerque Medical Association (GAMA) in this capacity. We welcome the GAMA Executive Director, Sylvia Lyon, as our own executive, starting February 1.

Sylvia brings a wealth of experience in association management with her and she has led GAMA and its subsidiary company MACC to great success and stability in recent years. Previously Lyon was the CEO of the Credit Union Association and was named to the Credit Union Hall of Fame in 2014. She worked in a variety of capacities at CUANM before she was chosen to lead the organization in October 2003. Lyon is a graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in international relations and the University of Missouri with a degree in journalism. We are eager to have her share her wisdom with us - and to help NMACP achieve great things for years to come! If you send anything to, Sylvia Lyon will be on the other end to avoid any disruption of service to our members. You may also contact Sylvia directly at



Chapter Officers Vote

March 5th at 6:30 p.m.

This will be done via Zoom. Log in and vote, and if you so desire stay afterwards for the Chapter meeting. The vote will only take about 5 minutes.

Officer Slate:

President: Alisha Parada
Treasurer: Sepehr Khashaei
Secretary: Melissa Cline



Washington, DC Leadership Day

If you are interested in representing the New Mexico ACP and ACP national to our state's legislators, please RSVP. Hot topics will likely be: gun violence, mandatory opiate prescribing legislation, immigrant health. Email, Heather Brislen, or I.




ACP has created an online learning module on Coronovirus as well as a Podcast, which can be found on CoreIM. All are free to members and may help you if you have questions. CME and MOC credits are available if you do either.

Hopefully you are not bombarded with mass hysteria.



Save the Date

We will be having a UNM Reception at the annual ACP Internal Medicine Meeting in Los Angeles. Details will be sent closer to that date, but we are aiming for Friday April 24th. I hope to see many of you; please feel free to bring former New Mexicans if you see them at the conference.



Santa Fe Legislative Day

Heather Brislen, MD and Amanda Collar, MS

On Feb 6, NMACP collaborated for the second year running with the Greater Albuquerque Medical Association on Legislative Day in Santa Fe. Joining us for lunch for a deep-dive health policy Q&A luncheon were David Scrase (Secretary of HSD), Russell Toal (Superintendent of Insurance), Jane Wishner (Executive Policy Adviser to the Governor), Rep. Debbie Armstrong (Chair, HHS committee), and Stephanie Schardin Clarke (Secretary of Tax and Rev). Following that, we were honored to have a briefing and informal conversation with the Governor, Michelle Lujan-Grisham. Specific issues addressed ranged from prior authorization reform, to gross receipts tax deductions, health information exchange, physician retention in New Mexico and extreme risk protection laws for firearm safety. Amanda Collar, MS, NMACP Policy and Advocacy Committee chair, arranged the event and collaboration with GAMA, and she hopes that even more NMACP members can attend in 2021!

Pictured below the GAMA and NMACP delegation with Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham and the NMACP members





Liz Lawrence, MD, FACP


The Institute of Medicine (now called the National Academy of Medicine or NAM) released To Err is Human: Building a Safer Health System in 1999 and released Crossing the Quality Chasm: A New Health System for the 21st Century in 2001. These publications called for a sweeping redesign of the American health care system to reduce medical errors and to improve the quality of health care.

Now, 20 years later, with quality committees, quality assessments and quality initiatives part of the very fabric of our institutions, comes the release by NAM of Taking Action Against Clinician Burnout: A Systems Approach to Professional Well-Being. I can only hope that this publication will have as great an impact on how we practice medicine as the two earlier publications.

The NAM book covers the extent and consequences of clinician burnout, factors contributing to this epidemic, student and trainee wellbeing, and a research agenda. The model the NAM committee uses calls for change at the systems level, meaning changes in frontline health care delivery, health care organizations, educational institutions, the health care industry, and health care laws, regulations, and standards. NAM identifies 6 goals to eliminate burnout and enhance professional wellbeing and provides detailed recommendations on how to achieve each of these goals:

  1. Create positive work environments
  2. Create positive learning environments
  3. Reduce administrative burdens
  4. Enable technology solutions
  5. Provide support to clinicians and learners
  6. Invest in research on clinician professional well-being

The publication is a must-read for those who feel they are in moral distress from the clash between their personal values and the way they are expected to practice medicine today, for those who are feeling burned out, and for those who want to enhance their professional fulfillment. The report has the potential to change the way medicine is practiced – if we are ready to embrace the suggestions for change.