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North Dakota Governor's Newsletter August 2020

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Fadel Nammour, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Fadel Nammour, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Message from the Governor


The debate has been raging on the streets for and against, and the stakes have never been higher.

ICYMI - The ACP published practice points on the use of respiratory personal protective equipment (PPE) in the Annals of internal Medicine in June 2020 (

In community settings:

  • ACP discourages the use of N95 Masks by asymptomatic or symptomatic persons.
  • The decision to use surgical masks or cloth masks among asymptomatic or symptomatic persons should follow community and statewide public health guidelines, which should consider such factors as epidemiologic data (e.g. reproduction rate, daily case counts, hospitalizations, and deaths), exposure context (number of people, indoors/outdoors, ventilation) and local demographics (e.g. high risk population).
  • Potential harms associated with mask use include self-contamination (via improper handling of masks), breathing difficulties, and a false sense of security that could potentially detract from taking other precautions, such as physical distancing

Of note there is currently no direct evidence for the effectiveness or comparative effectiveness of various types of mask for preventing infection in community settings.

In Healthcare settings:

  • All health care personnel in close contact with patients suspected or known to have COVID-19 should use N95
  • All patients with suspected or known COVID-19 should wear surgical masks.
  • All patients, visitors and health care personnel who are not in close contact with suspected or known COVID 19 should use surgical masks.
  • No role for cloth masks in healthcare settings

No evidence is available on the effectiveness of reuse or extended use of N95 in health care settings.

Regardless of the use of masks ACP practice points guidelines stress the importance of other procedures to reduce the transmission:

  • Social distancing
  • Self-isolation or quarantine
  • Frequent hand hygiene
  • Covering coughs and sneezes with bent elbow or paper tissue.
  • Refraining from touching the face.
  • Disinfecting frequently touched surfaces

ACP also noted the importance for clinicians and public health officials to educate individuals on the proper technique to use and dispose of masks.

  • Persons should clean their hands before.
  • Masks should be properly fitted and cover mouth and nose.
  • All masks should be extended under the chin.
  • Avoid touching the mask and their face when the mask is on.
  • Masks should be removed from behind without touching the front.
  • Persons should clean hands after removing masks

I would also like to share Dr. Paul Carson's insights published in the Fargo Forum. Dr. Carson is an Infectious Disease specialist at Sanford Health, Director at Center for Immunization Research and Education (CIRE), Professor of Medicine at UND School of Medicine and Health Sciences, and Professor at NDSU Department of Public Health.

Thank you and Be safe!



Welcome to the new class of Internal Medicine Residents!

Congratulations to our new first year internal medicine residents on starting your intern year! We are grateful for your hard work and dedication to the field of internal medicine. We are excited to work alongside you as colleagues helping care for our patients in North Dakota and the surrounding area. As we continue to treat our patients through the pandemic we hope that as chief residents we can be a source of support and can lead by example in serving our community firsthand. Congratulations again!

Dr. Phanindra Antharam, Dr. Stephanie Melquist, and Dr. Rebekka Sneed

Chief Residents, UND Internal Medicine Residency Program



Call for ND Chapter Awards

Do you have a mentor, colleague, or peer deserving recognition?

The North Dakota Chapter Awards Committee would appreciate your assistance in recognizing our chapter members that have made outstanding contributions in the practice of medicine, research, public service, leadership, and medical volunteerism.

The recipients will be honored during the North Dakota Chapter Scientific Meeting, October 16, 2020 which will now be a virtual meeting.

Please review the list of chapter awards below and submit your nomination to Carla Mosser - Chapter Staff by Friday, August 14th. If possible, please include the nominee's CV.

Laureate Award

The Laureate Award is designed to honor those Fellows and Masters of the College who have demonstrated, by their example and conduct, an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, and research, and service to their community, their chapter, and the ACP.

Fostering Diversity Award

The award is given to an individual with outstanding accomplishments in advancing diversity in clinical medicine or research, and/or access to care in relation to diverse populations. “Diverse populations” are understood to include: 1) economically or socially disadvantaged patient populations, for example, minorities, immigrant groups, or the homeless; and 2) groups underrepresented in the healthcare workforce.

Volunteerism & Community Service Award

The award is given to an individual who has distinguished themselves in voluntary service in the area of medicine. Recipients of this award have distinguished themselves as true humanitarians to be honored for their voluntary contributions in medicine. Nominees could be non-physicians.

Woman Physician of the Year

Honors an outstanding woman physician with a distinguished career in areas of exceptional patient care, medical education and/or research.



Save the Date! 2020 North Dakota Chapter Annual Scientific Meeting

The 2020 North Dakota Chapter Annual Scientific meeting will be on October 15-16. Due to the Covid-19 pandemic the meeting will be held virtually via Zoom. The poster competition and Doctor's Dilemma competition will be on Thursday, October 15. The meeting will be on Friday, October 16, 2020. We plan to join the Society of Hospital Medicine (SHM) for a combined meeting.

Stay tuned for registration and meeting details.



ACPCON 2020: Preparedness for the New Normal

The ACP India Chapter invites all members to attend the first ever 3D virtual conference ACPCON 2020 on August 9, 2020. The theme of the conference is “Preparedness for the new normal”.

Visit here for more information and registration details.



Dr. Fauci Discusses COVID-19 Response, Disparities

Anthony S. Fauci, MD, MACP, has guided much of the country's response to the COVID-19 pandemic as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, a position he has held since 1984, and as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

On June 23, he was interviewed by Susan Dentzer, a senior policy fellow at the Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy, at the Virtual Summit on Health System Recovery from the COVID-19 Pandemic, an online conference by Global Health Care. He addressed issues including the scientific response to the pandemic, racial disparities, and prevention strategies. Read about it in ACP Hospitalist.



Call for Spring 2021 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 ACP's Strategy which includes 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 2021 Board of Governors Meeting is October 9, 2020.

Share your good idea with us. Draft a resolution.



NDMA Seeks Nominations for the $10,000 COPIC Humanitarian Award

The COPIC Humanitarian Award is presented each year to honor a physician for volunteer medical services and contributions to the community. The award seeks to recognize physicians who volunteer outside the spectrum of their day-to-day lives.

The recipient of the award designates a $10,000 donation from COPIC to be provided to a health care-related 501(c)(3) organization within their respective state. If you know a worthy candidate, please nominate him or her for this award. More information here.