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G. Alan Yeasted, MD, FACP, Governor
In Western Pennsylvania the date of January 1, 2015 has much
more significance than simply a time to wish our colleagues Happy
New Year! The split between UPMC and AHN (Allegheny Health Network
owned by Highmark) became official on that date. The consequences
of this split by the health care giants are still, at the time of
this writing, far from clear for physicians and their patients.
Unfortunately, many of our colleagues in the ACP have been forced
to take sides, though I am certain that most physicians would
prefer to avoid interruption or discontinuance of long standing
relationships with their patients. Hopefully, these insurance
issues will soon be resolved and we can all get back to practicing
our profession without undue interference.
On a more positive note, the Pennsylvania ACP held its Awards
Night at the Hershey Country Club on December 6, 2014. Two
extremely well deserving physicians received awards. Dr.
James (Joe) Reilly, Vice Chair of the Department of
Medicine and former program director of the Internal Medicine
Residency at AHN, received the Laureate Award and Dr.
Jennifer Gonzalez McComb, a Pulmonologist/CCM Specialist
and chair of our annual regional Medical Jeopardy Competition, was
honored with the Clinical Practice Award. What made the evening
even more special were the physicians chosen to introduce the
awardees. Dr. Reilly was introduced by his son, Dr. James
(Jim) Reilly, the new program director at AHN, and Dr.
McComb was introduced by her father, Dr. Alex
Gonzalez, the former Governor for our PA-ACP's Western
In closing, I wish all of you a successful and happy new year.
This year will be an eventful one, I am sure. Following the April,
2015 ACP meeting in Boston, Dr. Thomas Grau will begin his year as
Governor-elect for our chapter. Dr. Dan Kimball,
the ACP PA Eastern governor will complete his term of office and
will be succeeded by David George, MD, FACP, from
Reading. During the final 1 ½ years of my term, I hope to
continue the outreach to the more remote areas in our Western
Pennsylvania Region. If any of you are interested in hosting a
dinner with the governor, please email me or call me at
412-942-1140. I would be happy to make the trip to any area of
Western Pennsylvania. Finally, I hope to meet with all of the
residents in Internal Medicine this year to encourage them to
continue to be active in the ACP following their academic
Have a safe and fruitful 2015!
G. Alan Yeasted, MD, FACP
Governor, Western Region
Register now for Maintenance of Certification Sessions in
Hospital Medicine and Internal Medicine. Both MOC modules will be
reviewed in two cities: Saturday, January 31, 2015 in
Philadelphia, and Saturday, March 7, 2015 in Hershey.
Congratulations to Dr. Charles Cutler, who was
selected as the recipient for the Centennial Award for the
Pennsylvania Chapter! Dr. Cutler serves as the Immediate Past Chair
of the Board of Regents of the American College of Physicians
(ACP), is a board-certified in internal medicine, and is a
full-time practicing internist in Norristown, PA.
Dr. Alan Yeasted was featured in
Pittsburgh Business Times in December.
The Pennsylvania Chapter's Facebook page contains a variety of
photos of friends and colleagues, as well as information on the
accomplishments of our members and of Chapter activities.
Remember to "like" our Facebook page.
The ACP invites you to try JournalWise, a free, timesaving
member benefit. It is a mobile-optimized service that screens over
120 internal medicine journals for the highest quality, clinically
relevant and newsworthy articles with custom criteria that you
determine. This means that the articles you want are delivered when
and how you want them. For more information and to sign-up, ACP
Members register your FREE account
PA-ACP finished 2014's advocacy campaign with passage of four
bills sought by the PA Chapter. Governor Corbett signed legislation
(Act 198) that establishes a Patient Centered Medical Home Advisory
Board, and includes a representative of the Chapter. Also passed
into law were creation of a statewide drug database (Act 191),
mandates for patient notification of outpatient status (Act 169),
and legislation providing immunity for reporting drug overdoses
PA-ACP approved several priorities for legislative and
regulatory action in 2015 during its December Governing Council
meeting held in Hershey. ACP will support legislation to assure
fair contracting, including a prohibition of noncompeting clauses
in physician employment contracts. The Chapter will also work with
the Wolf Administration to ensure patient safety and access to
physician care in implementing the statewide Medicaid expansion. In
reaction to expected legislative proposals, PA-ACP supports
physician-led care teams, and opposes legislation that eliminates
collaborative agreements or grants independent practice for CRNPs
and other Specialist APNs.
The 2014 elections in Pennsylvania signaled many change are on
the way in Harrisburg. On January 20, Pennsylvania welcomed
Governor Tom Wolf of York. He has promised several major changes in
state health care plans, increase funding for education, and a host
of revisions to existing policies.
At the same time, Republicans increased their majorities in the
state House and Senate, and elected new leadership. Rep. Mike
Turzai of Allegheny County becomes Speaker of the House, and Rep.
David Reed of Indiana County becomes the new Majority Leader. In
the Senate, Sen. Joe Scarnati of Jefferson County will be President
Pro Tempore, and Sen. Jake Corman of Centre County will become the
new Majority Leader.
Governor Wolf has had hundreds of Pennsylvanians from across the
state working through the transition of power on an
agency-by-agency and program-by-program basis. He has named several
of his senior staff, including former DEP Secretary Katie McGinty
as his Chief of Staff. He named another former DEP Secretary, John
Hanger, as his Secretary for Policy and Planning, and more recently
named Denis Smyler, a Philadelphia attorney, as General Counsel.
Cabinet selections are announced on a daily basis, and inaugural
events are planned for Tuesday, January 20.
Wolf has repeatedly said among his first acts will be to seek
approval from HHS to switch Pennsylvania's Medicaid programs to the
fully funded federal option. Estelle Richman, Gov. Ed Rendell's DPW
Secretary, has served as Governor Wolf's transition team's Medicaid
advisor. She is responsible for overseeing efforts to fully expand
Medicaid and to undo the changes in HealthyPA that are not in sync
with that expansion.
Governor Wolf has said he will nominate Teresa Miller, the
former Administrator of the State of Oregon's Insurance Division to
be Insurance Commissioner. She has also served as acting director
of the State Exchanges Group, the Oversight Group, and the
Insurance Programs Group at the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid
Services within the federal Department of Health and Human
Wolf and the legislature face many issues right from the start,
and the largest may be finding a way to balance the state budget.
The state's Independent Fiscal Office has projected the budget
deficit to be at least $1.85 billion.
The PA Chapter will work with legislative leaders and the Wolf
Administration to ensure funding is available for graduate medical
education, patient safety, and quality health care programs.
Standing (L to R) are Drs. Jennifer McComb, Yehia
Mishriki, Ziad Dimachkie, Darilyn Moyer, Linda Thomas-Hemak, Ed
Ruby, Robert Cato, James "Joe" Reilly, and Bryan
Nine outstanding physicians were recognized during the Chapter's
annual awards dinner for achievements in medicine, research,
medical education, advocacy, service to their community and service
Dr. Linda Thomas Hemak, Eastern Region,
Dr. James J. Reilly, Western Region and
Dr. Darilyn Moyer, Southeast Region were presented
Laureates, the highest honor offered by the ACP. It is presented to
Fellows and Masters of the College who demonstrate an abiding
commitment to excellence in medical care, education, research,
service to their community and their Chapter.
Drs. Yehia John Mishriki, MD, FACP (East),
Jennifer McComb, MD, MPH, FACP (West), and
Bryan Hollinger, MD (Southeast) received Clinical
Practice Awards for their on-going commitments to excellence in
medical care, education, research and service.
The Herbert S. Waxman Voluntary Faculty Teaching Award
recognizes the most effective and committed internist who has
distinguished himself or herself as a member of the voluntary
faculty at a teaching hospital or medical school in Pennsylvania.
It was presented to Ed Ruby, MD, FACP, FACE of
Philadelphia. He teaches IM residents and medical students at
Thomas Jefferson University and Mercy Catholic Medical Center.
Robert K. Cato, MD of Merion Station received
the Pressman Award for Distinguished Service to Internal Medicine.
This award signifies an internist who best demonstrates commitment
to his patients and his community through advocacy.
Ziad Dimachkie, MD of Philadelphia received
Special Recognition for chairing the Student Health Policy
Symposium and participating with the Chapter's Council and
Strategic Planning Session.
It is our pleasure to announce that Thomas C. Grau, MD,
FACP is the new Governor-elect Designee for the Western
Region. He will do a year of training as a Governor-elect and will
then start his four year term as Governor in the Spring of 2016. He
will succeed Dr. Alan Yeasted, the current
Dr. Grau is Associate Program Director, Internal Medicine
Resident Program, UPMC, Pittsburgh, PA. He has been active with the
ACP and Pennsylvania Chapter, serving as 2013, 2014 and 2015
Program Chair of the West's regional poster competition. He
received a Laureate from the Air Force ACP chapter in 2013, and was
President, Society of Air Force Physicians (ACP Chapter0 2007
American College of Physicians Award for Outstanding
Work in Science as Related to Medicine
Beatrice H. Hahn, MD, Wallingford, PA
Joseph E. Johnson Leadership Award
Mohan Ashok Kumar, MBBS, Danville, PA
Richard S. Eisenstaedt, MD, MACP, Abington,
Eric S. Holmboe, MC USNR, MACP, Phoenixville,
Melissa A. McNeil, MD, MACP, Pittsburgh, PA
Ronald N. Rubin, MD, MACP, Philadelphia, PA
Awards and Masterships will be received at Internal Medicine
2015 in Boston.
Congratulation to all!
PAW regional champion Medical Jeopardy players from Alleghany
Health Network: from the left; Nisarg Shah,
Deepika Abbadi and Pavithra
Indramohan. Alekhya Potluri, the
alternate, is not pictured.>
The Allegheny Health Network Medical Jeopardy team waiting for
the competition to begin.
The PA-ACP held its annual state Medical Jeopardy competition at
Hershey Medical Center on Dec. 6. The top teams from the West,
East, and Southeast: Allegheny Health Network, Pittsburgh, Guthrie,
Sayre, and Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia competed for the
opportunity to represent Pennsylvania at the ACP National
Competition during IM-2015.
Congratulations to everyone for making it to the state finals,
and to the Einstein team which won in final jeopardy! We wish them
another national title at the IM 15 in Boston.
Alyce Anderson (medical student) placed first
in both research and student categories. She is pictured with
chairman Andy Adams, MD, FACP, at UPMC Shadyside
Hospital. This was the eighth year Dr. Adams chaired the Abstract
and Poster Competition. He is turning over the chairmanship to
Ibrahim Ghobrial, MD, FACP, program director at McKeesport.
The Pennsylvania Chapter invited three winners to present their
posters at the IM 15 in Boston: Dr. Deepak Kumar
Pasupala from McKeesport for Research, Dr.
Devalkumar Rajyaguru from Mercy for QI, and Dr.
Krithika Krishnarao from AGH for Clinical Vignette. Best
A sincere thank you to our three volunteer chairs: Andy
Adams (abstracts and posters), Jen McComb
(medical jeopardy) and Tom Grau (program).They
organized a fantastic competition. Many thanks also to the 16
volunteer Abstract Reviewers and Poster Judges. Without them, there
is no competition. Many thanks for another fantastic competition in
our Western Region of the PA-ACP.
Thank you to the following members for recruiting their
colleagues as part of ACP's Recruit a Colleague Campaign.
Adam J. Albert, MD
Elmer J. Holzinger, MD, MACP
Gregory C. Kane, MD, FACP
Leo J. Motter, MD
Nina Mingioni, MD, FACP
Seth M. Quartey, MD, FACP
Sunjeet Kaur, MBBS
Dr. Alex Gonzalez, past Governor, Western
Region presented the Clinical Practice Award to his daughter Dr.
Jennifer McComb during the Chapter's Annual Awards Dinner.
James (Joe) Reilly, MD, FACP, of Mt. Lebanon,
(left) was presented with the laureate by his son, Dr.
James (Jim) Reilly, during the Awards Dinner. Dr.
Joe Reilly joined Allegheny General Hospital in 1983, and
has served as Vice Chairman of Medicine and General Medicine
Division Chief since 2010.