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GOVERNOR'S NEWSLETTER Western Region June 2014

Pennsylvania Western Region Banner

Greetings and Notes from Your Governor

G. Alan Yeasted, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

G. Alan Yeasted, MD, FACP, Governor

The battles rage on!

For those physicians practicing in Western Pennsylvania it seems the war of words and economics between UPMC and Highmark simply will not end. However, December 31, 2014 is rapidly approaching and a decision for UPMC and Highmark to contract with each other needs to occur before that date or many patients will not be able to continue care with doctors whom they know and trust. As all of you are painfully aware, this will cause a major disruption in the doctor-patient relationship, which can, and in many cases, will result in diminished quality of care to patients. Some legislators are seeking a solution from Harrisburg, but it appears unlikely now there is enough statewide support to force the two institutions to contract with one another. Our duty is to speak out for patients, contact legislators, and stay as informed as possible regarding the issue so that we may instruct our patients during this very difficult time.

The second" battle" is between the ACP and the ABIM regarding the new maintenance of certification requirements. Our leadership in the ACP has been negotiating with the ABIM on our behalf explaining the time and economic burdens this has placed on practicing physicians. Additionally, the present pass rate of 88% is unacceptable and this has been clearly communicated to the ABIM. An examination that is truly testing the skills of experienced physicians caring for patients in a general Internal Medicine practice should have a markedly lower failure rate. Our leadership has heard the general membership and will continue to work with the ABIM to get this issue settled.

Next, I need to report that the ACP meeting in Orlando was a tremendous success! The reception on Friday night cosponsored by the Delaware and Pennsylvania chapters afforded a wonderful opportunity to meet other Internists across Pennsylvania and to renew old friendships. Next Spring the setting is Boston for the 100th anniversary of the ACP. Try to adjust your busy schedules to attend. You will not be disappointed.

Finally, I have now completed my first two years as your Governor. It is time for us to look ahead to the future and vote for my successor. Later this year you will receive your ballot to choose between two highly qualified candidates. Our nomination committee had the luxury of many interested and capable physicians and the decision to choose just two from among them was not an easy one. This again exemplifies the interest that has developed in the ACP of Western Pennsylvania. Continue that enthusiasm! Contact me with any problems or suggestions at any time.

In addition, have a safe and enjoyable summer!


Have You Heard?

  • The Pennsylvania Chapter is now on Facebook. Click on the link below to learn more about Chapter activities, as well as the accomplishments of friends and colleagues. Most important: Please remember to"like" our page!
  • You can now connect by region on LinkedIn. The Chapter has created a LinkedIn page for each of the three regions. These private groups are only open to ACP members of each specific region. This will allow members to more fully engage in a variety of discussions. When on, search for your region - PA ACP East, West or Southeast - and submit a request to join. If you do not know your region, review regional assignments by zip code.
  • G. Alan Yeasted, Governor Western Region, is featured in an article in the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette titled Profiles in Leadership.
  • The Western Region will hold its 2014 Poster Competition on November 1 at Shadyville Hospital in Pittsburgh. All residents and medical students who have provided the ACP with an email address will receive information regarding the submission of abstracts and details regarding the Poster and Medical Jeopardy competitions.
  • The ACP unveiled a High Value Care Coordination Toolkit designed to enable more effective and patient-centered communication between primary care and subspecialist doctors. Follow this link to obtain the toolkit.
  • On May 14 the ACP, CECity, and Pfizer Inc. announced a new public health initiative designed to increase unacceptably low adult vaccination rates by assisting physicians and other health care providers in strongly recommending appropriate vaccination and tracking adult immunization rates for quality measurement and improvement. Click here to learn more.
  • Drs. Daniel B. and C. Eve J. Kimball (Eastern Region) were honored with the 2014 Health Care Champion Award at the seventh annual awards breakfast of the Berks Visiting Nurse Association. As most of you know, Dan Kimball is the current governor of the Eastern Region.


Capitol Update by John Nikoloff

John Nikoloff

With the spring primary in the rearview mirror, we now know that the gubernatorial election will see Governor Tom Corbett and Lt. Governor Jim Cawley facing Tom Wolf, a York County businessman who was Secretary of Revenue under former Governor Ed Rendell, and his running mate State Sen. Mike Stack of Philadelphia, who is Democratic Chairman of the Senate Banking and Insurance Committee. Early polling shows Wolf with a double-digit lead over Governor Corbett, but it is very early and a long way until November with tens of millions of dollars yet to be spent in convincing voters.

With all 253 House seats and half of the State Senate seats up for election this fall, we anticipate much of the legislative scene the rest of the year will focus on two things: passing a state budget; and positioning policies with one eye on the elections.

MA Expansion

The Commonwealth's Medicaid waiver request is still under consideration by HHS, and the Corbett Administration is hoping for an early June decision that will allow any savings to be reflected in the budget. PA-ACP continues to work for the expansion of Medicaid to cover more than 500,000 new beneficiaries, for primary care loan forgiveness and residency slot expansions, and improved funding for Graduate Medical Education, part of the state's Healthy PA program. Payments for primary care services were increased this spring.


The state budget is a major hurdle for the General Assembly, with projections of as much as a $1.4 billion shortfall. Legislative leaders do not want to increase taxes in an election year. We anticipate a combination of cuts in programs, transfers of funding from other dedicated sources, and perhaps some moderate fee increases. An agreement on pension or liquor system reform could improve the budget picture, but denial of the Medicaid waiver could immediately increase that deficit.


Pennsylvania's advanced practice nurses are pushing for practice independent of collaborative physician agreements. In addition, pharmacists are seeking to provide injections, immunizations and biologicals to children. PA-ACP is working to ensure responsible care for all patients in the Commonwealth.

The legislature is also looking at creation of a statewide prescription drug database and a renewal of the PA Health Care Cost Containment Council for another three years, both with PA-ACP's support.

Multiple bills have been introduced to regulate integrated health care delivery systems, and in response to the UPMC/Highmark contract battle. PA-ACP is monitoring these bills as they are introduced.

At times, efforts on non-healthcare bills are also important to internists. For example, one property tax reform bill would shift school funding from property taxes to professional services. PA-ACP is working to protect your interests in discussions about this bill.

This spring, Pennsylvania passed the Indoor Tanning Registration and Regulation Act, which requires registration and health warnings for tanning facilities, and limits use of the salons by children under 18.

After the budget is passed, the legislature will have a limited schedule for the rest of the year. Barring some major change, it is very unlikely that major legislative initiatives will be pressed.


ACP Unveils New Logo and Tagline

PA Logo

ACP unveiled our new logo and tagline - 'Leading Internal Medicine, Improving Lives' with an inspirational video at Internal Medicine 2014.

ACP's new logo presents us in a contemporary, vibrant style, while maintaining a link to our rich history by incorporating the traditional element of the lamp of knowledge. Our new tagline speaks to the accomplishments of our members as well as to ACP's role in the field of internal medicine.


2014 Leadership Day Delegation

By Greg Kane, MD, FACP

Leadership Day 2014

The 2014 Pennsylvania Leadership Day delegation. Front row (L to R) Christine Prifti, Katherine Greco, Sravanthi Koduri, Natalya Klebanov, MD, Jeffrey Jaeger and Arpan Patel. Rear (L to R) Greg Kane, MD, Larry Jones, MD, Danielle Krol, MD,Darilyn Moyer, MD, Dan Kimball, MD, Jonathan Gotfried, MD and John Derrickson, Executive Director, PA-ACP.

On May 21 and 22, the PA-ACP sent a strong contingent of students, residents and physician members to Washington to get our lawmakers attention on key issues facing Internists in our local communities. During this two-day event, we focused on four (4) priority issues:

  • Preserving GME Funds for our Teaching Hospitals
  • Achieving a permanent SGR fix to avoid potential cuts to reimbursements
  • Promoting alternatives to our flawed medical liability system and
  • Preventing Cuts to Medicaid that affect the most vulnerable in our midst

This year's attendees were led by Drs. Jeff Jaeger and Evan Pollack and included Drs. Dan Kimball, Larry Jones, Darilyn Moyer, Chuck Cutler, and Greg Kane. We were excited to have resident attendees from Drexel, Jefferson, Penn, and Temple (Drs. Danielle Krol, Arpan Patel, Fatima Syed, Natalya Klebanov, and Jonathan Gottfried); as well as students from Penn State and Drexel (Christine Prifti, Sravanthi Koduri, and Katherine Greco).

(Note: Read the entirety of Dr. Kane's informative report.)


PA Chapter Visits Congressman Mike Kelly's Office

Meeting Congressman Mike Kelly

The PA Chapter was very active during Leadership Day 2014 in Washington. Standing (L to R) Dr. Jeffrey Jaeger (left), Suanne Ebmiston, Legislative Aide for Health for Congressman Mike Kelly (3rd District in northwest PA), and Arpan Patel, Penn medical student following their meeting.

Fifteen delegates from Pennsylvania attended nineteen meetings with our Senators and Congressmen/woman. Our delegates noted there was strong congressional interest in achieving a permanent SGR fix to avoid potential cuts to reimbursements, often called SGR, during the Lame Duck session late this fall. Other important bills/issues discussed in our meetings were Preserving GME Funds for our Teaching Hospitals, Promoting alternatives to our flawed medical liability system, and Preventing Cuts to Medicaid that affect the most vulnerable in our midst.


Western Region's 2014 Poster Competition

WHO: All Western Pennsylvania IM Residents and Medical students who are members of PA-ACP
WHAT: Western Region's Annual Poster and Medical Jeopardy Competitions
WHEN: Saturday, November 1, 2014
WHERE: Shadyside Hospital, Pittsburgh

  • Cash prizes
  • First place winning abstracts highlighted on the PA-ACP website
  • Stipend for trip to ACP IM 2015 in Boston
  • Opportunity to win regional and national recognition

There will be three categories for abstract submission: Research, Quality Improvement and Clinical Vignettes. We strongly encourage you to submit in the QI and Research category as these are typically under represented.

All lead abstract authors and Medical Jeopardy participants must be members of the ACP. Your ACP membership number is required for electronic submission of your abstracts. Student membership is also required. It is free.

Only THREE abstracts can be submitted per first author, and you may not submit more than two abstracts in any one category. Word limit is 350, plus title and authors; for all three categories. Your abstract may not have been previously presented. The first author and actual presenter must be members of the American College of Physicians (ACP).

The abstract submission deadline: July 31, 2014. Abstracts received after the deadline will not be accepted! We highly encourage you to submit early to ensure that your abstract is received. Submissions can be accepted starting July 1. More details will be available on the Chapter website.


ACP 2014 Convocation

Convocation 2014

(L to R) Geno Merli, MD, Chief Medical Officer Jefferson University Hospital; Howard Weitz, MD, Chief of the Division of Cardiology at Jefferson and Arnold Eiser, MD, Professor of Medicine, Drexel University College of Medicine and Chair of PA-ACP Health and Public Policy

The Convocation of the ACP is an annual ceremony whereby the College recognizes and applauds its new Fellows and the recipients of various honors. Congratulations to Charles Cutler, Arnold R. Eiser and Ezekiel J. Emanuel who became Masters of the College during IM 2014. Candidates must make a notable contribution to medicine to be considered for Mastership.

It was an honor for two of our members to receive national ACP awards during IM 2014. The William C. Menninger Memorial Award for Distinguished Contributions to the Science of Mental Health was presented to Charles P. O'Brien, MD, PhD and the Nicholas E. Davies Memorial Scholar Award for Outstanding Contribution to Humanism in Medicine was received by Steven J. Peitzman, MD, FACP.


Congratulations New Fellows!

Janet D. Vlha, MD, FACP, Pittsburgh
Kristian Feterik, MD, FACP, Pittsburgh
Marnta Bhatnagar, MBBS, FACP, Pittsburgh
Rachel Hess, MD, FACP, Pittsburgh


Recruit a Colleague

Thank you to the following Chapter members for recruiting their colleagues as part of ACP's Recruit-a-Colleague program:

Adam J. Albert, MD
Elmer J. Holzinger, MD, MACP
Gregory C. Kane, MD, FACP
Sunjeet Kaur, MBBS
Nina Mingioni, MD, FACP


Einstein's Sixth National Victory

Einstein 2014

Einstein's unconquerable team celebrated their sixth national victory and accepted the Osler Cup for another year. Team members from (L to R) are Drs. Perelas, Punjabi, Wykretowicz, Garrido, Ramakrishnan and Garcia.

A segment from the Osler Cup ceremony ran on Channel 6 ABC Philadelphia. Click on view to watch the segment. This is not available for viewing on mobile devices.

According to Channel 6 Action News, "If you think the questions on Jeopardy are tough, imagine if all the categories were about medicine. There is a national competition hosted by the ACP called Doctor's Dilemma, or Medical Jeopardy, and once again, the champs are from Philadelphia. This was the sixth win for the Einstein team. In true Philadelphia style, they did it with a comeback in the final game. Pretty exciting!

Also, check out this You Tube video featuring Einstein team member Praveen Ramakrishnan celebrating Einstein's success during the national Doctor's Dilemma competition in Orlando.


Congratulations National Poster and Podium Winners

Dr. Obiora Maludum

Dr. Obiora Maludum, research podium winner at ACP IM 2014 in Orlando. Dr. Maludum is a PGY2 at Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.

We were honored to have so many members represent our chapter for the Associate and Medical Students Abstract Competition held during Internal Medicine 2014. The following were Podium Presenters or Poster Winners.

Podium Research

QRS Duration Predicts Left Ventricular Systolic Function Following ST Elevation Myocardial Infarction
Obiora Maludum, MD, Albert Einstein Medical Center Program, Philadelphia

Podium Research

Pharmacological VTE Prophylaxis in Chronic Liver Disease -- A Review of Current Practice
Chad H. Smith, University of Pittsburgh Medical Center Program, Pittsburgh, PA

Podium Research

Improved Immunogenicity with High-Dose Seasonal Influenza Vaccine in HIV-Infected Persons: A Single Center, Parallel, Randomized Trial Annals' Young Investigator: 2013 Internal Medicine Junior Faculty Award
Noah McKittrick, MD, Philadelphia, PA

Poster Research

Echocardiographic and Electrocardiographic Predictors for adverse outcomes in Cirrhotic patients hospitalized for Spontaneous Bacterial Peritonitis
Mahek K. Shah, MBBS, Einstein Medical Center, Philadelphia, PA

Podium Research (Student)

The Prevalence and Correlates of Lifetime Mental Disorders and Trauma Exposures in Urban and Rural Settings: Results from the National Comorbidity Survey Replication (NCS-R)
Sucharita Mukherjee, Student, Penn State College of Medicine

Student Poster Finalists

Amol Agarwal, Student, University of Pennsylvania
A Paraneoplastic Syndrome Without the Neoplasm: Opsoclonus Myoclonus Ataxia

Ronald Nicholas Bogdasarian, Student, The Commonwealth Medical College
Quality Improvement in Medical Education and Practice: An Interactive Anatomic Atlas for Self-Instruction


PA Members Serve on ACP National Committees & Councils

Our Chapter is well represented on ACP National Committees and Council. Currently holding leadership positions are the following members:

Education and Publication Committee

  • Jack Ende, MD, MACP, Philadelphia. PA
  • Eileen M. Moser, MD, FACP, Hummelstown, PA

Ethics, Professionalism, and Human Rights Committee

  • Daniel B. Kimball, Jr., MD, FACP, Wyomissing, PA

Financial Policy & Audit Committee

  • Darilyn V. Moyer, MD, FACP, Lafayette Hill, PA

Governance Committee

  • Charles Cutler, MD, MACP, Merion Station, PA, Chair
  • Daniel B. Kimball Jr., MD, FACP, Wyomissing, PA

Governors' Subcommittee on Nominations

  • Daniel B. Kimball, Jr., MD, FACP, Wyomissing, PA, Chair

Health and Public Policy Committee

  • Gregory C. Kane, MD, FACP, Philadelphia, PA

Coding and Payment Subcommittee

  • Scott Manaker, MD, FACP, Philadelphia, PA

Technical Advisory Committees
Clinical Guidelines Committee

  • Mary A. Forciea, MD, FACP, Philadelphia, PA

Compensation Committee

  • Charles Cutler, MD, MACP, Merion Station, PA

Medical Informatics Committee

  • Scott Manaker, MD, FACP, Philadelphia, PA

Performance Measurement Committee

  • Mary Ann Forciea, MD, FACP, Philadelphia, PA

Membership Committee

  • Gregory C. Kane, MD, FACP, Philadelphia, PA

Internal Medicine Scientific Program Committee - IM 2016

  • John B. Bulger, DO, FACP, Danville, PA
  • Geno J. Merli, MD, MACP, Philadelphia, PA
  • Sally W. Pullman-Mooar, MD, FACP, Philadelphia, PA
  • Nicholas J. Ruggiero, MD, FACP, Philadelphia, PA


Danielle Krol, MD, In the News

Danielle Krol, MD

Danielle Krol, MD, a member of the Southeast Region, PA-ACP, recently incorporated medical journalism into her career in medicine by working on the Medical Unit at ABC News headquarters in New York City. During this experience, Danielle has worked closely with ABC's chief medical corespondent Dr. Richard Besser, the former Director of the CDC. At ABC, she learned the key components of how new scientific research makes the news. She was a key component of the medical team - researching and writing medical news for World News with Diane Sawyer, Good Morning America and Health. Her future plans include Oncology Fellowship and medical media correspondence.


Welcome Aboard!

The Western Region welcomes all new Members! We look forward to meeting you and we extend an invitation to join us at our various activities planned for the year.

Adrienne Schouchoff, MD, Wexford
Anastasios Kapetanos, MD, Seven Fields
Ansal D. Shah, MD, Pittsburgh
Azra Shaikh, MD, Mechanicsburg
Dipesh R. Bista, MD, Pittsburgh
Elizabeth Custer, DO, Pittsburgh
Elizabeth Snapinn, MD, Pittsburgh
Erez Dachinger, MD, Enola
John P. Morcos, MD, Murrysville
Julianne Rich, MD, Mechanicsburg
Joshua Allan Brice, DO, Kittanning
Rajni Madaan, MD, Mt Pleasant
Ramya Sahasranamam, MBBS, Sewickley
Usha Gollamudi, MD, Monroeville
Veronica Baca, MD, McKees Rocks
Yenny Cabrera-Kapetanos, MD, Seven Fields
Yvonne R. Chan, MD, Pittsburgh


PA Chapter Calendar of Events

June - December 2014




June 16 Council Meeting Webinar
July 14 Dinner Altoona with area internists, hosted by Dr. Alan Yeasted and Dr. Tony Maniglia
July 31 West's Abstract Deadline n/a
Aug-Sept Student Activity Fairs Various Locations
Sept 6 Council Meeting Harrisburg
Sept 23 Celebratory Dinner Philadelphia
Oct 25 PAE Poster & Medical Jeopardy Pinnacle Health
Nov 1 PAW Poster & Medical Jeopardy Shadyside, Pittsburgh
Nov 8 PASE Poster & Medical Jeopardy Einstein, Philadelphia
Dec 6 Council Meeting Hershey
Dec 6 PA Medical Jeopardy Finals Hershey
Dec 6 Chapter Awards Dinner Hershey

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