Puerto Rico Governor's Newsletter April 2022

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Myriam Z. Allende-Vigo, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Myriam Z. Allende-Vigo, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Farewell Message

It was the worst of times; it was the best of times. At the beginning I thought I had a long journey to go, but it went fast. Here I am, writing my farewell Governor's message. It was a nice memorable experience. It started with calls from my teachers Lillian Haddock and Norman Maldonado, running for election, and being elected Governor. After finding out what members wished and needed in a strategic planning meeting, we started implementing several activities to fulfill their necessities. Now, I look back at successful well-attended annual meetings, research and posters competitions, Doctor's Dilemmas, MOC activities and ACP sponsored Grand Rounds. Chapter activities transitioned from in-person to virtual, to hybrid meetings. Several Residencies Showcases helped medical students chose among available options. Increased presence in the social media and frequent communication ensued. The chapter's membership increased largely due to the segment of medical students. Mastership was awarded by National to doctors Germán Malaret, José Gutiérrez, and José L. Cangiano. There were several local awardees on volunteerism and service given to Angel Comulada and Jesse Alemán, amongst others who went far and beyond their duties after the hurricanes and earthquakes. Laureate awards were bestowed upon Milton Carrero, José J. Gutiérrez, Edwin Alicea and Francis Baco. All activities were planned with the help of the members of the chapter council: Edwin Alicea, José Lozada, Francis Baco, Alex González, Esther Torres, Ivonne Jiménez, and Melba Feliciano. My gratitude to the council members, I could not have made a better choice. Despite constraints due to atmospheric disasters and the COVID 19 pandemic, the chapter's financial status is solid. Rina Vega, our chapter staff, was instrumental in helping accomplish all activities. Our efforts were recognized at national as the chapter received a bronze and two gold Chapter Excellence Awards. The most recent chapter activity was a well-attended annual meeting. An excellent faculty from Mayo Clinic and three of ACP Board of Governors Class of 2022 classmates gave Updates in Internal Medicine. Dr. Darilyn Moyer addressed justice, equality, diversity, and inclusion. We also had activities around wellness, professionalism, and ethics. I acknowledge receipt of the moving letter signed by Drs. George Abraham, Thomas Cooney, Darilyn Moyer and Rebecca Andrews on my tenure as Governor. I remain confident that the chapter will continue a successful path with our incoming Governor, Dr. Edwin Alicea. Rest assured that I will remain at the service of ACP and the ACP Puerto Rico Chapter.



2022 Puerto Rico Chapter Annual Meeting

After two years of virtual educational activities, we celebrated our Annual Chapter Meeting in person on March 17-19, 2022, at La Concha Renaissance Resort in San Juan. Over eighty in-person participants and one hundred virtual physicians participated in this comprehensive internal medicine review offered by an outstanding faculty from Mayo Clinic, members of the ACP Board of Governors Class of 2022, and local faculty. We also had the opportunity of listening Dr. Darilyn Moyer, ACP Executive Vice President and CEO, addressing the audience with an excellent lecture on achieving equity at the micro and macro levels, not just for women, but for all underrepresented groups in the healthcare system.



Council Members @ 2022 Annual Meeting



Faculty Dinner @ 2022 Annual Meeting




Business Meeting News

During the meeting Dr. Allende recognized the Council Members for their support and commitment to the Chapter in the past four years. Dr. Allende announced that our Chapter received the 2021 Gold Chapter Excellence Award. This award recognizes truly extraordinary chapters that surpass excellence in chapter management. Dr. Francis Baco received the 2022 Laureate award, a special recognition for his outstanding contribution to internal medicine specialty and our Chapter. Dr. Jesse Alemán received the volunteerism award for community service. Finally, Dr. Darilyn Moyer and Dr. Edwin Alicea presented a farewell message and recognition to Dr. Myriam Allende for her exceptional contribution as Governor of the ACP Puerto Rico Chapter for the last four years.

Dr. Francis Baco receiving the 2022 Laureate Award
Dr. Melba Feliciano receiving the Governor's Wellness Award
Dr. Esther Torres receiving the Chapter Service Award from Dr. Myriam Allende
Dr. Ivonne Jimenez receiving the Chapter Service Award from Dr. Myriam Allende
Dr. Darilyn Moyer presenting the ACP Farewell Message to Dr. Myriam Allende



POCUS Workshop

On April 9, 2022, the first POCUS workshop was held in Guaynabo. Thirty chapter members participated in this hands-on one-day workshop interested in integrating this technique to current clinical practice. Faculty from the University of Puerto Rico, the Universidad Central del Caribe and the Veterans Affairs Hospital joined for this educational activity.




Meet Our Chapter Awardees

Francis P Baco, MD, FACP, FACE
Laureate Award

Dr. Francis Baco is a distinguished physician who has had a strong positive impact on the lives of thousands of patients. An endocrinologist by trade, he has served persons with endocrinology problems for decades. His professional career has excelled, evidenced by his numerous academic presentations characterized by clarity and content quality. Dr. Baco has taught and mentored medical students and physicians at the Massachusetts Medical Center and the University of Puerto Rico. After receiving his bachelor's degree in biology at the University of Puerto Rico Rio Piedras campus, he obtained his medical degree at the UPR Medical Sciences Campus.

At the University Hospital in Rio Piedras, he pursuit an internship and residency in Internal Medicine, as well as a fellowship in Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism. He is board certified in both by the American Board of Internal Medicine. At the Veterans Affair Medical Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico, he has served as Chief of Medical Service, Associate Internal Medicine Program Director, and Chief of the Endocrinology Division. Dr. Baco belongs to many professional societies, such as the American Thyroid Association, American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists, American Diabetes Association and Alpha Omega Alpha. He has been an active member and treasurer of Sociedad Puertorriqueña de Endocrinología y Diabetología for eighteen years. Dr. Baco has been involved in several research projects. He has always volunteered in all activities targeted to the community in which AACE and SPED were involved. Finally, Dr. Baco is an ACP member since 1981 and Fellow of the American College of Physicians since 2003. He has been an active distinguished ACP member, serving as chair of the educational activities committee for the last four years. His leadership has contributed to the success of the chapter's academic activities. Dr. Francis Baco is an example to follow in his commitment with the medical profession and excellence in teaching.

Jesse Alemán, MD, FACP, MPH
ACP Volunteerism and Community Service Award

Dr. Jesse Alemán-Ortiz was born in San Juan, Puerto Rico. He completed his doctor's degree in medicine at Ponce School of Medicine, Puerto Rico and completed a master's degree in Epidemiology and Public Health at the Medical Science Campus of the University of Puerto Rico. He completed training in internal medicine at the Hospital de Damas at Ponce and Pneumology and Critical Care at the Veterans Hospital in San Juan. Currently, he is the Director of Intensive Medicine, and consultant on pulmonary diseases and critical care at the Hospital de Damas at Ponce. Dr. Alemán has been recognized with the “Gold Humanitarian Honor Society Award,” membership at “Sociedad de Honor Alpha Omega Alpha,” accolades of excellence in clinical practice, professionalism, excellence in actual academic practice and long-term teaching. His trajectory speaks for itself by being selected Fellow of the Year, and distinguished resident in internal medicine during his training years. He holds a position as Professor of the Internal Medicine Program at Hospital Damas and as Assistant Professor at Ponce School of Medicine.

Besides his academic achievements, Dr. Alemán excels in his involvement in activities for the community. He is president and founder of Internal Medicine Foundation Corp., an organization with the mission to bring gifts, music, and joy to children of limited resources, children displaced from their homes, and children with disabling conditions. Apart from this, the organization responds to natural disasters with humanitarian aid. Dr. Alemán has also stood out at creating the initiative of directing services and humanitarian care to sectors to the south of Puerto Rico. He organized and participated in various groups with IM residents and other healthcare associations to give provisions and health services during catastrophes such as Hurricane Maria and the earthquakes that affected the southern part of Puerto Rico. Dr. Alemán's initiative, leadership, teamwork, and altruism in the face of a disaster make him worthy of the ACP Volunteerism and Community Service Award.

Esther A. Torres, MD, MACP, MACG, AGAF, AASLD
Governor's Recognition/Chapter Service Award

Dr. Esther Torres is a Puerto Rican physician committed to excellence in the practice of medicine. She graduated from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine and trained as an internist and fellow in gastroenterology at the San Juan Veterans Hospital. She is board certified in both by the American Board of Internal Medicine. Dr. Torres has an academic career of more than 45 years at the UPR School of Medicine, served as Chair of Internal Medicine, Division Chief of Gastroenterology and Training Program Director. She is Director of the Gastroenterology Research Unit and of the Center for IBD. She has received many honors and recognitions, including Master of the American College of Gastroenterology, Alpha Omega Alpha, Fellow of the AGA and the AASLD, and a lifetime achievement award of the Puerto Rico Gastroenterology Association. Dr. Torres is a prominent member and awarded a Mastership in the American College of Physicians, which she has supported during all her professional life. When asked to serve as chair of the awards and nominations committee in 2018, she did not hesitate. She has dedicated countless hours and arduous work for ACP. The ACP Puerto Rico Chapter would like to recognize Dr. Torres with this recognition award.

Ivonne Jiménez, MD, FACP
Governor's Recognition/Chapter Service Award

Dr. Ivonne Jiménez is a Puerto Rican physician who has excelled in academics and clinical care. Dr. Jiménez obtained her bachelors and medical degrees from the University of Puerto Rico, then trained as Internist at the University Hospital followed by a fellowship in Geriatrics at Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. Dr. Jiménez is board certified by ABIM in Internal Medicine and Geriatrics. She is a Professor of Medicine and trained most of the fellows in geriatrics in the island. She has mentored many medical students, organized outpatient geriatric clinics in Hospital Universitario de Carolina and nursing homes. She served as chair of the UPR Department of Internal Medicine. Dr. Jiménez belongs to many professional societies, has lectured overseas, and has published many research papers. She has dedicated many hours and arduous work to the ACP Puerto Rico Chapter. She served as Governor for one year and chair of the membership committee for the past four years. Dr. Jiménez is a firm believer that ACP is the internists' home and has worked countless hours inviting and attracting new members.

Melba Feliciano Emmanuelli, MD, FACP, FACE
Governor's Recognition/Wellness Champion Award

Dr. Melba Feliciano is a graduate from the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine with certifications in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, Diabetes and Metabolism and Geriatrics by the American Board of Internal Medicine. She has mentored physicians and medical students as UPR Professor of Medicine. Dr. Feliciano is an ACP member and a distinguished Fellow.

She has participated as council member and a member of both the academic activities committee and membership committees since 2018. Dr. Feliciano has always shown interest in neuroscience and behavioral medicine. She trained as wellness champion and chaired the Wellness Committee for the ACP Puerto Rico Chapter, organizing several wellness webinars. Dr. Feliciano is responsible for engaging members into the committee and mentoring new champions. Dr. Feliciano invited knowledgeable faculty to wellness seminars who offered evidenced-based activities. She reached to wellness committees in the mainland extending our frontiers. These efforts were innovative and extraordinary. Her leadership has led us to survive the difficult times of hurricanes, earthquakes, and the COVID 19 pandemic.



Wellness Corner

The world has changed, work and communications have changed to a New Reality during the years of Pandemia. This time we have had a calling to reflect in our personal mission, our priorities and on the importance of physical and mental health to accept the daily life challenges in the areas of work, family, health, finances, friendships, and spirituality. We have been creative on new ways to meet our job and personal responsibilities, frequently confronted with our feelings, decisions and with the technological advances as Dr. Coco Morales emphasized in his presentation in one of our Wellness seminars.

During the last years collaborating as Wellness Champion, I have learned a lot from my fellows in other ACP chapters and of their different approaches to deal with challenges in the wellness area in their communities, and also from the challenges of the members our local ACP chapter. My personal mission has been to emphasize the importance of physical and mental wellness and resilience to be successful in the middle of chaos and on the importance of our inner strength and guidance to continue meeting our personal and professional goals, and in sharing strategies to cope with challenges in the gray zone of transitions in collaboration with excellent speakers, leaders in areas of emotional balance, positive change, conflict resolution and leadership.

Through the different activities of the Chapter, we have discussed the importance of Resilience, Happiness evidence based, Creativity, Adaptability, Mindfulness, and to be in contact with our emotions in a positive way, avoiding rumination and overthinking and being creative, finding new ways to do things with hope for a new beginning and cultivating our positive emotions as possible. Conflict management strategies have been presented with new ideas to expand our circle of influence and to develop new habits and a better teamwork.

As part of our program, we had a presentation by Dr. Mauricio Conejo on the benefits of Mindfulness and the scientific evidence available which supports positive changes in brain areas related to executive function, joy, and anger, attention and anxiety control. Mindfulness promotes being in the present moment with attention, compassion, curiosity in a process of non-judgmental observation of our thoughts, our mental conversations, and letting go emotions and rumination which blocks our mental and physical health, our productivity and our happiness.

Remember … Be in contact with your breathing, be aware of your body and your emotions. Begin each day with a positive attitude, notice all the wonders of life with curiosity, and enjoy the feeling of wellness and peace. Be a role model for your colleagues and contribute to a healthy and productive work environment and for a satisfactory personal and family life.

Thanks to all the excellent professionals who collaborate as leaders in our seminars during these years and to our chapter members for your participation in our Wellness activities.

Remember … Stop, Breathe, Observe, and Proceed in a Positive way.

Melba Feliciano MD, FACP, FACE
Chapter Wellness Champion

Hope to see you in Chicago, April 28-, 2022, at ACP Internal Medicine Meeting 2022. Our chapter members and invited guests will meet and greet for a reception on Friday, April 29 at 6:00 PM at the Marriott Marquis Hotel.


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Editorial Committee

Myriam Allende, MD, MBA, FACP, FACE
Melba Feliciano, MD, FACP, FACE
Mrs. Rina Vega