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Puerto Rico Governor's Newsletter April 2020

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

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


Governor's Message

Let me start with a joyful note as our chapter is celebrating receipt of the Gold Level Chapter Excellence Award 2019 during our annual meeting last March. This award recognizes truly extraordinary chapters that surpasses excellence in chapter management. Let me thank again members of the Council, staff and all chapter members for making this possible.


Our commitment is to continue working in achieving the vision and mission of the American College of Physicians. The celebration has been contained, as the social isolation measures started in March and continue to date. The pandemic of COVID-19 has changed our medical practice and our lives. Internists are at the forefront of dealing with the pandemic and, as usual, internists are committed and resilient. ACP has provided much needed information so that we are able to provide the best service while at the same time being fairly compensated. Let us continue working so the next newsletter brings more uplifting news.

COVID-19 RESOURCE Hub: Log in to and find all resources and news to deal with the pandemic.



2020 Puerto Rico Chapter Annual Meeting

The most comprehensive live scientific program in Puerto Rico during this year was, without doubt, our annual meeting. Over a hundred participants were able to receive to date information on clinical in-patient and outpatient care. For the very first time and due to the travel restrictions due to the CORONA virus pandemic, all lectures on the first day were given remotely. An excellent faculty from Mayo Clinic conducted the event. On the second day, local faculty took charge, on a face-to-face live meeting. The audience was engaged and provided excellent reviews. At the end of the sessions, Dr. Yohana De Jesús gave a presentation on tools for the prevention of physician burnout, tools which definitely have been used by the audience during this difficult time.


Dr. Edwin Alicea, Dr. Myriam Allende, Dr. Melba Feliciano, MS4 Lidiannie Otero, Dr. Suheiry Marquez, Dr. Francis Baco, and Dr. José Lozada




Business Meeting News

Members attending the business luncheon heard that the Chapter last year conducted activities geared toward our medical students, residents and early career physicians. We also had a dedicated wellness champion and activities promoting well-being. The Chapter increased its membership and stands in a solid financial position. During the meeting two of our distinguished members, Dr. Edwin Alicea and Dr. José Gutierrez, received the 2020 Puerto Rico Chapter Laureate Awards for their outstanding contribution to the Internal Medicine Specialty and to our Chapter.

Dr. Edwin Alicea receiving Chapter Laureate Award from Dr. Myriam Allende
Dr. Myriam Allende receiving the Chapter Excellence Award from Dr. Esther Torres



Meet the 2020 Chapter Laureate Awardees


Dr. Edwin Alicea-Colón, MD, FACP is certified in Internal Medicine, Sleep Medicine and Pulmonary Disease. Dr. Alicea's work in administering the VA Home Oxygen Program has been praised after Joint Commission inspections many times. In addition, his organizational and administrative help is valued at the Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine Training Program. An American Thoracic Society and American Academy of Sleep Medicine member, he has been for many years board member of the Puerto Rico Lung Association. Dr. Alicea has been the Chapter's Treasurer helping 5 governors in having updated records and expenses. This record keeping has been paramount for the Puerto Rico Chapter having been recognized at a national level as one of excellence by the national office. But not only that, he has oversight the logistics of the Chapter receptions at a national and regional meeting, has helped in getting winners of the Chapter Jeopardy contest to the national meeting. He has participated, in many occasions, as part of the Scientific Committee.


Dr. José Gutiérrez-Núñez, MD, FACP is a certified Internal Medicine and Infectious Disease Specialist. He served for 15 years as Program Director at the San Juan VA Medical Center. His academic career includes Associate Profess of Medicine at the Uniformed Services University of the Health Sciences, the University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine, Universidad Central del Caribe and San Juan Bautista School of Medicine. During his years as a military physician, he received many recognitions for his teaching and professional achievements, was elected to Alpha Omega Alpha honor society, and received the Laureate Award from the ACP Air Force Chapter in 2005. His involvement in ACP has been life-long, first in the military and more recently in the ACP Puerto Rico Chapter. He has served as Treasurer of the Puerto Rico Chapter. As program director of one of the largest Internal Medicine residencies on the island, Dr. Gutiérrez’ influence in recruiting associate members and motivating their involvement on the ACP is well known. His leadership has been a source of growth and enrichment for the chapter. He has been role model and mentor to many students, residents, fellows and faculty members. Dr. José Gutiérrez-Núñez has a rich and exemplary career as a humane and proficient internist, teacher, colleague, leader and role model. He has served the American College of Physicians wherever he has found himself and, in many ways, and still serves.



Wellness Corner

This is a time of challenges to our physical, mental, social, and economic health; an unexpected change in our daily lives and routines. In the midst of chaos, we should reflect on the power of gratefulness and happiness, reading on and practicing positive psychology.

A lot has been written on the topic, but what are the practical, easy steps to follow at this time of seclusion and uncertainty?

First: have a ROUTINE every day, MEDITATE on your inner strengths, IMPROVE your physical and mental health, MOVE your body, exercise as tolerated, SLEEP WELL, cultivate satisfaction, contentment, spirituality, wisdom and above all GRATITUDE for each and every day. Remain FOCUSED on what really matters: your family, friends, health, and LIFE.

As part of the ACP Wellness commitment, we invite you to our virtual session on the Happiness Advantage on our brain and in our resilience. Details will be announced soon.

Take your time to THINK happy to IMPROVE your mental and physical health in a time of many challenges.

Our Physician Wellness activity scheduled for Saturday April 4, 2020 was cancelled. This much needed activity will be rescheduled; details will follow soon.



Wellness Webinar

Join us for a Wellness Webinar on Saturday May 16, 2020 from11:00-11:45am. Dr. Nilda Valentin will offer a talk on “Evidence Based Happiness".  She will discuss Happiness and the impact in our lives, factors influencing our Happiness level, and proven principles to achieve Happiness.  We will also develop a Plan to Achieve Happiness and Success.  This will be followed by a “Meditation for Challenging Times and Music Therapy” – by Enrique Cardenas, Psycho-Music Therapist. Mark your calendar; don’t miss this opportunity!



Telemedicine Resources

During the current health crisis one of our most useful tools to take care of our patients is telemedicine.  It helps keep both them and our staff safe, and to give continued care to people with chronic conditions. 

In many cases we will have to resort to phone calls, because many of our patients are elderly and uncomfortable with technology.  But for those who are not, there are many advantages to video conferencing.  The main one is that we actually see our patients, and both sides get the benefit of non-verbal communication.  We can also do a small degree of physical examination. 

One limitation is that the software we use needs to be HIPAA compliant. 

This link has a review of some of the best options.  None of these are free, but most are very affordable. Note that regular Zoom is free, but for the added security required by HIPAA there is a charge.  The same is true of Microsoft Teams.  Also, even with the encryption, WhatsApp does not meet security criteria.

There is one free option available for healthcare providers, through the Doximity web site.  It is easy to use and only requires patients to have a smartphone.  Details are in this link.



The 2020 Oral Abstracts and Research Poster Competition & Doctor's Dilemma® will take place on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at La Concha Hotel in Condado, Puerto Rico. Keep tuned as call for abstracts will come in August!!!




The nominating committee is evaluating candidates for Elected Governor. The date for submission of nominations is July 8, 2020. Please submit candidates, you are still in time!

Get involved with the ACP activities and participate in our mission for education and service in Internal Medicine.

Your attendance will contribute to the success of our activity and of our ACP Puerto Rico Chapter!

ACP Members are encouraged to review the requirements for advancement to Fellow of the American College of Physicians. Do not hesitate to contact us for information at


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Editorial Committee:

Dr. Myriam Allende
Dr. Melba Feliciano
Dr. Jose Lozada
Mrs. Rina Vega