Puerto Rico Governor's Newsletter April 2024

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Edwin A. Alicea, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Edwin A. Alicea, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Message

The Puerto Rico Chapter of the ACP successfully conducted its annual meeting on February 29th, March 1st, and 2nd. With a remarkable turnout of over 130 registered attendees, the event was thoroughly organized, and the caliber of speakers made it truly exceptional. We extend our congratulations to the deserving recipients of the Resident and Attending of the Year awards, as well as the Medical Student of the Year awards. Their recognition generated immense enthusiasm and active participation from the academic community. We are pleased to honor Dr. Melba Feliciano with the well-deserved Laureate Award, and we warmly welcome Dr. José Lozada as our new Chapter Master.

The enthusiasm has resonated throughout the activities of the wellness committee, where creativity and collaboration have been the driving forces. Looking ahead, we are excited to announce the upcoming ACP National, taking place in Boston, Massachusetts. This event promises to be an enriching experience with the Convocation Ceremony, where numerous new fellows will be inducted, adding a touch of tradition and emotion. If you are planning to attend, remember to join us for an evening of camaraderie and networking at the Puerto Rico Chapter Reception during the 2024 ACP Internal Medicine Meeting.

As we wrap up, I cannot let this opportunity pass without expressing my gratitude to all the dedicated members of the chapter's committees and our esteemed executive director for their exemplary work and contributions.

The 2024 Puerto Rico Chapter Annual Meeting: A Crucial Event for Our Chapter

From February 29 to March 2024, we held our Annual Meeting at the Sheraton Convention Center in San Juan, Puerto Rico. Over 130 physicians joined us for an enriching 18 CME/ MOC Credits internal medicine review led by local and guest experts. We owe a big thank you to Dr. Hilton Franqui and the Scientific Committee for organizing this fantastic program.

Business Meeting News

Our Business Meeting was a moment of recognition and celebration. Dr. Alicea, acknowledged the support and commitment of our esteemed Council Members, underscoring their essential role in propelling the Chapter's mission forward. Furthermore, we were incredibly proud to announce that our Chapter received the 2023 Gold Excellence Award, a testament to our Chapter's unwavering commitment to excellence in chapter management.

Dr. Melba Feliciano was bestowed with the prestigious 2024 Laureate Award, a distinction reserved for individuals whose contributions to the field of Internal Medicine and our Chapter have been nothing short of exemplary. Additionally, for the first time, we proudly recognized the 'Medical Student of the Year,' a testament to the nurturing environment we want to provide for future medical practitioners. Continuing our tradition of acknowledging excellence, we commended the recipients of the Resident of the Year and Mentor of the Year Awards, recognizing their profound impact on shaping the future of internal medicine. Together, these moments of recognition underscored our unwavering commitment to fostering excellence, mentorship, and innovation within internal medicine.

Dr. José-Lozada-Costas, MD, MACP

Dr. José Lozada Costas was also recognized as our new MACP. ACP Bylaws state that Masters shall be Fellows who have been selected because of "integrity, positions of honor, impact in practice or medical research, or other attainments in science or the art of medicine." Masters must be highly accomplished persons demonstrating impact in practice, leadership, or in medical research. Evidence of their achievements can come from many types of endeavors, such as renown within their field and/or ACP chapter, research, education, health care initiatives, volunteerism, administrative positions, care of patients, and service to their community.

Here are Dr. Francisco Joglar, Dr. Miriam Allende, and Dr. José Lozada, all Masters of the American College of Physicians, and an example to our medical community.

PR 1


Meet our Nominees & Awardees

Medical Student of the Year Award

Mr. Robert Lapetina

University of Puerto Rico School of Medicine


Mr. Jean Carlos Franco- San Juan Bautista
Mr. Robert Lapetina- RCC- UPR
Mr. Humberto Nieves- UCC- Bayamón


IM Resident of the Year Award

Benjamín González, MD

VA Hospital


Dr. Kyrsha Ramírez Gorbea-Mayagüez Medical Center
Dr. Valerie Maldonado- San Juan Municipal Hospital
Dr. Mario Candamo Cabello-San Lucas Hospital
Dr. David Barreto-HURRA
Dr. Benjamín González-VA Hospital
Dr. Leonardo Ramírez- La Concepción Hospital
Dr. Noel Torres-UDH


Mentor of the Year Award

Vanessa Sepulveda, MD, FACP

University District Hospital


Dr. Jorge Soto Rivera- Mayagüez Medical Center
Dr. Luis E Rey Mejias- VA Hospital
Dr. Vanessa Sepulveda- UDH
Dr. Damaris Torres- HURRA
Dr. Gisela Feliciano- San Lucas Hospital
Dr. Miguel Colón- San Juan Municipal Hospital
Dr. Maria del Mar Torres- La Concepción Hospital


2024 Laureate Awardee

Melba Feliciano Emmanuelli, MD FACP FACE

2024 Laureate Awardee

When we think of Dr. Melba Feliciano Emmanuelli, we immediately highlight her qualities as an advanced, intelligent, loving, charitable, and fighting woman. She is always available and willing to help her patients, friends, relatives, and strangers. She has always placed the interest of others over herself. She enjoys reading, music, and the plastic arts. Born and raised in Ponce, in a Catholic family, she has maintained her connection with her relatives in South America and the United States. She adores her sisters and her only son, Javier. Dr. Feliciano studied medicine at the University of Puerto Rico, specializing in Internal Medicine, Endocrinology, and Geriatrics. She's board-certified by the American Board of Medical Specialties in all three disciplines. She served as faculty of the Veterans Administration Caribbean Healthcare System in Puerto Rico for more than twenty years while active in academic medicine. There, she developed a Geriatric program, the Hospice and palliative care unit and the telemedicine program. She developed an academic program in primary care from which ninety-six internists graduated. After her retirement in 2015, she continued contributing by teaching endocrinology fellows at the University Hospital of Puerto Rico as an Associate Professor of the University of Puerto Rico. Over the years, she has taken courses in neuroscience and participated in workshops to promote mental health and well-being. Dr. Feliciano has demonstrated her competence in caring for her patients by staying current and providing excellent emphatic medical services to Veterans, patients in private practice, and the community. Her contributions to the American College of Physicians have been multiple and varied, including her collaboration as faculty of educational courses, evaluator of research posters, active recruiter of new members, sponsor of fellows, member of the Board of Directors, editor of the chapter newsletter, coordinator of wellness promotion activities and becoming the first "Wellness Champion" of the chapter. Dr. Melba Feliciano Emmanuelli's contributions and service to the community and the American College of Physicians make her worthy of the distinction of the Laureate Award.

Wellness Corner

Welcome spring! Celebrate our planet Earth! Connect with Nature!

The importance of wellness in physicians cannot be overstated. As frontline healthcare providers, physicians face tremendous pressure and stress in their daily work, often leading to burnout and mental health challenges. Prioritizing wellness enhances the quality of life for individual physicians and significantly impacts patient care and outcomes. When physicians are physically and mentally well, they are better equipped to provide compassionate and effective care, improving patient satisfaction and healthcare delivery. Furthermore, fostering a culture of wellness within the medical community promotes resilience, reduces turnover rates, and enhances the sustainability of the healthcare workforce. Therefore, investing in initiatives that support physician wellness is not just a matter of individual health but a strategic imperative for the entire healthcare system.

Recognizing its paramount importance, our Chapter remains committed to nurturing activities that promote the well-being and health of our members.

Walk in the Park… Join our ACP walkers for a morning walk every month.

Wellness Committee fostering creativity—The Wellness Committee nurtures creativity and relaxation among our member physicians. On February 25, 2024, a group of physicians gathered at the Mall of San Juan for a morning devoted to exploring the art of knitting. This hands-on session provided a unique opportunity for participants to unwind, engage in creative expression, and learn new skills in a relaxed and supportive environment.


See you in Boston from April 18 to April 22, 2024, at ACP Internal Medicine 2024


Join us for an evening of camaraderie and networking at the Puerto Rico Chapter Reception during the 2024 ACP Internal Medicine Meeting. Chapter members and guests are welcome to connect and mingle on Friday, April 19, 2024, at 6:00 PM in the Carlton Room at the Westin Boston Seaport District, conveniently situated at #425 Summer Street.

We look forward to seeing you there!


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April 2024

Editorial Committee:

Edwin Alicea, MD FACE

Mrs. Rina Vega


Puerto Rico Governor's Newsletter April 2024