Rhode Island Governor's Newsletter February 2021

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Kelly A McGarry, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Kelly A McGarry, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Dear Chapter Members:

I wanted to update you on some new things happening in our chapter and I wanted to take a moment to remind us all that this is Black History Month. Black History Month began in February 1926 due to the passion and commitment of the Harvard-trained historian, Carter G. Woodson, who believed that truth could not be denied and that reason would prevail over justice. He and the organization he founded, the Association for the Study of Negro Life and History (ASNLH), sought to raise awareness of the often overlooked accomplishments and contributions of African-Americans in our society. I don't know about all of you, but my early education did not include learning about all of the important contributions of African-Americans to the history and the success of the US, nor did it include a frank discussion of the horrific acts that were committed against people of color in America, long after slavery was abolished. Unfortunately, we still exist in a United States plagued by ongoing systemic racism. Each of us needs to look within ourselves each day for our own unconscious bias and we need to challenge and call out systemic racism when we witness it.

We should be very proud of National ACP for publishing its June 2020 Policy Paper, entitled “Racism and Health in the United States.”

To celebrate Black History Month, there are so many things each of us can do: read a book by a Black author, an influential Black leader, or about racism in America; support a Black business; go to a Black History museum; donate to a Black organization, just to name a few.


2021 Annual Scientific Meeting - March 17, 2021

Virtual Conference - Registration information coming soon!

  • Highlights include:
  • Keynote: Megan L. Ranney MD MPH FACEP, Chair of the Rhode Island Governor's Task Force for Gun Safety, and Chief Research Officer and co-founder of AFFIRM, the country's only non-profit committed to ending the gun violence epidemic through a public health approach
  • Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind: Lipids, Geriatrics, Diabetes, Hyperkalemia
  • News You Can Use: Keeping up with COPD, Treatment with Cannabinoids, and Updates on the newest guidelines with anticoagulation and aspirin use
  • Discussions about Social Determinants of Health and Bias: Race, Disparities, Gender Bias, Sexual Orientation Bias
  • CME and MOC points
  • SEP Module: Update in Internal Medicine



New HPPC Co-Chairs

RI ACP Chapter welcomes Drs. Kenneth K. Chen, MD, FACP (Division Director of Obstetric & Consultative Medicine, Women & Infants Hospital, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School), Julio Defillo-Draiby, MD (Director of Clinical Programs, Lead Geriatrician for the Acute Care of Older Adults, Kent Hospital, Assistant Professor of Medicine, Warren Alpert Medical School), and Jonathan Leviss, MD, FACP, FAMIA (Physician Site Lead—Prairie Ave. Center Providence Community Health Centers, Clinical Asst. Professor of Medicine, Brown University) as our new and very enthusiastic co-chairs of our Health and Public Policy Committee. They have met together, exchanged ideas, and are hoping to hold an HPPC meeting for current committee members and anyone else wishing to join. If anyone has any ideas they wish to share with them at Ken Chen , Julio Defillo , or Jonathan Leviss .

Join me in welcoming them to their new and very important role in our RI ACP Chapter.



Welcome to the new leaders of our Resident Council

Please welcome Rasan Kashyap Cherala (Lifespan/RIH/TMH), Dany Debs (Roger Williams) and Christelle Nzugang (Kent County) in their new roles as co-leaders of the Resident Council. We are excited because they represent each of the residency programs in our state. They have already applied for a chapter development fund grant on Podcasts by Residents for Residents in RI, which will include medical facts, advocacy, and personal and professional development topics. Hopefully it gets funding!




Welcome to the new leaders of the Internal Medicine Interest Group

Please welcome new student leadership to the IMIG Interest Group, Jane Chen, James Heinl, Kanika Malani and Aneeqah Naeem. Thanks again to Dr. Audrey Kupchan for serving as the ACP lead/mentor to the student group. We look forward to hearing their ideas and activities over the next year.



Advocacy in Action—2020 ACP Achievements

2020 delivered unprecedented challenges but ACP continued to advocate for internal medicine physicians, achieving policy change that improved daily practice and patient care.

Achieved Historic Payment Wins with CMS and Congress

Wins include increased pay for office visit and other E/M codes that will result in an estimated 6% increase in total 2021 Medicare payments to internal medicine physicians.

Supported Physicians and Patients during COVID-19

Achieved financial assistance for practices; pay parity for telemedicine; Medicare regulatory requirements eased; increased funding for testing and treatment; and increased availability of PPE.

Addressed Barriers to Care, Disparities, and Discrimination in Health Care

Promoted diversity equity and inclusion, releasing “Racism and Health in the United States” policy; participated in joint arguments to protect the ACA; and opposed rules to deny access to care.

Policy Development Focus

Addressed promoting prescription drug competition, step-therapy and nonmedical drug switching, and new surprise medical billing provisions; provided recommendations to the Biden transition team.

Published New Vision for Comprehensive Health Care Reform

Envisioning a Better U.S. Health Care System for All proposes comprehensive reform of U.S. health care, the importance of which is magnified by the COVID-19 pandemic.

Throughout 2021, ACP will continue to advocate for changes that help physicians and their patients; collaborate with other health care associations to find solutions; and inform conversations about health care.



Congratulations to our Chapter Award Winners

It is truly an honor to recognize the following highly accomplished and well respected members of our RI Chapter ACP.

E. Jane Carter, MD - Milton Hamolsky Lifetime Achievement Award

Vincent A. Armenio, MD, FACP - Irving Beck Laureate Award

Elizabeth T. Toll, MD, FACP - Distinguished Mentor Award

Vanessa M Britto, MD, MSc, FACP - Woman Physician of the Year Award

Audrey Kupchan, MD, FACP - Governor's Award

Please join us on March 17th at our Annual Meeting in recognizing our winners and hearing about their individual accomplishments.

Hope to “see” you all virtually on March 17th at our Annual Meeting. Registration will be open soon!

Stay safe,