Tennessee Governor's Newsletter July 2021

Tennessee Chapter Banner

Catherine R. Womack, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Catherine R. Womack, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Letter from the Governor

Dear Colleagues,

I am so looking forward to working with you all over the next few years. Dr. Tracey Doering has done a fantastic job, and I would like to thank her for her service. Tracey and I have been working with members across the state to develop our committees, and I think our ability to meet virtually is going to make a big difference. The pandemic has taught me a lot of things. I very much value my ability to communicate with patients via telehealth, but also am very glad to be able to see them in person. I am excited that we will be able to use technology to meet virtually and give all of you that are interested the ability to participate. The committees are membership, health and public policy (advocacy), membership, nominations/awards, early career physicians, student/resident/fellow and social media (communications).

Our social media committee is interested in what you have been doing in your part of the state over the past year. We want to share information about your successes with our newest members in medical school and residency. I want to assure that our Tennessee ACP chapter is meeting your needs. One of our biggest pushes is and has been advocacy. We need to continue to advocate for our patients and all of us who are in the trenches taking care of sick patients. Also, we are calling for members to join our new volunteer committee and are planning to work with other chapters across the country to increase our wellness efforts to make sure that all our members feel included. Please contact me if you are interested in serving on any of these committees.

I would be remiss if I did not mention the President-elect of our national ACP is our very own Dr. Ryan Mire. We are very fortunate to have Dr. Mire, a long-term member of our TN Chapter who has served on national committees, work with all of us in the Tennessee chapter. We look forward to great things with him as the leader of our national organization. I am thrilled to be working with all of you over the next four years and hope that we will do great things together.


Catherine Womack


Ryan D. Mire, MD, FACP, has been named President-elect of the American College of Physicians (ACP), representing internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, and medical students. Dr. Mire's term as president-elect began on Saturday, May 2, 2021, at the conclusion of ACP's Annual Business Meeting, and he will be formally installed as president in April of 2022.

Dr. Mire will be the fourth African American physician to serve in the office of the president, following the distinguished Gerald E. Thomson, MD, MACP (1995–96), Charles K. Francis, MD, MACP (2004–05), and Wayne J. Riley, MD, MPH, MBA, MACP (2015–16).

A proud native of New Orleans, LA, but current resident of Nashville, TN, Dr. Mire is a private practice internal medicine physician, past president of Heritage Medical Associates, and holds an academic appointment as assistant professor of clinical medical education for the University of Tennessee Health College of Medicine. He has served as vice chief of medicine and chair of the Medical Advisory Committee at Ascension St. Thomas West Hospital.

Dr. Mire earned his Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Rhodes College located in Memphis, TN. He received his medical degree from the University of Tennessee Memphis College of Medicine and completed his internship and residency in internal medicine at the Medical College of Virginia/Virginia Commonwealth University, where he also served as chief resident. After completion of his chief resident year, Dr. Mire relocated to Nashville, where he has since been in private practice.

Professionally, Dr. Mire is a life member of Alpha Omega Alpha Medical Honor Society and a member of the National Medical Association. He is a diplomate of the American Board of Internal Medicine.

In addition to leadership within ACP, he also serves on the Rhodes College Board of Trustees and as a member of the Executive Committee for the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Alumni Council.

Areas of professional interest and expertise for Dr. Mire include independent practice, preventative medicine, health equity, and medical profession mentorship.




We have submitted several great candidates for the National Awards. Now, we are needing you to submit candidates from your part of the state for the local awards. The deadline for submission is August 15th. See the link to nominate please. We need to recognize the great accomplishments of our colleagues.

Laureate Award

The Laureate Award is designed to honor those Fellows and Masters of the College who have demonstrated, by their example and conduct, an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, and research, and service to their community, their chapter, and the ACP. A Laureate nominee is usually a senior physician who has:

  • Been a Fellow or Master of the College for at least 15 to 20 years.
  • Achieved a long history of excellence and peer approval in the specialty of internal medicine.
  • Served the chapter and community with distinction or in some clearly definable manner.

In addition, consider those who might be good nominations for the following chapter awards:

Volunteerism & Community Service Award

Women Physician of the Year

Resident Recognition Award for Leadership

Distinguished Teacher/Mentor Award

Joseph Frederick Ralston, Jr. Medical Student Scholarship Award




We are so fortunate that Drs. Mukta Panda, Benjamin Maddox and Desiree Burroughs-Ray, are leading our “Conversations and Connection” virtual meetings that have been wonderfully innovative. Please join one via Zoom and plan to work on your wellness. All of us have worked too hard to end up getting burned out.

As you know, our state is very interested in promoting wellness for physicians via the Tennessee Medical Foundation. They offer a professional screening questionnaire with resources available for those feeling stressed. You can visit their website for information.

Please note that we are making this info available for your information and individual assessment of interest in participating. ACP Tennessee Chapter is not suggesting that you should participate. Participation would be completely voluntary, and the ACP Tennessee Chapter will not know whether you do or do not participate.



Tennessee ACP Chapter Meeting

REGISTRATION IS NOW OPEN for the 2021 TNACP Fall Annual meeting. This year will be an in-person meeting in Franklin, TN, at the Franklin Marriott Cool Springs, the weekend of October 22-23, 2021.


  • The 2-hour Opioid Prescribing course satisfies the following Tennessee state requirements: 2 Hours in Controlled Substance Prescribing Practices
  • Opioid Prescribing Guidelines
  • SEP modules for outpatient and inpatient medicine
  • A Historic Perspective of Systemic Racism in Medical Education
  • Update on Hypertension
  • Update in Diabetes Management
  • Doctor's Dilemma®

Click Here To Register for 2021 TNACP Annual Fall Meeting 

We are looking for questions for our Doctor's Dilemma, which takes place at our annual meeting. We have asked our Early Career Physicians to help us with this, but you all are welcome to submit questions.

Here are the categories. Please email your questions to Dr. Maria Tudor at maria.tudor@erlanger.org

The game consists of 2 rounds. Each round has 6 categories with 5 questions/category graded on their difficulty. The categories will be as follows:


  • GI
  • Hematology
  • Endocrinology
  • Neurology
  • General IM
  • Rheumatology


  • Pulmonary
  • Cardiology
  • ID
  • Nephrology
  • Potpourri
  • Dermatology

Are you interested in being a judge for the Poster Contest? If so, you can contact Dr. Steve Hegedus at steven.hegedus@ascension.org



Advocacy in Action


On May 22, 2021 members of your Healthcare and Public Policy Committee (HPPC) represented you at the Tennessee Medical Association's 186th Annual Meeting and House of Delegates. Robert Vegors, MD, FACP - Chair; Catherine R. Womack, MD, FACP – Governor; Tracey E. Doering, MD, FACP – Immediate Past Governor; and Richard G. Lane, MD, MACP – Past Governor presented 3 Resolutions from the Chapter for the House to consider. Also, Dr. Michelle Allmon, member of our health and public policy committee, was a new delegate year.


RESOLVED, That Tennessee Medical Association support legislation that increases by at least 50% the state sales tax on all tobacco products including cigars, smokeless tobacco, e-cigarettes, and vaping products; and be it further

RESOLVED, That the Tennessee Medical Association support legislation that directs all tax revenue from the sale of all tobacco products to be spent for tobacco cessation education and other public health education and services.


RESOLVED, That the Tennessee Medical Association support state and federal legislation that increases the number of Tennesseans covered by basic healthcare insurance.


RESOLVED, That the TMA work with police unions and law enforcement associations to develop and support legislative efforts promoting firearm safety education, as part of a public health approach to reduce firearm mortality.

RESOLVED, That the TMA develop educational materials to support physicians in screening and counseling patients regarding safe storage of firearms to reduce the risk of firearm injury in homes with children, adolescents, people with dementia, people with substance use disorders, or people with serious mental illness that are associated with greater risk of harming themselves or others.

RESOLVED, That the TMA recognizes that firearm-related injury and death is a public health issue and supports funding research to better understand the causes and consequences of firearm-related injury and death and to identify, test, and implement strategies to reduce these events.

Dr. Bob Vegors at TMA Day on the Hill



Volunteerism and Fundraising

Dr. Parul Goyal who has been in contact with the hospital near her hometown, and you have heard about the devastation going on there.

India is scrambling with the devastating COVID-19 pandemic. More than 250,000 people have died due to the ferocious second wave and infection rates of people are climbing each day. Donations to this fund will help treat patients and help to slow the spread of the COVID-19. More resources are needed to respond to the outbreak in India, which has stretched the country's healthcare system to its limit. Hospitals are overcrowded, lifesaving supplies such as oxygen, ventilators, personal protective equipment, and other medical supplies are in critical shortage

The money raised through this fund will support hospitals and non-governmental organizations to help stop the spread of COVID-19 in India and give hospitals on the front lines of this crisis the resources they need to act quickly and protect the most vulnerable communities. One such hospital this fund will support is Government Medical College and Hospital in Chandigarh, India.

With this fundraiser, we hope to help countless families from this pandemic selflessly. We stand together as a global community unified.

Please consider donating generously to the GoFundMe account for this compassionate need.

We also want to hear about things going on in your local community. We would love to send you a cap from ACP and support local volunteer efforts at home. We support you in your volunteer efforts and want you to get your fellow ACP members involved where you live. We will be happy to post pictures of ACP event to our social media. If you are interested in doing this, please contact Dr. Tracey Doering. She is looking for a Co-chair for the volunteer committee.

Your voice is very important to us. Tell us your thoughts about chapter resolutions from all ACP chapters.

Our chapter has been privileged to be part of a pilot member forum. This gives you the ability to comment on how you feel about the resolutions that are being sent to our national meeting from chapters around the country. We will be asking you to comment on the resolutions that will be forwarded to our Board of Governors meetings - this has had little use. I really want to encourage you to comment on the resolutions that are important to you and your patients when you receive the email that they are available for comment. Look for this in the fall.



Leadership Day May 26, 2021

We had a wonderful time at our virtual Leadership Day on the Hill. We recruited students and were able to meet with each delegation. I included a message from our Health and Public Policy Chair, Dr. Bob Vegors. He has been a wonderful leader and is looking for members to work with him to build on our advocacy efforts across the state.




The Virtues of Virtuality

I have been participating in ACP Leadership Day for almost 20 years, always looking forward to the camaraderie, the handshakes and smiles, and the live presentations from Bob Doherty and other staff people. So to hear that ACP Leadership Day this year would be virtual was disappointing, especially since I had been looking forward to the crab cakes at Old Ebbitt Grill near the White House – a TNACP tradition over the past few years. Being somewhat technophobic I grudgingly signed up. Looking back now, I wonder why I didn't gleefully embrace the virtual format immediately! No running to the airport, no dragging luggage into the hotel, no flagging down taxis, no going through security at the Capitol, no racing down the halls at the Senate and House buildings to be on time for the next meeting – none of that! Shuan Tomlinson and the rest of the crew at ACP made it SO easy – even for technophobic Bob. Background information on each of bills to be discussed was understandable and succinct. Appointments were set up electronically, with background information on each congressman -- including their voting and sponsorship record for ACP-related bills -- available with a simple mouse-click or tap on the laptop. And the person who invented ZOOM should get a Nobel prize for logistics! The process worked flawlessly, allowing us to represent ACP more effectively than ever. Hats off to the ACP staff for making this perhaps our most effective Leadership Day! A special thanks to our participating medicine resident Dr. Rosita Ekem, medical student Gary Price, and medical student Sybil Watkins – who were most effective in presenting the ACP case for congressional support of physician wellness and GME-related legislation.

So I still miss my crab cakes, but perhaps this is the new normal for Leadership Day. Let's fast-forward to later this year. Your representative in Washington, Congressman Amadeus Beezlefetzer, holds a critical vote for passage of the Emergency Medical Relief for Primary Care (EMR4PC) bill. The vote on the floor is in 2 days, and he is undecided. Shuan Tomlinson calls you up from ACP in Washington. With their assistance would you be willing to taking a few minutes tomorrow and do a ZOOM call to Congressman Beezlefeltzer to get him to vote for EMR4PC? If your answer is yes (or even maybe), then you need to go to the advocacy section of acponline.org, and consider becoming an Advocate for Internal Medicine. ACP has a great story of professionalism and compassion, and with your help we can tell that story a little better.

Bob Vegors, MD FACP, Technophobicus



Recognition of members

We are so proud of our members.

Dr. Cary was recognized for his excellent work as a reviewer for Annals of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Mukta Panda, won a 2020 Nautilus Silver Award for her book Resilient Threads: Weaving Joy and Meaning into Well-Being, and she models how we can each thrive by creating community and self-awareness. Dr. Panda is also co-author of a new Oath to Self-Care 2 and Well-Being link

Dr Ryan Mire is leading a Virtual Town Hall on “The Black Medical Experience: The Hidden Curriculum from Medical School to Attending-Hood” on Wednesday, July 28, 2021 from 4:00—5:30 PM PDT. You can join the session at this link  This meeting is free to all ACP members.