Tennessee Governor's Newsletter March 2022

Tennessee Chapter Banner

Catherine R. Womack, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Catherine R. Womack, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Governor's Message

Dear Colleagues,

I hope you all are doing well! I can hardly believe that we are about to have an in-person meeting in Chicago, IL. I look forward to seeing you and hope that you will attend our chapter reception Friday evening. I am thrilled that our very own Dr. Ryan Mire will move from President-elect of the College to President at the close of the Annual Business Meeting and will lead our national physicians over this next year. What an honor it is to have Ryan represent all of us at the national level.


Congratulations Dr. Mire! We are so proud to have you lead the College as the ACP President!

For those of you attending the Internal Medicine Meeting, a special Saturday plenary session from 9:15-10:15 a.m. CDT will be presented by Mukta Panda, MD, MACP, assistant dean for well-being and medical student education and professor of medicine at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine Chattanooga, in conversation with Tammy L. Lin, MD, MPH, FACP, Governor for the ACP Southern California III Chapter. I have worked with Dr. Panda for many years and am proud to know Dr. Tammy Lin. Dr. Lin and I served on the Mastership committee together, and she is a member of my 2025 Governor's class. I hope many of you will be able to attend this session!

Since my last newsletter, the chapter has been very busy. We have had our scientific meeting. Our planning committee has met, and we already have an exciting line up for the fall of 2022 scientific meeting in Franklin, TN. The Governor's Council will meet in the evening on October 20, and the scientific meeting will begin the morning of October 21st. We will again have research presentations from our medical students and residents from across the state. The residents will also be able participate in our Doctor's Dilemma® competition. The winning residency team will move on to compete at the 2023 ACP national meeting in San Diego. The winner of the poster competition has the opportunity to compete at the national level.

Also, I thank you for your Fellowship nominations, and I hope that you will continue to put others forward as we move to reward our hardworking peers with recognition for their expertise as they practice medicine in Tennessee. I am thankful for all that you do for our patients across the great state of Tennessee, and I wish continued health and happiness and to you, your families, and your patients.



Call For Award Nominations

Please take time to nominate those who stand out in your communities

We will be collecting nominations from all of you for members that deserve awards for all their good deeds and leadership. I think it is more important than ever to take the time to recognize those who give back to their communities and trainees across the state.

We would like nominations sent from you now. Please email tracey.doering@gmail.com with a paragraph describing why you think your nominee deserves to be recognized. The Awards Committee will review the applications and make appropriate selections. Please let us know who in your community is richly deserving. The awards will be distributed at our Chapter meeting in October.

List of Tennessee ACP Chapter Awards

The Laureate Award is the Doctor's Doctor award. It honors those Fellows or Masters of the College who have demonstrated, by their example and conduct, an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, educations, and research, service to their community, their chapter

The ACP Resident Recognition for Leadership: This award recognizes a resident with qualities that exemplify the College's mission to enhance the quality and effectiveness of health care by fostering excellence and professionalism in the practice of medicine, and who has made exemplary contributions to the College's mission on a local or national level. Please refer residents who have made a difference in your community whether by teaching, service, or other important contributions as listed above.

Chapter Service Award: This award is given to honor a Member or Fellow who has gone above and beyond in service to the chapter over many years. Their efforts and accomplishments have helped to sustain the chapter in all of its endeavors. Nominate those who give back year after year.

Fred M. Ralston, Jr., MD, MACP Tennessee Medical Student Scholarship Award: In memory of former TN ACP Governor and national ACP president Fred M. Ralston, Jr., MD, MACP, who spent his career supporting and advocating for primary care internal medicine. He exemplified all that IM represents. This award will be presented to a 3rd or 4th year medical student from a Tennessee medical school who plans a career in primary care IM. Dr Ralston was an amazing leader in our state, and I am so proud that we are honoring him.

Volunteerism and Community Service Award: This award honors members who have distinguished themselves in voluntary service in medicine. Volunteerism and community service is an established tradition for the College and for internists. The College considers volunteerism so important that it is a major criterion for advancing to Fellowship. Those who serve in your communities and are ACP members should be recognized.

Woman Physician of the Year Award: This award honors an outstanding woman physician with a distinguished career in areas of exceptional patient care, medical education and/or research. Please nominate a colleague, mentor or teacher who has made a difference.

Distinguished Teacher/Mentor Award: This award is given to a Member or Fellow who has demonstrated outstanding mentorship of students, residents, or colleagues as demonstrated by a sustained commitment to providing personal and professional guidance to other health care professionals. Please reward those that take the time to mentor or teach our budding medical students, residents, and young faculty.



Chapter 2021 Scientific Meeting

The Tennessee Scientific Meeting was held in Franklin in October. Enjoy some pictures from this event.

We started out with an “Update in Hypertension” and Dr. Bill Cushman did a fantastic job.


Dr. James B. Lewis, Jr did an outstanding job on his “Update in Perioperative Medicine.”

Dr. Deirdre James gave a comprehensive “Update in Diabetes Management.”

Dr. Deirdre James and Dr. Catherine Womack

Dr. Ryan Mire's received a standing ovation for his talk detailing the history of African American doctors from their time before the Flexner report to today entitled “A Historic Perspective of Systemic Racism in Medical Education.” He was kind enough to do double duty and present the ACP Advocacy Update as well. Thank you, Dr. Mire!

I would also like to thank our lead organizer, Dr. Parul Goyal!

Dr. Parul Goyal was also awarded the Woman Physician of the Year.

Other great presenters were Dr. Tracey Doering, Dr. Missy Scalise, Dr. Chase Webber, Dr. Dan Ely, Dr. Maria Tudor, Dr. Ashley Karpinos, and Dr. Tyler Dougherty.



Chapter Awards and Recognition

Our winner for the Volunteerism and Community Service Award was Dr. Jennifer Dooley. Here she is with her family.

Our Laureate Award winner was Dr. Steve Hegedus. Steve also takes the lead yearly to coordinate our poster judging. We could not do it without him.

Dr. Catherine Womack, Dr. Steve Hegedus and Dr. Tracey Doering


Our Wellness Champions: Dr. Benjamin Maddox, Dr. Desiree Burroughs-Ray and Dr. Mukta Panda


We also presented Dr. Doering, Former Governor of the Tennessee Chapter, with a letter thanking her for her service to our chapter and a small token of our appreciation for all her years of service.


Dr. Fred Ralston Memorial Medical Student Scholarship was presented to Ms. Kristin Alora Ricker.


TN Chapter Service Award: Daphne Norwood
Dr. Maria Tudor, who leads our Doctor's Dilemma competition, shown with the winners from ETSU Ms. Alora Ricker, Dr. Rasheen Musa, and Dr. Mohammed Derweesh

Resident Recognition Award for Leadership awarded to Rachel Ward and Hannah Anderson

Dr. Hannah Anderson, Dr. Tracey Doering and Dr. Rachel Ward
Distinguished Teacher/Mentor Award: Neeraja Peterson



Chapter Committees

Dr. Emily Brown and Dr. Jim Lewis are Co-Chairs of our membership committee. I very much appreciate all their hard work! They have a great group of members and have sent you a survey soon to assess your thoughts about future directions for our Tennessee ACP Chapter. Dr. Carrie Stallings and Dr. Photios Vassilyadi are also highly interested in engaging new members. They are serving as the Co-chairs of the Early Career Physicians Committee. The survey aims to also reach our early career physicians. Please reach out to me if you interested in joining either of these committees.



2022 Chapter Meeting

We had great comments about the meeting, and we received a lot of great suggestions for next year. Dr. Goyal has organized the next meeting around your suggestions.

Here are the topics for the tentative agenda. This is subject to change.

Update on Hematology
Update on Headache
Update on Rheumatology
Long COVID Syndrome
Update on Wellness
Breakout sessions on Hip Joint and Its Common Injuries, Update on Outpatient Medicine, and Update in Hospital Medicine/PEARLS
Update in Dermatology
Poster Judging
Doctor's Dilemma
Reception – Arts & Medicine
Pathways to ACP Fellowship
Resident and Fellow Oral Presentations
Nephrology Update
Narcotic Prescribing
Post-courses on Updates in Internal Medicine and Hospital Medicine





Dr. Doering and Dr. Dooley are working on cataloguing volunteer activities throughout the state. We still have a significant shortage of Blood. Here is the link to volunteer.

Please take a selfie or send a pic to Daphne Norwood, so she and her team can post on social media. DNorwood@utmck.edu



Thirty-Third Annual Tennessee ACP Reading Retreat

After a two-year delay for the pandemic, the participants of the 33rd annual Tennessee ACP Reading Retreat were able to meet in person at Montgomery Bell State Park in Burns, TN from March 11-13, 2022. The topic of the retreat was “(Dis)Ability.” Led by Dr. Greg O’Dea, we discussed various works of fiction and memoirs designed to help us consider how our patients with disabilities experience life. It was also an opportunity to recognize the unique adaptive mechanisms and resiliency that patients often develop while living with these conditions. For more information about future reading retreats, or if you have an interest in medical humanities topics, please contact Dr. Adrien Strickland at adrien.strickland@gmail.com

Pictured are the planning committee L to R: Dr. Clif Cleaveland, Dr. Mark Anderson, Dr. Adrien Strickland, Dr. Greg O’Dea

And the participants/sessions:




Mastership Committee

As your Governor, I participated on two national committees. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about all the amazing physicians that we have in ACP during my preparation for the Mastership Committee. I was so glad that one of my former program directors, Dr. Michael Bronze, also was a member. He left Tennessee for Oklahoma, but I do not hold that against him. It was a virtual meeting on Zoom, but I am hopeful that we will participate in person this Fall.





Dr. Bob Vegors is leading our Advocacy charge. (He is third from the right in the picture below.) If you are interested in joining his committee, you are welcome to email him at vegorsmd@bellsouth.net We need delegates to attend the TMA's House of Delegates meeting on May 21. Several of you have volunteered to go to Washington for ACP's Annual Leadership Day.

This photo is a throwback to when Leadership Day was in person. So glad that we will not need to be virtual this year.



Health and Public Policy Committee Update

During his “State of the State” speech, Governor Lee proposed spending $18 million of state money to support 150 new rural primary care training slots, with money going to ETSU and UT Health Services. This dovetails nicely with the ACP-supported Resident Physician Shortage Reduction Act of 2021 (H.R. 2256/S. 834) on the national scene. Please contact our Senators and Congressmen in Washington to ask them to be a sponsor these bills, which would appear to have the support of our Republican governor. There is also going through committee in Nashville HB 1843, a bill to provide physician reimbursement for audio-only tele-health visits. And, perhaps most importantly on a state level, there is in committee HB1752/SB1769 – a bill that prohibits health plans from denying coverage for emergency services. When you contact your legislator, please be sure the bill number is included in your comments. Many thanks to the TMA for providing background information through the weekly TMA “Political Pulse.”



Internal Medicine Meeting 2022 and Chapter Reception

The College's annual Internal Medicine Meeting 2022 will be held in Chicago April 28-30. It's a great occasion to learn valuable information on clinical and practice topics, participate in interactive clinical skills workshops, obtain CME credits and MOC points, and network with colleagues and friends. Learn more about IMM2022 and register today!

Our Chapter will be holding a reception along with the Georgia and North Carolina Chapters on Friday, April 29 at 6:00 p.m. at the Marriott Marquis Chicago. It's a wonderful opportunity to celebrate with chapter awardees and visit with colleagues. Please plan to join us! You can RSVP for the reception here.



Congratulations to Our New Fellows!

Please join me in congratulating the Chapter Members who have advanced to Fellowship this fiscal year.  Fellowship in the College is an honor. Being an FACP® is a distinction earned from colleagues who recognize your accomplishments and achievements over and above the practice of medicine. The most important considerations for ACP Fellowship are excellence and contributions made to both medicine and to the broader community in which the internist lives and practices.

Mosunmola Ademosu, MBCHB, FACP
Jeremy S. Avila, MD, FACP
Shayan Q Butt, MBBS, MD, FACP
Debalina Das, MD, FACP
Bhavesh Arvindbhai Gajjar, MD, FACP
Spencer D. Gregg, MD, FACP
Jensen H. Hyde, MD, FACP
Christopher D. Jackson, MD, FACP
Devapiran Jaishankar, MBBS, FACP
Hetvi K. Joshi, MD, FACP
Ashley R. Karpinos, MD, FACP
Aneel Kumar, MD, FACP
Benjamin J. Maddox, MD, FACP
Rashid Mahboob, MBBS, FACP
Shirin Mazumder, MD, FACP
Elisha M. McCoy, MD, FACP
Claude Pirtle, MD, FACP
Donna D. Scudder, MD, FACP
Megan D. Ward, MD, FACP
Chase J. Webber, DO, FACP


Please let me know if you have any questions or need more information about our Tennessee Chapter and all the opportunities for involvement waiting for you.