West Virginia Governor's Newsletter December 2019

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Laura M Davisson, MD, FACP, ACP Governor

Laura M Davisson, MD, FACP, ACP Governor


Message from the Governor

Thank you to everyone who attended the WV ACP Annual Meeting on October 24-26. It is great to get the internists of the state together at least once a year. The theme of the meeting, planned by our Program Planning Chair, Brandon Shiflett, was Hospital Medicine. Highlights included the chapter meeting's first POCUS workshop and it was well received. A huge thank you to Drs. Sakhuja and Bandak who facilitated this workshop. In addition to the popular Thieves' Market presentations by the Chief Residents, we had a lively Point Counterpoint presentation on Sepsis by Dr. Rebecca Reece and Dr. Rayan Ihle. We also had talks by Dr. Sarah Sofka and Dr. Mike Iannetti that focused on high value care and discharge dilemmas. Drs. Bethany and Ronald Pellegrino returned for another year to present the SEP Module MOC session on Saturday.

A West Virginia legislative update was presented by Policy Committee Chair, Dr. Bradley Hall and the West Virginia State Medical Associate Executive Director, Danny Scalise. We were pleased to host visiting Regent, Michael Tan, MD, FACP from Northeast Ohio Medical University in Akron, Ohio where he is a Professor of Internal Medicine and Infectious Diseases. He gave our Town Hall and helped us out by serving as an abstract judge. We really appreciated having him at the meeting. Healthy foods were served and frequent movement was encouraged as part of the Healthy Meeting Pledge. Click here for more information about the Healthy Meeting Pledge. Part of wellness is making the meeting fun, and as you can see from the photo booth pictures, I think we succeeded. Residents and students competed in Doctor's Dilemma and presented in the abstract competitions.


Regent Michael Tan, MD, FACP & Governor Laura Davisson, MD, MPH, FACP

As you may know, resolutions initiated by ACP members and endorsed by a chapter council and the Board of Governors (BOG) become ACP policy when adopted by the Board of Regents (BOR). Many resolutions were debated at the fall 2019 BOG meeting in Tucson, but I want to discuss one in particular. As an Obesity Medicine specialist and as Governor from the state with the highest rate of obesity in the nation, I spoke on the debate floor in support of resolution 6-F19, Recognizing Obesity as a Chronic Disease and Advocating for Insurance Coverage. I am pleased to report that this resolution was adopted by the BOR and the following is now ACP policy:

RESOLVED, that the Board of Regents should advocate for all insurers to recognize that obesity is a chronic disease and to cover evidence-based treatments for obesity.

You can read a summary f all of the BOR actions. If you have an idea you would like to suggest to ACP, consider submitting a resolution to your Governor or local ACP chapter. Visit your ACP chapter website for more information on how to contact your Governor or chapter staff about proposing a resolution.



Congratulations to our 2019 Laureate Award Winners

Dr. Bethany Pellegrino and Dr. Ronald Pellegrino


Pictured from left: Dr. Ron Pellegrino, ACP Governor- Dr. Laura Davisson and Dr. Beth Pellegrino

The Laureate Award honors Fellows and Masters of the College who have demonstrated by their example and conduct an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, or research and in service to their community, their Chapter, and the American College of Physicians.

Drs. Mike Iannetti, Brandon Shiflett, Sarah Sofka, Samson Teka, Karen Clark and Kristen Helmick also received appreciation awards at the Chapter Awards Luncheon for all of their hard work during the planning of the chapter. Additionally, I want to give a huge thank-you to all of our officers, planning committee, and council members because without their help our chapter meeting would not have been the success it was.




Resident and Medical Student Awards

Congratulations to the Charleston Student and Marshall Resident Jeopardy Teams for winning Doctor's Dilemma! Members of the Charleston Student Team included Brooke Bertus, Kristen Hardy, Jin Kim and Joseph Marshalek. Ahmad Abu-Hasyeh, Rania Al-Asmar, Ryan Carroll and Amro Daoud made up the Marshall Resident Team. The Marshall Team will attend the national meeting next April in Los Angeles and represent our Chapter in the Doctor's Dilemma competition. They will receive a stipend to aid with travel expenses.


Charleston Student Jeopardy Team


Marshall Resident Jeopardy Team

Thank you to the abstract committee members for reviewing over 150 submissions from medical students, residents and fellows this year. Our oral and poster competitions spanned over two days during the meeting. First place winners received an award of $100 and second place winners received an award of $50. The abstracts of the six first place winners in each of the resident/fellow and medical student categories have been submitted for the national abstract competition. They will receive a stipend to aid with travel expenses. Please see below the complete list of the winners from the chapter meeting. Great job to everyone that submitted an abstract this year.

Oral Presentation Winners—Resident/fellow

Clinical Vignette

1st Place - John Lindsay, WVU-Morgantown

A Case of Cardiac Arrest Secondary to Loperamide Abuse

2nd Place - Divya Kalluru, CAMC

Bad to the Bone: An Unusual Case of Cutaneous Blastomycosis


1st Place - Jessica Johnson, WVU-Morgantown

Practice Patterns and Outcomes of Intravenous Drug Users Presenting with Tricuspid Valve Infective Endocarditis in West Virginia

2nd Place - Mackenzie Hamilton, Marshall

Quantification and Cell-type Identification of miR-133b Expression after Spinal Cord Injury in Xenopus Laevis

Poster Presentation Winners - Resident/fellow

Clinical Vignette

1st Place – Vivek Yadala, Marshall

Breast Cancer in a patient with Birt-Hogg-Dubé syndrome (BHDs)

2nd Place Clinical - Chelby Wakefield, WVU-Morgantown

Burkitt Lymphoma induced Bell's Palsy


1st Place - Abdullah Sohail, CAMC

Overutilization of computed tomography of brain in the diagnosis of Hepatic Encephalopathy: Choosing wisely

2nd Place - Bryce McDaniel, CAMC

Mechanical Ventilation in Cirrhosis: Predictor of High Mortality

Poster Presentation Winners - Medical Students

Clinical Vignette

1st Place - Roberto Tellez, WVU-Morgantown

An Immunocompromised Male with Ring-Enhancing Lesions & Hemolysis

2nd Place - Zach Koenig, WVU-Morgantown

Dunbar Syndrome as a Cause of Chronic Abdominal Pain in a 24-Year-Old Female


1st Place - Brendan Camp, WVSOM

Social Determinants of Lung Cancer Screening

2nd Place - Kyle Varon, WVSOM

Improving Compliance with Standards of Care for Anticoagulation in Atrial Fibrillation




  • Do you want to get more involved with ACP? During our Chapter Meeting, committee meetings were held to get the committees started. Please reach out to the committee chairs as listed below to get involved. Committee chairs will be reporting ideas at the next Advisory Council meeting (members of the Council will be contacted soon to determine potential dates). If there is interest, we would like to consider additional committees, such as an International Medical Graduate committee. If anyone has ideas on who could chair that committee or has other ideas of committees, please send the information to the chapter's Executive Director, Sheri Campbell.

Service/Volunteerism: Ashley Zawodniak, DO

Advocacy/Health and Public Policy: Bradley Henry, MD, FACP

Women in Medicine: Josephine Reece, MD

Early Career Physicians Council: Murali Gurram, MD, FACP

Resident Council Chair: Jess Thayer, MD

Student Council Chair: Jane Tuttle

  • Congratulations to Drs. Sofka and Labus from West Virginia University for receiving a ProudtobeGIM award for the 2019-2020 year! This initiative is a partnership between ACP and SGIM to educate students and trainees on general internal medicine. WVU was one of only twenty applications to be funded.



Mark your Calendar for these Important Dates

  • The 2020 WV Chapter Meeting is scheduled for November 5, 7, 2020 at Stonewall Resort in Roanoke, West Virginia. We are pleased to announce that Dr. Brandon Rose from WVU-Charleston will be our planning chair for the upcoming meeting. Dr. Michael Iannetti will serve as our Vice Chair from WVU-Camden Clark.
  • 2020 National ACP Meeting: Los Angeles, CA; April 23-25, 2020
  • Dr. James Griffith will receive the ACP Award for Distinguished Contributions to Behavioral Medicine at this meeting. Dr. Griffith is the Associate Dean of Students and Professor in Internal Medicine and Psychiatry at the WVU-Charleston campus. This award is bestowed for distinguished contributions to the integration of behavioral medicine with traditional medicine. This award recognizes an individual who has furthered the care of patients by recognizing the importance of caring for the whole patient, both mind and body.

James P. Griffith, MD, FACP

  • While you are at the national meeting, join other members from our chapter for the WV Chapter and Alumni Social Hour on Friday, April 24, 5:30p-7:00p. The gathering will be held at the Yard House on 800 West Olympic Boulevard. Appetizers will be served and it will be a cash bar.



Join in the Conversation! #WomenInMedicine

At the WV Chapter, we have recently formed the Women in Medicine Committee, which is chaired by Dr. Josephine Reece. If you are interested in participating or have ideas for this committee, please reach out to Dr. Reece. Join the conversation using #WomenInMedicine on social media or by following WV Chapter on Twitter at @wvacp.

Below is a national article by Eileen Barrett, MD, MPH, FACP, titled Creating Gender Equality in Your Workplace

Research highlighted in the Harvard Business Review shows that organizations that are more inclusive of diversity are more innovative, analytical, productive, financially successful, and generally outperform those that are more homogeneous. Patient care is also improved by having a more inclusive and equitable healthcare system. It is because of all of these benefits that each of us has a duty to promote equity by creating practices and removing barriers to building professional fulfillment and leadership positions for our diverse workforce.

Although one third of the physician workforce are women, only one fifth of medical school professors, 13% of healthcare CEOs, and 6% of medical school deans are women. In each of these groups, there are far fewer women of color, although medical students and early career physicians are more diverse than their more senior counterparts. These shifts in the workplace require us to develop skills, adopt tools, and implement processes to ensure equity for the benefit of the entire healthcare workforce and healthcare system.

So where do we start? Dr. Julie Silver of the #BeEthical campaign highlights a six-point process that can help all of us with the way forward:

Examine gender data through the lens of an organization's mission, values, and ethical code of conduct

  1. Report the results transparently to all stakeholders
  2. Investigate causes of disparities
  3. Implement strategies to address disparities
  4. Track outcomes and adjust strategies as needed
  5. Report/publish results

When unsure where to start, it is okay to start small–such as a with a journal club article that can provide education and correct misperceptions, inviting a grand rounds speaker who can talk about #TimesUpHealthcare, or by bringing together colleagues to view and discuss the Creating Gender Equality in Your Workplace webinar hosted by Sue Hingle, MD, FRCP, MACP. After that, build your team and start gathering data knowing that the work needs you and will be better for you having done it.



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