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July 2012 Heather E. Gantzer, MD, FACP

Governor's Message

Dr. Gantzer's photo

Minnesota ACP Mission: To foster excellence, education and professionalism among all internists in our community and to work together to shape the future of healthcare in Minnesota.

Minnesota ACP Vision: To be Minnesota’s recognized leader for patient care, advocacy and education and to enhance career choice, satisfaction and collaboration for specialists and subspecialists in Internal Medicine.

Over the past six months, how is Minnesota ACP progressing toward these goals set in the Vision statement?

Steps in leadership for patient care: Kristen Kopski, MD, PhD, Katherine Cairns, Executive Director of MN ACP, and Heather Gantzer, MD, FACP attended an event sponsored by the Minnesota Department of Health in Brooklyn Center Feb 22 reviewing the progress of the Learning Collaborative in the Patient Centered Medical Home and discussing the role internists can perform in leading the development of the medical home health care delivery model in our state. Discussion included concrete ways to work with patients and families to deliver integrated care, techniques to increase the percent of patients at target for quality health markers, and appropriate reimbursement for physicians in this model. April 5 the MN ACP submitted written comments to the MN Departments of Health and of Human Services on a Request for Information on Evaluation of Health Care Homes. Currently, 216 Minnesota internists have been certified as Health Care Home providers making them eligible to receive additional reimbursement for their Medicare, commercial and Medicaid patients.

Steps in Advocacy: Mark Liebow, MD, MPH, FACP and Heather Gantzer, MD, FACP attended Minnesota Medical Association Day at the Capitol February 16 and spoke with several state lawmakers including Senator Kenneth Kelash and House Minority Leader Paul Thissen about priorities of the Minnesota ACP. These include access to healthcare for all Minnesotans, support for internists working in underserved areas of greater Minnesota, and support for undergraduate and graduate medical education. The latter particularly includes reducing medical student debt (which has a significant impact on subsequent specialty career choice) and support for residency and academic training positions. The Minnesota ACP also participated in Leadership Day on Capitol Hill (see more about this in the separate article of this newsletter.) If you would like to be on the list of Chapter Advocates for Internal Medicine Networking and receive the periodic updates written by Dr. Liebow, of the MN ACP Legislative and Public Policy Committee, sign up. It is a way to stay in touch with what is happening in the political world, which affects our patients and our practices.

Steps in education: On March 17 MN ACP held a SEP session in Duluth for the first time, presented by Amit Ghosh, MD, FACP, John Bundrick, MD, FACP and Robert Lohr, MD, FACP. Attendance was excellent and diverse, including hospitalists, general internists, and specialists in cardiology, infectious disease and endocrinology. In one morning ACP members completed two SEP modules worth 20 points for their Maintenance of Certification. The discussion was lively, the weather and surroundings on Lake Superior were beautiful, and another session is being planned for March 2013 due to popular request. Planning is proceeding for the Annual Scientific meeting November 1 and 2, 2012 to be held in Minneapolis. The afternoon of Thursday, November 1st offers a choice of either a two module SEP session, or a session on dealing with patients abusing prescription drugs and steps to follow to reduce the incidence of this serious problem. Friday, November 2nd is the full day Annual Scientific meeting, and we are delighted to have Steven Weinberger MD, FACP, Executive Vice President and CEO of the American College of Physicians as our keynote speaker. He will speak on “High value, Cost-Conscious Care: Wasting the Buck Stop Here”. Looking ahead to the following year, mark November 7 and 8, 2013 as your state meeting days in 2013.

Steps in career choice: Your MN ACP Chapter won a John Tooker Evergreen Award, announced in New Orleans at Internal Medicine 2012, for its Peer Judging Process developed to increase engagement of medical students, residents and judges at the Annual Scientific meeting poster session. The process was admired by national ACP, and winning the award means honor and glory for the MN ACP Chapter and a $500 check from national ACP for chapter activities. MN ACP also encouraged interest in Internal Medicine as a career choice for medical students by supporting activities of the Internal Medicine Interest Groups at the University of Minnesota and at Mayo. These activities included a reception at the University of Minnesota at Coffman Union March 29, and the famous annual Crayfish Boil April 28 at the home of Dr. James Newman of the Mayo Clinic. Both of these events gave a chance for students to discuss Internal Medicine with faculty and with ACP members.

Steps in career satisfaction: Engaging in the above activities to support internists in their professional lives; inducting new Fellows from Minnesota at convocation in New Orleans in April; and currently requesting nominations for the Laureate Award and Community Service/Volunteerism Award which will be presented at the November meeting. (Submit nominations with a letter and CV of the nominee to Katherine Cairns) There was also a delightful reception April 20 at the New Orleans Marriott, for the MN ACP, Mayo Alumni Foundation and the North Dakota ACP, with record setting attendance.

Steps in collaboration for specialists and subspecialists in internal medicine: A variety of internal medicine specialties were represented at the SEP session in Duluth in March. The planning committee for the November 2012 Annual Scientific session has paid special attention to the needs of multiple segments of MN ACP membership, including hospitalists with talks pertinent to hospital medicine, and subspecialists with talks on recent developments in areas outside their primary area of expertise but highly pertinent to their medical practice.

The Minnesota Chapter of the ACP has grown to 2263 members. If you have thoughts of additional ways the ACP can serve Minnesota internists and their patients, and if you would like to be further involved in these efforts, please email me at Heather.Gantzer@parknicollet.com.

Heather E. Gantzer, MD, FACP
Governor, Minnesota Chapter of the American College of Physicians

Tim Wilt, MD, MACP

Rajiv Kumar, MD MACP receives the 2012 Phillips Award

A crowded Minnesota reception at ACP National meeting

Reception 4

Reception 3

Reception 2

James Newman and alumni
James Newman, MD and alumni at Mayo and MN-ACP reception

crawfish boil
Mayo IMIG Crawfish boil

University of Minnesota IMIG residency forum

residency forum 2

residency forum

Early Career Internists and others attend March 17th meeting in Duluth

internists 1

internists 2

internists 3


Leadership Day 2012

Minnesota ACP was represented on Capitol Hill June 6 and 7 by Heather Gantzer, MD, FACP, Mark Liebow MD, MPH, FACP, Amanda Noska MD, MPH (internal medicine resident at HCMC) and Ted Fagrelius (medical student at the University of Minnesota.) We spent the first day reviewing health care policy issues including a talk by Bob Doherty, “The Washington Landscape: ACP’s Priorities and the Fate of Health Reform before the U.S. Supreme Court; a panel discussion on Physician Payment/Delivery System Reforms” What’s New and What is ACP Doing to Influence and Improve it?”; and a panel discussion on “The Latest Developments in Congress on Physician Payment Reform, the Workforce, and the Budget.” The next day, after hearing from several members of Congress, we rounded on the offices of five Minnesotans: Senators Amy Klobuchar and Al Franken, and Congressmen Chip Cravaack, Keith Ellison and Tim Walz. With the Affordable Care Act’s fate before the Supreme Court at the time of Leadership Day, we focused on other health policy concerns.

We strongly requested that the senators and congressmen support the ACP’s three areas of emphasis. One was necessary funding for essential health services, such as the CDC, NIH, and the National Health Service Corps. With sequestration cuts looming, ACP feels funding for these essential health areas needs to be preserved.

The second area of concern was the elimination of Medicare’s sustainable growth rate and transition to improved payment models. Each year (or even more often) a last minute SGR “fix” is needed to prevent severe cuts in Medicare reimbursement rates to physicians (currently due to be reduced at least 30% by January 1, 2013.) This year we could actually support a bipartisan bill, H.R. 5707, sponsored by Representative Allyson Schwartz (Democrat of Pennsylvania) and Representative Joe Heck (republican of Nevada) to repeal the SGR and move forward with a more practical payment plan for Medicare reimbursement.

The third area of discussion was, in an effort to enact meaningful medical liability reforms, authorizing and funding a national pilot of no-fault health courts. The health courts would offer patients an administrative process where judges expert in medical law and independent experts could determine contested cases of medical negligence without the unpredictability of jury trials. The pilots could be assessed for their actual outcomes, rather than moving directly to a different system.

The Minnesota ACP supports the future physician leaders of Minnesota by sponsoring an internal medicine resident and a medical student to Leadership Day each spring. Other physician members of MN ACP are very welcome to join the delegation (at their own expense; however as there is generally at least 6 hours of CME on the first day of lectures, often much of the expense is reimbursable by your CME funding, depending on the policy of your institution.) Participation in Leadership Day on Capitol Hill is a meaningful way to have the voice of internal medicine heard, and a fascinating experience. The day of lectures prepares ACP members extremely well for the rounding day that follows. It would be very valuable to have physicians from all Congressional districts attend next year; please feel free to contact myself (Heather Gantzer) or Mark Liebow to discuss what the experience might be like for you. Several months in advance you will receive an email offering the chance to participate in spring of 2013.

MN delegation with Senator Amy Klobuchar at ACP Leadership Day 2012


Chapter Vital Statistics

There are 2,272 members of the Minnesota American College of Physicians. We include 20 Masters, 569 Fellows, 924 Members, 506 Associates, 250 Medical students, and 3 Affiliated members. This represents steady growth of our membership in the past five years.

If you are now a member- become a Fellow and find which pathway to Fellowship is appropriate for your career path.

If you have colleagues who are not yet ACP members-encourage them to join now, particularly anticipating the Minnesota Scientific Session in November 2012 and the national ACP meeting on April 11-13, 2013 in San Francisco. The link describes the Recruit a Colleague process by which you can have your dues for the next year reduced by $100 or more. Encourage your colleagues to become engaged in the community of Internal Medicine in Minnesota and to strengthen the voice of our profession, increase lifelong learning, mentor medical students and residents, and take advantage of the professional resources national ACP has to offer including education at meetings and on line, insurance benefits, the Annals of Internal Medicine, assistance with choosing an electronic health record and medical home, electronic medical decision making resources, and patient and professional advocacy.


2012 Call for Nominations

The Laureate Award is designed to honor a Fellow or Master of ACP for at least 15 to 20 years, who has demonstrated by their example and conduct an abiding commitment to excellence in medical care, education, research, and service to their community, to their chapter, and the ACP. A Laureate Nominee is a senior physician with a long history of excellence and peer approval in the specialty of internal medicine and served the chapter and community with distinction in some clearly definable manner.

The Volunteerism and Community Service Award recognizes a Master, Fellow, Member, or Associate of ACP who has provided volunteer service post-training. Self-nominations are not permitted. Performs services on a voluntary basis and not required for the completion of teaching, training, or position requirements. Volunteer work must have been done as a physician and be medically related. Awardees are eligible for the national award, Oscar E. Edwards Memorial Award for Volunteerism and Community Service.

Nominations for the 2012 MN-ACP Awards are now open. Contact Minnesota.ACP@gmail.com for nomination forms.


Upcoming Dates

Thursday and Friday, Nov. 1-2, 2012 MN-ACP Annual Scientific Meeting in Minneapolis
March, 2013 SEP modules in Duluth, MN
April 11-13, 2013 ACP Annual meeting in San Francisco


Become an Advocate for Internal Medicine

ACP’s Advocates for Internal Medicine Network provides you with legislative updates and easy-to-use grassroots advocacy tools to communicate effectively with our elected federal/state officials and their staff. Sign up today.


Contact Information

John B. Bundrick, MD, FACP, Governor, Minnesota Chapter

Chapter Staff:
Katherine Cairns, Executive Director
1043 Grand Ave. #215
St. Paul, MN 55105
Fax: 651-699-7798