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July 2012 G. Alan Yeasted, MD, FACP, Governor

Governors Update

Dr. Yeasted

As you know, at the April 2012 ACP meeting in New Orleans, the governorship passed from Dr. Alejandro Gonzalez to me. He has admirably directed the Western Pennsylvania chapter of the ACP for the past four years, and has assured me he will be available to all of us with his wise counsel as we transition to new leadership. These next four years will, I am certain, prove to be very interesting for Internal Medicine and its specialties. With the US Supreme Court decision regarding the new health care legislation now announced, we can be sure that practicing quality, ethical medicine following evidence based principles is always our primary responsibility and what our patients expect and deserve.

During my four years as Governor, I will be asking all of you to become more active in the ACP. My goals are to increase membership for which I need your assistance. We need to increase the visibility of the ACP and increase our involvement in legislative affairs. We need more participation and membership among our newest physicians and future physicians to increase awareness of the benefits of Internal Medicine as a career.

The Western Pennsylvania ACP needs involvement of interested physicians on the Pennsylvania council to help direct the activities of the Pennsylvania chapter. And we need to find ways of assisting our female members throughout the ACP, including those in training programs, so they can participate more fully in the ACP while often balancing their added family responsibilities. Finally, we need to identify those internists who qualify for advancement to Fellowship. There are many fine internists practicing in Western Pennsylvania who qualify for Fellowship, but we need to identify them and pass their names on to the Governor’s office.

Finally, I want you to know that I appreciate the opportunity to serve all of you, the members of the Western Pennsylvania chapter. We are members of an organization with a rich history of advocating for quality medical care. With your help and participation we will continue the fine tradition of the American College of Physicians. But, let your voices be heard. Contact me at any time (Alan.Yeasted@stclair.org with any suggestions to make our organization stronger and more representative for our members.

G. Alan Yeasted, MD
Governor, Western Region


Do You Know?

  • The Pennsylvania Chapter was awarded a 2012 John Tooker Evergreen Award for joining forces with the Illinois Downstate chapter to develop a 10-part leadership development webinar series for members of both Chapters.
  • Bob Doherty of The ACP Advocate Blog, can also be followed on Twitter @BobDohertyACP
  • West Penn will be the site for our Abstract and Medical Jeopardy Competitions. The event will be held on Saturday November 3, 2012. Andy Adams, MD, FACP will be Abstract and Poster Chair and Jen McComb, MD, FACP will be Medical Jeopardy Chair.
  • We invite anyone who can volunteer to be an abstract reviewer or a judge to contact Dr. Andy Adams at aadams1@wpahs.org. The abstract competition offers the perfect opportunity to become involved in a very worthwhile event.
  • The ACP Medical Home Builder (MHB) tool provides affordable, accessible, online guidance to help identify opportunities for practice improvements and, if desired, prepare your practice for recognition as a Patient-Centered Medical Home (PCMH). Designed for all practices, ACP’s Medical Home Builder will help
    • Improve office efficiency
    • Increase patient satisfaction
    • Optimize patient care
    • Develop policies and procedures with downloadable forms
    • Prepare for PCMH accreditation or recognition Click here for a link to the brochure mailed to ACP Members.
  • Dr. Alan Yeasted is a news-maker. Follow this link to read a feature article in the Pittsburgh-Post Gazette.
  • We are grateful to Evan Pollack, MD, FACP for bringing to our attention the misuse of authority by RAC sub-contractors working for Medicare. They deny payments retroactively, which impact patient quality of care as hospitals and physicians realize they are not compensated for treating patients in “observation” status. Our PA Chapter has submitted a resolution to the ACP’s Board of Governors, asking them to take action on this inconsistent situation.


Capitol Update by John Nikoloff


Budget Update, June 2012

The Governor and state legislative leaders worked out an on-time state budget of $27.67 billion dollars, more than $500 million above the figure originally proposed by Gov. Tom Corbett in February. Efforts by PA-ACP, other physician groups, pharmaceutical companies, state related universities and the Hospital and Health System Association of PA led to increases in several line items in the process.

As the House, Senate and Governor negotiated a final budget settlement, increased revenues in April and May became important to discussions. The House and Senate had already passed a $27.66 billion budget with significant increases for higher education, Graduate Medical Education and various programs in the Departments of Health and Public Welfare. The Governor’s requests for several new pieces of legislation, including education and corrections reform and tax credits for businesses related to a proposed ethane cracker facility in Beaver County that is expected to create at least 10,000 jobs in southwestern PA became critical to getting the budget agreement.

The County Commissioners Association agreed to a 10% reduction in state level social services funding in return for flexibility to move the funds from one program to another, but some counties and bipartisan members of the House had opposed the block grant concept. And Democrats continue to argue that the state could afford to spend another $600 million above the agreed-to spend figure by increasing impact fees and avoiding reductions in business taxes, and are pushed for adding these funds to social and basic education funding.

The General Assembly put funding back into Penn State, Pitt and Temple to their 2011-2012 funding levels, and increased the MA budget for Academic Medical Centers by $1.262 million. Other increases were in Health for line items for specific diseases including hemophilia, Lupus, Sickle Cell and Tourette’s, and DPW for MA Inpatient programs, MA Long Term Care, physician practice plans, and critical care hospitals.

Affordable Care Act

With the Supreme Court decision on the Affordable Care Act, Pennsylvania government will begin in earnest the processes of developing a state Health Insurance Exchange, and reviewing the state’s options under the federal Medical Assistance reimbursement guidelines. HIE’s will be the subject of hearings, stakeholder groups and legislation this fall. The MA program decisions may or may not require state action, depending on whether PA follows the MA 133% of poverty figure, or opts out of this federal requirement for funding.


Leadership Day 2012

Congressman Mike Kelly (L) PA District 3 meets with Deepak Pahuja, MD, FACP, from Erie and Danielle Krol, MD, Resident at Drexel in Philadelphia. Congressman Kelly shares concerns raised about underserved areas, especially in rural northwest PA, and the impact on Pennsylvanians’ health.

The 20th annual Leadership Day on Capitol Hill, held on June 6-7, 2012 in Washington, D.C, gave our 17 member Pennsylvania delegation the opportunity to create a strong presence on Capitol Hill.

We thank the following members for giving their time to visit 19 Congressional offices to share issues of critical concern with our Pennsylvania lawmakers.

PA-ACP 2012 Delegates

Aditya Sharma, Resident at Penn State/Hershey, Council member
Arnie Eiser, FACP, Chair of HPPC
Christine Bui, Student at PENN
Chuck Cutler, FACP; Past Governor, BOR Chair-elect
Danielle Krol, Resident at Drexel
Darilyn Moyer, FACP, Governor for PAS
David Rudnick, Student at PENN
Deepak Pahuja, FACP, Erie Activist
Evan Pollack, FACP, Vice Chair of HPPC
James Walter, Resident at Jefferson
Jenna Peart, Student at PENN
Kanchana Herath, Student at Penn State/Hershey, Council member
Kevin Berry, Student at Penn State/Hershey, Council member
Larry Jones, FACP, Council and HPPC member
Laura Hughes, Resident at WP/Allegheny
Preyanka Makadia, Student at PCOM, ACP's CSM
Robert (Egen) Atkinson, Student at PENN

One item of particular interest to the delegation was the newly introduced Schwartz-Heck Bill (HB5707) which addresses the flawed Medicare payment structure. The bipartisan measure would repeal Medicare’s current reimbursement formula and replace it with a new system of payment models. It would also give doctors small boosts in payment rates for four years. This link presents information about the Bill.


US Congresswoman Allyson Schwartz (right, above) is welcomed by Dr. Darilyn Moyer (center), Governor for the PA-ACP as Dr. Arnold Eiser, chair of Pennsylvania’s Health and Public Policy Committee, looks on. Congresswoman Schwartz spoke to the 350 delegates attending the American College of Physicians’ 2012 Leadership Day in Washington. She recently introduced the Schwartz – Heck Bill, HR 5707, the Medicare Physician Payment Innovation Act of 2012. It would fix the broken Medicare payment structure.


Good News! West Penn Hospital Will Host 2012 Western Residents Poster Competition

This year, the Western Region’s Residents and Students Day is set for November 3, 2012 at West Penn Hospital. Residents and Medical Students who are members of the ACP for Western PA are invited to submit abstracts. E-mails announcing the competition are sent to all resident and student members who have provided the ACP with an e-mail address.

Last fall, 28 abstracts were selected for poster presentation. Prizes were awarded for 11 outstanding posters In addition, the winner in each category was invited to present his/her work at the ACP’s IM 2012 in New Orleans, held April 19 and 20, 2012.

This competition is a challenging, fun and worthwhile experience that requires many volunteers. We want to recognize Andrew Adams, MD, FACP from West Penn/Allegheny General Hospital who chaired the overall competition and Jennifer Gonzalez McComb, MD, FACP who chaired the Medical Jeopardy competition. Both have volunteered to chair this year’s events!

We extend a sincere thank you to both Chairs and to the many volunteer reviewers, judges and moderators involved in the event for their untiring work to make the day a success.

We invite you to join us at West Penn on Saturday, November 3, 2012. The competition is open to all residents who are members of the ACP. We welcome abstract reviewers and poster judges willing to volunteer a few hours to help create a fabulous competition for the Western Region.


Einstein Medical Jeopardy Team Wins 2012 ACP National Tournament

Albert Einstein Medical Center’s winning Medical Jeopardy Team celebrates victory over 31 other teams from throughout the US. Teams competed in the American College of Physicians’ Medical Jeopardy tournament, held at the ACP’s national scientific meeting in New Orleans April 19-21, 2012.

Pictured above (L to R), are Dr. Riyaj Kasekar, coach, Dr. Praveen Ramakrishnan, Dr. Guillermo Garrido and Dr. Jedrzej Wykretowicz. Not pictured are Dr. Mahasweta Gooptu, alternate and Dr. Steve Sivak, Chairman of the Department of Medicine. Both were valuable cheerleaders for the phenomenal team during the three day competition. This was Einstein’s third national win!


Thank You Members!

We wish to convey our sincere gratitude to all members who made a $15 contribution to the Chapter with your annual dues check.

These extra funds allow us to hold casual dinners with the Internal Medicine Interest Groups (IMIG) and to challenge the medical residents with poster competitions and Medical Jeopardy tournaments.

In addition, this year we invited 10 residents and medical students from all over Pennsylvanian to participate in the ACP’s annual Leadership Day. It is only through your support that we are able to offer educational and networking programs to our membership.


Congratulations Western New Fellows!

Flanked by (L) Alex Gonzalez, MD, FACP, Past Governor and (R) Governor Alan Yeasted, MD, FACP are two new Western Fellows. Hollis D. Day, MD, FACP, second from left, and a colleague stopped for photos following the Convocation in New Orleans.

We recognize and congratulate all Western members who were elected to Fellowship in the College this year. They are: Afaq Ahmad, MD, FACP from Uniontown, Hollis D. Day, MD, FACP, Portersville, and Patrick M. Gray, MD, FACP, Windber and Roseanne Granieri, MD, FACP, Pittsburgh.


Western Governor Presents University of Pittsburgh ACP Awards

Allyson Pishko and Dr. Alan Yeasted

Jessica Murphy and Dr. Alan Yeasted

One of Dr. Alan Yeasted’s first responsibilities as ACP Western Governor was to present the ACP Junior and Senior Award at the University of Pittsburgh’s 2012 medical graduation ceremony.

Annually, the Department of Medicine chooses a Junior and Senior to receive the awards.

The ACP Senior Award recognizes a student who earned an Honors grade in Adult Inpatient Medicine Clerkship, an Honors grade in Internal Medicine Acting Internship and will be going into Internal Medicine.

A student must have earned an Honors grade in Adult Inpatient Medicine Clerkship to receive the ACP Junior Award.

Congratulations to Allyson Pishko who received the ACP Senior Award and Jessica Murphy who received the ACP Junior Award.


Congratulations Western National Poster Presenters!

We are honored that 10 members from the Western Region represented Pennsylvania in the ACP Associate and Medical Student Abstract Competition during Internal Medicine 2012. An asterisk indicates those who also participated in the PA Chapter, Western Region 2011 competition.

Anna Kaminsky, DO * Clinical Vignette
Chathur Acharya, MD * Clinical Vignette
Daniel John Spinuzzi, MD, MBA Clinical Vignette
Donny V. Huynh, MD Clinical Vignette
Juhi Moon, MD * Clinical Vignette
Luke Johnson, Medical Student Clinical Research
Monodeep Biswas, MBBS * Clinical Vignette
Ravi K. Sharma, MBBS* QI Patient Safety
Shailendra Sing, MBBS Clinical Vignette
Zhineng Jayson Yang, MD * Clinical Vignette


Einstein Medical Jeopardy Team Brings Home Coveted Osler Cup

The formal presentation of the Osler Cup (named in honor of Sir William Osler, 1849-1919, and known as “The Father of Internal Medicine”) to the Medical Jeopardy team from Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia was held June 12. This was the third national win for Einstein. They also brought home the Osler in 1998 and 2007. Will we see them in San Francisco in 2013? Will it be the 4th Einstein win? Stay tuned!

Pictured, from left: Dr. Steve Sivak, Chairman of Medicine at AEMC, Dr. Steve Weinberger, EVP and CEO for the American College of Physicians (ACP), Dr. Patrick Alguire, SVP for the ACP, team members Dr. Guillermo Garrido, Dr. Jedrzej Wykretowicz and Dr. Praveen Ramakrishnan, Dr. Riyaj Kasekar, team coach and Dr. Glenn Eiger, Associate Chairman of Medicine and Program Director. Missing from photo is Dr. Mahasweta Gooptu, alternate and the team’s biggest cheerleader.


Welcome Aboard New Members

Seventeen Western physicians have been elected to ACP membership since January 2012. We look forward to meeting them at our events and educational programs scheduled for this year.

Abirami Janakiraman, MD , Pittsburgh
Anthony J. Pinevich, MD, Pittsburgh
Bethany L. Nordman, MD, Bethel Park
Christopher T. Rihn, MD, Greensburg
George Stuart Mendenhall, MD , Pittsburgh
George R. Zimmerman, MD, Canonsburg
Harshit Seth, MD, Jefferson Hills
Janelle N.W. Holder, MD, Pittsburgh
Jonathan G. Pope, MD, PhD, DuBois
Jose Baxarias Caballe, MD, Monroeville
Kamal Sharma, DO, State College
Kimberly G. Woomer, DO, Glenshaw
Rana Billeh, MBBS , Pittsburgh
Rashmi Yadav, MD, Pittsburgh
Shachi Tyagi, MD, Pittsburgh
Xuong Lu, MD , Pittsburgh
Neam H. Saleh, MD , Erie


Pennsylvania Chapter Calendar of Events

July 2012 – December 2012
Date Event Location
June 19-20 Pri-Med Access with ACP Philadelphia
Sept. 8 PA Council Meeting Harrisburg
Sept. 19-20 Pri-Med Access with ACP Pittsburgh
Sept. 20-21 Board of Governors Vancouver
Oct. 6 Eastern Poster Competition TCMC, Scranton
Nov. 3 PA West Poster Competition West Penn, Pittsburgh
Nov. 10 Southeast Poster Competition Lankenau, Wynnwood
Dec. 1 Council Meeting Hershey
Dec. 1 State Medical Jeopardy Hershey
Dec. 1 Chapter Awards Dinner Hershey
Fall 2012 IMIG Student Dinner Series TBA
Fall 2012 YP and Hospitalists Dinner Series TBA
March 2013 SEP/MOC Program Hershey


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