January 2019 Newsletter

Governor’s Corner

Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP

Skiing Schweitzer Mountain outside Sandpoint, ID in early January. If any of you find yourself skiing in North Idaho at Schweitzer this winter please email me. I would love to ski some runs with you and I try to be there most every weekend – Matt.

With another successful Annual Chapter meeting behind us, the winter solstice past, and the new year upon us, now is an excellent opportunity to look back on the successes of our past year and look forward to the opportunities in the year ahead.  While we are still in the depths of winter, albeit a rather mild one this year, the days are beginning to get appreciable longer.  Being a skier, I always enjoy this time of year when winter has fully taken hold, the mountain snow is deep, and yet there is this emerging sense in the lengthening days that spring will come (which means it will not be long before it’s time to start the tomatoes – indoors).  I hope this upcoming year is productive, fulfilling and joyful for each of you.  Please read on for chapter updates and great opportunities to be involved!



As we look back on 2018, our Chapter’s financial status is sound, finishing our 2017-18 year on budget with 6 months in reserve – for further details of our current financial picture please see our Treasurer’s report below.


We continue to have one of the best Chapter meetings in the entire country and our 2018 Annual Chapter Meeting in November was no exception.  Sincere thanks to this past year’s meeting Co-Chairs, Rachel Safran, MD FACP and Jared Klein, MD FACP, for their incredible work.  While there were many highlights during this year’s meeting – our first ever medical debate; great resident and student abstracts; compelling narratives during “Story Slam”; outstanding clinical updates, plenaries, and workshops; the always exciting medical jeopardy; and recognition of our Chapter award winners – in the end, it was the speech at the award ceremony by Greg Yen, DDS, the husband of our “Hospitalist of the Year” (who died in early summer 2018), on our professional responsibility to look out and care for each other that many found most moving and compels us as a chapter to carefully consider how we support the well-being of our members as well as those in the broader internal medicine community (for more on volunteer opportunities, including the Wellness Committee click here).

UW residents Linzee Mabrey, Erik Snider, and Alex Taylor won this year’s medical jeopardy competition finishing ahead of the five other internal medicine residency programs in the state.  The UW team will represent our Chapter in Philadelphia at the 2019 Doctor’s Dilemma competition

This past year we focused our efforts on state level advocacy behind the College’s efforts to reduce the health impacts of firearm violence by being a member of The Coalition of Healthcare Professionals to Prevent Firearm Injury and Death led by Public Health – Seattle & King County.  Our ACP Chapter is represented on the Coalition by Dr. Leah Marcotte.  And while our efforts to address the health impacts of climate change through collaborative support of Initiative 1631 were not successful, we look for ongoing opportunities to partner with the Washington State Medical Association (WSMA), Washington Academy of Family Physicians, the Washington Chapter of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and other organizations to leverage the physician voice in Olympia and beyond.  For details about upcoming leadership and advocacy opportunities click here.


The final month of 2018 brought an important transition for our Chapter.  After many years of relying on WSMA for executive administration, our council considered it our due diligence this past year to re-examine all options for executive administration.  With a Steering Committee led by Bruce Smith, MD MACP and guided by a deliberate and equitable process focused on capability, commitment, and value, we settled on Association Management Inc. to provide executive administration going forward.  In this transition, we welcome our new Executive Director, Liz Truong.


This upcoming year looks to be an outstanding one for our Chapter. In April, I am sure many of you are looking forward to this year’s Internal Medicine Meeting 2019 in Philadelphia.  We have 77 new Fellows in our Chapter that have been invited to Convocation!  And, stay tuned for details regarding the Northwest Reception at our national meeting – I hope to see many of you there!


On May 17, 2019, with the ongoing leadership of our Past-Governor, Joyce Wipf, MD MACP, and Kim O’Connor, MD FACP, we will again hold Spring Scientific Day.  If you are a student, resident, fellow, or early career physician with academic or scholarly work that you would like to showcase, this is the perfect venue for your work.  The objectives of the day are to promote research, QI and scholarship activities during training and early career as well as to provide an opportunity to present abstracts of works in progress.  The format focuses on oral and poster abstracts, with career exploration, mentoring luncheon and abstract awards as part of the overall day.  The deadline for abstract submission is March 11, 2019.  Abstracts can be submitted here.


And before we know it, it will be time for our 2019 Annual Chapter meeting which will be held October 31 – November 2, 2019 again at The Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle – so mark your calendars!


I will reiterate that the truly valuable thing about this organization is that it is more than the sum of our individual contributions. We most definitely would not be the outstanding Chapter we are without you all (winner of another Chapter Excellence Award). We deeply appreciate your support and involvement. Please encourage your colleagues to join if they are not already members.  We thank you for volunteering and, again, If you have ideas about how we continue to enhance our Chapter and the value of your membership (or you simply want to ski a few runs together this winter) please do not hesitate to email me at mhollonmdfacp@gmail.com.

Matt Hollon, MD MPH FACP

2018 Chapter Excellence Award

We are pleased to announce that our chapter is in receipt of the 2018 Chapter Excellence Award! This is our 23rd year in a row receiving this award that recognizes chapters which successfully meet the standards for managing a chapter.  In order to achieve the Chapter Excellence Award, chapters must meet all basic criteria and ten optional criteria. Criteria include such activities as formulating an effective Governor’s Council and committees, communicating frequently with membership, providing educational opportunities, recruiting and advancing members and celebrating membership through local awards. I would like to extend a special thanks to those chapter members who assisted us in all of these endeavors!

Meet Our New Executive Director

Liz Truong is our new Chapter Executive Director and we are thrilled to welcome her to the association. Liz is an experienced Executive Director with over a decade of work in executive leadership at nonprofit organizations. She received two degrees from the University of Washington in business and psychology and has worked the majority of her career in partnership with the University of Washington Medical Center through various nonprofits. Liz currently resides in Gig Harbor with her husband, daughter, french bulldog, and is expecting her second child this summer. You can contact her for all chapter needs or feel free to welcome her at liz@aminc.org.


Treasurers Report

Rebecca Ruud, MD MACP

Our chapter continues to have a robust and eventful budget attesting to diverse committees and one of the best attended scientific meetings in the country.  We have focused on trying to be budget neutral for the last couple years while still trying to heavily support our abounding medical student, resident and committee work.   As we were facing rising administration costs, the executive council made the change in administration with hopes of having more value added to support all of our programs and initiatives and yet keep our costs down more easily (Thank you Liz!) Our meeting annually at Bell Harbor can be a bit tricky as the venue supports good fellowship and meeting attendance but due to location in downtown Seattle we have had inherent rise in costs and catering that have taxed our budget at times.  We have a commitment to being “Pharma free” and being a leader for other chapter meetings in the country from this perspective.  Due to this vision of remaining pharma free we continue to try and get more corporate sponsorship for our meeting and anyone in our chapter would be welcome to help discuss with their respective companies/practices to help support us in the future!  Please contact Liz Truong, our new executive director, if your organization would be willing to sponsor ACP activities in the state or be an exhibitor at one of our events.

2018 Chapter Award Winners

Deepest thanks to Kim O’Connor, MD FACP who chaired the Awards Committee this past year.


Dr. Richard Kirkpatrick, Washington ACP Internist of the Year, receiving his award.

Our Washington ACP Chapter awards winners are:

Golden Apple Award (community-based teaching): Scott Stuart, MD

Community Service: Rachel Safran, MD FACP

The Doug Paauw, MD MACP Outstanding Student in Internal Medicine: Lindsay Bernfeld

Faculty Clinician-Educator (academic-based teaching): Anne Eacker, MD FACP

The Alvin J. Thompson, MD MACP Internist of the Year: Richard Kirkpatrick, MD FACP

Chapter Laureate: Greg Gardner, MD MACP

Hospitalist of the Year: Alice Ding, MD

Further details of the winners can be found here.



Importantly, if you have ideas about colleagues who should be considered for any of these awards in 2019 (or national awards and Mastership) we encourage you to put their name forward by sending an email to Awards Committee Chair, Dr. Kim O’Connor at koconnor@uw.edu or our Governor, Dr. Matt Hollon at mhollonmdfacp@gmail.com.

In Memoriam, Alice Ding, MD – Hospitalist of the Year

Greg Yen, DDS

I am truly humbled and honored to be here with all of you today.  When I look out at this room, I see it filled with truly incredible human beings who have dedicated their lives – no matter how long or short – in the sole quest of helping others.   There is no greater noble profession that exists than the one you all are a part of today.  And through your frustrations with MACRA, or your curse words towards Epic, or when you are dealing with those really unruly families that can’t come to a consensus at all, don’t loose focus of the profound meaningfulness of what you do.

Alice absolutely and unequivocally LOVED being a physician…She wore it on her chest like this giant badge of honor.  It was, in essence, the fabric of her life.  But there is a huge flaw in medicine among physicians, and it is this thing known as pride.  You see… I am very privy to this unspoken bravado that is shared between all of you – this infallibility that you are expected to convey to the world – at all times.    And I am here to warn all of you, …no… plead to all of you, to no longer… let this be.     Do not let this impossible belief continue to sequester – that brain sicknesses like depression and anxiety – don’t apply to you, because it is killing your colleagues at an alarming rate.  Like cancer of the liver, kidney or bones – brain sickness cannot heal itself. Your oath – your vow to us all – is to heal the sick and prevent death when possible.  Brain sickness is included in that vow.

Physicians are included in that group. You promised when you were in medical school to be compassionate to all.  Please don’t forget, this includes your own colleagues…and especially… yourself.  Support one another and put your own pride aside should you yourself become stricken with such an ailment.

Finally, should any of you ever find yourselves in that dark place and avoid reaching out to your colleagues, please do not accept that false notion that when you are gone, your pain and suffering will be as well. Because from my own personal experience, it does not disappear, but only gets magnified and placed on those you would leave behind.  This award is an incredible honor, and a legacy that my family and I will cherish always.

Thank you for your attention and this moment…

Washington Chapter ACP Leadership & Advocacy in 2019

This year we hope to continue to support the progress made in Washington State in addressing the health consequences of firearm violence by continuing our participation in The

Coalition of Healthcare Professionals to Prevent Firearm Injury and Death.  We are also actively partnering with other health care organizations and our state legislators to figure out how we best support Washington’s clean energy economy and Senate Bill 5116.  We also continue our engagement with the Washington State Medical Association’s (WSMA) efforts to support among many other issues universal access to medical care.  If these are issues that you would like to be involved in, please consider joining our Health and Public Policy Committee.


Important upcoming leadership and advocacy opportunities in 2019 include (please email Governor, Dr. Matt Hollon at mhollonmdfacp@gmail.com if you are planning on attending any of these events):

  • WSMA Legislative Summit, February 7, 2019 in Olympia. This is our main opportunity to unite the physician voice in Olympia each year and advocate on issues of importance to our patients, the practice of medicine, and public health.
  • ACP Leadership Day, May 14-15, 2019 in Washington, D.C. This is ACP’s premier advocacy event and an incredible opportunity to participate in advocacy training and advocacy at the federal level.
  • WSMA Leadership Development Conference, May 17-18 in Chelan, WA. This conference always features a truly outstanding lineup of speakers, all experts in their respective fields, that provide concrete ideas and leadership skills that you can immediately put to use in your professional life.


Our Health and Public Policy Committee will likely have additional opportunities and activities in 2019 so please stay tuned!

2019 Annual Chapter Meeting  – Meet the Co-Chairs

While November may seem like a long way off, planning is already underway.  The planning committee under the guidance of this year’s co-chairs has already held the first meeting.  Early ideas include finding another debate topic given the popularity of this event the past year.  We also look forward to incorporating some focused sessions around physician wellness.  We appreciate the leadership of Tristan Osborn, MD PhD and Divya Gollapudi, MD in planning and organizing this year’s meeting.


Dr. Osborn is a board-certified physician at Northwest Hospital & Medical Center and a UW Instructor of Medicine.  He earned his MD and PhD at the UW as well as completing residency there.





Dr. Gollapudi is a board-certified physician at Harborview and a UW assistant professor of General Internal Medicine. She earned her M.D. from the University of Missouri then completed residency training at Oregon Health Science University





Additionally, we also have the guidance of outpatient precourse co-chairs, Leah Marcotte, MD FACP and Kavita Chawla, MD as well as inpatient precourse co-chairs, Anna Hagan, MD and Audrey Young, MD.


With this leadership and your participation, we anticipate another outstanding chapter meeting October 31 – November 2, 2019 at the Bell Harbor International Conference Center in Seattle and live webcast to Spokane – stay tuned for more details!

Important Opportunities to Contribute to Your Chapter

If you are interested in developing educational opportunities, policy-setting at the state level, or collaborating with colleagues to address the professional needs of internists then we have opportunities for you.  If you want more leadership experience to prepare you for future endeavors, then we have a place for you.


With the Executive Council’s ongoing support, we continue moving forward organizing the chapter around 8 Committees and 8 Councils.  This structure provides the opportunity for all of you, as Chapter members, to be engaged in Chapter activities even if you are not a member of the Executive Council.  Many of you have already expressed interest in time-limited volunteering through the “Chapter Volunteer Interest Form” and with this structure we have better defined volunteer opportunities for you.  Additionally, this structure provides an avenue for us to identify Chapter members whose level of engagement would lead to nomination to the Executive Council.


In defining the Committees, we chose to parallel the structure defined by National’s Chapter Excellence Award.  Committees include the following:

Communication & Member Engagement – maintain communication plan that includes social media presence, quarterly newsletter development

Health & Public Policy – local advocacy and collaboration with WSMA, advocacy training, AIMn participation, ACP Leadership Day coordination

Membership & Diversity – maintain recruitment and retention plan across the spectrum of membership (from trainees to Fellows), institute National’s recruitment and retention initiatives

Education & Meetings – support Annual Chapter Planning Committee, assist with planning of other educational events including Spring Scientific meeting and other educational endeavors

Wellness – plan periodic “Wellness” activities and collaborate to promote physician wellness for internal medicine physicians and residents in the state

Medical Students – provide guidance, support, and inspiration for all student initiatives related to Internal Medicine Interest Group activities in the state

Residents/Fellows – provide guidance, support, and inspiration for all resident activities and initiatives in the state

Awards – oversees chapter awards and the nominations of Chapter members for National awards and Mastership


The focus of the 8 Councils centers on outreach to Chapter membership and establishing ACP as the professional home for each Council’s representative groups (in general, the activities by Councils will be open to all members though there may be some events structured for specific groups).  Councils, not all constituted yet, include:

Late Career Physicians

Early Career Physicians


Primary Care Physicians

Women in Medicine

Internal Medicine Sub-Specialists

International Medical Graduates

Under-represented in Medicine


With this structure we also anticipate that there will be wonderful opportunity for synergy between the Committees and Councils.  For example, if the Council of Hospitalists is interested in holding a session that focuses on professional well-being then they would reach out to the Wellness Committee as a resource in planning an event or events across the state.

Most importantly, I want to strongly encourage you to volunteer now.  We are looking for interested, committed, passionate members who are willing to contribute towards a vibrant and diverse chapter serving the needs of our members. The process is easy!

First, log into ACP Online to complete the chapter volunteer interest form. This will streamline the submission process by pre-populating your membership information.

Second, complete the interest form.

Third, we will follow-up with you directly within 2 weeks.


You can access the form by clicking here: “Chapter Volunteer Interest Form

National ACP Also Looking for Volunteers for “User Experience Feedback” for Online Learning Center

Respond by: Sunday, February 10, 2019

ACP’s Medical Education Division is seeking volunteer members to participate in a brief (10 minute) user-experience feedback session related to web-based education redesign projects.  As a thank you for participating, volunteers will receive a beautiful ACP-branded gift!

Volunteers will need a computer with internet access and a phone. Volunteers will need to have a ten-minute window available in January and February 2019, during Monday – Friday, between 9 AM – 5 PM Eastern.  Interested volunteers should submit an email to Mandy Lawless, CME & Education Meetings.  Further instruction will be sent via email to the first twenty (20) respondents.