June 2016

Governor’s Corner

By Joyce Wipf, MD FACP, WA-ACP Governor

We all have stories. Stories that illustrate the remarkable connection we have with our patients and those many individuals who have influenced and shaped our career and life as a physician.  My latest personal anecdote just occurred on medicine wards: a patient admitted with advanced dementia; in our team conference with him and his family, when I said our shared goal was to get him back home, he became more responsive, motioned to me to come close, and reached out to give me a hug!  I figure that you’ve just recalled a few of your own memorable stories – consider writing a brief essay to submit for our November annual chapter meeting November 10-12!  This is sort of like national ACP “Story Slam”.  Look for more details this summer about submissions. Several essays will be selected for reading at our meeting, a new thing this year.

What a busy spring we have had! The newsletter highlights many of our chapter activities, including the national ACP meeting events, combined with leadership days – we had a special contingent of students, residents and council members participating and leading our advocacy efforts on Capitol Hill.  I’m also excited about our second annual 2nd annual Spring Scientific Scholarship Day on May 20th –  we are proud of receiving a national ACP John Tooker Evergreen Award for this unique day, and its success is a great collaborative effort!

I appreciate your engagement in our chapter, and ideas and contributions as we continue to evolve and broaden service and efforts valuable to our members. If you are looking for more ways to get involved, our chapter committees also would love to hear from you!

Best regards, 

ACP WA-chapter Governor

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WA-ACP Spring Scientific Scholarship Day – May 20

Our second annual Spring Scientific Scholarship Mentoring Day held May 20 at UW South Campus Center was a great success! The objectives for the day that we accomplished:

  1. Encourage scientific study in Research and Quality Improvement by students, residents and fellows-in-training.
  2. Provide opportunity for trainees to submit and present abstracts of their projects in Research and QI
  3. Mentoring in small groups to explore career goals and professional life

The day’s program and activities were co-directed by Kim O’Connor, MD, FACP and Joyce Wipf, and developed in conjunction with a Task Force of our Student and Resident Council leadership and chapter advisors and leaders of our resident and student programs.

Special thanks to so many individuals who helped to conduct the meeting, including regional residency program directors, our outstanding plenary speakers, workshop faculty leaders and faculty and resident mentors who co-led focused mentoring discussions over lunch.  A large cadre of faculty served as reviewers and judges of the submitted and presented abstracts.

Twenty-four submitted abstracts were accepted for oral or poster presentations. All showed impressive quality, innovation and effort. The abstracts were reviewed and winners selected by several teams of judges. Congratulations to the abstract competition winners: student poster abstract awarded to Michelle Brajcich, University of Washington; resident poster abstract awarded to Nandita Mani, MD, University of Washington; and oral abstract awarded to James Barlow, MD, Virginia Mason Medical Center.

James Barlow, MD, Michele Brajcich, and Nandita Mani, MD, Abstract awardees
We will soon begin to plan next year’s Spring Scientific Scholarship Day. Let us know if you want to be on the Planning Committee!

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Chapter Highlights at National ACP Meeting May 2016

Chapter Receives John Tooker Evergreen Award
Joyce Wipf, MD, FACP, Governor

Our Washington State Chapter ACP received the John Tooker Evergreen Award at the National ACP meeting in Washington DC in May 2016:

“Congratulations to you and your chapter for receiving a 2016 John Tooker Evergreen Award. Your submission, “Spring Scientific Scholarship Mentoring Day”, captures the spirit of innovation that the John Tooker Evergreen Awards Program seeks to recognize. The Chapters Subcommittee felt this was an outstanding initiative that demonstrates a powerful way that ACP chapters can be active at the local level. Besides being innovative and well organized, the Subcommittee commended your program for developing leadership skills as well as mentoring.”

National Jeopardy Competition, ACP Annual meeting May, 2016

UW Residents Eric LaMotte, MD, Shannon McConnaughey, MD, Brian Bechtold, MD

Congratulations to our Chapter Jeopardy UW team winners, who competed in the National ACP Jeopardy Competition at the annual meeting in Washington, DC!

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November 10-12, 2016 WA-ACP Annual Meeting – Speaker and Program Highlights

Michael Krug, MD and Ananth Shenoy, MD, Planning Committee Co-Chairs

This year’s Washington State ACP meeting will be help November 10-12, 2016 at Bell Harbor Conference Center in Seattle. We are thrilled to have an exciting mix of previous invigorating speakers as well as new speakers and topics that are sure to interest internists in all areas of practice. We will offer the MOC course again, as well as pre-course in both hospital medicine and ambulatory care. The meeting will include a variety of workshops, including chest radiograph interpretation, clinical decision making in sports medicine and diabetes management. Plenary sessions are of wide ranging topics including emerging infectious disease, breast cancer screening and EHR/Medicolegal update. Please mark your calendars and be on the watch for registration information! We look forward to seeing you there!

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ACP Leadership Day – May 3-4

Joyce Wipf, MD, FACP, and Bruce Smith, MD, FACP, Advocacy Committee Chair, led the Washington state delegation of faculty, residents and students to the annual ACP Leadership Day on Capitol Hill May 3-4. Leadership Day enables the College to increase its presence on Capitol Hill and bring our issues to the attention of U.S. lawmakers.

The two-day event provided ACP members with advocacy and media training, an update on College’s priority legislative issues; briefings by members of Congress, administration officials and key Capitol Hill staffers; and an opportunity to meet with our state’s elected officials. Click here to learn more about Leadership Day.

The 2016 WA-ACP Leadership Day delegation included:

Joyce Wipf, MD, FACP, Governor
Carrie Horwitch, MD, MPH, FACP, Regent
Bruce Smith, MD, FACP
Flint Orr, MD, FACP
Carletta Vanderbilt, MD, FACP
Rachel Safran, MD, GIM Fellow
Kishore Varada, PA
Stephen Carr, MD, Resident
Christine Kha, DO, Resident
Yanni Chang – Student
Justin Gasper – Student
Angela Primbas – Student, Osler Club Liaison
Ashley Smith – Student
James Wykowski – Student

Medical Student Reflections on Leadership Day
By Justin Gasper, Medical Student

Being ushered into Patty Murray’s office in the Senate chambers on a late May morning still seems surreal. There were six of us representing the ACP for Leadership Day—residents, students, and physicians. Her aide in health policy, also a D.C. physician, offered us seats and listened intently as the six of us spoke for over half an hour about our experiences in medicine and the legislative priorities we had for Senator Murray, a ranking member on the Senate Healthcare committee.

As a medical student attending Leadership Day for the first time, I felt inadequate. But as the day continued, I realized that the most important contribution that my colleagues and I made was not a wealth of policy information, but sharing our real-world experiences. Legislators earnestly wanted to know how the policies that they were shaping impacted clinical practice, medical education, and the future of healthcare.

Often, the media can paint a volatile, ideological picture of our political system. Receiving a warm welcome and support from both sides of the aisle was a surprise; I was impressed with the respect that the ACP garners for its evidence-based, bipartisan solutions to challenges in healthcare. 

And it wasn’t just legislators that were impressed. Attending Leadership Day also gave me an appreciation for the ACP. While I was sure that the ACP would represent physicians, I was impressed with how they considered the importance of quality patient care as well in research and advocacy. The 2016 Leadership Day marked one of the largest turnouts in history; it was exciting to join over 450 students, residents, and physicians who were passionate about improving clinical practice and patient care.

Not only did I get to meet ACP members from all over the country, I got to know the members in my own chapter better. Leadership Day connected me with physicians in the Seattle area and rural eastern Washington, all passionate about improving care and facing similar challenges. Below are the policy goals that we outlined as important to the ACP:

1. Changing chronic care codes to be classified as preventive, saves healthcare system and more importantly, the patient, from serious medical complications.
2. Improving research and guidelines for treating opioid epidemic
3. Increasing patient access to care in underserved rural areas by increasing Medicare and Medicaid coverage for telemedicine services.
4. Improving HIT to increase interoperability to reduce medical error, increase the amount of time physicians can spend with patients
5. Reforming GME to focus more on workforce and future demand
6. Reduce student-debt load so that compensation does not play as large of a role in choosing a medical specialty

While my clinical experience is limited, it is exciting to see the democratic process at work in improving care delivery. Though change is often slow—the repeal of the Sustainable Growth Rate took over 15 years of effort—it was exciting to be a part of the positive change that is taking place at the 2016 ACP Leadership Day.

Resident Reflections on Leadership Day
By Christine Kha, DO PGY 1, Trios Residency Program

The need to provide and measure quality patient care has always been a hot topic in medical policymaking.  As a first-year internal medicine resident training at Trios Health in Kennewick, Washington, I have seen many issues that can be improved upon when providing patient care at the local level.  When I heard about the ACP Leadership Day on Capitol Hill in D.C., I took this as an opportunity to learn how to advocate for my patients.  Moreover, I was able to share my own efforts in taking care of patients at a local level with our nation’s leaders on Capitol Hill.

At first glance of the Leadership Day materials, one cannot help feeling inspired by the policies addressed during this year’s event.  Seven primary issues were discussed:

1) Improving health information technology by including additional reforms to reduce the burdens associated with the Electronic Health Records (EHR) meaningful use program and clinical documentation requirements, and to enhance usability and interoperability;

2) Improving the care of patients with chronic diseases by including in legislation currently under development by the Senate Finance Committee policies to improve payment and reduce regulatory barriers to chronic care management;

3) Improving telemedicine by including in legislation currently in development, by the Senate Finance Committee, elements to eliminate payment and regulatory barriers to telemedicine in ways that support the patient-physician relationship, such as eliminating geographic site restrictions that limit reimbursement of telemedicine services by Medicare, among others;

4) Making Graduate Medical Education (GME) funding more effective by prioritizing funding toward physician specialties facing shortages, including primary care internal medicine, and by improving transparency;

5) Addressing the issue of the rise in prescription drug costs by developing legislation that includes elements that will increase vital funding for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), providing authority to the federal government to negotiate drug discounts, and establishing greater transparency in drug pricing;

6) Stemming the increase in opioid abuse by passing the Comprehensive Addiction and Recovery Act, legislation that provides grant funding for efforts to mitigate the growing problem of opioid and substance abuse disorders in this country;

7) Integrating behavioral health into primary care by including into the legislation elements to remove barriers to integrating behavioral health into the primary care setting.

Leadership Day began at the Walter E. Washington Convention Center, where the participants received a comprehensive orientation on ACP’s legislative priorities.  The agenda included a welcoming briefing, an advocacy workshop, presentation on “Connecting the Dots to Improve Patient Care” regarding these seven main issues, a Q&A panel with key congressional health staff, speeches by key health policy experts, and an awards ceremony to honor distinguishing advocate members for their key contributions to promoting health care.  Each workshop was meticulously planned to prepare its members for visits on Capitol Hill.

The Washington state contingent in Washington D.C. consisted of actively practicing physicians, residents, and medical students.  All had the opportunity to share rich, passionate stories of medical training from every level, while advocating for these issues, with their respective state senators and congressional offices.  One could use the ACP Advocacy Day App on a cell phone to stay updated with the schedule, take notes, and research information about the representatives including their biographies, committees, news, and social media outlets before heading into meetings with congressional staff.  While the topics were advocated as bipartisan, it is interesting to note that the Democratic Party was more aware of and accepting of these issues than the Republican Party.  Both Washington state senators were aware of these health issues and sympathetic towards such causes.  The Capitol Hill visits were inspirational and fun to collaborate and meet with state representatives, while advocating for causes important to patient care.

ACP Leadership Day provides an opportunity for internists to be a voice for patients, to make a difference both at the local and national level.  It is also a great opportunity to meet future mentors, fellow colleagues, and medical students who care about advocacy, and learn about policy issues that will impact our profession and ability to provide quality care.  ACP Leadership Day is a highly recommended event for promising leaders in health care. 

Part of the fun is sightseeing in DC!


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Membership Committee Report

By Kemi Nakabayashi MD FACP, Membership Committee Chair

Thanks to Doug Lindahl and Ki Shin for planning a regional event in Olympia this month.  For other locales, please contact me at nakabayashimd@gmail.com with comments or ideas for additional regional outreach.  As we foster the transition of our doctors in training to the Early Career Physician group, this time of year is particularly important to reach out to new potential members.  As a reminder, ACP’s Recruit-A-Colleague program has begun again for the new membership cycle.

Talk to your post-training colleagues about ACP so they can experience the College’s benefits.  And to thank you for your time and effort, ACP offers between now and March 1, 2017, the following incentives:

  • $100 credit toward your 2017-18 annual dues when you recruit one member
  • $200 credit toward your 2017-18 annual dues when you recruit two new members
  • $300 credit toward your 2017-18 annual dues when you recruit three new members
  • Free membership in 2017-18 when you recruit four or more new members

Plus, for every member recruited within the promotional period, you will receive an entry into a grand-prize drawing for a trip to ACP Internal Medicine Meeting 2018 in New Orleans, LA that includes registration, airfare (up to $500) and four days of hotel accommodation.  Make sure your recruited colleague lists your name in the recruiter box on the top of the Membership application for you to get this credit through the RAC program.  For more information, click here.

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What’s New in Medicine 2016 - September 9 & 10

Save the date for the 2016 “What’s New in Medicine” Infectious Diseases CME Workshop.  This program takes place September 9 & 10 at the Three Rivers Convention Center in Kennewick, WA.  Once again, the program offers an impressive array of workshops from a group of highly-skilled and dedicated speakers. Click here to view brochure.

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Women in Medicine News

Linda Pourmassina MD, FACP  and Cathrine Wheeler, MD, FACP, WIM Co-Chairs

On April 23, the ACP Washington Chapter Women in Medicine (WIM) Interest Group hosted an afternoon of creativity and connection at the Mercer Island Community Center where participants worked on crafts, led by Gretchen Ehrsam, while networking and connecting.


The WA chapter ACP WIM “Dim Sum around the Sound” continued with the most recent held in Edmonds on June 4. Our next relaxed and informal get-together is scheduled for October 1 in Seattle at Joyale Seafood Restaurant (formerly New Hong Kong). Details will be communicated via Washington ACP eblast (email). Direct further inquiries regarding Dim Sum around the Sound to Kemi Nakabayashi at nakabayashimd@gmail.com.

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Call for Internist Award Nominations

To recognize the outstanding efforts of internists in our state, we need your nominations for the following awards:

  • Washington ACP Internist of the Year
  • ACP Community Service Award
  • ACP Golden Apple Award

Please take a few minutes to tell us who is deserving of a recognition award by submitting your nomination here. Or, send your nomination with a brief statement why this person should be considered for the award to kim@wsma.org. The deadline for submitting your nomination is September 9, 2016. Awards will be presented at the Washington Chapter ACP Annual Meeting, November 10-12, 2016 in Seattle, Washington.

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Important News from National ACP

Recruit-a-Colleague Chapter Rewards Program
The American College of Physicians and the Chapter encourages all members to help strengthen our chapter by recommending ACP membership to colleagues. By joining the College, your colleagues will enrich their clinical knowledge and skills and have access to all of the ACP member benefits that you enjoy. 

To thank you for your dedication to our organization, ACP offers incentives to members and their chapters that recruit new members through the Recruit-a-Colleague Chapter (RACC) Rewards Program. As with the national Recruit-a-Colleague Program, the RACC Program rewards successful individual recruiters with dues credits for each new full Member or Physician Affiliate member recruited and a chance to win a trip to the annual Internal Medicine meeting. In addition, the RACC Program also provides rewards to the recruiters’ chapters, including funding for chapter activities and complimentary registrations to the annual Internal Medicine meeting.

The 2016-17 Recruit-a-Colleague Chapter Rewards Program runs until March 1, 2017. To participate, simply forward to your colleagues a membership application found at www.acponline.org/racc. To qualify for the program, your name must be listed on the recruiter line of the application, and the form must include the code RACC.

Thank you for your help in strengthening our chapter!

Aligning CME Financing with Workforce Needs
The Alliance for Academic Internal Medicine and ACP released a new policy paper calling for changes that better align funding for Graduate Medical Education (GME) with the nation’s health care workforce needs. The paper, Financing U.S. Graduate Medical Education, was published in Annals of Internal Medicine on May 3.

Cognitive Behavioral Therapy Recommended as Initial Treatment for Chronic Insomnia
Cognitive behavioral therapy for insomnia should be the first-line treatment for adults with chronic insomnia, ACP recommends in a new evidence-based clinical practice guideline published on May 3 in Annals of Internal Medicine.

New Online Opioid Education Modules, Video Now Available
ACP developed online training modules, with Pri-Med, to educate clinicians about best practices when prescribing opioids to patients and to help prescribers manage risk for abuse and inappropriate use.  With approximately 100 million adults in the U.S. suffering from chronic pain, the nonmedical use of prescription opioids has become a public health issue, and prompted the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to establish the Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategy (REMS) mandate.  A total of 26 Continuing Medical Education (CME) and Continuing Education providers, including ACP, have created educational initiatives to help prescribers ensures that the benefits of a drug outweigh the risks for patients receiving extended release and long acting opioids.

The REMS training modules provide comprehensive educational information for primary care clinicians, and can be completed for CME credit.  Access the online modules for additional information. 

A brief video from Steven Weinberger, MD, FACP, former executive vice president and CEO of ACP, highlights the initiative’s goal of reducing misuse, abuse and overdose deaths associated with prescription opioids.

New ACP Patient Education Materials
ACP has a wide variety of high quality patient education materials, including educational DVDs, self-management guides, and our new Patient FACTS series.  The Patient FACTS series helps newly diagnosed patients and their caregivers increase their understanding of common health conditions.
These patient-tested resources were developed in partnership with physicians, using only credible, evidence-based research.

  • Many available free of charge
  • Many available in both English and Spanish
  • Easy to understand
  • Cover a wide variety of common health conditions like heart health, asthma, HIV, COPD, diabetes

To order these and ACP’s other patient education materials contact Member and Customer Service at 800-523-1546 ext. 2600, or visit here.

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Welcome New Members

We are pleased to welcome the following new members since January 2016:

Aaron M Ufferman, MD Vancouver
Catherine T Yoo, MD Woodinville
David S Levitt, MD Seattle
Gabrielle N Berger, MD Seattle
Hooman Hajian, MD Medina
Jesse Abbott Klafter, MD Seattle
Katrina G Carli, MD Mukilteo
Liana M Maxa, MD Kirkland
Margaret E Fleet, MD Seattle
Rodrigo J Alfaro, MD Sunnyside
Samuel Nadler, MD PhD Seattle
Sharifa Llemit Seattle

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Congratulations New ACP Fellows

We are pleased to welcome the following new fellows:

Aaron M Ufferman, MD Vancouver
Catherine T Yoo, MD Woodinville
David S Levitt, MD Seattle
Gabrielle N Berger, MD Seattle
Hooman Hajian, MD Medina
Jesse Abbott Klafter, MD Seattle
Katrina G Carli, MD Mukilteo
Liana M Maxa, MD Kirkland
Margaret E Fleet, MD Seattle
Rodrigo J Alfaro, MD Sunnyside
Samuel Nadler, MD PhD Seattle
Sharifa Llemit Seattle

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Upcoming Events

  • June 4 – Women in Medicine Dim Sum Around the Sound (Edmonds)
  • June 8 – Executive Council meeting/conference call (Seattle)
  • September 9-10 – What’s New in Medicine Meeting (TriCities)
  • September 14– Executive Council meeting/conference call (Seattle)
  • November 10 – Executive Council dinner meeting (Seattle)
  • November 10-12 – 2016 Annual Chapter Meeting (Seattle)

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