CTACP September Update from the Governor

FROM GOV. RUTH WEISSBERGER, MD, FACP

GOVERNOR'S MESSAGE

Dear CT ACP Colleagues,

September 2021 brings not only the familiar winding down of summer and expectations of fall, but also unique challenges as we continue to work our way through the pandemic, navigating the exigencies of the Delta variant and the evolving landscape of knowledge and policies for our patients and ourselves. In the past few weeks, we have seen the full authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-019 vaccine by the FDA and a succession of immunization mandates by federal and state agencies and by employers around the country. In Connecticut, the state mandate applies to state employees, including hospital and long-term care employees and childcare and K-12 school staff. Private employers including hospitals, health systems, universities and businesses have instituted vaccination mandates with various policies on exemptions. Recommendations and policies on administration of boosters are evolving.

As a member of ACP I have appreciated the wealth of resources and support in providing care for patients with COVID-19 that our organization offers, along with its other educational resources.  If you haven’t yet checked out the On-Line Learning Center, https://www.acponline.org/cme-moc/online-learning-center, take a look at its many curated CME and MOC activities, free to members.  ACP also provides resources for telehealth and a series of free webinars on telemedicine in practice, https://www.acponline.org/practice-resources/business-resources/telehealth. Telemedicine 201, debuts the first episode on September 28. https://leadership.acponline.org/hot-topic-page/telemedicine-201-acp-s-new-free-webinar-series-debuts-first-episode-september-28th.

Over the past year and a half I have also developed a deeper appreciation for the community of physicians that ACP and the Connecticut Chapter provide.  Since assuming the role of governor I have been especially impressed with the energy and accomplishments of the CT ACP Governor’s Advisory Council. Below is just a sample of what’s been going on lately.

I hope you were able to enjoy some rest and relaxation with family and friends this summer, and that we can see each other in person for real in 2022.

Sincerely,

Ruth


ADVOCACY:

The Chapter’s Health and Public Policy Committee, under the leadership of Drs. Ben Cherry and Anthony Yoder, was active in advocating at the state level on several areas of ACP policy, including the development of a public option to expand affordable health coverage, and the removal of non-medical exemptions for immunizations for school enrollment in CT.  The committee’s efforts included testifying before legislative committees in Hartford and publishing op-ed pieces in local newspapers.  In April the bill ending non-medical exemptions for school vaccinations was signed into law.


DIVERSITY, EQUITY, AND INCLUSION:

The DEI Committee, chaired by Drs. Inginia Genao and Amir Mohammad, is expanding its membership as we aim to incorporate the principles of DEI in all of our chapter’s endeavors.  The committee will be hosting CT ACP’s spin on the story slam, the CT ACP 2021 Story Telling Hour: Celebrating Life in Different Cultures, on Oct. 14. Details are on the CT ACP website, https://ctacp.org/event/2021-ctacp-story-telling-hour-submission-deadline/  Also on the website you’ll find our DEI policy, https://ctacp.org/diversity-equity-and-inclusion-policy/


ANNUAL MEETING UPDATE:

The CT ACP Annual Scientific Meeting 2021 will be held virtually again this year, on Oct. 15 – 16. Though it’s disappointing that we won’t be able to meet in person, the virtual format, as we’ve learned perforce, does offer certain advantages and flexibilities.  Similar to last year, a recording of the meeting will be made available afterward so you can listen to simultaneous talks that you missed in real time.  And we are excited to present several new features, including a panel discussion on gender inequities in careers in medicine with Dr. Heather Gantzer, Immediate Past Chair of the ACP Board of Regents, and Nina Pirrotti, a New Haven-based, nationally recognized attorney specializing in employment litigation.  Those of you who attended last year’s meeting will remember Ms. Pirrotti’s dynamic talk, “Protection Against Discrimination and Retaliation in the Medical Profession.”  The traditional Women in Medicine Breakfast will now share billing with a new, parallel event, “Yes You Can—How to be an Ally for Women Physicians.” We are thrilled and honored that Dr. Gantzer will give the keynote address, and to have other national ACP leaders on the roster, including Dr. William Fox, former Chair of the Board of Governors, and our Chapter’s own Dr. Robert McLean, Past President of ACP (2019-20), and Dr. Rebecca Andrews, my predecessor as governor, now Chair of the Board of Governors. That plus our resident and student abstract competition, annual awards presentations, and a variety of didactic sessions on important and stimulating topics. If you haven’t already registered for the annual meeting, please do, and I look forward to seeing you here.


WELL-BEING:

CT ACP’s Wellness Committee, led by Dr. Sujata Prasad, moved its activities outdoors and online this past year. These included the Harkness Memorial Park picnic and hike in February;  Breathe. Meditate. Relax with Emma Seppala, a virtual event in March; Gouvela Vinyard Wine Tasting in May; and Chatfield Hollow State Park Hike in July. Stay tuned for upcoming events.


HOT TOPICS:

“Financial Profit in Medicine: A Position Paper from the American College of Physicians,” published in the Sept. 7, 2021 Annals, considers the effects of for-profit and private equity investment in health care on patients, physicians, and institutions.

“Inclusivity that calls for embracing: The importance of IMGs,” President’s Message in the September 2021 ACP Internist, by ACP President George A. Abraham, highlights the vital role played by international medical graduates in the general internal medicine and medical subspecialty workforce.