Annual Session News
ACP gives Evergreen Awards to outstanding chapters
ACP honored seven chapters/regions at Annual Session with its 1998 Evergreen Awards. The awards honor chapters for developing local programs and increasing member communication and involvement.
ACP's Kentucky Chapter created an annual program to give its Associates more scholarly activity and to develop a closer relationship with the state's two medical schools. The chapter held the first Kentucky Associates Professional Day in March 1996 and its first Associates Day in April 1997 to introduce Associates to various disciplines of medicine. The program also featured a clinical vignette competition and presentations on how residents can organize their finances for life after training. As a result of the program, Associates are now participating on the chapter council, and faculty from both medical schools serve on the chapter's Associates Competition Review Board.
ACP's Arkansas Chapter developed television public service announcements and print brochures to draw attention to public health issues such as hypertension, diabetes, smoking and obesity. The chapter hired a public relations firm to create and distribute television spots, which invited viewers to call a toll-free number for more information about health problems.
Volunteers from local seniors organizations fielded calls from viewers and mailed the brochures. The chapter paid for the program, which cost approximately $15,000, with surplus chapter funds.
As an extension of ACP's campaign to educate the public about the role of internists, ACP's Florida Chapter held a cardiovascular wellness seminar promoting both good health and internal medicine. Chapter members spoke to about 60 patients from the Sarasota/Bradenton area who had been invited by local members. One handout was a reproduction of ACP's "Doctors for Adults" ad that included the names and phone numbers of local College members. The program provided the public with important health information, gave publicity to local members and reinforced ACP's national public education campaign.
U.S. Navy Region
Recognizing that community service is a valuable asset to any medical education program, Navy Associates at the Portsmouth Naval Medical Center began a volunteer program at the center's free clinic in 1997. Residents typically work one night every other month and staff the clinic on Wednesday nights, providing care to several hundred patients. One Associate does all of the program's scheduling, recruitment and orientation. The program has been so successful that a majority of residents at the Naval Medical Center participate in it. In addition, a recent survey of residents working at the clinic found strong support for the program.
ACP's Florida Chapter is using its Web site to help members meet two of the requirements for relicensure. The chapter allows members to complete one hour of HIV education and one hour of domestic violence education on the Web at no charge. (Nonmembers must pay $50.) The continuing medical education (CME) department at Mt. Sinai Medical Center in Miami provided the CME credit and scored the tests. This activity helped members earn CME credits while taking advantage of the chapter's Web site.
In 1995, the Louisiana chapter developed a diversity committee to increase its number of members and leaders who are women, African Americans and international medical graduates (IMGs). The committee mailed out a survey to 308 of these physicians asking about their perceptions of ACP and their interest in chapter activities. In response to the survey, the chapter held a one-day symposium on leadership and managed care in November 1997. The chapter hopes that the attendees will become active in the College and plans to track their membership and advancement in the chapter.
In 1995, the Health and Public Policy Committee of ACP's California Chapter began negotiations to have members from its regions sit on the California Medical Association (CMA) Specialty Delegation. As a result of those efforts, the CMA House of Delegates now extends seven seats to ACP's California Chapter. These members were seated at the 1996 meeting and formed the largest delegate bloc, increasing the voice of internal medicine in California.
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