AAHPM — Summer Quarterly 2012
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AAHPM Communities Update

There are currently 17 special interest groups (SIGs) in the Academy. To join a SIG, log in to the members only section of the website and update your member demographics with the groups you are interested in joining. Participation is open to all AAHPM members at no cost.

The Education SIG held its first meeting as an official SIG at the Annual Assembly in Denver. Enthusiastic attendees from multiple disciplines and teaching backgrounds identified potential areas of focus for subcommittees and SIG symposia submissions, including medical student and resident education, interprofessional education, international education, use of standardized patients and simulation, hospice setting educational collaboration, and faculty development. Attendees expressed support for monthly listserv communications with opportunities for online interaction around educational resources and sharing of experience. The first subcommittee, the SIG Symposia Review Subcommittee, has since formed; it has already provided feedback for those abstracts submitted for review and selected three abstracts for SIG sponsorship. Access to educational online resources will be a major focus of the Education SIG in the next year, along with encouraging interested educators to join the SIG.

—Laura Morrison, MD FAAHPM; Lynn O’Neill, MD

The Ethics SIG serves as a forum for examining and influencing ethical issues pertinent to hospice and palliative care. We met during the 2012 AAHPM Annual Assembly. A focus of the meeting was discussion about potential topics for the SIG to endorse and submit as SIG symposia sessions. Three topics were selected, and proposals on those topics were ultimately endorsed during the open call for proposals this spring. The 2012-2013 Ethics SIG officers were announced: Richard Butin, MD, immediate past-chair; Gregg VandeKieft, MD MA FAAHPM, chair; and Michael Bevins, MD PhD, chair-elect. Means to enhance communication among Ethics SIG members was also discussed. Members were encouraged to “like” the Ethics SIG Facebook page and to follow the Ethics SIG Twitter feed. The Ethics SIG’s listserv is the primary tool for SIG members to communicate regarding general concerns and will be used in advance of the 2013 annual SIG meeting to facilitate selection of topics for Ethics SIG Symposia proposals and the election of the 2013-2014 SIG chair-elect.

—Mike Bevins, MD PhD; Richard Butin, MD FACP; and Gregg VandeKieft, MD MA FAAHPM

Physician Assistants
March 9, 2012, marked the first official Physician Assistants (PA) SIG meeting within AAHPM. Members of the SIG appreciated the opportunity to network and discuss common issues during the Annual Assembly.

Information from AAHPM leadership was shared, including opportunities for submission of abstracts, poster presentations, and Web educational offerings. Three abstract themes and a poster presentation with a lead contact person for each suggestion were identified. Leaders also encouraged members to consider AAHPM volunteer committee involvement or to return to their local PA schools to offer palliative medicine education to current PA students.

General concerns were discussed, including political barriers affecting billing. SIG members also shared information about collaborative updates of PAs in palliative care working through the American Academy of Physician Assistants and the Physician Assistants Education Association.

—Rebekah Halpern, MS PA-C; Judy Knudson, MPA-C; Holly Pilewski, PA-C

Safety Net
At the AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly, the newly developed Safety Net SIG held its first formal meeting. We were pleased to see more than 35 participants engage in a lively discussion about the priorities and focus of this SIG. Many of the attendees remarked on the benefit of simply hearing that other colleagues face similar challenges in their practices, and we all benefited from sharing stories and solutions.

As a result of this brainstorming session, we now have (a) a listserv for those AAHPM members who want to receive notices related to safety net issues in palliative care (contact Emily Muse, emuse@aahpm.org, to be included in the listserv), (b) a Google Docs warehouse of shared documents that will be helpful to safety net palliative care practices (Thanks to Dr. Anne Kinderman for organizing this database!), and (c) priorities that were used to determine SIG sponsorship of abstracts for the 2013 Annual Assembly. Thank you to all who submitted abstracts for SIG sponsorship and for the great turnout in Denver. We hope to see even more faces at our SIG meeting in New Orleans.

—Susan Cohen, MD; Catherine Deamant, MD; Anne Kinderman, MD

With the evolution of the field of hospice and palliative care comes the need for the Annual Assembly to evolve as well. The second call and third calls for abstracts will be modified to provide a broader opportunity for those seeking to present.

Second Call for Scientific Papers and Abstracts June 15-July 16, Noon PT

Abstracts for 20-minute paper presentations or posters of original research studies, literature reviews, novel interventions, and rigorous quality improvement projects may be submitted. Case series will no longer be included in this call.

Third Call for Interdisciplinary Case Conference Submissions

October 1-November 1, Noon PT
Professionals in training (professionals from any discipline currently engaged in formal education or training programs) are invited to submit abstracts for a 20-minute case presentation or poster presentation.

Professionals (not in training) from any discipline seeking to present a case study or case series may submit abstracts in this third call.

Abstracts from the two groups (Professionals in Training and Professionals) will be reviewed and selected separately.

The Planning Committee and Scientific Subcommittee for the Annual Assembly work hard to assess the strengths of the Assembly and opportunities for improvement. Thanks especially to the chairs of these committees, Elise Carey, MD; Constance Dahlin, APRN-BC ACHPN FAAN FPCN; Christina Ullrich, MD MPH; and Barbara Head, PhD RN CHPN ACSW, for their thoughtful leadership and guidance.