AAHPM — Summer Quarterly 2012
Change Language:
David Wensel

AAHPM Points of Progress

AAHPM members are actively engaged in more than 30 committees and task forces. This progress report highlights accomplishments within each goal area of the Academy’s current strategic plan during the most recent quarter, provided by recently appointed strategic coordinating committee chairs.

Strengthen Member Engagement
David Wensel, DO FAAHPM, chair, Membership and Communities Strategic Coordinating Committee

The Membership and Communities Strategic Coordinating Committee revised the fellows application, which is now available online. To apply, visit aahpm.org and select the Join tab. The deadline is September 15.

Membership reached an all-time high of 4,520 (82% physicians; 12% affiliates; and 6% students, residents, and fellows) by the end of the first quarter.

The special interest group (SIG) community has expanded to 17 SIGs and 6 developing communities, all of which met during the 2012 Annual Assembly. For the first time, all SIGs had information tables at the opening reception, which helped them recruit new members, connect with current members, and network with other SIG leaders. Many SIGs submitted SIG-endorsed symposia abstracts for the 2013 Annual Assembly and will be invited to submit abstracts for webinar topics.

Build Workforce and Leadership
Greg Sachs, MD, chair, Leadership and Workforce Strategic Coordinating Committee

The Academic Palliative Medicine Task Force analyzed the results of its workforce and needs assessment survey and will share findings with the board and academic community. The results will help prioritize work in addressing the opportunities that exist in academic programs.

The Leadership Development Committee is assessing the needs and opportunities of members, exploring the leadership education environment for physicians in the field, and identifying core competencies related to leadership development. Together with the Hospice and Palliative Nurses Association (HPNA), the committee created a session for the 2012 Annual Assembly that focused on conflict resolution and was attended by nearly 700 people, demonstrating the need for this type of programming.

The One-on-One Mentoring Program afforded 21 mentormentee pairs the opportunity to meet during the Annual Assembly and discuss issues related to professional development; clinical, educational, investigative, and administrative career paths; writing grants and papers; and balancing family and work priorities.

The Mid-Career Training Task Force is planning a workforce summit, which will take place in August 2012. Ongoing discussions continue with the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM) regarding potential pilot training experiences for mid-career physicians.

The Fellowship Grant Task Force was invited to submit a grant application to The Fan Fox and Leslie R. Samuels Foundation of New York. The successful submission extends the fellowship funding program to training programs within the Greater New York City region, an extension of The Hearst Foundations Aging Initiative. See full article on p. 22.

Advance Knowledge and Competence
Tim Holder, MD FAAFP, chair, Education & Training Strategic Coordinating Committee

By all accounts, the 2012 AAHPM & HPNA Annual Assembly was a resounding success. Special thanks to Chairs Rodney Tucker, MD MMM FAAHPM, and Constance Dahlin, APRN-BC ACHPN FAAN FPCN, for their leadership (see pp. 8-9 for photos and updates about the meeting).

UNIPAC: A Resource for Hospice and Palliative Care Professionals, 4th edition, edited by Porter Storey, MD FACP FAAHPM, debuted at the 2012 Annual Assembly. Introduced in this edition are amplifire online confidence-based learning modules designed to not only test users’ knowledge of the UNIPAC material but also their level of confidence in that knowledge. The books and learning modules are available for purchase at aahpm.org; click the Shop tab.

The organizing board of the Hospice Medical Director Certification Board was named in early 2012 and includes Gail Austin Cooney, MD FAAHPM (chair); David McGrew, MD FAAHPM (treasurer); Kimberly Bower, MD; Bruce H. Chamberlain, MD FACP FAAHPM; John F. Manfredonia, DO FACOFP FAAHPM; Brian Murphy, MD MBA; and Tanya Stewart, MD FAAHPM. At its first meeting, the board accepted a start-up grant from AAHPM and approved a management plan that includes Sally Weir serving as executive director.

Past President Ron Crossno, MD FAAFP FAAHPM, and Director of Education Julie Bruno, MSW LCSW, participated in a curriculum development meeting for Collaborative for REMS Education (CO*RE), a strategic collaborative initiative designed to improve the safe and efficient prescription of pain medications, including long-acting opioids. Their focus is on increasing knowledge of treatment options, improving counseling skills and prescriber accountability, and addressing US Food and Drug Administration Risk Evaluation and Mitigation Strategies (REMS) for primary care providers, pain medicine specialists, nurses, nurse practitioners, physician assistants, pharmacists, and other members of the healthcare team. The Academy has been an advocate for addressing both acute and chronic pain, individualized needs of the patient, and special vulnerable populations while balancing the increased concerns for addiction and diversion.

Promote Quality of Care and Evidence-Based Practice
Sydney Dy, MD, chair, Quality and Research Strategic Coordinating Committee

The Quality and Research Strategic Coordinating Committee is developing a plan to chart the Academy’s quality activities over the next several years, focusing on increased collaboration and integration with AAHPM’s education activities.

The Quality Task Force worked with leadership of the Heart Failure SIG to formulate a recommendation to endorse a quality measure report developed by the American College of Cardiology Foundation (ACCF) and the American Heart Association (AHA) as part of the American Medical Association Physician Consortium for Performance Improvement measure set. The ACCF and the AHA are publishing a paper explaining the development of those measures, and AAHPM was listed in the article as a supporting organization.

Increase Advocacy and Awareness
Steven Radwany, MD FAAHPM, chair, Advocacy and Awareness Strategic Coordinating Committee

AAHPM now has more than 2,100 followers on Twitter thanks to brisk activity during the Annual Assembly, which increased nearly 300% from last year’s meeting (see related article on pp. 8-9). Facebook also continues to be a popular place for fans and followers to find news from AAHPM (photos from the 2012 Annual Assembly have recently been posted). The Academy’s three LinkedIn groups (general, hospice medical directors, and hospice and palliative medicine board preparation) also provide forums for many conversations to take place.

Hospice and Palliative Medicine SmartBrief is an excellent source of news for members and others interested in the .specialty. Editors handpick key articles from hundreds of publications, summarize them, and provide direct links to the original sources. This twice-weekly publication is distributed to more than 6,500 subscribers. Encourage your colleagues to subscribe at smartbriefs.com/aahpm.

Four scholarships were awarded to physicians from developing countries to attend the 2012 Annual Assembly: Senbeta Abdissa, MD, Ethiopia; Frank Manase, MD MSc, Tanzania; Tonia Oneyeka, MD, Nigeria; and Mariam Velijanashvelli, MD, Georgia.

The Public Policy Committee continues to track a variety of policy developments, reviewing state and federal issues on its monthly calls. Select members have worked to refine a forthcoming member survey on drug shortages. The Committee’s Emerging Payment and Delivery Models Working Group will be moving ahead with its examination of accountable care organization rules and opportunities for the field and plans to prepare a white paper on this topic.

AAHPM was one of 34 Council of Medical Specialty Societies (CMSS) members to sign a joint letter to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services commenting on a proposed rule to implement the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. CMSS supports the legislation, but signatories asked for the rule to be clarified to avoid unintended consequences in areas related to accredited and certified continuing medical education, including where the rule addresses direct compensation received by a physician serving as a faculty member or as speaker for a medical education program and indirect payments from a third party.

AAHPM continues to be well represented in other organizations, including the following groups.

The National Coalition for Hospice and Palliative Care is chaired by AAHPM President Timothy E. Quill, MD FACP FAAHPM, and supported by Executive Director/ CEO Steve Smith, MS CAE. Representatives from the coalition’s organizations have monthly conference calls and hold additional meetings as needed.

AAHPM senior staff members and board leaders have been invited to participate in a variety of exploratory calls and meetings with groups that are interested in collaboration, including the ABIM Foundation, the American College of Emergency Physicians, and the American Academy of Home Care Physicians.

AAHPM is grateful for the many volunteers who continue to provide the leadership and guidance needed to direct the programs and activities of the Academy.