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May 2015

President's Letter

It’s your chapter!

I am proud to represent the emergency physicians in our state – Washington ACEP has never been stronger.  In April, we met for our annual Summit-to-Sound conference, the premier emergency medicine educational meeting in the Northwest.  It amazes me how it gets even better year-after-year.  We had incredible speakers and workshops, a wonderful venue, and we were able to offer a state-of-the-art cadaver lab.  Attendance was at an all-time high; we had a sold-out exhibition hall, and our participants enjoyed world-class instruction and meaningful networking opportunities in our very own destination city, Seattle.

This month, many from our chapter participated in ACEP’s Legislative Advocacy Conference and Leadership Summit in Washington, D.C.  It was our best representation ever.  Members from all over our state joined with others from across the country in our nation’s capitol to discuss issues affecting us and our patients.  We had an opportunity to meet with several of our elected leaders and their staff to advocate for causes important to emergency medicine.  Those who attend often describe it as the best professional meeting ACEP offers.

Our chapter has accomplished much in recent years.  We were integral in stopping a flawed state policy that would have restricted access to emergency care for some of our most vulnerable patients, and, in the process, saved Washington state more than $30 million.  We helped expand the information exchange system and worked to integrate it with the prescription monitoring program.   We continue to take on the issues of psychiatric boarding and prescription drug abuse, and we are preparing for the changing models of health care delivery and finance.  We are recognized nationally for our engagement and accomplishments.  Moving forward, we also need to address the prevalence of physician burnout and help our members find satisfaction, purpose, and longevity in their careers.

Our strength is in our members.  There are numerous opportunities for you to be involved and make a real impact on our profession.  We have committees on legislative advocacy, education, and information technology on which you can serve.  We are starting a professional development program for physicians at all stages of their careers looking for expanded opportunities in leadership, advocacy, and service.  Participation in the Chapter is rewarding and enjoyable, and it doesn’t have to be intimidating or overwhelming.  Whatever your interest in emergency medicine, we have a place for you.  I look forward to serving you this year as your president.  With your involvement, our future is bright.

John Matheson, MD, FACEP
WA-ACEP President



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Washington’s Kang is an ACEP BoD Candidate

Congratulations to Christopher Kang, MD, FACEP who was named as a candidate for a position on the American College of Emergency Physicians’ National Board of Directors. The BoD election will be held Sunday, Oct. 25 in Boston, prior to ACEP15.

Chris’ accomplishments and experience within WA-ACEP and at the national level are extensive, and speak to his innate ability to lead effectively from the front as well as behind the scenes.  As WA-ACEP President from 2013-2014, he demonstrated impeccable leadership skills during a very active period in our state, serving as a key organizer for one of the most successful national ACEP scientific assemblies (ACEP13), and as champion for several important issues that have subsequently played out on the national scene such as Psychiatric Boarding, narcotic overdose monitoring and appropriate Medicaid Reimbursement. 

Chris has served at a national level in several roles:

  • Member of five different sections
  • Member of two committees, including National Chapter Relations
  • Medical director for the Community Healthcare Disaster Preparedness Assessment Project, which was an ACEP/DHS grant project
  • Chair-elect for the Disaster Medicine Section
  • Chair of the Disaster Preparedness and Response Committee
  • Member Council Reference Committee
  • Member, Council Steering Committee

Chris is trusted by all who know him, and brings a sincerity and humility to everything he does.  He is always looking at ways to make others shine; rarely seeks personal credit, and always finds a way to help others benefit from his efforts. 

WA-ACEP is proud of Chris and looks forward to his many years of service to the College.

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2015 Annual Meeting Wrap Up

More than 175 emergency medicine providers and nearly 40 vendors joined WA-ACEP for the 2015 Summit to Sound April 22-24 in Seattle. WA-ACEP hosted national speakers and guests, including ACEP President Dr. Michael Gerardi, as well as Drs. Michael Brown, Michael Granovsky and Peter Pang. Other VIPs in attendance were ACEP staff members Dawn Scrofano, Chapter Services Manager; and Sonja Montgomery, Governance Operations Director.

Topics covered included resuscitation, acute heart failure, sepsis, stroke, pulmonary embolism, 2015 coding and billing issues, pediatrics, dermatology, and Washington healthcare legislation. A special Journal Club session entitled Naloxone Programs in the Community and Their Success to Decrease Overdoses from Opioids, was presented and moderated by WA-ACEP Resident Liaison, Dr. Hayes Wong.

This year, two pre-conference workshops were offered on Wednesday, April 22. More than 40 attendees joined Teleflex for a High Risk Procedures Cadavers Lab expertly organized by Drs. Jay Baker and Jeremy Branzetti. And back by popular demand, the crew from Madigan – led by Drs. Stacey Good and Jeremy Johnson – offered another year of successful ultrasound instruction.

WA-ACEP would like to thank the 2015 Summit to Sound Planning Committee for their thoughtful work on the meeting: Drs. Steve Anderson, Enrique Enguidanos, Chris Kang, Heather Marshall and Pat Solari (Program Chair).

Missed the meeting? Here’s what attendees said:

“I liked each of the sessions I attended.  Took home some increased knowledge which is always my goal when attending conferences.  The Wednesday class on starting IVs with ultrasound was especially good.”

“I am an emergency nurse and found the conference to be applicable and am thankful for the opportunity to participate.”

“Excellent diversity of presentations.”

“Great job, best conference yet.”

How will attending the 2015 Summit to Sound change your practice?

“I will better recognize pediatric dermatologic conditions.”

“Call IR for any stroke with large vessel occlusion within 6 hours of onset.”

“Question Propofol use in cardiac arrest patients.”

“Start Vasopressors earlier in septic shock.”

Mark your calendar: The 2016 Summit to Sound will be held April 27-29 at the Bell Harbor in Seattle.

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Wayne Recognized at Summit to Sound

WA-ACEP presented Marv Wayne, MD, FACEP, FAAEM, FAHA with the 2015 Nancy Auer Meritorious Achievement Award April 23 during the Summit to Sound meeting.

The Nancy Auer Meritorious Award recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond the norm in emergency medicine to improve the quality of patient care and support the efforts of the chapter.

“Dr. Wayne’s thoughtful leadership and innovative thinking have contributed greatly to Emergency Medicine and the entire practice,” said Enrique Enguidanos, MD, Immediate Past President of the WA-ACEP. “He is most deserving of this honor and we are grateful for his continued leadership to our specialty.”

Wayne received his medical degree from the University of Michigan.  After a fellowship at St. Bartholomew's Hospital in London and a surgical residency at the University of Colorado, Wayne served as a combat surgeon during the Vietnam War. During his military stint, Wayne achieved the rank of major and received a bronze star for removing a live grenade from a soldier.  In Vietnam and stateside at Fort Carson, Colo., he got his first real taste of US Emergency Medicine.

Following the military, Wayne completed a fellowship in surgery at the Virginia Mason Medical Center in Seattle.  In 1974, he moved to Bellingham, Wash., and became the Medical Program Director for the Emergency Medical Services (EMS) System for Bellingham and Whatcom County and has served in that capacity for the last 41 years. He is an attending in the Emergency Department at PeaceHealth St. Joseph Medical Center Bellingham, Wash.  Additionally, he is an associate clinical professor at the University of Washington and formerly was an assistant clinical professor at Yale University.  He serves as a member of numerous local, state, national and international organizations on Emergency Medicine and Emergency Medical Services.  He lectures nationally and internationally and has helped establish the specialty of Emergency Medicine throughout the world, including Eastern Europe and the People’s Republic of China.

In 2008, Wayne was named an American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) “Hero of Emergency Medicine” and in 2010 received the ACEP award for “Outstanding Contribution to EMS.”  Dr. Wayne will receive the WA-ACEP award during the group’s annual meeting April 23 in Seattle.

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2015 Guardian of Emergency Medicine Awards

Reporters Carol Ostrom of The Seattle Times and Sean Robinson from Tacoma News Tribune received the WA-ACEP Guardian of Emergency Medicine Award April 24 for their work highlighting issues faced by emergency medicine practitioners and patients.

Ostrom’s in-depth exploration, exhaustive search for the facts, and willingness to dig into the challenging medical issues were recognized in her excellent coverage of Washington State's flawed three-visit rule and subsequent successful partnership on the ER is for Emergencies campaign. With skill and expertise, Ostrom covered the challenges of Emergency Medicine and onerous regulations by the state that threatened patient care. Ostrom retired from The Times in October 2014.

Robinson received the award for his work covering the challenges of mental health and shedding light on a much-neglected population that has been the victim of failed funding by the State of Washington. In covering the ongoing limitations in the mental health system and the plight of the plaintiffs in the In re: Detention of DW case, Robinson brought much needed attention to the challenges in caring for the mentally ill in Washington State. This population is often difficult to find, not interested in coverage, and reticent with the challenges they face for fear of even less access. Yet with Robinson’s gentle, but factual, approach, his coverage helped bring the challenges to life and encourage legislators to step forward and begin to address a broken mental health system.

The Guardian of Emergency Medicine Award recognizes individuals who have gone above and beyond the norm to protect the safety net of emergency medicine, improve the quality of patient care delivery, and work to support the efforts of WA-ACEP.

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WA-ACEP Leaders Visit the Other Washington

The Washington Chapter sent more representatives to the ACEP legislative meeting in Washington, DC than ever before. Seventeen WA-ACEP members attended a dozen meetings May 3-6 with state legislators to advocate for emergency medicine. Issues discussed included EMTALA-related coverage for ED patient consultants, mental health boarding and care, research funding, trauma care coordination, and graduate medical education.

Many thanks to all the WA-ACEP members who took time out of their schedules to represent the chapter!

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Congratulations to Hayes Wong

Dr. Hayes Wong, WA-ACEP Resident Liaison, was awarded the 2015 Global Opportunities in Health Fellowship from the University of Washington. Hayes’ work will focus on evaluating the implementation of the Foreign Medical Teams Initiative during the Ebola response and other humanitarian emergencies at the World Health Organization in Geneva, Switzerland.

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President Obama Signs SGR Repeal Legislation

For 13 years, ACEP along with the American Medical Association and other physician organizations have urged Congress to repeal the fundamentally flawed Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) formula used to reimburse physicians for their Medicare services. After numerous "Calls for Action," Leadership and Advocacy Conference meetings, ED visits, in-District meetings, calls, advocacy efforts by the Public Affairs staff in D.C., and 17 temporary patches to avert physician payment cuts, the U.S. Congress overwhelmingly approved legislation to repeal the SGR and replace it with a system that rewards quality, efficiency and innovation. The House passed the bill, H.R. 2, the Medicare Access and CHIP Reauthorization Act (MACRA), on March 26 by a vote of 392-37 and the Senate approved the bill on Tuesday night by a vote of 92-8. President Obama signed the bill into law April 16.

Prior to the House vote, ACEP and 47 of its chapters joined more than 700 other medical associations in signing an AMA-drafted letter urging House Speaker John Boehner to repeal the flawed Medicare physician reimbursement formula. ACEP also conducted a national teleforum conference call with members to brief them on the status of the legislation and encourage them to contact their lawmakers in support of the SGR repeal.

The Senate voted on six amendments (all of which failed) to modify H.R. 2, including an extension of CHIP funding for an additional two years, requiring the bill’s cost to be fully off-set, and permanently ending the Medicare cap on therapy services, among others. While some of these amendments had merit and were difficult to vote against, ACEP appreciates the Senate’s willingness to work together to defeat these amendments, thereby allowing the bill to be sent to the president for his signature as quickly as possible.

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Clinical News

Mouthguard Technology May Help Evaluate and Treat Traumatic Brain Injury in Sports.
A new athletic mouthguard under development by a partnership involving Louisiana State University (LSU) could have a future impact emergency medicine’s treatment of traumatic brain injuries caused by sports. Read More

Measles Outbreak Highlights the Need for Infectious Disease Containment Protocols in the Emergency Department
Emergency physicians and emergency department leaders are challenged to develop a rational and consistent approach to patients with potential infectious diseases. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) posted a nationwide health advisory in an effort to educate clinicians about a widespread outbreak of the measles. Read More

CME Article: Laceration or Incised Wound: Know the Difference
The Case: A 24-year-old male presents to the emergency department sustaining the wound shown in Figure 1 from a broken beer bottle. He states that someone broke the bottle and cut him with it. What is the correct discharge diagnosis for the chart? Read More

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Calendar of Events

Crisis Standards of Care Workshop

The Northwest Healthcare Response Network and the Washington State Department of Health are hosting a Crisis Standards of Care workshop in Spokane.

Spokane – featuring WA State Health Officer, Kathy Lofy, MD
Monday, June 1, 10 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Providence Sacred Heart Medical Center
For more information, please email Britt Mennen.

Doctors without Borders/Medecins sans Frontieres Recruitment Session
June 4, 2015 at 7 pm
Belltown Community Center
Multi-Purpose Room
415 Bell St
Seattle, WA

Oct. 26-29, 2015
Boston, MA

2015 Emergency Medicine Leadership Summit
Wednesday, Nov. 4, 2015
The Conference Center at Seattle Tacoma International Airport

2016 WA-ACEP Summit to Sound
April 27-29
Bell Harbor Conference Center
Seattle, WA

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Washington ACEP Board

John Matheson, MD, FACEP
Enrique Enguidanos MD, FACEP
Past President
Nathan Schlicher, MD, JD FACEP
President Elect
Patrick Solari, MD, FACEP

Cameron Buck, MD, FACEP
Russ Carlisle, MD, FACEP
Brian Livingston, MD, FACEP
Heather Marshall, MD, FACEP
Steven Mitchell, MD, FACEP
Darin Neven, MD
Susan Stern, MD
Jennifer L'Hommedieu Stankus, MD, JD
Liam Yore, MD, FACEP
Julianna Yu, MD

Stephen Anderson MD FACEP
Past President (Non voting)
Christopher Kang MD FACEP
Past President (Non Voting)
Hayes Wong, MD
Resident Liaison

2001 Sixth Avenue
Suite 2700
Seattle, WA 98121

(206) 441-9762 ext. 3038