Volume 7                                                                           Issue 8
Southeast News
News from the Southeastern Delegation to the AMA
Dear Colleagues
A little SED news for you all as we get ready for the year-end Holidays. We look forward to seeing you all again in six months. This is our usual Post Meeting Summary.

Thanks for your help and support as we continue to develop and improve the SED.

Enjoy the Holiday season and find time to relax and treasure family,

Claudette Dalton, MD (VA), Chair, SE Delegation to AMA
John Poole, MD (NJ), Chair-elect, SE Delegation to the AMA
Bill Clark, MD (GA), Immediate Past Chair, SE Delegation to AMA
Stephen Imbeau, MD (SC), Editor, Southeast News

2019 American Medical Association Interim Meeting

Continuing a recent trend, the AMA 2019 Interim Meeting in San Diego was heavily weighted toward educational sessions. This year there were 38 educational sessions and two-thirds awarded CME credit hours. The offerings were richly diverse, scattered among the Three Pillars of the AMA; namely, 1) Public Health, 2) Physician success, health and satisfaction and 3) Improving Medical Education.

The SED had a good convention.  Drs. Jesse Ehrenfeld, Patrice Harris and Bruce Scott showed outstanding leadership – also rising stars in the greater world out there. Dr. Gerry Harmon is coming on to soon be AMA President-elect. Our own SED Chair, Claudette Dalton, skillfully steered the SED ship of state.  The SED Delegation retains the Public Member seat on the AMA Board of Trustees with the election of Harris Pastides, PhD from Columbia, South Carolina. Several SED physicians and medical executives were also honored including Dr Otis Webb Brawley, from Johns Hopkins, the Distinguished Service Award; Dr Bill Hester of Florence, South Carolina, the coveted Benjamin Rush Award, the first time ever given to a physician from South Carolina; and William Huckabay, former executive director of the Shreveport Medical Society in Louisiana, one of the Life Time Achievement Awards.

There were three major newsworthy events at the Meeting: 1) The AMA will do whatever it takes to protect the interests of the Residents and Fellows discharged from the Hahnemann University Hospitals, 2) the AMA continues it steadfast resistance to “Medicare for All” preferring to continue to work to improve or “fix” the Patient Protection Act (or the Affordable Care Act that most of us still call “Obamacare”) and 3) the AMA will take a primarily anti-Vaping stance, in particular to stand by FDA attempts to regulate the Vaping manufactures and distributors and to support banning any product not FDA approved.

The Philadelphia situation is complex: about 570 residents and fellows suddenly were without jobs, some bereft of housing, without malpractice insurance and health insurance with the closure of the Hahnemann Hospital and Schools as its legal ownership group declared its Philadelphia entity bankrupt in late summer and early fall of 2019. Ironically, without malpractice insurance the doctors can’t get new local jobs. The whole saga will probably become the subject of novels and textbooks as Hahnemann at first successfully ventured into the mega corporate and venture capital world in about the year 2000 or earlier, but then fell victim to corporate leveraged buy outs, oversized debt, intrigue, mismanagement, etc..; the sad truth is that if you sell yourself to a mega corporation, you may later become irrelevant or expendable to them. The most recent owners have been trying to “sell” the Hahnemann medical residents and have had purchase interest from other large medical or holding corporations. The City or County may try to buy out what’s left to keep the Hospital and its medical and support staff including the residents, in town with good jobs. What a world! Anyway, the AMA will do its best to help the residents and fellows and protect their interests both with the US and local Governments and the Corporate Masters.

Drs. Gribbin and Reha provide their usual great reports and scorecard on the Resolutions. You can read their Resolution Report here and Scorecard here.

Tribute to Joseph Gutierrez, MD

The SED Board of Directors acknowledged the many years of service of Dr. Joe Gutierrez, a retired neurosurgeon from DC. Dr Gutierrez is a past Chair of the SED and has served organized medicine for over 40 years, both locally, for his Speciality and at AMA. His experience will be missed.

Dr Harmon (Major General, USAF, Retired) from the AMA Board of Trustees presented Dr Gutierrez (Commander, USN, Retired) with one of his personal challenge coins for his service to the US Armed Forces. The Challenge Coin Tradition is where senior military leaders often present their coins as gifts to foreign dignitaries or civilian VIPs.  

Dr. Claudette Dalton has composed a Tribute Resolution to Dr. Gutierrez, which you can read here .
Boyce G. Tollison, MD

July 16, 1941 – October 27, 2019

The SED has lost a valuable member.

Dr Boyce Tollison died October 27, 2019 after a long struggle against lymphoma. He was on the Board of Directors of the Southeastern Delegation to the AMA (2006 to 2017) in his role as an Alternate Delegate and then Delegate from South Carolina when serving as the Chair of the South Carolina Delegation to AMA.

His achievements and participation as an important, thoughtful leader in Organized Medicine at all levels are significant. He was past President of the South Carolina Medical Society (2003), past President of the American Academy of Family Physicians (1993), Chair of the South Carolina Delegation to AMA (2015-2017) and Chair of the Organization of State Medical Society Presidents (2014-2015).

In addition to all this, he found quality time for his family and church. He loved the regular hunting and fishing trips with his sons, talking about the trips with pleasure both long before and after. He was beloved by his patients and community as a family physician in small town Easley, South Carolina. He always had a smile on his face and a twinkle in his eye. He had a certain natural gravitas of wisdom.

Governor Mark Sanford awarded Boyce the prestigious and coveted Order of the Palmetto (2008), the highest civilian honor from the State of South Carolina.

The Southeastern Delegation extends its deepest sympathy to his wife, Judy, three sons Michael, Brian, and Tim, his mother, Evelyn Tollison and his extended family.

He will be missed.

Southeastern Delegation to the AMA, Inc.
Karen A. Foy
Executive Director
371 Marshside Drive North
St. Augustine, FL 32080