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PRESIDENT'S COLUMN

Scholar's Program: The time to give is now
By David C. Steffens, MD, MHS, AAGP President
Did you know that our AAGP family is in possession of a remarkable heirloom? And what is truly amazing is that when we bestow this heirloom on worthy recipients, several magical things happen. Our family grows. Our field is enhanced. We develop new relationships. And a new generation of givers emerges.

This introduction may seem over the top, but in fact, the process of supporting the Scholars Program through the Scholars Fund does bring about these results. Since 2010, our donations supporting scholars at the last four Annual Meetings have nearly quadrupled. At the 2013 meeting in Los Angeles, we supported a record 35 scholars, providing registration, lodging, travel and a unique program at the meeting.
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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Medical Professional Liability Insurance
PRMS manages The Psychiatrists’ Program, a full-service medical professional liability insurance program. Safeguard your practice with in-house claims services and psychiatric-specific risk management resources, including expert advice on call. Coverage for administrative defense and forensic services is included. Telepsychiatry coverage available. Call (800) 245-3333 or visit www.psychprogram.com to learn more.
 


Submissions for AAGP's 2014 Annual Meeting due Tuesday, June 11
AAGP
Session and case presentation submissions for AAGP's 2014 Annual Meeting are due Tuesday, June 11. AAGP is accepting proposals for sessions, case presentations, and posters for the 2014 Annual Meeting to be held March 14-17 in Orlando, Fla., at the Renaissance Orlando at SeaWorld®. Submit your innovative and interactive programs targeted towards clinicians, researchers, and educators. Clinicians and investigators in all arenas of geriatric psychiatry, psychology, neurology, medicine, nursing, social work, and other related disciplines are encouraged to submit abstracts of original work for presentation at the AAGP 2014 Annual Meeting. Submit online at www.AAGPmeeting.org.
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AAGP Call for Nominations: Director and officer positions
AAGP
The AAGP Nominations Committee is seeking qualified candidates to run for director and officer positions in the 2013 election. All candidates must have a minimum of three years in the organization to be eligible to run. Officer positions are open to psychiatrist members and retired members. One non-psychiatrist board director position is open this year. Those interested in being considered for either a director or officer position are encouraged to submit a completed application to the Nominations Committee as described below.

For Board of Directors:
  • Term of service: Three years (2014-2017)
    1 Member (non-psychiatrist) position open in 2014
For Officer Positions:
  • President-Elect
    Term of service: A total of three years; successive one-year terms as president-elect, president, and immediate past president.
  • Secretary/Treasurer-Elect
    Term of service: A total of two years; successive one-year terms as secretary/treasurer-elect and secretary/treasurer.
To apply for a director or officer position: Go online for an application. Send your completed application to AAGP by mail or email by July 1.

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PRODUCT SHOWCASE
  Senior PsychCare (SPC) "Leaders in the Mental Health of Seniors"
  • Salary $200,000
  • Flexible schedules - minimal call or weekends
  • EMR - computers and printers provided to all professionals
  • Full benefits including medical, dental, vision, CME, vacation, sick time, travel reimbursement, malpractice
  • Relocation is provided
  • SIGN ON BONUS $25,000 paid 50% in 90 days and 50% in 180 days. MUST SIGN ON FOR 1 YEAR. APPLICANTS must apply for employment before May 2013

  • Please visit our website www.spchealth.com or email larryw@spchealth.com
     


    Welcome, new members!
    AAGP
    More than 100 individuals joined AAGP in 2013, from across the United States, and Canada, the United Kingdom, Japan, China, and Australia. See the list of new members. And learn who is an AAGP member in your community by using the Member Directory on AAGPonline.org in the top menu bar.
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    Members: What's new?
    AAGP
    Do you have news to share with the AAGP community? Submit news about awards, career moves, research, and publications to kmcduffie@AAGPonline.org for consideration for AAGP eNews. This publication is a convenient way to keep each other informed.

    See previous issues online here.

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      PRODUCT SHOWCASES
    Department of Veterans Affairs

    The Department of Veterans Affairs focuses on recruiting healthcare professionals and students throughout the US to provide the best care for our veterans. Promoting a diverse workforce and offering a wide array of employment benefits, scholarships and retention initiatives, the VA is a leader in our nation’s health care industry.
    Behavior Imaging Solutions

    Behavior Imaging Solutions, formerly Caring Technologies Inc, develops solutions to facilitate the observational, analytical and collaborative needs of Behavioral Healthcare and Special Education professionals.
    Credible Behavioral Healthcare Software

    Credible Behavioral Health Enterprise Software provides secure, proven, easy to use software for clinic, community, residential, and mobile care providers across the United States. Credible's commitment to innovation, ease of use and optimization runs throughout our software.


    House committee continues to craft Medicare physician payment reform legislation
    On May 28, the House Committee on Energy and Commerce unveiled draft legislation to repeal the current Sustainable Growth Rate system and replace it with a more fair and stable system of physician reimbursement in the Medicare program. The draft legislation, intended for discussion purposes, is the latest step in the process to reform the system and reward providers for delivering high quality, efficient health care. The draft legislation would repeal SGR and replace it with an improved fee-for-service system in which providers — working with the secretary of the Department of Health and Human Services — would develop quality measures that will lead to better care in a more efficient manner. Providers will also have the option of leaving the fee-for-service system and opt instead for new ways of delivering care.

    In addition to the House Energy and Commerce Committee, the House Ways and Means Committee and Senate Finance Committee are also currently working on this issue. Enthusiasm for fixing Medicare's flawed physician payment system has increased dramatically this year, since the Congressional Budget Office reduced its estimated cost to reform it by more than $100 billion.

    Enacted in 1997 as part of the Balanced Budget Act, the SGR has been a source of continued concern for physicians who serve Medicare beneficiaries and for the beneficiaries themselves. Long recognized as an imperfect process, Congress has repeatedly had to take action to avert substantial Medicare reimbursement rate cuts, which could result in fewer physicians being able to serve Medicare patients.

    AAGP is continuing to work with other physician organizations to reform the Medicare payment system on a permanent basis and is providing feedback to congressional committees and others. There needs to be a permanent solution to this problem in order to preserve Medicare beneficiaries' access to care and to provide for fair reimbursement for all practitioners under the Medicare system.

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    SAMHSA's first chief medical officer to begin in June
    The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration has appointed Elinore F. McCance-Katz, MD, as its first-ever chief medical officer, beginning on June 3. In this capacity, she will provide medical-scientific expertise to SAMHSA's major behavioral health efforts, including those promoting the prevention of mental illnesses and substance use disorders, as well as the treatment and recovery of people living with these conditions.

    Dr. McCance-Katz will also work with leading scientists in the field of behavioral health to ensure that SAMHSA advances effective, state-of-the-art, evidence-based approaches to promoting the nation's behavioral health services. In addition, she will represent SAMHSA on key departmental groups requiring medical expertise and work with stakeholder groups on clinical issues.

    "As SAMHSA's Chief Medical Officer, Ellie will greatly enhance SAMHSA's ability to bring the best available medical science and clinical perspective to bear in promoting all aspects of the national's behavioral health," said SAMHSA Administrator Pamela Hyde. "Her widely respected expertise, extensive experience, and passion for applying science to help people make her the perfect choice to start this new, critically important position at SAMHSA."

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    Hartford Foundation awards grants to improve depression care
    To improve depression care in low-income and medically underserved communities, the John A. Hartford Foundation, working with the federal Social Innovation Fund, is awarding five grants totaling $1.94 million to non-profit community health centers in Washington, Wyoming, Alaska, and Montana. The grants will help the centers implement Project IMPACT, an evidence-based depression care model offered by the University of Washington that doubles the benefits of usual depression treatment. Read more here.
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    Members: What's new?
    AAGP
    Do you have news to share with the AAGP community? Submit news about awards, career moves, research, and publications to kmcduffie@AAGPonline.org for consideration for AAGP eNews.

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    read more
    The Long Goodbye: An interview with author Patti Davis
    By Marc E. Agronin, MD
    In her book "The Long Goodbye" (Knopf, 2004), author Patti Davis, daughter of former U.S. President Ronald Reagan, reflects on her father's struggle with Alzheimer's disease, describing it as a "thief that steals a human being like nothing else can.

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    2 new AD reports
    AAGP
    Two separate reports were released recently by the Alzheimer's Association and the RAND Corporation on the prevalence and cost of Alzheimer's disease.

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    INDUSTRY NEWS


    Study: Dementia risk raised 35 percent by general anesthesia
    Bloomberg
    Older people who undergo general anesthesia for major surgery have a 35 percent higher risk of developing dementia later in life, according to a French study. The findings are based on information from the Three-City Study, which included thousands of people age 65 and older in Bordeaux, Dijon and Montpellier starting in 1999. In a subpopulation of 7,008 citizens, 632 participants developed dementia over the course of the study, and those patients were more likely to have had general anesthesia than those who didn't develop mental deterioration.
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    With Alzheimer's comes empathy
    National Geographic
    When you hear Alzheimer's, you probably think of memory loss, language problems, and general confusion. These cognitive symptoms of the degenerative brain disease are devastating, and so it makes sense that they get the most attention in the media and scientific community. Of course, the disease has emotional consequences, too. Some of these aren't the least bit surprising: depression, irritability, and agitation are expected as memory wanes and daily life becomes more difficult. But Alzheimer's brings other kinds of emotional changes that aren't as easily explained, according to a study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Researchers found for the first time that individuals with Alzheimer's show a high level of 'emotional contagion', the unconscious ability to mimic another person's emotions.
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    Findings could help develop new approaches to treat depression and memory loss in the elderly
    News-Medical.net
    Scientists have known for some time that exercise induces neurogenesis in a specific brain region, the hippocampus. However, until this study, the underlying mechanism was not fully understood. The hippocampus plays an important role in learning and in memory and is one of the brain regions where new neurons are generated throughout life.
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    Alzheimer's disease research gains momentum
    Medical Xpress
    Research conducted by Menzies Research Institute Tasmania, an institute of the University of Tasmania, is shedding new light on the biology of Alzheimer's disease, in particular a protein in the brain that is indirectly responsible for causing Alzheimer's disease.
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    Could antibodies or hormones slow brain damage from Alzheimer's?
    PsychCentral.com
    Scientists have discovered that certain antibodies may help slow the progression of Alzheimer's disease. Dr. Patricia Salinas of University College London, U.K., and her team focused on a protein called Dkk1, present in raised levels in the brains of people with Alzheimer's disease. Using brain samples from mice, the team looked at the progressive disintegration of synapses in the hippocampus when exposed to a protein called amyloid-beta, thought to be central to the development of Alzheimer's disease.
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    Impacts of caregiving on the health and quality of life of European carers
    Medical Xpress
    The impact that providing informal care to close relatives has on people's health and quality of life depends on where they live and their cultural and social background, according to research published by the Centre for Health Economics, University of York, U.K.
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