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July 1, 2008

DCPCA; College of Physicians; Denis Harris Takes in Nats


The DC Primary Care Association's image as a David fighting Goliaths was challenged last week when they held their annual awards party . . . and all the goliaths showed up! The 100-person crowd included DC Dept. of Health director Pierre Vigilance. As for the actual party, out of respect for her position, we will neither confirm nor deny that DCPCA head Sharon Baskerville (+) Dixie music = great moves on the dance floor.


Here's Pierre flanked by DoH's Chief Medical Officer Walter Faggett and award recipient Bailus Walker from Howard University. Pierre, still wary of Bisnow's wheat bread expos? (all in good fun) stuck by the vegetable tray while we were around. He says DoH has stuck by DCPCA by helping fund two recent tech projects: One will increase the adoption of electronic medical records and the other is the DC Regional Health Information Organization (RHIO), connecting six health centers with G'town and Washington Hospital Center. Bailus just got back from Hawaii where he studied toxic substances. He assured us it was private work and not the worst cruise excursion ever.


Mary's Center president Maria G?mez and DCPCA CEO Sharon Baskerville mingle before the ceremony. Maria earned the evening's top honors, the Salmon Award for an extraordinary career swimming upstream. She tells us Mary's Center opened a new Silver Spring location in May, partnering with Washington Adventist, because that's where the population is moving. Sharon emceed the evening with her usual panache, mixing heartfelt thank you's with the recognition that some of the people that "salmon" like Maria had to jump over "are in this room." Salmon, by the way, was not on the menu for the evening.


Microsoft Health Solutions' Kelley Malott, National Institute for Medical Informatics Ed Barthell, and DCPCA IT Director Jim Costello. Kelley says Microsoft is providing all the technical solutions for the DC RHIO through their Microsoft Amalga system. Jim says he'll be busy because three more hospitals (GW, Howard, and Providence) are in serious talks to join the organization as well.


GP Larry Klein stepped aside this month after 4 years as Governor of the DC Chapter of the American College of Physicians, so yesterday we stopped by his 14-member practice, Foxhall Internists, to see if he gets to keep his Secret Service protection. Highlights of his leadership of 2000-member chapter include two educational ventures: The ACP expanded use of their Medical Knowledge Self-Assessment Program packets to help docs prepare for their 10-year board recertification. These substitute for the packets from the American Board of Internal Medicine (the folks who write the tests) which many people complained were out-of-date. The DC chapter also created Steps To Success, a "career day" for medical students (residents and students can also join the ACP) giving them a chance to observe and question practitioners.


These gifts from patients include one from a CIA agent. Larry declined to tell us more cause then he'd have to kill us. (Then revive us, simply out of habit.) Larry earned national notice for successfully pushing local resolutions all the way up to the national ACP Board of Regents on multiple occasions, but he's prouder of the group as a whole: They have more Master status members, recognizing outstanding career accomplishment, than any other chapter. Larry's currently only at Fellow status, but give the guy a break: He's been full tilt since leaving the faculty of Johns Hopkins in 1984, including a turn as president of the local American Society of Internal Medicine chapter before it merged with the ACP.


Earlier this month, Larry practiced enjoying his forthcoming free time.  He's just back from a European vacation celebrating his daughter's graduation. And while he sensed the Sistine Chapel didn't do much for his 12-year-old son, it was also Larry's first trip outside North America, and, provided the Euro declines some day, probably not his last.


We met up with one of our favorite orthopedic surgeons, Foxhall and Sibley-based Denis Harris, at the Nats game Saturday night. Actually, as you can tell, Denis is just the prop in this picture for lovely wife Lauren. Although centerfield star Lastings Milledge was injured in the third inning trying to stop a triple off the wall, Denis remained calm because: a) it was a groin injury, whereas he does hips and knees; and b) he doesn't do Nats duty, but just enjoys the Presidential Club like a regular civilian. 

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