2009 Case Conference Presenters - Austin, TX

While a bit late I need to post these for historical reasons.  Make sure to get your submission in today November 3rd for next year's conference.

Cases presented in Austin in 2009 at the AAHPM Annual Assembly

DCD Or Organ Harvesting? Blurring The Line Between Life And Death With Pentobarbital
Dr. Anup Bhushan, VCU Health System

Interdisciplinary Management Of Suffering And Regression
Dr. Paul W. Walker, MD Anderson Cancer Center

Buprenorphine For Neuropathic Pain: Targeting Hyperalgesia
Dr. Raghava Induru, Cleveland Clinic Foundation

Palliative Challenges With An LVAD Patient
Dr. Lindy H. Landzaat, Massachusettes General Hospital

Exploring A Patient's Desire For Hastened Death
Dr. Robert A. Heyding, James J. Peters V.A. Medical Center

Caring For A Child With Trisomy 18: An Interdisciplinary Approach
Mr. Arden E. ODonnell,MPH, LCSW Childrens Hospital Boston

To Eat Or Not To Eat? Persistent Hypoglycemia In A Patient With Metatstatic Colorectal Cancer
Ms. Erin Zahradnik, BA, MS, University of Kansas SOM-Wichita

Crossing A Cultural Chasm; End Of Life Decision Making With A Liberian Refugee And Her Blind Husband
Ms. Marcia J. Buckley, APCHPN, Strong Hospital

Inadequate Pain Control In A Palliative Care Patient Due To Lack Of Communication Across Continuum Of Care
Dr. Maria C. Foy, PharmD, Abington Memorial Hospital
Tuesday, November 03, 2009

The PIT-SIG is on Facebook!

I don’t think I am alone when I say that the AAHPM Annual Assembly is an incredibly invigorating experience. The content this year was fantastic – I learned about the advanced management of delirium, got a fantastic update on what’s new in pain management, learned about palliative care in Africa, loved the state of the science talk as usual … I could go on and on.

What always stands out the most is the “buzz.” As a current fellow in infectious disease and a (hopefully) soon-to-be fellow in palliative care, I spent most of my time with other current or recent trainees. This group, which is the membership base for the PIT-SIG, has an incredible enthusiasm. There is an obvious desire to take care of each other, by sharing knowledge, serving as a sounding board, and providing opportunities for career development. At our official PIT-SIG meeting, we set a very ambitious agenda for the upcoming year.

I know that my challenge as PIT-SIG chair is to keep that enthusiasm going throughout the year. This year, we have a new strategy: Facebook.

Please join us on Facebook under the group “AAHPM Professionals in Training Special Interest Group.” We have already started to talk about some of our most important agenda items: networking and social events at AAHPM 2010, how to find a job, plans for this blog…to name a few.

See you there!
Tuesday, March 31, 2009

The New PIT-SIG Chair and Vice-Chair Say Hello

To all current and recent palliative medicine fellows; palliative medicine practitioners interested in helping trainees; medical students and residents considering a career in palliative medicine; or anyone else interested in learning more about what we do:

The American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine Professionals In Training Special Interest Group (PIT-SIG) is the professional organization for those just starting out in our field. At last week’s Annual Assembly, we assumed our leadership roles.

Jessica Merlin, MD, MBA
Chair, PIT-SIG (promoted from Vice-Chair)
I am a first year fellow in infectious disease at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania in Philadelphia. My academic interests include the intersection of HIV, symptom management, and palliative care domestically and abroad. I got my MBA because I am interested in academic medical administration, especially medical school program administration. I am currently developing a curriculum for med students who travel abroad to developing countries, which will include elements of HIV medicine and palliative care. I will (hopefully) be a palliative care fellow in 2010, and I am very dedicated to promoting the interests of the field and helping to grow current/future generations of palliative care providers. Please feel free to contact me directly at jessicamerlinmdmba@yahoo.com.

Gosia Sullivan, MD
I am completing my Palliative Care/Hospice Medicine fellowship with Capital Hospice this year, after which I will be joining the Capital Hospice medical staff in Washington, DC. I previously worked as a hospitalist at Washington Hospital Center where I functioned as a liaison between the ED and ICUs. My experiences there led me to a field of medicine where the patient is at the center of medical decision making, rather than being subject to the defaults embedded in our medical system. In addition to being a full-time mother of 3 toddlers, I am passionate about helping young professionals, such as myself, find fulfilling careers with a rewarding work-life balance. It is with this thought in mind that I joined the PIT-SIG in the Vice Chair role. I hope to spread the word about Hospice and Palliative Care and let more people in on this “best kept secret”. You can email me with any comments or questions at mpolakowska@hotmail.com.


Sorry about the delay folks, since we were supposed to announce the cases on Monday 12/1, but because of a technical glitch it took a little longer to get the scores together. I am hopeful that the official announcement will come by Wednesday at the earliest, Friday at the latest. The cases submitted were great so it is a tough crowd to choose from.
Tuesday, December 02, 2008

AAHPM Case Conference Submissions Now Open

Hey all you students of palliative medicine, your chance to present at a national conference is here! The 3rd and last call for submissions for the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly has opened (Oct 1- Nov 3rd). This call is for professionals-in-training from any discipline to submit a clinical case for a 20 minute presentation. I am very glad to be a part of this for the 5th year now, and grateful to the AAHPM and HPNA for their ongoing support.

Go here now to submit your case or cases!

On a personal and historical note:

I am somewhat sad though because it will be my last year being involved with case selections and presentations. It has grown over the past 5 years, and I need to move on and let other people take the helm. Personally I think these case presentations are one of the great hidden gems of the Annual Assembly; great, fast, focused presentations and national speaking experience for newer members to the field.

Since this is my last year with the case conferences, I wanted to share a bit of the history of how it came into existence, because I think it demonstrates how persistence, teamwork, and the AAHPM's willingness to take a risk made a big difference.

So in 2004, the Professionals-in-Training Special Interest Group (PIT-SIG) formed* and made a list of goals to help junior members of the Academy get more involved. We had a lot of ideas at the inital brainstorming session with Chad Farmer, Lynn Bunch, Brian Murphy, Laura Morrison, KJ Williams, Annette Geisler, and others. But one idea that stuck out the most was an opportunity for palliative medicine fellows to present at the Annual Assembly.

I remember very clearly going up to the (then) new president David McGrew, with all the confidence I could muster and introducing myself as a palliative medicine fellow, and newly elected chair of the newly formed PIT-SIG and that we would be submitting a proposal for a reserved slot for fellows to present. Only after I finished talking to him did I realize how...ummm forward that was.

The first year
we had 13 submission and 5 presenters in a single 90 minute slot. We had a smattering of people there, but it was a start. In 2008, we had 61 submissions and 9 presenters in three 60 minute slots. The case conferences have benefited from the involvement from many people at the AAHPM including: Angie Forbes, Karen Nason, Mary Beth Benner, and Julie Bruno.

Thanks to all of the people who have helped to select cases and moderate the conferences: Giovanni Elia, Kelli Gershon, Laura J. Morrison, Solomon Liao, Christine Ritchie, Lynn Bunch, Pam Fordham, Susan Block, Dick Stephenson, and Drew Rosielle.

*That's a whole other story

Cross-posted to the Pallimed blog
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Friday, October 10, 2008

The Role of the PIT-SIG Blog

The PIT SIG Blog has been awful quiet, but there are a surprising number of subscribers to the blog both RSS and email. If there are things you would like to see on this blog, please feel free to leave a comment.

The PIT-SIG once had a very active email list, which has also quieted down. Communication amongst fellows in such short and small programs is critical to creating a community. So whether it is Facebook, a blog, a list-serv, find out who your other fellows are and make a community. I would encourage the new fellows to get together to figure out if there are issues important to you in the Academy, so that you have an agenda at the Annual Assembly when you all get together.

It is very easy to not get involved but you can accomplish a lot as a group with good communication and organization.

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It is a good time to be a part of the PIT-SIG

Yes, dear members of the PIT-SIG, it is a good time to be in Palliative Medicine, to be member of the AAHPM, and to be a part of the PIT-SIG.

First, we would like to thank you for your loyalty and for your interest.

Then, introductions:
The Chair: Giovanni is a former Urogynecolgist who fell in love with Hospice and Palliative Medicine, completed a Fellowship at San Diego Hospice in 2007, and stayed there as staff.

The Vice-Chair: Jessie is a third year Internal Medicine resident and soon-to-be Infectious Disease fellow at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania. Her primary clinical and research interests are in HIV and palliative care.

We had the opportunity to meet many of you at the AAHPM annual assembly and were energized by your enthusiasm and ideas. To continue the momentum established in Tampa we have identified five key areas of interest for the coming year:

1) Participation: We would like to see PIT-SIG representation across committees and task forces of the Academy. The official application deadline was March 1st, but there are still ways to get involved. So, if you are interested, send your CV and your preferences to the Academy any time. If you have suggestions or areas you would like to be involved, let us know. Also, with your help, this blog can be a sounding board for all of us. We encourage comments, case presentations, clinical dilemmas, short essays or articles on pertinent issues. It would also be great if we could have a link to this blog from the AAHPM home site: we’ll see.

2) Education and Mentorship: We are working on a program that will allow medical students to visit centers of excellence in Palliative Medicine across the country. Stay tuned for more details!

3) Networking: The small size and newness of our specialty makes meeting colleagues from institutions outside our own especially important. One suggestion from the PIT-SIG meeting attendees in Tampa was to have a PIT-SIG social event early on during the annual assembly. Also, Giovanni, coming from the West Coast, found it very inconvenient to get up early for the PIT-SIG meeting at 7:30am. So he is launching his personal crusade to have the PIT-SIG meeting scheduled in the afternoon. We are also looking for electronic means, such as this blog, for keeping PIT-SIG members connected throughout the year.

4) Research: Every year, the PIT-SIG leadership selects cases for presentation at the annual assembly case conference. Many of the submissions come from PIT-SIG members. We encourage you to apply for this and other opportunities, such as poster and papers sessions, to present your work.

5) Spreading the word: Of course, we are all committed to teaching other students, residents, fellows, and colleagues what Palliative Medicine is, how much fun we have practicing and studying it, and most importantly, how much our patients benefit from our teamwork. As upcoming leaders in a new and growing field, we have the responsibility of continuing this tradition.

In order to further develop these areas of interest, we need your help. We want the enthusiasm for our specialty that was palpable during the annual assembly to continue throughout the year. If you would like to get involved in the PIT-SIG, please let us know.
We look forward to hearing from you.


Giovanni & Jessie
Thursday, February 28, 2008

AAHPM 2008 Review

Well the 2008 AAHPM conference is over. Many new members came to the PIT SIG meeting to discuss an agenda for next year. Hopefully within the next few days the Chair, Giovanni Elia of Sand Diego Hospice and newly-elected Vice-Chair, Jessica Merlin, of U Penn will be letting you know what they have planned for the year and how you can help.

The case conferences went very well. The speakers presented some fascinating cases and the audience received them very well.

The call for case conferences is for AAHPM 2009 is open October 1-November3, 2008. Look here for more announcements as that gets closer.
Friday, February 08, 2008

The Cases Have Been Selected

The 2008 Cases have been selected. We had a great turnout this year, and the AAHPM and HPNA have been gracious enough to expand the presentations to 9 from the originally scheduled 6. The reviewers had a difficult time choosing because of the high quality of numerous submissions. For those who did not get selected, individual feedback is available by emailing csinclair @t kchospice d0t org.

Some facts on the submissions:
61 cases submitted
From 57 individuals
(There are no rules to prevent double submissions! Good strategy!)
From 43 different institutions
6 RN submissions
4 Medical Student submissions
Congratulations to the selected cases.
The Cases Selected Are:

Session 505 - Sat Feb 2 - 8:30-9:30AM

Erin Remster, D.O. Student
Aminocaproic Acid to Prevent Hemorrhage in a Patient with Metastatic Hypophayrngeal Cancer
Ohio University College of Osteopathic Medicine

Dr. Swee Ng
The Man Who Refuses to Die: The Challenges of Protracted Imminent Death
Summa Health System - Palliative Medicine Fellowship (Ohio)

Dr. Andrea White
Alcoholism at the End of Life on a Palliative Care Unit
University of Alabama at Birmingham - Palliative Care Fellowship

Session 515 - Sat Feb 2 - 9:45-10:45AM

Dr. Urviben Patel
Depression? Dementia? It Makes a Difference for the Patient, Family and Care Givers
University of Alabama at Birmingham Internal Medicine Residency

Dr. Elizabeth Winstein
Exploring a ‘Desire to Die’ Statement from a Patient Undergoing Evaluation for Lung Transplantation
University of Pittsburgh Palliative Care Fellowship

Donita Overend, BSN
The Inconsolable Irritable Infant with Krabbe’s Disease
HRSA Nurse Residency Program with San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care

Session 530 - Sat Feb 2 - 1:45-2:45PM

Dr. Pareshkumar Patel
Control of Sickle Cell Crisis Pain in the Setting of Acute Renal Failure and Multiple Opioid Allergies
MCVH-VCU: Palliative Care Fellowship

Dr. Kristina Newport
Recurrent ICD Firing in a Patient with End-Stage Heart Failure
Penn State Milton S. Hershey Medical Center - Internal Medicine Program

Dr. Staci Mandrola
When Family Conflict Masquerades as Religious Differences
University of Louisville - Palliative Medicine Fellowship

The reviewers were:

Giovanni Elia, MD
San Diego Hospice & Palliative Care & Vice-Chair of the AAHPM PIT-SIG

Kelli Gershon, MSN APRN BC-PCM
Anderson Cancer Center

Laura J. Morrison, MD

Section of Geriatrics Baylor College
of Medicine &
Division of Palliative Medicine, The Methodist Hospital

Christian Sinclair, MD
Kansas City
Hospice & Palliative Care
Monday, November 12, 2007