the Pine Tree FP

November 2010
In This Issue
Presidents Column
Maine Resolution at COD
Nominate a Colleague for Family Physician of the Year
MAFP Foundation Needs YOU!
Family Doc Named RFGH's "Caregiver of the Year"
Presidents Column
Elisabeth Mock

Elisabeth Mock MD, MPH

MAFP President

"The social determinants of health are the circumstances in which people are born, grow up, live, work and age, and the systems put in place to deal with illness. These circumstances are in turn shaped by a wider set of forces: economics, social policies, and politics." -World Health Organization report

Perhaps Family Physicians know more than anyone how our environment and living situation can affect our health.  At the AAFP Congress of Delegates in September, Executive Director Doug Henley urged all AAFP members to focus on social determinants of health in the upcoming years.  It turns out that a society's health benefits more from programs in education and job training than it does from healthcare expenditures.

As Americans go through the process of reforming our healthcare system (in whatever form it will take), we as physicians need to take an active role in determining the rules that will govern the new reality-particularly at the state level.  Physicians as leaders are desperately needed!  The MAFP is aware of opportunities to be involved in healthcare policy from time to time, so let us know if you have interest in participating, so we'll know to whom to pass on the opportunity.

How can we effect change in the health of our local communities?  Ideas to start with: volunteering at your local school (think Tar Wars), running for school board or selectman, working with the planning board or recreation program, volunteering to speak at a local organization's meeting, mentoring a youth, greeting the military, 'driving' a walking school bus, supporting local agriculture, volunteering with a faith-based organization, scheduling a meeting with your local state legislators......We're all very busy, but we're all leaders needed in our communities!  This winter I'm embarking on a small mission to better the health of my community:  I'm coaching an elementary girls' basketball team.  Maybe the experience will inspire them to exercise regularly; maybe the experience will inspire them to value education; maybe the experience will inspire them to give back to their community too.

Happy Holidays to all Maine's Family Physicians!

Reference for quote: 


Diagram based on a Model proposed by Dahlgren and Whitehead, 1991:


Maine Smoking Cessation Coverage Sited in New Report Just Out
Nov 9, 2010 -  American Lung Association is happy to announce the release of its third annual "Helping Smokers Quit State Cessation Coverage 2010 "report. You can download the report here.
This report provides an overview of smoking cessation services and treatments offered in each state by Medicaid, Medicare, state employee plans, quitlines and private insurance.  It is also a great resource to focus media and policymaker attention on cessation coverage policies.  This year's report has an expanded section on quitlines, and discusses federal health care reform.  

Quick Links
Join Our Mailing List

The MAFP has made the "leap" to an all-electronically delivered Pine Tree FP Newsletter.  Previous issues of the Pine Tree FP are archived at:  www.maineafp.org, and the new electronic issues will be as well.

We are always looking for your input - please let us know of newsworthy events, or why not write a letter to the editor?

Don't forget to Save-the-Date for the upcoming MAFP 19th Annual Family Medicine Update - April 7 & 8, 2011 at the Sunday River Hotel & Conference Center in Bethel.  Schedule and registration information will be available on the website in January, and mailed at the beginning of February.

As always, don't hesitate to contact me with questions & concerns.
Deborah Halbach, Executive Director
[email protected] or phone at 207-938-5005

2010 Delegation
MAFP Delegation- Deborah Halbach (chapter exec), Dieter Kreckel MD, Ron Blum MD, Tom Bugbee MD, Elisabeth Mock MD

          The 63rd AAFP Congress of Delegates recently met in Denver under sunny blue skies.  Our Maine delegation included Ron Blum of Patten and Dieter Kreckel of Rumford, delegates, and President Elizabeth Mock of  Bangor, and Vice President Tom bugbee of Blue Hill, alternate delegates, as well as our Executive Director, Debra Halbach.  Fifty-nine resolutions on a wide variety of subjects were vetted through five 8 member Reference Committees and acted upon by the Congress.  Drs. Mock and Blum were selected to serve on the Reference Committee on Practice Enhancement and the Reference Committee on Health of the Public and Science, respectively. Besides debating issues and setting AAFP Policy, the attendees elected Board members and officers (see accompanying article), and heard messages from the Academy leadership, awardees, and distinguished visitors, including Surgeon General Dr. Regina Benjamin FAAFP of Alabama.  A Town Hall Meeting Sunday night, the pre-election reception Monday evening, dinner as guests of the Georgia delegation Tuesday, and the Annual Delegates Dinner Wednesday evening made for four busy, but productive, days.

            Several resolutions prompted contentious debate.  Proposals to terminate or not renew the contract with Consumer Alliance Program (CAP) partner Coca-Cola were rejected, while the Congress called for due diligence in forming CAP partnerships, as well as ongoing re-evaluation of the Program.  A resolution to separate AAFP and state memberships was rejected, while leadership and education in Alternate Care Organizations was encouraged, as was efforts to have the Center for Medicaid and Medicare Services  re-evaluate the burdensome signature requirement.

            Social issues that foster a range of personal opinions seem always to generate intense Congressional debate.  Resolutions to support the repeal of the military policy of Don't Ask Don't Tell and to support "full civil marriage equality" provided ample cause.  Both were ultimately rejected, the first after members of the Uniformed Services Chapter eloquently called for its defeat, and the latter because delegates felt existing Academy policy already addressed the issue.  Efforts to prohibit the sale of tobacco in the same locale where healthcare and health counseling are provided and to gather information on health outcomes and cost effectiveness of nurse practitioners' practice were among the others adopted.        

            Your Maine chapter, with the encouragement of Ron Blum and the AAFP Commission on Health of the Public and Science, on which he serves, and with the co-sponsorship of the New Mexico chapter, submitted a resolution "Improving Nutrition in the Workplace" which encourages healthy dietary options in workplace cafeterias and vending machines and workplace programs that further support good nutrition.  After testimony by Tom Bugbee, it was voted into national AAFP policy without dissent.  While Dr. Blum's term on the Commission ends this  year, Maine members are encouraged to apply for service in the variety of opportunities provided by the AAFP, that our voice may continually be heard.  Contact Deb Halbach or Ron for more information on how to get involved.  It is a professionally and personally rewarding experience.

2011 Family Physician of the Year - Nominations Open
Nominate a colleague for the 2011 Family Physician of the Year Award - Award announced at the upcoming 19th Annual Family Medicine Update April 7 & 8, 2011.
Nomination criteria and further information go to: (scroll down to AWARDS)
Foundation logo
Make A Difference By Donating to the MAFP Foundation

The Maine Academy of Family Physicians Foundation Supports:


Medical Student Programming:

  •  Rural Externship with Maine and International components
  • FMIG programming in Maine
  • Textbooks for Precept sites

 Family Medicine Resident Programming:

  • Resident registration assistance for MAFP Annual CME meeting
  • Resident Track programming

 Tar Wars in Maine: 

  • Coordination of classroom presentations by FP's and other health personnel
  • State-wide Poster Contest


Thank you for your continued support of the MAFP Foundation!

Please mail donation directly to:  MAFP/F, PO Box 424, Hartland, ME 04943


(Donations for the Maine AFP Foundation need to be made directly to the MAFP/F at the address indicated above and are tax deductible)

Family Doc Named RFGH's Caregiver of the Year
Dr. Harry Irving was recently named Redington Fairview General Hospital's "Caregiver of the Year".  In RFGH's recent newsletter, the hospital recognized Dr Irving as a "soft-spoken, gentle main whose presence and demeanor brings a calm influence to an environment fraught with chaos" (as an ER doc).  "He is a patient favorite with his no-nonsense, direct approach. 

His steady and unwavering kindness permeates the ER department and brings a sense of peace.  Harry speaks from the heart on every level to every patient, no matter the complaint, effectively translating complex information into common terms.  He shows a sincere authentic interest in patients and their families. 

Harry comes to work each day with one goal: to take care of people.  He is humble and expects no glory.  He is courteous and kind, his soul remains true, he has not been hardened by the sometimes harsh realities of Emergency Medicine."

Harry Irving DO, is a graduate of the Chicago College of Osteopathic Medicine.  He is board certified by the American Board of Family Medicine & the National Board of Osteopathic Medical Examiners.  Dr. Irving completed his residency at the McKeesport Hospital in Pennsylvania.
Ready Set Fit logo
Family Physician Needed To Present In Rockland Area School 

The MAFP office has been contacted by schools in the Rockland area looking for a Family Physician to present a 1 hour lesson in the Ready, Set, Fit! program - Please consider volunteering 1 hour of your time to present. Contact Deborah at the MAFP office if you would like to present.

ABOUT Ready, Set, FIT!:

Ready, Set, FIT! is a classroom-based education program that teaches third and fourth graders about physical activity, nutrition and emotional well-being -- the three important parts of fitness.

Teachers are encouraged to invite a family physician, medical resident or other family medicine professional into the classroom to provide an introduction to Lesson 1 -Your Choices Add Up to Fitness

As a guest presenter, you will be asked to lead a 40 to 50 minute classroom discussion designed to raise students' awareness of the importance of fitness. The Presenter's Guide, as well as other key tools (found under Resources for Presenters) can help prepare you for this classroom visit.

For more complete information on AAFP's AIM-HI Initiative and the Ready, Set, FIT! HERE

the Date!
April 7 & 8, 2011
MAFP 19th Annual Family Medicine Update
Sunday River Grand Summit Resort Hotel & Conference Center

Complete brochure & registration available February 1st