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June 2014

Step Right Up: Applications to Form Member Interest Groups Now Available!

    Earlier this month, the AAFP announced it had created a pathway for family physicians to establish member interest groups that would allow them to share their mutual interests, address common concerns and connect with the AAFP.
Now, members can go online to find out more about those interest groups, called "Member Interest Groups" or MIGs for short - including the criteria used for reviewing applications to form them, as well as to access the application itself.

Rural Family Physician Members Respond - Calling All Maine Rural Family Docs -A MIG is being formed for YOU!  Read on how you can join other Rural Family Docs across the country with the same interests/concerns -

Dear Rural Family Doctors,

          As you may be aware, the AAFP recently announced the formation of Member Interest Groups and the application has now become available.  Mike Kennedy and I are intending to complete the application for a Rural Member Interest Group at the AAFP.

          I have discussed the intention for forming a group related to Rural Practice and Rural Health with several AAFP leaders, members, and staff; including members of our AAFP cross-commission Group on Rural Health.  Here is the link with the news release related to this opportunity:

           If you have an interest in being a part of this new proposed Member Interest Group on Rural at the AAFP and learning more information, please send your name and email address along with your AAFP member number to [email protected] for completion of the application and follow up upon our success.   

          Please also feel free to contact me directly with any questions. I look forward to working with you on rural issues within the AAFP.

Sincerely, David Schmitz, MD FAAFP 

Funds Available for 2014 Patient Experience Surveys


The Dirigo Health Agency (DHA) is delighted to announce that it will support the administration of another round of CG-CAHPS surveys to patients served by primary and specialty practices in Maine. As in 2012, DHA will pay subsidies of up to 90 percent of survey costs to practices that contract with a DHA-qualified vendor, use an allowable version of CAHPS, and agree to have their survey results publicly reported.


To learn more about how your practice can participate please visit the DHA website:

Evaluation 101 Webinars - How to Evaluate Activities Intended to Increase Awareness & Use of Colorectal Cancer Screening

The National Colorectal Cancer Roundtable (NCCRT) is sponsoring a series of Evaluation 101 webinars.    


This three-part webinar series will walk participants through the evaluation process using the seven evaluation steps laid out in the NCCRT's Evaluation Toolkit which explains program evaluation using colorectal cancer screening awareness programs as examples.  

(get the Toolkit & view Evaluation 101 Modules HERE)  


New Laws Impacting Your Practice:  LD 1686, Increased Access to Naloxone for Drug Overdose Prevention
Legislative Update


From MMA brief May 27th:  


In an effort to curb the increase in deaths due to opioid-related overdoses, the Maine Medical Association and a number of health and public health entities worked this session to pass LD 1686, increasing the availability of naloxone.  Naloxone hydrochloride prevents death by reversing the side effects of a narcotic, such as sedation and decreased breathing rate.  

The new law, which took effect immediately, contains the following provisions: 

  • A health care professional may prescribe naloxone hydrochloride to an individual at risk of experiencing an opioid-related drug overdose. The individual at risk of overdose is then authorized to provide the naloxone to an immediate immediate family member to possess and administer to the individual if needed in the case of an opioid-related overdose. 
  • A health care professional is also authorized to prescribe naloxone to an established patient's immediate family member for administration to the patient in the event of an opioid-related drug overdose, if the patient is at risk of experiencing an overdose.  If a health care professional prescribes naloxone in this way, the professional must document in the patient's medical record the name of each family member who receives the prescription and the health care professional's intention that the naloxone hydrochloride be administered to the individual.  The family member may then administer the naloxone hydrochloride to the individual in the case of an opioid-related drug overdose.
  • The law also authorizes law enforcement officers and municipal firefighters to administer intranasal naloxone hydrochloride as clinically indicated if the officer or firefighter has received medical training in accordance with protocols adopted by the Medical Direction and Practices Board. 
    READ the article in its entirety

Were You Ready for the  May 21st change in NRCME Regulation?

Since April 2013, the MAFP and NECOEM have partnered in training a total of 154 healthcare providers practicing in Maine. 


Only 48 (31%) of these trained providers have become certified Medical Examiners in the National Registry of Certified Medical Examiners after passing the certification exam.


This the same percentage of providers who have certified nationally, according to NRCME stats.   


Given the limited number and geographical inaccessibility of NRCME test centers in Maine, it is surprising that Maine has such a "high" percentage of certified Medical Examiners!


If you have received the CME training and need to take the test or register with the NRCME to find a testing site near you!

If you completed your training and are unable to locate the CME Certificate of Completion that you were given - please send me an email with the date of your training and I'll send you another - you absolutely need to have the Certificate to be able to take your exam!

Email me, Deborah Halbach, Executive Director at:  [email protected]  

Deborah Halbach
Maine Academy of Family Physicians
Telephone:  207-938-5005
Email:  [email protected]
In This Issue
$$ For Patient Experience Surveys
Evaluation of Colorectal Cancer Screening
New Law Re: Naloxone Access
NRCME Regulation Changes Go Into Affect
Doctors Back to School!
Lyme & Vector-Bourne Disease
Are You Interested In Encouraging The Next Generation of Family Physicians?  

Then the AAFP's program -" Doctors Back to School" is for you! The AAFP has adapted the AMA's Doctors Back to School (DBTS) program to help encourage young people from underrepresented minority groups to consider family medicine as a career option.  


This program was created by the AMA's Minority Affairs Section, whose main goal is to increase the number of minority physicians and eliminate minority health disparities. Since the program sends minority physicians into the community, it's also a great way to introduce kids to professional role models.


More information on the program and how you can get involved HERE 


Lyme Disease Awareness

(repeat article)

Lyme disease is the most common vectorborne disease in Maine. Cases have already been reported in 2014, and the number will rise as the weather continues to get warmer.


Lyme disease is a bacterial infection carried by the deer tick.  Cases have been increasing each year in Maine, and occur in all 16 counties. More than 1,375 cases of Lyme disease were reported statewide in 2013, a record high for Maine.  


Lyme disease is most common among school age children and adults older than 65. Most infections occur during the summer months.


The most common early symptom of Lyme disease is an expanding red rash that occurs 3-30 days after being bitten. Fever, headache, joint and muscle pains, and fatigue are also common during the first several weeks. Later features of Lyme disease can include arthritis in one or more joints (often the knee), Bell's palsy and other cranial nerve palsies, meningitis, and carditis (AV block). Lyme disease is treatable, and the majority of patients recover after receiving appropriate therapy.


Other Tick-bourne diseases: 

Other diseases that are carried by ticks in Maine include Anaplasmosis, Babesiosis and Powassan.  

Symptoms of Anaplasma include: fever, headache, malaise, and body aches. Symptoms of Babesia include: extreme fatigue, aches, fever, chills, sweating, dark urine, and possibly anemia.  Symptoms of Powassan include:  fever, headache, vomiting, weakness, confusion, loss of coordination, speech difficulties, seizures, and encephalitis and meningitis.


In 2013, providers reported 94 cases of Anaplasmosis, 36 cases of Babesiosis, and 1 case of Powassan.  Five anaplasmosis cases and two babesiosis cases have already been reported in 2014.   (

reprinted from MMA Weekly Update) 



For Physician & Patient Education Resources see the MAFP's Tick & Vector-Bourne Disease Resouce Page 


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