August 22, 2011

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Join Old Friends and Colleagues at Event this Wednesday Honoring Frank O. Stred, 1931-2003

The Association will welcome members and guests on this coming Wednesday, August 24th, at an event honoring former Executive Director Frank O. Stred who retired in September 1993 after serving ably in the position for nearly 15 years.  In l994, the existing building was named the Frank O. Stred Building and Wednesday's event will also serve as a re-dedication of the Building.  The event begins at 11:00 am and includes lunch and remarks by Drs. Robert McAfee, Frederick Holler and John Towne.  Frank's widow, Priscilla Stred and their two daughters, Susan Stred, M.D. and Kris Stred, J.D. will join us for the event.

Anyone interested in attending the event should contact Dee DeHaas at 622-3374 ext. 215 or by e-mail to  There is no charge, but donations are being solicited for a building maintenance and improvement fund.  Checks should be made payable to the Maine Medical Association and donations to the fund, which will be used exclusively for projects associated with the Stred Building, are not tax deductible.

The Stred Building was built in 1986-87 and opened in l987.  John Towne, M.D. chaired the building committee and Frank Stred oversaw the construction on a nearly daily basis.  The Association had purchased the 35 acre farm in Manchester two years earlier and eventually sold the farmhouse to the Maine Osteopathic Association and a building lot to the Maine Dental Association. The subdivision now also includes the Danile F. Hanley Building, which houses the offices of Onpoint Health Data.  Dr. Hanley served as Executive Director of the Association from 1955 to 1979.

MMA and OSA Offer Free CME on Preventing Prescription Drug Abuse in Bangor, August 30

Through funding provided by the State Office of Substance Abuse, the Maine Medical Association is presenting three CME programs in Bangor, Lewiston, and Manchester on August 30th, September 14th and October 7th, respectively, focusing on the very serious problem of prescription drug addiction and diversion.

The August 30th program will be held at EMMC in Mason Auditorium from 4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.  Dinner will be provided. The faculty for the Bangor program includes local DEA agent Chris Gardner, PMP Coordinator Trish Lapada, MMA EVP and attorney Gordon Smith, and Tamas Peredy, M.D.  The September 14th program will be held at St. Mary's General Hospital, also from 4:00 to 8:00 p.m. with dinner provided.  The October 7th program will be held as part of MMA's popular First Fridays educational series from 9:00 a.m. to noon and will also be offered as a webinar.  There is no cost for these programs.

The format for each program is identical, although the faculty varies.  Each program will begin with a review of the problem by a local DEA agent, followed by presentations by program staff for the prescription monitoring program, legal staff for MMA, and a clinical talk by a physician experienced in addiction and diversion.

Watch for further information on the programs but you may reserve a seat now by registering with Gail Begin at MMA through e-mail to or call the MMA office at 622-3374 and press 0 for the attendant.  Registration is also available on the MMA website at [return to top]

L.D. 1501 Work Group on Prescription Drug Diversion Continues its Work

The work group established in response to L.D. 1501, Resolve To Reduce Opioid Overprescription, Overuse and Abuse, passed this past session of the Legislature, met for the second time this past Friday morning (August 19th).  Most of the discussion focused on the first two tasks assigned to the group:  1. review & discussion of materials related to current efforts in Maine and 2. review & discussion of materials related to efforts in other states.  

The work group has been established by the Substance Abuse Services Commission and has a membership that is still fluid and increasing.  The language in the Resolve requires the inclusion of Commission members and public and private stakeholders.  The Commission is required to report any recommendations or proposed legislation developed by the work group to the Joint Standing Committee on Health and Human Services by December 1, 2011.  The Work Group is chaired by Robert Long who is the chair of the Commission.

In addition to a variety of providers and provider representatives and commission members, Friday's meeting also included (by telephone) State Representative Jon Hinck (D.,Portland) who was the sponsor of the original legislation which led to the Resolve.

The Work Group discussed several process questions and agreed to establish an on-line repository of documents that would be part of the group's work.  

Trish Lapera, the new coordinator of the Prescription Monitoring Program presented Work Group members with a brief presentation on the current status of the Program and compared it with similar programs in the approximately 35 states that have funded prescription monitoring programs.  

No substantive decisions were made by the Group on Friday.  Rather, the members are continuing to discuss how they will accomplish the tasks assigned to it.  The Group meets next on September 9th and is expected to meet every two weeks following that date.  Generally, meetings are expected to be held on Friday mornings, from 9:00am to noon.  

There are several physicians participating in the Group including Drs. Mark Publicker, Steve Hull, Scott Davis, Linda Sanborn (Dr. Sanborn also serves in the Legislature and is a member of the Substance Abuse Services Commission) and Steve Gressit.  MMA will also be represented on the Group by EVP Gordon Smith, Esq., who was involved with drafting the Resolve that ultimately passed.

Legislation proposed by Rep. Hinck, based upon laws recently passed in Washington State, would have required mandatory CME, referrals to specialists and mandatory use of the PMP in some circumstances. [return to top]

Primary Care Practice Managers Needed as Volunteers for Focus Groups August 23 and 29

As part of the Association's efforts to improve coverage opportunities for patients, MMA is conducting a series of focus groups of practice managers of primary care practices.  The intent is to learn more about how MMA can be more effective in assisting practices with finding better coverage and increased benefits for patients.  The effort is funded through a grant from the Maine Health Access Foundation (MeHAF).

Two focus groups are planned for Portland on Tuesday, August 23rd, with the first in the afternoon and the second in the evening.  A session in Bangor is planned for the evening of Monday, August 29th.  Eight to ten individuals are needed for each session.  Meals will be provided and a $100 gift card given to each participant to recognize their time. The focus groups will be conducted professionally by Sam Surprise of Surprise Advertising, a MMA Corporate Affiliate.

If you or a colleague are interested in participating, please contact EVP Gordon Smith at [return to top]

"What Value is Your Peer Review Program", CME Program Offered Free at Noon on Oct. 6

The Peer Review Advisory Committee of MMA is presenting a webinar on peer review on Thursday, October 6, 2011 as part of its mission to advance and improve peer review in the state, and more specifically to improve and enhance the Association's external peer review program.  The objectives of the one hour program are to:

  • Delineate the factors accounting for the impact of clinical peer review on quality and safety 
  • Understand the role of healthcare and physician leaders in catalyzing clinical peer review improvement

Facilitating the program is Marc T. Edwards, M.D., MBA, who brings more than 20 years of broad-based healthcare management and consulting experience to management research on important but frequently neglected topics such as the clinical peer review process.  Dr. Edwards has conducted two national studies and published five scientific manuscripts on this subject.   He was able to characterize and elaborate an evidence-based approach for conducting clinical peer review within a quality improvement framework - the QI MODEL.  Dr. Edwards is currently organizing an "Ideal Clinical Peer Review Practices Collaborative" and a "Normative Peer Review Database Project" to further advance this work.

Dr. Edwards is a graduate of the University of Washington and received his medical degree from the University of Colorado.  He completed training in family medicine at Thomas Jefferson University Hospital and later completed an Executive MBA program at he University of Connecticut.  He maintains board certification in Family Medicine, is a Fellow of the American Academy of Family Physicians and a member of the American College of Physician Executives.

Anyone interested in registering for the program, which is offered without charge, should contact Peggy Pinkham at

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Resolutions for 2011 Annual Meeting Due by Sept. 2

Any MMA member or committee wishing to submit a resolution to the General Membership Meeting being held on Saturday morning, September 9th should submit a draft of the resolution to the MMA office by Friday, September 2nd.  MMA attorneys are available to assist with the drafting.  Contact Gordon Smith, Esq. at if you need assistance with drafting.

Resolutions will be posted to the MMA website for viewing prior to the meeting. 

The General Membership meeting begins at 7:30am on Saturday, September 9th and is part of the Association's 153rd Annual Meeting.  If a member attends only the membership meeting (i.e., does not attend any CME, annual dinner, etc.), no registration fee is required.

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Secretary of State Issues Notice on 21-Day Temporary Disability Parking Permits

Recently, the Maine Legislature passed L.D. 456 (P.L. 2011, Chapter 117), An Act Relating to Temporary Disability Parking Permits.  This new law establishes a 21-day temporary disability parking permit for use by individuals eligible for disability parking placards and plates pursuant to 29-A M.R.S.A. section 521.  This 21-day permit will be issued directly to patients by those medical professionals authorized to certify disability parking applications and can be used while the patient is waiting to receive their permanent placard or plate from BMV.  

The placards will be available on or before October 1, 2011 at no fee to you.

If you are interested in providing these placards to your eligible patients, or for more information, please contact Vicki Lawry at, or by telephone at 624-9193.

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The NorthEast Cerebrovascular Consortium 6th Annual Summit, Oct 27-28

Register today for the upcoming 6th Annual NECC Summit: Stroke Systems of Care Reaching New Heights:  It’s Not Rocket Science to be held October 27-28, 2011 in Boston, Massachusetts.  This two-day educational summit includes plenary sessions; interactive breakout sessions and topic specific sessions – please see below for topic highlights.  

The full Summit brochure with the agenda is located on The NECC Website - 

 Program topics include

  • Stroke Center Designation: Building the Right Model
  • Novel Therapies for Atrial Fibrillation
  • State Breakout Sessions
  • Stroke Prevention through Sodium Reduction
  • Top New Advances in Stroke including: EMS and Hypothermia, Rehabilitation Technology, Device Retrieval for Ischemic Stroke and the Affect of New Agents for Atrial Fibrillation on ICH. 
  • EMS Session
  • Stroke Coordinators Session
  • Rehabilitation Session

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Universal Vaccination Program Updates

Maine's Universal Childhood Immunization Program was established by P.L. 2009, Chapter 595 to provide all children from birth until 19 years of age in the state with access to a uniform set of vaccines as determined by the Maine Vaccine Board.   Vaccine purchase is funded by an assessment on health insurance carriers and 3rd-party administrators.  Patients will not be charged for the cost of the vaccine.  Therefore, financial barriers, (e.g. high insurance deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses), will no longer be an obstacle for children to receive vaccine.

The Program has recently launched a website with FAQs for physician practices -  providing information about vaccination purchasing, office procedures and other changes practices and patients will see under the program -  and the list of vaccines that will be covered in for the program year commencing on July 1, 2011.

In answering what changes you might see in your office under the program, the FAQs state that the Maine Immunization Program will operate much the same as it currently does.  Availability of state supplied vaccines will be expanded to all children and more vaccine choices will be available.  Vaccine ordering and accountability processes are expected to remain relatively the same.  All providers who receive state supplied vaccine will be required to use the ImmPact2 Immunization Information System for ordering and vaccine accounting.  The program also recommends that physician practices evaluate their upcoming vaccine need for privately insured patients from now until January.  Pre-planning will help offices deplete private inventory and prepare for universal vaccine supply in January 2012.  Practices will still bill insurers normally for vaccine administration. 

For additional information, please contact the Maine Immunization Program at 1-800-867-4775 or or the Maine Vaccine Board at: or

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Join Maine's Health Alert Network

The Maine Health Alert Network (MaineHAN) is a consortium of key public health officials who are responsible for protecting the public in the event of a natural disaster, infectious disease outbreak, or bioterrorism attack.  All physicians are encouraged to enroll. 

Members of the MaineHAN receive emergency and routine messages from different sending authorities within the state. Maine CDC generates alerts, advisories, and updates intended for a statewide audience, while more localized messaging is handled by various MaineHAN member organizations. 

If you are not already receiving HAN alerts, joining the MaineHAN is as simple as contacting the HAN Help Desk at or 287-6551. The information you need to provide in order to become a member of the MaineHAN is minimal — your first and last name, e-mail address, work phone number, and the name of your organization are all that are required. Once your account has been created, you will receive an email containing your username and password, as well as a guide for new members to help you get started setting up your profile.  

You can find archived HAN alerts by clicking here

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Certify Death Records Electronically

The Maine Electronic Death Registration System (EDRS) is a Web-based system that registers Maine death records. The MaineCDC encourages all stakeholders, including medical certifiers, to use the EDRS. Corrections, completions and amendments will be generated electronically. This will ensure that the correct information is released to the public and ensure consistency among municipal offices and the state. 

Because the EDRS is an online, Web-based system, the only software needed by a facility is a standard web browser. For training, contact Theresa Roberts:

The EDRS team will be presenting the Electronic Death Registration system at the MMA’s INNOVATIONS conference on September 9th.  

For more information, visit or contact the EDRS Team at

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AHA Fundraiser, "Mrs. Smith Goes To Washington," Special One-Time Performance

The AARP proudly presents the play "Mrs. Smith Goes to Washington" on Sunday, August 28th at 4 pm  at USM’s Abromson Center in Portland to benefit the American Heart Association.  Tickets are $25.  Call 879-5700 to reserve your seat.  For more information, visit

This one-woman show provides an intimate look into the life and times of Margaret Chase Smith.  It tells of her journey from humble beginnings in Skowhegan, Maine, to a position of power and respect as the first woman to be elected to the US Senate.

Margaret Chase Smith was a woman of many firsts:  the first woman elected to both the House of Representatives and to the Senate, the first senator to speak publicly against Senator Joe McCarthy, the first woman to appear on Face the Nation, the first woman to have her name placed in nomination for President at a national Republican or Democratic Convention. 

After the performance Mrs. Smith returns to her "office" and talks with the audience. "Still in the character as the senator," said the actress, Sally Jones, "I invite anyone to tell me about a time 'we' had met. Those stories are personal, funny and often times very moving."

Proceeds will benefit the Heart Association’s life-saving research and education programs here in Maine.  There is only one performance of the show. [return to top]

For more information or to contact us directly, please visit l ©2003, Maine Medical Association