October-November 2021 Memphis Medical News

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October/November 2021 >> $5 ON ROUNDS

Memphis Psychiatrist Measures Age not by the Body, But by Zest for Life Lucas Trautman, MD, is a fourth-generation physician whose ancestors inspired him and set the bar high. As his namesake St. Luke, Lucas Trautman patron saint of physicians, put it: To whom much is given, much is required.

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What Scars has Covid Left Us? As the COVID pandemic rages on, most of the attention has been on its immediate effect on the health of the American people.

Personnel Management During a Labor Shortage Labor shortages are creating havoc for many businesses in the United States, and medical practices are not immune. Although there may be some relief as federal government’s bonus checks end this fall, the problem will not come to a screeching halt. Indeed, experts believe that the growth of the ambulatory sector – 22,000 of the 23,000 jobs added in health care in May alone -- will propel even more challenges. Moreover, the workload burden has been unrelenting, causing some employees to migrate out of healthcare altogether to other, less stressful – and often higherpaying jobs. Regardless of how you slice it, the labor shortage is a reality. Although you could rely on luck to get you through this challenge, consider taking proactive steps to mitigate the risk of an inadequate labor force:

Long waits aren’t always avoidable in the medical industry and they have the propensity to produce high levels of stress and anxiety in some patients.


A Conversation with G. Scott Morris, MD, MDiv Reflections on 30+ years in Memphis, senior health, life at Crosstown By JAMES DOWD

Now as a senior treating many senior patients, Morris sees specific challenges – and opportunities – in working with older adults.

More than three decades ago, a fresh-faced, idealistic family physician named Scott Morris – who also happened to be an ordained United Methodist minister – arrived in Memphis with ambitious dreams to open a faith-based healthcare practice for the underemployed and uninsured.


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Engage with Your Team. Make a list of all your employees and commit to spending at least 10 minutes with each of them in the next 30 to 60 days. Ask each member of your team:


Article on page 5

How to Address Patients’ Anxiety During Long Waits

Show Your Appreciation. There are no words for the turmoil you and your practice have endured over the past 18 months, but there is also no doubt that the pandemic touched the personal lives of everyone on your team. Show support for your team with a gesture like bringing a light breakfast to snack on, accompanied by a sign that reads: “thanks for all you do;” give everyone on your team a handwritten note: “I appreciate you, and everything you do for our patients.” Consider adding a gift card for a major retailer or gas station – or offer a gift certificate for a movie theater with a bag of popcorn. Encourage your colleagues to take action as well; make sure your team knows they are appreciated.



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Memphis Psychiatrist Measures Age not by the Body, But by Zest for Life By LAWRENCE BUSER

Lucas Trautman, MD, is a fourth-generation physician whose ancestors inspired him and set the bar high. As his namesake St. Luke, patron saint of physicians, put it: To whom much is given, much is required. One great-grandfather was a Public Health Service (PHS) director on Ellis Island who became a National Institutes of Health clinical director appointed by President Truman; another was a PHS surgeon from New York who once operated on a prince in India; a grandfather was a PHS surgeon who was a retired Naval officer and former ER chief at St. Francis Hospital; and his father, a dermatologist, is still in practice here. “I have had all these great role models and I always dreamed of being a doctor,” said Trautman, a psychiatrist and medical director of Professional Care Services, an outpatient network of community mental health centers. “I’m the first one to do behavioral health. I was

Lucas Trautman

lucky to know them very well when I was younger, but now I’d love to go back and talk to my great-granddads and share with them the things I’ve learned and garner wisdom from them. Luckily, I have some of

their writings. “One of my great-granddads, Dr. Homer Lucas Skinner, talked about how we stay young because of the vigor and the zest we have for life emotionally, and that it’s not our body that determines our age – it’s our zest for life and our mind. That really resonates with me.” While his patients include children and adolescents, perhaps not surprisingly a significant part of his practice involves seniors. Two of the psychiatric facilities where he is the director focus solely on senior care. “Patients over 70 may have issues of dementia and dementiarelated disorders that have behavioral disturbances, Alzheimer’s dementia with an element of psychotic features, which means a patient could hallucinate or see things that aren’t there,” said Trautman. “They might get extremely paranoid because they believe their children are still young, even though they’re grown, and perhaps they feel their children are threatened or are in danger. “We take care of the geriatric popula-

tion in this very vulnerable time by keeping them safe, applying medications and therapy which can be used to stabilize them and keep them out of distress.” Alzheimer’s dementia is on the rise, affecting one in nine people over age 65, or more than six million Americans, according to the national Alzheimer’s Association. “The reason we’re seeing more is the baby boomer generation is entering the post-65 and post-75 years, and so with the population growing, we’re obviously seeing more disorders and illnesses that affect that population,” Trautman said, adding that while there is no cure, there are predictors. “Some of it is genetics, but much of it is lifestyle. How did we nurture our brain as we were living through the decades of our middle ages? For example, keeping the blood pressure at an ideal level, having a diet full of blue berries and raspberries, and the Mediterranean Diet (rich in plant-based foods) – these are neuroprotective foods that we can eat. There are substances in blueberries that prevent dementia.” He said keeping these seniors physically safe, the careful use of mood-stabilizing medications and behavioral techniques (CONTINUED ON PAGE 4)

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Memphis Psychiatrist, continued from page 3

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are parts of a multidisciplinary treatment approach. “We use interventions to help them be more comfortable, like frequent reminders of where they are or setting up their hospital rooms in a way that mimics their rooms at home, using appropriate lighting, and comforting books and even baby dolls that they care for can provide comfort for this age group,” said Trautman. “In many ways we resolve these short-term complications that come with this age group, but we also acknowledge that dementia is a progressive process so we know that we’re caring for and providing safety for these geriatric patients knowing that there will not be a full resolution in most cases. “I see my grandparents in them, and I recognize their vulnerability and their need for care. So just as they kept me safe when I was little, I’m keeping them safe now. It’s really sacred to me that this work is done with integrity and that each person is cared for and kept safe during these hospitalizations.” Trautman earned his medical degree at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine and did a pediatric internship at Louisiana State University in New Orleans. “When I would see a kid come into the emergency room because he tried to commit suicide, I really wanted to intervene and help that child and figure out all of the sociological factors that led to that attempted suicide,” he said. Those challenges are what Trautman said attracted him to behavioral health. “There have been great people throughout history who have worked with children – Albert Schweitzer who worked in Haiti and Mother Teresa in Calcutta – who tried to comfort them and address the sociological risk factors that created poor health. Those things challenge me. I love those things. I think that’s why I went into behavioral health.” Following some family footsteps, Trautman obtained a master’s degree from Tulane University’s School of Public and Tropical Medicine, and has worked with children in Southeast Asia, the Hawaiian Islands and Haiti. “Those things were very fulfilling to me and that’s why I went into medicine,” he said. Trautman says he uses his relationship skills and care for others to help resolve their mental struggles and their mental health issues. He says he naturally gravitates to that. “The hardest things are when a young person completes suicide because they felt hopeless, because their depression was overwhelming, or a heroin overdose because the shipment had fentanyl in it and the patient was simply trying not to be sick from withdrawals. That goes to the limits of our tools, knowing that there are sociological factors that are bigger than my influence over the patient’s life and that can overwhelm the defenses of the patient.” And while measuring a troubled patient’s progress may not be as definitive as the visible healing of a broken bone, Trautman notes that there are signs that clearly tell him he is making a difference.

“When a heroin addict sends me a letter two years later and tells me I saved her life and she includes pictures of her and her son with whom she’s been reunited, she’s clearly happy and healthy. That feels like an objective measure of success. Or when a family tells me that, even though their mother has since died, that the five years when I cared for her and sat by the bedside and treated her with dignity, that meant a lot to them. To me that’s a very objective sign that I’m doing a good job in my career.” Trautman and his wife, Kristin, who have two adopted daughters, Myra, 17, and Leia, 9, operate side-by-side businesses at Sam Cooper and Tillman in the Binghampton area: his Stardust Jiu-Jitsu and her Inspire Community Café. He offers free wrestling and jiu-jitsu to about 200 area kids after school and helps coach at Christian Brothers High School where he wrestled four years and is a member of the school’s Hall of Fame. “We try to build healthy minds, healthy bodies and good decision making,” Trautman said. “It’s an offshoot of my psychiatric practice.”

International Security and Public Health Psychiatrist Lucas Trautman, MD, maintains a private practice, is director of several psychiatric facilities, and provides free training to youngsters in wrestling and jiu-jitsu. He also is currently taking graduate courses at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government in the area of international security. “I’m taking classes from people in STRATCOM (U.S. Strategic Command) and learning from nuclear missile experts about the last 100 years of nuclear deterrence, international American policy during the Cold War, what the future of war could look like, and how deterrence could be used to keep us safe,” said Trautman. “People argue and debate different political philosophies and strategies for international security. Some classes are in person, and some are online. It’s just really stimulating. STRATCOM is the group that runs our nuclear capability, so they bring a unique niche experience to the class. “We know so much about our health via governmental decisions during times of genocide or time of war, or we look at the holocaust or Bosnia, Rwanda, Cambodia or Vietnam. There’s just so many international security scenarios that ultimately end up affecting the public’s health. I think my perspective as a psychiatrist could one day be borne out to someone in the Senate or to someone who potentially could have an impact on world events and public health.”



What Scars has Covid Left Us? By RICHARD K. THOMAS, PhD

As the COVID pandemic rages on, most of the attention has been on its immediate effect on the health of the American people. We are provided with daily updates on the number of new cases, the current number of hospitalized patients, and, sadly, the daily tally of COVID-related deaths. These figures are once again rising, and most epidemiologists feel that, if anything, they understate the extent of the problem. Considering the Long-Term Impact As important as these statistics are, they are limited to those directly affected by the pandemic and do not consider the collateral damage. We may never know the extent to which the pandemic has caused an increase in unrelated health problems or complications from untreated conditions and deferred surgeries. Widespread apprehension over visiting a hospital emergency department or even a doctor’s office has also had a health impact. There is already ample anecdotal evidence of unanticipated health consequences as a result of the pandemic. It has deadly consequences for many who are not directly affected by the virus. For 2020, the coronavirus represented the third leading cause of death for the U.S. If deaths that have resulted from the indirect effects of the pandemic are considered, the number of COVID-related deaths could surpass those for heart disease and cancer. As the number of survivors of COVID episodes has grown, some health professionals are turning their attention to the long-term health effects of the pandemic. The coronavirus can impact virtually any bodily organ, and early research on survivors indicates permanent lung and/or heart damage in many cases. Recent data on COVID “long-haulers” has found over 200 symptoms affecting those previously affected by the virus. These reports of permanent damage are even more noteworthy given that many of these long-haulers never suffered an acute episode. The Importance of Indirect Effects While the lingering effects of the pandemic are likely to involve dire consequences for those affected and for the healthcare system, there are several indirect effects that may be more consequential in the long run. The isolation required to avoid contact with infected individuals has had a documented psychological effect on much of the population. Isolation has been associated with a number of negative consequences for both mental and physical health. One can only speculate on the number of deaths that occurred because quarantine conditions prevented regular monitoring of isolated shut-ins. The Impact of Isolation The negative consequences for famimemphismedicalnews


lies experiencing long-term isolation has clear implications for children. The stress induced by potential or real job loss or eviction increases the risk of domestic violence. The impact of adverse childhood experiences (ACEs) such as child abuse has no doubt been significant with many of the “buffers” protecting children eliminated. Our mental health “system” has been overwhelmed by people (including children) desperate for psychological care. The long-term mental health effects from isolation and from dealing with the consequences of COVID for family members and loved ones are significant. There is evidence of symptoms associated with “survivor syndrome” along with a growing epidemic of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). The Impact of Evictions There are other indirect effects of the pandemic that bode ill for Americans and the healthcare system. Despite the eviction moratoria that have been put into place, many families and individuals lost their homes early in the pandemic as jobs were eliminated and incomes reduced. While most evictions have been postponed due to the mandate issued by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), the recent ruling by the Supreme Court striking down this ban may result in widespread home loss. In reality, the eviction ban is of little solace for many in that the threat of eviction is just as impactful on health as eviction itself. Multiple studies have found that eviction is associated with poor health, an increased risk of death, and adverse birth outcomes. The Impact of Job Loss Another consequence for health is the impact of job loss and unemployment. The impact of job insecurity on disease and death is well documented, and the negative effects are found to persist long after the job-loss experience. The longer the period of unemployment the greater the health consequences. As with evictions, the threat of job loss has almost the same effect as job loss itself. It goes without saying that job loss involves a decline in income. Perhaps of all of the indirect effects this is the most impactful. The link between poverty and poor health is well documented, with a clear connection between decreasing income and increasing health problems. This is particularly relevant when—as is often the case—job loss also involves loss of health insurance coverage. The impact on health is often the most acute for those who are used to reasonably comfortable circumstances but now find themselves in dire straits. The View Beyond the Pandemic Even prior to the pandemic there was evidence that Americans were getting sicker. We were already experiencing an

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A Conversation with G. Scott Morris, MD, MDiv, continued from page 1 Morris’s journey since then has been well documented, and the model he launched has changed the health and healthcare options for generations of Memphians. “I moved here from Atlanta because, at that time, Memphis was the poorest major city in America and I wanted to help address the long-term effects that poverty was having on the health of the people here,” Morris said. “We are driven by a mission of overall health, which does not simply mean the absence of disease.” Today, Morris’s fresh face, idealism and dreams remain intact, but the fledgling practice born in 1987 in a boardinghouse-turned-doctor’s-office in Midtown Memphis has aged. And aged well. Located now in the expansive Crosstown Concourse building that formerly served as a Sears Roebuck distribution center, Church Health plays an integral part in the vertical Midtown Memphis community that includes nearly four dozen businesses and more than 250 apartments. Occupying dual roles at Church Health, the energetic 67-year-old Morris contributes daily to patient success stories and works tirelessly to ensure that the faith-based not-for-profit itself remains healthy. That means Morris serves not only as a doctor treating patients, but also as a CEO raising money to help fund Church Health’s $20 million annual budget. The

organization provides affordable health services for the uninsured and underemployed and treats thousands of patients each year. Morris has seen many positive developments over the course of his decades in medicine and ministry and believes longstanding relationships with patients help

passes seven areas that Church Health emphasizes need to remain balanced. If one or more facets become neglected or underrepresented, total health suffers. “We focus on medical care, movement, nutrition, emotions, family/ friends/community, work and faith, Morris explained. “This is important for

There are way too many drugs given to older people and too many older patients go to multiple doctors who don’t always interact with each other…I’ve seen patients on all kinds of medications that they keep taking because doctors told them to, but they don’t always know how one drug affects another….Scott Morris, MD promote overall health. Now, as a senior treating many senior patients, Morris sees specific challenges – and opportunities – in working with older adults. “I have some patients who are in their 80’s that I’ve been seeing since I came here,” Morris said. “When I walk into the examining room, they don’t have to give me their histories because I already know them. These relationships are built on sharing and trust and that makes it easier to treat the whole person, not just a set of symptoms.” This holistic view of health encom-

patients at all stages of life and becomes increasingly important as we age. It can be difficult to maintain the balance that optimizes health.” One issue in senior care is an overreliance on medication. While drugs are effective therapies for many conditions, sometimes less is more. “There are way too many drugs given to older people and too many older patients go to multiple doctors who don’t always interact with each other,” Morris said. “I’ve seen patients on all kinds of medications that they keep taking because

doctors told them to, but they don’t always know how one drug affects another.” Another vital issue, particularly seniors and lower income patients, is nutrition. Church Health is fully engaged in culinary medicine that promotes healthy eating and food preparation in an effort to help patients create lifechanging and many times lifesaving habits. “One of the challenges that we have in Memphis is that our churches have blessed us into gluttony within our worshipping community,” Morris said. “Clergy members are often heavier that their communities and the foods served at many church functions don’t promote healthy eating or nutrition. That’s a difficult cycle to break, but we have to keep trying to change attitudes.” As Memphis and the world approach two years of living with COVID-19, Morris said it is more important than ever to pay attention to signs of mental and emotional stress. Rates of anxiety and depression have skyrocketed since early 2020 and this can be particularly difficult for seniors who have become isolated and shut off from their communities. “Many churches that provided a place of worship and fellowship for so many seniors and others still don’t have regular services or programs,” Morris said. “I tell pastors and leaders in congregations not to assume that seniors and other members are okay. Reach out to (CONTINUED ON PAGE 9)

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The Basics of Estate Planning When you hear the word “estate,” does it conjure up images of Downton Abbey, Wayne Manor or one of J. Paul Getty’s many residences? At first glance, it may seem like estate planning is something only for the extremely wealthy. However, it’s just common terminology encompassing smart financial planning strategies that everyone should consider.

How to Address Patients’ Anxiety During Long Waits By GLADYS TORRES

Long waits aren’t always avoidable in the medical industry and they have the propensity to produce high levels of stress and anxiety in some patients. Very few people enjoy waiting in queues to begin with. When you compound these tendencies with the anxiety of waiting for a diagnosis or potentially concerning test results, it’s all too easy for patients to become frustrated and restless. While patients are essentially the customers of a medical practice, they cannot always have the same level of immediate service that they would expect from a retail organization. Unexpected emergencies may come up for doctors and nursing staff at any given time. It’s rare that these occurrences are controllable, nor can they get ignored. Even if long waits are unavoidable, it’s still possible to handle patients’ waiting experiences in a way that minimizes anxiety and frustration. Understanding how people’s perceptions of waiting are influenced can provide valuable insights into how you, as a medical professional, can make the waiting experience a more positive one.

Tips for Reducing Patient Anxiety During Long Waits

Occupy Patients’ Time Unoccupied time seems to pass significantly slower than occupied time for most people. As noted by respected philosopher William James, “boredom results from being attentive to the passage of time itself.” Patients sitting in a waiting room with little to do but gaze out of the window will become restless and frustrated far faster than those who have something to do to help pass the time. Efficient medical practices understand this phenomenon and work hard to improve the patient experience. They put measures in place to change their patients’ perceptions of time and its passage. Waiting patients may have their time occupied with necessary paperwork. But it may also be beneficial to offer them fresh, topical memphismedicalnews


magazines and perhaps even miniature tablets to browse on too. Many practices have televisions installed in their waiting rooms to keep their waiting patients entertained. It’s recommended that you set the television to a neutral, widely appealing channel such as a news or nature channel that the majority of your patients will appreciate. You can use a TV for marketing purposes too, especially if your practice offers cosmetic or dental surgery that has visible results. Use Your Assistants to Your Patients’ Advantage Waiting patients want to get started with their medical appointments as soon as possible. It might not be possible to have them see or speak to the doctor at the exact time they booked their appointments. But your practice can still create the impression of timeliness by taking patients out of the common waiting room and back to the room where the doctor will see them. If this is not an option, you can also consider a triage system. In this case, every patient is first met by a nurse who will enter their personal information and symptoms into the system. The nurse then decides whether they should see the doctor or a registered nurse. This approach does not impact the time it takes for a patient to see a medical professional. But it does technically reduce patients’ waiting times and make it seem as though their appointments have begun on time, even if delays are present. Another, more simple approach is to simply offer your patients forms to fill out before they see the doctor on duty. This fills each patient’s time with form filling and makes it seem as though their appointments have begun, even if they are still technically waiting. Provide Specific Time Estimates Uncertain periods of waiting seem much longer than waiting periods in which you expect a specific outcome. This is why it’s crucial that your practice staff provide patients with details regarding how long

Most people don’t spend much time thinking about end-of-life planning regularly, but you may have loved ones who will soon face these issues. While it’s not pleasant to think about, you may be the one who ends up having to sort out their affairs. And, the reality is, there will come a time when you need to think about yourself and your own family. Knowing the basics can help you feel more prepared.

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Estate planning is the process of designating who will receive your assets and handle your responsibilities after your death or incapacitation. One of the goals is to make sure your beneficiaries receive these things in the most cost-effective way possible. Estate planning can help establish a platform you can update as your personal and financial situations change. Six things to know about estate planning To keep it simple, here are six essential things you need to know (or consider doing) to help jumpstart your estate planning. For a deeper understanding of what these all mean, contact Bluff City Advisory Group today. 1. Be aware of probate. Probate is a term used to describe the process the court uses in settling the deceased’s estate. The time it takes to complete the estate distribution and the associated fees will vary by state, but probate expenses may add up. The costs, along with the time and headache associated with settling an estate, means any step that will help navigate the probate process — or better still avoid it altogether — is worth exploring. 2. Create a will. A valid will does not avoid the probate process, but it will make things much easier. A will serves as a guide to your final wishes for the courts and the executor (the person chosen to act on your behalf). When it comes to the courts, anything that speeds up the process of physical asset distribution will minimize fees and make things easier for everyone involved. It can also eliminate any potential family disputes over who gets which assets. 3. Choose beneficiaries for your financial assets. If a financial asset already has a named beneficiary, it avoids probate (if probate is applicable in your situation). Retirement plans or life insurance policies are the most common instances, since these all ask the owners to name a beneficiary. It’s important to note that everyday assets allow for beneficiaries, as well – think checking, savings and brokerage accounts. 4. Consider creative a revocable/living trust. For assets that don’t typically allow for a named beneficiary, a revocable trust may be a solution to consider. Most anything placed in this trust will avoid the probate process. The trust itself (think of it as a separate entity) technically owns the assets, so transition of ownership is smoother. 5. Consider having a power of attorney drawn up. There are two Powers of Attorney (POA) worth exploring: a. Durable Power Of Attorney. Draft a durable POA so an agent or a person you assign will act on your behalf. This document gives your agent the power to make decisions as if he or she were you. Durable POA is also revocable by the principal at a time of their choosing, typically a time when the principal is deemed to be physically able, mentally competent or upon death. b. Healthcare Power of Attorney. A healthcare POA designates another individual to make healthcare decisions on your behalf. If you are considering this, you should pick someone you trust, who shares your views and who would likely recommend a course of action you would agree with. 6. Have “the talk.” No one knows just when you’ll need to deal with a family death and the potential obstacles that may follow, so we suggest starting young. Start by just discussing your relatives’ wishes. Nothing will make that conversation easy, but a clear understanding can help avoid tough conversations when loved ones need to rely on each other to get through a difficult time. As you prepare to plan your estate, remember that life can change at any moment, so your plans should be updated regularly. Bluff City Advisory Group is ready to help. Contact us today at admin@bluffcityadvisory.com or 901-365-3447. Chirag Chauhan, MBA, AIF®, CFP® is a managing partner of Bluff City Advisory Group in Memphis, Tennessee. For more info, please visit bluffcityadvisory.com.





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How to Address Patients’ Anxiety During Long Waits, continued from page 7 their waits will be. Patients who’re told that they will be seen ‘soon’ may assume that your practice staff are bluffing. As a result, they may become more anxious. However, those that know exactly how long they have to wait will be more certain of the outcome and thus less prone to frustration and stress. They will feel free to use their wait productively by checking their smartphones, sending emails, or reading a magazine. Explain the Reasons for Waiting Your patients certainly don’t need to know exactly what takes place in your practice. But some transparency is helpful in alleviating their anxiety while they wait. Instruct your front desk staff to provide waiting patients with valid explanations about why a doctor is delayed. Generic excuses about a doctor called away for an emergency may seem sufficient. But most patients will become frustrated with this obvious lack of information. Offering them a brief but valid explanation will set their minds at ease, help them cultivate compassion and patience, and make the wait ahead easier for them. Avoid Imposing Unfair Waiting Periods Patients sitting in a doctor’s waiting room expect to be seen according to the order they arrived and took their seats. Those already seated who see other patients arrive after them but see a doctor first will perceive this treatment as unfair and become agitated. In some cases, it may be necessary for the doctor to see certain patients sooner than others. In these cases, it’s essential for your practice staff to make it clear to

increasing death rate and declining life expectancy. The COVID pandemic has added an exclamation point to that trend, serving to exacerbate many of the existing negative developments. While few Americans have been unaffected by the pandemic, much of the health impact has

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Reduce Time & Improve Patient Perception It’s in the best interests of every medical practitioner to minimize the wait times that their patients face in their practices. This is one of the most effective steps you can take to improve your patients’ perceptions of your practice and its services without spending significant sums of money on infrastructural upgrades. Patients that are seen and assisted on time will be significantly more likely to recommend a practice to their colleagues and acquaintances. This is especially true if the practice’s competitors have standard, long waiting periods in place. Minimizing wait times and keeping your patients informed is possibly the simplest way available to set your practice apart. Gladys Torres is a writer who’s an advocate for self-care and leading a healthy lifestyle. She hopes that her writing can inspire others to prioritize their mental and physical well being.

What Scars, continued from page 7



patients exactly why their wait time may be different to that of another patient. As an example, if there are many different practitioners working from your premises, your patients should be given an explanation that their waiting times will differ due to each practitioner’s unique schedule. A front desk staff member or triage nurse who greets patients as they arrive can manage their expectations of wait times by offering information about wait time variations upfront. Most people will be happy to wait patiently if they have a valid explanation as to why it is necessary for them to do so. If they have a TV to watch, magazines to read, or games to play, they’ll feel even less stressed about the time.

been felt by the most vulnerable among us. We can expect an inordinate, and long-term, impact on the health and life chances of members of various minority groups—groups that were already struggling before the pandemic. One can only speculate on the longterm implications of these developments for our healthcare system and our society. It is safe, however, to assume that the world as we knew it no longer exists. Only time will reveal the health characteristics of the American population at the conclusion of what is promising to be a disaster with long-term consequences. We were clearly unprepared to deal with the direct effects of the pandemic. Hopefully, lessons have been learned, and we can proactively address the aftermath of this unprecedented health emergency. Richard K. Thomas is a medical sociologist and health demographer with 50 years healthcare experience. He has written over 20 books and been on various university and medical school faculties. Thomas works as a healthcare consultant and is a faculty member at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. He is also a research affiliate at the Social Science Research Center at Mississippi State University. MEMPHISMEDICALNEWS


Personnel Management During a Labor Shortage, continued from page 1 “How are you?” (Yes, just this simple question demonstrates your engagement and can stand out during this tumultuous time.) Follow it with: “What can we do to make you be more successful at your job?” You will be amazed at the suggestions – and your team will appreciate being asked. Review Compensation. The labor shortage is not the only influence on staff; as more health care organizations embrace a virtual delivery platform, there is a significant shift in the employment market. Employees can work for anyone – anywhere in the world. Your employees may be bombarded by offers from your local hospital, community health center, or nursing home, but they may also be receiving offers from organizations based in California, Alaska, or other far-flung places. It is an opportune time to make sure that you’re paying competitively. As many employees may focus solely on the hourly rate, it also pays to document the benefits you offer – and even attach a dollar value. Consider listing your full compensation package, to include health insurance, disability benefits, leave, and so forth. It might also be time to add a benefit such as childcare or tuition reimbursement, a payroll-deduction emergency savings account, and an extra health day (or two) for mental health or to make up preventive care skipped during the pandemic. Proactively Recruit. Do not wait until a position opens if you find great tal-

ent. Turnover is bound to happen, and it’s a much better investment to pay an extra few months’ salary – rather than wait for someone to resign and scramble. Consider looking in unexpected places – maybe you’ve had an interaction in a retail setting with someone who went above and beyond from a customer service perspective; or recruit back a former employee who decided to stay at home, compelling him or her with a flexible, part-time schedule. Part-timers can be a huge win for your practice, as there are often days of the week that demand higher resources (e.g., Mondays) that might be perfect for a part-timer – and your virtual business, if applicable, could accommodate someone working from home. Attrition does not have to be negative, but it certainly needs to be managed. Conduct exit interviews to learn from departing staff members what could have been done to improve the work environment. Most importantly, set a plan in motion now to avoid getting shocked by the resignations that may be coming across your desk in the near future. The contents of The Sentinel are intended for educational/informational purposes only and do not constitute legal advice. Policyholders are urged to consult with their personal attorney for legal advice, as specific legal requirements may vary from state to state and/or change over time. Reprinted with permission; September 2021 Sentinel. All rights reserved. ©SVMIC

A Conversation with G. Scott Morris, MD, MDiv, continued from page 6 them. Connect. People need human touch and that’s especially true for seniors. This has been terribly difficult to maintain during the pandemic, but we have to find ways to make it happen.” Church Health continues to explore ways to foster those connections and promote balanced, healthy living. And Morris is dedicated to doing his part to ensure that the organization remains a thriving resource for the community. “While providing quality, affordable healthcare to the uninsured remains

our primary mission, I think the nature of Church Health has changed dramatically,” Morris explained. “We’ve gone from one small building at Peabody and Belvedere to 150,000-square-feet at Crosstown. When I look in the mirror sometimes, I’m surprised by what I see on the outside because inside I still feel like that 33-year-old who landed here all those years ago. But one thing that hasn’t changed is the joy I find in all of this. It’s great to see what happens with God’s imagination.”

Do you have generalized myasthenia gravis (gMG)? RA101495-02.301: A Phase 3 Study with Zilucoplan in Patients with Generalized Myasthenia Gravis Ra Pharma is developing an investigational drug, zilucoplan, for patients with gMG. Zilucoplan is designed to work by preventing the body’s attack on neuromuscular junctions by blocking a component, C5, of the body’s immune system called the complement system. The main purpose of this study is to test how well zilucoplan works and how safe it is for patients with gMG. This study is a placebo-controlled study with a 12-week study treatment period. Study participants will continue their standard of care treatment during the study and, in addition, will receive study drug as a self-administered (at home) subcutaneous injection once daily. Your participation in this study will last approximately 16 weeks and would include approximately 7 study visits. You will have an option to continue to receive zilucoplan in a long-term extension study (RAISE-XT) after completing this clinical trial. To participate in this study, you will need to meet the following main entry criteria: 1. ≥18 years and <75 years of age 2. Diagnosed with generalized Myasthenia Gravis (MGFA Class II-IV) 3. Presence of antibodies to acetylcholine receptor 4. No thymectomy within past 12 months 5. No treatment with immunoglobins or plasma exchange within 4 weeks *Other inclusion and exclusion criteria may apply.

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Difficult Conversations During a Pandemic As providers, we continuously communicate with our patients and families. We listen to their medical histories, ask them to open wide, say aaahhh, take deep breaths, lie back to palpate the abdomen, and relax to elicit the patellar tendon response. We share the exam By ELIZABETH GALFO, findings, summa- MD rize test results and recommend a treatment plan. That’s a lot to fit into a 15 minute established patient slot. When everything goes well, we can feel like really effective communicators. As a Hospice and Palliative Medicine physician, I have found that sharing bad or unexpected news and end-of-life discussions with patients and their families is more challenging. It doesn’t usually fit very well into a regular workday, with the phone showing a queue of nurse case managers in their patients’ homes needing orders and multiple text messages demanding urgent responses. While some of our hospice patients have suffered catastrophic illnesses or injuries, the vast majority are at the end of chronic illnesses they have managed for years.

If anything, the multitude of incredible medical advances has made end-of-life conversations more complex. Many of our patients with heart disease have repeatedly enjoyed near-miraculous recoveries from the throes of death, thanks to new medications, procedures, and devices. Extraordinary advances in cancer treatments and interventions have transformed what used to be considered terminal illnesses into chronic diseases today. How do we know for sure this most recent relapse isn’t reversible, until every available treatment and intervention has been tried? When do we switch gears and focus on comfort? In the hierarchy of conversation complexity, however, COVID-19 is king. An 80-year-old woman was healthy, caring for her husband with dementia. Their son visited last month and unfortunately tested positive for COVID-19. None of the family members have been vaccinated. Two years ago, this scenario would not have meant much to me or my teammates. Today, it evokes a profound visceral response in every one of us. Because in this scenario, as in so many others today, both parents were hospitalized with pneumonia and hypoxia. Although they survived the acute illness, they were too weak to return home. So they were transferred to a skilled rehabilitation facility for physical therapy in hopes of giving them more time to recover and become stronger. How-

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ever, over the ensuing weeks, both continued to decline to the point that now, they are bedbound, beginning to develop decubiti, and have almost completely stopped eating, despite all efforts to turn things around. Due to the recent Delta strain surge, their son has not been allowed to visit them in person and is confused by the different reports during phone conversations with various staff members on different shifts. Due to their extremely poor prognosis, their attending physician has consulted the Hospice Team to meet with them to determine hospice eligibility and discuss their goals of care. COVID-19 creates an illness for which there is still a dearth of evidencebased practice, and my world has become a No Hubris Zone. During increasingly common scenarios such as this, donning and doffing for every patient encounter is becoming more automatic. However, it is still a challenge to sound compassionate and supportive through an N95, face shield, and goggles, while sporting the whole PPE ensemble of bouffant, gown, gloves, and shoe covers. I still sometimes struggle to find the right words, deal with the emotional reaction, fraught with temptations to assign blame, frustration at the lack of knowledge, and impotence to make a consistent difference in survival outcomes for these patients dealing with the terminal complications of this infectious disease. In the midst of the daily shifting statistics, alert levels, and protocols in what feels like accelerating entropy, one overarching theme seems to repeatedly emerge during each unique patient and family encounter when discussing serious news – Remember to Be. • Be intentional: dedicate this moment to shut out distraction and focus on this patient/family before me, right now.

• Be curious: encourage them to express what they understand. • Be empathic: seek to better understand their fears, desires, and needs. • Be respectful: ask permission to share what I understand. • Be clear: deliver serious news in a brief sentence, in their language. • Be silent: giving them a chance to process this information that may have massive implications for their lives. • Be observant: watch for and acknowledge their goals and emotional response. • Be an advocate: come alongside, to be there with them in this situation. • Be proactive: sum everything up and begin to look at next steps. • Be committed: let them know I will walk with them through the storm ahead. These are some of the medical lessons I am re-learning during this COVID-19 Pandemic. If there is any silver lining surrounding this pitch-black cloud, it consists of an opportunity for growth that may help me to also become a better wife, mother, sister, friend, and teammate. So to this year’s list of task-oriented professional goals, I am adding two that focus on simply Being: • Be Present. • Be Kind. Elizabeth Galfo, MD, FACP, FAAHPM, HMDC, hospice and palliative care medicine physician at St. Francis Reflections Lifestage Care, is a graduate of University of California in Davis, California and earned her medical degree from Oral Roberts School of Medicine in Tulsa, Oklahoma by receiving a full four-year Air Force Scholarship and ranked third in her class. She completed her internal medicine residency at Oral Roberts School of Medicine at City of Faith Hospital located in Tulsa, Oklahoma. In addition, Dr. Galfo has memberships in the following; American College of Physicians, American Academy of Hospice and Palliative Medicine, National Hospice and Palliative Organization, Alpha Omega Alpha Society and Phi Kappa Phi Society.

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GrandRounds Regional One Health Announces New Chief Operating Officer, Chief Financial Officer and Vice President of Ambulatory Services Regional One Health is pleased to welcome three individuals who have joined the health system’s executive leadership team in the positions of chief operating officer, chief financial officer and vice president of ambulatory services. Manoucheka Thermitus, MBA, has been named chief operating officer at Regional One Health, leading clinical and nonclinical operational areas including pharmacy, surgical services, laboratory, imaging, food and nutrition services, environmenManoucheka tal services, security and Thermitus emergency management. She has extensive experience in hospital administration, strategic planning, physician relations and patient experience. Prior to joining Regional One Health, she spent more than 10 years with the Tenet Healthcare system, serving as director of business development, chief strategy officer, and most recently chief operating officer at Saint Francis Hospital. Thermitus earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Florida and a Masters of Business Administration from The George Washington University.

She is a is a member of the American College of Healthcare Executives and serves on the Tennessee Hospital Association Council on Inclusion and Health Equity, Mid-South American Heart Association Board of Directors, and Shelby County COVID-19 Task Force. Jim Proctor has been named senior vice president and chief financial officer at Regional One Health. Proctor has more than 24 years of experience in health care finance. Proctor joined Regional One Health in 2009 and spent the last 12 years in various Jim Proctor finance roles prior to being promoted to CFO this year. In this role, Proctor oversees all areas of finance of the health system including revenue cycle, accounting and strategic financial planning. He also has oversight of internal audit, facilities operations and materials management. Alicia Smith-Steele has been named vice president of ambulatory services. Smith-Steele joined Regional One Health in 2018 as director of practice operations. During her tenure, she has been instrumental in improving operations in the outpaAlicia Smithtient center and commuSteele nity primary care. In her current role, Smith-Steele leads the op-

erations of all ambulatory sites including outpatient offices on the main campus as well as the primary care practices and specialty physician offices throughout the community. Prior to joining Regional One Health, Smith-Steele held executive positions in integrated health systems and a managed care organization.

U.S. to Join Suit Against Tennessee Health System Alleging $800M in Fraud From Becker’s Hospital Review The U.S. government filed a motion to intervene Oct. 8 in a whistleblower false claims lawsuit filed against Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare in Memphis, Tenn. The original whistleblower lawsuit, filed in 2017 and unsealed in 2019, alleges Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare paid kickbacks that allowed The West Clinic’s outpatient treatment centers to become part of Methodist Le Bonheur and allowed West Clinic to manage inpatient and outpatient adult care at Methodist Le Bonheur. The plaintiffs claim that one purpose of the payments was to induce referrals from oncologists and other medical specialists at Memphis-based West Clinic to Methodist Le Bonheur. The lawsuit claims physicians at West Clinic were given kickbacks for referrals of cancer patients for hospital admissions, chemical infusions, radiation and certain outpatient procedures.

The lawsuit claims the scheme took place from 2012 to 2018 and that Methodist Le Bonheur paid more than $400 million in kickbacks to West Clinic. Additionally, the lawsuit claims the scheme resulted in $800 million in fraudulent claims being submitted to Medicare. In the motion to intervene, the U.S. states it is seeking to recover damages on claims that Methodist Le Bonheur knowingly paid kickbacks and submitted false claims to federal healthcare programs, including Medicare and Medicaid. The plaintiffs in the case, two former Methodist executives, said they strongly support intervention by the U.S. The executives were the former CEO of Methodist University Hospital and the former dean of the School of Medicine at University of Tennessee Health Science. Methodist Le Bonheur said it intends to oppose the intervention. “We are disappointed by the Department of Justice’s decision to seek to intervene in this qui tam lawsuit; nothing has changed about the case since DOJ’s initial decision not to intervene in September 2019,” Methodist Le Bonheur said in a statement obtained by Becker’s. “The lawsuit seeks to portray customary and legal business arrangements between MLH and West Clinic physicians as illegal activities. The allegations in the suit are without merit and we will vigorously defend against them.”

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GrandRounds Memphis Medical Foundation and Memphis Medical Society Expand Thrive Confidential Wellbeing Hotline A year after launching the physician wellness program, Thrive, Memphis Medical Foundation and Memphis Medical Society expand the eligible physicians to include those training as a current medical resident in Shelby County. Research again and again cites physician burnout as a serious health concern. In some studies, as many as 63% of physicians say they have felt significant burnout symptoms. These statistics were reported before the COVID-19 pandemic, and we know the crisis has only increased the immeasurable stress on physicians and healthcare professionals. September 17th is National Physician Suicide Awareness Day. There is no better time to expand these mental health opportunities to residents. Burnout not only can harm the physician, but also his or her patients. The residual effects on our healthcare system are immeasurable. We also know that threats to a physician’s professional and social lives can be impacted due to hesitation in seeking care. This stands very true for residents who are just beginning their practicing career.

Thrive addresses these concerns proactively by providing a confidential hotline (901-286-3110) that practicing physicians and now residents can call or text to request an appointment with a licensed psychologist. The Memphis Medical Foundation will cover the costs of up to six sessions with this psychologist. A physician or resident can simply call or text 901-286-3110 to request an appointment. He or she can also fill out the form at https://hipaa.jotform.com/ ACOOK24/thrive-request. A psychologist will be in touch immediately. Memphis Medical Foundation works with the psychologist to pay the costs of the first six appointments. After that, the physician can continue the relationship with the psychologist at their own cost. All initial information collected for the appointment is confidential. If you are interested in donating to Thrive to help cover physicians’ appointments, please click here, or visit bit.ly/MMFdonate.

West Cancer Foundation Announces Research and Education Grants to Memphis Universities West Cancer Foundation has announced it is awarding a total of $380,227 in grants to the University of Memphis and the University of Tennessee Health Science Center/College of

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Medicine for local research and education. The grants expand upon partnerships West Cancer Foundation initiated with the two universities in 2020 when West Cancer Foundation was formed. The University of Memphis will receive $63,000 to be used as seed or expanded funding for four key areas identified by West Cancer Foundation as concerns in our community including: closing the disparity gap in breast cancer screening, health equity, community outreach for the uninsured/underinsured and HPV, and smoking cessation. Working in conjunction with West Cancer Foundation, the U of M’s Division of Research & Innovation will identify specific new and existing research initiatives within the university to receive individual grants of up to $15,000 each. The goal of the Collaborative Research Initiative is to promote new lines of research and provide seed funding to enable larger collaborations and the pursuit of future external funding. The financial support from West Cancer Foundation, provided to the U of M’s School of Public Health, builds on the previous research grant awarded in

2020 totaling $23,500. The University of Tennessee Health Science Center/College of Medicine will receive $317,227 for the 2021-2022 academic year to fund three gynecological oncology fellows and one radiation oncology resident as part of the West Cancer Foundation Fellowship program. The support for these oncologists-intraining, in conjunction with supervising physicians at UTHSC, will enhance critical research, education, patient support and community outreach. The grant expands upon the funding West Cancer Foundation provided UTHSC in 2020 which totaled $539,241 to support five oncology fellows and two radiation oncology residents.

Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare Names Lipson Chief Medical Officer Methodist Le Bonheur Healthcare has named Wayne Lipson, MD, senior vice president and chief medical officer for the system. Lipson will lead initiatives advancing the healthcare system’s clinical excellence in quality, patient and (continued on page13

UTHSC’s Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, Authors First Comprehensive Textbook on Prediabetes Samuel Dagogo-Jack, MD, DSc, chief of the Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism, and Diabetes at the University of Tennessee Health Science Center, has written the first comprehensive textbook on prediabetes. Titled “Prediabetes: A Fundamental Text,” the book was published by the American Diabetes Association on July 27, and sold out that day. The A.C. Mullins Endowed Chair in Translational Research, Dr. Dagogo-Jack traces his research interest in prediabetes to the late 1990s, when he was the principal investigator on a diabetes prevention study at Washington University in St. Louis. The study enrolled people with prediabetes and tested various interventions, including medication and lifestyle changes, to determine their effect on the progression to diabetes. When he joined the faculty of UTHSC in the early 2000s, he continued as the principal investigator on that study, which is ongoing today and has published more than 100 findings. Samuel Dagogo-Jack Dr. Dagogo-Jack has continued to lead numerous studies on prediabetes and diabetes with funding amounting to more than $20 million from the National Institutes of Health and the American Diabetes Association to try to understand the origin and progression of the disease. With information gathered over decades, along with that from other researchers around the world, Dr. Dagogo-Jack began thinking about the fact that there was no definitive resource for others similarly interested in prediabetes, and certainly nothing to help translate the science related to it to frontline health care workers treating those with the condition. A comprehensive textbook did not exist. COVID-19 gave him time to get his thoughts together, compile his observations and those of researchers from around the globe, and write the book. The book, his seventh, explores the pathophysiology, complications, management, and reversal of prediabetes. Dr. Dagogo-Jack hopes that the information he has compiled and logically presented will help clinicians, researchers, public health practitioners, policy makers and the public better understand prediabetes, and by extension diabetes, which afflicts 463 million people globally. “Prediabetes: A Fundamental Text,” is available through the American Diabetes Association, Amazon, and other booksellers. memphismedicalnews


GrandRounds physician experience and patient safety. Lipson joins MLH from Baptist Health in western Kentucky, where he most recently served as lead physician execuWayne Liupson tive for the system’s West Region and chief medical officer for their 410-bed regional academic acute care hospital. While there, he led efforts to reduce hospital readmission rates and created a physician-led regional leadership council, tasked with improving safety, quality and patient experience. A board certified cardiovascular surgeon, Lipson devoted seven years to building a state-of-the-art cardiothoracic and vascular surgery practice. He earned both a bachelor’s degree in mechanical engineering and a master’s degree in biomedical engineering from Worcester Polytechnic Institute. He earned his medical degree from the State University of New York at Stony Brook, and completed general and thoracic surgery residencies at Brigham and Women’s Hospital/Harvard Medical School. More recently, Lipson earned an MBA from Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

West Cancer Center Welcomes Three New Providers West Cancer Center & Research Institute has recently welcomed three new physicians to its oncology network: Dr. Richard Gilmore, Dr. Steven Nokes, and Dr. Saradasri Karri Wellikoff. Dr. Richard Gilmore joined West’s Margaret West Comprehensive Breast Center located in Germantown, TN. He received his medical degree from Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta, GA, then completed an internship and residency in General Richard Gilmore Surgery at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine. After completing a Breast Surgical Oncology Fellowship at Margaret West Comprehensive Breast Center, he is now on staff as one of our 4 breast surgeons. Dr. Steven Nokes brings over 30 years of breast specific radiology experience to Margaret West Comprehensive Breast Center. The breast center only trust radiologists who specialize in breast to ensure accuracy and early detection. Dr. Nokes earned Steven Nokes his medical degree from the University of Tennessee followed by

a Radiology Residency at the University of South Florida, with a Fellowship from Duke University Medical Center. He comes to the network from Radiology Consultants in Little Rock, AR. While serving Radiology Consultants, he served as the Section Chief of CT/MRI from 1989-2004, President from 20032009, and Chief of Workflow from 20092017. Dr. Nokes was also the Editor of Radiology Case of the Month for Arkansas Medical Journal from 1990-2008. Dr. Saradasri Karri Wellikoff earned her Medical Degree and Residency in Internal Medicine from the University of Tennessee Health Science Center. She completed her Hematology/ Oncology Fellowship at West Cancer Center. Dr. Wellikoff specializes in endocrine, neuroendocrine, and central ner- Saradasri Karri Wellikoff vous system tumors. She will treat patients at the MidtownMemphis / Regional One Health Cancer Center Campus and the Germantown location.

Baptist Memorial Health Care Names New Chief Medical Officer Baptist Memorial Health Care has appointed Dr. Saju Joy as senior vice president, chief medical officer and chief physician executive.

In this role, Joy will lead the medical staff functions as well as have responsibility for Baptist Medical Group, working with Dr. Mark Swanson, Baptist Medical Group’s Saju Joy president and CEO. He also will provide oversight of regulatory compliance, infection prevention, operational quality and quality analytics, clinical research and graduate medical education. Joy was most recently the chief medical officer for the central division of Atrium Health in Charlotte, North Carolina, where he also led the hospital’s quality and safety efforts and COVID-19 response. He also served as facility president of Atrium Health Mercy hospital. Joy graduated from North Carolina State University with engineering degrees and received a doctor of medicine from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He completed obstetrics and gynecology residency training at the University of Florida Health Science Center in Jacksonville and a subspecialty fellowship in maternal fetal medicine at The Ohio State University. He has an MBA from Duke University and is board certified in general OB-GYN and maternal fetal medicine.

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GrandRounds Campbell Clinic Group Adds Four New Physicians Campbell Clinic Orthopaedics, a leader in musculoskeletal care and sports medicine since 1909, recently announced the hiring of several new physicians to their team. Dr. Chad Campion will be returning to Campbell Clinic at their Wolf River location. Dr. Campion has expertise in performing minimally invasive spine surgery, cervical disk replacement and lateral interbody fusion, as well as treating spinal tumors, adult degenerative sco- Chad Campion liosis, degenerative disk disease, bone health and a range of other patient problems. In addition, Dr. Campion is the first surgeon in the Mid-South region to offer the minimally invasive posterior decompression and fusion (MidLIF) technique. Dr. Campion finished his residency at Campbell Clinic and completed his fellowship in spine surgery at Norton-Leatherman Spine in Louisville, Kentucky. Dr. Campion received his Doctor of Medicine from Rutgers, New Jersey Medical School in Newark, NJ. He is currently a member of the North American Spine Society and the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons. Dr. Carson Rider is returning to Campbell Clinic as a foot and ankle sur-

geon. Dr. Rider is originally from McKenzie, TN. He did his orthopaedic residency at Campbell Clinic and completed his fellowship at the Hospital for Special Surgery, Carson Rider where he focused on foot and ankle surgeries in New York, NY. Dr. Rider’s main focus areas are Total Ankle Replacement in the outpatient setting, foot and ankle sports surgery that focuses on Achilles tendon, ruptures and reconstruction, ankle sprains and fractures. Dr. Rider graduated at the top of his class from medical school at the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. Dr. Rider has experience covering Fayette Academy, Bolton High School, and Briarcrest’s high school football teams. He is a member of the American Orthopaedic Foot and Ankle Society, American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, AO North America, Tennessee Orthopaedic Society and the Mid-America Orthopaedic Association. Dr. Wesley Owen is returning to Campbell Clinic as a primary care sports medicine provider. He completed Campbell Clinic’s Family Medicine Sports Medicine Fellowship and is expertly trained in treating a range of Wesley Owen



WHO WE ARE The Mid-South Medical Group Management Association (MSMGMA) formed in 1987 when a group of practice managers across Memphis started meeting to discuss common experiences in their offices. The group has now grown to include more than 100 members from the Memphis area. MSMGMA is the premier association for professionals who lead Medical Practices. Through regular in-person and/or virtual educational meetings, networking events, and access to statewide webinars and conferences, our group serves as a powerful resource for Practice Executives.

WH MID SOUTH MGMA ? Healthcare is one of the most complex industries in the country. MSMGMA offers resources to every type of practice manager, whether you are in a private office or a hospital system. MSMGMA offers opportunities to learn from other practice executives and mentor those newly in their roles. We provide education opportunities, bringing in speakers from across our region to discuss applicable topics to your practices.

MID-SOU T Hmiss M out E DonI our C Aupcoming L GRO UP Don’t meetings/speakers, webinars and TMGMA conferences renew M A N A G E M E N T A S S O C I A T I Oyour N membership today! Mid-South MGMA I 1067 Cresthaven Rd, Memphis, TN 38119

B E N E F I T S O Fmsmgma@mdmemphis.org MEMBERSHIP Education & Information


Monthly meetings and annual spring and fall conferences Bi-monthly newsletter

Networking Membership Database & Members Only section on our website Monthly networking luncheons with educational speakers included

Easy access to industry news, job postings, and scholarship information Active guidance toward certification and fellowship in the American College of Medical Practice Executives


State and national information about legislative issues that impact your practice




Includes state-wide Tennessee Medical An affiliate Member is a vendor/supplier which supplies products or services to Group Management Association medical groups and will be entitled to a membership and local MSMGMA limited membership with no voting membership. Active Members are engaged in membership or leadership of privileges, but will be permitted to OCTOBER/NOVEMBER 2021 attend meetings and participate in a medical group practice formally organized for the purpose of healthcare other activities of the MSMGMA. It is the hope of the MSMGMA that the delivery or individuals that provide MSMGMA and the affiliate member will administrative or related support services to one or more medical group each benefit mutually in the exchange of information, ideas and economic practices, such as management support. The MSMGMA does not in any companies, consultants, billing, etc. way endorse the products, supplies or services of an affiliated member.


STUDENT: $50 A student Member is a person who is currently enrolled full time through an accredited postsecondary college or university in a baccalaureate or masters level program that enhances or corresponds to the profession of medical practice management. Student members will be entitled to a limited membership with no voting privileges and cannot hold office but will be permitted to attend meetings and participate in other activities of the MSMGMA.

patients including elite athletes, children, non-athletes, hurt-on-the-job patients, senior citizens, and everything in between. Dr. Owen also has special training in Sports Concussions and ultrasound guided injection therapy for arthritis. Dr. Owen finished his residency at the University of Tennessee’s St. Francis Family Medicine Program. He received his Doctor of Medicine from The University of Tennessee Health Science Center, College of Medicine. Dr. Owen’s current sports medicine coverage includes The University of Memphis, Memphis Hustle, Memphis 901FC, The Memphis Redbirds, and Evangelical Christian School. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Medical Association, and American Medical Society for Sports Medicine, Tennessee Medical Association, and the Memphis Medical Society. Dr. Matthew Gilbert is joining Campbell Clinic as a sports medicine provider. A Memphis native, Dr. Gilbert was a Houston High School graduate before he received his undergraduate degree from Rhodes College and his Doctor of Medicine from the Matthew Gilbert University of Tennessee Health Science Center College of Medicine. He completed residency and fellowship in Tuscaloosa, Alabama with the University of Alabama’s Family Medicine Residency and Primary Care Sports Medicine Fellowship programs. He is proficient in the evaluation and treatment of a variety of acute and chronic musculoskeletal conditions in patients of all ages. He is also experienced in the management of a number of general medical conditions like sports-related concussions, exertional heat illness, and cardiac issues in the athletic population. During his time in Tuscaloosa, Dr. Gilbert served as a member of the medical staff for the Crimson Tide, covering several programs including, among others, the women’s basketball team, the SEC champion gymnastics and softball teams, and the national championship football team. He is a member of the American Academy of Family Physicians and the American Medical Society for Sports Medicine. Dr. Gilbert’s current coverage will primarily include Rhodes College, the University of Memphis, the Memphis Redbirds, and Bartlett High School.

through UT Health Science Center, after the completion of his Orthopaedic Hand Fellowship with Indiana Hand to Shoulder Center in Indianapolis, IN. He previously earned his B.S. in biomedical sciences from Marquette University and his medical degree from Medical College of Wisconsin, both in Milwaukee, WI. He has authored a number of research papers on hand issues, including arthritis of the thumb and carpometacarpal arthroplasty (joint replacement). The OrthoSouth hand and wrist team stands out for its team approach incorporating the expertise of fellowship-trained hand and wrist

OrthoSouth Hand Center Welcomes Dr. Peter Henning

President: Pamela Z. Haskins Vice President: Patrick Rains

OrthoSouth has welcomed Dr. Peter Henning as its newest upper extremity orthopedic surgeon. He will see patients at the group’s clinics in Memphis (Briarcrest Ave. location), Germantown, and Southaven, MS. Dr. Henning returns to the Memphis area, where he completed his Orthopaedic Surgery Residency

(continued on page 15)

PUBLISHER Pamela Z. Haskins pamela@memphismedicalnews.com EDITOR PL Jeter editor@memphismedicalnews.com PHOTOGRAPHER Greg Campbell ADVERTISING INFORMATION 501.247.9189 Pamela Z. Haskins CREATIVE DIRECTOR Susan Graham sgraham@nashvillemedicalnews.com GRAPHIC DESIGNERS Susan Graham, Katy Barrett-Alley CONTRIBUTING WRITERS Lawrence Buser, Chirag Chauhan, James Dowd, Al Da Silva, Richard K. Thomas, PhD, Gladys Torres, Elizabeth Woodcock All editorial submissions and press releases should be sent to editor@ memphismedicalnews.com Subscription requests can be mailed to the address below or emailed to pamela@memphismedicalnews.com. Memphis Medical News is now privately and locally owned by Ziggy Productions, LLC. P O Box 164831 Little Rock, AR 72206

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GrandRounds surgeons with the knowledge and skill of certified hand therapists. Coinciding with the addition of Dr. Henning, the OrthoSouth hand team has also added certified hand therapy at the group’s Southaven clinic to better serve North Mississippi patients and provide more convenient access to the group’s specialized services. All the members of the OrthoSouth hand and wrist surgery team are specially trained, experienced, and skilled in hand and wrist diagnoses, treatment and surgery. In addition to their extensive residency training, each orthopedic hand surgeon has undergone advanced sub-specialty training and acquisition of skills in programs known as fellowships. These qualified hand and wrist surgeons provide each patient with superior knowledge and expertise in the area of hand surgery. To learn more about the OrthoSouth hand and wrist team, visit us at https:// orthosouth.org/hand-wrist/.

Yan Cui and Team Are Innovating AI Approach to Address Biomedical Data Inequality Yan Cui, PhD, associate professor in the UTHSC Department of Genetics, Genomics, and Informatics, recently received a $1.7 million grant from the National Cancer Institute for a study titled “Algorithm-based prevention and reduction of cancer health disparity arising from data inequality.” Dr. Cui’s project aims to prevent and reduce Yan Cui health disparities caused by ethnically-biased data in cancer-related genomic and clinical omics studies. His objective is to establish a new machine learning paradigm for use with multiethnic clinical omics data. For nearly 20 years, scientists have been using genome-wide association studies, known as GWAS, and clinical omics studies to detect the molecular basis of diseases. But statistics show that over 80% percent of data used in GWAS come from people of predominantly European descent. As artificial intelligence (AI) is increasingly applied to biomedical research and clinical decisions, this European-centric skew is set to exacerbate long-standing disparities in health. With less than 20% of genomic samples coming from people of non-European descent, underrepresented populations are at a severe disadvantage in datadriven, algorithm-based biomedical research and health care. The project is innovative in the type of machine learning technique it will use. Multiethnic machine learning normally uses mixture learning and independent learning schemes. Dr. Cui’s project will instead be using a transfer learning process.



Transfer learning works much the same way as human learning. When faced with a new task, instead of starting the learning process from scratch, the algorithm leverages patterns learned from solving a related task. This approach greatly reduces the resources and amount of data required for developing new models. Using large-scale cancer clinical omics data and genotype-phenotype data, Dr. Cui’s lab will examine how and to what extent transfer learning improves machine learning on data-

disadvantaged cohorts. In tandem with this, the team aims to create an open resource system for unbiased multiethnic machine learning to prevent or reduce new health disparities. Neil Hayes, MD, MPH, assistant dean for Cancer Reesearch in the UTHSC College of Medicine and director of the UTHSC Center for Cancer Research, and Athena Starlard-Davenport, PhD, associate professor in the Department of Genetics, Genomics, and Informatics, are co-Investigators on the grant. Yan Gao, PhD, a postdoctoral scholar work-

ing with Dr. Cui, is a machine learning expert in the team. A pilot study for this project, funded by the UT Center for Integrative and Translational Genomics and UTHSC Office of Research, has been published in Nature Communications.

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Brunswick Place The pandemic has put older adults at particular risk for mental health issues. Its impact has limited social contact and has increased the rate of depression and even suicidal thoughts. We can help your loved one with our high-quality mental health treatment programs. During this time, we are taking necessary precautions to help keep our patients safe and connected including increased sanitation practices, virtual family visitation and socially distanced peer interactions. Our goal is to assist each patient in regaining functioning and living a happier life.

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We can help. Call us today at 901-377-4733 or visit lakesidebhs.com to find out more. We are here 24 hours a day, 7 days a week for a no-cost assessment. Physicians are on the medical staff of Lakeside Behavioral Health System, but, with limited exceptions, are independent practitioners who are not employees or agents of Lakeside Behavioral Health System. The facility shall not be liable for actions or treatments provided by physicians. For language assistance, disability accommodations and the non-discrimination notice, visit our website. Model representations of real patients are shown. Actual patients cannot be divulged due to HIPAA regulations. 210138-0799 10/21

2911 Brunswick Road Memphis, Tennessee 38133 901.377.4733 | lakesidebhs.com