American College of Physicians: The healthcare response to pandemic influenza/avian flu

American College of Physicians 2006 Annual Session scheduled for Philadelphia, April 6-8, 2006

"The Health Care Response to Pandemic Influenza," a new policy paper from the American College of Physicians (ACP), that supports the U.S. Government's foresight in developing a national strategic response plan, will be presented at the American College of Physicians (ACP) Annual Session, April 6-8, in Philadelphia. The paper critiques the national preparedness plan and aims to boost the efforts of state and local leadership in addressing the threat of pandemic influenza, including avian flu, to public health.

ACP, the nation's largest medical specialty society, will release its stance on developing a comprehensive and effective health care response that is critical to save lives, decrease illness, and avoid disruption to the economy. In order to achieve these goals, ACP believes that physicians in all health care settings, and particularly primary care physicians in non-hospital settings, must be fully integrated into the response plans.

ACP recommends that internists, who as primary care physicians represent the backbone of the healthcare system, play a critical role in the planning and strategy for addressing pandemic influenza or other public health crisis. Hands-on clinical training of internists should be implemented to address a public health crisis, such as pandemic influenza, ACP says.

A pandemic, ACP warns, will place extraordinary and sustained demands on the U.S. health care system. It will require all non-hospital-based health care providers, internists and family practice providers in particular, to be prepared to counsel, diagnose, treat and monitor patients outside of hospital settings in order to decrease the likelihood of surges that would overwhelm hospital capacity.

ACP supports strengthening public health emergency preparedness efforts through a number of practical recommendations.

Press Briefing - Friday, April 7, 2006 from 10:30 AM to 11:15 AM

A press briefing will be held at the ACP Annual Session in Room 105A room at the Pennsylvania Convention Center where ACP leaders will discuss the issues surrounding a possible public health crisis. Medical/health reporters and editors are encouraged to register for press credentials ASAP by visiting http://www.acponline.org/college/pressroom/as_pressreg06.htm. Press credentials are subject to conditions of the ACP press policy (www.acponline.org/policy).

For journalists not able to attend the meeting, the press briefing will be available via teleconference. At 10:15 AM, journalists are to call 800-860-2442. The briefing will begin at 10:30 AM. During the briefing callers will be in "listen-only" mode and following the speaker's announcements, a Q & A session will begin. The operator will cue all journalists at that time to present questions.

Have questions about the conference or need more information? Contact: Lynda Teer, 215-351-2655 or 800- 523-1546, ext. 2655 lteer@acponline.org; or commdept@acponline.org

ACP's Annual Session is geared to specialists in internal medicine (internists), who provide comprehensive primary and subspecialty care to adult patients. More than 6,000 physicians, medical students, and other health care professionals will attend Annual Session to learn about recent medical advances, quality improvement issues, gain insight on ethical topics, and learn about new diagnostic skills.

Press registrants will have access to more than 200 of the scientific sessions and all press briefings. The ACP Annual Session is the largest continuing education meeting for internal medicine. Don't miss the opportunity to experience it first-hand.

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PRESS OFFICE: Room 105B, Pennsylvania Convention Center
Hours: Wed., 4/5/06, 12-5 p.m.;
Thurs., 4/6/06, 6:45 a.m.-5:30 p.m.
Fri., 4/7/06, 8 a.m.-5:30 p.m.;
Sat., 4/8/06, 8 a.m.-3:30 p.m.
Press Office Phone: 215-418-2426

The American College of Physicians (ACP) is the largest medical-specialty organization and the second-largest physician group in the United States. ACP members include more than 119,000 internal medicine physicians (internists), related subspecialists, medical students and residents. Internists treat the majority of adults in the United States.


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