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  News and Updates

Sports Injuries May Be Gateway to Opioid Abuse

by Medical Staff Office on November 20, 2015

For every athlete, recreational or professional, young or old, injury is probably going to sideline them at some point in their career. Edward McDevitt, MD, an orthopedic surgeon with Bay Area Orthopaedics & Sports Medicine, sees many of these athletes and knows that getting them back in the game is important. But so is treating their pain responsibly.

In the past two decades, opioid addiction rates have soared across the nation. In Anne Arundel County, 308 heroin and opioid overdoses were reported last year. And prescription opioid abuse is often a first step to heroin addiction.

That’s because when a person can’t get enough pain medications from a doctor to satisfy their need, they often turn to the street. “And once you start buying those narcotics on the street, you realize how expensive they are,” says Dr. McDevitt. “Then it’s very easy to switch to heroin, because it’s 10 times more euphoria-producing and 10 times cheaper than oxycodone.”

The PCP’s Role in Prevention
According to Dr. McDevitt, primary care doctors play an integral role in preventing this cycle from starting. “We as physicians have to realize our part in it as the first person who’s giving people what we think are legitimate narcotics,” he says.

His first piece of advice for treating injury-related pain: “Don’t think of narcotics first.” Dr. McDevitt often prescribes anti-inflammatory medication, directs patients to apply topical pain relievers, and refers them to physical therapy. He also encourages people to consider alternative therapies, like chiropractic care and acupuncture.

But if a patient’s pain level merits opioid painkillers, start by prescribing a small number and tell the patient to request more if needed. Most people don’t finish a 30- or 60-pill prescription, and leftover narcotics stored in a medicine cabinet are at high risk of being abused by family members or acquaintances.

Once you’ve started prescribing narcotics, keep in mind that after a while, you have to stop. “A lot of times an athlete says, ‘I’ve got a big game, I need a little extra,’” says Dr. McDevitt. “You fall into the trap of helping the athlete who’s not really taking it because they’re in pain.”

Don’t Be Fooled
Educating yourself will help you avoid traps laid by drug seekers. There are CME courses on safe opioid prescribing, and Dr. McDevitt says it’s also worthwhile to type “scam doctor for narcotics” in Google. “The statements I found are things I’ve heard in the last three months from my patients,” says Dr. McDevitt.

“I know that I’m imperfect too, because I’ve been fooled,” admits Dr. McDevitt. But he strongly believes that becoming aware of the opioid addiction problem and the role physicians play can make a difference in the current crisis. “I wish doctors realized how important they are in the process,” he says.

Expanding Mental Health Services at AAMC

by Medical Staff Office on November 20, 2015

As you may have recently read in The Capital newspaper, AAMC is seeking to add an inpatient mental health unit to help close the gap in mental health and substance use treatment in Anne Arundel County. The Capital called the plan “welcome news” for the community. For years, AAMC has been providing many of the mental health and substance use services that our community needs, and partnering with outside agencies to connect patients with appropriate resources. But these services are not enough. In our emergency room, almost half of the patients who need inpatient mental healthcare must wait up to five days for space to open in other hospitals. This can’t continue. Before we can provide an inpatient mental health unit, we must apply for, and be granted, a Certificate of Need (CON) from the Maryland Health Care Commission. We submit our application in February 2016 and look forward to sharing more details of the plans at that time. If you have questions, please contact Ray Hoffman, MD, medical director of behavioral health, at

Educating the Future of Medicine: AAMC Approved for Surgical GME

by Medical Staff Office on November 20, 2015

Early this summer, we announced that the Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education (ACGME) approved our application for initial institutional accreditation. This designation meant that we could then submit applications for one or more graduate medical education (GME) programs to the specialty-specific Residency Review Committee. On October 26, 2015, we learned that ACGME approved the first of these applications, a residence in surgery. This approval allows us to develop native residency programs to teach the next generations of physicians and provide them with unparalleled opportunities to learn about patient safety, cost containment and population health improvement, preparing them to practice in the era of accountable care. Our plan is to establish the GME programs at AAMC in phases. Phase one will be the surgical residency program, with the fi rst residents beginning in the 2017–2018 academic year. Our next phase will focus on internal medicine, and we will share more information as it becomes available.

Heart and Vascular Unit Celebrates New Cardiac Catheterization Lab

by Medical Staff Office on November 20, 2015

Team members from the Heart and Vascular Unit and the Cardiac Catheterization Lab recently gathered to celebrate the opening of a new catheterization lab as part of the AAMC Heart and Vascular Institute. To date, the AAMC Foundation has raised more than $1 million for the new lab, with a $750,000 donation from the AAMC Auxiliary and support from AAMC’s Philanthropy Council, led by Pat Tate and Pam Batstone. The funds matched a $500,000 bond bill from the State of Maryland.

Research Update: New Options for Treating Prostate Cancer

by Medical Staff Office on November 20, 2015

Men with prostate cancer that is resistant to certain treatments and who are at risk for developing advanced disease now have a new option. The AAMC Research Institute is enrolling prostate cancer patients (whose cancer has not yet spread) in a trial testing a novel agent called ODM-1. ODM-1 is a pill that helps to block the production of certain male hormones that stimulate prostate cancer growth. Approximately 1,500 patients world-wide will be randomly assigned to either take ODM-1 or a placebo. The study hopes to fi nd out if the new ODM-1 drug can help keep the disease from spreading in high-risk prostate cancer patients. For more information, contact Elizabeth Egan, RN, clinical research nurse, at

Dr. Joe Moser Retires from AAMC

by Medical Staff Office on November 20, 2015

After 40 years of leadership and service, Sr. Vice President of Medical Affairs Dr. Joe Moser is retiring from Anne Arundel Medical Center this November.

Dr. Moser joined our medical staff as an OBGYN in May 1975. He was chief of the OBGYN service from 1986 through 1990, and served as president of the medical staff from 1995 to 1997. In 1997, Dr. Moser became AAMC’s vice president of medical affairs, a position he has held for the last 18 years. In this role, he oversees the peer review process for optimizing patient care, as well as medical staff credentialing, and he is a key leader of the medical staff at the executive level.

As a leader, Dr. Moser is known for his diplomacy, building collaborative relationships with physicians and achieving consensus among staff from varied backgrounds and disciplines. His open-door policy has enabled staff at every level of the organization to reap the benefits of his sage advice on many issues.

Here are just a few of Dr. Moser’s many noteworthy accomplishments:

  • Developed medical staff quality/peer review program combining specialty-specific expert review with centralized multispecialty review committee, including mid-level provider, risk management, and patient advisor representation.
  • Developed and implemented Bioethics Program with bioethicist leadership and clinical core team, and monthly Ethics Educational Forums.
  • Created hospitalist programs, which serve as models for several other Maryland hospitals.
  • Spearheaded AAMC’s original patient safety program including a “blame-free” reporting hotline (x4PTS), medical errors analysis and reduction program, trending, and monitoring.
  • Developed, organized and operationalized medical staff structure utilizing compensated physician department chairs (now full-time employees) for health system administrative roles, operational responsibilities, and medical staff leadership responsibilities.
  • Conceived, developed and operated Anne Arundel Health System Research Institute (AAHSRI), a not-for-profit corporation under the health system with more than 100 active clinical trials and research studies.
  • Developed the Johns Hopkins Clinical Research Network with AAHS Research Institute as a Charter Affiliate and founding member.
  • Developed hospital program to provide care for health department maternity clinic patients (350 deliveries annually) when academic center withdrew its OB residents
  • Created and implemented an outcomes analysis program, applying data acquisition and statistical analysis to internal quality indicators; program includes EPIC EMR reporting tools and Crimson Analytics Program.
  • Spent 18 nurturing very good relations with a diverse medical staff, which has grown to more than 1,000 members.

Dr. Moser has been an executive team representative to the AAMC Board of Trustees since 1995, and he served on the Pathways Board of Directors from 1997 to 2010.  In 2012, Dr. Moser received the AAMC Medical Staff “Distinguished Service” Award for his contributions to the growth and evolution of our medical staff, and in 2015, he was recognized with the “Pioneer Award” for creating the Research Institute.

During his career, Dr. Moser was active in MedChi, the Maryland State Medical Society, serving on their committee on racial and ethics disparities.  Dr. Moser has served on the Boards of the Maryland Health Care Education Institute (MHEI) and chaired their annual Med Staff Leadership and Governance Conference, and advised the Health Care Advisory Board in the formation of their physician leadership programs.

Committed to performance improvement and his own leadership development, Dr. Moser attended Harvard University’s Quality Colloquium, and as a graduate of Leadership Anne Arundel, he has hosted LAA’s health and human services program for the past several years.

Dr. Moser is highly regarded for his compassionate care. Although he stopped practicing as an OBGYN 18 years ago, he continues to receive calls from former patients asking for advice. Many of his peers say with a smile that Dr. Moser has delivered most of the people living in Annapolis, and there is certainly some truth to that!

He has always been devoted to his family: his wife, Dr. Pam Beusch, who was his practice partner and an OBGYN on our medical staff, his children Lora, Michael and Stephanie, and grandchildren Jack and Brooke.

Dr. Moser’s last day is November 30, 2015.  Thanks and congratulations to Dr. Moser for 40 years of leadership and service.

Thank You, Heidi!

by Medical Staff Office on November 20, 2015

After 16 years of service, Heidi Katz, supervisor, Physician Relations, has retired. Heidi joined AAMC in 1999 as a marketing associate supporting Health Care Enterprises’ (HCE) physician recruitment efforts (now Physician Enterprise/Anne Arundel Medical Group) and field-based promotion of programs and specialists. She went on to work on the Business Development team for nine years and in Marketing/Communications for seven years. Best wishes, Heidi!

AAMC Heart and Vascular Unit Earns Excellence Award, Highest Ranking

by Medical Staff Office on November 20, 2015

The Heart and Vascular Unit was recently recognized with an Excellence through Insight award for “Overall Inpatient Telemetry Patient Experience” for a large hospital by HealthStream, Inc. AAMC was awarded this honor for its commitment to excellence in patient care. To qualify for an award, a hospital must have been a patient experience-tracking client of HealthStream in 2014, scored in the 75th percentile or higher, and surveyed a minimum of 100 patients. AAMC’s Heart and Vascular Unit is the highest ranked unit within HealthStream’s database and exceeded industry standards in patient experience.

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