As your Executive Director, it is my goal to make this newsletter a valuable tool for all of the members of the Medical Society and other interested readers. I plan to bring a new sense of vision for the future for the Society and to mold it into a vital, productive and user friendly source of information to all of its constituents.


This first month in my new position has been a learning experience and a challenge that has kept me at my desk. In the coming months I will be working to identify new goals and a clear set of priorities for the Society to better serve its members. I look forward to the opportunity to work with all of you.




Your 2016 dues invoices should have received in your office or home. If you have not sent in your dues payment, this is a friendly reminder that they are due. If you should have questions regarding the billing, please do not hesitate to give our office a call at 281-6073



Physician leaders from CMS, ADEMS, Denver, Mesa, Northern Colorado, and Aurora-Adams were on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC, Tuesday and Wednesday, Feb. 23-24, to advocate for physicians and patients. The delegation focused on educating the Colorado congressional delegation on four main issues:

•H.R. 4499, the Promoting Responsible Opioid Prescribing Act of 2016 and the Colorado's coalition efforts to reduce prescription drug abuse;

•The proposed health insurance industry mergers;

•Enactment of meaningful electronic health record (EHR) reforms; and

•S. 2484/H.R. 4442, the Connect for Health Act telemedicine legislation.


The Hill visits were part of the American Medical Association's National Advocacy Conference, which brought together over 30 state medical associations to hear the latest on national health policy and the politics of the 2016 election cycle. This was the first trip in well over a decade that physicians did not have to lobby for a fix to the sustainable growth rate (SGR).





After reports of microcephaly and other adverse pregnancy outcomes in infants of mothers infected with Zika virus during pregnancy, CDC issued a travel alert on January 15, 2016, advising pregnant women to consider postponing travel to areas with active transmission of Zika virus. On January 19, CDC released interim guidelines for U.S. health care providers caring for pregnant women with travel to an affected area (1), and an update was released on February 5 (2). As of February 17, CDC had received reports of nine pregnant travelers with laboratory-confirmed Zika virus disease; 10 additional reports of Zika virus disease among pregnant women are currently under investigation. No Zika virus–related hospitalizations or deaths 

among pregnant women were reported. Pregnancy outcomes among the nine confirmed cases included two early pregnancy losses, two elective terminations, and three live births (two apparently healthy infants and one infant with severe microcephaly); two pregnancies (approximately 18 weeks’ and 34 weeks’ gestation) are continuing without known complications. Confirmed cases of Zika virus infection were reported among women who had traveled to one or more of the following nine areas with ongoing local transmission of Zika virus: American Samoa, Brazil, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, Honduras, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and Samoa.







Wednesday, March 9, 2016

11:30 am to 1:00 pm



“Responding Skillfully to Stress, Illness and Life Challenges through Mindfulness”


Presented by: Reverend Jude LaFollette


           The Senate Bar & Grill


219 S. Grand Avenue, Pueblo


$16.00 for MHAP members; certificates provided to members at no cost


$21.00 for all others and $5 extra for certificates of attendance


SPECIAL REQUEST: Please RSVP by Friday, March 4, 2016 if you plan on attending and remind others who plan on attending to do so also, as this allows us to give The Senate Bar & Grill a better count so they can make sure there is enough food for everyone. In order to decrease duplicate reservations when leaving your RSVP, please provide your name, and if applicable, the names of those who will be joining you. Thank-you!


To RSVP, either reply to our email address, ( ) or call/text (719) 966-PMHA (7642)




New data paint a grim picture of Colorado’s rising drug-related deaths. The statewide rate of drug overdose deaths climbed 68 percent between 2002 and 2014, from 9.7 per 100,000 residents to 16.3 per 100,000 residents. Colorado’s 2014 rate of 16.3 drug-related deaths per 100,000 is higher than the U.S. average of 14.7 drug-related deaths per 100,000. This translates to 899 intentional or unintentional drug overdose deaths in Colorado in 2014. The drug overdose death rate has increased in each Colorado county except for one, Mineral County in southwestern Colorado, over that time.


The Colorado Health Institute (CHI) has analyzed new county-level estimates from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in a report released today. CHI has posted a time-lapse map that tracks the dramatic change in the drug-related death rates by each county. The county-level data are also available on the CHI website. Twelve Colorado counties have drug overdose death rates of more than 20 per 100,000 residents, meaning they are among the highest in the nation.


Seven of those counties, Baca, Bent, Conejos, Rio Grande, Las Animas, Costilla and Huerfano, are in rural southern Colorado. Three, Adams, Denver and Pueblo, are urban counties along the Front Range. The final two counties are Delta on the Western Slope and Jackson in the north. Huerfano County has recorded drug death rates in the highest category since 2003.