Arapahoe- Douglas-Elbert Medical Society Advocate Newsflash
June 2016
11th Edition, Issue 5
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June 2016

Physician Hero: Ultimate Self-sacrifice
Colorado Medical Society and Arapahoe-Douglas-Elbert Medical Society honor Dr. Atkinson as a physician hero for his heroic act and for his decorated medical career.

Dr. Ken Atkinson is remembered by all those who knew him as selfless and caring. “If Doc saw something, he was just going to help. That was Doc. He probably didn’t even think about himself,” said Mary DeLapp, his medical assistant of 15 years. “He probably just went to help this person because that’s how he was. That was Doc.”

“Doc” Atkinson was beloved by his patients and dedicated to his community, known to regularly come in to the office after hours to help patients who needed to be seen. He would often provide free care to help patients who couldn’t pay.

One of Atkinson’s patients and friends, Brad Meuli, president and CEO of Denver Rescue Mission, gave an example of his dedication to patient care in a news story. “I have four boys and a girl, and he was my physician. I can remember being in his office on Christmas Eve at 9:00 at night. He just drove over to take care of one of my kids."

Following the loss of two of their children to complications from fanconi anemia, a rare form of bone marrow cancer, Atkinson and his wife Jeanne established the Kendall and Taylor Atkinson Foundation (KATA) to help fund medical and scientific research into the disease. The Kata Foundation also supports programs to enhance the lives of children living with disease, disability and poverty.

At 65, he was close to retiring, and just weeks ago, got to meet a new grandchild. Atkinson is survived by his wife Jeanne, daughters Allison Adams (Scott), Whitney Langlois (Kevin), brother Tom Atkinson (Cathy), sister Marge Atkinson, grandchildren Carson, Mackenzie and Logan Adams, and Kendall and Josie Langlois. He was awarded his medical degree by the University of Colorado in 1977 and completed a family medicine residency at Mercy Medical Center in Denver.

Dr. Atkinson's life was so important to the community that Senators Nancy Todd and Jack Tate presented his family a special commemoration at the Colorado State Capitol on May 5, 2016, that reads:

“The Senate of the Colorado Legislature, Convened in the Second Regular Session of the Seventieth General Assembly, hereby honors and remembers the life of Dr. Kenneth Atkinson. The General Assembly would like to recognize the remarkable life of Dr. Kenneth Atkinson, who selflessly gave his life while saving the lives of his neighbors. Dr. Atkinson was a beloved Centennial resident and founder of the Kendall and Taylor Atkinson Foundation. He graduated from medical School at the University of Colorado and completed his internship and residency at Mercy Medical Center in Denver. His career in family medicine was spent serving his Centennial community, where he was well loved and respected for his caring an compassionate nature. The members of the Colorado State Senate memorialize the loss of Dr. Atkinson, a Colorado hero who exemplified kindness, service, and courage. We extend our heartfelt sympathies to his family and the community of Centennial.”

From left to right: Senator Nancy Todd, Jeanne Atkinson (wife), Allison Adams (daughter), Whitney Langlois (daughter), Marge Atkinson (sister), Senator Jack Tate. Front is Carson Adams (grandson).

The Colorado Medical Society and the Arapahoe-Douglas-Elbert Medical Society mourn the loss of a devoted friend and role model – a true physician hero who dedicated his life to his patients and community. “Dr. Atkinson represented the finest our medical profession has to offer,” said CMS President Michael Volz, MD. “His dedication to his patients, his family and the community at large will be sorely missed and will serve as an inspiration to all of us left to follow in his footsteps.”

In addition to being a pillar of compassion and caring for his patients and community, Kenneth Atkinson, MD, led a loving family life and enjoyed an active personal life. He is pictured here after having participated in the New York City Marathon.                
(Article /photo credit: Colorado Medicine May/June 2016)
ADEMS Annual Member Meeting held May 12th
Thanks to everyone that attended ADEMS annual meeting held on Thursday, May 12th at the beautiful Cherry Hills Country Club.  This year we changed our meeting format to improve communication by having less speeches and more social and discussion time for our attendees.  This format change allowed our ADEMS leadership to receive timely member feedback on a few key issues including: Health Plan Mergers; Network Adequacy; Physician assisted death and ColoradoCare/Amendment 69.
President Dr. David Markenson provided updates and information about the status of these key issues in the recent legislative session and urged members to share their perspectives and feedback on how ADEMS should approach these concerns going forward.  Dr. Markenson also discussed the new changes with CMS governance including their new virtual grassroots policy communications process which is to replace the House of Delegates and allow for an all member election for CMS President and AMA delegates.  These changes in CMS governance affect the our current ADEMS bylaws and Dr. Markenson shared briefly the proposed changes needed in order to comply:
  • ADEMS will need to change the number of representatives referenced in our bylaws to the CMS Board from 3 to 1.
  • ADEMS will need to eliminate all Delegate and House of Delegate references in our bylaws. (CMS House of Delegates process replaced with an all-member election system for the CMS President-elect and AMA delegates.)
These necessary changes to the ADEMS bylaws are still in review by our legal counsel and sparked a full review of our bylaws to insure compliance going forward.  Any changes will be submitted to the ADEMS membership on line for final approval. 

Finishing up the business meeting, ADEMS members voted to approve the following 2016-2017 Board slate:
David Markenson MD,   President, CMS Board Representative
Open seat -                      President-Elect
Ndudi Oparaeche, MD   Treasurer
Kristin Freestone, MD    Secretary
Jason Kelly, MD -            Member-At-Large
Chris Linares, MD -        Member-At-Large
Dana Ambler, DO -         Member-At-Large

Open seat -                       Member-At-Large
Karen Davis, DO -           MTC President
Alan Verrill MD -              Centura Hospital Representative
Miguel Beret, MD -          HealthOne Hospital Representative
Chris Unrein DO -           Rocky Vista University
Katie Lozano, MD -         ex officio, CMS President-Elect

The short ADEMS business meeting was followed by a lively casino night until 9pm.  ADEMS would like to congratulate Dr. Justin Newman for winning a $250 gift certificate to Del Frisco's for having the highest chip count for the night. 

Thanks again to everyone for your participation and we look forward to seeing even more members attend this new format next year!
Upcoming Colorado Elections and Candidate Interviews

ADEMS will be interviewing candidates running for House and Senate district seats in our catchment area in June.  ADEMS members are invited to participate in this process and meet with area candidates and help make recommendations for COMPAC endorsement.  Currently ADEMS is planning to interview:  Michael Williams (R) and Susan Beckman (R) who are running for Kathleen Conti’s open seat in House District 38.  House District 38 includes Centennial, Highlands Ranch, Cherry Hills and Littleton areas.  This interview will be held quickly in the next two weeks.
If you are interested in joining your physician colleagues to help interview candidates in this race or in a future race, please contact Andrea Chase at as soon as possible.  We welcome any interested physician member to attend.  We provide information and backgrounds on candidates prior to the meeting and you do not have to have any previous experience.  We host these in the evening during the work week at our Littleton office and candidate interviews last only 30 minutes each.  We work hard to schedule these interviews on an evening convenient for our participants.  Thank you in advance!

This September, Colorado physicians will come together as a community in Keystone for the first annual meeting absent a House of Delegates governance process to engage the experts, state and national, across the most pressing subjects of immediate relevance and concern to our medical community. A dedicated one-time physician work group built the agenda from the ground up, drawn from a statewide physician survey of what is keeping medicine (and your advocates) up at night, and a methodical series of interviews and conversations with their peers.
The meeting has been re-engineered as a motivational sanctuary for physicians to share, argue, and learn from the best of the best – not the sort thing you can get from a website. In an era of burnout and relenting change and stress, this gathering is intended to stimulate, entertain, and help, peer-to-peer, remember why doctors are doctors.  Go to for more information and to register.

Have you filed your Meaningful Use (MU) hardship exemption yet? 

Have you filed your Meaningful Use (MU) hardship exemption yet?  The  2015 EHR Meaningful Use (MU) hardship exemption deadline has been extended to July 1, 2016 from its original deadline of March 15. The AMA is encouraging ALL physicians who participated in the 2015 Medicare MU program to apply for the hardship.

The application and additional instructions are available on the federal CMS EHR Incentive Programs website. Submission of a hardship exception application does not prevent providers from attesting and receiving an incentive payment if meaningful use requirements are met. In essence, the hardship exemption will act as a safety net. Therefore, physicians who believe that they met the MU requirements for the 2015 reporting period should still apply for the hardship protection. 

Note that the program operates on a two-year look-back period, meaning that physicians who are granted an exception for the 2015 program will avoid a financial penalty for 2017. The federal CMS has stated that it will broadly accept hardship exemptions.  

PCPs: No Cost in-office practice coaching available to prepare for MACRA, SIM, CPC+
Practice Redesign to Prepare for Changes in the Health Care System
Have you thought about what changes your practice will need to make to adopt advanced primary care approaches and new payment structures? Have you thought that perhaps your practice could do more to prevent cardiovascular disease? Making transformative changes takes time – and practices benefit from outside support in order to be successful. Fortunately, funding is now available to support these changes in small practices such as yours.
A new program called “EvidenceNOW Southwest” is bringing trained practice facilitators and clinical HIT advisors into primary care offices to help them become examples of excellence in advanced patient-centered care. This program is part of a national effort funded by the Agency for Healthcare Quality and Research that will assist primary care practices to rapidly deploy evidence-based interventions with an initial focus on reducing cardiovascular risk, prepare primary care practices for value based compensation (MACRA), begin work on patient centered medical home, and for participation in the State Innovation Model (SIM).
EvidenceNOW Southwest is now recruiting small primary care practices (15 providers or fewer) in Colorado and New Mexico. Practices will receive on site practice coaching, expert consultation, and HIT support. Through shared learning collaboratives, practices will have the opportunity to learn from and share with other practices doing this work.  This program will help them improve, change, redesign—transform—to the next level of patient-centered care.  There is no fee for primary care practices in Colorado and New Mexico.
For more information contact:
To join now, fill out the Practice Application on line at


Upcoming Events

Aid in Dying
Objective Policy Review
June 9th
DMS offices

Physicians' Mix @ Six
Happy Hour Social
August 11th

6:00-7:30 PM @ Cool River 

CMS Annual Meeting 
September  16-18
Weekend event 
Keystone Resort, Keystone CO

ADEMS Annual Physician
Fall Meet & Greet
Mark your calendars!
October 13th
Cherry Hills Country Club
RSVP required:



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