A year of accomplishments.
Article Type: President's page
Subject: Drug abuse (Cases)
Drug abuse (Prevention)
Author: Cater, MaryAnn N.
Pub Date: 07/01/2012
Publication: Name: West Virginia Medical Journal Publisher: West Virginia State Medical Association Audience: Academic Format: Magazine/Journal Subject: Health Copyright: COPYRIGHT 2012 West Virginia State Medical Association ISSN: 0043-3284
Issue: Date: July-August, 2012 Source Volume: 108 Source Issue: 4
Topic: Event Code: 350 Product standards, safety, & recalls; 980 Legal issues & crime Advertising Code: 94 Legal/Government Regulation Computer Subject: Company legal issue
Organization: Organization: American Medical Association; American Medical Association; West Virginia State Medical Association; West Virginia State Medical Association
Geographic: Geographic Scope: United States Geographic Code: 1USA United States
Accession Number: 310150675
Full Text: As I write this, my final Medical Journal column as your President, I am preparing for the annual AMA meeting in Chicago. The WVSMA delegation is strong! In addition to our tenured Delegates and Alternates to the AMA House, you will be represented at the Resident and Fellow Section, Medical Student Section and the Organized Medical Staff Section. We are championing a resolution we hope will be adopted as AMA policy that prescription database programs (1) remain housed in state healthcare agencies as a clinical tool, not moved to a criminal justice agency as a law enforcement, prosecutorial tool; (2) database information be maintained in a HIPPA compliant manner by the housing agency; and (3) any information released required probable cause be shown that illegal or inappropriate breach of the standard of care has occurred.

Your WVSMA continues to be a leader at both the state and national level in fighting the prescription drug abuse and misuse crisis.

Our own annual meeting, the 2012 Healthcare Summit, is scheduled for August 24-26 at The Greenbrier. This is our state's premier gathering of physicians to learn about the critical issues impacting you, your practice and your patients. This year's program is shaping up to be particularly strong. Ronald C. Petersen, MD, PhD, one of our nation's leading experts on Alzheimer's Disease will be presenting on the latest research and clinical guidelines. Patrick Morrisey, Esq., a national healthcare law expert who directly participated in the successful challenge to federal healthcare reform in the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals will detail the much anticipated U.S. Supreme Court ruling. Additionally, we will be joined by at least five state medical society presidents from neighboring states and newly installed AMA President, Jeremy A. Lazarus, MD, to discuss new, emerging issues and the actions being taken to preserve the practice of medicine.

I will turn over the reins of the WVSMA presidency at this year's Summit to Hoyt Burdick, MD. Dr. Burdick has been fully engaged in the work of the WVSMA for many years. He will provide outstanding leadership throughout the year to come.

We are living in challenging times, and it is critical that we continue to fight at every level for the policies and programs that are best suited to support our profession and our ability to care for our patients.

Let me highlight just a few of the efforts we championed and accomplished on your behalf this past year.

* ActiveWV 2015--direct involvement with the development and implementation of an effective statewide WV Physical Activity Plan to provide strategic direction to increase/maintain healthy physical activity of West Virginia citizens.

* Protecting Tort Reform--continued vigilance in fighting to protect our hard-fought medical liability reforms. The 2012 legislative session was the first year in a decade that the trial lawyers proactively introduced legislation to rollback the 2001/2003 reforms that have resulted in lower insurance premiums, enhanced access to care, and the strong physician-led WV Physician Mutual Ins. Co. We were successful this year in fighting the anti-reform efforts, but we should anticipate these same bills will be reintroduced again.

* Opposing Reinstatement of the Provider Tax--as the state's Medicaid budget comes under increased pressure and lawmakers search for new revenue opportunities, word leaked out last fall that state agency insiders were talking about pushing for a Provider Tax. During the first week of the 2012 legislative session, I personally visited every key member of the House and Senate leadership, including the Speaker and President, and many others to make a forceful point that the Provider Tax is bad medicine for West Virginia, and we adamantly opposed its reinstatement. The onerous Provider Tax never reared its ugly head.

* Fighting Prescription Drug Abuse--significant involvement in molding and shaping the comprehensive prescription drug legislation enacted by the West Virginia Legislature. While no bill is perfect, many of the provisions of SB 437 were suggestions we made to fight this epidemic. We were also able to stop efforts to include provisions in the bill that pointed a 'shame and blame' finger at the medical community that would have imposed new, unnecessary obligations on physicians that were not in the best interest of quality patient care.

* New Collaborative Effort--coordinating with the Boards of Medicine and Osteopathy and the Osteopathic Society to establish a quality CME program to meet the state's new drug diversion continuing education requirement. The groundwork has been laid for a significant statewide conference later this fall, again showing strong physician community leadership.

* WESPAC--surveyed all legislative candidates in the May 2012 West Virginia Primary Election and gave PAC support to those candidates who support pro-physician/ pro-patient policies. Eighty-seven percent of our WESPAC endorsed candidates won nomination. The 2012 election cycle is particularly important. Two seats on our five-member State Supreme Court will be filled during this election. We are busy with the strategic planning of the General Election endorsement, fund-raising and awareness plans.

* West Virginia Medical Foundation--awarded the first Kathleen Fortunato Memorial Scholarship grant to Gargi Bajpayee, a 4th year medical student. Kathy Fortunato was a true champion for the medical community and a community health improvement advocate. The memorial scholarship established in her honor is a lasting legacy that will provide much needed financial support to a deserving medical student. This year's recipient has a distinguished record of achievements and a passionate pursuit through her medical education to care for others.

* Medical Journal and Practice Advocacy--published a special CME issue, The Art, Science and Ethics of Prevention, continuing our mission of promoting excellence in medical research. For over one hundred years, the Medical Journal is our state's only clinical peer-reviewed publication. New education and training programs were added to our physician practice advocacy efforts to provide national certification opportunities for office practice personnel. These programs and the services of our full-time practice advocate help physicians and office personnel resolve the daily time-consuming issues that distract from direct patient care.

This is just a short list of our work and accomplishments over the last year. I sincerely appreciate the opportunity the presidency of our state's largest physician advocacy organization provided me. I was fortunate to visit many county medical societies throughout the state and travel to the annual meetings in many of our neighboring states and the AMA. Your WVSMA is strong, proactive and proudly represents you and our profession, and I thank-you for this distinct honor and pleasure.

MaryAnn N. Cater, DO

WVSMA President

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