President's Message, January 2018

January 17, 2018 11:24 AM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

Lisa Maurer, MD, FACEP

If you’re reading this newsletter thinking, “Sure I’m a WACEP member, but that doesn’t really impact my daily grind,” this President’s Message is for you!

Over the course of 2017, the WACEP board led by Bobby Redwood as President brought amazing structure and focus to our activities, ensuring that our resources are being used to help our patients, our profession and our physician workforce. Building on the excellent content now established, I intend to focus this year on the theme of our Spring Symposium: Building Connections. I hope to connect members to the value that already exists and may not be taken advantage of, and to connect with underrepresented members to ensure our work reflects what you value.

Our average member is a pit doc like me, and on last year’s membership survey, you told us you want WACEP’s priority to be advocacy above all else. We listened: our top advocacy issues are to 1) improve the care for our patients with psychiatric emergencies by decreasing their length of stay in the ED and 2) improve reimbursement for emergency care by our Medicaid department. What’s more, our organization is working to increase outpatient treatment for our patients struggling with opioid addiction, leading a multispecialty group of physicians advocating to restore medical malpractice caps, and ensuring Wisconsin regulators have a fair reimbursement system in place for our patients forced onto narrow-network insurance plans. 

But for the average pit doc, we may represent your practice with our advocacy issues, but does the diversity of the WACEP Board of Directors represent you?  We have a great opportunity to broaden the scope of the voices in our leadership, and this year we will be actively looking to do so. Case in point: all members are welcome at Board meetings, and in fact, I would LOVE for you to come. Please consider joining us on March 14 from 3-5:30 pm just before the Spring Symposium kicks off. Let us know if you will join us!

After last year’s amazing Spring Symposium, we are looking to this year’s event to further integrate the academic emergency physicians and residency programs into our organization. With huge thanks to Drs. Hamedani and Hargarten, we are excited to partner our annual conference with the decades-long tradition of the UW/MCW Emergency Medicine Research Forum as it alternates between Madison and Milwaukee each year. In addition to bringing back the popular LLSA course, simulation session and roundtable discussions on hot topics in EM practice, attendees will now have access to ground breaking research happening right here in our state. 

But what about the residents at those academic programs? Those who are deepest in the trenchiest of trenches? We want to improve how we support you! For those of you interested in policy, please come to Doctor Day on January 30th, where I’ll host a policy primer to get everyone up to speed on how policy is affecting your career and practice. We also have plans to visit both residency programs every year to discuss how we can help on issues that are meaningful to you. Lastly, we want to recognize our resident members. The WACEP Board of Directors includes three resident representatives from each program, who can be great resource for anyone looking to learn more. At the Spring Symposium, one resident from each program will be recognized with the WACEP Resident Advocacy Award celebrating how our WI EM residents advocate for important issues, for their patients, and for each other every day.

Another important theme reflected in our membership survey last year was the importance of education and information sharing among Wisconsin emergency physicians. Our Spring Symposium will alternates between Madison and Milwaukee, as do our board meetings.  It is not lost on me that access to this valuable resource can be difficult for many of our members in the other 90% of the state.  As WACEP certainly prioritizes Wisconsin residents’ access to amazing emergency care, we plan on taking advantage of the great opportunity to develop increased opportunities for cutting edge education for all our colleagues practicing emergency medicine in Wisconsin, WACEP members or not, Emergency Medicine trained or not. We are looking for feedback on how to make this a realistic, enduring, valuable resource. One great way to discuss this as well as other WACEP activities would be to attend a Listening Tour event near you. Look for information about upcoming stops on the Tour, when our board members will come to an ED break room or department meeting near you.  Please let us know if you’d like a visit in your neck of the woods!  We’ll supply the board member and the pizza.

If these above opportunities would bring value to your practice, take advantage! Follow along and stay updated via social media, check us out on Facebook or Twitter (@WisconsinACEP).  Join us for Doctor Day in Madison on January 30th.  Let us know if you’d like to come to our board meetings. Attend our Spring Symposium on March 14th-15th in Madison. And perhaps most importantly, if you have a different point of view, let’s CONNECT!  Drop me a line and let me know how we would be valuable to you.