WACEP President Message, November 2020
Ryan Thompson, MD, FACEP
Remember back in March when it seemed you couldn’t go through a shift without your department receiving pizza, cupcakes, or some other treat from well-wishers? Emergency physicians, nurses, and other staff were being hailed as heroes despite our mostly empty departments.
These days, that sort of praise and support feels a distant memory. As we enter this new phase of the pandemic where Emergency Departments are being asked to treat more and more COVID patients in addition to the myriad of health conditions brought on by delayed treatments, limited access to specialists, and prolonged social isolation, it seems we have fallen out of the public eye.
To be honest, I was never comfortable with all the hero talk. Emergency Physicians were working in the trenches before this pandemic began and we’ll keep on trucking right through it and beyond. We don’t do it for the plaudits. We do it because we have the skill, we have the drive, and most of all, because we care about our patients, and we care about our communities.
So, while we may not be front and center in the minds of our communities anymore, we will keep giving back. To that end, I wanted to share a few of my favorite charities in case you were looking for even more ways to give back to your community.
Child’s Play: This charity gives games and toys to hospitalized children to make their stay in the hospital less daunting. You can either given monetarily or order directly off of the Amazon Wish lists curated by Child Life Specialists at your Children’s Hospital of Choice. http://childsplaycharity.org/
Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestra: Supporting musically-inclined children and teens from across the state, this group provides opportunities to perform and high-quality lessons (even remotely during COVID) to diverse and low-resource aspiring young musicians. https://wysomusic.org/
Alzheimer’s & Dementia Alliance of Wisconsin: Every emergency physicians recognizes the stress and difficulty that dementia can put on a family. This group offers support, education, and advocacy for patients and their families. https://www.alzwisc.org/
By no means are these the only worthwhile charities in our communities – I encourage you to find something near and dear to your heart. This year has been hard on all of us, and I can’t think of a better way to continue to support the communities we serve. So thank you all for the dedicated work you have put in over the course of this year, and thank you for continuing to give to support those who need it most during these difficult times.