Page 8 - Volume 70 Number 1
P. 8

President’s Message
By Joseph Nnodim, MD
Our Path in 2018
Iwould like to thank my colleagues for the opportunity to serve as President of the Washtenaw County Medical Society (WCMS) for the 2018 calendar year. It is indeed a great honor and immense privilege for me to follow in the footsteps of our illustrious predecessors to further the noble traditions of the medical profession in our county. As we contemplate our current circumstances and plan for the future, it is worthwhile reflecting on the year gone by;
Ms. Dolores Nixon assumed the office of Executive Director in May 2017, bringing with her a vibrant and innovative spirit. She challenged us
to look at everything with fresh eyes. That inspired initiatives in many realms, including, sharpening our message; making adjustments to better appeal to colleagues who remain outside the tent; reconfiguring deliberative mechanisms to facilitate decision-making; and nurturing the bottom-line. Alas, just as we were working up a good head of steam, Ms. Nixon was offered another position, which offered advantages
Dr. Barnosky presents Dolores Nixon with a commemorative plaque for her service as Executive Director.
for her and she accepted. We thank her for her contributions and will miss her drive and efficiency.
The Executive Directorship vacancy was advertised in November 2017 and we were lucky to attract a pool of very highly-qualified appli- cants. Interviews were held by phone on December 13 and in person December 21, 2017. Ms. Gabrielle Szlenkier emerged as the best fit for the position and accepted our offer. Ms. Szlenkier has a strong background in health policy and physician advocacy. For the past five years, she has worked in Washington, DC as Congressional and Political Affairs Specialist for the American College of Emergency Physicians. We are glad
she accepted our offer and has joined WCMS. With Ms. Nixon’s support and guidance, she has already entered fully into her new role. We look forward to benefitting from her energy and skills in 2018.
Our obstacles can be summed up in the three words: membership, messaging and money, all which,
of course, are inter-related. Of the approximately 2,000 physicians in Washtenaw County, only some 900 are registered members of WCMS. This low rate of subscription has engendered much agonized soul- searching on the part of active members as they wonder why the merits of involvement in organized medicine are not sufficiently compelling to non-member colleagues. Among the suspect reasons are that our message does not resonate well enough and has not been disseminated adequately. Since the Society’s main source of revenue is membership dues, a stunted membership has resulted
in a lean purse.
The majority of doctors now active
in organized medicine are in their mid- and late-career. Professionally, they came of age when small, independent practice was the rule, rather than the exception. The county medical society had little or no competition as the most appropriate forum in which doctors could meet for mutual professional support, advocate for the best possible care of their patients and also amplify their efforts through collective engagement with legislative bodies in the health policy making process. In the past couple of decades however, the landscape has been increasingly transformed by the growth of large healthcare organizations in which doctors are employees. Subspecialty organizations have also increased in
WCMS Hires New Executive Director
WCMS welcomes new executive director Gabrielle Szlenkier. Gabrielle returned to her native Michigan after working in Washington, DC for the past 10 years. In DC, she worked for U.S. Senator Debbie Stabenow (D-MI) and the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) focusing on public health policy and physician advocacy. Gabrielle is a graduate of the University of Maryland.
Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN

   6   7   8   9   10