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number, many of them with chapters at state level. As a result, practicing physicians now have a difficult choice to make among their multiple affiliation options. Because of time, financial and other constraints, many may not be able to subscribe to more than one or two. Getting involved is clearly an investment. Needless to say, they will make this decision on the basis of the anticipated return for their overall professional edification, including career advancement and satisfaction. Therefore, having a very persuasive value proposition is sine qua non for a society such as WCMS, yet exceedingly difficult to construct in this present environment.
The Membership Committee (Drs. Evelyn Eccles \[Chair\], Will Muerer, and Robert Sain), after careful consideration of our predicament, has recommended the reformulation of our mission statement, for pur- poses of greater appeal, as the catchy acronym, “A-B-C” – for activism, balance and connections. In fall 2017, the Program Task Force reviewed the results of a survey of doctors (49%) and medical students (51%) in the county, 60% of whom were WCMS members, and pro- posed refurbishing the traditional, quarterly “general sessions,” which will be presented to the Executive Council. These proposals include a name change to which we remain optimistic that the younger physicians will find more relatable. In addition, the Task Force has recommended highly innovative approaches to these sessions, focusing on incorporating various components of our mission statement as the theme.
At the September meeting of the Executive Council, the Finance Committee (Dr. Martha Gray, Chair) proposed that WCMS participate in a prescription drug discount program underwritten by a consortium of
28 pharmacy chains. With the card, patients identify themselves as having a WCMS member as their doctor when they fill their prescriptions. The program utilizes a so-called “lowest price logic” to guarantee that the patient gets the best deal available.
A donation will accrue to WCMS for each prescription filled using the
card described. After much debate among the Council, members agreed that there was no impropriety and the benefit to our patients was could be tremendous. Approval was given and we now wait to see the results of the endeavor as a revenue stream in 2018.
At state level, Drs. Sandro Cinti and James Mitchiner continue to represent us (District 14) on the Board of Directors. One of the major pre-occupations of the Board at this time is the organizational remodel- ing of Michigan State Medical Society. The MSMS Chief Executive Officer, Ms. Julie Novak, attended the April 2017 meeting of the WCMS Executive Council to present the proposals made by the Task Force on Membership and Sustainability on which our members, Drs. Jack Billi and David Share, served. The proposals vary in the degree of change entailed, from minor adjust- ments to drastic transformation. They were deliberated at great length at a workshop during the House of Delegates meeting on
May 6, 2017 and will receive further similar treatment at this year’s meeting scheduled for April 28 & 29, 2018, in Dearborn. We will continue to participate in that discussion.
The annual House of Delegates meeting is the platform on which resolutions on issues that are of importance to us in the care of our patients are put forward. At the 2017 meeting, WCMS members submitted eight resolutions, two of which were approved at first reading. Amendments were recommended to three and one was referred for Board action. Resolutions help determine the policies and priorities of MSMS and I encourage our membership to author many more of them by taking advantage of the guidelines published here http://pt1.vpdemand creation.com/WCMS/1Q16/mobile/ index.html#p=24.
As policies and priorities change nationally, the uncertain fate of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) remains a cause for deep concern for us due to its implications for the care of our local patients and those across the country. Two direct efforts to repeal it in Congress failed, but many believe that the abrogation of the
individual mandate provision in the just-passed Tax Cuts and Jobs Act of 2017 may succeed. We remain alert to developments and will not hesitate to make our sentiments known to our elected represent- atives collectively through the state society and national association.
Our relationship with University of Michigan Medical Student-American Medical Association (UMMS-AMA) chapter is a source of great opti- mism for the future. The WCMS Immediate Past President, Dr. Andrew Barnosky, identified and pursued strengthening that relation- ship as one of his goals during his tenure. Those efforts will continue throughout my presidency and opportunities to expose students as well as early-career doctors to the unique mentoring influences of the highly accomplished senior mem- bership of the Society are already being considered by the Member- ship Committees and Program Task Force. It is indeed our bounden duty to nourish and sustain their active interest in organized medicine beyond the medical student and trainee years as they transition into professional practice.
I also look forward to enriching our relationship with the WCMS Alliance. The Alliance is comprised of WCMS’ non-doctor spouses. Its mission complements ours and in the recent past, they have been active in the crusade against bullying in schools, domestic
Dr. Nnodim presents Dr. Barnosky with the 2017 President’s Gavel.
Volume 70 • Number 1
Washtenaw County Medical Society BULLETIN
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