Boston Scientific Assembly Meeting Sets Record
By Nancy Calaway
ACEP News Contributing Writer
For the second consecutive year, ACEP's Scientific Assembly set a new attendance record. More than 4,700 emergency medicine specialists registered for all 4 days this year. Total attendance, including 1-day registrations, was well over 5,600. The previous attendance record was set in 2008, when more than 4,500 emergency physicians attended the conference in Chicago. Next year's Scientific Assembly will be in Las Vegas, Sept. 28 to Oct. 1, 2010.
Along with featuring nationally recognized faculty members, the 2009 Scientific Assembly had many activities that annually make this conference the premier emergency medicine event.
Council Shapes College Policy
Members of the ACEP Council adopted several resolutions during its 2009 meeting in conjunction with Scientific Assembly. The Council is made up of representatives from all 53 chapters, 30 sections, and the Emergency Medicine Residents' Association.
Resolutions can be proposed by chapters, sections, or individual ACEP members, and are deliberated during the Council's annual meeting. The resolutions then become College policy when they are reviewed and approved by the ACEP Board of Directors at the end of Scientific Assembly.
One of the items adopted this year is a resolution that ACEP prioritize addressing the workforce shortage by "lobby[ing] appropriate governmental entities and work[ing] to remove any barriers to increasing the number of residency programs slots that are available in emergency medicine." The resolution also calls on ACEP to "investigate broadening access to ACGME or AOA accredited EM residency programs to physicians who have previously trained in another specialty."
Another resolution dealt with public safety and asked that "ACEP endorses, supports, and advocates that the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration mandate the provision and endorse the usage of appropriate restraint devices on school busses."
The Council also considered a resolution to define boarding time in the nation's emergency departments. There was much discussion among Councillors about a 2-hour time frame that was included in the original resolution.
The amended resolution that was adopted, however, does not include a time frame. Instead, it requests that "ACEP adopt a policy statement which officially defines the 'boarded patient' as one who remains in the ED after notification of the need to admit to inpatient service and ends when the patient leaves the department." It also calls for "ACEP [to] continue its involvement with national organizations developing measurements for patient through-put."
With testimony about the benefits of poison centers, including training for residents in toxicology and surveillance for public health issues, the College also adopted a resolution that "ACEP form a task force to investigate strategies to support poison centers."
In addition, a resolution to allow the Association of Academic Chairs in Emergency Medicine a single seat on the Council was approved.
NEMPAC Surpasses Goals
NEMPAC, ACEP's Political Action Committee, reported record fundraising efforts, spurred by the health care reform debate and emergency physicians' desire to have a seat at the table and a voice in the outcome.
During the meeting, NEMPAC collected more than $185,000. Coupled with the $880,000 from ACEP's general membership throughout the year, NEMPAC has surpassed its record total of $1,045,000 raised last year.
CEP America donated $50,000 to NEMPAC during the meeting, which brings the physician group's annual contribution to $75,000 in 2009. Another physician group, EMA, pledged $50,000 during the meeting--the anticipated total contributions of ACEP member physicians by year's end.
Three emergency physician groups have 100% participation in ACEP membership and 100% participation in NEMPAC:
Puget Sound Emergency Physicians Group.
Jersey Emergency Medicine.
Eastside Emergency Physicians, which is also 100% at the Give-a-Shift level.
This year, 148 Councillors are donating at the Give-a-Shift level ($1,000). Since the Give-a-Shift program became official in 2005, there have been 71 donors who have given at this level for 5 consecutive years.
And five ACEP members were recognized during the meeting for their outstanding fundraising efforts for NEMPAC in 2009:
Chairman Bruce Auerbach, M.D.
Vidor Friedman, M.D.
Andre Landreville, M.D.
Wes Fields, M.D.
Raymond Iannaconne, M.D.
Also during the Council meeting, special recognition was given to the Certification Section (whose members have donated more than $31,000) and the Legacy physicians (who have donated more than $30,000).
NEMPAC is currently the fourth-largest medical specialty PAC--behind anesthesiologists, orthopedic surgeons and radiologists--with a goal to become number one.
EMF Honors Groups
The Emergency Medicine Foundation Board of Trustees met during Scientific Assembly and recognized several emergency physician groups on the EMF Honor Roll. Groups at the gold level of support ($5,000 or more) were Emergency Medical Associates, EmCare, Questcare Partners, TeamHealth, and an anonymous group. Silver level groups ($1,000) were Unity Physician Group and Premier Health Care Services, Inc. And recognized for their bronze level of support ($500) were Lehigh Valley Health Network-Department of Emergency Medicine, Emergency Service Partners, LC, and Riverside Emergency Physicians Medical Group.
During the meeting, EMF raised more than $103,000 and now boasts 16 members of the Wiegenstein Legacy Society, a planned giving program.
On the www.emfoundation.org Web site, there is information about donations and planned giving, as well as how physician groups can join the EMF Honor Roll, information about the EMF research grant program, and information on the Emergency Medicine Practice Research Network.
Also, a new EMF medical director's award sponsored by Blue Jay Consulting debuted during the meeting. Additional information about this honor can also be found online.