It was almost a year to the day from when I started as ACEP’s Executive Director until I could welcome us back to a live, major, in-person meeting. I relocated from DC to Dallas when I started this role, so I was thrilled to get back to what still feels like my hometown. It also felt symbolic for all of us since our 2020 Leadership & Advocacy Conference was the first major ACEP event to transition to virtual format last year.
We had 348 there in person, with another 44 who joined us virtually. Such strong attendance is a solid reflection of the specialty’s commitment to advancing emergency medicine and pursuit of an advocacy agenda that benefits our members and their patients.
To say it’s been an intense year since LAC20 is an understatement. When we just think about our advocacy agenda, 2020 was a year when we focused on educating and encouraging legislators to act on what EM physicians needed most. For example, our advocacy to find a fair solution to surprise medical billing, which started back in February 2018 with the Cassidy Workgroup and was the focus of two prior LACs, was sustained and finally came to fruition with the passage of the “No Surprises Act” in December 2020.
With COVID, our advocacy efforts evolved during the different phases of the pandemic. Our early wins were aimed at procuring the supplies and relief you needed. But just as we were starting to see some light in the tunnel, the drastic looming end-of-year Medicare cuts were a threat to the health care safety net that was already under significant strain. Together with many others, we educated Congress on the ways these cuts would endanger access to the lifesaving care. Extending the temporary reprieve from the automatic annual 2% “sequestration” cut through the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021 was also a big end-of-year win, although finding a more permanent solution remained a priority for this year’s LAC.
Each of these advocacy wins share one thing in common – ACEP members were actively engaged in all of them. Whether providing subject matter expertise, providing the EM physician voice in meetings with Congressional offices or federal agencies, messaging complicated issues to the media as ACEP spokespersons, and taking action on advocacy alerts from our 911 Network, our members made their voices heard. Of course, being the fourth largest physician PAC is also critically important, so the more we can all do to support and encourage others to support NEMPAC makes a difference.
If you followed any of the buzz for LAC on social media, there were some traditional things you didn’t see because the Capitol is still restricting access to its premises after the Jan. 6 riots. You didn’t see us piling into taxis and Ubers and stopping for a Capitol photo-op as we transited between the House and Senate sides of the Hill. You didn’t see us crowded into small conference rooms filled with decor proudly showcasing home districts and states. But hopefully you did see the excitement and camaraderie that comes from doing the critically important work of representing emergency medicine.
While our members were assembled to lend their voice to our advocacy issues, we also asked representatives from EMRA, the Young Physicians Section and the Diversity, Inclusion and Health Equity section for their input as we kicked off our strategic planning process. (Read more about these plans in the ICYMI section below). Overall, LAC21 was a great reminder that whether you’re advocating for your profession, your patients or your ACEP community, your voice is powerful.
Let’s get into the updates:
ICYMI: The “Emergency Medicine Physician Workforce: Projections for 2030” report was recently published in Annals of Emergency Medicine. This is your first chance to dig into the data that has prompted ACEP’s ongoing workforce efforts. Continuing the theme from LAC about the power of your voice, the future of the emergency medicine workforce is a topic where we value your input and unique perspectives. We hosted a town hall event focused on workforce during LAC21, and the Young Physicians Section recently hosted a discussion with ACEP President-elect Dr. Gillian Schmitz and EMRA President-elect Dr. Angela Cai during which they asked questions submitted by fellow young physicians. The work continues – please visit acep.org/workforce for the latest updates.
NOW: Knowing we are nearing the end of our current strategic plan, ACEP President Dr. Mark Rosenberg and I believe it's time to start building the roadmap to guide the next three to five years. Your Board of Directors and staff are taking this opportunity to look big and be bold as we think about how the College can best serve you as individual emergency physicians, both now and in the future.
Your ACEP leaders kicked off that process while attending LAC. Some of the questions we’re seeking to answer include: How can we enhance connection and communication with you, our members? How can we tackle the challenges facing our specialty? What do our members need most from us?
The six-month process is being guided by a highly experienced facilitator of strategic planning and involves ACEP leaders, members, and staff to ensure the final product reflects the sentiments and needs of our diverse membership.
We cannot create an effective roadmap without your input, so we plan to share the draft of a new strategic plan with members, Chapters and Councillors during ACEP21. We will be incorporating stakeholder feedback into the final action plan which we anticipate launching at the end of 2021.
This is our unique chance to set the course for ACEP and your future as emergency physicians, and we’re excited about where we’re going!
NEXT: Preparations continue for ACEP21 in Boston. We’re offering in-person and at-home options this year, combining the best of both worlds to make this our most accessible conference ever. Whether it’s in person or on the screen, we can’t wait to see your faces.
ACEP’s COVID-19 Field Guide was recently honored with two industry awards, including an ASAE Summit Award. The Summit Award, given to six associations per year, is the highest honor for associations that go above and beyond their everyday mission to undertake initiatives that benefit America and the world.
The COVID-19 Field Guide is a remarkable achievement that is still widely utilized more than a year after its creation. So many ACEP members and staff rallied together with incredible speed, efficiency and accuracy (only 12 days from ideation to publication) to create this resource that is referred to by more than 130 leading healthcare orgs and websites. I want to thank the ACEP members who contributed their time and expertise to this invaluable tool:
- ACEP Emergency Ultrasound Section
- ACEP Palliative Medicine Section
- ACEP Pediatric Emergency Medicine Committee
- Aditi Joshi, MD, MSc, FACEP
- Aditi Joshi, MD, MSc, FACEP
- Aisha T. Terry, MD, MPH, FACEP
- Alex Limkakeng, MD,FACEP
- Alison Haddock, MD, FACEP
- Amal Mattu, MD, FACEP
- Amos J Shemesh, MD
- Amy Baxter, MD
- Amy Kaji, MD, MPH, PhD
- Amy Khong, MD
- Andrew S. Kanter, MD, MPH, FACMI, FAMIA
- Anna Marie Chang, MD
- Anthony Thomas Lagina, MD, FACEP
- Bernard P. Chang, MD, PhD, FACEP
- Brandon Maughan, MD, MHS, MSHP
- Brenna Farmer, MD, MBA, MS
- Brian Fengler, MD
- Brian Skow, MD
- Bryan G. Kane, MD, FACEP
- Caroline Schulman, MD
- Charles B. Cairns, MD, FACEP
- Chris Amato, MD, FACEP
- Christian C. Rose, MD
- Christopher Corbit, MD, FACEP
- Christopher Fee, MD
- Christopher Payette, MD
- Christopher Sampson, MD, FACEP
- Chukwuagozie Iloma, DO, MHA/INF
- Dale Woolridge, MD, PhD, FACEP
- David Bodnar, MD
- Edward H. Suh, MD
- Etch Shaheen, MD, FACEP
- Evan S. Schwarz, MD
- Gerardo Chiricolo, MD
- Herbie Duber, MD, MPH, FACEP
- Ivan C. Rokos, MD, FACEP
- James (Jim) Homme, MD, FACEP
- James H. Paxton, MD, MBA, FACEP
- James P. d’Etienne, MD, MBA, FACEP
- Jamie Allen, DO
- Jared Willis, MD
- Jeffrey M. Goodloe, MD, FACEP
- Jessica J. Kirby, DO, FACEP
- Jessica Whittle, MD, PhD, FACEP
- Joel Lange, MD
- John C. Perkins Jr, MD
- John T. Finnell, MD, FACMI, FACEP
- John Westhoff, MD, MPH, FACEP
- Johnathon LeBaron, DO
- Joseph Miller, MD
- Joseph T. Brooks MD
- Joshua Davis, MD
- Justin Belsky, MD, MPH
- Kelly Gray-Eurom, MD
- Kenneth D. Jung, MD
- Kevin Curtis, MD, FACEP
- Kimberly A. Collins, MD, MPH, FACEP
- Laura Melville, MD, MS
- Layne Dylla, MD
- Liliya Abrukin, MD, MPH
- Manish Sharma, DO, MBA
- Margarita Popova, MD
- Marianne Gausche-Hill, MD, FACEP
- Marie-Laure Romney, MD, MBA
- Megan Hoffer, DO
- Michael Baker, MD
- Michael D. Smith, MD, MBA
- Michael Ferebee, MD
- Michael Gottlieb, MD, FACEP
- Michael Macias, MD
- Michael Magee, Jr, DO
- Michael Waxman, MD, MPH, FACEP
- Michaela Salvo, MD
- Mike Gerardi, MD, FACEP
- Muhammad Waseem, MD, MS, FACEP
- Naomi Alanis, MS, MBA
- Nicholas Gavin, MD, MBA, MS
- Nicholas J. Dreyer, MD
- Nicholas Johnson, MD, FACEP
- Nidhi Garg, MD, FACEP
- Nova Panebianco, MD, MPH
- Paul Ishimine, MD, FACEP
- Pawan Goyal, MD, MHA, FAMIA
- Peter A D Steel, MA, MBBS
- Phil Parker, MD
- Phillip Moschella, MD, PhD
- Rachel Liu, MD FACEP
- Rob Ehrman, MD, FACEP
- Robert A. Bitterman, MD, JD, FACEP
- Samuel Lam, MD, MPH, RDMS, FACEP
- Sandra Schneider, MD, FACEP
- Sangil Lee, MD, FACEP
- Sharon E. Mace, MD
- Sharon Hibay, DNP, RN
- Stephen J. Wolf, MD
- Susan R. Wilcox, MD, FACEP
- Tamara Moores Todd, MD
- Thomas Benzoni, DO, EM, AOBEM, FACEP
- Timothy D. Henry, MD, FACC, MSCAI
- Todd B. Taylor, MD, FACEP
- Wendy L. Macias-Konstantopoulos, MD, MPH, FACEP
- William Weber, MD, MPH