November 4, 2021

We really were in Boston!

Sitting in my office on a rare chilly and rainy November day in Texas made me realize that we had almost exactly the same weather last week in Boston. That reminded me to pause again and say to myself, YES! We really were in Boston.  

In my address to ACEP Council, I mentioned what a joy it was to be standing there in person, in front of ACEP members, to offer my report. I’ve been calling this my “second first year at ACEP.” Only this year, I wasn’t sitting alone in my office recording my Council remarks on a camera. While I had a whole year to meet with and listen to so many ACEP members through virtual meetings, there truly is no replacement for gathering together to recognize all we’ve accomplished, tackle the myriad of ongoing tough issues and, most importantly, be together in person with such dedicated people.

My remarks highlighting ACEP’s many accomplishments from this past year were recorded and are available for you to view (above). Even though they only scratch the surface, I hope that all emergency physicians feel some connection to all that ACEP is and does, on your behalf and directly for you. Because if there’s one thing for sure that I learned in my first year, it’s that ACEP must both strive to use our big voice while listening to every individual; we must use our resources responsibly for big outcomes while making sure you know we have your back in the ways that matter most to you. 

For example, did you know ACEP has embarked on building a new strategic plan?  It wasn’t that the current plan was wrong. In fact, just about everything we were trying to do had a place in that plan. But that came at the cost of not being able to prioritize activities competing for resources, not being able to address some of the polarities within the complex issues we are trying to tackle, and not being able to provide members with a clear, relatable vision for change.

Our goal with a new plan is one that helps us all -- staff, leaders, chapters, sections and volunteers -- work more strategically rather than piecemeal to achieve short-term and long-term goals. However, the only way we’ll know if we’re building a plan that works is if we hear from you. That’s why we set up a website to share our draft plan and get specific feedback from members. We really want to learn from your personal insights.

We live during a time when there are many things that can divide our community. Emergency physicians come from different places with different backgrounds, political views, and workplaces. Despite these forces, what I witnessed during ACEP21 in Boston was a clear coming together. We got back to the days of debating key issues and then laughing together, in person. We got back to respectfully listening then sharing a meal or a drink together. We wore our masks and did our daily health checks with a cheerful attitude because we prioritized the health and safety of each other. Most importantly, we re-energized ourselves to continue working together toward the betterment of your peers and patients.

We all made ACEP21 a shining example that it’s not just okay to be meeting again, it’s great to be meeting again. I’m extremely grateful to work with such dedicated staff, leaders and volunteers. Each of your efforts was valued by our EM community as well as the professional meetings community in Boston and beyond. 

Just 330(ish) days until ACEP22. See you in San Francisco!

ICYMI: You also may not know that ACEP has expanded its commitment to raising the bar on fair contracting and employment practices for everyone, prioritizing transparency and advocacy for our community. We’ve always had policies designed to influence decisionmakers and stakeholders, but we’ve recently consolidated them into a new Career Center. Our goal is to give all members a one-stop-shop for their career concerns, with resources like an interactive contract checklist to help differentiate best practices from red flags and a primer for understanding your rights under the law to gain access to Medicare billings made in your name. We’ve also begun voluntarily collecting non-competitive information from all emergency physician-employing entities, including exhibitors, advertisers, and sponsors of ACEP meetings and products, to increase transparency and demonstrate an employers’ adherence to key ACEP policy statements related to employer best practices.

NOW: The convention always marks a time of transition for ACEP leadership. During the ACEP Council meeting, we gratefully applauded the work of immediate Past-President Mark Rosenberg, DO, FACEP, and Past-President Bill Jaquis, MD, FACEP, whom we were unable to recognize in person due to last year’s virtual meeting. Both of these leaders served during the unique hardships of this ongoing pandemic and received well-deserved, long-lasting standing ovations from the Council audience.

Dr. Rosenberg passed the gavel to new ACEP President Gillian Schmitz, MD, FACEP, who delivered a powerful speech that tackled some of the most controversial issues facing our specialty. We saw the Council voted Christopher Kang, MD, FACEP, as president-elect. Dr. Kang will become ACEP’s first Asian-American president when he assumes the position during ACEP22.

The ACEP Council also elected four members to the ACEP Board of Directors: L. Anthony Cirillo, MD, FACEP, (incumbent) from Rhode Island; John T. Finnell, II, MD, MSc, FACEP, (incumbent) from Indiana; Rami R. Khoury, MD, FACEP, from Michigan; and Heidi C. Knowles, MD, FACEP, from Texas.

Kelly Gray-Eurom, MD, MMM, FACEP, from Florida, is the new Council Speaker, and Melissa W. Costello, MD, MS, FACEP, FAEMS, is the new Vice Speaker. This marks the first time ACEP has elected women to serve as its Speaker and Vice Speaker concurrently.

During the Board meeting held at the conclusion of the convention, the Board elected its new officers. Alison Haddock, MD, FACEP, is the Chair of the Board, and Aisha Terry, MD, MPH, FACEP, is the Vice President. Jeff Goodloe, MD, FACEP, is the Secretary/Treasurer.

The dust has hardly settled on ACEP21, but new leaders are already hard at work on your behalf. Learn more about them and where they practice.

NEXT: As mentioned earlier, we’re at the critical phase in our strategic planning efforts where we are soliciting feedback from ACEP members on eight core tenets of the plan. The project teams that developed the initial draft will review and incorporate the member feedback into a final action plan that the Board will review. We anticipate launching this new strategic plan in early 2022. I cannot stress enough how much we want – and value – your feedback. Please take a moment to weigh in before the Nov. 10 deadline.


Sue’s Shout-outs

On the heels of our ACEP21 meeting – our first-ever hybrid convention, unlike any meeting we’ve ever conducted before – there are countless people who deserve special thanks. In addition to the entire ACEP staff, the members who serve on our ACEP21 Educational Meetings Subcommittee deserve a huge round of applause for navigating the challenges of planning and hosting ACEP21 with the patience and equanimity no matter the obstacles. (To borrow a joke overheard during Council – we did not have “broken ceiling projectors” or “disruptive Nor’easter” on our ACEP21 bingo cards!)  


  • Matt Strehlow, MD, FACEP – Chair
  • Jennifer Casaletto, MD, FACEP (new Chair for ACEP22)
  • Sudave D. Mendiratta, MD, FACEP, Immediate Past Chair
  • Christine Babcock, MD, FACEP
  • Rebecca Bavolek, MD, FACEP
  • Jessica Best, MD
  • Keith Borg, MD, PhD, FACEP
  • Sean P. Dyer, MD
  • Katie M. Fisher, MD
  • Eric Gross, MD, MMM, FACEP
  • Carolyn K Holland, MD, MEd, FACEP
  • Erin R. Karl, MD (EMRA Representative)
  • Viveta Lobo, MD, FACEP
  • Mark Daniel Lopez, MD, FACEP
  • Mimi Lu, MD, FACEP
  • Cynthia Price, MD
  • Janis Farnholtz
  • Provinse, MS, RN, CNS, CEN
  • William (Will) Shyy, MD
  • Eric Steinberg, DO, FACEP
  • Matthew J. Stull, MD
  • Jeffrey Tabas, MD, FACEP
  • Alison J Haddock, MD, FACEP
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