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Outgoing Presidents Message

Pasternak_Andy-200x300Washoe County Medical Society had a fantastic 2017.   I want to thank each and every one of you for your membership and for your individual contributions to WCMS. Under the leadership of our executive director Mary Ann McCauley, WCMS has been striving to better meet the needs of our members and our community. We are going to see some great new member benefits in the next few years and I am excited about where WCMS is headed.

Washoe County Medical Society had a fantastic 2017. I want to thank each and every one of you for your membership and for your individual contributions to WCMS. Under the leadership of our executive director Mary Ann McCauley, WCMS has been striving to better meet the needs of our members and our community. We are going to see some great new member benefits in the next few years and I am excited about where WCMS is headed.

I specifically want thank everyone on the WCMS board, the committee chairs and everyone who served on committees for sharing your precious time and knowledge.

As I talk to young physicians, residents and medical students about why they should become WCMS members, the biggest perk for me personally has been having the opportunity to interact with so many incredible colleagues and learn in so many ways. To Mary Ann and Wendy- your work this year was incredible!

While this is a bit of a report, it’s good to remember that this is truly a list of the member benefits of WCMS and NSMA. These accomplishments were the direct result of your membership and the energy put in by you and your fellow members. I ask you to please spread the word about the efforts of WCMS and NSMA to your non-member colleagues in 2018.
We had regulatory success working with the board of pharmacy to change the regulations so your RN or MA can help you refill medications using your electronic prescribing system.

So what did we accomplish in 2017?

Here are just some of the highlights:

Our governmental affairs committee worked incredibly hard during a legislative session that had a huge focus on health care.

We defeated a board of health regulation that would fine individual physicians $25,000 if they didn’t report a patient with cancer
to the cancer registry.

We secured a veto of an insurance company bill that would ban balance billing and cap fees for out of network health care services giving a huge advantage to insurance companies.

In response to the prescription pain medication crisis, we helped to shape NV 474 which will change how we prescribe narcotic pain meds. While certainly not perfect, the law is better than it started out due to the input of our members. In addition, we have put together a tool set to help providers comply with the law and will continue to work with physicians in our community. We’re already talking about legislative fixes to parts of the laws for the next legislative session.

Within Washoe County, we have reached out and provided education about heart issues in athletes, narcotics and other important medical issues. We have also started to work with Northern Nevada organizations on ways that we can partner with them to better educate our community.

Our Medical Practice committee continues to help educate physicians and staff on how we can best adjust our practices to meet the challenges of MIPS and MACRA.

Our Allied Public Health committee started to address issues such as sex trafficking, and added some thoughtful input on many of the legislative issues we faced this year.

Our Public Relations committee organized some lovely events, put on another fantastic mini-internship for members of our community and is expanding our footprint using social media.

After getting frozen out, we got our Facebook page back.

Financially, we ended up $30,000 above budget.

We weren’t planning on it, but we moved
to a new location.

We tried to get a dragon boat team together (OK that wasn’t a success)

Personally, I received 2,766 WCMS related e-mails.

We battled CCMS to a draw in a heated bocce ball tournament at this year’s NSMA meeting.

We vetted a number of membership database systems and websites and will be rolling out this new system in early 2018.

The system will streamline communication, allow members to update their own information and renew their memberships on-line. It will also improve our web-presence for both physicians and members of the community.

More recently, I’m proud to announce that WCMS is part of a community-wide effort to help prevent physician burnout. The Northern Nevada Physicians Wellness Coalition is bringing together representatives from Renown, Northern Nevada Medical Center, St. Mary’s, the University of Nevada-Reno School of Medicine, the VA and WCMS to address the issues that are causing physician burnout as well as provide solutions for physicians.

Finally, we revised the bylaws and made them more inline with the bylaws of NSMA. In doing so, we also cleaned up our committee structure which will help us move forward, especially with regards to focusing more specifically on membership. In addition, these bylaw changes will add student and resident representatives from the University of Nevada School of Medicine to the WCMS board. Out of all of things we’ve done, this is the one I’m most excited about. It is essential to hear concerns from the next generation of physicians and introduce them to the importance of organized medicine.

WCMS had a great year due to the incredible work of our physicians. I am excited to see where we head next under the outstanding leadership of Dr. Swanger. Since some weeks this year Ron and I saw more of each other than our wives, I can personally vouch that WCMS is in great hands.

On a personal note, I’ve have been fortunate to have a number of leadership opportunities throughout my career. Representing so many phenomenal physicians as WCMS President has been a truly special opportunity. I have learned so much from everyone I have worked with this year and will be indebted to all of you for this special honor.

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