David M. Lichtman, MD
December 14, 2005
During the first few days of this unseasonably cold December, the Executive Committee and Council met in Rosemont, IL at the Central Office of the Hand Society. Fortunately, the meetings warmed up considerably as a result of the collegiality between Council members and the welcome company and innovative ideas of this year’s class of SBi Young Leaders.
SBi Young Leaders Program
For the second consecutive year, fourteen Young Leaders (members of the Society for eight or fewer years) went through the Knowledge Based Governance training facilitated by Cate Bower, CAE of Tecker Consultants, and LLC. The Young Leaders for this year were Randip R. Bindra, MD, Jeffrey E. Budoff, MD, James Chang, MD, Jack Choueka, MD, Warren C. Hammert, MD, Mark F. Hendrickson, MD, Thomas B. Hughes, Jr., MD, David M. Kalainov, MD, Robert C. Kramer, MD, Sang Gil Lee, MD, Michael E. Pannunzio, MD, Zubin Jal Panthaki, MD, Steven M. Topper, MD, and Stephen Troum, MD, FACS. The Young Leaders developed and presented three “mega issues” and concluded with recommendations to Council on the topics of coding and reimbursement, mentoring and recruitment, and hand surgery board certification.
We are thankful for the participation of John Kaelblein, Senior Vice President of Marketing and Chris Frederick, Vice President of Marketing at Small Bone Innovations for their corporate sponsorship of the Young Leaders program and continued support of this important program.
Roy A. Meals, MD and the Logo and Branding task force presented an option for a new ASSH graphic identity with the choice of several tag lines. We voted to approve the new logo and charged Council Members to vote in January 2006 for the best tag line to represent our Society. Later this winter, I will be pleased to share the new logo and tag line once it is finalized and becomes our official symbol.
After thoughtful and thorough work by Brian D. Adams, MD and the Hand Surgery Trauma Coverage Task Force, Council considered their initial draft position statement. The statement addresses the scope and definition of emergent hand conditions, the roles of the hand specialist and other health care providers in supporting emergency hand care, the responsibilities of the hospital and institution in terms of general support, the development of specialized centers for care of severe hand injuries, and appropriate work load, equitable reimbursement and liability coverage. Dr. Adams and the committee did a terrific job in preparing a statement with the intent of distributing responsibility among the doctors, care centers, and society at the appropriate levels. We directed the Task Force to make some editorial refinements; Council will review this document one more time before we publish and disseminate the document widely. The issue of emergency hand call will remain at the forefront of issues to be addressed by Council in the near future. Input from you, our members, is crucial to the ongoing process.
Continuing Medical Education
As a group, the Young Leaders and Council members heard presentations about the current state of Hand Society and specialty CME from Drs. Scott Kozin, Richard Gelberman, President elect, and Richard Berger. Some salient points that emerged from small discussion groups included the importance of assessing the impact of the maintenance of certification (MOC) process on CME needs, as well as soliciting specific CME topic proposals from the membership. We will continue to gather information about member interest, needs for CME, and re-address the issues at the next Council meeting. Many good ideas were brainstormed, and President-elect Gelberman will be leading the review, which is central to our mission over the next several months.
Kevin Chung, MD presented new ideas regarding future directions for research funding and innovation that would include more high impact research. Dr. Gelberman shared his vision of expanding the Hand Society’s menu of research opportunities. Also related to research, we approved the creation of a Clinical Investigators Workshop during the Annual meeting to support collegiality and research sharing between clinical researchers. This workshop meeting will have its first preliminary session in Washington D.C.; contact Martin I. Boyer, MD, chair of the Clinical Research Committee if you are interested in joining the group.
In response to emerging Pay for Performance (P4P) issues, the development of further evidence based practice guidelines for upper extremity surgery will be executed through the Evidence Based Practice Committee, led by Michael Keith, MD and Victoria Masear, MD. As Pay for Performance issues become more relevant to our field, this committee will help inform and educate our membership on the directions we may go. Since P4P is a virtual certainty, it is better that we develop our own guidelines than have the government or private insurers develop them for us.
With the capable assistance of past president Dennis Phelps, MD, we continued the review of our strategic plan and long-term vision. After careful deliberation, the Council reaffirmed its support of the existing ASSH strategic plan. This plan supports the expansion of the scope of hand surgery based on individual member’s practice preferences, educational needs and training requirements. Areas of the plan that were selected for closer review and update are ASSH programs for research, continuing education and internal management. The last two topics will be revisited in detail at the Spring Council meeting. As we continue this process of developing strategies to meet the needs of ASSH members, please let me know if you have thoughts about what the Hand Society should be doing to best prepare for the future. You can email me directly by writing to David Lichtman, MD (firstname.lastname@example.org).
Have a warm and comforting December, and enjoy the holidays that are full speed ahead…Dave