Minutes from the CVMS Board Meeting:
Held on Dec. 7, 2023, by Zoom
Members present: Dr. Greg Warth, Dr. Jerome Blackman, Dr. David Archer, Dr. Alexandria Berger, Dr. Lisa Barr, Dr. Keith Berger, Dr. Joan Lingen
The meeting was called to order at approximately 7:05 PM.
The Board welcomed Dr. Joan Lingen, the Chief Medical Officer of the Eastern Shore Rural Health System, in her role as an MSV (Medical Society of Virginia) Delegate.
We discussed and approved the establishment of an Affiliate Membership consisting of non-MD and non-faculty members, or organizations, who wish to have a partnership with CVMS. This will require a yearly membership fee depending on the size of the organization and the estimated value that these potential members can bring to CVMS. Also, we do not wish to provide exclusivity to any of these entities. For example, if one insurance company joins, we will not exclude others from joining. In addition, these entities will be non-voting.
The Financial Report was provided by Dr. Warth. Dues have been slowly trickling in. We are hoping to collect more through sponsorships and donations. It was proposed that we develop a 501(c)3 foundation for charitable purposes, one of which could include providing scholarships to worthy students at EVMS. Will discuss with our attorney, Neil Rose, about setting this up.
The Membership Report was given, ideas to attract new members were provided by Dr. Barr and discussion was held. Our membership is still relatively small, but we are still young and growing. We need to continue to show the benefits of joining CVMS. News is spreading by way of our newsletter and word-of-mouth, but we need more. Lisa indicated that she knows a person who would be able to drop off flyers, brochures, and other promotional materials to doctors’ offices. Greg will start sending out small weekly mini-newsletters to potential members in addition to our monthly newsletter. We need to come up with discounts at certain restaurants and other places. We will ask Dr. Montero if there is a way we can collaborate with the local Philippine and Indian Medical Societies or perhaps even merge with them. Dr. Archer will look into the possibility of adding more EVMS faculty members to our organization.
The Mental Health Report was given by Dr. Blackman. There are several issues here that require attention. Access to good mental health care is woefully inadequate in this area. Psychiatrists and psychologists are in short supply. Insurance coverage for mental health is very poor. We need to re-establish government-owned psychiatric hospitals to treat and potentially rehabilitate patients who are severely mentally ill, many of whom are currently homeless, suicidal, or homicidal, and contributing to mass shootings. Commitment laws need to be changed to make it easier to commit very sick, dangerous, paranoid schizophrenic patients. Physician burnout and depression are also major mental health issues that we want to address. Dr. Blackman agreed to write a position paper for us. We will create resolutions to be presented at the next Advocacy Summit and the Annual MSV Meeting in 2024. Dr. A. P. Berger and Dr. Blackman are working on developing a video on some of these issues that can be accessed on the website and presented as a webinar online.
Dr. A. P. Berger is working with Tom Chamberlain of Edlogics.com to set up brief television appearances to get the word out to the public about what we are doing. If we can make the public aware of these issues, they might start asking their lawmakers about how to fix them.
The Advocacy Report was given by Dr. Warth since Dr. K. Berger had another meeting he had to go to. We need to extensively prepare our positions, resolutions, and proposals to submit to the Advocacy Summit in June and the MSV Annual Meeting in October of 2024. We discussed submitting resolutions on Certificates of Need, prior authorizations (PA), and mental health issues. PA concerns may need to be referred to the AMA since it is more of a national issue. We may collaborate with MSNVA (Medical Society of Northern Virginia) on COPN issues through Claudia Tellez, their Executive Director. One of us needs to join the MSV Advocacy Committee. We need to interview our lawmakers for the newsletter so we can see where they stand. We need to get the message out to the public about these issues. We will invite as many of our elected representatives as we can to our membership meeting. We need to remain mindful that our primary purpose and mission is to advocate for improvements in our healthcare system that will be beneficial for our physicians and our patients. Social networking and expansion of our membership provide a means to that end.
Communications – We need to expand our communications to current and potential members and to the public about our healthcare system and our ideas on how to improve it. Any articles that the Board members come across that might be useful in this regard are requested to be submitted as potential messages for the monthly newsletter and weekly email shorts. We will work on getting a regular weekly column that we can put in the Virginian Pilot.
Treasurer – Dr. Warth suggested adding another member to our Board to serve as Treasurer. A candidate was discussed and informally approved depending on his agreement to fill the position.
The meeting was adjourned at approximately 8:15 PM. The next Board meeting will be on January 4, 2024 by Zoom.
Stay up to date on issues and news you need to know. The CVMS Bulletin is published monthly and will list concerns that local physicians have expressed about healthcare in Coastal Virginia and how we can make it better. We will provide potential solutions and let you know what is happening behind the scenes to help solve these problems.
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