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May Notes from the Medical Staff President

To the Medical Staff:

Dr. P. Cooper White

Dr. P. Cooper White, Medical Staff President

This has been a rather busy month from the perspective of the medical staff. The Medical Staff Executive Committee met this past week, and considered new applications for medical staff membership, as well as new credentialing documents presented by Dr. Mary Toth of the Credentialing Committee. The APP Credentialing Committee, a subcommittee of the Credentialing Committee has taken on the challenge of writing division-specific documents for advanced practice providers throughout the organization. The urology document became the first example of this activity recently. The review of the surgery department is proceeding and will be assisted by the engagement of an outside reviewer. Lastly, a newly revised Professional Conduct Policy was reviewed and passed for board consideration. This policy, which has been renamed “Practitioner/Advanced Practice Provider Professional Conduct,” will be further reviewed at the Annual Meeting on June 14.

The Medical Staff recently hosted its first dinner to honor our many retirees. There have been several significant retirements from the staff in the recent past, so it was thought appropriate to engage them in an evening of conversation and reminiscence. The night was well attended and well received. The current plan will be to repeat this on an annual or biannual basis.

As our state is rocked by the opiate crisis, it’s important to keep in mind that prescribing opiates and other controlled substances has taken on increased significance and is subject to greater and greater scrutiny. You are by now all aware of the OARRS regulations, as well as the “Start Talking” consent forms required for prescription of opiates in pediatric patients. You should also be aware of the ethical and regulatory boundaries around prescribing these medications for friends, colleagues and family members. I would strongly urge you all to not ever consider prescribing controlled medications for anyone who does not clearly have a provider-patient relationship with you. Similarly, it’s important to never put our colleagues in the uncomfortable position of having to say no by asking for such a prescription. We tend to think of the opiate crisis as being someone else’s problem since our patients are at a somewhat protected age, but when one considers the number of drug-exposed infants in our nurseries, the number of affected parents and families, and the risk to our adolescent patients for potential exposure, it is clear that this is everyone’s problem.

It has been hard to avoid the political aspects of recent Republican efforts to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. Simply put, the AHCA passed by the House of Representatives will hurt children. Given the importance of Medicaid as an insurer for children, the magnitude of the defunding would have wide-spread consequences. As the Senate considers its version, please don’t hesitate to advocate for children. Our Senator Rob Portman is a key member of the group of 12 who will be writing the Senate version. His website contains phone and email contact information. Let him know you are thinking of him.

Sincerely,

Cooper White, MD
Medical Staff President
cwhite@chmca.org

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