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June Notes from the Medical Staff President

To the Medical Staff:

Cooper White, MD
Medical Staff President

This will be the last of my letters as president of the medical staff as my term comes to an end this month. It has been an honor to serve in this fashion, and I am grateful for the opportunity. I hope I have adequately met the needs of the position. I know it has been a humbling experience. I realize I will soon find myself in some illustrious company as a past president of our medical staff.

I have used this forum to share medical staff news, especially regarding the activities of the Medical Staff Executive Committee (MSEC) and various other medical staff committees. As I write this, the MSEC has yet to meet this month, but there will be a considerable number of new providers going through the credentialing process and several divisions being re-credentialed. I can’t overstate the importance of this function in maintaining our staff’s integrity and high level of competence. Mary Toth has done a tremendous job chairing the Credentialing Committee. As she heads for sunnier climes, her diligence and organizational intelligence will be missed. We are confident Maria Ramundo will be a great replacement.

I also want you to be aware of proposed amendments to the Bylaws. These were discussed in detail by Jeff Hord at the Annual Meeting of the medical staff, which took place on June 14. You will receive a separate email detailing the proposal and the parameters of electronic voting which will determine its fate.

Similarly, committee assignments have been made and will be considered by the MSEC. You will receive notice of these committee assignments. The committee rosters are sometimes tightly determined by the Bylaws, but at other times may be more flexibly structured. Every effort is made to accommodate expressed interest when possible. Please get in touch with the Medical Staff office if you identify any errors or concerns.

Obviously, as I transition from my position, Laura Pollauf is well prepared to take over this job. Laura comes to this position with considerable skills. She has worked hard as our medical staff vice president and has taken advantage of the opportunities available to her to learn and prepare.  As was announced at the Annual Meeting, Mike Forbes has been elected to the position of vice president, and will assume the presidency in 2 years. All who know Mike know him to be extremely thoughtful. We were quite lucky to have 3 very capable candidates for this position. We owe a debt of gratitude to Tsulee Chen and Troy Sands, who ran along with Mike in the election, for their willingness to serve.

Lastly, as all of you who read this know, I have used this forum as an opportunity for sharing my thoughts on issues of local, state and national importance. This month, there is a lot to talk about. Lead exposure and how communities (or even whether they can) deal with it is an important topic at the State House. Gun violence continues to rear its ugly head, not only with the appalling attack on Representative Scalise, but with workplace attacks, seemingly mundane local murders, and the occasional toddler who is accidentally slain by a sibling. If it is not currently possible to pass sensible gun control laws, consider the importance of not passing the sort of laws being considered, which could allow for wider use of silencers, the elimination of safe zones (like hospitals and schools), and open carry reciprocity. If you feel as I do about this, let your congressional representatives know. In the world of healthcare policy, Medicaid is under attack at both the state and national levels. This could profoundly affect the children we care for and our ability to provide that care. Please don’t hesitate to speak out. Phone calls are thought to be the most effective way of communicating with a representative or senator, but there are lots of alternatives.

I will close by again saying thanks for this opportunity. This letter has a sense of finality to it, but the fact is, I’m not going anywhere. I relish the chance to continue my practice here as a general pediatrician, and to do so with fewer 7 a.m. meetings.

Sincerely,

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

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