Not-for-Profit professional association that advocates for and serves physicians of Greater Cincinnati.
When the wonderful Anne Like, MD passed the Academy President "baton" to me 6 months ago I was hopeful about The Academy's future goals, but skeptical nonetheless. 37 years practicing medicine can make you a pessimist at times. After all, we begin our careers with the singular mission of caring for our patients, but often find our voices in advocating for them getting lost in the noise of insurance mandates and regulations. In today’s practice environment, I wondered, how could The Academy of Medicine do more to create value for our members and the surrounding physician community?
I’m so pleased to report that my first 6 months as President of the Academy has swayed me towards optimism-or at least to the right side of the bell curve. I’ve found that when a mission is clear and you're surrounded by dedicated peers, great things can happen.
In this newsletter you'll find highlights of Academy successes in 2023 and projects creating momentum for 2024. Just as this experience serving as President has created optimism for me, I hope you find the same as you go into the new year. 'Tis the season for hope, after all.
I'd like to thank you all, our members and partners, for putting trust in our efforts to serve this great profession and the health of our community.
I wish you all a wonderful holiday season and prosperous new year.
Barry Brook, MD
Academy of Medicine of Cincinnati
The Academy of Medicine may serve as a voice for Cincinnati physicians, but one of our most important functions is to listen. We listen to the concerns of physicians at every stage of practice. We listen for what's coming down the road, whether it be new legislation or a future challenge. Equally as important to us is listening to community health and academic experts. With this in mind, we were very pleased to welcome 3 new Advisory Members to Academy Council in 2023:
The Academy, through the Cincinnati Coalition for Physician Wellbeing, took further steps in 2023 to promote wellbeing, reduce stigma surrounding physician mental health, and advocate for confidential access to support. Through the Coalition, Wellness leaders from across hospital systems in Cincinnati collaborated to share best practices, promote access to wellness screenings through OSMA's free and anonymous Well-being CARE Service and rapid access to treatment through Lindner Center of HOPE's Physician Mental Health Program, and participated in statewide coalition efforts for impairment modernization and updates to questions on license applications.
As the Cincinnati Coalition for Physician Wellbeing advances into our 6th year, we will continue to seek effective ways to prevent and reduce burnout and moral injury in our profession. We welcome Academy members to join us in these efforts. Interested members may email Executive Director Jessica Sellar on firstname.lastname@example.org.
Each year, the Academy Foundation provides grants supporting Greater Cincinnati non-profit organizations dedicated to public health, emergency care, education, and the welfare of our community. This year, the Foundation Board led by President Andrew Markiewitz, MD issued grants to the following organizations:
Black & White Cancer Survivors Foundation
Boys & Girls Clubs of Greater Cincinnati
Breastfeeding Outreach for Our Beautiful Sisters
Center for Respite Care
Cincy Preschool Promise
Henry Hosea House
NAMI Southwest Ohio
Ohio Professionals Health Program
Stepping Stones Inc.
St. Vincent DePaul Charitable Pharmacy
Su Casa Hispanic Center
The Dragonfly Foundation
In addition to these grants, we had the pleasure of honoring our 2022 Daniel Drake Humanitarian Award Winner John M. Tew Jr., MD at our May Annual Meeting. In Spring 2024, we look forward to celebrating our 2023 recipient Peter Reuhlman, MD as well as our 2023 Scholarship recipient Samantha Schilling.
The Academy’s Community Outreach Committee, under the leadership of Rebecca Short, MD, was proud to make headway in its inaugural year with the aim of taking thoughtful action to support the health of Cincinnati’s community.
We utilized Academy networking events as a platform to highlight noteworthy causes and collect small donations. Our 50 Year Physician Awards Luncheon, for example, hosted a drive for underserved seniors.
We also sought ways to utilize our unique roles as physicians to educate on health literacy.
The Community Outreach Committee was proud to wrap up 2023 by sponsoring Bethany House, an organization providing comprehensive family-centered homelessness services for over 40 years. Through our end of year drive, we provided several "Bethany Basics" kits to furnish new homes for families transitioning from homelessness.
In the Greater Cincinnati area, EMS is handled by community Fire Departments. Historically, these departments had widely varying EMS protocols. In the late 1970's under the auspices of The Academy of Medicine of Cincinnati, several local EMS Medical Directors created a Protocol Committee made up of EMS Medical Directors, EMT Basics, EMT Paramedics, EMS Educators and Fire Chiefs. This committee created a unified pre-hospital protocol for all of the Ohio Greater Cincinnati area. An agreement between the Fire Chiefs Association and The Academy of Medicine has allowed our protocols to be accepted at over 70 departments across Hamilton County and Southwest Ohio.
Under the leadership of EDS Committee Chair Don Locasto, MD, and Protocol Committee Co-Chairs Thomas Charlton, MD, Kevin Richards, NRP, and Dane Fienning, NRP, in addition to countless volunteers, 2024 Protocols for Southwest Ohio Prehospital Care are now published to ensure best practices for emergency care across the community.
This year, the Education Committee was revitalized under the leadership of Chair Steve Feagins, MD, MBA and a host of new committee members. In discussing our priorities for programs and content, we learned we could be agile when new needs arose. With the implementation of the June 27th DEA mandate, we saw a gap in free training/CME availability to meet requirements and set up virtual courses to support physicians.
With several Ohio Bills like Senate Bills 83 and 109 on the legislative agenda, we have planned ways to provide trainees and physicians with factual information to aid and protect their ability to practice medicine.
In 2024, we will be furthering our efforts to assist in meeting DEA CME requirements as well as fostering cross-program education, both in clinical practice and the business of medicine.
in 2023, Our Advocacy Committee proved to be more than a supporting character. As we carefully tracked state legislation and provided testimony and support for larger state initiatives like OSMA's Gold Card Bill, we also sought out opportunities to launch projects impacting our members and all Ohio physicians. Our discovery of the public State Medical Board licensee roster including personal cell phones, emails, and addresses was our top priority. Thanks to the passage of House Bill 33, this personal information has now been removed.
In sharing this message to physicians, we had a received a huge response:
"Thank you for working on this. I have had a stalker before that followed me from an outing to work and tried to get narcotics off of me. Very scary what can happen very easily, if someone just makes a little bit of effort. No protection for us. This is a nice first step."
"This probably also explains all the email spam and cold calls I get on my cell phone from recruiters, pharma, etc. Thank you!"
"THANK YOU! I had found this roster googling myself last year and had the same concerns. THANK YOU for your work."
"Thank you so much to all involved for taking the initiative and leading this change on behalf of all Ohio physicians! I am grateful for your leadership and service."
Our work on this project continues as we seek ways to remove birthdates and other identifiers, along with the promotion of this data on social media:
In 2024, we will be partnering with the Academy's Education Committee pending outcomes of Senate Bills 83 and 109. We also aim to support the huge victory from OSMA regarding the $400M increase in Medicaid Reimbursement with a helpful breakdown of codes for physician members.
We are energized at the notion that although we are very much in the “David” camp relative to our size, with the right approach and people we can continue to take on "Goliaths" in the way of physicians' ability to practice.
Anubhav Mital, MD
Chair, Academy Advocacy Committee
This year's Membership & Communications Committee, led by Chair Andrew Petersen, MD, was proud to play a role in honoring some phenomenal physicians this year through Academy events. At our Annual Meeting, we recognized the exceptional John Tew, Jr., MD for his lifelong humanitarian contributions with the Academy Foundation's Daniel Drake Humanitarian Award. We also celebrated the late O'dell M. Owens, MD, MPH as the Cincinnati Medical Association presented his son Chris with their first ever Legacy Award. In the Fall, Academy members came together to celebrate physicians including Andrew F. Robbins Jr., MD and Robert J. Smyth, MD, for 50 years in the practice of medicine.
In recognizing that time is perhaps our members' most limited resource, we also sought to offer opportunities for physicans to gather and network in more casual, less time intensive ways. Through our "Academy After Hours" at various breweries across town, we welcomed many physicians stopping in on their way home from a shift for a quick chat with peers.
In 2024 we look forward to continuing to bring members together to celebrate distinguished peers and build connections and camaraderie in our field.