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President's Message - March 2018
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March 2018

Heidi Knowles, MD, FACEP

As I sit down to write this message, I am struck by the fact that my year as President is coming to a close. This has been a year filled with accomplishments, challenges and real change. We started the year in the middle of a rather contentious legislative session, surviving relatively unscathed, despite attempts at dulling the edge of tort law and the prohibition of balanced billing (fair payment). TCEP Councilors boldly took the message that our members want to see change in the current maintenance of certification (MOC) process to the ACEP Council meeting. The result? We have been told that we will see change, including options to the current high stakes, very expensive 10-year recertification test. While we are hopeful that this change might actually occur, we are watching closely and have full intent to revisit the issue if needed. Please know that this change we are requesting has no impact on the importance of residency training in EM as a requirement for board certification. Your board is fiercely protective of our specialty and the importance of Emergency Medicine residency training as a requirement for board certification.

We recently completed our biggest residency visit ever, combining both the UTSW and JPS residency programs at ACEP Headquarters in Irving. We had over 70 people in attendance, discussing topics from the EMS disaster response (and how to be prepared for the next one) to negotiation skills (Employers better look out- these residents are armed with the knowledge to intelligently discuss their contracts!)

TCEP Connect is coming together beautifully with over 14 hours CME, receptions, golf, a new speaker’s competition and a research forum. Keeping in mind that all work and no play… can be no fun, we have locked in a block of 200 seats at one of the most anticipated games of the season – World Champions, Houston Astros vs the Texas Rangers! I am hoping everyone will join us at the rooftop deck for a private reception where you can get to know Texas EM docs from around the state.

Looking forward to the upcoming year, we are developing plans to revitalize TCEP as an organization. Under new leadership of Executive Director, Marco Mancillas, I am hopeful that we can put a spark into TCEP that has been missing for a while. Our goals for this year are to revamp the member benefits profile, finding new opportunities for discounts, education and networking. We would also like to focus on communication with TCEP members in general. With changing times and especially social media, we are working on determining the best, most efficient method of communication. By being more communicative, the day to day actions provided by TCEP’s Board of Directors and staff to protect Texas Emergency Medicine will become more apparent to everyone.

As this is my last written message for TCEP, I want to take a moment to say thank you to everyone that has worked so hard behind the scenes this year. The Board of Directors have been a constant source of support and ideas. My employer, Integrative Emergency Services, and especially Nick Zenarosa, have been incredibly generous and forgiving when the needs of TCEP filled my schedule, leaving little time for my “real job.” Dan Peckenpaugh – the brave soul that volunteered to take on the role of Finance Committee Chair – has truly been a lifesaver. His literally countless (volunteer) hours of cleaning up / organizing the books, working tirelessly with our bankers, book-keeper, CPA and our staff, will go down in history as one of the main reasons for TCEP’s future success. If you run into him, please say thank you! Lynn Roppolo’s endless energy and excitement for leading the Education Committee in taking TCEP Connect to new levels has been amazing. The list of people to thank can go on and on, beyond the scope of this newsletter. If you have been a part of the success of TCEP this year (you know who you are), please accept my heartfelt gratitude for helping with the challenges of this year. Lastly, I would be remiss if I didn’t acknowledge my husband for his part as well. He has made reservations for receptions, phone calls to volunteers, road trips to Austin, acted as editor, sounding board and mental health advisor for me during the stressful times! As I write this, his car is parked in the driveway because his parking spot in our garage is currently a TCEP storage area… his time and patience have been incredible.

In closing, my overall theme this year has been the importance of staying involved. I know you have heard me say it over and over again. The TCEP Board of Directors (and their families), Executive Director, Marco Mancillas, and Executive Assistant, Kay Young, are here to work for you, your patients and the specialty of emergency medicine. We appreciate your membership and would love to see you at the table, actively involved. Remember, if we don’t write the story, someone else will write it for us. Please join us in the upcoming year as TCEP reignites the fire!

Heidi Knowles, MD, FACEP

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