BCMA President’s Farewell Speech
-Bernita C Taylor, M.D.
Good evening Colleagues, friends and special guests. We’ve come to the close of another year at the Baltimore County Medical Association. As we prepare to welcome incoming BCMA president, Dr. Charles Samorodin, I would like to take this opportunity to review a few of the highlights of the last year.
As always, our CME committee continued to offer informative programs to educate both our membership and the public. On May 10th, Pamela Kasemeyer gave a presentation entitled 2017 Legislative Wrap Up. In response to the opioid crisis in Maryland, the BCMA sponsored a special program on November 15th entitled Opioid Panel Discussion: Policy, Prescribing, PDMP and the Future of Treatment. Past BCMA and MedChi president Dr. Russel Wright served as moderator. The panel members were Kate Jackson, Director of the Prescription Drug Monitoring Program, and pain management specialists Dr. Marcia Wolfe and BCMA Vice President Dr. Francisco Ward. Last month, Gene Ransom, CEO of MedChi presented a talk entitled An Update on the All-Payer Model in Maryland. In his talk, he reviewed Maryland’s unique health care delivery system, the evolving All-payer model’s performance thus far and updated us on the status of CMS contract negotiations.
Our MedChi delegation continues to make its presence known at the state and national level. Our resolution 17-17 Unethical Business Practices by Medical Supply companies was passed. Resolved that MedChi will work to track patterns of unethical business practices by medical supply companies and seek to bar offending companies from doing business in Maryland. BCMA past president Dr. Loralie Ma began her tenure as MedChi speaker of the House and was elected as a MedChi delegate to the AMA. On October 28th, we celebrated the installation of past president Dr. Gary Pushkin as he assumed presidency of MedChi. That event included a memorable performance by the acclaimed Capitol Steps.
BCMA members were invited to interact with their legislators and voice their concerns. One opportunity was our December 1st Legislative Breakfast. Just las month, BCMA had the yearly Annapolis House Call. Our major areas of legislative concentration have been protecting Medicaid access, opposing the weakening of Maryland’s medical liability environment and promoting our funding priorities in combating opioid crisis.
At my installation last year, I stated that improved communication should be a goal at BCMA. Over the last year, I’ve witnessed enhanced communication in action. There has been a personalized outreach to potential new members encouraging them to join us in our mission. Phone calls, emails, texts and mailings have gone out to membership keeping us informed of crucial issues requiring our immediate attention, such as pending legislative votes and public health bulletins. The responsibility of managing this mass communication has rested on the shoulders of the BCMA staff, ably led by our Executive Director Russ Kujan. I am indebted to them as their efficiency enabled me to balance the rigors of medical practice and my BCMA/MedChi responsibilities.
To my fellow BCMA members, I thank you for this opportunity to serve you over the past year and as always…May the force be with you!