Greetings to all fellow radiologists. Let me begin by thanking you for your support of the Michigan Radiological Society (MRS) and the American College of Radiology (ACR.) We continuously work, often behind the scenes, to support and represent you and your colleagues in your practices and in legislative affairs.
Many individuals give their time freely to provide these efforts. Please allow me to specifically name a few who have been particularly supportive of during this year. Firstly, Dr. Kurt Tech, Immediate Past-President, must be mentioned. He engineered a very smooth transition to this year’s leadership and continues to work very, very hard in his additional roles as head of the Legislative Affairs Committee, Committee on Economics and Chair of the Michigan Radiology PAC.
Also, former Past-Presidents Drs. Reed Dunnick and Kathy Scharer have been extremely supportive of me and along with our other elected officers continue to move the MRS in positive directions. The officers are: Dr. Gary Gustafson, President-Elect; Dr. Nancy Gregory, Vice President; Dr. Rojan Samudrala, Secretary, and Dr. Kathleen Barry, Treasurer. My personal thanks go these persons and to all of the other Trustees of the MRS Board for their hard work and commitment to organized Medicine. Special and personal thanks to Drs. Mike Sandler and Jay Zeskind who are sources of wisdom and advice which is invaluable.
You may wonder what we have done and what we hope to further achieve. That is very fair to ask, as you all pay dues and deserve answers. I will try to outline a few of the accomplishments the MRS has experienced recently.
CHAPTER RECOGNITION BY THE ACR
For three years running the MRS has been nationally recognized by the ACR with Chapter Recognition Awards. Though there are four categories of awards, each chapter is allowed only one award per year, though in 2006, because a few chapters were leaders in many categories, an additional Overall Chapter Excellence Award was created. The Michigan Radiological Society received this Overall Excellence Award, as well as an additional award in 2006.
MRS REPRESENTATION AT THE ACR LEVEL
Michigan has been active in the ACR for many years. We have had a succession of MRS members serve as elected officials in the ACR. This emphasis continues and should support our chapter’s voice in national leadership roles.
MRS COMMUNICATION UPDATES
We have an excellent website, I am very glad you have signed on. Please share the information and the web address with your radiology colleagues. There is always loads of important information on this site, as well as a number of important links to additional information sources.
Political action is an important activity for radiology and for your practices. The MRS has an excellent lobbying team in place that supports our positions on legislation and keeps us closely informed about new bills and ideas coming from the State House and Senates which may have an impact on all of us. So far, the lobbying efforts coupled with our Board Members direct actions and meetings with legislators have been very effective in garnering support, with direct and tangible results in the bills which have been defeated or left die at the committee level.
INSURANCE AND OTHER THIRD PARTY PAYOR REPRESENTATION
Representation of Radiology to the major insurance carriers is strong and ongoing. For many years, Dr. Duane Mezwa was the representative to the Carrier Advisory Committee for Medicare. He has recently transitioned the position to me, but still is a strong ally, giving me close guidance and advice regarding every issue which comes to the committee.
Furthermore, Dr. Kurt Tech has accepted the Chairmanship of the Committee on Economics, which represents us to many third party payers and to groups responsible for the policy decisions regarding reimbursement. Dr. Tech, along with his other committee members are diligent advocates of radiological practice and reimbursement.
STATE POLICY ACTIVITIES
On the State of Michigan level, we benefit from strong representation with respect to health policy and MSMS activities. Our Board of Trustee member, past-president and long term ally, Michael Sandler has vast experience in this arena and is the President-Elect of the Michigan State Medical Society. Additionally we have had two board members serve on The Department of Community Health Strategic Advisory Committees (SAC) for CON policy reviews. Most recently, Dr. Daniel Shumaker was chair of the SAC for CT CON. Last year, I was privileged to be vice chair of the SAC on PET CON. CON policy for CT will be released soon.
Education remains a fundamental part of the MRS activities. Highlights of the last year’s activities include:
Three didactic lectures each academic year which include the annual Preston Hickey Lecture.
The MRS sponsors a bi-annual Breast Imaging Course which allows participants to fulfill the requirements of MQSA. The next course will be in the fall of 2008. These are always well attended and of great value to radiologists.
In June of 2007, MRS co-sponsored, with the ACR, a day long course on Cardiac Imaging which allowed participants to reach Level I certification for CCTA. This was a huge success with about 130 participants.
Finally, we support the Resident and Fellow Section’s annual educational event and often speakers from the MRS participate.
Goals for our future are exciting and include ongoing legislative and political activities, exploration of Televideo or Computer linked MRS meetings to draw out state areas into our organization, continued emphasis on education activities, perhaps to include computer based learning and a review of the MRS Strategic Plan. This plan will be updated to steer our society for the coming years.
Thank you for your support and attention. Please let us know how we may serve you better and areas in which you have an interest, so that you may be included in the MRS activities and actions.
Kevin M. O’Brien. MD, FACR
Michigan Radiological Society