Why did you first get involved in CME and the Alliance?
In 2003, readership studies from our practice management journal, Physicians Practice, indicated that clinicians were interested in receiving CME credit for reading the journal. In response to the needs of our readership, we went through the ACCME accreditation process and were awarded "provisional accreditation." We developed a number of education platforms to serve our readers including workshops and e-learning. This evolved into an education division, and we began expanding our content portfolio beyond practice management into clinical education. These activities were also certified. In 2007, we sold our journal to UBM Medica/CMP and retained our education division, which later became Med-IQ.
I remember hearing about the Alliance and the great work the organization was doing in representing the interests of all stakeholders in the CME/CE community. We felt that it was important to support the organization that was supporting our community and became members.
Why did you decide to join the Alliance Advocacy Committee?
I was frustrated with the negative press that our community was receiving and how the Senate Finance Committee was portraying accredited providers and certified CME/CE. William Mencia, MD, Med-IQ medical director, and I had an opportunity to meet with staffers in Sen. Kohl's office to hear first-hand how our community was being perceived, and despite having a positive discussion – in which we shared educational outcomes, our internal policies around transparency and resolving conflicts of interest, and how our activities are conceived, developed and delivered independent of any commercial interest influence – we realized our community had a long road ahead to begin to change the misperception. I asked to join the Advocacy Committee in hopes of making a difference. A number of Alliance members have pushed an advocacy agenda on behalf of our community. I was excited to be able to chair this committee and continue advocacy efforts started by Alliance leaders like Destry, Damon, Pam and Tom.
What is this committee working on currently that you are excited about?
First and foremost, we are excited to be able to align our efforts with the Alliance Strategic Plan and deliver real value to our members. Our Call for Papers and Why We Matter campaigns are two initiatives that we launched last year and have continued to promote this year. These initiatives are designed to support members in helping tell the value story of the work we do and our role in the healthcare ecosystem.
We are partnering with the Alliance education and membership committees to develop town halls, webinars and podcast sessions focused on the ongoing discussion around value. Members have indicated in multiple surveys the need for a coordinated effort to define, measure and articulate the value of CME/CE to multiple stakeholders. To tell the value story, Chris, Patty, Sarah and I have been working together to develop a short- and long-term strategy with deliverables to support our members.
What are some trends in CME that you are anticipating?
From a frontline education perspective, I am really excited that our community has the opportunity to align with the ACA and deliver education that drives and supports new practice models like Patient-centered Medical Homes. The Alliance’s efforts in quality improvement and advocating for our members to engage in this important work have created significant opportunities to drive improvements at the system and practice level that improves patient care. With the incentives now in place to support the transformation from volume to value-based care, our community an opportunity and a responsibility to truly help drive and sustain this transformation.
What keeps you excited and passionate about working in CME?
From a macro perspective, every award, publication, poster and presentation that our members receive and deliver to highlight their educational outcomes data and demonstrate that the work we do every day improves healthcare in this country really inspires me and recharges the batteries to stay involved as a volunteer advocate for our community. Closer to home, I am energized everyday by the passion and commitment the Med-IQ team and our collaborative partners bring to the table to make change. The outcomes data from our work make us all remember that there is a clinician, patient and a caregiver on the other side of that data point.