By Robert P. Granacher Jr., MD, MBA
It is time for me to transfer the LMS President’s gavel to Dr. Tuyen T. Tran, our incoming President for the 2018 calendar year (Register for the January 16, 2018 LMS Dinner Meeting). As I transfer leadership, I want to review our Strategic Plan of 2017 – 2019, which began with my presidency. This newsletter will highlight some of the new initiatives that occurred in the 2017 calendar year as part of the current Strategic Plan.
As many of you recall, the Lexington Medical Society has revamped its mission statement and vision statement. Our vision is currently: “For passion in the practice of medicine. The Lexington Medical Society aims to ignite, sustain, and rekindle the passion for the practice of medicine.” This vision statement is our trajectory currently, and one of the main strategies within that trajectory of this vision is to connect our past with our future as we progress along the way. This vision led LMS to focus on supporting our medical students and residents (the LMS future) at the University of Kentucky, College of Medicine. Here is a review of our major 2017 actions.
Career Chats has been a great success. It is now in its fourth year, and it is enjoyed and seen as a success by both our LMS physicians and our UK medical students. This year’s turnout was the largest we have ever had. Medical students tell us their appreciation for being able to learn about other specialties in medicine, that they are not otherwise exposed to in medical school. Our physicians have told us that they enjoy reconnecting with the enthusiasm found in the students.
The LMS Mentorship Program is in its inaugural year. We had 46 third-year medical students sign up for mentoring by LMS physicians. We have a proprietary software system, which we purchased to help match the profiles of the mentor to the mentee based on specialty, personality, interest, and student request. This software enables LMS to monitor the progress of the program, but it is executed in a decentralized manner based by each mentor-mentee pair. LMS launched this program in August, and it will run until May. At its conclusion, we will make an assessment of the program and make appropriate adjustments and improvements going forward to the next academic year.
The LMS Bourbon Chase Team was inaugurated this year also. It has been a surprising success. The goal was to raise funds for the American Cancer Society which LMS achieved by raising more than $6,000. Our team this year consisted of five active LMS physicians, one UK resident, and four UK medical students. It is the epitome of our vision discussed above. Our team negotiated the 203-mile running relay race from Clermont, Kentucky, through the heart of the Bourbon distillery district, and back to Lexington. Our physicians were able to mentor the medical students on a wide range of topics throughout the two-day event. The medical students were able to enjoy a prime example of a healthy lifestyle by seeing physicians being physically fit and having fun while doing it. LMS hopes that this year’s race will have a positive impact, and the team will grow and spread beyond this year’s event. The 2018 Bourbon Chase is tentatively set for October 12-13. Contact LMS if you are up to the challenge and want to join the team.
LMS has continued to improve upon its Physician Wellness Program. Our relationship with the Woodland Group is superb and their psychologists are assisting our physicians and residents deal with life’s normal difficulties. This service is at no cost to either our active LMS physician members or the UK residents. The Woodland Group also provided to LMS members, at no charge, a physician wellness seminar last spring. The strength of our wellness program is its confidentiality to our physicians and residents. We pay the monthly invoice (UK pays the cost for their residents as a pass-thru to LMS) from the Woodland Group, based on numbers of visits, without names. Since its inception in January 2016, this program has helped many dozens of active physician members and residents. This year, the LMS Board voted to increase the number of free calendar visits per year from six to eight, based on feedback from our members and residents. Our program success has been noticed by others, and we have helped replicate our Wellness Program model in at least a half-dozen medical societies throughout the United States.
LMS has taken a very strong position in assisting physician leadership development. In 2017, LMS supported three and the Kentucky Medical Association supported two more of our members to attend the inaugural KMA Kentucky Physician Leadership Institute. Half of the inaugural class was from Lexington. This innovative program occurs over four weekends (Friday-Saturday) during the summer. Participants are deeply immersed in the topics on the personal side of leadership, the leadership of business, legislative advocacy, and leadership in key healthcare issues. Our member participants have widely praised the program. Our LMS Board is budgeted to send three more of our members in 2018, so we wish to receive feedback from other LMS members who may be interested in attending the Institute as well.
Another program inaugurated in 2017 is the “Leadership of the Business of Medicine Workshops.” LMS formed a partnership with the University of Kentucky Gatton College of Business and Economics to provide two workshops per year for our members. These workshops are limited to 25 members, are taught by Gatton School professors, and are on par with the level of teaching provided to business graduate students at the University of Kentucky. This program is designed to cover the business of medicine topics that are not covered during professional medical education. We had a pilot workshop in the spring of 2017 on the topic of “Negotiations.” We have two workshops planned for in 2018. All workshops are on a Saturday morning for four hours, and physicians receive AMA PRA Category 1 approved continued medical education at no cost to our members. Non-members may participate for a $100.00 fee. Our second workshop on December 2 was on understanding of business contracts and financial statements. The next workshop is on April 14th, 2018 and will cover business strategic planning.
Finally, we wish to announce the launching of a completely new, modern, and professionally-designed website and a brand new LMS logo. Many of you have seen our new logo, which visually combines the image of a horseshoe with the caduceus. We have employed MakeSpace.com, a website design company, to assist us in this effort. MakeSpace studied and interviewed certain members of LMS in order to tailor our website and logo to our culture and vision. This website is mobile friendly and is interactive. Our new logo design was a collaborative process between the MakeSpace marketing and graphic designers, and the LMS Executive Board. The new website and logo are intended to help LMS keep up with the times in terms of technology and design. We will use the modern platform of our new website and integrated brand to communicate programs and services that are physician-centric in order to deliver value to our members.
I thank all of my fellow members of the LMS and our LMS staff for their constant support of me during the tenure of my presidency. I am certain Dr. Tran will be welcomed and supported in the same manner. As we move forward, our hope is that LMS will become a leader in how a medical society should be managed and operated. We will continue to add value to an LMS membership and add passion to the practice of medicine.