LMS 2021 Year End Review
Christopher Hickey, LMS EVP/CEO
When we are in the last month of the year it is natural to think how fast this past year went. The year started hopeful with our healthcare providers and our most medically vulnerable members of our society getting the Covid-19 vaccine. Momentum started picking up as more and more of us got vaccinated and the pandemic metrics were all trending positive till the end of June, then the delta variant took full effect. Just as we started thinking about transitioning to in-person membership events again we had to stop and remain virtual. We continued to focus on passing on urgent pandemic related information and assisted our health department on getting healthcare providers, whether they were members or not, registered to get vaccinated. Dr. James Borders, our LMS president, advocated, in many television interviews, to get vaccinated and take measures to protect yourself and each other from COVID-19. Internally, with most of our LMS employees working remotely, we took the opportunity to get our three-decade old elevator replaced and modernize to a cutting-edge call center communication system that is much more resilient than our previous system. Through all of this we kept our strategic plan in mind to advance what we could in the conditions that we had to operate.
Goal 1: Physician Wellness
The LMS Physician Wellness Program (PWP), has completed its sixth year. The PWP provides free counseling sessions, 8 per calendar year, to address life’s normal difficulties with a psychologist group LMS has contracted with. This service is completely confidential. LMS pays a monthly invoice based on the number of visits, no names. The LMS PWP service started in January, 2016 and expanded to include all University of Kentucky Graduate Medical Education residents and fellows in July, 2016 and then to all UK medical students in May, 2020. The pandemic caused our psychology group to utilize teletherapy which enabled them to cover all UK residents and medical students at all campus locations in Kentucky. The PWP, since its inception, has provided over 2,000 counseling sessions for active physicians, residents and fellows, and medical students. In 2021, as of October 31st, 690 sessions were used. The LMS PWP is a model that we have helped replicate in many other medical societies throughout the country.
Goal 2: Physician Leadership Development
LMS continued to support the Kentucky Physician Leadership Institute (KPLI) and the Leadership of the Business of Medicine workshops. KMA’s KPLI launched its inaugural year in 2017. This program focuses on developing physician leaders through four, two-day overnight sessions on topics of personal leadership, business leadership, advocacy leadership, and leadership on a critical health care issue. The sessions are led by a talented faculty team from Butler University. LMS has sent 13 physicians to the KPLI program since its inaugural year in 2017, including 2 physicians in 2021. Feedback from LMS KPLI participants was entirely positive. LMS will fund three more slots for the 2022 class. Contact LMS if you are interested and want more information.
Goal 3: Support for Early Career Physicians/Students
LMS continued to support three longstanding programs to support our medical students. LMS held its sixth “Career Chats” event in September 2019, but cancelled the event in 2020 and 2021 due to the pandemic. LMS will attempt, depending on the pandemic, to hold a Career Chat event in March, 2022. Career Chats has medical students chating with physicians representing over 15 specialties. This event, which includes catered food and refreshments, typically attracts over 120 medical students and 50 physicians, and gets positive reviews by all.
The LMS-U.K. College of Medicine Mentorship Program launched in August 2017 and is currently in its fifth year. The program pairs our physicians with third year medical students. The concept is the program is centralized structured by LMS to match the participants and monitor program progress but decentralized executed by the mentors and mentees based on their time and interests. The program is mentoring 24 medical students this year.
A new program started in 2019 was the LMS Foundation Medical Student Emergency Relief program. This program provides grants to medical students, those who otherwise don’t have a means of support, to address life emergencies. The program is supported by LMS, the LMS Foundation, and member contributions. One grant was awarded to help a medical student in 2021.
Goal 4: Legislative Advocacy
LMS integrates with the legislative advocacy efforts and programs of the KMA and AMA. Through the efforts of KMA, 2021 was a historically successful legislative session.
Goal 5: Improve Community Health
LMS, hosted a community health symposium in 2019 on the opioid epidemic, cancelled the health symposium for 2020 and 2021, but will attempt the event in the Fall of 2022, pandemic permitting.
LMS continues to focus its energy and resources to add value to our physicians. Let us know if you like to get further involved with the Society, provide feedback for existing programs, or have ideas for new programs. Our strategic planning, by its nature, is never done and we will constantly innovate and adapt to serve those who serve others.