President's Message: P. Bradley Hall, MD, Fall 2017

Thursday, September 28, 2017

FSPHP Strong: “Onward and Forward”
P. Bradley Hall, MD

As I reflect on our most recent annual meeting and where we have been as an organization, where we are, and where we are headed, all I can say is “WOW.” Per routine, the highlight of the year for me was the annual education conference and business meeting this past April. Attendance continues to grow, as does the relevant content of physician health programs, physician health, and beyond. I could feel the energy and passion radiating throughout the conference as we reconnected and recharged. I thank you all for your participation in and contributions to the FSPHP and the success of our annual conference.

Accolades to Linda Bresnahan, Executive Director; Julie Robarge, Association Management Specialist; the Program Planning Committee, co-chaired by Martha Brown, MD, and Doris Gundersen, MD; and the Board of Directors, committees, and our membership for a job well done!

In June, I had the honor of speaking to the Organization of State Medical Association Presidents (OSMAP) on the topic of physician health, physician health programs, and the AMA. This organization represented past, present, and future state medical association presidents. The value of a strong triumvirate relationship with state medical associations, physician health programs, and licensure boards partnering to enhance the health and well-being of the population we serve is so important to our work. This tripartite relationship is exemplified at a national level with the FSPHP, FSMB, and the AMA. It extends to many other organizations at a national and state level as well. The presentation reviewed the history of PHPs, the AMA, the FSMB, and most important, the multitude of FSPHP current collaboratives and initiatives. The response from the audience, during and afterward, demonstrated a true desire to enhance state medical association relationships to the benefit of their own membership. It is my hope that those in attendance carried the message home.

In July, I attended the National Academy of Medicine’s meeting, “Establishing Clinician Well-Being as a National Priority: Meeting 1.” This public meeting was held for the purpose of providing an opportunity for the public and invited experts to provide feedback on the direction of the recently established “action collaborative” of which the FSPHP is supportive and involved. The desire is to provide a venue grounded in evidence-based knowledge to (1) assess and understand underlying causes of clinician burnout and suicide and (2) advance solutions that reverse the trends in clinician stress, burnout, and suicide. In early July, the Action Collaborative released a discussion paper entitled “Burnout Among Health Care Professionals: A Call to Explore and Address This Underrecognized Threat to Safe, High-Quality Care.” This collaborative is represented by approximately 30 inaugural sponsors and a multitude of other organizations with nearly 300 in attendance at the July meeting in Washington, DC. Again, to be present in an atmosphere of energetic and passionate attendees 

reminded me of our annual meeting and my colleagues of the FSPHP. As result, participation further confirmed and inspired my involvement with the FSPHP in achieving its mission and goals. This inspiration is exemplified by the work of the board member workgroups as outlined in the Spring 2017 Newsletter.

The FSPHP launched its inaugural fundraising campaign in the spring of this year. Nearly 500 solicitations have been sent out, with initial responses being positive. With 100 percent participation of the board in 2016 and the additional launch of the campaign in 2017, we are hopeful that success is on the horizon. The workgroup and funding development committee will continue to follow through with the well-developed plan.

Under the guidance of the ACE workgroup of board members, we will continue in the development and implementation of an FSPHP-endorsed review process. This is in follow-up of our performance enhancement review (PER) guidelines of PHPs. This will provide a mechanism to measure and enhance the quality of each PHP’s work. One objective of the workgroup includes updating the FSPHP Guidelines via the ACE Committee, which will be critically important in the FSPHP-endorsed PER process. The board is also reviewing the opportunity to engage a qualified consultant to assist, expedite, and follow through in achieving our goal at the highest of standards for which the FSPHP has always operated. The FSPHP board is intent on updating our membership on the status of the PER process and a Treatment Center Review Process as part of our annual meeting in the Spring of 2018.

The FSPHP board met for our annual board retreat in Chicago. The primary goal was to review the workgroup plans, provide any appropriate updates, and continue the involvement of the FSPHP committees. The board recognizes the incredible value of your work on these committees in achieving the workgroup goals, which ultimately enhance our ability to achieve the mission of the FSPHP: “To support physician health programs in improving the health of medical professionals, thereby contributing to quality patient care.” This will further allow us to connect with our vision of “A society of highly effective PHPs advancing the health of the medical community and the patients they serve.” The updated strategic work plans of the FSPHP will be shared with members in our next issue.

Since becoming a part of the FSPHP, my hope for the organization has continued to develop and grow as a result of the established track record of perseverance and associated successes we can look back on today. “Hope” has transformed into “faith” that in the future, the FSPHP will continue to be successful even if the specifics are not clear. Whatever the future will bring, it is good. Upon this writing, I continue to personally reflect on where we have been, where we are, and where we are headed. And again, all I can say is “WOW.”

Onward and forward, 
Your president and servant, 
P. Bradley Hall, MD