President's Message: Warren Pendergast, MD, August 2013

Thursday, August 1, 2013

 “Everything will be all right in the end. So if it is not all right, it is not yet the end.” —Sonny in The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel

The 2013 FSPHP conference experience was not what any of us expected, and one we will not soon forget. How often does one hear the phrases “don’t forget to turn in your CME forms” and “the hotel will be on lockdown today” from the lectern of your average medical conference? My own trip to Boston began with a glimpse of Air Force One sitting on the airport tarmac as our flight landed. A fellow traveler on the plane remarked that this sight would probably be the most unusual thing we would see or experience that week. How little we knew…

As adversity so often does, the Boston marathon bombing and subsequent events brought us closer. Like Londoners during their own adversities, we “kept calm and carried on” — focused on what was in our control, despite what was unfolding literally down the street. With help and guidance from the Program Planning Committee (PPC) and stellar FSPHP staff Jon Dougherty, Jessica Vautour, and Debbie Brennan, we had one of our best conferences ever. It remains a privilege to be your Federation president, and our strong work this year in Boston did us all proud.

Membership Categories

One notable work piece in Boston was our vote to expand FSPHP membership categories. This was the culmination of months and years of hard work by many, most recently Brad Hall and Maureen Dinnan. While the hard decisions have been made, we’re still working out the details, with implementation planned for this fall. We look forward to welcoming those in pharmacy programs, dental programs, and others who do professional health work into the FSPHP fold, and we are confident that our new colleagues will bring energy and a fresh perspective to the playing field of physician health.

The Website

As we learned again in April, it’s the people that make FSPHP special. And along those lines, we need people. Specifically, I’m continuing the clarion call for volunteers to help revise our website. While we all appreciate our current FSPHP website for its simplicity and easy navigation, it’s time for us to move forward into the 21st century! 

We need html worker bees, programming nerds aplenty, and anyone in search of some fun, learning, and service opportunities. While technical skills are certainly welcome, anyone who considers him- or herself “just knowledgeable enough to be dangerous” is invited to join the newly forming Website Task Force. If you have any questions or interest, give me or Jon D. a call or email.

Coming Attractions

The PPC, led by the intrepid Mick Oreskovich, amazing Linda Bresnahan, and your fearless President-Elect Doris Gunderson, has already begun the planning process for our 2014 meeting in Denver. We have already chosen meeting locations for 2015 (Fort Worth) and 2016 (San Diego), as well. Early planning enables us to get optimum choices and rates for hotels, and to be better stewards of FSPHP’s resources. As one of our members is fond of saying, “onward and forward!”

— Warren Pendergast, MD 
President, Federation of Physician Health Programs
Medical Director, North Carolina Physicians Health Program