Linda Lawrence, President of the American College of Emergency Physicians, opened the Leadership and Advocacy Conference today in Washington D.C. Over 400 leaders in emergency medicine gathered to discuss healthcare reform in today's political climate and to meet with elected officials on Capitol Hill. Dr. Lawrence recounted the numerous successes of the college over the past year, including the launching of a public website, the production of a consumer magazine (Vitalcare), the inception of a new Workforce Study, and the production of a second National Report Card on the State of Emergency Medicine. She spoke at length about ACEP's growing media presence. In 2004-2005, ACEP had 8,365 media hits. Media hits include television, radio, and newspaper items. During the past year, ACEP has had more than 35,000 hits, and is projected to have more than 50,000 hits by the end of the year. She exhorted the attendees to join ACEP's Spokesperson's Network and left the crowd energized and ready for the week's work.
Eleanor Clift, a Contributing Editor from Newsweek Magazine, spoke to the group at lunch, capping a morning of excellent speakers. The afternoon sessions were round table workshops covering issues important to emergency medicine, including boarding, quality measures, Medicare cuts, expert witness/ethics charges, disaster preparedness, and healthcare reform.
The evening began with "The Insider's Insider. Analysis 2008," delivered by Richard Clark. A reception followed, allowing the physician attendees from across the country to network and exchange ideas.
Tomorrow and Wednesday focus on advocacy, concluding with 300 scheduoled visits to Senators and Representatives. It promises to be an exciting week.