February President's Message
Oftentimes, a victory in advocacy doesn’t look like a victory. There isn’t always a press conference or a bill signing ceremony. Sometimes a victory is a victory because of what doesn’t come about. Take, for instance, a recent development regarding the State Medical Board of Ohio’s push to eliminate the “one-bite” program, which allows physicians to seek mental health or substance abuse treatment without notifying the Medical Board.
Ohio ACEP and eight other medical societies—operating under the umbrella of the Medical Association Coalition (MAC)—were deeply concerned about the Medical Board’s draft legislation and its potential to discourage physicians from seeking help for substance abuse and/or mental health issues. By working with MAC, the State Medical Board, and other stakeholders, we were able to successfully communicate our concerns and, as a result, the draft legislation has been suspended for now.
It’s important to note that, while the Medical Board has pulled the legislation for the time being, this is an ongoing issue. But by working collaboratively with the Medical Board, we have halted a bad policy and, maybe even more importantly, Ohio ACEP will be represented on a one-bite working group to improve the program moving forward.
This is just one of many examples of how we serve your interest at the Statehouse and around Ohio. To more fully participate in our advocacy efforts, get CME, and explore what’s impacting emergency medicine, don't forget to register for the Ohio ACEP Emergency Medicine Leadership Forum on April 18th and 19th. I hope to see you in Columbus!
Michael McCrea, MD, FACEP
President, Ohio ACEP