March 22, 2019
Presidents Message WCMS 3/2019
Dear Friends and Colleagues,
As I write this message I sit preparing for an exciting week ahead, a week that makes me proud to be part of the WCMS. In a couple of days I will leave with a cohort of WCMS staff and physicians for our first White Coat Wednesday of the year at the North Carolina General Assembly. For years, advocacy on behalf of physicians and patients to our representatives in government has been a key strategy of the WCMS. However advocacy this year is special. With the shakeup of power in Raleigh after the last election, we can now discuss access to affordable healthcare for all more easily. The association board has chosen to make closing the coverage gap in NC our top legislative priority this year. WCMS has already been hard at work meeting with representatives locally in Asheville, and with the support of our allies at the NCMS, we will take the discussion to the next level in Raleigh this week.
WCMS advocacy on behalf of physicians and patients doesn’t stop there. WCMS has already been hard at work this year advocating on behalf of uninsured patients and the new HCA charity care policy. As this changeover in ownership of Mission Hospital continues to evolve we will remain watchful for changes that affect the house of medicine in WNC and our patients. New this year from the WCMS is the Legislative Interest Newsletter. Look for it in your inbox with updates for you on relevant news, upcoming events and more specifically on the hot political issues of the moment that affect you, your colleagues and your patients.
Know that your support of the WCMS means a lot. Without your support we wouldn’t have such a strong vibrant medical society. We wouldn’t be able to speak for WNC physicians in Raleigh, and on behalf of our patients at home. It is a privilege to be the President this year of such a dedicated organization.
My challenge to you is to consider being more involved. Each time I take a trip to the general assembly I’m enthused by the impact physicians can have when we take the time to talk to our local legislators. I am given pause however, on witnessing the number of others and lobbyists who are at the table who don’t have patients, physicians or WNC's best interest at heart. We need more local physicians in Raleigh or at home speaking up. The good news is that there will be plenty of other opportunities to advocate in the upcoming year. Keep an eye out in the weekly and legislative newsletters or be touch with Miriam, myself, or any of the WCMS staff should you want to help. I look forward to working with more of you this year.
Mark McNeill MD
2019 WCMS Board President
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