ACMS Year in Review from the 2023 President

By: Matthew B. Straka, MD – 2023 ACMS President

[This summary can also be found in the December edition of the ACMS Bulletin]

The Allegheny County Medical Society (ACMS) has navigated a transformative and eventful year in 2023, marked by strategic planning, innovative initiatives, and meaningful collaborations. As I wrap up my term as President of the ACMS, I wanted to share an overview of the key milestones and accomplishments that shaped the organization’s journey throughout the year.

January: Setting the Stage for Progress

The year kicked off with the Bulletin Committee initiating discussions about the future of the Bulletin, symbolizing the society’s commitment to staying current. Additionally, notable events included the appointment of Liz Yurkovich as Part-Time Controller and hosting a Leadership Social for our 2023 Leadership Team and Delegates at Cioppino Restaurant. The society also strengthened member benefits, started the process of revamping its website, and explored new financial horizons with a transition from PNC/Schwab to Hirtle Callaghan.

February: Advocacy and Outreach

As the ACMS continues to elevate the voice of the Physician, I was pleased to address challenges facing physicians on the Rick Dayton radio show, setting the tone for the society’s engagement throughout the year. February showcased ACMS’s dedication to various aspects of its mission, including physician advocacy, community engagement, technological innovation, and strategic planning for upcoming events. The diverse range of activities undertaken during this month reflects the society’s holistic approach to addressing the evolving needs of its members and the broader community.

March: Specialized Focus and Strategic Planning

Specialty group meetings, including the Chandler Grant Annual Meeting and POS Annual Meeting, marked March’s focus on professional development. The Life Planning Fair stood out as a pioneering event, highlighting the society’s dedication to holistic healthcare. ACMS also delved into partnerships, collaborating with organizations like Duquesne University and actively participating in the Carnegie Science Center Science Fair.

April: Honoring Excellence and Strategic Decisions

Preparations for ACMS Honors were underway in April. This event would replace the traditional ACMS Gala with a more casual atmosphere focused on honoring the future of the profession. The society engaged with key stakeholders, such as UPMC and AHN, fostering collaboration and information sharing. Strategic decisions, including a lease extension with Babb and the transfer of the Indepractice trademark, showcased the society’s commitment to adaptability and foresight.

May: Website Launch and Forward Planning

The launch of a new ACMS website marked a technological milestone in May, reflecting the society’s dedication to staying technologically relevant. ACMS engaged in regionalization efforts, submitting a grant application to PAMED to consider whether a regional medical society might be something worth pursuing as the organization and region continues to change and adapt to more employed physicians. The society also focused on fostering relationships with medical students, connecting with students at Pitt, and collaborating with the staff of the new medical school at Duquesne University.

June: Community Engagement and Governance Enhancements

June emphasized community engagement, with ACMS attending events like Beverly’s Babies Formula Bank Ribbon Cutting Ceremony and collaborating with Duquesne University to help them plan for the Fritzky Family Summit. The team spent time working with our newest specialty group under our association management umbrella, the Allegheny County Immunization Coalition. Our team reworked the ACIC Governance to provide for more transparent and effective leadership.

July: Committees and Social Initiatives

The Women in Healthcare Committee held their first meeting in July, promoting inclusivity and diversity within the medical community. ACMS actively participated in healthcare summits, social determinants of health discussions, and hosted events like ACMS Night at the Pirates Game, demonstrating a holistic approach to healthcare and community involvement.

August: Strategic Partnerships and Legislative Advocacy

ACMS continued to build partnerships and enhance its legislative advocacy in August. We started preparations for the House of Delegates. The society explored collaborations with Abridge AI, engaged in strategic planning for self-care in healthcare, and initiated discussions with Pittsburgh Group on Health.

September: Focus on Physician Wellness and Legislative Preparedness

Selfcare in Healthcare Year 2 launched in September, with ACMS gaining significant media coverage for its efforts to raise awareness about physician suicide. The society actively prepared for the House of Delegates, with virtual testimony and a renewed commitment to legislative advocacy. Initiatives like Friday Thank You Notes to Physicians underscored the society’s dedication to recognizing and supporting its members.

October: Data Enhancement and Foundation Contributions

October was a month of collaboration. The ACMS began a joint effort with PAMED to address data issues. The common goal was to help create a better understanding of membership and trends. The ACMS Foundation awarded significant grants to over 20 organizations, reflecting the society’s commitment to community welfare. The House of Delegates session in October marked a robust presence and active participation from ACMS members.

November: Elections and Future Planning

ACMS finalized its elections in November, certifying new board and delegation members. The society continued to explore new partnerships, engaging with organizations for sponsorships in 2024. Strategic planning for the future was evident in the proposed 2024 budget, highlighting ACMS’s commitment to financial sustainability and growth.

December: Reflection and Strategic Planning

As the year approached its conclusion, ACMS took stock of its accomplishments and engaged in discussions about plans for 2024.

The Allegheny County Medical Society’s 2023 Year in Review reflects a dynamic and proactive organization committed to innovation, advocacy, and community engagement. From pioneering events and strategic partnerships to technological advancements and governance enhancements, ACMS’s journey in 2023 showcases a multifaceted approach to addressing the evolving needs of its members and the broader healthcare community. I look forward to serving as Chair of the 2024 Board of Directors, and working alongside the 2024 Executive Committee, the 2024 Board of Directors, and the ACMS staff to make 2024 another amazing year for our county medical society. Thank you to everyone who has been part of this tremendous year of growth for ACMS.