Your CMS Board of Directors met today to discuss business critical to Colorado physicians. I was honored to preside over my first meeting as your president and board chair, and I thank all of the volunteer physicians who give their time on the board of directors.
One of our most important discussions during today's meeting concerned the recent strategic planning retreat, which was a wonderful exercise of reflecting on our strengths and the purpose of the Colorado Medical Society. As a group we identified many potential priorities that we narrowed down to three. Staff then developed an operational plan for achieving these three priorities incrementally over the next one year, three years and five years.
The highest priority identified by the board is for CMS to create a strategic plan for diversity, equity and inclusion; we believe that for CMS to be the best and most representative organization for Colorado physicians, a culture change is needed, but change must be made thoughtfully.
Another extremely high priority is protecting physicians' rights to confidential counseling in light of the current changes to the current peer assistance contract. Board members spoke eloquently during today's meeting about our colleagues who are struggling, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic. Please help inform the Colorado Medical Board in advance of their Nov. 19 quarterly meeting. Sign our petition to maintain confidentiality in physician peer assistance counseling here.
The third-highest priority involves membership retention and engagement, and increasing membership, which will maintain our strength as an organization in the long term. Please encourage your colleagues to join CMS today. Read the full strategic plan here.
As for other actions taken during the meeting, the board:
- Approved two recommendations from the CMS Taskforce on Committee Evaluation, the first of which reaffirms the board's desire to promote and ensure member engagement by opening all committee meetings to all members and the second directs staff to develop a process for sharing committee discussion and materials outside of meetings.
- Approved a report by the CMS Council on Ethical and Judicial Affairs regarding the issue of local-only members. At the last meeting, the board asked CEJA to consider a proposal from the Denver and El Paso County medical societies to hire a facilitator for future discussion. CEJA agreed with the recommendation and presented the board with three options for facilitators. The board chose Carey Allen, a professional mediator/arbitrator.
- Heard a state legislative update from the advocacy team that reflected on the results of the 2020 election and considered issues projected for the 2021 legislative session.
- Heard an update on the peer assistance contract, CMS's efforts to maintain confidentiality in physician counseling and an action plan for legislation should current efforts fail.
- Approved the August/September 2020 financials and a slate of member reclassifications.
- Heard reports from board members about their regions, and thanked Danielle Coleman for her service as Medical Student Component representative on the CMS board.
Thank you to all members of the Colorado Medical Society, not just for your membership but for your dedication to your patients in these incredibly trying times. As I said in my inaugural address, I want CMS to be a source of joy for you, I want medicine to be a source of joy for you, and if you are struggling, please reach out to a trusted friend, colleague or your medical society. I look forward to a wonderful year.