President's Message -- September 2022
Michael Levy, MD, FAEMS

NAEMSP President Mike Levy, MD, FAEMS
Hope you had a great first day of fall (I’ve heard that Labor Day is said to be that day), may the colors be with you.
 
Fall. I’ve wondered about that word. It’s arguably the only season whose etymology seems self-evident: I’ve assumed someone in the season-naming office noticed that it’s a time when things fall (off of the trees). Season. Named. Done. To this point, I’ve been too lazy to become educated through a likely wiki out there that would aver that the word is, in fact, derived from higher Norse (faltingesker) and is related to procession of the equinox as viewed at 60 degrees north latitude. Yes, I made that up. I will say though that, at 62 degrees north latitude (as in Anchorage, Alaska), fall for me has come to mean a time when birches briefly blaze brilliant yellow on hillsides smeared with the subtle red and orange of lichens and ground covers before the season basically just gives up, shrugs, and dulls the landscape to a dingy yellow and then...boom…sun’s on vacation near the equator and we’re chillin’. That’s just how it is, not a value judgment, live with it, wax your skis, deflate your fat bike tires and dive in. Oh, and don’t forget to book tickets to Hawaii and, especially this year, Florida.
 
What a difference a year makes
As we move into the 4th quarter of 2022, I am struck by how different things feel compared with last year. Yes, I am talking about Covid. Last year at about this time, the leadership of NAEMSP was involved in a hand-wringing exercise that went on for months…but it wasn’t “should we or shouldn’t we”? The decision to move forward with the 2022 Annual Meeting was not prolonged, but the concerns about the ramifications of that decision were ongoing. It was a gamble in which the risks were assessed and mitigated to the extent possible, and I hope we all agree that, in retrospect, any other decision would have been wrong. We needed to get together.
 
This year we are living in the chronic phase of the pandemic, with the highly contagious but generally less virulent Omicron BA.4BA.5 variant causing surges in many parts of the country and with the threat of a fall “Covid Season” erupting as with other seasonal URIs. And yet, things feel different, are different, this year. We are all now more self-aware of our comfort level with the threat of infection, and government and institutional rules have become more flexible. Most of us have been immunized and boosted; many are considering the new BA.4BA.5-targeted booster as well.  Barring something totally unforeseen, this year’s conference will go ahead on schedule in the beautiful, new (to us) venue in Tampa. We will get together, we will educate and be educated, we will present and ingest science, we will dine and drink together, we will laugh together, we’ll have our “corner sessions” with one another where we will network and we will leave Tampa at the end of the week with mixed feelings…a tinge of sadness as we leave this group of our best old (and new) friends and the feelings of a renewed sense of purpose and mission as we return to our shared passion of improving the health of our communities, supporting our EMS clinicians and being nurtured by both.
 
Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act of 2017
NAEMSP scored a major success in the care of our patients and decreasing bureaucratic complexity in successfully lobbying for the 2017 Protecting Patient Access to Emergency Medications Act. How’s that working for you?  Yep, that’s right, the DEA STILL HAS NOT COMPLETED THE RULE WRITING THAT INTERPRETS THE LAW FOR THE AGENCY. A written rant will not change that so I shall demure. NAEMSP, through Holland and Knight, our lobbyists, has been making periodic inquiries, unfortunately met with the sounds of crickets. We have now asked them to work on having the bill’s sponsors make congressional requests for clarity on the timeline. We’ll update on any information that we receive.
 
You are NAEMSP
NAEMSP is an Association of members, of course, and its value to the membership is directly proportional to the output of the individual members, mostly through committees and task forces. We are ably supported by our Board of Directors and our friends at Kellen who provide organization and leadership for our Association, helping us project the outward-facing professionalism through support for our committees and membership including electronic media, our website, and other communications. Still, it is fundamentally true that the more you do with NAEMSP, the more you will get. A huge thanks to all of committee members, our committee leaders and task forces.
 
Prodigy EMS: The NAEMSP Learning Management System (LMS) Portal
Just to remind everyone that we partnered with Prodigy EMS to be NAEMSP’s LMS. This is where you will find such content as our selected Annual Meeting content, the Foundations of Medical Operations Course sign up, archived Podcasts and much more, all freely available to NAEMSP members.  A special bonus is the opportunity to virtually attend a Seattle Resuscitation Academy filmed and produced by Prodigy EMS, which is free to all.
 
Elections
Elections will soon open for seats on the NAEMSP Board of Directors, the Executive Committee position of Secretary/Treasurer as well as an election for the President-Elect. As you may recall, the membership voted last year to allow a final year of voting for the latter position after which time (this year) the Secretary/Treasurer position will be a de facto election to ascend to President. I encourage you to spend a bit of time reviewing the candidates, their histories and their visions for the Association. Please take the time to cast your ballot!
 
Make sure you put an eye patch or parrot on your packing list for Tampa in January
“Alex, I’ll take Serendipity for $1000”. Ghost of Alex T: “The answer is Gasparilla 2023”.  “Alex I’m going to guess: What is the likelihood of more than 30,000 pirates descending upon the waterway and general environs of our host hotel on the final weekend of the NAEMSP Annual Meeting?”.  Gentlepeople, that is how you nail it on Jeopardy. And, for us, it should be an amazing, unexpected opportunity to Arrggh our way out of the meeting. I imagine it’ll be rum for many of ye scurvy dogs. Arggh.
 
Best,
Mike
 
 

 
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Michael Levy, MD, FAEMS
 

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