Tuesday, December 1, 2020 from  7:00 PM to 8:30 PM  via Zoom




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Orleans and Jefferson Parish Medical Societies move forward with Collaboration

The proposed new organization will create a more unified voice for physicians and those in training and will enhance advocacy on public health issues that impact Southeast Louisiana.

Orleans Parish Medical Society (OPMS) and Jefferson Parish Medical Society (JPMS) leadership are excited to announce that they have taken another important step toward working in synergy to provide increased value to members. They plan to leverage membership, share resources, and solidify their collaboration that began taking shape in 2017 to best serve physicians, those in training, their patients and their communities. The two organizations, with over 200 years of combined history and experience, now represent almost one thousand physicians, residents and medical students.

“Our vision for the proposed new organization is to provide a stronger, more unified voice for physicians and physicians-in-training throughout Orleans, Jefferson and surrounding parishes,” said George S. Ellis, Jr., MD, 2018-2019 President, OPMS. “We believe medical professionals value collegial networking, personal and public advocacy, and professional development. This larger more representative medical society is excited to meet those needs.”

In 2018, the Boards of the two organizations finalized and agreed upon an affiliation and operating agreement that serves as an initial blueprint for moving forward in the development of a plan and infrastructure to work more collaboratively and in the best interest of members and prospective members. On June 19, 2019, the leadership of JPMS and OPMS met to consider several models of further integration and collaboration. Overwhelmingly, board members voted to pursue development of a new, more vibrant organization which will serve as the singular voice for physicians and those in training throughout the area.

“Challenging times in medicine have sparked tangible innovation and collaboration between Southeast Louisiana healthcare clinicians. JPMS alongside with OPMS proudly stand up to the challenge,” said Gabriel Rivera, MD, 2019 President, JPMS.

Now, a Collaborative Advisory Board consisting of OPMS and JPMS current presidents and president elect/vice president, immediate past presidents and the executive directors of the organizations are working together to finalize a strategic plan that best meets the needs of members. They are polling members for input into development of the foundation for a strong joint organization that works well for all physicians.

Members of the Collaborative Advisory Board consist of: George S. Ellis, Jr., MD, president, OPMS; Gabriel Rivera, MD, president, JPMS; Juan Gershanik, MD, president elect, OPMS; Tanya Busenlener, MD, vice president, JPMS; John H. Wales, MD, immediate past president, JPMS; R. Dean Yount, MD, immediate past president, OPMS; William Daly, MD, past president, OPMS; Mark R. Rice, MD, secretary, JPMS . Jodi Schwing, executive director, JPMS, and Jim Pittman, executive director, OPMS, also contribute to the strategic planning for the new organization.

“I am very supportive of this collaborative effort between Jefferson and Orleans Medical Societies,” said Juan Gershanik, MD, 2018-2019 President-Elect, OPMS. “We are moving forward to create a vibrant, progressive new organization that can be very effective in improving healthcare in this region and at the same time it will advocate on behalf of our fellow physicians. “The vision for the new professional association is to leverage economies of scale while assuming most of the activities and initiatives now conducted by OPMS and JPMS. The new organization plans to enhance communications activity and value-added services to physicians, while addressing public health concerns that plague the Southeast Louisiana region. This collaboration will strive to enhance advocacy efforts, serving as a stronger, more unified voice at the local and state levels.

“With the development of this proposed new organization we are working together in hopes of providing more comprehensive representation and support for area physicians and in turn for the patients in our community,” said Tanya Busenlener, MD, 2019 Vice President, JPMS. In a recent email message to members, the presidents of OPMS and JPMS expressed their excitement about moving forward in a new era of collaboration. According to leadership, this proposed new professional association will ensure the societies’ abilities to serve physicians, those in training and their patients more effectively in the future.

“Bringing together the two leading physician organizations in the Greater New Orleans Area will create synergy to develop and expand our activities and programs to support and enhance the practice of medicine in our communities,” said John H. Wales, MD, 2018 President, JPMS.

According to members of the Advisory Board, the new collaboration will strive to best serve physicians, those in training, their patients and the communities on both sides of the 17th Street Canal (a primary boundary that separates Orleans and Jefferson parishes). OPMS and JPMS are hosting several focus groups consisting of employed, academic and private practice physicians and those early in their careers to gather input which will enable the new organization to meet their needs and respond to today’s challenges. Input from these focus groups will be instrumental in creating the mission, vision and structure of the proposed new organization.

“The Orleans and Jefferson Parish Medical Societies are coming together to help promote optimal healthcare to the residents of our Parishes,” said William Daly, MD, 2014-2015 President, OPMS. “We work with patients, hospitals, and governmental bodies to promote healthcare regulation and policies that provide the greatest health benefit to our patients.”

Another important function of this new collaboration will be to serve as a liaison with other professional medical associations such as the American Medical Association (AMA) and Louisiana State Medical Society (LSMS) in providing government and industry leaders with impartial information relevant to physician/patient issues.

“Health care and its challenges do not stop at parish lines. Now, neither does our physician representation,” said R. Dean Yount, MD, 2016-2017, President, OPMS. “The proposed new organization is well positioned to assist with the regional issues which confront physicians on a regular basis.”

The members of both parish medical societies must approve the formation of the proposed new organization its mission, vision and structure.

“Our organizations are making great progress in collaborating to expand and improve organized medicine in the metropolitan area,” said Mark Rice, MD, 2019 secretary, JPMS. “This is such a great opportunity to be a part of the construction of the future of medical societies in our community.”

Jefferson Parish Medical Society  |  Orleans Parish Medical Society
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