President’s Message: Thankfulness Through the Challenges

Posted November 8, 2021

While it’s certainly been yet another unpredictable and challenging year, as KMA President I have found much to be thankful for as we wrap up 2021 and look towards 2022.

Despite COVID-19 remaining part of our lives, the beginning of this year brought with it the widespread availability of a safe and effective vaccine. Acceptance of the vaccine continues to increase.  Surveys have shown that physicians are the most trusted source for information about these vaccines.  Thanks to KMA’s Take It From Me campaign, the medical profession has been able to reach out to millions of Kentuckians with a PSA series, social media and streaming service ads, and targeted messages in specific areas of the state that encourage everyone who is eligible to get the vaccine. With the news that the vaccine is now available for children ages 5-11, KMA leadership recently decided to expand our campaign to reach out to parents and families about getting our children vaccinated as well. Take a look at our current videos, available on KMA’s YouTube channel, and share them with your patients and community.  We as physicians are trusted thought leaders for each of our communities and a critical piece of the effort to protect the lives and health in our commonwealth.

As a pulmonologist and intensivist, I’ve seen firsthand the complications a COVID-19 infection can cause, even in those that are young and otherwise healthy. That’s why I’m also thankful for our partnership with the Anthem Foundation to present “Breathe Better Kentucky,” a year-long campaign that will examine overall lung health in Kentucky and the disparities that exist, and encourage Kentuckians to take charge of their respiratory health. Our campaign just kicked off last month, and I’m excited about the many events and opportunities planned. This includes the premiere of “Fighting to Breathe,” a multi-part series on KET airing this winter which will examine the story of lung disease in Kentucky, including the causes, the impact on those afflicted, and the exciting new developments in treatment and prevention.

While I’m certainly thankful for these partnerships and campaigns, none of these things would be possible without you, our members.  KMA’s overall membership grew over the last several years, despite tremendous challenges, most notably the pandemic. I believe this speaks to the incredible value physicians are finding in the work of the KMA, and all that we can accomplish for our practices and patients when we work together. We’ve just entered into the 2022 recruitment and renewal period. If you haven’t yet renewed your KMA membership for 2022, you can do so quickly and easily here.  Our KMA is the voice of physicians in Kentucky.

During the upcoming Thanksgiving holiday, I will count your membership and contributions to the KMA, as well as the opportunity to serve as your President, among some of the things I’m most thankful for. I hope each of you enjoys a restful and happy Thanksgiving holiday