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July President’s Message: Helping Our Patients Bloom

I recently heard a quote that really resonated with me as a physician:

When a flower doesn’t bloom, you fix the environment in which it grows, not the flower itself.

I have thought about this a lot as it relates to the health of my patients. So much of what leads to their illnesses and injuries is the environment they live in. Chronic conditions like COPD and diabetes are exacerbated by lifestyle, culture, and society as a whole. Injuries caused by working conditions or exposure to certain hazards are more frequent in certain communities than others. Depending on what neighborhood the patient lives in, they may not have access to healthy foods. These disparities are often the root cause of their ailments….yet it’s difficult to put the patient’s entire environment into perspective.

That’s why I’m excited about the special education session we have planned during our 2023 KMA Annual Meeting, which is approaching next month. “Addressing Social Determinants of Health Through Innovation and Inspiration” will be held Saturday, Aug. 26 at noon and will feature a wide array of dynamic speakers from across the state discussing how health disparities impact different communities and how physicians can be part of the solution.

Each speaker will present a vignette of their organization and the communities they work with, and will then come together for an engaging dialogue about health disparities. Our scheduled guests include Connie White, M.D., of the Kentucky Department for Public Health, Ursula Mullins, PhD, of Dare to Care, Sarah Moyer, M.D., of Humana, Maria Braman, M.D., of Appalachian Regional Health, Jennifer Gray, M.D., of Fairview Community Health Center, Carolyn Burns, M.D. of the Society for the Advancement of Patient Blood Management, and Kelly McCants, M.D., of the Norton Institute for Health Equity. I am honored to be moderating this special session and have this discussion with you.

Beginning Aug. 26, KMA members will also gain access to the 2023 Meet the Mandates educational offerings, which are being made available this year as online, enduring material. This will allow members to complete the sessions on their own time, at their own pace, and still obtain all the state-mandated CME before the end of the three-year cycle at no cost. KMA members can access the Meet the Mandates material at beginning Aug. 26 by logging in with their membership ID and password. No registration for Meet the Mandates is required.

Our Annual Meeting has lots of other exciting in-person events and offerings planned, including the President’s Celebration Reception, the KMA House of Delegates, and opportunities for networking and socializing.

If you haven’t already, I highly encourage you to make plans to attend the 2023 KMA Annual Meeting. Registration and more information is available at I look forward to seeing you there and learning how we can all continue to rejuvenate medicine in our own lives and help our patients bloom in theirs. 

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