Top Five Highlights of the Nevada State Medical Association’s 114th Annual Meeting & Scientific Session

By Catherine O'Mara, JD Executive Director Nevada State Medical Association

By Catherine O'Mara, JD
Executive Director
Nevada State Medical Association

This year’s 114th Annual Meeting and Scientific Session was held on September 28-30th in Henderson, Las Vegas at the Green Valley Ranch Resort and included many memorable moments. Here are our top five highlights of the NSMA meeting:

“1 October: Medical Response to Tragedy”. A panel of five physicians and hospital representatives directly involved in the response to 1-October shared their personal stories and gave insights on the response and preparedness of the Las Vegas community. Erik Pearson, MD, Deborah Kuhls, MD, and Lonnie Empey, MD, each spoke about the uniqueness of the event (the largest mass shooting in history) and the importance of their own training, often military training, which put systems in place and allowed clinicians to work effectively. Communication was key and trust in good leadership was critical. Dr. Pearson reflected, “We’ve seen traumas happen across the US and as a surgeon you mentally rehearse what your response would be. As I entered the ED at Sunrise Hospital, I saw trauma leadership managing the floor which allowed surgeons to get into ORs to save lives.”

“I’ve had colleagues who were in the military tell me that 1-October reminded them of war zones they had experienced, said Todd Sklamberg, CEO of Sunrise Hospital & Medical Center, and Sunrise Children’s Hospital. “We had hundreds of nurses and doctors who showed up without being called in.” Christopher Lake, PhD, Executive Director of Community Resilience for the Nevada Hospital Association, stressed the need for emergency coordination at a local and state level. “The paradigm has shifted – hospitals need to be prepared for patients to show up directly from the scene in pickup trucks and cars.” In the end, so many people survived because ordinary citizens helped strangers on the scene, got them into vehicles, and got them to the ER. Nurses and doctors from across the community came from home to respond to the tragedy and provide professional medical response.

Important Policy Discussions. Over the course of three days, Delegates from around the state, including over 25 Delegates from CCMS, met to consider and debate policy resolutions. Highlighted topics included insurance challenges, prior authorization, drug prices, maintenance of certification, gun violence and several other matters pertaining to physician practice and public health. A full list of resolutions is available at Physicians interested in any of these topics should join the medical practice, government affairs or public health commission. Get involved today!

Student and Resident Engagement: A new change in the bylaws this year allowed student and residents to participate as Delegates to the NSMA House of Delegates. These new delegates benefitted from the mentorship of the experienced community physicians and at the same time exposed community physicians to the challenges facing today’s medical students and residents. We also held our annual Scientific Poster Contest, with eleven participants representing the University of Nevada, School of Medicine, University of Las Vegas, School of Medicine, and Touro University. The winning poster was “mIR Regulates Notch Signaling in Normal and Diabetic Limbal Ephithelial Cells” by Jason Wang with Touro University.

CME on the Emerging Topic of Antibiotics Resistance: Participants earned CME credits during a luncheon discussing “Prescribing Antibiotics”. NSMA member and District Health Officer, Joseph Iser, MD, DrPH, MSc, joined Arjun Srinivasan, MD, FSHEA Associate Director for Healthcare Associated Infection Prevention Programs, and the Division of Healthcare Quality Promotion for the CDC in addressing the growing issue of antibiotic resistance.

Celebration! At the Saturday night Gala, we thanked Steven Parker, MD for his service as president and welcomed the 114th President, Howard Baron, MD. NSMA awarded the honorable Carolyn Goodman with the Nicholas J. Horn award. Mayor Goodman’s remarks focused on the strength, compassion and resilience of the Las Vegas community and on the need to attract and retain the best physicians to Nevada. Other honorees included: Tomas Hinojosa, Jr. MD, Distinguished Physician Award, Florence Jameson, MD, Community Service Award, and Weldon “Don” Havins, MD, JD, the Robert W. Schreck Award. President’s Awards were given to Bill Welch and the Nevada Hospital Association and to Todd Sklamberg, CEO of Sunrise Hospital. It was a joyful night kicking off the 2018-2019 year at NSMA. As Dr. Baron said, “Let’s make this the year we find the joy in medicine again.”

We thank our delegates, exhibitors, sponsors, staff and volunteers for a successful meeting! Join us next year in Reno, September 14-16, 2018!