Dr. Giesecke's address at the TSA 2012 Annual Meeting
At the TSA Interim Meeting in Dallas this past May, Dr. G. Ray Callas said to me, “Marty, I’m looking forward to working for you while you are TSA President.” And while it will be my pleasure to have all of you who are interested help me move the TSA through the coming year, I will never forget that it is really me who works for you. I still find it humbling that this Arens Trained Anesthesiologist is helping guide the Society twenty-three years after graduating from Dr. Arens’ training program in Galveston. Without that influence, you would not see me standing here before you today. Thus, it is with deepest regards that I thank Dr. James Arens for his mentorship and support.
Dr. Tillmann Hein has completed a busy presidency, as is well documented in his report. The Society should take the time to thank Dr. Hein for building a solid foundation that the TSA can use as it approaches the upcoming Texas legislative session. Without the dedicated work of Dr. Hein, and the work of scores of other TSA members who have assisted Dr. Hein in his year as President, the TSA would be looking at entering 2013 less prepared than we are. I recommend that the TSA recognize and thank Dr. Hein for his contributions as President. Thank you, Dr. Tillmann Hein, and thank you TSA.
There are three key issues on which to work in 2013. First, we need to consider the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature. Our second task is to continue member education and satisfaction with the Society. The third issue will help us accomplish the first two. We need to continue to improve our communication efforts.
As we enter 2013, and the convening of the 83rd Session of the Texas Legislature, it is with satisfaction that I look to the group of folks who are intimately involved with the TSA’s legislative efforts. Under the leadership of Dr. Joe E. Monk, the Governmental Affairs Committee (GAC) has been an effective player in our legislative influence. To make the Committee’s work even more streamlined, I recommend the proposed Bylaws revisions suggested by the GAC. With Dr. Monk stepping down as Chair, it is with calm that I look forward to working with Dr. Sherif Z. Zaafran as the new Chair of the GAC. Thus, I recommend that my Committee appointments be approved, such that Dr. Zaafran becomes the Chair of the GAC. It is without a doubt that the members of the GAC will spend many hours crafting the Society’s legislative agenda in 2013.
Of course, it takes more than one person, or even one committee, to manage our legislative affairs in a legislative year. I am thankful for the dedication and hard work of the rest of our TSA team. Ms. Amy S. Jeter is our Director of Governmental Affairs. She has already been keeping me in the loop of important items in the Texas Register. I look forward to her continued maintenance and revitalization of our Key Contact Program. Our Legislative Consultant is Mr. Jaime L. Capelo. Jaime has served us well in the past and no doubt will do the same in 2013. Mr. Clayton E. Devin, our Legal Consultant, plays a key part in our understanding of regulatory and legislative issues. Finally, I appreciate the support of the rest of our Austin office staff, Ms. Chris Bacak, our Executive Director, and Ms. Dawn Atwell. I will work to maintain our important relationship with the Texas Medical Association in this legislative session. Each of us should consider attending our TSA Anesthesiologists Day at the Capitol, as well as the TMA’s First Tuesdays during the 83rd Legislature.
There are two other components to our legislative team. Dr. Scott A. Lindberg, TSAPAC Chair, and the remainder of the TSAPAC, will be present to help us deliver our message to the legislators. And Dr. David E. Bryant, Chair of the Economics Committee, and the rest of the Economics Committee, will work to make our voice heard in the changing world of Medicare, Medicaid, and Workers’ Compensation. The immediate future of anesthesiology, especially now that the U.S. Supreme Court has upheld the Affordable Care Act, will be well served by the individuals on these two Committees.
Though not an official part of the TSA legislative team, it pleases me that Dr. John M. Zerwas returns to the Texas House of Representatives. Dr. Zerwas has an uncanny expertise in the workings of the House and he is expected to be reappointed to key committees. These characteristics, as well as his stature within the House, will work to support our goal of patient safety in Texas. Also no longer an official member of our legislative team is Dr. Kyle L. Janek. Nevertheless, we should be congratulatory and proud of Dr. Janek. In July, he was appointed by Governor Perry to become Texas’ new Commissioner for Health and Human Services.
As others have stated before me, the political and regulatory process is an integral part of how we deliver health care in Texas. It is imperative that all of us support the TSA in its legislative endeavors in 2013. Whether by direct volunteerism, or by contributing to the TSAPAC, each and every member of the TSA needs to step up and do their part to protect the practice of anesthesiology, and the safety of medical care, in Texas.
The Texas Society of Anesthesiologists consistently produces some of the best educational meetings in the country. The keystone of our educational efforts is the scientific sessions at the Annual Meetings. In each of the past several years, the Annual Meeting has continued to draw larger registration. A significant reason for this increased registration is the high quality of the educational sessions, including the workshops and parallel sessions. Many thanks go out to Dr. Girish P. Joshi for his outstanding leadership of the Education Committee. The entire Education Committee is to be commended for their foresight in continuing to tailor the Annual Meeting to meet the needs of the membership. A second educational effort of the TSA is the session we organize each year for TEXMED, the annual meeting of the Texas Medical Association. These sessions have become a wonderful educational resource to physicians in Texas. TSA members who are also members of the TMA should not hesitate to take advantage of this benefit of TMA membership. This year the TSA offered its first TSA Practice Management Conference. Members who are unable to travel to the ASA Conference on Practice Management, or who want to learn about issues particular to practice in Texas, would do well to attend this program when it is held in the coming years. And finally, the TSA Bulletin serves as a semiannual platform for the publication of non-CME educational material. Having the TSA provide these educational offerings is a key to member satisfaction in the organization. These activities will remain focused and strong in the coming years.
Playing a part in both the education of TSA members, and in the Society’s management of its legislative issues, is communications. Dr. Hein recommended the Communications Committee prepare a comprehensive TSA Communications Plan, so that the organization would be prepared for any communication need that arose. I support the product of this Committee and look to further development and refinement of the Comprehensive Communications Plan.
Let me close with a quote attributed to John Buchan.
The task of leadership is not to put greatness into people, but to elicit it, for the greatness is there already.
I look forward to bringing out the greatness in each of you. Thanks for your support and your commitment to the TSA and the patients of Texas.
MARTIN GIESECKE, MD