President's Message

February 2020

Hemant Vankawala, MD, FACEP

Just two months left until Connect 2020 where I get to turn the reigns of TCEP over to Dr. Robert Hancock. As I wind up my year at the helm of our college, I want to take a few minutes to share some of our accomplishments as well as some of the exciting things planned for the future.

Connect 2020 is scheduled April 3-4 in Fort Worth. Dr. Jessica Best and Dr. Sara Andrabi, along with the Connect planning committee, have revamped the meeting keeping the same great education and networking opportunities but delivering it in a shorter 1 ½ day format. The trade show will be one day on Friday with education for physicians on Friday and Saturday. As a bonus, Connect coincides this year with the Fort Worth Food and Wine Festival so bring the family and enjoy fun times in downtown Ft. Worth.

A new initiative that we are kicking off is partnering with TMA on “Hard Hats for Little Heads”. There is more information in this newsletter about how TCEP has purchased helmets for elementary students – and we will send them to you to organize and distribute them in your community. You will receive 50 helmets at no cost to you if you want to organize an event. We are very excited about this new project and hope that you will sign up to give out helmets to children who cannot afford one. The safety program is a perfect fit for emergency physicians to give back to your community.

We are all proud of our Emergency Medicine board certification and recognize the incredible amount of time, energy and money that our certification through ABEM represents. When several of our members raised concerns last fall regarding ABEM’s attestation prompts during web portal sign in, TCEP led the conversation with ABEM expressing our members concern. ABEM listened to our members concerns, and after investigating the issue, have made plans to improve the EM docs on-line web experience.

The Texas state legislature meets only for a few months in the odd years which means that they are not in session during 2020. But that does not mean that Dr. Theresa Tran and the Government Relations Committee have slowed down. Partnering with our Austin based lobbyist group Imperium PA, TCEP continues to work to ensure the gains ER docs (and patients) made last year remain strong and that we are prepared for the work ahead when the Texas legislature re-convenes in 2021.

Our lobbyists, Dr. Tran, Dr. Fite, Dr. Kirk and many others have spent the past 9 months talking with legislators, the TMB and other agencies on the prescription monitoring program (PMP) mandate as well as others. As of this writing, the TMB is still discussing this ruling - even with the March 1 start date looming.

Because advocacy is crucial to us, we need more members to be involved. Stay tuned for details about Connect 2021 which will be held in Austin and will include a legislative day for us to meet with our state elected representatives to discuss the issues important to the safe practice of emergency medicine.

Our own Dr. Bobby Greenberg, working with Dr. Todd Taylor and ACEP, have updated TCEP’s bylaws so that they are current and complaint. We will vote to accept the changes at TCEP’s annual business meeting which will take place during Connect 2020 in Fort Worth.

TCEP continues to work on ways to improve communication with you, our members. We have recently updated our web site and continue to work to improve communication channels with you all. As always, we would love to hear from you either at Connect, email us at [email protected].

It continues to be an honor and a privilege to serve as your elected president and I am grateful to lead an enthusiastic and engaged board of directors, volunteers and office staff.

See you all in Fort Worth!