Give Me a P!

If you’ve read any of my articles over the last year or so I bet you thought I was going to write about the POMA DOes … podcast series.  Well, I am.  Sort of.

A few weeks ago, I had the opportunity to attend the POMA Past President’s Gavel Club breakfast for the second time.  We welcomed Lisa Witherite-Rieg, DO, to the club after she successfully completed her year as president.  Welcome, Lisa!

But it was also an enjoyable opportunity to sit down with others who have gone through some of the same experiences, trials, and victories as I have as the leader of our organization.  These experiences vary from dealing with PR crises to starting up a brand-new member service, advocating for our members in front of the state legislature to leading your Board of Trustees through difficult financial decisions.  The list goes on, but suffice it to say that the job of President of POMA is not just one where you sit back with your feet up.  You have to be a cheerleader for POMA, its members, and all Pennsylvania osteopathic physicians and their patients when others are needing a boost in enthusiasm.

One thing that I find that ties all of us together who serve or have served as president is enthusiasm for POMA.  This may have come in the form of pushing the organization through new ways of meeting during a pandemic, developing a new grant program, or conducting a national search for a new chief staff officer.  Perhaps it meant guiding the organization through a difficult decision knowing that our position put us at odds with the position of a similar organization, suggesting a long overdue price increase for a service we provide, or saying that the way we have done things for years isn’t working anymore.  Whatever the situation that he or she faced as president, and regardless of whether the situation had a positive or seemingly negative effect, each president has led with enthusiasm and passion for the organization.  That, I think, is the one thing that has made us so successful.

Our members and dedicated staff have this too, and that is the reason that POMA is so successful.  You serve on committees, work groups, and task forces which really do a lot of the work of POMA to bring forward decisions that guide us in what we do.  You served as a delegate to the POMA House of Delegates on a Wednesday night and early Thursday morning to officially make the decisions that govern POMA, or represent Pennsylvania at a national level.  You spend nights, days, and weekends away from your family or your practice to meet with a lawmaker or insurance organization on behalf of your 10,000+ osteopathic colleagues in the state to advocate for better conditions for them and better care for our patients.  You participate in our educational programs as a speaker, educating your fellow members on your area of expertise.  And if you’re not already serving the organization in some way, ask yourself how you can.

Having had the honor of leading the charge on the POMA DOes… podcast series, my name seems to have become synonymous with the word podcast.  I must admit, it was fun to see how many times people would try to say the word podcast when I was around during the Annual Clinical Assembly.  I’m told it is my legacy, although I can’t take credit for this alone.  But here’s a secret for you: I didn’t know much of anything about podcasts before taking on the task of developing this program.  And there was definitely a fear in the early days of the podcast series that it would fizzle out after a few episodes.  But now we have published 33 episodes with the latest featuring Mothers in Osteopathic Medicine (MOM).  Our open rates are above national standards, 77 of your friends and colleagues have participated in at least one episode, and by every measure this program is wildly successful.  And I attribute this success to the enthusiasm that has surrounded the program. 

And now we’re on to a new chapter of enthusiasm at POMA as John Kalata, DO, was installed as our 112th president two weeks ago.  Having worked with John in leadership over the last several years, I can tell you he has the passion needed to be the great leader to move POMA – Forward Together!

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