News from the Membership Services Committee

News from the Membership Services Committee

by Meryl Botkin, PhD, Chair


Professional Wills Conference
I want to call your attention to our upcoming Professional Wills Conference on March 29, 2014 at the Center from 9:30am - 1pm. Making a professional will is a difficult task we have to encounter in order to protect our patients when something unforeseen befalls us. We need to have in place someone to contact our patients and take over for us if need be.

The Chairs of our Ethics Committee, Bob Epstein, MD and Paul Ransohoff, DMH will lead off a discussion in the morning of the challenges we all face in confronting this task, talking about their own experiences. We will break into small groups after a break and have templates and, as they say, in “social psychological circles” the social facilitation of others to share this task with. I encourage you all to come and make use of opportunity and the group support. There are also 3.5 CME/CE available.

Continuing Medical Education and the Institute for Medical Quality
This brings me to an essential, yet sometimes, overlooked value and importance of the Center’s ability to offer Continuing Education, which benefits us professionally. We are accredited by the IMQ—the Institute of Medical Quality—which allows us to offer CME (Continuing Medical Education). Every two to five years, they have a renewal process by which they evaluate our programs to see if we are in compliance with their standards and meet their requirements to offer Continuing Education.

Over the past five years we have offered over 600 programs at SFCP where Continuing Education was offered. This year, in the renewal process of the Institute Medical Quality (IMQ), eight programs were chosen as a sample of our courses. The programs they evaluate must reflect our CME Mission Statement and be in compliance with essential component areas of the IMQ in the State of California.

Before your eyes glaze over, stop and think about the level of detail required with each renewal for us to be able to offer CE. In each of the programs the IMQ is considering there are different components they look at. Just to give you an idea the components included: the purpose of the program, the content areas, target audience, types of activities and expected results of each program, all articulated in terms of changes in competence, performance or patient outcomes. For each of these components there is documentation required that includes the advertising, the program request forms, the sign-in and sign out sheets, and evaluation forms for each class or activity. Bibliographies must be included along with evidence that the Cultural Linguistic Mandate is being met.

The purpose of telling you all this is to convey the level of detail and dedication required to put together a document that supports everyone in the Center in terms of their professional development and needs for licensure. We owe Julie Stahl, MD, the Chair of the CME Committee, and Mary Ewert, DMH, the former Chair of the Membership Division, a debt of gratitude for their time (over a month and not their day jobs) to write and put together this document for the IMQ. It serves each and every one of us and our Center. Our staff: Jeff Miller, our COO; Lynda Connelly, our Membership Services Coordinator; and Aaron Chow, our Information / Communication Services Coordinator, were all involved in getting the required documentation together to produce the document. We all take certain aspects of our Center for granted, like turning on a light switch, always assuming the lights will go on. The behind the scenes effort is huge.

Thank you, thank you, to Julie and Mary for your incalculable time, effort and expertise on our behalf, and to Jeff, Lynda and Aaron in helping put together the document for the IMQ.

Just so everyone knows, the documentation is just phase one. Phase 2 involves a site visit where Julie, Mary and the staff have to be present to answer questions and provide rationales for our procedures in offering CME’s. All this so we can all circle if we want CME’s or not at our many events. What makes this happen is the unseen effort of Julie Stahl, M.D., Mary Ewert, D.M.H, Jeff Miller, Lynda Connelly and Aaron Chow.

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