President's Message, January 2019

January 16, 2019 12:47 PM | Sally Winkelman (Administrator)

Jeffrey Pothof, MD, FACEP
WACEP President

Dear WACEP members,

Thank you for everything you do day in and day out to ensure our communities, our families, and our patients in Wisconsin and beyond have access to great emergency care.  I’m humbled to be your president and commit to working hard to ensure you are supported in your professional practice and that we, collectively, advocate for high quality emergency medical care.

I wanted to take a moment to introduce myself to all of you.  My hope is that during the next year I’ll be able to meet many of you in person through our mutual involvement in the things that matter most to us as emergency physicians.  I grew up in Randolph, a small town in rural Wisconsin.  I attended Edgewood College and subsequently the UW School of Medicine and Public Health for my doctorate degree.  I completed residency at the University of Michigan.  While in Ann Arbor I finished a medical education scholars program in healthcare administration and served as chief resident during my fourth year of residency.

I came back to Madison after residency as faculty at the University of Wisconsin.  I had developed a strong passion in health system operations as well as patient safety and quality while in residency that spilled over into my early professional career.  I held various leadership roles over the last decade including Service Chief of Emergency Medicine for the William S. Middleton VA Hospital, Clinical Service Chief for the UW Division of Emergency Medicine, Vice Chair of Quality and Operation for the UW Department of Emergency Medicine, and most recently a health system role now serving as Chief Quality Officer for UW Health.   I continue to work shifts both at our University Hospital emergency department and at the smaller emergency department at our American Center campus.  I’ve been a flight physician with UW Med Flight for the last 8 years and still enjoy it as much today as I did back then.

My interest in organized medicine began early in my career.  I joined ACEP’s Quality Improvement and Patient Safety Section in 2012.  I served the section in many roles culminating as chair of the section in 2015.  I was also a member of the Quality and Performance Committee from 2013-2017.  More recently my interests have shifted from the national level to the local level.  In 2016 I began serving as a board member for WACEP and have enjoyed working on issues that impact the physicians and patients in my own back yard and being able to represent our interests at the annual ACEP council meeting.

I want to encourage all of you no matter what your background to attend our Spring Symposium.  Registration is currently open and can be found here.  There has been tremendous effort expended by our team to provide a very valuable experience for those in attendance.  I really think all of us no matter our practice environment will take something away from this year’s conference.

I’ll have more updates as we move through the year, but WACEP has its hands in many pots.  We are committed to being good partners in the fight against the opioid crisis.  We are devoted to improving both the patient and provider experience when it comes to navigating our mental health system.  We are eager to develop initiatives to assist providers in finding meaning in their work, and we continue to advocate for fair Medicaid reimbursement for the care you deliver.   My hope for this year is that we become closer as physicians who provide emergency care without any additional qualifiers.  Whether in democratic groups, national group practices, small rural practices, or large academic practices there is more that holds us together than pulls us apart.

I’m excited to embark on this journey with you and look forward to WACEP’s accomplishments in 2019.