Podiatric Physicians From Across the State Converge on California's Capitol for CPMA's 2014 Legislative Leadership Conference

Podiatric Physicians From Across the State Converge on California's Capitol for CPMA's 2014 Legislative Leadership Conference

 

Over 100 California Podiatric Medical Association (CPMA) member podiatric physicians, residents, and podiatric medical students from the California School of Podiatric Medicine (CSPM) at Samuel Merritt University and the College of Podiatric Medicine at Western University of Health Sciences gathered in Sacramento on March 5 to bring the voice of podiatric medicine to legislators. During the day doctors discussed the many challenges - and opportunities - facing the practice of medicine in California today.

Assemblyman Jimmy Gomez (D, AD-51), author of Assembly Bill 1868 (Medi-Cal), which reinstates medical treatment and care provided by doctors of podiatric medicine as a covered service in Medi-Cal, addressed the attendees. Assemblyman Gomez spoke of the necessity of providing all Californians with access to quality, affordable health care. Following his address, Assemblyman Gomez was presented with the California Podiatric Medical Association's 2014 Legislative Leadership Award.

Assemblyman Scott Wilk (R, AD-38), another keynote speaker, encouraged those in attendance to visit their representatives back in their home districts, where their representatives would face fewer distractions and time constraints. Assemblyman Wilk was presented with CPMA's 2014 Patient Advocate of the Year Award.

In his keynote address, Lieutenant Governor Gavin Newsom noted the challenge that rising health costs pose for the state. He also spoke of the promising opportunities that come about by facing and addressing challenges head-on.

After a morning of legislative briefings and guest speakers, which in addition to Lt. Governor Newsom, Assemblymen Gomez and Wilk, included Jim Rathlesberger, Executive Officer, Board of Podiatric Medicine (BPM) and Dustin Corcoran, Chief Executive, California Medical Association, the group headed to the Capitol building to speak to their representatives about critical legislative issues affecting the practice of medicine in California.

In their marching orders members were urged to talk with their representatives about what they do every day in their practices - taking care of patients. They were also reminded that they were championing their patients and medicine, and by their presence and participation could have a positive impact on the patients and practice of podiatric medicine in California.

CPMA armed members with information on the important role podiatric medicine plays in the health care delivery system. Among the issues discussed with legislators were AB 1868 (reinstating treatment and care provided by doctors of podiatric medicine as a covered service in Medi-Cal), the Duals Demonstration Project, MICRA, Access to Care, and the Physician and Surgeon certificate for doctors of podiatric medicine.

CPMA thanks all those who took time from their busy schedules at their own expense to travel to Sacramento and proudly carry the Banner of Podiatric Medicine through the corridors of power in the Capitol, where the stroke of a pen can write podiatric physicians and the patients they serve into, or out of, the law.

The California Podiatric Medical Association also wishes to thank Bako Integrated Physician Solutions, Honor Medical, and Pfizer for their unrestricted grants which helped to make CPMA's 2014 Legislative Leadership Conference such a huge success!