October 2, 2015

This week's BOG Update is brought to you by Norman E. Lepor, MD, FACC, President, California Chapter, American College of Cardiology, Governor, Southern California, American College of Cardiology and Garwood Gee, MD, FACC, Governor, Northern California, American College of Cardiology.

Norman E. Lepor, MD, FACC
Garwood Gee, MD, FACC

What keeps us up at night is trying to think outside the box to motivate our colleagues in California to become activists in support of the profession they have devoted more time to than anything else in their adult lives. We focus so much energy and effort in dealing with the core issues of the day we are from academic, private practice or staff model practice backgrounds, that there is little interest at the end of the day to engage in activities such as politics that have great impact on our professions.

In the old days, so much of how we practiced was determined by innovations tested in randomized clinical trials and then presented at great meetings such as the ACC Scientific Session. In the modern era, more and more control of how we practice is determined in Sacramento, Washington DC, and boardrooms of insurance companies.

Our efforts in California focus on promoting how activism on the state level can lead to results which can be appreciated and have a positive impact on our profession. We are always on the lookout for creative ways to sponsor education and foster more entities to do so. This is a core attraction for our members. Our efforts are also focused on cultivating new state-level leaders from around California from diverse backgrounds- geographically and professionally- who have underappreciated interests and skills and appointing them to state-level leadership positions that match their passions. Once appointed, we guide their good intentions by having them provide us with mission statements, goals and timelines at the outset and maintain communication with them to keep them motivated. We have also developed a report card for all members of California's ACC leadership which provides credit for a host of activities including contributions to our state PAC, spearheading peer-to-peer educational events and promoting the accomplishments of the CA ACC to our peers at Cardiology Grand Rounds programs throughout the state. This report card process carries with it carrots that reward involvement. We won't give people leadership roles if they're not ready to contribute, or allow them to remain part of the team if they aren't participating. After all, if you cannot motivate your leadership, how can you expect to motivate your members? This has led to the development of new working committees that fit our current needs and unplugging committees that do not. It has led to seeking out energetic and passionate members who may be fellows in training, recent graduates as well as "mature" FACCs and matching their interests with needs of our state.

We think we are on the right track here in California and at the state level think we can make a difference. One measure of that success is that donations to our state PAC are up 500 percent this year compared to last year. It also helps to have a great CEO.