President's PerspectivePresident's Perspective
A Review of the Past, and a Look Forward: The Importance of our Work and the Potential of Our Future
The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
Over the past two years we witnessed the greatest challenge to the medical profession in our lifetimes. Physicians across the country, and especially here in DuPage County, should feel great pride in the medical profession's achievements during the COVID-19 pandemic. We made a profound difference.
Led by our incomparable Executive Committee, our DuPage County Medical Society (DCMS) contributed in numerous ways to the benefit of DuPage County and our medical community. Partnering with the DuPage County Health Department and its medical officer and DCMS past president, Rashmi Chugh, MD, our Society dedicated hundreds of hours of work to inform our colleagues and the public about COVID-19 and the benefits of vaccinations.
DCMS also partnered in these efforts with world class physician leaders from AMITA, Advocate, Northwestern Medicine, and Walgreens in a series of webinars. The generous participation of Stuart Marcus, MD, Valerie Phillips, MD, and Chet Robson, DO, along with DCMS leaders, assured that health professionals in our community had access to the most current and correct COVID information.
Chicago Department of Public Health commissioner, Allison Arwady, MD, graciously engaged with hundreds of DCMS members and others during our remarkable "Pandemics Past, Present and Future" webinar.
Combined, these efforts helped DuPage County achieve one of the highest vaccination rates in the nation – a welcome success!
During the state legislature's session this year the Illinois Trial Lawyers Association attempted to pass a selfish and destructive medical malpractice bill that would harm not only physicians, but also patient care across the state. Working with the Illinois State Medical Society, our DCMS Governmental Affairs Committee, led by chair Lanny Wilson, MD, galvanized area physicians in a statewide effort that ultimately prevented adoption of the most onerous parts of the proposal. Our success with this and other health-related legislative initiatives stems in great measure from the relationships Lanny and the Committee have established with area lawmakers.
DCMS is now engaged as never before with the Midwestern University/CCOM medical school in Downers Grove, promoting awareness of this important medical education center in our community. The school's dean, DCMS member Thomas Boyle, DO, and his colleagues, helped successfully guide hundreds of medical students through an educational experience unprecedented in modern times. Exceptional physicians practice in DuPage County, and DCMS is dedicated to a collaboration with our county's only medical school that will benefit doctors, future doctors, and county residents.
Over the last five decades our DuPage Medical Society Foundation has raised and donated hundreds of thousands of dollars to support and guide future health professionals. These efforts continue. Nearly all of the Foundation's funding comes from you, our community's physicians. Thank you! I am proud to join you with a $1000 contribution in honor of the DCMS Executive Committee and the outstanding work these leaders undertake on behalf of all of us.
To benefit those in our community facing food insecurity, DCMS continues to forge a relationship with the Northern Illinois Food Bank (NIFB). Through our semi-annual "Physicians Make a Difference" volunteer events, DCMS members have donated hundreds of hours to help advance the NIFB vision – "for everyone in Northern Illinois to have the food they need to thrive." In addition, this month the DCMS executive committee made a major financial donation in support of this important charity.
I have enjoyed the honor of serving as DuPage County Medical Society president for the last two years. I witnessed the best of our profession. During this momentous time in health care history, I saw colleagues, in ways big and small, being heroes and making profound differences in the lives of countless patients and families.
A member of DCMS for over 25 years, I am so proud of the 100+ year tradition of our Society as a guiding force in health care in our county. We enjoy remarkable success thanks to the selfless commitment of generations of physician leaders, men and women who believed, as we do, in the noble profession of medicine. If nothing else, these pandemic years have convinced me of the critical importance of physician leadership for the best future of medicine. We remain the intellectual core of medicine, and the most important advocate for our patients.
As Mitra Kalelkar, MD, takes over as the next president of DCMS, I hope you too become more actively engaged with our DuPage County Medical Society. Help us continue adding strong links to the unbroken chain of leaders who have so capably met the many challenges our profession has faced since our Society was born during the last great pandemic in 1918! As my mother always said, "You will receive much more than you give." Our profession needs physician leadership, now more then ever.
Thank you for helping DCMS thrive and allowing me the privilege of leading the Society.
Leadership is a privilege to better the lives of others.
- Mwai Kibaki (Kenya's third President)
Rockford G Yapp, MD, MPH
DuPage County Medical Society