KMA meeting celebrates physician leaders, tackles public health issues

By Emily Schott

Physicians from across the state convened in Louisville in late September for the 2019 Kentucky Medical Association (KMA) annual meeting. The theme of this year’s meeting, “Moving Medicine: Together for Tomorrow” celebrated and encouraged the unification of physicians around issues of importance, particularly public health advocacy.

Friday evening’s VIP board dinner honored graduates of two of KMA’s leadership programs, the Community Connector Leadership Program (CCLP) and the award-winning Kentucky Physicians Leadership Institute (KPLI). Receiving recognition as CCLPs were Bruce Scott, MD of Louisville, Sarah Moyer, MD of Louisville and Khalil Rahman, MD of Lexington. Eleven physicians completed the 2019 KPLI program and were recognized. The evening also included a special “fireside chat” between 2018-2019 KMA President Bruce Scott, MD and current American Medical Association (AMA) President Patrice Harris, MD.

Attendees heard from a dynamic array of speakers during the Kentucky Physicians Leadership Academy (KPLA). United States Attorney for the Western District of Kentucky Russell Coleman discussed the federal response to the state’s opioid epidemic, accompanied by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Stephanie Zimdahl and Bill Campbell. Ben Chandler, president and CEO of the Foundation for a Healthy Kentucky, gave members an update on Kentucky’s public health issues, and was also presented with KMA’s Advocacy Award for his work addressing solutions to issues such as tobacco use and influenza. The KPLA concluded with a discussion on social media and advocacy.

Attendees were invited to attend the taping of “Prescription for Health: A KET Forum” which featured physicians, public health officials and policymakers discussing some of the state’s most pressing public health issues. The first-of-its-kind special, which is scheduled to air on KET at 9 p.m. on Oct. 7, was moderated by Emmy award-winning Connections host Renee Shaw with Kentucky Health host and KPLI graduate Wayne Tuckson, MD interviewing additional physicians in the audience. Participants were also asked to share their stories encountering barriers to care their patients face related to these health issues using KMA’s new patient advocacy web site,

The annual KMA leadership dinner highlighted the installation of KMA’s 169th President, R. Brent Wright, MD of Glasgow, as well as recognize recipients of KMA’s awards program and graduates of the Medical Student Outreach and Leadership (MSOL) Program.

Patrick Withrow, MD, of Paducah, received the KMA Community Service Award, students and leadership of Johnson County Middle School received the Debra K. Best Outstanding Layperson Award, and Keri Remmel, MD, PhD, of Louisville received the KMA Educational Achievement Award. Sen. Max Wise of Campbellsville will be presented with the KMA Advocacy Award later. Gordon Tobin, II, MD, of Louisville received the KMA Distinguished Service Award, the Association’s highest professional honor.

Members elected physicians to its Board of Trustees and AMA delegation as well as set Association policy during the House of Delegates. Louisville emergency room physician Robert Couch, MD was selected as KMA president-elect, Dale Toney, MD was elected vice president, and Frank Burns, MD was selected secretary-treasurer. Danesh Mazloomdoost, MD, and Monalisa Tailor, MD were elected speaker and vice speaker of the House of Delegates, respectively.