President’s Message

…and AOA House of Delegates Report

August 29, 2016

Dear Alaska DOs,

BOARD-Kragt-2016I hope this letter finds you enjoying the warmth and light of summer’s wane, with enough time to take in the many natural splendors our great state continually provides. Looking back on the past several months, we’ve seen some progress in our mission to bring the Alaska Osteopathic Medical Association into a renewed era of growth and prosperity. We have recently begun chronicling the news and issues of importance to our DO membership through the use of social media. We strongly urge each of you to “Like” AKOMA on Facebook and “follow” us on Twitter. In the coming months, you’ll find articles for and about Alaska DOs as well as information on upcoming events and meetings. We want to hear what interests you as well and you can always get word to our leadership and staff by posting and commenting through our social media presence.

In July, the Alaska Delegation to the AOA House of Delegates, consisting of Colonel Robert Gear, DO and myself, traveled to Chicago where we attended the Annual Business Meeting and other events regarding the profession. Below are the highlights of the AOA HOD from our perspective.

1. ACGME update by Dr Buser: The newly-inaugurated AOA Board President told the assembled delegates that the single accreditation system is moving forward. There are DOs serving on all ACGME boards including the Board of Trustees. We are two years into a six-year implementation period. ACGME programs are able to apply for Osteopathic Recognition and many programs are doing so in order to attract DOs to their programs. A presentation was given by Thomas J. Nasca, MD, MACP, the CEO of ACGME. Dr. Nasca said his organization is very supportive of our integration for GME and the process is going very well. Dr. Nasca told the gathering of DOs that a strong relationship and mutual respect has been built between the two groups.

2. The Osteopathic Medicine brand awareness campaign continues. AOA ads are in numerous written and online publications reaching over 300 million people. The main target audiences are “educated health-seeker families”, people in their 30s and 40s; and underserved populations.

3. A presentation was given by CMS Administrator Andy Slavitt. CMS just approved a program to start paying for disease prevention efforts. The focus is on primary care in rural and underserved communities. Slavitt explained that CMS has heard physician concerns that core measures and technology have done little to improve quality or to improve care and have greatly hindered the focus of our jobs, which is treating patients. They are taking several steps to address this. Chief among them are reducing the number of metrics, reducing the burden of reporting and reducing quality measures by a third.

“We’ve lost the hearts and minds of our physicians and we will not win them back with empty promises,” Slavitt said. “CMS promises to listen to physicians and to work with them to again let them focus on treating their patients rather than forcing them to keep up with burdensome regulations and technology.”

4. Numerous resolutions were debated on the HOD floor. Among the highlights were Revisions to the AOA Accreditation requirements for ABA Category 1 CME Sponsors, Nomination to Membership on Specialty Boards, and CME Requirements for AOA Membership. For a full list of Resolutions, download the AOA’s account from the Annual Business Meeting.

5. Mark Baker, DO, from Fort Worth, TX was elected to the position of AOA President-Elect.

This has been an eventful and exciting time for DOs across the country and while we have seen significant progress, the obstacles we face are best met together as a team. So, please connect with your fellow Alaska DO’s as often as possible. We want to see you in person through our upcoming events – Spring CME at Anchorage in April and the AKOMA Autumn Social (you’ll be able to find details on this site as they become available). We also can’t wait to connect virtually through our social media channels.

Thank you as always for that that You DO!


Nancy Kragt, DO
Alaska Osteopathic Medical Association